Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Science and Mathematics



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

John J. Gaynor

Committee Member

Sandra D. Adams

Committee Member

Paul A.X. Bologna


The recent overpopulation of jellyfish occurring in the Barnegat Bay of New Jersey has been of growing concern. One prolific species, Chrysaora quinquecirrha, has been the subject of genetic research to determine the relatedness amongst populations and therefore determine its spread. In this study, a partial nucleotide sequence of the 45S ribosomal DNA cassette from C. quinquecirrha genomic DNA of Barnegat Bay was identified and compared to other cnidarian species. Approximately 44.8% of the cassette was identified, 3465 bp total. A partial 18S rDNA sequence was generated of 1772 bp (96% total). Complete ITS1, 5.8S rDNA, and ITS2 sequences were generated of 284 bp, 158 bp, and 205 bp, respectively. A partial 28S rDNA sequence was identified of 1046 bp long (29% total). It was found that the sequence of the 18S and 28S rDNA in C. quinquecirrha is closest to other Chrysaora species. The ITS regions of C. quinquecirrha of Barnegat Bay proved to be 99% identical to C. quinquecirrha of Navesink River, providing supporting evidence of how related these two populations of species are.

A complete cassette can potentially add another element when classifying and identifying organisms. Further studies to complete the 45S rDNA cassette will design specific primer sets to amplify the entire IGS region, the first 42 nucleotides at the 5’ end of 18S rDNA, and the remaining 2560 bp of 28S rDNA. This data can then be utilized to determine the relatedness of other cnidarian populations and determine their spread.

File Format


Included in

Biology Commons