Could Zequanox be the solution to the zebra mussel problem?
Zequanox has been heralded as a potential answer to the zebra mussel problem. Zequanox's active ingredient, pseudomonas fluorescens, is commonly found in food and present in North American bodies of water. It is a bacteria that promotes plant growth.
Marrone Bio Innovations, the commercial developer of Zequanox, in collaboration with the Douglas County Citizens' Committee on Zebra Mussels (DCCC) and the Douglas County Lake Association, provided a research request to the Minnesota DNR June 1 for evaluation of the use of Zequanox in lakes in Douglas County to combat zebra mussels.
According to the proposal, research efforts would start with jar assays to ascertain Zequanox's effectiveness against the mussels. Testing would then graduate to aquaria containing about 30 liters of water. Eventually, field trials would be conducted in isolated sections of a lake.
Marrone Bio seeks to test Zequanox in Lakes Carlos, Darling and L'Homme Dieu.
DCCC anticipates approval of the proposal from the DNR in June or July and the committee hopes to raise money to pay for the research. Committee member Carl Towley estimates a cost of $250,000 to $300,000. DCCC plans to initiate a fund-raising drive. Group members plan to hold informational meetings to educate the public.
"I think it would be great if we could start testing this year," Towley said.
The committee is hopeful the Minnesota Legislature could entertain possibly funding future testing of Zequanox if the initial findings are positive.
"With a series of successful tests, Minnesota could assume the worldwide leadership position regarding aggressive treatment of zebra mussels," the DCCC said in a statement.
One of the scientists who discovered the bacteria strain, Dr. Daniel Molloy, is scheduled to visit Alexandria July 12 to 15.