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Vernon Coyne | Marine Biotechnology

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Vernon Coyne
Associate Professor Vernon Coyne | Telephone: +27 21 650 5070 | Facsimile: +27 21 650 1861


PhD project opportunity: Microbiome of integrated aquaculture systems - Closing date: 8 February 2019
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My group conducts research in marine biotechnology that seeks to further our understanding of indigenous marine animals of commercial importance. Our current research includes the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases of farmed kob which can be used therapeutically, diagnostically and for disease prevention. We are also conducting proteomic
studies of the effect of stress and disease on the abalone immune system with the long-term aim of developing a health monitoring system for this commercially important marine mollusc. Finally, we are developing microbial probiotics for farmed abalone that increase disease resistance and growth rate of these animals, both in the hatchery and grow-out stages of the farming process. 

Selected publications
  1. Horwitz, R., Mouton, A. and Coyne, V.E. (2016). Characterization of an intracellular bacterium infecting the digestive gland of the South African abalone Haliotis midae. Aquaculture 451:24-32.
  2. Naidoo, R.K., Rafudeen, M.S. and Coyne, V.E. (2016). Investigation of the Gracilaria gracilis (Gracilariales, Rhodophyta) proteome response to nitrogen limitation. Journal of Phycology 52 (3), 369-383.
  3. Coyne, V.E. (2015) Proteomics: applications and advances in marine biotechnology, Chapter 18, 603-623. Springer Handbook of Marine Biotechnology, Se-Kwon Kim (Ed.), 1800 p. ISBN 978-3-642-53970-1.
  4. Huddy, R.J. and Coyne, V.E. (2015) Characterisation of the role of an alkaline protease from Vibrio midae SY9 in enhancing the growth rate of cultured abalone fed a probiotic-supplemented feed. Aquaculture 448: 128-134.
  5. Huddy, S.M., Meyers, A.E., Coyne, V.E. (2015) Regeneration of whole plants from protoplasts of Gracilaria gracilis (Gracilariales, Rhodophyta) Journal of Applied Phycology, 27 (1): 427-435
  6. Huddy, R.J. and Coyne, V.E. (2014) Detection and localisation of the abalone probiotic Vibrio midae SY9 and its extracellular protease, VmproA, within the digestive tract of the South African abalone, Haliotis midae. PloS ONE 9 (1): e86623.
  7. Bolton, J.J., Davies-Coleman, M.T. and Coyne V.E. (2013). Innovative processes and products involving marine organisms in South Africa. African Journal of Marine Science 35 (3): 449–464.
  8. Huddy, S.M., Meyers, A.E., Coyne, V.E. (2013) Protoplast isolation optimization and regeneration of cell wall in Gracilaria gracilis (Gracilariales, Rhodophyta). Journal of Applied Phycology,  25: 433-443.

Coyne, V.E., ten Doeschate, K.I. and Macey, B.M. Production of abalone. Patent application 2002/4007


Prof Ed Rybicki, Dr Ann Meyers & Dr Inga Hitzeroth: Biopharming Research Unit, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town.

Dr Brett Macey & Dr Kevin Christison: Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries.

Dr Marijke Fagan-Endres: Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Cape Town.

Lab members

Sarah Carroll - PhD | Investigating the effect of ocean acidification on the haemocyte proteome of farmed abalone.
Kyle Naylor - PhD | Development of vaccines for farmed dusky kob from a phage display library.
Kris Wolfenden - PhD | Investigation of the effect of elevated temperature and bacterial infection on the haemocyte proteome of farmed abalone.
Jay-Dee Atkins - MSc | Characterisation of the role of calreticulin in the stress response of abalone haemocytes to elevated temperature.
Jarid North - MSc | Investigation of haemocyanin as a putative anti-microbial peptide in the abalone defence response.
Julia Watson - MSc | Development of vaccines against parasites of farmed dusky kob, using a dusky kob phage display library.

Online resources
The European Society for Marine Biotechnology   International Marine Biotechnology Association