DAO 101:173-183 (2012)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02531

Diseases of oysters Crassostrea ariakensis and C. virginica reared in ambient waters from the Choptank River, Maryland and the Indian River Lagoon, Florida

Christopher F. Dungan1,*, Ryan B. Carnegie2, Kristina M. Hill2,6, Carol B. McCollough1, Susan E. Laramore3, Christopher J. Kelly4,5, Nancy A. Stokes2, John Scarpa3

1Cooperative Oxford Laboratory, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Oxford, Maryland 21654, USA
2 Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William & Mary, Gloucester Point, Virginia 23062, USA
3Aquaculture and Stock Enhancement Program, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, Fort Pierce, Florida 34946, USA
4Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Cambridge, Maryland 21613, USA
5Present address: CSA International, Inc., Stuart, Florida 34997, USA
6Present address: Smithsonian National Zoo, Washington, DC 20013, USA

ABSTRACT: To assess potential benefits and liabilities from a proposed introduction of Asian Suminoe oysters, susceptibilities of exotic Crassostrea ariakensis and native C. virginica oysters were compared during exposures to pathogens endemic in temperate, mesohaline waters of Chesapeake Bay and sub-tropical, polyhaline Atlantic waters of southern Florida, USA. Cohorts of diploid, sibling oysters of both species were periodically tested for diseases while reared in mesocosms receiving ambient waters from the Choptank River, Maryland (>3 yr) or the Indian River Lagoon, Florida (10 to 11 mo). Haplosporidium sp. infections (e.g. MSX disease) were not detected in oysters from either site. Perkinsus sp. infections (dermo disease) occurred among members of both oyster species at both sites, but infections were generally of low or moderate intensities. A Bonamia sp. was detected by PCR of DNAs from tissues of both oyster species following exposure to Florida waters, with maximum PCR prevalences of 44 and 15% among C. ariakensis and C. virginica oysters respectively during June 2007. Among C. ariakensis oysters sampled during April to July 2007, a Bonamia sp. was detected in 31% of oysters by PCR (range 11 to 35%) and confirmed histologically in 10% (range 0 to 15%). Among simultaneously sampled C. virginica oysters, a Bonamia sp. was detected in 7% by PCR (range 0 to 15%), but histological lesions were absent. Although this is the first report of a Bonamia sp. from Florida waters, sequences of small subunit (SSU) rDNA and in situ hybridization (ISH) assays both identified the Florida pathogen as Bonamia exitiosa, which also infects oysters in the proximate waters of North Carolina, USA.


KEY WORDS: Dermo · MSX · Perkinsus marinus · Haplosporidium nelsoni · Bonamia exitiosa · Chesapeake Bay · Atlantic−Florida · Suminoe oyster · Eastern oyster


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Cite this article as: Dungan CF, Carnegie RB, Hill KM, McCollough CB and others (2012) Diseases of oysters Crassostrea ariakensis and C. virginica reared in ambient waters from the Choptank River, Maryland and the Indian River Lagoon, Florida. Dis Aquat Org 101:173-183. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02531

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