DAO 126:229-238 (2017)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03176

Immune status of the spiny lobster Jasus edwardsii with tail fan necrosis

Hua Zha1,2,*, Gillian Lewis2, Andrea Alfaro3, Shuqi Wang2, Yimin Dong2, Roffi Grandiosa3, Andrew Jeffs1,2 

1Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
2School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
3Institute for Applied Ecology, School of Science, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Tail fan necrosis (TFN), a disorder commonly found in some populations of commercially fished and cultured lobsters, is thought to be initiated by injuries caused by handling and containment. The unsightly appearance of affected lobster tails significantly lowers their commercial value. Knowledge about TFN is limited. In this study we describe the morphological features of TFN and apply 6 common methods for evaluating the immune status of wild-caught Australasian red spiny lobsters Jasus edwardsii with and without TFN. The disease was more frequent in uropods than in telsons of the tail fan, and more extensive on the ventral versus the dorsal surfaces of the tail fan. Missing appendages (i.e. antenna, pereiopod or pleopod) were significantly more common and greater in number for individual lobsters affected with TFN versus those without, possibly as a result of handling in the fishery or as an indirect effect of the disease. Two immune parameters, total haemocyte count and phenoloxidase activity in the haemocyte lysate supernatant (HLS), were significantly compromised in lobsters with TFN. No differences were found in the other immune parameters, i.e. haemocyte viability, haemolymph bacterial count and the protein content of haemolymph plasma and HLS. The results are consistent with injury sustained during prior capture and handling that initiates TFN in these natural caught lobsters. These results raise some potential concerns about the fitness of lobsters in natural populations that are affected by TFN, and some potential solutions are proposed.

KEY WORDS: Shell disease · Morphological characteristics · Fishing-induced injury · Melanisation · Total haemocyte count

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Cite this article as: Zha H, Lewis G, Alfaro A, Wang S, Dong Y, Grandiosa R, Jeffs A (2017) Immune status of the spiny lobster Jasus edwardsii with tail fan necrosis. Dis Aquat Org 126:229-238. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03176

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