DAO 33:129-136 (1998)  -  doi:10.3354/dao033129

In vitro culture of Perkinsus atlanticus, a parasite of the carpet shell clam Ruditapes decussatus

M. C. Ordás, A. Figueras*

Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Eduardo Cabello, 6, E-36208 Vigo, Spain
*Addressee for correspondence. E-mail:

The ability to mass-culture parasites in vitro facilitates biological, metabolic and morphological research that would otherwise be difficult to accomplish. In vitro continuous culture of the protistan Perkinsus atlanticus from carpet-shell clam was established and variables including culture medium, inoculum size, temperature and salinity, which affect parasite proliferation, were studied. This parasite can adapt to very different culture media and salinity and temperature conditions, and the inoculum density does not affect the final cellular concentration attained in vitro. The morphology of cultured P. atlanticus is described and its optimum in vitro growth conditions were compared with those for P. marinus, a parasite of the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica. Cryopreservation of cultured P. atlanticus was developed to assure the long-term storage of this parasite.


Perkinsus atlanticus ยท Clams · Protistan · Protozoa · Parasite · In vitro · Ruditapes decussatus


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