DAO 53:89-90 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/dao053089

Ovacystis-like condition in the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica from the northeastern Gulf of Mexico

James T. Winstead*, Lee A. Courtney

US Environmental Protection Agency, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Gulf Ecology Division, 1 Sabine Island Drive, Gulf Breeze, Florida 32561, USA

ABSTRACT: Histological examination of the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica from a study in Pensacola Bay, Florida, revealed 2 cases of abnormally large, basophilic ova that resembled cells characteristic of ovacystis disease previously reported in oysters from Maine and Long Island. The hypertrophied gametes measured up to 250 ┬Ám in diameter, had scant cytoplasm and contained granular nuclear-masses of Feulgen-positive material. Electron microscopy of reclaimed tissue revealed these masses to consist of virus-like particles (average 46 nm) similar to those reported in cases of ovacystis.

KEY WORDS: Crassostrea virginica · Ovacystis · Ova · Virus-like

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