DAO 57:135-139 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/dao057135

Infection of the cockle Cerastoderma edule in the Baie des Veys (France) by the microsporidian parasite Steinhausia sp.

Thierry Comtet1,2,*, Céline Garcia1,3, Yvette Le Coguic1, Jean-Pierre Joly1,3

1Laboratoire Conchylicole de Bretagne, IFREMER, Station de la Trinité-sur-Mer, 12 rue des résistants, BP 26, 56470 La Trinité-sur-Mer, France
2UMR CNRS-UPMC 7127, Equipe Ecologie Benthique, Station Biologique, BP 74, 29682 Roscoff Cedex, France
3Laboratoire Génétique et Pathologie, IFREMER, Station de la Tremblade, Ronce-les-Bains, BP 133, 17390 La Tremblade, France

ABSTRACT: We report the occurrence of the microsporidian parasite Steinhausia sp. in the oocytes of the common cockle Cerastoderma edule in a natural population in France, where high mortalities occurred. Steinhausia sp. appeared primarily as sporocysts containing many small spores, and putative earlier developmental stages were also observed. Both its prevalence and infection intensity were low, and no host defence reaction was recognized, suggesting that Steinhausia sp. had no detrimental effect on C. edule. Its prevalence was higher in cockles lying on the sediment surface, but the significance of this observation could not be explained given the poor knowledge of the Steinhausia life cycle. The present data did not allow specific identification of the parasite, and further studies are required to determine whether Steinhausia sp. in the cockle is a new species, or a microsporidian infecting multiple host species.


KEY WORDS: Cerastoderma edule · Steinhausia sp. · Microsporida · Oocyte · Baie des Veys


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