DAO 80:235-239 (2008)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao01944

NOTE
Shellfish tissues evaluated for Perkinsus spp. using the Ray’s fluid thioglycollate medium culture assay can be used for downstream molecular assays

C. Audemard*, R. B. Carnegie, E. M. Burreson

Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Route 1208, Greate Road, Gloucester Point, Virginia 23062, USA

ABSTRACT: Ray’s fluid thioglycollate medium (RFTM) culture assay is the standard, recommended method for surveillance of Perkinsus spp. infections in marine molluscs. In this assay, shellfish tissues are incubated in RFTM, stained with Lugol’s iodine solution to render Perkinsus spp. cells blue-black, and evaluated microscopically to rate infection intensities. A limitation of this assay, however, is the lack of pathogen species specificity. Generally, identification of Perkinsus spp. requires DNA sequence analysis of parallel or additional samples since the exposure to iodine is believed to hamper DNA amplification from samples processed by the RFTM assay. However, we show that P. marinus DNA can be successfully amplified by PCR from Crassostrea virginica tissues cultured in RFTM and stained with Lugol’s iodine. The beneficial consequence is that, where necessary, DNA sequence data may be obtained from RFTM-cultured tissues, allowing the identification of the Perkinsus sp. responsible for an observed infection. This would obviate further sampling, representing gain of time and reduction in cost, where a Perkinsus sp. is unexpectedly observed in new host(s) or location(s) but where parallel samples are not available for molecular diagnostics. Laboratories without molecular diagnostic tools for Perkinsus spp. may fix presumptive Perkinsus sp.-positive culture material in 95% ethanol for transport to, and subsequent analysis by, a laboratory that does have this capacity.


KEY WORDS: Perkinsus · Dermo disease · RFTM · Lugol’s iodine · DNA · PCR


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Cite this article as: Audemard C, Carnegie RB, Burreson EM (2008) Shellfish tissues evaluated for Perkinsus spp. using the Ray’s fluid thioglycollate medium culture assay can be used for downstream molecular assays. Dis Aquat Org 80:235-239. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao01944

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