DAO 81:173-176 (2008)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao01949

NOTE
Emerging infectious disease in sea stars: castrating ciliate parasites in Patiria miniata

J. Sunday*, L. Raeburn, M. W. Hart

Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada
*Email:

ABSTRACT: Orchitophrya stellarum is a holotrich ciliate that facultatively parasitizes and castrates male asteriid sea stars. We discovered a morphologically similar ciliate in testes of an asterinid sea star, the northeastern Pacific bat star Patiria miniata (Brandt, 1835). This parasite may represent a threat to Canadian populations of this iconic sea star. Confirmation that the parasite is O. stellarum would indicate a considerable host range expansion, and suggest that O. stellarum is a generalist sea star pathogen.


KEY WORDS: Scuticociliate · Asterias amurensis · Biocontrol · Sperm


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Cite this article as: Sunday J, Raeburn L, Hart MW (2008) Emerging infectious disease in sea stars: castrating ciliate parasites in Patiria miniata. Dis Aquat Org 81:173-176. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao01949

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