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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 128:147-168 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03216

Green crab Carcinus maenas symbiont profiles along a North Atlantic invasion route

Jamie Bojko1,2, Paul D. Stebbing3, Alison M. Dunn1, Kelly S. Bateman2,4, Fraser Clark5, Rose C. Kerr2,4, Sarah Stewart-Clark6, Ása Johannesen7, Grant D. Stentiford2,4,*

1Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
2Pathology and Microbial Systematics, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Weymouth Laboratory, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8UB, UK
3Epidemiology and Risk, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Weymouth Laboratory, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8UB, UK
4European Union Reference Laboratory for Crustacean Diseases, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Weymouth Laboratory, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8UB, UK
5Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mount Allison University, Sackville New Brunswick E4L 1E4, Canada
6Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University, 58 River Road, Truro, Nova Scotia B2N 5E3, Canada
7Fiskaaling P/F, Við Áir, Hvalvík 430, Faroe Islands
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The green crab Carcinus maenas is an invader on the Atlantic coast of Canada and the USA. In these locations, crab populations have facilitated the development of a legal fishery in which C. maenas is caught and sold, mainly for use as bait to capture economically important crustaceans such as American lobster Homarus americanus. The paucity of knowledge on the symbionts of invasive C. maenas in Canada and their potential for transfer to lobsters poses a potential risk of unintended transmission. We carried out a histological survey for symbionts of C. maenas from their native range in Northern Europe (in the UK and Faroe Islands), and invasive range in Atlantic Canada. In total, 19 separate symbiotic associations were identified from C. maenas collected from 27 sites. These included metazoan parasites (nematodes, Profilicollis botulus, Sacculina carcini, Microphallidae, ectoparasitic crustaceans), microbial eukaryotes (ciliates, Hematodinium sp., Haplosporidium littoralis, Ameson pulvis, Parahepatospora carcini, gregarines, amoebae), bacteria (Rickettsia-like organism, milky disease), and viral pathogens (parvo-like virus, herpes-like virus, iridovirus, Carcinus maenas bacilliform virus and a haemocyte-infecting rod-shaped virus). Hematodinium sp. were not observed in the Canadian population; however, parasites such as Trematoda and Acanthocephala were present in all countries despite their complex, multi-species lifecycles. Some pathogens may pose a risk of transmission to other decapods and native fauna via the use of this host in the bait industry, such as the discovery of a virus resembling the previously described white spot syndrome virus (WSSV), B-virus and ‘rod-shaped virus’ (RV-CM) and amoebae, which have previously been found to cause disease in aquaculture (e.g. Salmo salar) and fisheries species (e.g. H. americanus).


KEY WORDS: Virus · Neoparamoeba · Microsporidia · Hematodinium · Pathogen-acquisition · Homarus americanus · Profilicollis botulus · Non-native species


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Cite this article as: Bojko J, Stebbing PD, Dunn AM, Bateman KS and others (2018) Green crab Carcinus maenas symbiont profiles along a North Atlantic invasion route. Dis Aquat Org 128:147-168. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03216

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