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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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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 µm 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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