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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 65:1-8 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/dao065001

Pilot study of the Olympia oyster Ostrea conchaphila in the San Francisco Bay estuary: description and distribution of diseases

Carolyn S. Friedman1,*, Heather M. Brown2,4, Timothy W. Ewing1,Frederick J. Griffin2, Gary N. Cherr2,3

1School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Box 355020, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA
2Bodega Marine Laboratory, PO Box 247, Bodega Bay, California 94923, USA
3Departments of Environmental Toxicology and Nutrition, University of California Davis, Davis, California 95616, USA
4Present address: Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz,California 95064, USA

ABSTRACT: Olympia oysters Ostrea conchaphila have declined markedly during the last century and are a focus of restoration in many embayments, including the San Francisco Bay (SFB) estuary. Oysters were collected from 17 sites in this estuary and nearby Tomales Bay in an effort to characterize diseases that may impact recovery of this species and captive rearing programs. Three diseases/disease agents including a Mikrocytos-like protist (microcell), a haplosporidian and hemic neoplasia were observed from several sites along the western margins of the SFB estuary suggesting a geographic localization of disease presence. Based on fluoresecent in situ hybridization (FISH) assays, the microcell is distinct from M. mackini and Bonamia spp. These data highlight the need for further elucidation of the haplosporidian and for careful health management of a declining species destined for captive rearing and supplementation.

KEY WORDS: Ostrea conchaphila · Disease · San Francisco Bay · Microcell · Haplosporidian · Hemic neoplasia

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