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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 66:41-46 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/dao066041

Survey for neoplasia in Macoma balthica from the Gulf of Gdansk by flow cytometry

K. Smolarz1, T. Renault2,*, P. Soletchnik3, M. Wolowicz1

1Laboratory of Estuarine Ecology, Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdansk, Al. Pilsudskiego 46, 81-378 Gdynia, Poland
2IFREMER, Laboratoire de Génétique et Pathologique, 17390 La Tremblade, France
3IFREMER, Laboratoire Conchylicole de Poitou Charentes, 17390 La Tremblade, France
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Using flow cytometry, 234 Macoma balthica were examined during a survey to determine frequency of neoplasia in the Gulf of Gdansk (Poland). Clams were collected in 4 locations and DNA content in gill tissue cells was determined by flow cytometry using propidium iodide staining. Cell permeabilization was induced by osmotic shock. Prevalence of neoplasia ranged from 9.6 to 26.7% depending on location. DNA content in aneuploid cells was higher than in normal dividing cells. The fluorescence value for aneuploid cells corresponded to tetraploid/pentaploid cells. Three stages of neoplasia were defined, based on the percentage of aneuploid cells determined by flow cytometry. Histopathological and cytogenetic analyses were also carried out on the same clams for comparative study. Proportions of normal and affected clams detected using flow cytometry were similar to those identified using both methods. In the present study, no clear relationship was demonstrated between prevalence of neoplasia and pollutant detection in the different sampling sites.

KEY WORDS: Gill neoplasia · Flow cytometry · Macoma balthica · Prevalence

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