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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 89:155-166 (2010)  -  DOI:

Molecular detection of Hematodinium sp. in Northeast Pacific Chionoecetes spp. and evidence of two species in the Northern Hemisphere

Pamela C. Jensen1,*, Katy Califf1,3, Vanessa Lowe1, Lorenz Hauser2, J. Frank Morado1

1National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Resource Assessment and Conservation Engineering Division, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, Washington 98115, USA
2Marine Molecular Biotechnology Laboratory, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, 1122 NE Boat Street, Box 355020, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA
3Present address: Department of Zoology, Michigan State University, 203 Natural Science Building, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA

ABSTRACT: Hematodinium is a genus of parasitic dinoflagellates that infects crustaceans worldwide including Tanner crabs Chionoecetes bairdi and snow crabs C. opilio in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. The present study describes the optimization of a PCR-based assay for the detection and monitoring of Hematodinium sp. in snow and Tanner crabs. Two fragments, 1682 and 187 bp, were amplified from the 18S ribosomal DNA region of the parasite. The assay performed well in 6 additional decapod species (1 lobster and 5 crabs) infected with Hematodinium spp., suggesting that it could be used to detect Hematodinium spp. in other decapods. We also report Hematodinium spp. infections in the majid crab, Hyas coarctatus, and the lithodid crab, Lithodes couesi. Sequencing of 18S rDNA and the adjacent internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) region of Hematodinium spp. isolated from 7 host species in the present study revealed the presence of 2 Hematodinium clades, one in the blue crab Callinectes sapidus and a second in all other host species. The ITS1 sequences of the 2 clades could not be aligned, but showed a conserved secondary structure that may be related to a functional diversification during a host switch. Comparison of our data with 18S and ITS1 sequence data available in GenBank placed the north Pacific Hematodinium sp. in a clade separate from the Hematodinium  sp. infecting the portunoids, C. sapidus, Liocarcinus depurator and Scylla serrata, and within a second clade that infected all other decapod hosts located in the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans.

KEY WORDS: ITS1 · Secondary structure · 18S rDNA · Parasite · PCR · Crustacean · Parasitic · Dinoflagellate · Disease

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Cite this article as: Jensen PC, Califf K, Lowe V, Hauser L, Morado JF (2010) Molecular detection of Hematodinium sp. in Northeast Pacific Chionoecetes spp. and evidence of two species in the Northern Hemisphere. Dis Aquat Org 89:155-166.

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