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Effects of starvation and macroalgae extracts on the survival and growth of quahog parasite unknown (QPX)
 

Summary: Effects of starvation and macroalgae extracts on the survival and
growth of quahog parasite unknown (QPX)
Deenie M. Buggé, Bassem Allam
Marine Sciences Research Center, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook NY 11794-5000, United States
Received 8 February 2007; received in revised form 21 March 2007; accepted 5 April 2007
Abstract
Quahog parasite unknown (QPX) is a relatively poorly characterized protistan parasite that causes QPX disease in infected hard
clams (Mercenaria mercenaria). Most prior studies presented descriptive reports of the occurrence and the characteristics of the
disease in cultured and wild clams, while several basic aspects of the biology and ecology of the parasite remain obscure. In an
attempt to better understand factors affecting the persistence and growth of QPX in marine environment, we investigated the ability
of QPX to survive in seawater and the potential role of macroalgae in supporting its growth. An association with macroalgae is
particularly relevant because several members of the phylum to which QPX belongs are known to live in association with marine
macroalgae and vascular plants. Results indicate that while QPX did not appear to grow in seawater under laboratory conditions,
the parasite may be capable of long-term survival in seawater without growth. QPX was able to grow using macroalgae
homogenates as a source of nutrients, although extracts from certain macroalgae species significantly inhibited the in vitro growth
of QPX. Overall, our results suggest that macroalgae might be an important factor for the survival, growth and spread of QPX in
the marine environment.
© 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: In vitro; Macroalgae; Reservoir; Thraustochytrid
1. Introduction

  

Source: Allam, Bassem - School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, SUNY at Stony Brook

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology