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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Orono, Maine » National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #359367

Research Project: Genetic Improvement Of Marine Fish and Shellfish

Location: National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center

Title: Investigating the role of apoptosis in disease resistance to dermo in the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica

item ROBERTS, ERIN - University Of Rhode Island
item Proestou, Dina
item WICKFORS, GARY - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
item BEN-HORIN, TAL - University Of Rhode Island
item Markey Lundgren, Kathryn
item GOMEZ-CHIARRI, MARTA - University Of Rhode Island

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2018
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Apoptosis regulation is critical to oyster immune defense and plays a key role in Dermo disease pathogenesis. The causative agent of Dermo, Perkinsus marinus , invades hemocytes and increases hemocyte apoptosis following challenge in vivo. Hemocyte apoptotic death may limit pathogen spread inside tissues and promote survival, though survival varies naturally in the wild. This project investigated 1) whether apoptosis phenotypes in genetically distinct oysters vary and 2) whether they correspond with measured levels of Dermo resistance. Juvenile oysters from six selectively-bred families were injected with a weight-standardized dose of P. marinus and monitored for 64 days. At days 7 and 50-post exposure, the following apoptosis phenotypes were measured in hemocytes: cell viability, execution of apoptosis, and activation of the caspase-dependent pathway of apoptosis. In addition, Dermo resistance phenotypes were defined as survival and change in parasite load over time. At days 7 and 50, agranular hemocytes were more frequent than granular hemocytes and had a higher percentages of live and dead apoptotic hemocytes, though live and dead apoptotic hemocyte percentages were significantly different between families of both cells. A significantly higher percentage of caspase-dependent apoptotic hemocytes was found for only agranular hemocytes at day 7 and 50. These results demonstrate variance in apoptosis phenotype across oyster families and suggest a caspase-dependent pathway of apoptosis may be triggered in agranular cells in response to P. marinus infection. Correlations between apoptosis and dermo resistance phenotypes will highlight the potential for apoptosis phenotypes to predict levels of resistance among selected families.