Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Orono, Maine » National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #371590

Research Project: Genetic Improvement Of Marine Fish and Shellfish

Location: National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center

Title: Measuring the apoptotic response to Perkinsus Marinus in the eastern oyster using flow cytometry and tunel assay

item NOORI, BAHAA - University Of Rhode Island
item ROBERTS, ERIN - University Of Rhode Island
item Proestou, Dina
item Markey Lundgren, Kathryn
item SULLIVAN, MARY - University Of Rhode Island
item GOMEZ-CHIARRI, MARTA - University Of Rhode Island

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/13/2019
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, provides important ecological and economic services. Oyster populations have been severely impacted in the wild due to decades of overfishing and the emergence of several parasitic and bacterial diseases. Since the 1950s, Dermo disease caused by the parasite Perkinsus marinus has led to increased oyster mortality in both wild and cultured eastern oysters. The parasite causes disease by invading oyster hemocytes and replicating within them, eventually causing hemocyte rupture and release of parasitic cells. Severe infections are characterized by anemia and general degeneration of the tissues, leading to death. Infected oyster hemocytes, however, can commit suicide by apoptosis, thus preventing replication of the parasite. Flow cytometry analysis of oyster hemocytes collected from selectively-bred oysters with varying levels of dermo-disease resistance after challenge with P. marinus showed no consistent effect of challenge on total levels of apoptosis. The goal of this research was to optimize protocols for further evaluation of the role of apoptosis in immune defenses in oysters against P. marinus using a histology-based assay (TUNEL). Hemocyte smears from control oysters and histological sections were used to test assay conditions. These protocols, combined with flow cytometry and gene expression studies, will aid in determining the role of hemocyte apoptosis in oyster immune defenses against P. marinus.