Coccomyxa sp. (chlorophyta: chlorococcales), a new pathogen in mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) of Vigo estuary (Galicia, NW Spain)

C Crespo, H Rodríguez, P Segade, R Iglesias, J M García-Estévez
Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 2009, 102 (3): 214-9
In this work, we describe the occurrence of irregular shaped green aggregations in the mantle, gill filaments, adductor muscle, visceral mass and haemolymph of wild mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) collected from the Vigo estuary (Galicia, NW Spain). Microscopic examination of these masses revealed that they consist of intracellular green algae which are spherical to oval in shape, 5 microm in length and 3 microm in width, without flagella and with a smooth surface. The algal cells present a small single nucleus, a mitochondrion, 1-2 parietal chloroplasts and lack pyrenoids. Reproduction is by formation of 2-4 autospores or daughter cells. Pigment analysis reveals the presence of photopigments typical of green algae in addition to alloxanthin, diadinoxanthin and diatoxanthin. These carotenoids are noted for the first time in a parasitic chlorophyte. The signs of infection, together with the morphological observations, suggest that this parasitic algae may be Coccomyxa parasitica. However, further molecular studies are required for confirmation. This is the first report of Coccomyxa algae parasitizing the species M. galloprovincialis.

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