Reproduction-related effects of green alga Coccomyxa sp. infestation in the horse mussel Modiolus modiolus

M A Vaschenko, A L Kovaleva, I G Syasina, A D Kukhlevsky
Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 2013, 113 (1): 86-95
The effects of Coccomyxa sp. infestation on the reproductive characteristics of the horse mussel Modiolus modiolus from the north-western Pacific (Peter the Great Bay, Sea of Japan) are demonstrated in this study. The mussels were collected monthly from May to September of 2009, and the prevalence of females and males with green tissues was 39% and 47%, respectively. Overall, the green alga infection caused a mild effect on gametogenesis in the horse mussel. The dynamics of gonad development in the healthy and infected mussels during the study period was generally similar, with the spawning being partial and occurring from the beginning of June to the first half of September; total spawning was recorded at the end of this period. However, several negative reproduction-related effects of the green alga infestation were observed, i.e., general gonadal underdevelopment, which was apparent from significant decrease in the acinus areas of the ovaries and testes and an increase in the connective tissue layer between the acini, a delay in some stages of the reproductive cycle and production of decreased number of spermatozoa and large vitellogenic oocytes, especially in the early spawning period (June). All of these results suggest a reduced reproductive output for the infected mussels.

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