The Suminoe oyster, Crassostrea ariakensis, has been under investigation since the early 1990s for potential use in restoring the commercial harvest or for aquaculture of oysters in the Chesapeake Bay, USA. Initial studies focusing on C. ariakensis documented a significant level of tolerance to the protozoan parasite Perkinsus marinus, a pathogen found in almost all reaches of the Bay and widely acknowledged as one of the main reasons for the decline in the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, harvest since the late 1980s. Crassostrea ariakensis was demonstrated to acquire P. marinus, however infection intensities, as measured using Ray's thioglycollate medium assay indices, generally were found to be light. As part of a series of experiments to study potential impacts on the Chesapeake Bay region of pathogens found in C. ariakensis in Asia, a challenge experiment was conducted to study the pathogenicity of Perkinsus olseni to C. ariakensis. During this study, we observed the acquisition of moderate and heavy infection intensities of P. marinus in triploid C. ariakensis oysters being maintained in the laboratory. Results suggest that there may be some risk of mortality from P. marinus if C. ariakensis is held under stressful conditions at least in hatchery or laboratory settings.
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Vol. 25 • No. 1