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Parasitology. 2000 Dec;121 Pt 6:621-9.

Population growth of Gyrodactylus salaris (Monogenea) on Norwegian and Baltic Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) stocks.

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School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, UK.


Reproductive success of Gvrodactylus salaris from River Lierelva was compared experimentally on 3 stocks of salmon (12.5 degrees C +/- 0.2). Isolated fish from 2 susceptible Norwegian stocks (Rivers Lier and Alta) and 1 resistant Baltic stock of salmon (River Neva) were infected with a single gravid worm in order to record the temporal sequence of births and age at death of individual parasites. Establishment success (proportion of worms surviving to give birth) was generally low and mortality high, but significantly fewer worms survived on Neva (45% with mean survival of 3.5 days) compared to Alta and Lier fish (60 % mean survival 7.9 and 5.2 days, respectively). There was a dramatic difference in parasite fecundity between the host stocks: only 2 births occurred on Neva fish compared to third and fourth births on both Alta and Lier hosts. The timing of the first birth was more variable on Neva hosts and was significantly extended (mean 2.3 days) relative to that on Alta and Neva fish (1.8 days). However, timing of the second birth did not vary on any of the 3 salmon stocks. Age-specific mortality and fecundity data are consistent with exponential population growth of G. salaris on Alta and Lier fish but eventual extinction on Neva hosts. This is the first demonstration that gyrodactylids maintained on different host stocks exhibit variations in fecundity, development and mortality, which may in turn account for the variable virulence noted when G. salaris infects different salmonid hosts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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