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Dis Aquat Organ. 2006 Jul 11;71(1):59-74.

Salinity effects on viability, metabolic activity and proliferation of three Perkinsus species.

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  • 1US Geological Survey, Louisiana Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Research Unit, School of Renewable Natural Resources, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA.


Little is known regarding the range of conditions in which many Perkinsus species may proliferate, making it difficult to predict conditions favorable for their expansion, to identify conditions inducing mortality, or to identify instances of potential cross-infectivity among sympatric host species. In this study, the effects of salinity on viability, metabolic activity and proliferation of P. marinus, P. olseni and P. chesapeaki were determined. Specifically, this research examined the effects of 5 salinities (7, 11, 15, 25, 35 per thousand), (1) without acclimation, on the viability and metabolic activity of 2 isolates of each Perkinsus species, and (2) with acclimation, on the viability, metabolic activity, size and number of 1 isolate of each species. P. chesapeaki showed the widest range of salinity tolerance of the 3 species, with high viability and cell proliferation at all salinities tested. Although P. chesapeaki originated from low salinity areas (i.e. <15 per thousand), several measures (i.e. cell number and metabolic activity) indicated that higher salinities (15, 25 per thousand) were more favorable for its growth. P. olseni, originating from high salinity areas, had better viability and proliferation at the higher salinities (15, 25, 35 per thousand). Distinct differences in acute salinity response of the 2 P. olseni isolates at lower salinities (7, 11 per thousand), however, suggest the need for a more expansive comparison of isolates to better define the lower salinity tolerance. Lastly, P. marinus was more tolerant of the lower salinities (7 and 11 per thousand) than P. olseni, but exhibited reduced viability at 7 per thousand, even after acclimation.

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