A green algal symbiont in Clinocardium nuttallii Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/k930c051w

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  • Clinocardium nuttallii from Yaquina Bay, Oregon, were found to harbor an algal symbiont in the siphon, mantle and occasionally the foot tissues. Approximately 35 percent of the population in the study area was infected to some degree with the alga; however, no cockles under two years of age were infected. The degree and frequency of infection increases in the older age groups. Symbiont cells were removed from the host and grown on artificial media and the temperature tolerances on these media were determined. Mantle fluid from variously infected and noninfected cockles from several age groups was used to fortify the artificial media and no difference between the fluids was noticed; however, a two month lag period in unfortified media was shortened to ten days by the addition of as little as ten percent mantle fluid filtrate. Chromatographic pigment analysis shows the alga to be a chlorophyte. Chloroplast structure, cell size and growth characteristics are very similar to algae of the genus Chlorella; this alga will be tentatively placed in this genus. Cockles under one year of age are not susceptible to infection by the symbiont, whereas mature cockles become infected by feeding on either fresh or cultured symbiont. Blood amoebocytes in vitro will readily engulf either fresh or cultured symbiont cells. Microscopic examination of infected tissues showed amoebocytic cells in the algal colonies, sometimes carrying several algal cells. The algal colonies in situ are dense masses which grossly displace the host tissue; however, there is no overt reaction by the host to the presence of these colonies.
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