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A survey of the indigenous microbiota (bacteria) in three species of mussels from the Clinch and Holston Rivers, Virginia

Journal of Shellfish Research

By:
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DOI: 10.2983/0730-8000-27.5.1311

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Abstract

Freshwater mussel conservation efforts by many federal and state agencies have increased in recent years. This has led to a greater number of stream surveys, in which mussel die-offs involving high numbers of dead and moribund animals are being observed and reported with greater frequency. Typically, die-offs have been incidentally observed while research was being done for other purposes, therefore, accurate mortality data have been difficult to obtain. Specifically, seasonal die-offs were noted in localized areas of the Clinch and Holston Rivers, Virginia, and to lesser degrees, in neighboring rivers in this geographic region, including southeast Virginia. The observed mussel species affected were primarily the slabside pearlymussel (Lexingtonia dolabelloides) and to lesser extents, the pheasantshell (Actinonaias pectorosa), rainbow mussel (Villosa iris), and the endangered shiny pigtoe (Fusconaia cor). To determine if a bacterial pathogen might be involved in these recurring mussel die-offs, this study examined characteristics of the indigenous microbiota (bacteria) from healthy mussels from sites on the Clinch and Holston Rivers where die-offs were previously observed. These baseline data will allow for recognition of bacterial pathogens in future mussel die-offs. Means for total bacteria from soft tissues ranged from 1.77 ?? 105 to 3.55 ?? 10 6 cfu/g; whereas, the range in means from fluids was 2.92 ?? 104 to 8.60 ?? 105 cfu/mL. A diverse microbiota were recovered, including species that are common in freshwater aquatic environments. The most common bacterial groups recovered were motile Aeromonas spp. and non-fermenting bacteria. Flavobacterium columnare, a pathogen to cool- and warm-water fishes was recovered from one specimen, a Villosa iris from the Clinch River.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
A survey of the indigenous microbiota (bacteria) in three species of mussels from the Clinch and Holston Rivers, Virginia
Series title:
Journal of Shellfish Research
DOI:
10.2983/0730-8000-27.5.1311
Volume
27
Issue:
5
Year Published:
2008
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
1311
Last page:
1317
Number of Pages:
7