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Sensitivity of gametes, fertilization, and embryo development of the Japanese pearl oyster, Pinctada fucata martensii, to the harmful dinoflagellate, Heterocapsa circularisquama
Basti, L.; Nagai, K.; Tanaka, Y.; Segawa, S. (2013). Sensitivity of gametes, fertilization, and embryo development of the Japanese pearl oyster, Pinctada fucata martensii, to the harmful dinoflagellate, Heterocapsa circularisquama. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 160(1): 211-219. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-012-2079-2
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Basti, L.
  • Nagai, K.
  • Tanaka, Y.
  • Segawa, S.

Abstract
    Blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate Heterocapsa circularisquama cause massive bivalve kills in Japan. Mariculture of the Japanese pearl oyster, Pinctada fucata martensii, is the industry most affected by these blooms, especially in Ago Bay, Mie Prefecture, where they are frequent, cause mass mortality of oysters, and overlap with their spawning season. The goal of this August 2009 study was to assess the effects of a toxic strain of H. circularisquama isolated from Ago Bay on gametes, fertilization, and embryo development of pearl oysters. Spermatozoa, eggs, spermatozoa and eggs, and fertilized eggs of pearl oysters from Ago Bay were exposed to H. circularisquama at cell densities reported during the bloom (10–104 cells mL-1) for different periods of time. The concentration of H. circularisquama, exposure duration, and their interactions all had significant effects on gamete quality, fertilization, and embryo development. The motility and swimming velocity of spermatozoa, egg viability, fertilization, and embryo development rate were significantly reduced in all concentrations, with a cell density of 10 cells mL-1 determined to be the critical density of H. circularisquama for deleterious effects. This is the first evidence of inimical effects of an HAB species on bivalve spermatozoa upon direct exposure. Further field and laboratory studies are required to investigate the potential effects of H. circularisquama blooms on the reproduction and recruitment of Japanese pearl oysters and other bivalves.

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