Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Captured: Mysterious oyster killers

Date:
July 25, 2013
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
Researchers have apprehended tiny, elusive parasites that have plagued oysters from British Columbia to California.

Left: This is an oyster covered in green lesions caused by Denman Island disease. Right: This is a close-up look at the Mikrocytos mackini parasite.
Credit: UBC/Department of Fisheries and Oceans

University of British Columbia researchers have apprehended tiny, elusive parasites that have plagued oysters from British Columbia to California.

First reported in 1960, Denman Island disease is caused by Mikrocytos mackini, a parasite that infects mainly Pacific oysters, and leads to unsightly green lesions and death.

"M. mackini has eluded capture for more than 50 years because it lives inside the oyster's cells and has proved impossible to grow and study in a lab," says Patrick Keeling a professor in UBC's Department of Botany who led the microbial investigative team.

The research team from UBC and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans isolated the parasites from infected oysters and analyzed their genes. Details are published today in the journal Current Biology.

"We figured out where M. mackini came from in the evolutionary tree of life -- it is part of an enigmatic group of amoebae called Rhizaria that was only itself discovered a few years ago," says Keeling, director of the Centre for Microbial Diversity and Evolution at UBC and a Fellow of Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

"These parasites have an extremely reduced metabolism. They can't survive in oxygen and its mitochondria -- or cellular powerhouse -- can't produce energy, so they probably steals most things from the oyster host in order to survive."

While not considered a health threat to humans, the Denman Island disease makes the raw delicacy unappealing. In B.C., oyster production in 2011 totalled 7,500 tonnes and was valued at $9.2 million.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Fabien Burki, Nicolas Corradi, Roberto Sierra, Jan Pawlowski, GaryR. Meyer, CathrynL. Abbott, PatrickJ. Keeling. Phylogenomics of the Intracellular Parasite Mikrocytos mackini Reveals Evidence for a Mitosome in Rhizaria. Current Biology, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.06.033

Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Captured: Mysterious oyster killers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130725125424.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2013, July 25). Captured: Mysterious oyster killers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130725125424.htm
University of British Columbia. "Captured: Mysterious oyster killers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130725125424.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins