The mass mortality of blue mussels (Mytilus spp) from the Atlantic coast of France is associated with heavy genomic abnormalities as evidenced by flow cytometry

Type Article
Date 2016-07
Language English
Author(s) Benabdelmouna AbdellahORCID1, Ledu Christophe1
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, RBE, SG2M, LGPMM,Stn La Tremblade, Ave Mus Loup, F-17390 La Tremblade, France.
Source Journal Of Invertebrate Pathology (0022-2011) (Academic Press Inc Elsevier Science), 2016-07 , Vol. 138 , P. 30-38
DOI 10.1016/j.jip.2016.06.001
WOS© Times Cited 24
Keyword(s) Mussels, Mortality, Cytogenetic quality, Hemocytes, Ploidy
Abstract Since 2014, France’s blue mussel industry has been facing heavy mortality outbreaks (90-100%) affecting both juveniles and adults. This report presents evidence of heavy genomic abnormalities associated with mortality outbreaks in blue mussels, Mytilus edulis-galloprovincialis, from the Atlantic coast of France. In this study, ploidy characteristics of hemic cells were investigated using Flow CytoMetry (FCM), revealing an unusual, broad continuum of ploidy distribution from hypodiploidy to tetraploidy. FCM was additionally used to evaluate, at individual and populations levels, different thresholds of genomic abnormality (GA%) using the percentage of non-diploid nuclei. Individual mussels were considered to be abnormal when more than 10% of hemocytes in S–G2/M phase were present. At the population level, a threshold of 6% for the mean intensity of the abnormality is proposed, which means in the population, more than 6% of individual mussels have to present with more than 10% of their hemocytes in S–G2/M phase. GA% was found to be significantly predictive of the final mortality. Based on the established thresholds, only two mussel stocks analyzed in this study were considered to have good cytogenetic quality, while all other stocks appeared to be affected. FCM offers a very powerful tool to help manage current blue mussel mortality in France. We also believe that annual and extensive determination of cytogenetic quality of wild and cultivated mussel beds along with exclusive use of FCM-qualified mussel seeds should be a priority.
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