Poster Title

Investigating the Link Between a Dinofla-gellate and Marine Head and Lateral Line Erosion on "Zebrasoma scopas" (brown sailfin tangs).

Institution

Northern Kentucky University

Abstract

Fish diseases in aquariums both commercial and personal are common, and captive fish are very susceptible to disease. The goal of my research was to determine if there is a link between a dinoflagellate and a serious fish disease Marine Head and Lateral Line Erosion (MHLLE). MHLLE was found to be affecting fish in the Coral Reef Tunnel Exhibit at the Newport Aquarium, Newport, Kentucky, USA. I found a dinoflagellate, tentatively identified as "Amyloodinium sp.", which appears to be associated with the diseased fish. The dinoflagellate exists in association with marine sponges, many protista, and other invertebrates and has proven difficult to isolate. It forms cysts and is very resilient to known disease treatments. Water samples from the exhibit tank were cultured and the bacterial cultures allowed us to eliminate bacteria as a cause of MHLLE. The dinoflagellate was added to experimental tanks, which contained the dinoflagellate and healthy brown sailfin tangs, "Zebrasoma scopas". Control tanks were also setup, which contained healthy "Z. scopas" only. Visual assessments using a 35-millimeter and digital camera were used to determine the progression of the disease, while a compound microscope was used to determine if the dinoflagellate was present in the tanks. The results thus far suggest that the dinoflagellate does cause MHLLE, and the mechanism appears to be parasitism of the dinoflagellate on the fish.

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Investigating the Link Between a Dinofla-gellate and Marine Head and Lateral Line Erosion on "Zebrasoma scopas" (brown sailfin tangs).

Fish diseases in aquariums both commercial and personal are common, and captive fish are very susceptible to disease. The goal of my research was to determine if there is a link between a dinoflagellate and a serious fish disease Marine Head and Lateral Line Erosion (MHLLE). MHLLE was found to be affecting fish in the Coral Reef Tunnel Exhibit at the Newport Aquarium, Newport, Kentucky, USA. I found a dinoflagellate, tentatively identified as "Amyloodinium sp.", which appears to be associated with the diseased fish. The dinoflagellate exists in association with marine sponges, many protista, and other invertebrates and has proven difficult to isolate. It forms cysts and is very resilient to known disease treatments. Water samples from the exhibit tank were cultured and the bacterial cultures allowed us to eliminate bacteria as a cause of MHLLE. The dinoflagellate was added to experimental tanks, which contained the dinoflagellate and healthy brown sailfin tangs, "Zebrasoma scopas". Control tanks were also setup, which contained healthy "Z. scopas" only. Visual assessments using a 35-millimeter and digital camera were used to determine the progression of the disease, while a compound microscope was used to determine if the dinoflagellate was present in the tanks. The results thus far suggest that the dinoflagellate does cause MHLLE, and the mechanism appears to be parasitism of the dinoflagellate on the fish.