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Pathogenic marine microbes influence the effects of climate change on a commercially important tropical bivalve

Journal article
Authors Lucy M. Turner
Christian Alsterberg
Andrew D. Turner
S. K. Girisha
Ashwin Rai
Jonathan N. Havenhand
M. N. Venugopal
Indrani Karunasagar
Anna Godhe
Published in Scientific Reports
Volume 6
Pages 32413
Publisher The Author(s)
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of marine sciences
Linnaeus Centre for Marine Evolutionary Biology (CEMEB)
Pages 32413
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep32413
Subject categories Marine ecology

Abstract

There is growing evidence that climate change will increase the prevalence of toxic algae and harmful bacteria, which can accumulate in marine bivalves. However, we know little about any possible interactions between exposure to these microorganisms and the effects of climate change on bivalve health, or about how this may affect the bivalve toxin-pathogen load. In mesocosm experiments, mussels, Perna viridis, were subjected to simulated climate change (warming and/or hyposalinity) and exposed to harmful bacteria and/or toxin-producing dinoflagellates. We found significant interactions between climate change and these microbes on metabolic and/or immunobiological function and toxin-pathogen load in mussels. Surprisingly, however, these effects were virtually eliminated when mussels were exposed to both harmful microorganisms simultaneously. This study is the first to examine the effects of climate change on determining mussel toxin-pathogen load in an ecologically relevant, multi-trophic context. The results may have considerable implications for seafood safety.

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