Widespread occurrence of endophytic Labyrinthula spp. in northern European eelgrass Zostera marina beds

Bockelmann, Anna-Christina, Beining, Katrin and Reusch, Thorsten B.H. (2012) Widespread occurrence of endophytic Labyrinthula spp. in northern European eelgrass Zostera marina beds Marine Ecology Progress Series, 445 . pp. 109-116. DOI 10.3354/meps09398.

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Abstract

Seagrasses worldwide are commonly infected by endophytic protists of the genus Labyrinthula. To date, the nature of interaction of endophyte and host is not well understood. In eelgrass (Zostera marina) Labyrinthula zosterae may become virulent (pathogenic) and lead to the loss of entire sea grass beds. One of the best known examples of any marine epidemic were outbreaks of the ´wasting disease´ on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1930s, but smaller infestations have been reported until recently. Up to now, detection of infection by Labyrinthula was based on the wasting index, i.e. the relative area of leaf lesions or microscopy, while genetic data are virtually absent. We characterized a ~1400 base pair portion of the 18S small subunit rDNA in L. zosterae isolates (N=41) from six northern European sites and one southern location (Adriatic Sea) in order to assess identity and potential diversity of endophytic protists. Because there are indications that low salinity impedes Labyrinthula growth, sampling sites included a wide range of salinities from 5-34 psu. A search against the non-redundant GENBANK data base revealed that most isolates are 99% similar to the only L. zosterae 18S sequence available from the data base at all but the Finish site (salinity values 5-7 psu). At the latter site, a different Labyrinthula species occurred, which was also found in fully marine Wadden Sea cultures. A third species was detected in Skagerrak, south-western Baltic and North Sea samples (20-25 psu). We conclude that L. zosterae is widespread among northern European eelgrass sites across wide ranges of salinity.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000299384100009
Keywords: Food Webs; Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes; Labyrinthula infection · Eelgrass · 18S sequence analysis · Salinity · Wasting disease; WASTING DISEASE PATHOGEN; CLIMATE; VARIABILITY; SEAGRASSES; PHYLOGENY; SYMPTOMS; ECOLOGY; SEA; DNA
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.3354/meps09398
ISSN: 0171-8630
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2011 09:19
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2013 09:42
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/12972

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