HOST DIET STOICHIOMETRY INFLUENCES MYXOBOLUS CEREBRALIS SPORE PRODUCTION OF INFECTED TUBIFEX TUBIFEX
Whirling disease in salmonids is caused by the myxozoan parasite Myxobolus cerebralis, who’s complex life cycle involves infecting the benthic oligochaete Tubifex tubifex. Previous work has shown that diet C:P strongly influences the rate and total number of infectious propagules emitted by T. tubifex in laboratory microcosms. We present an observational study in which M. cerebralis infected T. tubifex were collected from 12 whirling disease positive sites in Central Colorado, and held in the lab to observe spore production. Worms were fed diets of fine benthic organic matter collected with them. Total spore production per worm increased with diet C:P. These results agree with our previous study, which also showed a positive relationship between spore production and diet C:P over a similar range. The slope of the relationship between diet C:P and total spores produced was similar between the laboratory and field study. These results may indicate that M. cerebralis is C limited at low diet C:P, or that T. tubifex has greater immune function, or lower tolerance for M. cerebralis infection, at low C:P. Overall, these lab and field results show that diet quality alters the host-pathogen interaction.
Andrew Sanders (Primary Presenter/Author), North Carolina State University Dept. of Applied Ecology; Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Brad Taylor (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), North Carolina State University Dept. of Applied Ecology; Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, email@example.com ;