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Title: The immune function of developmental stages of Mytilus edulis and effects of stressors
Author: Parry, Helen Elizabeth
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2007
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The aim of this thesis was to assess immune function in developmental stages of the marine mussel, Mytilus edulis. Light and electron microscopy studies were carried out to examine haemocytes of larval, postlarval and adult mussels. The susceptibility of both larval and postlarval mussels to several common marine bacteria were examined. Three species of bacteria that have been linked with disease outbreaks were studied; namely Vibrio tubiashii, Vibrio alginolyticus and Alteromonas haloplanktis. Interactive effects of pollutants (copper and phenanthrene) and food availability on the susceptibility of postlarvae to bacteria was also examined. In summary, it was found that larval M. edulis were more susceptible to the bacteria examined than postlarvae. The susceptibility of postlarvae to bacteria altered with the introduction of stressors. Food deprivation and co-exposure to phenanthrene increased the susceptibility of postlarvae to V tubiashii. However, co-exposure to copper decreased the susceptibility of the postlarvae to V tubiashii. There were shown to be strong seasonal effects that further altered the susceptibility of postlarvae to bacteria, these effects were thought to be due to nutritional status of the postlarvae as opposed to reproductive effects as the postlarvae were reproductively immature. The ontogeny of M. edulis haemocytes was examined. Blood cells were not detected in electron micrographs of D-shell larvae but were identified in both in situ in postlarval sections processed for electron microscopy as well as in haemolymph samples taken from postlarvae. A previously undescribed blood cell type was reported in postlarvae, lending support to the model put forward by Mix (1976) stating that all mussel haemocytes derive from a single cell line.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available