Laby and other diseases of the sea

We started the morning with Carolyn’s lecture on fungi, metazoan and bacterial diseases in marine organisms.  I especially appreciated the examples that she gave of fungal disease (abalone shell mycosis) and metazoans (sabellid polychaetes) because both damage the hard shells of their hosts.  I was much less familiar with fungal disease so I took to the internet during lunch and found this (slightly old) blogpost summarizing some of what it known about marine fungus

Looking forward to wandering further down this rabbit hole.

After the lecture we started on the experiment to see if Pacific oysters will filter laby out of the water.  If they do, they may be a good candidate for a biological control.  I have heard from people doing oyster restoration in San Francisco Bay that oysters benefit eelgrass beds by increasing water clarity and therefore light penetration in the water, which benefits adjacent eelgrass beds, but have never heard anyone talk about using oysters as way to prevent disease. It would be pretty exciting if it works!

The experiments have been ably described by others in my cohort already, so I’ll just briefly describe what Ruth and I observed when we went to collect our samples at 6:20, 4 hours after the start of the experiment.  Our samples looked remarkably clear after both vortexing and centrifuging.  Is it possible the the oysters exposed to Laby had already cleared it?  Oysters move a tremendous volume of water through their bodies each day, so it seems plausible that 10 oysters could filter 225 ml of water pretty quickly.  Looking forward to hearing  what other groups observed in their sampling.

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