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Seasonal Dynamics of Endosymbiotic Ciliates and Nematodes in Dreissena polymorpha

TitleSeasonal Dynamics of Endosymbiotic Ciliates and Nematodes in Dreissena polymorpha
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsKaratayev, AY, Mastitsky, SE, Burlakova, LE, Molloy, DP, Vezhnovets, GG
JournalJournal of Invertebrate Patholology
KeywordsAncistrumina limnica, Belarus, commensal, Conchophthirus acuminatus, Endosymbiont, Nematode, Ophryoglena sp., Zebra mussel

We report the results of a two-year study in the Svisloch River (Minsk, Belarus) on the dynamics of infection in Dreissena polymorpha by nematodes and three ciliate species Conchophthirus acuminatus, Ophryoglena sp., and Ancistrumina limnica. Although these endosymbionts were present in most of the samples, their prevalence and infection intensity differed significantly. C. acuminatus and A. limnica infection intensities in both years of the study had a maximum in summer and were positively correlated with water temperature. In contrast, Ophryoglena sp. and nematode infection intensities were considerably lower in summer versus winter and were negatively correlated with temperature. In the first long-term study to monitor the size and reproductive rate of C. acuminatus, we found that mean length was negatively correlated with temperature and that temperature was positively correlated with asexual reproduction, with a peak of cell division in April as water temperatures increased.