Location

Jereld R. Nicholson Library

Subject Area

Biology

Description

The Pacific razor clam, Siliqua patula, is an important recreational fishery species that lives in the intertidal zone of sandy beaches from Alaska to central California. Populations have had periodic, but significant, declines over the past 30-40 years. These declines have correlated with an increase in the presences of an unidentified, intranuclear bacterial parasite known as Nuclear Inclusion X (NIX). NIX, which was first identified in 1986, has generally been screened using a histological approach. We developed a PCR-based screen to reduce both the time and cost of identifying infected clams. Use of this screen resulted in amplified sequences with a 97% match to the previously published 16S rDNA sequence for NIX. The sequence data supports placement of NIX into the gamma-proteobacteria, and suggests that it is related to isolates from diseased corals. Clams collected from the northern coast of Oregon showed ~50% infection rate using the PCR screen. This is the first report of NIX present in clams from Oregon, as all previous work had been in the state of Washington. Future work will identify the incidence rate and geographical spread of the NIX parasite throughout Oregon and Washington.

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May 15th, 9:30 AM May 15th, 10:45 AM

A Molecular Probe Finds Evidence of NIX Pathogen in Pacific Razor Clams (Siliqua patula) in Oregon

Jereld R. Nicholson Library

The Pacific razor clam, Siliqua patula, is an important recreational fishery species that lives in the intertidal zone of sandy beaches from Alaska to central California. Populations have had periodic, but significant, declines over the past 30-40 years. These declines have correlated with an increase in the presences of an unidentified, intranuclear bacterial parasite known as Nuclear Inclusion X (NIX). NIX, which was first identified in 1986, has generally been screened using a histological approach. We developed a PCR-based screen to reduce both the time and cost of identifying infected clams. Use of this screen resulted in amplified sequences with a 97% match to the previously published 16S rDNA sequence for NIX. The sequence data supports placement of NIX into the gamma-proteobacteria, and suggests that it is related to isolates from diseased corals. Clams collected from the northern coast of Oregon showed ~50% infection rate using the PCR screen. This is the first report of NIX present in clams from Oregon, as all previous work had been in the state of Washington. Future work will identify the incidence rate and geographical spread of the NIX parasite throughout Oregon and Washington.

 

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