You are here:
STIMULATION OF DEFENSE FACTORS FOR OYSTERS DEPLOYED TO CONTAMINATED SITES IN PENSACOLA BAY, FLORIDA
Fisher, W S., L M. Oliver, J T. Winstead, AND A. K. Volety. STIMULATION OF DEFENSE FACTORS FOR OYSTERS DEPLOYED TO CONTAMINATED SITES IN PENSACOLA BAY, FLORIDA. AQUATIC TOXICOLOGY 64(4):375-391, (2003).
A positive association between chemical contaminants and defense factors has been established for eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) from Florida, but it is unknown whether such factors can be stimulated through short-term exposure to contaminants in the field. Hatchery oysters were deployed at two contaminated and one reference site near Pensacola, Florida, during spring and summer 1998. Putative defense measurements, notably hemocyte count and bactericidal activity, were significantly elevated after 12-week deployment during summer at the most contaminated site. This site exhibited a dramatic increase in chemical concentrations in oyster tissue relative to both the initial concentrations in hatchery oysters and to oysters deployed at the reference site. Hemocyte activity was not stimulated after 16-week deployment of hatchery oysters in spring, despite similar increases in tissue chemical concentrations, so defense activation by short-term exposure may covary with other unmeasured environmental or physiological parameters. Using the converse approach, Pensacola Bay oysters were collected from two contaminated sites and deployed at the reference site for 16 week during spring. Results from this converse deployment were ambiguous; serum lysozyme concentrations were reduced for oysters transplanted from both sites, but hemocyte activities were not significantly changed. The principal outcome from this study was the demonstration of enhanced defense activities for oysters upon short-term summer deployment at a contaminated site.