Fish examination and preparation for further DNA analysis 24/10/2012

Written by lea on . Posted in Musslans värdfisk

After the summer many fish, caught and preserved in ethanol, are on hand to be examined for glochidia infestation at Karlstads University. These days the focus lies on the natural infestation of fish caught in stream stretches with mussel populations. Therefore, fish, mainly Phoxinus phoxinus (minnow/elritsa) and Cottus gobio (bullhead/stensimpa) from the River Bråån and Tommarpsån are dissected and gills cut off. By means of stereomicroscopes the +/- 200 µm large mussel larvae (glochidia) can be counted. Unfortunately, the colors of fish gills and glochidia are very similar, thus counting has to be done very thoroughly. As suitable host-fishes encapsulate glochidia trough fish-gill tissue which overgrows the larvae, small humps are visible on the fish gills.

Besides counting of glochidia, transferring them in small Eppendorf tubes has to be done. Those samples are then taken to Stockholm where I’ll run DNA analysis at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in November. The purpose of those analyses is to figure out the host-fish species for Unio crassus, i.e. as glochidia from different mussel species (e.g. Unio tumidus/pictorum) are hard to morphologically identify it is important to know if fish were also infested by other mussel species than Unio crassus.

/Lea

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Comments (1)

  • Ivan

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    Interesting stuff Lea! We do look forward to hear about the final results. Don’t forget to share this information amongst our networks, – and at the same time promote our web-site:-) Cheers//I

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