P1.153 Wednesday, Jan. 4 The effect of a myxosporean parasite, Kudoa inornata, on the flesh quality of spotted seatrout, Cynoscion nebulosus ADKINS, ZE*; DE BURON, I; ROUMILLAT, WA; MCELROY, EJ; College of Charleston; College of Charleston; South Carolina Department of Natural Resources; College of Charleston firstname.lastname@example.org
Spotted seatrout, Cynoscion nebulosus, is an important game fish in SC estuarine waters. Unofficial reports from fishermen say that the flesh of spotted seatrout is often ‘mushy’ during warm months and thus unappealing. Concurrently, the presence of a myxosporean parasite, Kudoa inornata, has been observed in SC populations of the fish. One closely related Kudoa species is known to induce post-mortem myoliquefaction (‘mushiness’) in other species of fish by secreting enzymes. We investigated the effects of this parasitic infection on the flesh quality (‘mushiness’) of spotted seatrout. We expected that greater parasite intensity and greater time post-mortem would reduce the maximum strain that a muscle sample could withstand. Results suggest that higher parasite loads, but not time post-mortem, result in a fillet that has a more ‘mushy’ quality. Thus, infection by this myxosporean parasite may explain reports from fishermen.