Meeting Abstract

118.1  Saturday, Jan. 7  Development of hemic neoplasia in Mya arenaria along the Atlantic coast of the United States. BOETTGER, SA*; TARASKA, NG; West Chester University of Pennsylvania; West Chester University of Pennsylvania sboettger@wcupa.edu

Hemic neoplasia, a disease in bivalve mollusks, is characterized by highly mitotic hemocytes is one of the six most destructive molluscan diseases. Efforts to link the onset of this fatal disease to environmental factors have depended on data collected following episodic contamination events. Studies documenting chronic neoplasia development are needed due to increased contaminants, elevated temperatures and sediment changes in the marine environment. Here we examine the development of neoplasia in the soft shell clam, Mya arenaria, at 12 sites of know environmental, contaminant and sediment qualities between Maine and Maryland. Deployment of healthy, hatchery raised Mya arenaria for 12 months will allow us to document the highest frequency of neoplasia development and decrease of phagocytic ability (immune response) in relationship to environmental temperatures, sediment characteristics and contaminant. Sediment levels of heavy metals have previously been linked to neoplasia development and indicate vulnerability of juvenile clams to environmental stress induced by heavy metal contamination, which decreases their immune defenses. (NOAA Saltonstall/Kennedy NA08NMF4270215 to SAB)