This study investigates the vulnerable period in postspawning Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) through physiological and immunological assessments. After spawning, the oyster condition index reduced by 50% and required 70 days to recover to the prespawning level. The mantle glycogen reduced quickly while the reduction in tissue protein occurred slowly. The mantle tissue also lost more protein than gills. The analysis of adenylate energy charge indicated that oysters were stressed in the first 8 days after spawning. As a result of spawning, haemocyte phagocytosis was reduced and remained at a low level for 3 days. In contrast, the reduction of haemolymph antimicrobial activity did not occur until 3 days after spawning and continued to decline until day 8. This immunesuppression was not directly correlated to the changes in haemocyte density. Our study suggests that the first 8 days after spawning are a critical period for oyster survival due to the loss of energy and low immunity. This study further improves our understanding of the coincidence between spawning and summer mortality in oyster aquaculture.
Li, Y, Qin, JG, Li, X & Benkendorff, K 2010, 'Assessment of metabolic and immune changes in postspawning Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas: identification of a critical period of vulnerability after spawning', Aquaculture Research, vol. 41, no. 9, pp. e155-e165.
Publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2109.2010.02489.x