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Cyanobacteria reduce motility of quagga mussel (Driessena rostriformis bugensis) sperm

December 4, 2018

The temporal expansion of harmful algal blooms, primarily associated with cyanobacteria, may impact aquatic organisms at vulnerable life history stages. Broadcast spawning species release gametes into the water column for external fertilization, directly exposing sperm to potential aquatic stressors. To determine if cyanobacteria can disrupt reproduction in freshwater broadcast spawners, we evaluated sub‐lethal effects of cyanobacteria exposure on quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) sperm. In laboratory studies, sperm were collected after inducing mussels to spawn using serotonin and exposed to 11 cultures of cyanobacteria including Anabaena flos‐aquae, Aphanizomenon flos‐aquae, Dolichospermum lemmermanii, Gloeotrichia echinulata, five cultures of Microcystis aeruginosa, M. wesenbergii, and Planktothrix suspensa. Sperm motility, using endpoints of cumulative distance traveled and mean velocity was calculated for a minimum of 10 individual sperm using a novel optical biotracking assay method. The distance and velocity at which sperm travelled decreased when exposed to Aphanizomenon flos‐aquae and two M. aeruginosa cultures. Our findings indicate that cyanobacteria impede the motility of quagga mussel sperm, which can potentially result in reproductive impairments to mussels, and potentially other broadcast spawning species.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2019
Title Cyanobacteria reduce motility of quagga mussel (Driessena rostriformis bugensis) sperm
DOI 10.1002/etc.4305
Authors Anna G. Boegehold, Karim Alame, Nicholas S. Johnson, Donna R. Kashian
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Index ID 70201172
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Great Lakes Science Center