The susceptibility of grayling (Thymallus thymallus) to experimental infections with the monogenean Gyrodactylus salaris

Soleng, A. and Bakke, T. A.
Int. J. Parasitol.
The pathogenic monogenean Gyrodactylus salaris infecting Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is found to attach and reproduce under laboratory conditions on several species in the subfamily Salmoninae other than the Atlantic salmon. The gyrodactylid species Gyrodactylus thymalli infecting grayling (Thymallus thymallus) in another subfamily, Thymallinae, is previously said to be very similar to G. salaris based on morphometry and genetical analysis which prompted the present laboratory experiments to test the susceptibility and resistance of grayling to G. salaris. All 0 + and 1 + grayling became infected with G. salaris during the experimental infection procedure. However, both innate resistant and susceptible grayling were found. In susceptible individually isolated fish, parasite reproduction lasted for more than 35 days. Parasite reproduction also occurred among grouped grayling as judged from the duration of infection of more than 50 days. However, grayling susceptibility as judged from G. salaris reproduction, was very limited. Hence, the results indicate significant biological differences between the function of Atlantic salmon and grayling as host for G. salaris. The grayling is interpreted as unable to sustain G. salaris in nature which implies that G. thymalli is not conspecific with G. salaris. However, G. salaris dispersal by grayling cannot be excluded.

Cambridge Scientific Abstracts