Differences in the host resistance of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., stocks to the monogenean Gyrodactylussalaris Malmberg, 1957

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Abstract

The susceptibility and resistance of hatchery-reared salmon parr, native to the rivers Neva (U.S.S.R. Baltic Sea), Alta (northern Norway) and Lone (western Norway) (both eastern Atlantic Ocean), to Gyrodactylus salaris from Norway, was examined. The level of resistance to the parasite was assessed from counts, made on anaesthetized salmon, ofthe numbers of G. salaris after an initial experimental exposure (2 weeks) to G. salaris-infected salmon. Three experiments, all in water at c. 12° C, were carried out: (1) 50 Alta and 50 Neva salmon, initial mean parasite intensity c. 12; (2) 50 Lone and 50 Neva salmon, initial mean parasite intensity c. 60; (3) 10 Lone and 10 Neva salmon individually isolated, initial intensity one gravid G. salaris. In both the Norwegian salmon stocks, the G. salaris infrapopulations steadily increased during the experimental period of 5 weeks, in contrast to a prominent decline in the Neva salmon stock, after, respectively: (Exp. 1) week 3, average peak intensity 32.6; (Exp. 2) week 2, average peak intensity 58.7; and (Exp. 3) week 3, average peak intensity 6.3. The hatchery-reared Baltic Neva stock demonstrated both an innate and an acquired resistance towards G. salaris, in contrast to the highly susceptible, Norwegian Alta and Lone salmon stocks.

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