Fluid and its associated mucus from the pallial (mantle) cavity of the ribbed mussel Geukensia demissa (Dwillyn) from Black Rock Harbor, Bridgeport, CT, inhibited the growth of both Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) and Gramnegative (Escherichia coli) bacteria in antimicrobial assays. A significant reduction in size after 24 h was noted in E. coli grown in the presence of ribbed mussel fluid. Mussel-soluble lysozyme levels in the pallial cavity fluid averaged 0.019 + 0.018 relative fluorescence units/mg protein, and no seasonal pattern of lysozyme activity was found (P = 0.522). During the course of the study, copper concentrations ranged from 0.09 to 0.37 ppm and zinc concentrations from 0.17 to 0.66 ppm in the pallial cavity fluid. These values were only slightly higher than the concentrations of these metals found in seawater samples taken at the site, indicating only very low levels of sequestration of heavy metals by G. demissa in the pallial fluid cavity. A comparable study of oysters (Crassostrea virginica) from the same site found lysozyme levels 10 times higher and zinc concentrations two orders of magnitude greater than in that in mussels reported here (Brousseau et al. 2014). These results suggest substantial interspecies variation in profiles of defensive agents involved in antimicrobial activities of marine bivalves and highlight the need for additional studies to characterize these differences.
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Vol. 37 • No. 5