Epifluorescence microscopy, a technique for the study of feeding in Crassostrea virginica veliger larvae
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Epifluorescence microscopy was applied as a new technique to observe the response of Crassostrea virginica veliger larvae to the algal foods Monochrysis lutheri or Chlorella autotrophica. Uptake, lysis, and digestion or rejection of these algae by oyster larvae were observed microscopically through the autofluorescence of chlorophyll a and its derivatives. Both species of algae were taken up by large numbers of larvae within 5 min after being added to larval cultures. The good growth of larvae obtained with M. lutheri as a food source was related to rapid uptake, lysis, and digestion of this alga. Larvae fed with C. autotrophica did not grow. Althogh C. autotrophica was also taken up rapidly by the larvae, there was no lysis or digestion of these algae and cells were eventually voided.
KeywordsChlorella Epifluorescence Microscopy Crassostrea Virginica Algal Food Larval Culture
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