Freshwater bivalves play key ecological roles in lakes and rivers, largely contributing to healthy ecosystems. The freshwater pearl mussel, Margaritifera margaritifera, is one bivalve species with rapidly declining population. The reasons for this decline are likely complex and are poorly understood. In a recent work led by PhD student Anders Alfjorden, we show that a parasitic infection by a novel gregarine parasite is linked to mass mortality events of M. margaritifery in Sweden. You can have a look at the preprint here.
Identification of a new gregarine parasite in mass mortality events of freshwater pearl mussels (Margaritifera margaritifera) in Sweden
Anders Alfjorden, Ioana Onut Brännström, Niklas Wengström, Arni Kristmundsson, Mahwash Jamy, David Persson, Fabien Burki
bioRxiv 2023.09.26.559503; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.09.26.559503