Microbial Ecology

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 157–166 | Cite as

Role ofCristispira sp. and other bacteria in the chitinase and chitobiase activities of the crystalline style ofCrassostrea virginica (Gmelin)

  • Sally A. Mayasich
  • Richard A. Smucker


Activity was found for chitinase and chitobiase in the crystalline styles of American oysters (Crassostrea virginica Gmelin) collected from the Chesapeake Bay (Maryland, USA). The oysters were maintained in tanks on natural food from a constant flow of unfiltered estuarine water. Chitinase and chitobiase specific activities were compared with total, viable, and chitinoclastic bacterial counts andCristispira counts. Regression analyses revealed that one correlation, chitobiase vsCristispira, was significant (P < 0.05). Several oysters were fed chitin in the presence or absence of chloramphenicol. Although no chitinoclasts were present in the antibiotic-treated oysters, the treatment means did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) for either chitinase or chitobiase activity. In several cases with both chitin-fed and naturally fed oysters, enzyme activity was found when noCristispira were present. The results of the investigations suggest that the oyster produces chitinase and chitobiase endogenously.


Enzyme Enzyme Activity Regression Analysis Chitin Nature Conservation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sally A. Mayasich
    • 1
  • Richard A. Smucker
    • 1
  1. 1.Chesapeake Biological LaboratoryUniversity of MarylandSolomonsUSA

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