• High-Density Cultivation of the Marine Ciliate Uronema marinum (Ciliophora, Oligohymenophorea) in Axenic Medium

      Zheng, W; Gao, F; Warren, A (2015-10-22)
      Uronema marinum is a cosmopolitan marine ciliate. It is a facultative parasite and the main causative agent of outbreaks of scuticociliatosis in aquaculture fish. This study reports a method for the axenic cultivation of U. marinum in high densities in an artificial medium comprising proteose peptone, glucose and yeast extract powder as its basic components. The absence of bacteria in the cultures was confirmed by fluorescence microscopy of DAPI-stained samples and the failure to recover bacterial SSU-rDNA using standard PCR methods. Using this axenic medium, a maximum cell density of 420,000 ciliate cells/ml was achieved, which is significantly higher than in cultures using living bacteria as food or in other axenic media reported previously. This method for high-density axenic cultivation of U. marinum should facilitate future research on this economically important facultative fish parasite.