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Horizontal transmission of disseminated neoplasia in the widespread clam Limecola balthica from the Southern Baltic Sea
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  • Alicja Michnowska,
  • Samuel Hart,
  • Katarzyna Smolarz,
  • Anna Hallmann,
  • Michael J Metzger
Alicja Michnowska
University of Gdansk Institute of Oceanography

Corresponding Author:alicja.michnowska@phdstud.ug.edu.pl

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Samuel Hart
Pacific Northwest Research Institute
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Katarzyna Smolarz
University of Gdansk Institute of Oceanography
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Anna Hallmann
Medical University of Gdansk
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Michael J Metzger
Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute
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Disseminated neoplasia (DN) is one of the most challenging and unrecognised diseases occurring in aquatic fauna. It has been diagnosed in four bivalve species from the Gulf of Gdańsk (Southern Baltic Sea) with the highest frequency in Limecola balthica (formerly Macoma balthica), reaching up to 94% in some populations. The aetiology of DN in the Baltic Sea has not yet been identified, with earlier studies trying to link its occurrence with environmental pollution. Taking into account recent research providing evidence that DN is horizontally transmitted as clonal cells between individuals in some bivalve species, we aimed to test whether DN is a transmissible cancer in the population of L. balthica from the Gulf of Gdańsk highly affected with cancer. We examined mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (mtCOI) and elongation factor 1α (EF1α) sequences of genomes obtained from haemolymph and tissues of neoplastic and healthy individuals. Sequence analysis resulted in detection of an independent transmissible cancer lineage occurring in 4 neoplastic clams that is not present in healthy animals. This paper describes the first case of transmissible DN in the clam L. balthica providing further insights for studies on this disease.
18 Jan 2022Submitted to Molecular Ecology
19 Jan 2022Submission Checks Completed
19 Jan 2022Assigned to Editor
04 Feb 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
21 Feb 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
04 Mar 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
24 Mar 20221st Revision Received
24 Mar 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
01 Apr 2022Editorial Decision: Accept