White Plague in Cuba
coral_giac at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 13 16:58:01 EDT 2001
This short notice is to report a massive outbreak of
White Plague in Culebra Island, Puerto Rico. The
first signs of White Plague in 2001 appeared early
last June. But during the last 3 weeks White Plague
has been killing a significant number of columnar and
platy morphs of Montastrea annularis.
Similar to the 1997-98 outbreak that was described by
Hernandez-Delgado (in review), it is only affecting
Montastrea annularis. No other species have been
infected in Culebra so far. We wonder if this is an
outbreak of White Plague Type III???
Some colonies are showing signs of recent tissue loss
in excess of 15-30 linear cm. We are in the process
of tagging infected colonies and following the
progression of the infection. Also, we'll be trying to
control the disease progression by applying epoxy and
Also, I'd like to know if somebody in the list knows
if the ethiological agent of WP-III has been already
identified and which are the characteristics?
We are in the process of collecting tissue samples for
microbiological analysis. Anybody interested in
samples for confirmation? Please, contact me as soon
as possible since we plan to revisit these sites again
I'll post additional information about the progress of
the disease outbreak within the next weeks.
Edwin A. Hernandez, Ph.D.
University of Puerto Rico
Department of Biology
Coral Reef Research Group
San Juan, P.R. 00931-3360
Tel. (787) 764-0000, x-4855
Fax (787) 764-2610
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