Defense Date

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Joy Ware

Abstract

Amphibian declines have been occurring world wide over the past several decades. Infectious disease and environmental changes have been implicated as the causative agents in these declines. Fish stocking from hatcheries provides a unique opportunity for organisms, including infectious diseases, to travel over long distances. Ranavirus was previously found in two ponds at Harrison Lake National Fish Hatchery in Charles City County, Virginia. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to determine if ranavirus is present in tadpoles from four warm water fish hatcheries in Virginia. A secondary objective of this study was to determine if there are relationships between environmental variables and the proportion of tadpoles that test positive for ranavirus. Ranavirus was detected via PCR in three of the four warm water fish hatcheries, Harrison Lake National Fish Hatchery, Front Royal Fish Hatchery, and King and Queen Fish Hatchery, but was not detected at Vic Thomas Fish Hatchery. Temperature and the length of time a pond is filled with water were significant predictors of the proportion of tadpoles that tested positive for ranavirus, as determined by logistic regression analysis. Results from this study indicate that ranavirus is present in Virginia warm water fish hatcheries and can be found over multiple years. Precautions should be taken to ensure that ranavirus is not spread when fish are transferred from one hatchery to another or to the wild.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2010

Included in

Biology Commons

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