Potential Uses of in vitro Culture of Freshwater Mussel Glochidia for Conservation,
TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY MUSCLE SHOALS ALA
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Ellis and Ellis 1926 published a one-page article in Science in which they mentioned having developed an artificial medium for mussel glochidia. In that particular paper they described excising the glochidia from the fish, which undoubtedly contributed to their transformation. Regardless of the success or failure of these early studies, no one has been able to find the chemical formula or procedures of Ellis and Ellis to bring about the artificial culture of freshwater mussels. When TVA initiated the Cumberlandian Mollusk Conservation Program, a task was submitted on the artificial culture of mussels. The idea behind the work was to develop a process for culturing large numbers of the rare or uncommon species. Since it was assumed that many mussels are host specific for fish, the artificial process could be used if the natural fish host was unavailable or could not be identified. We hoped to develop a universal medium which could work not only on a single species of mussels but would work on all species.