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Algae > Volume 29(4); 2014 > Article
Algae 2014;29(4): 249-265. doi: https://doi.org/10.4490/algae.2014.29.4.249
A revaluation of algal diseases in Korean Pyropia (Porphyra) sea farms and their economic impact
Gwang Hoon Kim1,*, Kyoung-Hyoun Moon1, Je-Yoon Kim1, Junbo Shim2 and Tatyana A. Klochkova3

1Department of Biology, Kongju National University, Kongju 314-701, Korea
2National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), Mokpo 530-420, Korea
3Kamchatka State Technical University, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Klyuchevskaya Str. 35, 683003, Russia
*Corresponding Author  Email: ghkim@kongju.ac.kr
As with land crops, cultivated algae are affected by various diseases ranging from large outbreaks of a disease to chronic epiphytes, which may downgrade the value of the final product. The recent development of intensive and dense mariculture practices has enabled some new diseases to spread much faster than before. A new disease is reported almost every year, and the impact of diseases is expected to increase with environmental change, such as global warming. We observed the incidence of diseases in two Pyropia sea farms in Korea from 2011 to 2014, and estimated the economic loss caused by each disease. Serious damage is caused by the oomycete pathogens, Pythium porphyrae and Olpidiopsis spp., which decreased the productivity of the Pyropia sea farms. In Seocheon sea farms, an outbreak of Olpidiopsis spp. disease resulted in approximately US $1.6 million in loss, representing approximately 24.5% of total sales during the 2012-2013 season. The damage caused by green-spot disease was almost as serious as oomycete diseases. An outbreak of green-spot disease in the Seocheon sea farms resulted in approximately US $1.1 million in loss, representing 10.7% of total sales in the 2013-2014 season in this area. However, the causative agent of green-spot disease is still not confirmed. “Diatom felt” is regarded as a minor nuisance that does not cause serious damage in Pyropia; however, our case study showed that the economic loss caused by “diatom felt” might be as serious as that of oomycete diseases. Bacteria and cyanobacteria are indigenous members of epiphytic microbial community on Pyropia blades, but can become opportunistic pathogens under suitable environmental conditions, especially when Pyropia suffers from other diseases. A regular acid wash of the Pyropia cultivation nets is the most common treatment for all of the above mentioned diseases, and represents approximately 30% of the total cost in Pyropia sea farming. However, the acid wash is ineffective for some diseases, especially for Olpidiopsis and bacterial
Key words: cultivation; disease; economic evaluation; pathogen; Porphyra; Pyropia

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