DAO 69:259-263 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/dao069259

Kudoa alliaria in flesh of Argentinian hoki Macruronus magellanicus (Gadiformes; Merlucciidae)

Christopher M. Whipps1,*, Benjamin K. Diggles2

1Center for Fish Disease Research, Department of Microbiology, 220 Nash Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331-3404, USA
2DigsFish Services Pty Ltd., 32 Bowsprit Cres, Banksia Beach, Queensland 4507, Australia

ABSTRACT: Myxozoans of the genus Kudoa are widespread parasites of marine fishes and primarily infect the body musculature of their hosts. Although Kudoa species are not usually associated with host mortality, some do form macroscopic cysts in the tissue and some are associated with post mortem tissue degradation. This is of concern to commercial fisheries as fillets may be unmarketable due to these infections. Because different species of Kudoa have different effects on their hosts, it is important to correctly identify species with epidemiological relevance, distinguishing those that are benign from those that are associated with these detrimental effects. Using morphological and molecular analyses, we identified K. alliaria infecting Argentinian hoki Macruronus magellanicus. Comparisons of the small subunit ribosomal DNA sequence revealed that K. alliaria is genetically very similar to K. rosenbuschi. Furthermore, there is significant overlap in myxospore dimensions between descriptions of these 2 Kudoa species as well as those of other Patagonian fishes. Thus, without careful examination of the myxospore dimensions, it may be difficult to identify these species on a routine basis. It is critical to accurately identify K. alliaria as, unlike K. rosenbuschi, it is not associated with tissue degradation. Ambiguities in some species descriptions highlight the need for thorough morphological analyses accompanied by molecular comparisons to clarify the species boundaries between Kudoa parasites of Patagonian fishes.


KEY WORDS: Kudoa alliaria · Kudoa rosenbuschi · Myxospore morphology · Patagonia · Argentina · Small subunit ribosomal DNA


Full text in pdf format