DAO 73:207-217 (2007)  -  doi:10.3354/dao073207

Ichthyobodo hippoglossi n. sp. (Kinetoplastea: Prokinetoplastida: Ichthyobodonidae fam. nov.), an ectoparasitic flagellate infecting farmed Atlantic halibut Hippoglossus hippoglossus

Trond E. Isaksen, Egil Karlsbakk*, Are Nylund

Department of Biology, University of Bergen, 5020 Bergen, Norway
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Diseased Atlantic halibut Hippoglossus hippoglossus juveniles from a hatchery in western Norway showed gill and skin infections with an Ichthyobodo species. Genus Ichthyobodo contains a single valid species, I. necator, a parasite originally described from the skin and fins of a salmonid fish in freshwater. Many studies have identified this species from other hosts, but recent molecular evidence suggests that many Ichthyobodo spp. occur in both fresh- and seawater. We redescribe I. necator from Atlantic salmon Salmo salar skin infections in Norway and compare the morphology of I. necator with the form from halibut. A scheme to standardise the measurements of Ichthyobodo cells is presented. Morphologically, the Ichthyobodo species from the skin and gills of halibut differs from I. necator from salmon skin by shape (in air dried stained smears), by a low number of variably sized kinetoplasts and by a long flagellar pocket. There is also a clear increase in the number of kinetoplasts in I. necator with increasing cell size (area), a pattern absent from Ichthyobodo sp. from halibut. The 2 forms are also clearly separated by their small subunit (ssu) rDNA sequences; alignments of partial ssu sequences showed 93.5% similarity. Consequently, Ichthyobodo sp. from halibut is considered a new species, and is named I. hippoglossi n. sp. Its closest relative is Ichthyobodo sp. IV from another marine fish, the Atlantic cod Gadus morhua. A family, Ichthyobodonidae fam. nov. in the order Prokinetoplastida Vickerman, 2004, is erected to encompass Ichthyobodo spp.


KEY WORDS: Ichthyobodo spp. · I. hippoglossi · I. necator · Halibut · Salmon · Parasite · Marine · Flagellates · ssu rDNA 18s · Ichthyobodonidae · Characters


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