DAO 91:137-150 (2010) - doi:10.3354/dao02256
Dasyatispora levantinae gen. et sp. nov., a new microsporidian parasite from the common stingray Dasyatis pastinaca in the eastern Mediterranean
Ariel Diamant1,*, Menachem Goren2, M. Baki Yokeş3, Bella S. Galil4, Yaelle Klopman2, Dorothée Huchon2, Amir Szitenberg2, S. Ünsal Karhan5
ABSTRACT: A new microsporidian infecting the Mediterranean common stingray Dasyatis pastinaca (Linnaeus, 1758) is described from Iskenderun Bay, Turkey. The parasite invades the disc muscles, producing slender, spindle-shaped subcutaneous swellings that develop into massive, elongated, tumor-like protuberances measuring up to 11 × 4 cm. Severity of the infection may vary from light (1 or 2 small lesions) to intense, with large parts of the dorsal surface covered with lumps and protrusions. These masses contained a yellowish-white caseous substance consisting of degraded host tissue and microsporidian sporophorous vesicles, which in turn contained developing sporonts, sporoblasts and spores. The ripe spore contained a uni-nucleate sporoplasm and large posterior vacuole, and measured 3.8–4.3 × 2.6–2.8 µm. Infection prevalence was 21% in a sample of 143 host individuals examined. All the infected stingray individuals were within the weight class of 300 to 800 g (200 to 305 mm disc width). Phylogenetic analyses of rDNA sequences indicate that this microsporidian belongs to the Pleistophoridae and clusters with species of the genera Ovipleistophora Pekkarinen, Lom & Nilsen, 2002 and Heterosporis Schubert, 1969. However, the morphology, development and host differ distinctly from all reported species, including those belonging to these 2 genera, and it is thus assigned to a newly erected genus and named Dasyatispora levantinae gen. et sp. nov. This is the first record of a microsporidian infection in a batoid. It is also the first microsporidian species to be formally described from an elasmobranch.
KEY WORDS: Stingray · Microsporidian · Subcutaneous swellings · Tumor-like bulges · Pathology · Eastern Mediterranean · Dasyatis pastinaca · Dasyatispora levantinae gen. et sp. nov.
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Cite this article as: Diamant A, Goren M, Yokeş MB, Galil BS and others (2010) Dasyatispora levantinae gen. et sp. nov., a new microsporidian parasite from the common stingray Dasyatis pastinaca in the eastern Mediterranean. Dis Aquat Org 91:137-150
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