DAO 43:225-231 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/dao043225

Ultrastructural justification for the transfer of Pleistophora anguillarum Hoshina, 1959 to the genus Heterosporis Schubert, 1969

J. Lom1,*, I. Dyková1, C. H. Wang2, C. F. Lo2, G. H. Kou2

1Institute of Parasitology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Branicovská 31, 370 05 Ceské Budejovice, Czech Republic
2Department of Zoology, College of Science, National Taiwan University, 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd, Taipei 107, Taiwan, ROC

ABSTRACT: This study presents the ultrastructure of the microsporidian infecting the trunk musculature of Anguilla japonica and originally described as Pleistophora anguillarum Hoshina, 1959. All stages develop within a special structure, the sporophorocyst (SPC), which is equipped with a thick dense wall. This wall grows along with the growth of the parasites within it. Meronts are uni- to binucleate, which divide and steadily give rise to sporonts. During transition to sporonts the cell coat of the meronts increases its thickness, temporarily featuring thick irregular projections. Eventually a uniformly thick sporont wall is formed, then the sporont cells detach themselves from the wall (= future wall of the sporophorous vesicle, SPV) and start a series of divisions to produce sporoblasts. The SPV wall is compact, has no pores and consists of 2 layers. The presence of the SPC justifies the transfer of the species into the genus Heterosporis. Spores from disrupted SPCs are ingested by macrophages and within them are spread into various body tissues including the outermost layers of the epidermis. From here, they can easily be released to the outside and can contaminate the environment while the host is still alive.

KEY WORDS: Microsporidia · Ultrastructure · Heterosporis anguillarum · Pleistophora · Anguilla japonica

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