The species Metchnikovella dogieli (Paskerova et al. Protistology 10:148–157, 2016) belongs to one of the early diverging microsporidian groups, the metchnikovellids (Microsporidia: Metchnikovellidae). In relation to typical (‘core’) microsporidia, this group is considered primitive. The spores of metchnikovellids have no classical polar sac-anchoring disk complex, no coiled polar tube, no posterior vacuole, and no polaroplast. Instead, they possess a short thick manubrium that expands into a manubrial cistern. These organisms are hyperparasites; they infect gregarines that parasitise marine invertebrates. M. dogieli is a parasite of the archigregarine Selenidium pygospionis (Paskerova et al. Protist 169:826–852, 2018), which parasitises the polychaete Pygospio elegans. This species was discovered in samples collected in the silt littoral zone at the coast of the White Sea, North-West Russia, and was described based on light microscopy. No molecular data are available for this species, and the publicly accessible genomic data for metchnikovellids are limited to two species: M. incurvata Caullery & Mesnil, 1914 and Amphiamblys sp. WSBS2006. In the present study, we applied single-cell genomics methods with whole-genome amplification to perform next-generation sequencing of M. dogieli genomic DNA. We performed a phylogenetic analysis based on the SSU rRNA gene and reconstructed a multigene phylogeny using a concatenated alignment that included 46 conserved single-copy protein domains. The analyses recovered a fully supported clade of metchnikovellids as a basal group to the core microsporidia. Two members of the genus Metchnikovella did not form a clade in our tree. This may indicate that this genus is paraphyletic and requires revision.
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 8 Jan 2021|