A new microsporidian species, Globosporidium paramecii gen. nov., sp. nov., from Paramecium primaurelia is described on the basis of morphology, fine structure, and SSU rRNA gene sequence. This is the first case of microsporidiosis in Paramecium reported so far. All observed stages of the life cycle are monokaryotic. The parasites develop in the cytoplasm, at least some part of the population in endoplasmic reticulum and its derivates. Meronts divide by binary fission. Sporogonial plasmodium divides by rosette-like budding. Early sporoblasts demonstrate a well-developed exospore forming blister-like structures. Spores with distinctive spherical shape are dimorphic in size (3.7 0.2 and 1.9 0.2μm). Both types of spores are characterized by a thin endospore, a short isofilar polar tube making one incomplete coil, a bipartite polaroplast, and a large posterior vacuole. Experimental infection was successful for 5 of 10 tested strains of the Paramecium aurelia species complex. All susceptible strains belong to closely related P. primaurelia and P. pentaurelia species. Phylogenetic analysis placed the new species in the Clade 4 of Microsporidia and revealed its close relationship to Euplotespora binucleata (a microsporidium from the ciliate Euplotes woodruffi), to Helmichia lacustris and Mrazekia macrocyclopis, microsporidia from aquatic invertebrates.

Original languageEnglish
Early online date27 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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