Small subunit ribosomal RNA sequence links the myxospore stage of Henneguya mississippiensis n. sp. from channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus to an actinospore released by the benthic oligochaete Dero digitata
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There are more than 200 species of Henneguya described from fish. Of these, only three life cycles have been determined, identifying the actinospore and myxospore stages from their respective hosts. Two of these life cycles involve the channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and the freshwater oligochaete Dero digitata. Herein, we molecularly confirm the life cycle of a previously undescribed Henneguya sp. by matching 18S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequence of the myxospore stage from channel catfish with the previously described actinospore stage (Aurantiactinomyxon mississippiensis) from D. digitata. Gill tissue from naturally infected channel catfish contained pseudocysts restricted to the apical end of the primary lamellae. Myxospores were morphologically consistent with Henneguya spp. from ictalurid fishes in North America. The spores measured 48.8 ± 4.8 μm (range = 40.7–61.6 μm) in total spore length. The lanceolate spore body was 17.1 ± 1.0 μm (14.4–19.3 μm) in length and 5.0 ± 0.3 μm (4.5–5.5 μm) in width. The two polar capsules were 6.2 ± 0.4 μm (5.8–7.0 μm) long and 5.0 ± 0.3 μm (4.5–5.5 μm) wide. The polar capsule contained eight to nine coils in the polar filament. The two caudal processes were of equal length, measuring 31.0 ± 4.1 μm (22.9–40.6 μm). The 1980-bp 18S rRNA gene sequence obtained from two excised cysts shared 99.4 % similarity (100 % coverage) to the published sequence of A. mississippiensis, an actinospore previously described from D. digitata. The sequence similarity between the myxospore from channel catfish and actinospore from D. digitata suggests that they are conspecific, representing alternate life stages of Henneguya mississippiensis n. sp.
KeywordsActinospore Catfish Henneguya Ictalurus punctatus Myxospore Myxozoa
This research was supported by the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, and the USDAARS Catfish Health Initiative (CRIS 6402-31320-002-02). This is MAFES publication number: J-12614.
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