Parasitology Research

, Volume 115, Issue 12, pp 4495–4502 | Cite as

Morphological description and phylogeny of Ceratomyxa scorpaeni n. sp. (Myxosporea: Ceratomyxidae) infecting the gallbladder of Scorpaena porcus (L.) (Scorpaeniformes: Scorpaenidae) from the bay of Bizerte in Tunisia

  • Myriam GarboujEmail author
  • Luís F. Rangel
  • Ricardo Castro
  • Jihene Hmissi
  • Maria J. Santos
  • Sihem Bahri
Original Paper


A new marine myxosporean species Ceratomyxa scorpaeni n. sp. is described using morphological characteristics and small subunit ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequence data. The parasite was found infecting the gallbladder of Scorpaena porcus Linnaeus, 1758 collected from the Bay of Bizerte. Mature plasmodia were disporous free floating in the bile. Spores were transversely elongated and crescent-shaped with unequal shell valves and measured 7.6 ± 0.2 (7.2–8.0) μm in length and 32.8 ± 0.3 (21.6–44.0) μm in thickness. Two sub-spherical polar capsules equal in size, situated at the same level and measured 3.0 ± 0.2 (3.0–3.2) μm in length and 2.4 ± 0.3 (2.3–3.3) μm in width. The infection with C. scorpaeni n. sp. was prevalent throughout the year with a maximum prevalence of infection during spring and summer. Molecular analysis of the SSU rRNA gene confirmed the parasite as a new member of the genus Ceratomyxa and showed close relationship with the species of Ceratomyxa infecting the gallbladders of Sparidae from the Mediterranean Sea. This is the first report of Ceratomyxa species from the gallbladder of S. porcus in Tunisian coastal waters.


Myxozoa Ceratomyxa scorpaeni n. sp. Morphology SSU ribosomal DNA Scorpaena porcus Tunisia 



This research was in part supported by a research scholarship provided to Ms. Myriam Garbouj from the University of Tunis El Manar. We thank Dr. Yemmen, a member of our laboratory at the Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, for his assistance on the phylogenetic analysis. The molecular part was partially supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the COMPETE-Operational Competitiveness Programme and national funds through FCT—Foundation for Science and Technology, under the project BPEst-C/MAR/LA0015/2013 and the project DIRDAMyx, reference FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-020726/FCT-PTDC/MAR/116838/2010, was also partially supported by the Structured Program of R&D&I INNOVMAR-Innovation and Sustainability in the Management and Exploitation of Marine Resources, reference NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000035, namely within the Research Line INSEAFOOD Innovation and valorization of seafood products: meeting local challenges and opportunities, within the R&D Institution CIIMAR (Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research), supported by the Northern Regional Operational Programme (NORTE2020), through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and the Ph.D. fellowship grant SFRH/BD/82237/2011 attributed to L.F. Rangel.

Compliance with ethical standards

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Unit of Integrative Biology and Evolutionary and Functional Ecology of Aquatic Systems, Faculty of Sciences of TunisUniversity of Tunis El ManarTunisTunisia
  2. 2.Laboratory of Animal Pathology, Department of Biology, Faculty of SciencesUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR/CIMAR)University of PortoPortoPortugal

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