Isolation and Molecular Identification of Microsporidian Pathogen Causing Nosemosis in Muga Silkworm, Antheraea assamensis Helfer (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae)
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Microsporidia are intracellular fungal parasites and they are the most common pathogens for sericulture. Microsporidian sp. can cause pebrine, a dreadful disease and lead to destructive disorder in Muga silkworm, Antheraea assamensis Helfer by vertical and horizontal transmission. This disease is the key factor obstructing the developmental progress of Muga culture in India. Nevertheless, molecular identification and characterization of pathogen associated with pebrine disease in A. assamensis is not yet established. Insect bioassay studies revealed that microsporidian infection in Muga silkworm, A. assamensis Helfer significantly reduced (P < 0.005) cocoon weight, pupal weight, shell weight and silk ratios. A new set of PCR primers suitable for amplification of small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU-rRNA) of microsporidia infecting A. assamensis have been designed. The amplicon was cloned, sequenced and analysed. Microsporidia pathogen of wild silk moth A. assamensis has been identified at genus level as Nosema sp. AA1. Phylogeny of Nosema sp. AA1 was constructed on the basis of SSU-rRNA sequence and it has a close evolutionary relationship with microsporidian pathogens of other wild silkmoths. The arrangement and organization of the rRNA genes inferred that Nosema sp. AA1 belongs to true Nosema group and not to members of the Nosema/Vairimorpha group.
KeywordsAntheraea assamensis Helfer Microsporidia Pebrine disease Small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU-rRNA) Molecular detection Nosema sp. AA1
Authors are thankful to Director, CMER&TI, Lahdoigarh for valuable guidance. We thank advanced level DBT-Biotech Hub, CMER&TI for providing equipment facilities. Central Silk Board (CSB), Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India is highly acknowledged for financial support.
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