Myxobolus turpisrotundus (Myxosporea: Bivalvulida) spores with caudal appendages: investigating the validity of the genus Henneguya with morphological and molecular evidence
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Spores of the myxozoan parasite Myxobolus turpisrotundus Zhang 2009 were observed for the first time bearing caudal appendages. Most spores had the typical Myxobolus spp. morphology, but approximately 10% of spores possessed a spore body that was slightly elongated with a short tail projecting from the spore valve. In other spores, the tail was much more clearly visible and elongate. The spore body of these unusual spores is consistent in morphology and dimension to the normal spores of M. turpisrotundus. Both spore types were found within individual cysts, and the small subunit ribosomal RNA (ssrRNA) gene sequence from parasite cysts of this type was nearly identical to the previously published sequence of M. turpisrotundus from allogynogenetic gibel carp Carassius auratus gibelio (Bloch). The phenomenon of Myxobolus spores with caudal appendages provides additional evidence that the use of this character to separate Myxobolus and Henneguya into distinct genera is not reflective of an evolutionarily accurate classification scheme. Phylogenetic analysis of ssrDNA sequence from Myxobolus and Henneguya species showed clustering of species in some locations of the tree, but ultimately these genera are intermixed. The use of a single character to delineate species in the two most species-rich myxozoan genera has been consistently challenged where DNA analyses are used. The present finding of a single species bearing both Myxobolus-type and Henneguya-type spores emphasizes the inadequacy of this classification scheme, and highlights the need for careful consideration of these variable characteristics when describing myxozoan species.
KeywordsPolar Capsule Polar Filament Caudal Appendage Spore Body Myxobolus Species
This study was supported by grants of the Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province (2008CDB078) and Huazhong Agricultural University Scientific and Technological Self-innovation Foundation (2009SC017).
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