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Myxobolus spp. (Cnidaria: Myxozoa) in introduced yellow perch Perca flavescens (Mitchill, 1814)


We surveyed introduced yellow perch Perca flavescens (Mitchill, 1814) from the Willamette River, OR, USA, to determine if these fish have co-introduced myxosporean parasites. Mature parasite myxospores were observed in brains of 3/19 fish, and were morphologically and molecularly consistent with Myxobolus neurophilus (Guilford 1963), a parasite known from yellow perch in their native range. We identified another Myxobolus species from the gill filaments of 1/22 fish. The spores from the gill filaments were oval-shaped, 11.7 (10.7–12.3) μm long × 8.6 (7.7–9.0) μm wide × 5.2 (4.6–5.6) μm thick, with two oval-shaped polar capsules 5.7 (5.1–6.5) μm × 2.7 (2.4–3.2) μm, each containing a polar tubule with 8–9 turns. Small-subunit ribosomal DNA sequences from each of four plasmodia were identical, and 4.0% different (over 1800 nucleotides) from the closest known myxosporeans. Interestingly, these sequences had overlapping peaks in their chromatograms, which suggested that DNA from multiple species was present. Hence, we isolated and sequenced three individual myxospores and found that they too had mixed chromatograms, which indicated presence of at least two sequence types of small-subunit ribosomal DNA in each spore (GenBank accession MK592012, MK592013), a rare character among described myxosporeans. The spore morphology, morphometry, tissue tropism, and DNA sequence supported a diagnosis of a novel species, Myxobolus doubleae n. sp. This parasite is unknown from yellow perch in its native range, despite extensive historical surveys, which suggests that introduced yellow perch might have acquired an endemic Myxobolus species via spillback from another fish host.

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T. Milanin was supported by a São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) scholarship (project No. 2017/11823-9).

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Correspondence to S. D. Atkinson.

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Milanin, T., Bartholomew, J.L. & Atkinson, S.D. Myxobolus spp. (Cnidaria: Myxozoa) in introduced yellow perch Perca flavescens (Mitchill, 1814). Parasitol Res (2020).

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  • Parasite
  • Willamette River
  • Myxozoa