Molecular Genetic Studies on Myxobolus cylindricus and Henneguya mystasi (Myxosporea: Myxobolidae) Infecting Two Indian Fish Species, Channa gachua and Mystus vittatus, Respectively



Myxozoan infections of Indian freshwater fishes are relatively well studied, but their validity is supported with molecular and phylogenetic data only for a few species.


The primary objective was to present molecular data for two Myxozoan species, Myxobolus cylindricus and Henneguya gachua collected from Indian freshwater fishes, the dwarf snakehead Channa gachua and the striped dwarf catfish Mystus vittatus, respectively.


Various organs of 56 C. gachua and 48 M. vittatus were dissected. Myxozoan plasmodia with mature spores were collected from the gills under a dissecting microscope. Spores obtained from plasmodia from infected hosts were fixed in 80% ethanol in vials and sent for further morphological and molecular examinations to Hungary. The 18S rDNA gene of Myxobolus and Henneguya spp. was amplified using nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Phylogenetic analysis was performed using maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference (BI) methods.


Morphological characteristics of M. cylindricus and H. mystasi spores corresponded to the original descriptions made by Sarkar, Mazumdar and Pramanik, 1985 and Haldar, Samal, and Mukhopadhyay, 1997, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis of the 18S rDNA gene revealed that the sequences of M. cylindricus differed from those of most Indian Myxobolus sp., known mostly from cyprinid fishes and formed a subgroup with Myxobolus neurophilus, a parasite of a perciform host, and with Henneguya chaudhuryi, a species belonging to a different genus but described from a closely related channid host. It was also closely related to another Henneguya species, H. lesteri, described from Sillago analis, a coastal fish. Henneguya mystasi had the closest similarity to Henneguya bicaudi, a species described from an Indian cyprinid fish and to Henneguya pellucida reported from a characid fish known from South America.


Molecular data received by us gives a solid basis for further identification of these myxozoans, the pathogenicity of which probably plays an economic role at culturing the hosts.

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The authors would like to thank the Head of the Department of Zoology, Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India, for providing laboratory facilities. The work was supported by a grant from the Uttar Pradesh Government, Centre of Excellence, India, to HSS (Project number no. 1486/70-4-2011-46(43)/2010) and by the European Regional and Development Fund and the Government of Hungary within the Project GINOP-2.3.2-15-2016-00025.

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Chaudhary, A., Gupta, A., Goswami, U. et al. Molecular Genetic Studies on Myxobolus cylindricus and Henneguya mystasi (Myxosporea: Myxobolidae) Infecting Two Indian Fish Species, Channa gachua and Mystus vittatus, Respectively. Acta Parasit. 64, 129–137 (2019).

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  • Myxobolus
  • Henneguya
  • Morphology
  • Molecular study
  • 18S rDNA
  • Meerut
  • India