Environmental Safety of Microsporidia

  • Leellen F. Solter
  • James J. Becnel
Part of the Progress in Biological Control book series (PIBC, volume 1)


Microsporidia are obligately parasitic single-celled spore-formers of uncertain taxonomic affinity. Considered protozoans until several recent genetic analyses showed them to be aligned with the fungi (Keeling & Doolittle 1996; Germot et al. 1997; Hirt et al. 1999; Keeling et al. 2000; Bouzat et al. 2000), they are nevertheless a unique group of organisms that interact with their hosts in a variety of ways. Nearly 1,000 species of microsporidia have been described, and most of these, approximately 700 species, have been isolated from insects (Becnel & Andreadis 1999). Since most studies of microsporidia focus on hosts that are of agricultural and medical importance, probably only a small fraction of existing species have been described. Records of population suppression by microsporidia of insect species such as Euproctis chrysorrhoea (L.) (Sterling & Speight 1989), Choristoneura fumiferanae (Clemens) (Wilson 1973), Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner (Andreadis 1984; Siegel et al. 1987; 1988) the trichopteran Glossosoma nigrior Banks (Kohler & Wiley 1992; 1997) and others, indicate that this group of pathogens are significant natural enemies of many insect species.


Gypsy Moth Silk Gland European Corn Borer Entomological Society Microsporidian Parasite 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leellen F. Solter
  • James J. Becnel

There are no affiliations available

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