Microsporidia: a new taxonomic, evolutionary, and ecological synthesis

Jamie Bojko, Aaron Reinke, Grant Stentiford, Bryony Williams, Martin Rogers, David Bass

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Microsporidian diversity is vast. There is a renewed drive to understand how microsporidian pathological, genomic, and ecological traits relate to their phylogeny. We comprehensively sample and phylogenetically analyse 125 microsporidian genera for which sequence data are available. Comparing these results with existing phylogenomic analyses, we suggest an updated taxonomic framework to replace the inconsistent clade numbering system, using informal taxonomic names: Glugeida (previously clades 5/3), Nosematida (4a), Enterocytozoonida (4b), Amblyosporida (3/5), Neopereziida (1), and Ovavesiculida (2). Cellular, parasitological, and ecological traits for 281 well-defined species are compared with identify clade-specific patterns across long-branch Microsporidia. We suggest that future taxonomic circumscriptions of Microsporidia should involve additional markers (SSU/ITS/LSU), and that a comprehensive suite of phenotypic and ecological traits help to predict broad microsporidian functional and lineage diversity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-659
JournalTrends in Parasitology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


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