Panopeispora mellora n. gen. n. sp. (microsporidia) infecting Say’s crab (Dyspanopeus sayi) from the Atlantic shoreline of Canada

Jamie Bojko, Fraser Clark, Sarah Stewart-Clark, Grant Stentiford

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Say’s mud crab, Dyspanopeus sayi (Brachyura: Panopeidae) is a native shallow subtidal and inter-tidal inhabitant of the Atlantic coastline of North America and an invasive species in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Little is known about the microparasites of this host and the broader Panopeidae. We describe a novel microsporidian parasite infecting the musculature of D. sayi from Malagash, Nova Scotia (Canada), at a prevalence of 7%. Histopathology and molecular diagnostics were used to describe pathology and parasite phylogenetics, respectively. Based on SSU rDNA gene sequencing we propose that the microsporidian requires establishment of a new genus (Panopeispora n. gen.) and species (Panopeispora mellora n. sp.), due to significant differences to closest known taxa (e.g. Facilispora margolisi [81% similarity] and Thelohania butleri [80% similarity]), residing in Clade V of the Microsporidia. Archived, wax-embedded histological material was re-processed for transmission electron
microscopy to obtain preliminary details of its intracellular development cycle and ultrastructure within the host musculature. The discovery of this pathogen is discussed with relevance to microsporidian taxonomy and the potential for achieving ultrastructural data from archived material.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107652
JournalJournal of Invertebrate Pathology
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2021


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