Pseudohepatospora borealis n. gen. n. sp. (Microsporidia: Enterocytozoonida): A microsporidian pathogen of the Jonah crab (Cancer borealis)

Jamie Bojko, Donald Behringer, Kelly Bateman, Grant Stentiford, Fraser Clark

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Abstract

The microsporidian diversity catalogued so far has resulted in the development of several taxonomic groups, one of which is the Enterocytozoonida – a group of generalist ‘ultimate opportunists’, which infect many fished and aquacultured animals, as well as a broad suite of host taxa, including humans. In this study, we provide phylogenetic, ultrastructural, developmental, and pathological evidence for the creation of a new genus and species to hold a microsporidian parasite of the Jonah crab, Cancer borealis.

Cancer borealis represents a species of commercial interest and has become the target of a recently developed fishery on the USA and Canadian Atlantic coast. This species was found to harbour a microsporidian parasite that develops in the cytoplasm of alpha and beta cells of the hepatopancreas. We retrieved a 937 bp fragment of the parasite SSU region, alongside developmental and ultrastructural data that suggests this species is ∼ 87 % similar to Parahepatospora carcini and develops in a similar manner in direct association with the host cell cytoplasm. The mature spores are ovoid in shape and measure 1.48 ± 0.15 µm (SD) in length and 1.00 ± 0.11 µm (SD) in width.

Phylogenetically, the new parasite clades in the Enterocytozoonida on the same branch as P. carcini. We provide a new genus and species to hold the parasite: Pseudohepatospora borealis n. gen. n. sp. (Microsporidia: Enterocytozoonida) and explore the likelihood that this species may fit into the Hepatoporidae family.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107886
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Invertebrate Pathology
Volume197
Early online date14 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023

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