Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e45358. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0045358. Epub 2012 Sep 17.

A novel phytomyxean parasite associated with galls on the bull-kelp Durvillaea antarctica (Chamisso) Hariot.

Author information

1
Kieler Wirkstoff-Zentrum, Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research GEOMAR, Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. fgoecke@geomar.de

Abstract

Durvillaea antarctica (Fucales, Phaeophyceae) is a large kelp of high ecological and economic significance in the Southern Hemisphere. In natural beds along the central coast of Chile (Pacific Ocean), abnormal growth characterized by evident gall development and discolorations of the fronds/thallus was observed. Analysing these galls by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy revealed the presence of endophytic eukaryotes showing typical characteristics for phytomyxean parasites. The parasite developed within enlarged cells of the subcortical tissue of the host. Multinucleate plasmodia developed into many, single resting spores. The affiliation of this parasite to the Phytomyxea (Rhizaria) was supported by 18S rDNA data, placing it within the Phagomyxida. Similar microorganisms were already reported once 23 years ago, indicating that these parasites are persistent and widespread in D. antarctica beds for long times. The symptoms caused by this parasite are discussed along with the ecological and economic consequences. Phytomyxean parasites may play an important role in the marine ecosystem, but they remain understudied in this environment. Our results demonstrate for the first time the presence of resting spores in Phagomyxida, an order in which resting spores were thought to be absent making this the first record of a phagomyxean parasite with a complete life cycle so far, challenging the existing taxonomic concepts within the Phytomyxea. The importance of the here described resting spores for the survival and ecology of the phagomyxid parasite will be discussed together with the impact this parasite may have on 'the strongest seaweed of the world', which is an important habitat forming and economic resource from the Southern Hemisphere.

PMID:
23028958
PMCID:
PMC3444446
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0045358
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center