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J Invertebr Pathol. 2019 Mar;162:43-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jip.2019.02.004. Epub 2019 Feb 10.

Establishment of a new microsporidian genus and species, Pseudoberwaldia daphniae (Microsporidia, Opisthosporidia), a common parasite of the Daphnia longispina complex in Europe.

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Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences, České Budějovice, Czech Republic; Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic.
Department of Ecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.
Laboratory of Electron Microscopy, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. Electronic address:


Microsporidia are among the most common microparasites of cladocerans and have potentially significant impact on host populations. However, many of these pathogens are known only from molecular-based studies. We provide ultrastructural data supported by molecular phylogeny for a common microsporidium infecting the Daphnia longispina complex, important planktonic filter-feeders in reservoirs and ponds in the temperate Holarctic region. This parasite, previously characterized only by molecular means, infects adipose cells around the Daphnia midgut and eventually fills the centre of the host body with ovoid-shaped spores. A new microsporidian genus and species belonging to the Agglomeratidae superclade is described as Pseudoberwaldia daphniae gen. et sp. nov. Molecular data indicate its widespread presence in Central European reservoirs (reported as isolate "MIC1") but also in Swedish coastal rockpools ("Ängskärs-klubben"). The most closely related lineage was reported from a caddisfly larva; we thus speculate that this taxon may have an insect secondary host in its life cycle. Morphological characterization and differential diagnosis of most commonly encountered microsporidian taxa infecting hosts in the D. longispina complex in Europe opens new possibilities for studies of their ecological and evolutionary interactions.


Daphnia; Ecological interactions; Microsporidia; Phylogeny


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