Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
. The microsporidium Chytridiopsis trichopterae n. sp., a parasite of the midgut epithelium of larvae of the caddis fly Polycentropus flavomaculatus found in southern Sweden, is described based on light microscopic and ultrastructural characteristics. All life cycle stages have isolated nuclei. Merogonial reproduction was not observed. the sporogony comprises two sequences: one with free spores in parasitophorous vacuoles, the other in spherical, 5.6-6.8 μm wide, sporophorous vesicles which lie in the cytoplasm. the free sporogony yields more than 20 spores per sporont. the vesicle-bound sporogony produces 8, 12 or 16 spores. the envelope of the sporophorous vesicle is about 82 nm thick and layered. the internal layer is the plasma membrane of the sporont; the surface layer is electron dense with regularly arranged translucent components. Both spore types are spherical. They have an ∼ 35-nm thick spore wall, with a plasma membrane, an electron-lucent endospore, and an ∼ 14-nm thick electron-dense exospore. the polar sac is cup-like and lacks a layered anchoring disc. the polar filament is arranged in two to three isofilar coils in the half of the spore opposite the nucleus. the coupling between the polar sac and the polar filament is characteristic. the surface of the polar filament is covered with regularly arranged membraneous chambers resembling a honeycomb. There is no polaroplast of traditional type. the cytoplasm lacks polyribosomes. the nucleus has a prominent, wide nucleolus. the two spore types have identical construction, but differ in dimensions and electron density. Free living spores are about 3.2 μm wide, the diameter of the polar filament proper is 102-187 nm, the chambers of the honeycomb are 70-85 nm high, and the polar sac is up to 425 nm wide. Living spores in the vesicle-bound sporogony are about 2.1 μm wide, the polar filament measures 69-102 nm, the chambers of the honeycomb are about 45 nm high, and these spores are more electron dense. Comparisons of cytology (especially the construction of the spore wall and the polar filament and associated structures) and life cycles reveal prominent differences among the Chytridiopsis-like microsporidia, and close relationships between the families Chytridiopsidae and Metchnikovellidae.
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