Submitted to: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 13, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Naturally occurring protozoan parasites (Microsporidia) of biting flies are under study by USDA/ARS scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville Florida to evaluate and develop these disease causing organisms as biological control agents. Microsporidian parasites are known to cause mortality in biting flies worldwide and recent advances on fundamental aspects of their life cycles and modes of transmission has led to renewed interest in these pathogens as microbial control agents. This article describes a new species of microsporidia from a black fly using morphological and molecular information. New information obtained here contributes to our basic understanding of these parasites, which we hope will assist in the evaluation and development of microsporidia as biological control agents.
Technical Abstract: A new species of microsporidium, Weiseria palustris (Microspora: caudosporidae), is described from three species of black flies (Cnephia ornithophilia and diploid and triploid cytospecies of Stegopterna mutata), bringing to seven the total species of caudosporids recorded from North America. The hosts of this new species are found in swamp streams of the Coastal Plain from New Jersey to Georgia, with one record from the New Jersey mountains. Densities of patently infected larvae (up to 10,600/m^2) and spore production (nearly 8 x 10^11/m^2) are the greatest recorded for any microsporidium of black flies. The ultrastructure of this new species is presented, along with the first molecular characterization for a caudosporid. Key features of all North American caudosporids are provided, and possible evolutionary trajectories are proposed based on optimization of caudosporid species on their host phylogeny.