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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BITING ARTHROPODS: INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit

Title: Multilamina teevani gen. et sp. nov., a microsporidian pathogen of the neotropical termite Uncitermes teevani

Authors
item Becnel, James
item Scheffrahn, Rudolf -
item Vossbrinck, Charles -
item Bahder, Brian -

Submitted to: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 17, 2013
Publication Date: July 1, 2013
Citation: Becnel, J.J., Scheffrahn, R.H., Vossbrinck, C., Bahder, B. 2013. Multilamina teevani gen. et sp. nov., a microsporidian pathogen of the neotropical termite Uncitermes teevani. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 114:100-105.

Interpretive Summary: Naturally occurring protozoan parasites (Microsporidia) of insects are under study to evaluate and develop these disease causing organisms as biological control agents. Microsporidian parasites are known to cause mortality in mosquitoes worldwide, but fundamental knowledge on the biology and life cycles are unknown. This taxonomic study has examined a new species of microsporidia and examined the relationship to mosquitoes and related insects. The new information obtained here contributes to our basic understanding of the organization of the genomes of these parasites which will assist in the evaluation and development of microsporidia as biocontrol agents.

Technical Abstract: A new genus and species of microsporidia is described from adults of the termite Uncitermes teevani (Emerson) (n. comb., formerly Armitermes teevani), collected in Ecuador. Masses of elongate, ovoid, uninucleate spores were localized to the coelomic cavity of adult workers and measured 6.29 x 3.33 µm (fresh) and 5.83 x 3.00 µm (fixed). These spores were individually contained within a multi-layered sporophorous vesicle and contained an isofilar polar filament with 24-28 coils. Blast-n analysis revealed that the small subunit ribosomal DNA (ssrDNA) sequence of this new species exhibited 85% identity with that of a Varimorpha species from the fire ant, Solenopsis richteri, and slightly less (78-85% identity) to a large clade of microsporidian parasites from mosquitoes and microcrustacea. The morphological and sequence data support the conclusion that Multilamina teevani gen. et sp. nov. is a novel microsporidium and distinct from any previously described genera or species.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014