Submitted to: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/7/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: 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 insects worldwide, but fundamental knowledge on their life cycles, modes of transmission and methods for identification is presently incomplete. This investigation examines the use of a new diagnostic tool for the identification of important group of insect pathogens. New information obtained here contributes to our basic understanding of these parasites which will assist in the evaluation and development of microsporidia as biocontrol agents.
Technical Abstract: Fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) compositions of three species of microsporidia, Thelohania sp., Vairimorpha necatrix, and Nosema algerae from two insect hosts were studied. This is the first report on the utility of fatty acid analysis as a parameter for the identification of microsporidia, a group of ubiquitous, intracellular parasites. Qualitative and quantitative differences in FAME profiles have been successfully used to identify bacteria, yeasts, fungi, and vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae, at and below the species level. Three acids, palmitic (16:0), oleic (18:1 w 9 cis), and two closely eluting acids combined as Summed Feature 6 (18:2 w 6,9 cis and 18:0 anteiso) comprise 60% or more ofthe total profiles of the three species. The three species were differentiated by a combination of qualitative and quantitative FAME profile differences. Thelohania sp. and N. algerae had myristic acid (14:0) and 20:1 w 9 cis. Thus they were qualitatively differentiated from y. necatrix, in which 14:0 and 20:1 w 9 cis were not detected. Thelohania sp. had significantly lower amounts of oleic acid than the other two species and significantly higher amounts of 20:1 w 9 cis than N. algerae.