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Morphological characterization and HSP70-, IGS-based phylogenetic analysis of two microsporidian parasites isolated from Antheraea pernyi


Two microsporidian isolates were extracted from single infected egg-laying tussah silk moth (Antheraea pernyi) in Liaoning Province, China. The microsporidia were subsequently grown in silk moth larvae, isolated, and subjected to morphological characterization (by light and transmission electron microscopy) and phylogenetic analysis (based on conserved genes). One type of spore was long-axis-oval in shape, measuring 4.71 × 1.95 μm, and the other type was short-axis-oval, measuring 3.64 × 2.17 μm. These dimensions were markedly different from those reported in the spores of the common microsporidia infecting A. pernyi, namely, Nosema pernyi (4.36 × 1.49 μm). A neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree based on HSP70 indicated that these microsporidia belonged to Nosema species and were closely related with Nosema bombycis and Nosema ceranae. Furthermore, in the phylogenetic tree based on the intergenic spacer (IGS) region, the long-axis-oval isolates were closely related and tended to form a clade away from the short-axis-oval isolates and N. pernyi isolates. The microsporidia isolated from A. pernyi clustered in one group. Nosema bombycis, Nosema spodopterae, and Endoreticulatus spp. appeared to be genetically distant from N. pernyi. The two isolates from A. pernyi fell in the Nosema group, but their spores differed from those of the spores of the common A. pernyi parasite N. pernyi, both in morphological and genetic aspects. The two isolates were designated Nosema sp. Ap (L) and Nosema sp. Ap (S). IGS was found to be informative in ascertaining phylogenetic relationships among species, and even closely related strains, of microsporidia.

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This project was supported by grants from the National Modern Agriculture Industry Technology System Construction Project (Silkworm and Mulberry) (No. CARS-22), Key task project in Science and Technology of Liaoning Province, the Scientific Research Project for Education Department of Liaoning Province (No. L2015488), and Cultivation Plan for Youth Agricultural Science and Technology Innovative Talents of Liaoning Province (No. 2014040).

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Correspondence to Li Qin.

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Yong Wang and Yutao Ru contributed equally to this work

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Wang, Y., Ru, Y., Liu, W. et al. Morphological characterization and HSP70-, IGS-based phylogenetic analysis of two microsporidian parasites isolated from Antheraea pernyi . Parasitol Res 116, 971–977 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-017-5373-6

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  • Microsporidia
  • Antheraea pernyi
  • HSP70
  • IGS
  • Phylogenetic analysis