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Discovery of a novel microsporidium in laboratory colonies of Mediterranean cricket Gryllus bimaculatus (Orthoptera: Gryllidae): Microsporidium grylli sp. nov.


A microsporidium was found in a Mediterranean cricket Gryllus bimaculatus from a pet market in the UK and a lab stock at the Moscow Zoo (originating from London Zoo). The spores were ovoid, uninucleate, 6.3 × 3.7 μm in size (unfixed), in packets by of 8, 16, or 32. The spores were easily discharged upon dessication or slight mechanical pressure. The polar tube was isofilar, with 15–16 coils arranged in 1–2 rows. The polaroplast was composed of thin lamellae and occupied about one third of the spore volume. The endospore was 200 nm thick, thinning over the anchoring disc. The exospore was thin, uniform, and with no ornamentation. Phylogenetics based upon small subunit ribosomal RNA (Genbank accession # MG663123) and RNA polymerase II largest subunit (# MG664544) genes placed the parasite at the base of the Trachipleistophora/Vavraia lineage. The RPB1 locus was polymorphic but similar genetic structure and identical clones were found in both isolates, confirming their common geographic origin. Due to in insufficient ultrastructural data and prominent divergence from described species, the parasite is provisionally placed to the collective taxon Microsporidium.

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This study was funded by the Russian Science Foundation (grant # 16-14-00005).

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Correspondence to Julia M. Malysh.

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Tokarev, Y.S., Peat, K.M., Malysh, J.M. et al. Discovery of a novel microsporidium in laboratory colonies of Mediterranean cricket Gryllus bimaculatus (Orthoptera: Gryllidae): Microsporidium grylli sp. nov.. Parasitol Res 117, 2823–2829 (2018).

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  • Mediterranean cricket
  • Microsporidia
  • Molecular phylogeny
  • Infection
  • Laboratory culture