Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Microsporidia (Phylum Microsporida)

  • Leellen F. Solter
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_4608

Microsporidia are obligately pathogenic, single-celled, eukaryotic organisms of which nearly 1,000 species have been described, over 700 from insect hosts. Lacking mitochondria, centrioles, peroxisomes and classical Golgi bodies, and possessing a nonmotile amoeba-like vegetative form, microsporidia were considered until recently to be primitive members of the Protozoa. Molecular analyses, however, have determined that the group possesses several gene sequences that suggest a close relationship to the fungi.

The first microsporidium studied was the causal agent of “pebrine disease” of silkworms (Bombyx mori L.), a disease that nearly caused the demise of the silk industry in France in the 1860s. Louis Pasteur recognized the infectious nature of the disease and developed a screening technique to rid the industry silkworm colonies of the pathogen. The microsporidium was later described as Nosema bombycis Naegli, the type species of the well-known genus Nosema.

Microsporidia infect all...

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References

  1. Becnel JJ, Andreadis TG (1999) Microsporidia in insects. In: Wittner M, Weiss LM (eds) The microsporidia and microsporidiosis. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC, pp 447–501Google Scholar
  2. Boucias DG, Pendland JC (1998) Principles of insect pathology. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, MA, 537 ppGoogle Scholar
  3. Undeen AH, Vavra J (1997) Research methods for entomopathogenic protozoa. In: Lacey L (ed) Manual of techniques in insect pathology. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, pp 117–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bulla LA Jr, Cheng TC (1977) Comparative pathobiology, vol 2: Systematics of microsporidia. Plenum Press, New York, NY, 510 ppGoogle Scholar
  5. Tanada Y, Kaya HK (1993) Insect pathology. Academic Press, Inc., San Diego, CA, 666 ppGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leellen F. Solter
    • 1
  1. 1.Illinois Natural History SurveyChampaignUSA