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Infection of Gammarus duebeni populations by two vertically transmitted microsporidia; parasite detection and discrimination by PCR–RFLP

Hogg, J.C., Ironside, J.E., Sharpe, R.G., Hatcher, M.J., Smith, J.E. and Dunn, A.M. (2002) Infection of Gammarus duebeni populations by two vertically transmitted microsporidia; parasite detection and discrimination by PCR–RFLP. Parasitology, 125 (1). pp. 59-63. ISSN 1469-8161

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We screened a population of the brackish water crustacean Gammarus duebeni from the Isle of Cumbrae for the presence of vertically transmitted microsporidia. We compared 2 screening techniques; light microscopy and PCR-based detection using generic 16S rDNA microsporidian primers. Fifty percent of females from this population tested positive for vertically transmitted microsporidia. The PCR screen was 100% efficient in comparison with existing LM based screening. In addition, the PCR screen produced bands of 2 sizes suggesting that more than 1 species of microsporidian was present. Sequencing revealed 2 distinct species of vertically transmitted microsporidia; 33% of females were infected with the feminizer Nosema granulosis and 17% were infected with a new species which we provisionally designate Microsporidium sp. On the basis of sequence information, we developed a discriminatory PCR–RFLP test based on MspI and HaeIII digests. This screen allows rapid detection and discrimination of vertically transmitted microsporidia in natural field populations. We applied the PCR–RFLP screen to a second G. duebeni population from the Isle of Man. This population also hosted these 2 parasite species. In total 45% of females harboured N. granulosis and 10% harboured Microsporidium sp. No dual-infected individuals were found in either population. The occurrence of 2 vertically transmitted parasites within a population has implications for our understanding of parasite–host relationships in the field and we discuss factors affecting the dynamics of parasite–parasite competition and coexistence.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © 2002 Cambridge University Press.
Keywords: Nosema granulosis, Microsporidium sp., microsporidia, PCR–RFLP, Gammarus duebeni, vertical transmission
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Biological Sciences (Leeds) > Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2006
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2014 17:01
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031182002001774
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1017/S0031182002001774
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1013

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