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Ultrastructural characterization and comparative phylogenetic analysis of new microsporidia from Siberian mosquitoes: Evidence for coevolution and host switching

Andreadis, Theodore G., Simakova, Anastasia V., Vossbrinck, Charles R., Shepard, John J., Yurchenko, Yury A.
Journal of invertebrate pathology 2012 v.109 no.1 pp. 59-75
Aedes, Amblyospora, Anopheles, Culex, Ochlerotatus, Parathelohania, aquatic ecosystems, coevolution, endospores, host specificity, hosts, insect larvae, monophyly, new species, nucleotide sequences, parasites, parasitism, ribosomal DNA, surveys, ultrastructure, Siberia
A survey of mosquito larvae infected with microsporidia was conducted from 2005 to 2008 in the Tomsk, Kemerovo and Novosibirsk regions of western Siberia, Russia. Twenty-one morphologically and genetically unique species of microsporidia were isolated from nine species of Anopheles, Aedes, Culex and Ochlerotatus mosquitoes including: (1) 14 proposed new species of Amblyospora (A. bakcharia, A. baritia, A. bogashovia, A. chulymia, A. hristinia, A. jurginia, A. kazankia, A. mavlukevia, A. mocrushinia, A. modestium, A. salairia, A. severinia, A. shegaria, and A. timirasia); (2) a newly proposed genus and species, Novothelohaniaovalae and; (3) six species of Amblyospora (A. flavescens, A. kolarovi, A. rugosa), Parathelohania (P. divulgata and P. tomski) and Trichoctosporea (T. pygopellita) from which gene sequences had not been previously obtained. Detailed ultrastructure of meiospores revealed unique cytological features associated with the length, arrangement and ratio of broad to narrow coils of the polar filament, comparative thickness of the exospore and endospore, and overall size of each species reaffirming their value in distinguishing taxonomic relationships. SSU rDNA sequences obtained from each species of microsporidia were unique when compared with GenBank entries. Phylogenetic trees constructed by Maximum Parsimony, Maximum Likelihood and Neighbor Joining analyses yielded similar topologies with a high degree of congruence between parasite and host at the generic level. Species that parasitize Aedes/Ochlerotatus and Culex mosquitoes segregate into distinct monophyletic groupings mirroring their host phylogeny, while species from Anopheles mosquitoes group as a sister clade basal to the entire group of mosquito-parasitic microsporidia as their Anopheles hosts cluster as a sister clade to the entire group of culicine mosquitoes. This provides strong evidence for host-parasite coevolution by descent at the generic level and limited host lineage switching between unrelated taxa. Among parasites of Aedes/Ochlerotatus and Anopheles mosquitoes, we found several instances where a single mosquito species serves as a host for two or more related species of microsporidia, an observation consistent with host switching and independent parasite speciation. Among the microsporidian parasites of Culex mosquitoes, we found only one parasite per host indicating a higher degree of host specificity and less host switching among parasites of this genus. Findings suggest a degree of host-parasite co-speciation with host switching occurring occasionally when the “normal” host is unavailable in the aquatic ecosystem. Frequency of host switching seems to be occurring in proportion to host relatedness and does not cross generic boundaries in this system.