Unicapsula species (Myxosporea: Trilosporidae) of Australian marine fishes, including the description of Unicapsula andersenae n. sp. in five teleost families off Queensland, Australia

Miller, T.L., and Adlard, R.D. (2013) Unicapsula species (Myxosporea: Trilosporidae) of Australian marine fishes, including the description of Unicapsula andersenae n. sp. in five teleost families off Queensland, Australia. Parasitology Research, 112 (8). pp. 2945-2957.

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A survey of the myxosporean fauna of Australian marine fishes revealed the presence of three previously unreported species of Unicapsula (Multivalvulida: Trilosporidae) from sites off Southeast Queensland, off Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and from Jurien Bay in Western Australia. Morphometric data (spore, polar capsule and caudal appendage dimensions) combined with Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood analyses of small subunit (SSU) and large subunit (LSU) ribosomal DNA (rDNA) were used for species identification and to explore relationships among these taxa. The four species of Unicapsula for which DNA data are now available for comparative purposes (Unicapsula andersenae n. sp., Unicapsula pflugfelderi, Unicapsula seriolae and Unicapsula pyramidata) formed a well-supported monophyletic sister clade to the other major multivalvulidan group, the Kudoidae. The combined morphometric and genetic diagnostic approach identified an undescribed taxon, U. andersenae n. sp., from the muscle of Argyrosomus japonicus, Acanthopagrus australis and Eleutheronema tetradactylum off the Southeast Queensland coast and in Lutjanus russellii and Sillago ciliata off Lizard Island. Intra-specific variation within U. andersenae n. sp. varied from 2–4 (0.2–0.4 %) nucleotides over the SSU region to 2–20 (0.3–3.2 %) over the LSU region. Inter-specific variation between U. andersenae n. sp. and the other three species for which genetic sequence data are now available ranged from 15–66 (3–6.5 %) nucleotides over the SSU region to 103–120 (17.6–21.2 %) nucleotides over the LSU region. The host distribution observed here for U. andersenae n. sp. (five fish species from five different fish families) represents the broadest specificity known for a single species of Unicapsula. U. pyramidata Naidjenova & Zaika 1970, whose spore morphology and presence of caudal appendages immediately distinguish it from other species, was recovered from the nemipterid, Scolopsis monogramma, off Lizard Island. U. seriolae Lester 1982 is reported here from Yellowtail Kingfish, Seriola lalandi, from sites off Queensland and from Jurien Bay, Western Australia. Comparative genetic analyses also revealed that an unidentified species of Unicapsula from Epinephelus septemfasciatus off Japan whose rDNA sequence data are available on GenBank is consistent with U. seriolae. This suggests that U. seriolae may also exhibit low host specificity and may be distributed widely throughout the Indo-West Pacific region. In comparison to other myxozoan genera, it is clear that the species richness of Unicapsula spp. falls well below that displayed by either Ceratomyxa spp. or Kudoa spp. The discovery of a further new species of Unicapsula in Australia now brings the total worldwide number of formally described Unicapsula species to a modest 11. Nonetheless, this taxon remains of significant interest to commercial and recreational fisheries through the potential production of macroscopic pseudocysts in fish muscle and post-mortem muscle liquefaction, both of which can render fish fillets unpalatable and unmarketable.

Item ID: 33351
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1955
Funders: CReefs global research initiative
Projects and Grants: CReefs global research initiative grant number 209/29
Date Deposited: 25 May 2014 04:06
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060301 Animal Systematics and Taxonomy @ 33%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060408 Genomics @ 34%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060309 Phylogeny and Comparative Analysis @ 33%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960803 Documentation of Undescribed Flora and Fauna @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
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