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Table 2 Characteristics of the four microsporidian genera contained within the family Enterocytozoonidae

From: Desmozoon lepeophtherii n. gen., n. sp., (Microsporidia: Enterocytozoonidae) infecting the salmon louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Copepoda: Caligidae)

Feature Desmozoon n. gen. Enterocytozoon Nucleospora Enterospora
Host Caligid copepod, Lepeophtheirus salmonis Mammals and birdsa and penaeid shrimpb Fish (salmonid, freshwater, and marine) Marine decapod crabs
Host cell-type infected Desmocytes in the glycocalyx bordering haemocoelic cavities Enterocytes a
Tubule epithelial cells of the hepatopancreas b
Haemopoietic cells and blood leukocytes c
Intestinal epithelial cellsd
Hepatopancreas epithelial cells
Mature spore shape and size Round to sub-spherical
2.34 × 1.83 (± 0.01) fresh
Spherical to ovoid, 1.5 × 0.8 a (fixed)
Oval 1.1 × 0.7 (fresh/percoll-purified)
ovoid to pyriform, 2 × 1 (fixed) c
ellipsoidal 1.6 × 0.8 (ultrathin sections)d
1.3 (± 0.02) × 0.7 (± 0.01) (fixed)
Number of turns and type of polar filament Isofilar, 5-8 turns (usually a double layer) 4-7 turns (double layer)a
5-6 turns (double layer)b
8-12 turns (single or double layer)c
4-5 turns (double layer) d
4-5 turns (double layer)
Spore production Polysporous, without interfacial envelop Polysporous, without interfacial envelop Polysporous, without interfacial envelop Polysporous, without interfacial envelop
Location in host cell Cytoplasm Cytoplasm Nucleoplasm (intranuclear) Nucleoplasm (intranuclear)
Earliest stage observed Diplokaryotic meront Uninucleate meront Uninucleate meront Binucleate meront
Plasmodium/syncitium stage Merogonial plasmodium divides via plasmotomy.
No sporogonial plasmodium present.
Merogonial plasmodium transforms to sporogonial plasmodium without prior division. Merogonial plasmodium transforms to sporogonial plasmodium without prior division. Merogonial plasmodium transforms to sporogonial plasmodium without prior division.
Key references Present study, [21, 23] a[29, 31, 33, 41]
b[14]
c[32, 33]
d[34]
[3, 4]
  1. a Enterocytozoon bieneusi, b Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei
  2. c Nucleospora salmonis, d Nucleospora secunda