Inter-relationships of haplosporidians deduced from ultrastructural studies

Hine, P.M.; Carnegie, R.B.; Burreson, E.M.; Engelsma, M.Y.


We reviewed papers reporting haplosporidian ultrastructure to compare inter-relationships based on ultrastructure with those based on molecular data, to identify features that may be important in haplosporidian taxonomy, and to consider parasite taxonomy in relation to host taxonomy. There were links between the following: (1) the plasmodia of an abalone parasite, Haplosporidium nelsoni and Urosporidium crescens in the release of haplosporosomes; (2) H. costale and H. armoricanum in haplosporosome shape and presence and shape of Golgi in spores; (3) basal asporous crustacean haplosporidians which form haplosporosomes from formative bodies (FBs) in vegetative stages - H. nelsoni, which forms haplosporosomes from FBs in plasmodial cytoplasm, and H. louisiana, Minchinia spp. and Bonamia perspora, which form haplosporosomes from FBs in spores; (4) crustacean haplosporidians, Bonamia spp. and M. occulta in the predominance of uni- and binucleate stages; and (5) lipid-like vesicles in sporoplasms of H. costale, H. armoricanum, H. lusitanicum, H. pickfordi, H. montforti, and B. perspora. In general, these relationships reflect phylogenies based on molecular studies. As well as spore form and ornamentation, haplosporogenesis in spores appears to be taxonomically important. Parasite and host taxonomy were linked in the infection of lower invertebrates by Urosporidium spp., the infection of oysters by Bonamia spp., and of molluscs by Minchinia spp. Haplosporidium spp. are patently an artificial, paraphyletic group probably comprising many taxa. Consequently, the taxonomy of haplosporidians needs a thorough revision.