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Spore ornamentation of Haplosporidium hinei n. sp. (Haplosporidia) in pearl oysters Pinctada maxima (Jameson, 1901)

  • D. BEARHAM (a1), Z. SPIERS (a1), S. RAIDAL (a2), J. B. JONES (a3), E. M. BURRESON (a4) and P. K. NICHOLLS (a1)...

An infection of pearl oysters, Pinctada maxima, attributed to a Haplosporidium sp. by Hine and Thorne (1998) has been detected on 3 occasions and is considered to represent a serious concern to the pearling industry in Australia. The spore ornamentation of the parasite was determined by scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Spores of the parasite were pleomorphic, or elongated 3·5–4 μm×2·5–3·0 μm in size. Two filaments were wound around the spore and originated from 2 ‘knob-like’ posterior thickenings. Both filaments passed up one side of the spore together until just below the operculum whereupon each split and passed obliquely under the lip of the opercula lid. Each filament wrapped around the spore 4 times. The posterior thickenings seem to appear late in the development of the spore and were composed of spore wall material. A second set of branching tubular filaments composed of a different material was observed on the spore body although not on mature spores possessing a ‘knob-like’ posterior thickening. The ornamentation on the spores of the pearl oyster parasite was unique amongst described haplosporidian species where spore ornamentation is known. The parasite is named in this manuscript as Haplosporidium hinei n. sp.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Fish Health Unit, Murdoch University, School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch Drive, Perth, Western Australia 6150. Tel: +61 08 9360 2479. E-mail:
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  • ISSN: 0031-1820
  • EISSN: 1469-8161
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