What is it about?
We describe two novel myxosporean parasites from Brachyplatystoma rousseauxii, an economically important freshwater catfish from the Amazon basin, Brazil. Myxobolus tapajosi n. sp., was found in the gill filaments of 23.5% of 17 fish, with myxospores round to oval in frontal view and biconvex in lateral view: length 15 (13.5–17) μm and width 10.7 (9.6–11.4) μm; polar capsules equal, length 5.8 (4.6–7.1) μm and width 3 (2.3–3.8) μm containing polar tubules with 6–7 turns. Ellipsomyxa amazonensis n. sp. myxospores were found floating freely or inside plasmodia in the gall bladder of 23.5% of fish. The myxospores were ellipsoidal with rounded extremities: length 12.8 (12.3–13.6) μm and width 7.6 (6.7–8.7) μm; with two equal, slightly pyriform polar capsules, length 3.8 (3.8–4.0) μm and width 3.1 (2.5–3.4) μm, containing polar tubules with 2–3 turns. We combined spore morphometry, small-subunit ribosomal DNA data, specific host, and phylogenetic analyses, to identify both of these parasites as new myxozoan species. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses showed that Myxobolus tapajosi n. sp. clustered in a basal branch in a subclade of parasites from exclusively South American pimelodid fishes. Ellipsomyxa amazonensis n. sp. clustered within the marine Ellipsomyxa lineage, but we suspect that although the parasite was collected in freshwater, its hosts perform a large migration throughout the Amazon basin and may have become infected from a brackish/marine polychaete host during the estuary phase of its life.
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