The extrapiscine development of Myxobolus portucalensis, a myxosporean parasite of the subcutaneous connective tissue of eel Anguilla anguilla L. was studied in the experimentally infected oligochaete Tubifex tubifex. After infecting parasite-free tubificids with mature spores of M. portucalensis, development of actinosporean stages was first observed with a light microscope 26 days after infection. Triactinospores of M. portucalensis emerged from the worms after 160 days of intra-oligochaete development. It was observed in histological sections that early pansporocysts were located in the gut epithelium of the experimental oligochaetes. Mature pansporocysts, each containing eight triactinospores, appeared 149 days after infection. After the rupture of pansporocysts, free actinospores were found in the lumen of the oligochaete gut. Released actinospores were floating in the water and showed a typical triactinomyxon form. Each triactinospore had three pyriform polar capsules, a sporoplasm with 32 secondary cells, a moderately long style and three slightly curved, sharply pointed caudal processes. The prevalence of infection in T. tubifex proved to be 52.5% (n = 40). No infection was found in Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri or in control Tubifex specimens.
ASJC Scopus subject areas