Serological affinities of the oyster pathogen Perkinsus marinus (Apicomplexa) with some dinoflagellates (Dinophyceae)

David Bushek, Christopher F. Dungan, Alan J. Lewitus

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The protozoan oyster pathogen Perkinsus marinus is classified in the phylum Apicomplexa, although molecular-genetic and ultrastructural evidence increasingly concur on its closer phylogenetic relationship with the dinoflagellates. To test for evidence of serological epitopes common to P. marinus and dinoflagellates, we probed 19 free-living and 8 parasitic dinoflagellate, or dinoflagellate-like, species for cross-reactivity with polyclonal antibodies to P. marinus. Three of 19 free-living dinoflagellates (16%), and 7 of 8 parasitic dinoflagellates (88%) were labeled by anti-P. marinus antibodies. In reciprocal immunoassays using polyclonal antibodies to the Hematodinium sp. dinoflagellate parasite of Norway lobsters, Nephrops norvegicus, P. marinus and the same 7 parasitic dinoflagellates labeled by anti-P. marinus antibodies, were again labeled. The dinoflagellate-like parasite of prawns Pandalus platyceros was not labeled by either antibody reagent. These reciprocal results confirm the presence of shared antibody-binding epitopes on cells of P. marinus and several dinoflagellates. The apparent widespread serological affinity between P. marinus and the parasitic dinoflagellates suggests a closer phylogenetic link to the syndinean dinoflagellate lineage. The consistent failure of the dinoflagellate-like prawn parasite to bind either antibody reagent shows that this parasite is serologically distinct from both P. marinus and Hematodinium-species parasitic dinoflagellates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology

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