Microsporidia are unique among parasitic organisms in the development of a highly sophisticated mechanism for direct inoculation of a germ cell (sporoplasm) into the cytoplasm of a host cell. All microsporidian spores contain a polar filament that, on appropriate stimulation within the gut, rapidly discharges the filament, which everts to become a hollow tube. The tremendous pressure within the spore at discharge (up to about 60 atm) propels the sporoplasm through the tube (which can reach lengths of up to 500Ám!) into a host cell thus avoiding host defense systems. This process will be described in detail with emphasis on spore germination stimuli within the gut environment of insect hosts.
Keywords: insect pathogen
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