Origin and evolution of a myxozoan worm.
Jiménez-Guri E., Okamura B., Holland PWH.
Buddenbrockia plumatellae is an active, muscular, worm-shaped parasite of freshwater bryozoans. This rare and enigmatic animal has been assigned to the Myxozoa on the basis of 18S ribosomal DNA sequences and the presence of malacosporean spores. Here we report cloning of four homologous protein-coding genes from Buddenbrockia worms, the putatively conspecific sac-shaped parasite originally described as Tetracapsula bryozoides and the related sac-shaped parasite Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae, the causative agent of proliferative kidney disease in salmonid fish. Analyses are consistent with the hypothesis that Buddenbrockia is indeed a malacosporean myxozoan, but do not provide support for conspecificity with either T. bryozoides or T. bryosalmonae. Implications for the evolution of worm-like body plans in the Myxozoa are discussed.