1932

Abstract

Microsporidia are a large group of microbial eukaryotes composed exclusively of obligate intracellular parasites of other eukaryotes. Almost 150 years of microsporidian research has led to a basic understanding of many aspects of microsporidian biology, especially their unique and highly specialized mode of infection, where the parasite enters its host through a projectile tube that is expelled at high velocity. Molecular biology and genomic studies on microsporidia have also drawn attention to many other unusual features, including a unique core carbon metabolism and genomes in the size range of bacteria. These seemingly simple parasites were once thought to be the most primitive eukaryotes; however, we now know from molecular phylogeny that they are highly specialized fungi. The fungal nature of microsporidia indicates that microsporidia have undergone severe selective reduction permeating every level of their biology: From cell structures to metabolism, and from genomics to gene structure, microsporidia are reduced.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.micro.56.012302.160854
2002-10-01
2024-06-13
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.micro.56.012302.160854
Loading
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.micro.56.012302.160854
Loading

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error