Brachiola algerae spore membrane systems, their activity during extrusion, and a new structural entity, the multilayered interlaced network, associated with the polar tube and the sporoplasm

J Eukaryot Microbiol. Mar-Apr 2002;49(2):164-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.2002.tb00361.x.


The microsporidial genus, Brachiola, contains three species: the type species Brachiola vesicularum (identified from an AIDS patient) and two species transferred from the genus Nosema, becoming Brachiola connori and Brachiola algerae. A developmental feature of the genus Brachiola is the "thickened" plasmalemma from sporoplasm through sporoblast stage. The sporoplasm has been reported to have a thick plasmalemma at 1-h postextrusion. The purpose of this investigation was to observe B. algerae spores before, during and after germination to determine if the plasmalemma is thick at the point of extrusion and if not, when and how it forms. New understandings regarding the polar filament position inside the spore, places it outside the sporoplasm proper with the sporoplasm limiting membrane invaginations surrounding it. These invaginations, present a possible location for aquaporins. The multilayered interlaced network (MIN), a new organelle (possibly of Golgi origin from the sporoblast), was observed inside the spore and sporoplasm; it formed an attachment to the end of the extruded polar tube and contributed to the thickening of the sporoplasm plasmalemma. A thin "unit limiting membrane", present on the sporoplasm at the time of extrusion, is connected to the MIN by many cross-connections forming the "thick blistered" surface by 30 min-postextrusion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microsporida / growth & development
  • Microsporida / isolation & purification
  • Microsporida / physiology*
  • Microsporida / ultrastructure
  • Rabbits
  • Spores, Protozoan / ultrastructure