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Large-scale infection of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis by the gregarine Lankesteria ascidiae in an inland culture system

Mita, Kaoru; Kawai, Narudo; Rueckert, S; Sasakura, Yasunori


Kaoru Mita

Narudo Kawai

Yasunori Sasakura


An important way to keep transgenic and mutant lines of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, a model system for e.g. genetic functions, in laboratories is via culturing systems. Here we report a disease of C. intestinalis observed in an inland culturing system. The disease, called ‘long feces syndrome,’ is expressed in affected animals by the following characteristic symptoms of the digestive system: (1) excretion of long and thin feces, (2) pale color of the stomach, and (3) congestion of the digestive tube by digested material. Severely diseased animals usually die within a week after the first symptoms occur, implying a high risk of this disease for ascidian culturing systems. The digestive tubes of the diseased animals are occupied by the gregarine apicomplexan parasite Lankesteria ascidiae, suggesting that large-scale infection by this parasite is the cause of long feces syndrome.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 19, 2012
Deposit Date Sep 26, 2013
Print ISSN 0177-5103
Electronic ISSN 1616-1580
Publisher Inter Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 101
Issue 3
Pages 185-195
Keywords Aquatic Science; Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
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