Discovery of a Natural Microsporidian Pathogen with a Broad Tissue Tropism in Caenorhabditis elegans
(a) Time course comparing the total number of internal spores compared to shed spores in N. displodere-infected (left) and N. parisii-infected (right) animals at 15°C. Note that only intact (non-burst) animals were picked for this assay. Internal spores indicate the average number of internal spores per animal, while external spores indicate the average number of spores shed by twenty animals into the media in four hours. Data points indicate the mean with SD of n = 6 replicates of 20 animals across 3 experiments for internal N. displodere spores and n = 4 replicates of 20 animals across 2 experiments for N. displodere shed spores and all N. parisii data. (b) Time course depicting the percent of animals with a burst vulva phenotype of uninfected, N. displodere-infected, and N. parisii-infected animals at 15°C. Data points depict the mean and SD from n = 4 independent experiments for uninfected and N. displodere and n = 3 experiments for N. parisii where each experiment consisted of triplicate samples containing at least 150 animals per replicate. (c) Image from a plate of wild-type C. elegans infected with N. displodere at 10 dpi. Indicated are adult animals with a burst vulva (BV) and internal organs spilling out. Image taken from a Nikon SMZ800 dissecting scope with an iPhone 5S. (d) Analysis of spores shed by late stage N. displodere-infected animals split into two groups, intact animals versus animals with a burst phenotype. Each data point indicates the number of spores shed by twenty animals for four hours of a single replicate, with the line and error bars showing the mean and SD of n = 4 replicates across two independent experiments (*p = 0.0211, two-tailed Mann-Whitney test; ns = not significant, p = 0.298).