ABSTRACT

In March and April 2016, 150 white perch (Morone americana) were collected from various localities in Chesapeake Bay and examined for coccidia. A previously undescribed species of coccidia was observed in the hepatic bile ducts and gallbladder of all white perch (100%) examined. We describe this species using morphological characteristics, histology, and gene sequences of the small-subunit ribosomal DNA (rDNA), large-subunit rDNA, and mitochondrial genes cytochrome oxidase 1 (COI), cytochrome oxidase b (Cytb), and cytochrome oxidase 3 (COIII). Oocysts of Goussia bayae n. sp. were subspherical with a single-layered smooth wall and measured (length [L] × width [W]) 26.2 × 21.8 μm, with a L/W ratio of 1.2. A micropyle was present but a micropyle cap, polar granules, and oocyst residuum were absent. Each oocyst contained 4 sporocysts that were ellipsoidal and measured (L × W) 12.6 × 7.8 μm, with a L/W ratio of 1.6. A pair of sporozoites was present, but sporocysts lacked a Stieda body and residuua. Meronts and gamonts were epicellular in biliary epithelial cells and oocysts were coelozoic in hepatic and common bile ducts and gallbladder. This is the first report of Goussia spp. from white perch and the first mitochondrial DNA sequence reported from a Goussia species. Phylogenetic analysis indicates basal placement of G. bayae to Eimeriidae, Choleoeimeria, and Sarcocystidae.

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