The life cycle of Ascogregarina chagasi in larvae and in adult female Lutzomyia longipalpis was studied by light and electron microscopy. Sporozoites and young gamonts were attached to the epithelial lining of the larval midgut via an osmiophilic contact zone. The mucron of young gamonts was bordered by an invaginated pellicular fold, and an electron-opaque vesicular structure was observed adjacent to it. Sporozoites possessed an apical complex and were bound by a double membrane with underlying subpellicular microtubules. The gamont pellicle was uniformly corrugated and consisted of two cortical membranes and a plasma membrane. Mature gamonts and gametocysts were found in the posterior ectoperitrophic space of third and fourth instar larval midguts and in the haemocoel of adult flies. Gametocysts in adult females adhered to the genital accessory glands, where they were encased in electron-dense capsules secreted by the fly through haemocyte-mediated humoral immune reactions. Oocytes were spindle-shaped and bound by a double-layered wall with a discernible polar plug at each end. Sporulation was endogenous, occurring within gametocysts in the midguts of larvae or the accessory glands of adult females. FITC-phalloidine staining of all stages of A. chagasi except mature gametocysts produced bright fluorescence, indicating the presence of a diffuse, actin-like protein in the cytoplasm.
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Acknowledgements-A. Warburgr eceiveda n International ResearchF ellowshipf rom theF ogartyI nternationaCl enter, NIH (1 FOS TW0391601S)a nd a Fulbright Exchange ScholarR esearchF ellowship.‘Thisw ork wasa lsos upported in part by NIH grantA l 21049& MacArthur Foundation’s MolecularP arasitologyP rogram.W e thankG . Toveyo f the LSHTM EM unit for supplyingu s with Fig. 1A.
- host-parasite relationships
- life cycle