Rongchang Yang

and 4 more

A new coccidian species, Isospora elliotae n. sp., from the Australian magpie Gymnorhina tibicen (Latham, 1801) in Western Australia is described and characterised morphologically and molecularly. Microscopic analysis of a faecal sample identified subspheroidal oöcysts (n = 20), 20–22 × 18–20 (20.7 × 18.7); length/width (L/W) ratio 1.05–1.14 (1.10). Wall bi-layered, 1.0–1.3 (1.2) thick, outer layer smooth, c.2/3 of total thickness. Micropyle and oocyst residuum absent, but usually two polar granules are present. Sporocysts (n = 28) ovoidal, 12–13 × 9–11 (12.6 × 9.7); L/W ratio 1.22–1.35 (1.30). Stieda body present, flattened to half-moon-shaped, c. 0.5 deep × 2.0 wide; sub-Stieda indistinct or barely discernible, c. 1.0 deep × 2.5 wide; para-Stieda body absent; sporocyst residuum present, composed of granules dispersed among the sporozoites. Sporozoites vermiform, with anterior and posterior refractile bodies and nucleus. Segments of three gene loci (18S rRNA, 28S rRNA and COI) were sequenced and I. elliotae n. sp. exhibited 99.8% genetic similarity to Isospora sp. MAH-2013a (KF648870) followed by 99.7% genetic similarity to Isospora neochmiae Yang, Brice & Ryan, 2016 (KT224380) at the 18S rRNA gene locus. It shared 97.0% genetic similarity with an unnamed Isospora sp. (AY283852) at the 28S rRNA gene locus and it also shared the highest genetic similarity of 99.8% with the unnamed Isospora sp. from an American crow (OL999120) at the COI gene locus. Based on morphological and molecular data, this isolate is a new species named as I. elliotae n. sp.