Mol Biochem Parasitol 2021 May 4:111373. Epub 2021 May 4.
School of Life Sciences, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia; Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia. Electronic address:
The Coccidia is the largest group of parasites within the Apicomplexa, a phylum of unicellular, obligate parasites characterized by the possession of an apical complex of organelles and structures in the asexual stages of their life cycles, as well as by a sexual reproductive phase that occurs enterically in host animals. Coccidian sexual reproduction involves morphologically distinct microgametes and macrogametes that combine to form a diploid zygote and, ultimately, following meiosis and mitosis, haploid, infectious sporozoites, inside sporocysts within an oocyst. Recent transcriptomic analyses have identified genes involved in coccidian sexual stage development and reproduction, including genes encoding for microgamete- and macrogamete-specific proteins with roles in gamete motility, fusion and fertilization, and in the formation of the resilient oocyst wall that allows coccidians to persist for long periods in the environment. Read More