Correlative light and electron microscopy of wall formation in Eimeria nieschulzi

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Coccidian parasites possess complex life cycles involving asexual proliferation followed by sexual development leading to the production of oocysts. Coccidian oocysts are persistent stages which are secreted by the feces and transmitted from host to host guaranteeing life cycle progression and disease transmission. The robust bilayered oocyst wall is formed from the contents of two organelles, the wall-forming bodies type I and II (WFBI, WFBII), located exclusively in the macrogametocyte. Eimeria nieschulzi has been used as a model parasite to study and follow gametocyte and oocyst development. In this study, the gametocyte and oocyst wall formation of E. nieschulzi was analyzed by electron microscopy and immuno-histology. A monoclonal antibody raised against the macrogametocytes of E. nieschulzi identified a tyrosine-rich glycoprotein (EnGAM82) located in WFBII. Correlative light and electron microscopy was used to examine the vesicle-specific localization and spatial distribution of GAM82-proteins during macrogametocyte maturation by this monoclonal antibody. In early and mid-stages, the GAM82-protein is ubiquitously distributed in WFBII. Few hours later, the protein is arranged in subvesicular structures. It was possible to show that the substructure of WFBII and the spatial distribution of GAM82-proteins probably represent pre-synthesized cross-linked materials prior to the inner oocyst wall formation. Dityrosine-cross-linked gametocyte proteins can also be confirmed and visualized by fluorescence microscopy (UV light, autofluorescence of WFBII).


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2667-2678
Number of pages12
JournalParasitology Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2020

External IDs

PubMedCentral PMC7366593
Scopus 85087486489
ORCID /0000-0001-5624-1717/work/142239008



  • Animals, Eimeria/cytology, Glycoproteins/chemistry, Life Cycle Stages, Microscopy, Electron, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Oocysts/cytology, Organelles/metabolism, Protozoan Proteins/metabolism, Tyrosine/analogs & derivatives

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