9. Microsporidian Biochemistry and Physiology

  1. Louis M. Weiss5 and
  2. James J. Becnel6
  1. Bryony A. P. Williams1,
  2. Viacheslav V. Dolgikh2 and
  3. Yuliya Y. Sokolova3,4

Published Online: 1 AUG 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118395264.ch9

Microsporidia: Pathogens of Opportunity, First Edition

Microsporidia: Pathogens of Opportunity, First Edition

How to Cite

Williams, B. A. P., Dolgikh, V. V. and Sokolova, Y. Y. (2014) Microsporidian Biochemistry and Physiology, in Microsporidia: Pathogens of Opportunity, First Edition (eds L. M. Weiss and J. J. Becnel), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118395264.ch9

Editor Information

  1. 5

    Department of Pathology, Division of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine, and Department of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA

  2. 6

    USDA/ARS, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Biosciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, UK

  2. 2

    All-Russia Institute for Plant Protection, Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Russia

  3. 3

    School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, USA

  4. 4

    Institute of Cytology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 AUG 2014
  2. Published Print: 9 SEP 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118395226

Online ISBN: 9781118395264



  • host–parasite system;
  • intracellular stage;
  • metabolism;
  • microsporidia;
  • secretory transport;
  • spore germination


This chapter describes recent advances of microsporidian biochemistry and physiology from the perspective of the spore, intracellular stage, and the host–parasite system. Functional minimization of the microsporidian cell machinery as demonstrated by genome sequencing seems to be even more drastic in meronts and sporonts. It is very likely that microsporidia switch off their own energy metabolism during intracellular development. The secretory machinery plays an important role in microsporidian physiology during intracellular development and in sorting three main groups of proteins key to the pathogenic process. Microsporidia also likely appropriate other core nutrients from their hosts to compensate for their lack of biochemical complexity. All studied microsporidian genomes encode three or more major facilitator superfamily transporters with a predicted substrate specificity for sugars which they likely take up from the host.