Large-scale infection of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis by the gregarine Lankesteria ascidiae in an inland culture system

Kaoru Mita, Narudo Kawai, Sonja Rueckert, Yasunori Sasakura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


An important way to keep transgenic and mutant lines of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, a model system for e.g. genetic functions, in laboratories is via culturing systems. Here we report a disease of C. intestinalis observed in an inland culturing system. The disease, called 'long feces syndrome,' is expressed in affected animals by the following characteristic symptoms of the digestive system: (1) excretion of long and thin feces, (2) pale color of the stomach, and (3) congestion of the digestive tube by digested material. Severely diseased animals usually die within a week after the first symptoms occur, implying a high risk of this disease for ascidian culturing systems. The digestive tubes of the diseased animals are occupied by the gregarine apicomplexan parasite Lankesteria ascidiae, suggesting that large-scale infection by this parasite is the cause of long feces syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalDiseases of Aquatic Organisms
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov 19



  • Apicomplexan
  • Congestion
  • Digestive tube
  • Disease
  • Long feces syndrome
  • Parasite
  • Stomach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

Cite this