The Microsporidian Polar Tube and Spore Wall

Louis M. Weiss, Frédéric Delbac, J. Russell Hayman, Guoqing Pan, Xiaoqun Dang, Zeyang Zhou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

17 Scopus citations


All of the members of the microsporidia possess a unique, highly specialized invasion mechanism that involves the polar tube and spore wall. This chapter reviews the data on the organization, structure, and function of this invasion organelle. The application of immunological and molecular techniques and recent genome sequencing data has resulted in the identification of multiple polar tube and spore wall proteins (SWPs). The interactions of these identified proteins in the formation and function of the polar tube and spore wall remain to be determined. Inside the spore, the polar tube is filled with material and is often termed the polar filament; however, this chapter uses the term polar tube to refer to this structure when it is within the spore as well as when it forms a hollow tube after germination and is found outside the spore. The chapter presents details on the spore activation and discharge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMicrosporidia
Subtitle of host publicationPathogens of Opportunity: First Edition
Number of pages46
ISBN (Electronic)9781118395264
ISBN (Print)9781118395226
StatePublished - Oct 20 2014


  • Microsporidian polar tube
  • Polar tube discharge
  • Polar tube protein (PTP)
  • Spore activation
  • Spore wall
  • Spore wall proteins (SWPs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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