Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP), is an emerging microsporidian pathogen responsible for hepatopancreatic microsporidiasis (HPM) in shrimps and is associated with severe growth retardation. The disease causes economic losses in shrimp aquaculture. In this study, EHP spore germination was induced and demonstrated with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The ions (cations and anions) generated by high-energy electrons during frozen water radiolysis in the SEM specimen chamber induce EHP spore germination. This study is the first to demonstrate the induction of a microsporidian spore germination by ions generated under SEM. This study will enhance our understanding of EHP biology, life cycle and lead to the development of prophylactics and therapeutics for EHP control. Also, this method will help standardize the study of germination in other microsporidians.

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