Rhinosporidium seeberi is an uncultivated Ichthyosporean infecting animals, including humans. Recent studies suggested R. seeberi undergoes synchronized nuclear division without cytokinesis. We used confocal microscopy to investigate R. seeberi nuclear division cycles in formalin-fixed tissues stained with DAPI and phalloidin. We report that R. seeberi nuclei in juvenile and intermediary sporangia synchronously divided without cytokinesis. Intermediary sporangia display numerous 3–4 μm nuclei at different mitotic stages as well as a thick inner layer with strong affinity for phalloidin. Mature sporangia showed numerous 5–12 μm cell-walled endospores, each containing a 2–4 μm in diameter nucleus. Phalloidin did not bind to the inner layers of mature sporangia or endospores. The development of a “germinative zone” in the inner layer of mature sporangia containing hundreds of nuclei was also confirmed. This study establishes that during the R. seeberi life cycle synchronous nuclear divisions without cytokinesis takes place, resulting in the formation of thousands of nuclei. Cytokinesis, on the other hand, is a 1-time event and occurs in the latest stages of intermediate sporangia, after the formation of thousands of nuclei and just before mature sporangia development.
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Vol. 102 • No. 1