A molecular phylogeny of the genus Ichthyocotylurus (Digenea, Strigeidae)

A. S. Bell, C. Sommerville, E. Tellervo Valtonen

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Three nucleotide data sets, two nuclear (ribosomal internal transcribed spacer regions 1 and 2, ITS1 and ITS2) and one mitochondrial (cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1, CO1), were analysed using distance matrix and maximum likelihood methods to determine the inter-relationships amongst the four species attributed to the genus Ichthyocotylurus Odening, 1969. Sequence data obtained from all gene loci investigated supported the position of Ichthyocotylurus variegatus as a species discrete from Ichthyocotylurus platycephalus. Phylogenetic analyses yielded congruent trees, with I. variegatus isolates comprising a common clade to which I. platycephalus constitutes a sister taxon. Ichthyocotylurus erraticus and Ichthyocotylurus pileatus were found to demonstrate a similarly close inter-specific relationship. The greatest intra-generic divergence occurred in the CO1 region (16% variability), with resultant disparities in three to eight encoded amino acids. PCR amplification yielded multiple ITS1 products for all Ichthyocotylurus spp. Analyses of equivalent-sized amplicons showed 5.4% intra-generic variation and several point mutations between I. variegatus isolates from different geographical localities and from different piscine hosts. The ITS2 locus was extremely conserved, with less than 1% variation between species. No intra-specific variation was recorded for any CO1 or ITS2 sequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)833-842
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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