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Sequence structure and intragenomic variability of ribosomal ITS2 in monozoic tapeworms of the genus Khawia (Cestoda: Caryophyllidea), parasites of cyprinid fish

Králová-Hromadová, Ivica, Bazsalovicsová, Eva, Oros, Mikuláš, Scholz, Tomáš
Parasitology research 2012 v.111 no.4 pp. 1621-1627
Cyprinus carpio, Khawia, Prunus, clones, fish, internal transcribed spacers, lizards, microsatellite repeats, sequence analysis, sympatric speciation, tapeworms, China
The sequence structure of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) was determined for six species of Khawia (Cestoda: Caryophyllidea), parasites of cyprinid fish in the Holarctic Region. Homologous intragenomic ITS2 structure was found in Khawia armeniaca, Khawia baltica, and Khawia rossittensis; whereas divergent intragenomic ITS2 copies were detected in Chinese, Japanese, and Slovak isolates of Khawia sinensis and in Khawia japonensis, both parasitic in common carp, and in Khawia saurogobii, recently described from Chinese lizard gudgeon in China. Despite distinct morphological differences between K. saurogobii and K. sinensis, both species display very high level of molecular homogeneity. Variation in number of short repetitive motifs [(GCCT) n (GCCC) n ], [(GTG) n ], [(ATAC) n ], [ACGTGT (TCGTGT) n ], [(GT) n ], [(GT) n ], and [(ACCT) n (GCCT) n ] resulted in assortment of ITS2 sequences in four ITS2 variants in K. saurogobii from China, three in Chinese and Japanese isolates of K. sinensis, and five ITS2 variants in K. sinensis from Slovakia. In K. japonensis, the structure and arrangement of microsatellites was different from those of K. sinensis and K. saurogobii. The heterogeneity in the number of two microsatellite regions [(TG) n ; (TTG) n ] divided ITS2 clones into two variants—first ITS2 variant (472 bp) with (TG)5 and (TTG)6, and second variant with (TG)7 and (TTG)2 (465 bp). Sequence identity of K. saurogobii with all but one (K. sinensis) congeneric species ranged between 49.5 and 69.2 %, which corresponds to the interspecific differences. In contrast, sequence identity of K. saurogobii and K. sinensis (87.6–95.0 %) failed into the range of intraspecific variation determined for K. sinensis samples. This close genetic similarity indicates that recently described K. saurogobii may have undergone morphological divergence as a result of ongoing sympatric speciation by host switching.