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Molecular characteristics of representatives of the genus Brachylecithum Shtrom, 1940 (Digenea, Dicrocoeliidae) with comments on life cycle and host specificity

Hildebrand, Joanna, Sitko, Jilji, Zaleśny, Grzegorz, Jeżewski, Witold, Laskowski, Zdzisław
Parasitology research 2016 v.115 no.4 pp. 1417-1425
Brachylecithum, Cepaea, adults, genes, genetic variation, host specificity, intermediate hosts, larvae, phylogeny, ribosomal DNA, snails
The genus Brachylecithum was for the first time subject to molecular taxonomic phylogenetic analysis in order to ascertain relationships among its component taxa. We used two markers—the nuclear ribosomal 28S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) gene and the mitochondrial cox1 gene, for six species of the genus; 11 sequences of partial 28S rDNA and partial cox1 were obtained from adult B. capilliformis, B. glareoli, B. kakea, B. laniicola, B. lobatum, and B. strigis, and from larval stages obtained from snails of the genus Cepaea. We propose to synonymize B. strigis with B. lobatum, while the genetic differences in the 28S rDNA gene and mitochondrial cox1 gene confirm the species status of B. capilliformis and indicate a distinct group within Brachylecithum, including B. kakea and B. laniicola. Cercarial and metacercarial isolates from the snails showed 100 % similarity to B. lobatum; thus, it is the first record of Cepaea snails as intermediate hosts of this species and the first report on life cycle abbreviation within the Dicrocoeliidae.