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Multilocus sequence evaluation for differentiating species of the trematode Family Gastrothylacidae, with a note on the utility of mitochondrial COI motifs in species identification

Ghatani, Sudeep, Shylla, Jollin Andrea, Roy, Bishnupada, Tandon, Veena
Gene 2014 v.548 pp. 277-284
Gastrothylax crumenifer, data analysis, genes, genetic markers, infectious diseases, internal transcribed spacers, intraspecific variation, mitochondria, multilocus sequence typing, phylogeny, ruminants, species identification, India
Amphistomiasis, a neglected trematode infectious disease of ruminants, is caused by numerous species of amphistomes belonging to six families under the Superfamily Paramphistomoidea. In the present study, four frequently used DNA markers, viz. nuclear ribosomal 28S (D1–D3 regions), 18S and ITS2 and mitochondrial COI genes, as well as sequence motifs from these genes were evaluated for their utility in species characterization of members of the amphistomes' Family Gastrothylacidae commonly prevailing in Northeast India. In sequence and phylogenetic analyses the COI gene turned out to be the most useful marker in identifying the gastrothylacid species, with the exception of Gastrothylax crumenifer, which showed a high degree of intraspecific variations among its isolates. The sequence analysis data also showed the ITS2 region to be effective for interspecies characterization, though the 28S and 18S genes were found unsuitable for the purpose. On the other hand, sequence motif analysis data revealed the motifs from the COI gene to be highly conserved and specific for their target species which allowed accurate in silico identification of the gastrothylacid species irrespective of their intraspecific differences. We propose the use of COI motifs generated in the study as a potential tool for identification of these species.