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Trypanosoma (Herpetosoma) kuseli sp. n. (Protozoa: Kinetoplastida) in Siberian flying squirrels (Pteromys volans)

Sato, H., Al-Adhami, B. H., Une, Y., Kamiya, H.
Parasitology research 2007 v.101 no.2 pp. 453-461
Pteromys volans, Spermophilus richardsonii, Trypanosoma, flagellum, genes, hosts, new species, nucleotide sequences, ribosomal RNA, squirrels, trees, China, United States
All trypanosome species classified in the subgenus Herpetosoma in sciurid hosts have been recorded from ground and tree squirrels to date, but not from any flying squirrels. We describe in this paper a novel trypanosome species, Trypanosoma (Herpetosoma) kuseli sp. n., from Siberian flying squirrels (Pteromys volans) imported from China, and compare it with T. (H.) otospermophili in Richardson's ground squirrels (Spermophilus richardsonii) and Columbian ground squirrels (Spermophilus columbianus) from the USA. Due to a short free flagellum, the new species appeared stumpy compared with T. otospermophili (length of free flagellum 7.0 ± 0.8 μm, total length 32.1 ± 0.8 μm, n = 13 and length of free flagellum 15.5 ± 1.6 μm, total length 35.9 ± 1.0 μm, n = 13, respectively). Another conspicuous morphological feature of the new species was an anteriorly positioned kinetoplast, found approximately at the midpoint between the nucleus and the posterior end. These characters have not been recorded from any squirrel Herpetosoma trypanosome species. Comparison of the nucleotide sequences of the small and large subunit rRNA genes indicated that T. kuseli sp. n. was more homologous to T. otospermophili than murid Herpetosoma species, such as T. grosi, T. lewisi, T. musculi, T. microti and T. evotomys.