Jump to Main Content
Comparative analysis of mitochondrial DNA datasets indicates that Toxascaris leonina represents a species complex
- Jin, Yuan-Chun, Li, Xiang-Yong, Liu, Jin-Hui, Zhu, Xing-Quan, Liu, Guo-Hua
- Parasites & vectors 2019 v.12 no.1 pp. 194
- Acinonyx jubatus, Canidae, Panthera tigris amoyensis, Toxascaris leonina, amino acids, data collection, dogs, genes, hosts, intestines, mitochondria, mitochondrial DNA, mitochondrial genome, molecular epidemiology, nucleotide sequences, parasites, phylogeny, population genetics
- BACKGROUND: Toxascaris leonina is one of the most common intestinal parasites of canids and felids. In this study, we characterised the entire mitochondrial (mt) genome sequence of T. leonina from the cheetah and compared it with that of T. leonina from the dog. RESULTS: The entire mt genome sequence of T. leonina from the cheetah is 14,685 bp in size, which is 375 bp longer than that from the dog, and it is 408 bp longer than that from the South China tiger. The overall nucleotide sequence (except for the non-coding region) identity was 92.8% between the two mt genomes of T. leonina from the cheetah and the dog. For the 12 protein-coding genes, sequence difference between T. leonina from the cheetah and the dog was 5.0–9.7% at the nucleotide level and 1.0–7.2% at the amino acid level. Moreover, comparison of mt cox1 sequences among T. leonina isolates (n = 23) from different hosts revealed substantial nucleotide differences (10.6%). Phylogenetic analysis showed the separation of T. leonina from canid and felid hosts into three distinct clades. CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, these mtDNA datasets indicate that T. leonina from canid and felid hosts represents a species complex. Our results have implications for further studies of the molecular epidemiology, systematics and population genetics of this nematode.