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Phylogenetic analysis of eleven species of Biomphalaria Preston, 1910 (Gastropoda: Planorbidae) based on comparisons of allozymes

Biological journal of the Linnean Society 1995 v.54 no.1 pp. 1-27
Biomphalaria, Helisoma, Schistosoma mansoni, allozymes, gel electrophoresis, loci, phylogeny, snails, starch, taxonomy, trees, tropics, Africa, South America
Freshwater snails in the genus Biomphalaria transmit Schistosoma mansoni in Africa, South America and the Caribbean region. Although considerable attention has been given to the identification of species, little is known of evolutionary relationships among the species. A phylogenetic analysis of 25 populations representing 11 species was performed on 25 enzyme loci examined using starch gel electrophoresis. A phylogenetic analysis of the individual populations produced 60 trees of equal length. The 60 trees have a consistency index value of 75.9% and a retention index value of 76.5%. The phylogenetic analysis provided strong support for the monophyly of Biomphalaria with either 14 or 15 synapomorphies uniting all of the species included and separating them from the outgroup, two species of Helisoma. Four nominal species represented by multiple populations formed monophyletic groups. Populations of B. sudanica, B. choanomphala, and B. alexandrina were interspersed. Ten arrangements were obtained for the populations of these three species. A variety of ingroup taxa were used to root the trees, and all provided support for the use of Helisoma species as an outgroup. In all of the trees obtained, the African species together formed a monophyletic group. In none of the trees obtained did the neotropical species form a monophyletic group. A constrained analysis requiring the monophyly of the neotropical species as well as the African species resulted in 90 trees just two steps longer than the shortest trees. Analysis of the species from either hemisphere alone resulted in decreased resolution, as measured by an increase in the number of trees obtained. This finding suggests that further comparisons of species from the two hemispheres will be of considerable value. Finally, two species which are resistant to infection with S. mansoni were included among the eleven studied. Neither of these species formed the sister group to all of the other species included, indicating that susceptibility is the plesiomorphic state, and that resistance is derived. Similarly, in none of the trees obtained did the two resistant species fall out as sister taxa, indicating that resistance arose independently twice.