- DE GRUYTER OPEN LTD
Classification and identification of muscle-parasitizing didymozoids found in marine fish is difficult because of their novel parasitism and morphology. Recent sequence analysis has helped, but only seven sequences are available. Therefore, the usefulness of molecular methods for differentiation of muscle-parasitizing didymozoids, as well as genetic differences between the muscle and the other site-parasitizing didymozoids are quite unclear. In the present study, six unidentified didymozoid isolates from the trunk muscles of four marine fish species (Diagramma pictum, Plectorhinchus cinctus, Pagrus major and Cypselurus heterurus) were examined genetically using sequence analysis (18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, ITS-2 and coxI). All isolates were placed phylogenetically as a lineage independent of other site-parasitizing didymozoids at 18S rDNA, ITS-2 and coxI. They were grouped into three distinct lineages. The present and the previous unidentified or identified didymozoids from trunk muscles were found to differ clearly for every host species by sequence analysis, suggesting that muscle-parasitizing didymozoids are host-specific. This report is the first describing the molecular characteristics of muscle-parasitizing didymozoids by sequence analysis targeting the nuclear and mitochondrial DNA loci, which is proposed as a superior method for didymozoid differentiation.
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