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The Cyathostominae (Nematoda, Strongyloidea) parasitising equines represent a diverse group currently including 50 species. However, their taxonomy has been repeatedly revised and occasionally the presence of cryptic genospecies was suggested. Moreover, molecular- and morphology-based phylogenetic analyses give divergent results. For instance, molecular data have suggested close relationship between Coronocyclus coronatus and Cylicostephanus calicatus, although morphology-based taxonomy places them in different genera. Here, nuclear (internal transcribed spacer 2, ITS-2) and mitochondrial (cytochrome oxidase I, COI) sequences were obtained from the same individual, morphologically identified worms. In both morphospecies, two ITS-2 sequences types were observed: In Cor. coronatus, a small PCR product of 278 bp (nuclear haplotype group nHGBco) was always present but often in combination with a larger 369-370 bp fragment (nHGAco). In Cys. calicatus, either a large 370 bp product (nHGAca) or a short 281 bp amplicon (nHGBca) were found, but never both. Sequence identity between morphospecies was up to 100%. The smaller differed from the larger fragments by deletion of the region 110-198 in Cor. coronatus and 112-203 in Cys. calicatus. In COI, three and five mitochondrial haplotype groups (HGs), mtHG1co-mtHG3co and mtHG1ca-mtHG5ca were identified for Cor. coronatus and Cys. calicatus, respectively. In Cor. coronatus, there was no particular association of mtHG with nuclear genotypes (only nHGBco vs. both nHGBco plus nHGAco). In Cys. calicatus the nHGAca was always associated with the mtHG1ca, mtHG2ca or mtHG5ca whereas nHGBca was exclusively associated with mtHG3ca or mtHG4ca. Despite up to 100% identity in the nHGs, no mixing of mtHGs was observed between both species. Clear separation of certain nHGs with particular mtHGs in Cys. calicatus, despite the fact that the same host individuals were infected with both groups simultaneously, suggests presence of two non-interbreeding genospecies within Cys. calicatus, which needs further confirmation using additional samples from diverse geographical origins.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases
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