Three nucleotide data sets, two nuclear (ribosomal internal transcribed spacer regions 1 and 2, ITS1 and ITS2) and one mitochondrial (cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1, CO1), were analysed using distance matrix and maximum likelihood methods to determine the inter-relationships amongst the four species attributed to the genus Ichthyocotylurus Odening, 1969. Sequence data obtained from all gene loci investigated supported the position of Ichthyocotylurus variegatus as a species discrete from Ichthyocotylurus platycephalus. Phylogenetic analyses yielded congruent trees, with I. variegatus isolates comprising a common clade to which I. platycephalus constitutes a sister taxon. Ichthyocotylurus erraticus and Ichthyocotylurus pileatus were found to demonstrate a similarly close inter-specific relationship. The greatest intra-generic divergence occurred in the CO1 region (16% variability), with resultant disparities in three to eight encoded amino acids. PCR amplification yielded multiple ITS1 products for all Ichthyocotylurus spp. Analyses of equivalent-sized amplicons showed 5.4% intra-generic variation and several point mutations between I. variegatus isolates from different geographical localities and from different piscine hosts. The ITS2 locus was extremely conserved, with less than 1% variation between species. No intra-specific variation was recorded for any CO1 or ITS2 sequences.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases