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Clarification of the systematic position of Cercariaeum crassum Wesenberg-Lund, 1934 (Digenea), based on karyological analysis and DNA sequences

  • R. Petkevičiūtė (a1), V. Stunžėnas (a1) and G. Stanevičiūtė (a1)


Chromosome set and rDNA sequences of the larval digenean Cercariaeum crassum were analysed in order to clarify its systematic position and possible adult form. Parasites were obtained from the sphaeriid bivalve Pisidium amnicum, collected in Lithuanian and Finnish rivers. The karyotype is shown to consist of five pairs (2n = 10) of large, up to 14 μm, chromosomes. Complement, composed of a low diploid number of exclusively bi-armed elements, presumably arose through Robertsonian fusions of acrocentric chromosomes. Consistent with a Robertsonian-derived karyotype, one or two small, metacentric, mitotically stable B chromosomes were detected in the cells of parthenitae isolated from some host individuals. A phylogenetic analysis using rDNA internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) and 28S sequences corroborates the allocation of C. crassum to the family Allocreadiidae. In neighbour-joining and maximum parsimony phylogenetic trees C. crassum clusters into one clade with Allocreadium spp., and is the closest sister group in relation to A. isoporum; the level of rDNA sequence divergence between them (2.67% for ITS2 and 1.16% for 28S) is consistent with the level expected for intrageneric variation. The present study adds significant information to a database for establishing species-specific characters for confident characterization of different developmental stages of allocreadiid species, clarification of their life cycles and evaluation of intra- and interspecific variability.


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Clarification of the systematic position of Cercariaeum crassum Wesenberg-Lund, 1934 (Digenea), based on karyological analysis and DNA sequences

  • R. Petkevičiūtė (a1), V. Stunžėnas (a1) and G. Stanevičiūtė (a1)


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