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Morphological and molecular confirmation of the validity of Trichuris rhinopiptheroxella in the endangered golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana)

  • H.B. Wang (a1) (a2), H.J. Zhang (a1), L.L. Song (a3), L. Zhu (a1), M. Chen (a1), G.J. Ren (a1), G.H. Liu (a3) and G.H. Zhao (a1)...

Abstract

The golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) is an endangered species endemic to China. Relatively little is known about the taxonomic status of soil-transmitted helminths (STH) in these monkeys. Trichuris spp. (syn. Trichocephalus) are among the most important STHs, causing significant socio-economic losses and public health concerns. To date, five Trichuris species have been reported in golden monkeys, including a novel species, T. rhinopiptheroxella, based on morphology. In the present study, molecular and morphological analysis was conducted on adult Trichuris worms obtained from a dead golden snub-nosed monkey, to better understand their taxonomic status. Morphology indicated that the adult Trichuris worms were similar to T. rhinopiptheroxella. To further ascertain their phylogenetic position, the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of these worms was sequenced and characterized. The mt genome of T. rhinopiptheroxella is 14,186 bp, encoding 37 genes. Phylogenetic analysis based on the concatenated amino acids of 12 protein-coding genes (with the exception of atp8) indicated that T. rhinopiptheroxella was genetically distinct and exhibited 27.5–27.8% genetic distance between T. rhinopiptheroxella and other Trichuris spp. Our results support T. rhinopiptheroxella as a valid Trichuris species and suggest that mt DNA could serve as a marker for future studies on the classification, evolution and molecular epidemiology of Trichuris spp. from golden snub-nosed monkeys.

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Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: G.H. Liu, E-mail: liuguohua5202008@163.com G.H. Zhao, E-mail: zgh083@nwsuaf.edu.cn

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H.B. Wang and H.J. Zhang contributed equally to this work.

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References

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