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A DNA sequence-based study of the Schistosoma indicum (Trematoda: Digenea) group: population phylogeny, taxonomy and historical biogeography

  • S. W. ATTWOOD (a1) (a2), F. A. FATIH (a2), M. M. H. MONDAL (a3), M. A. ALIM (a3), S. FADJAR (a4), R. P. V. J. RAJAPAKSE (a5) and D. ROLLINSON (a2)...


Partial (DNA) sequences were collected for 2 mitochondrial loci (Srrna and Lrrna, the rrnS and rrnL rRNA genes respectively) for Schistosoma indicum group species from 4 Southeast Asian countries. The samples included 7 populations, 4 of which were previously unstudied. In 11 cases the combination of locus and population was new. The aim of the study was to provide a phylogeny based on new independent data and multiple populations (earlier studies had mostly used a common set of field samples or laboratory lines) and to examine interrelationships and phylogeography within this species group. Paraphyly of the S. indicum group was confirmed, as was the basal position of Schistosoma incognitum in the Schistosoma phylogeny. Southeast Asian Schistosoma spindale and S. incognitum populations were shown to fall into their respective con-specific cohesive groupings. Estimated divergence times for these taxa were shown to be related to Pleistocene changes in sea level and the radiation of definitive host groups. A revised phylogeographical model is proposed in the light of these findings.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, Gaopeng Street, Keyuan Road 4, Chengdu 610041, China. Tel: +86 28 85164098. Fax: +86 28 85164092. E-mail:


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