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Molecular and morphological evidence indicates that Pseudorhabdosynochus lantauensis (Monogenea: Diplectanidae) represents two species

  • X. Y. WU (a1), N. B. CHILTON (a2), X. Q. ZHU (a3), M. Q. XIE (a1) and A. X. LI (a1)...


Sequences of the first internal transcribed spacer (ITS-1) and the D1-D3 domains of the large subunit (LSU) of the ribosomal DNA (rDNA) were determined for multiple specimens of 4 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of the monogenean, Pseudorhabdosynochus lantauensis. OTUs were defined based on their collecting localities, host and/or morphological characteristics. All P. lantauensis specimens of one group (OTUs 1 and 3) differed in their sequences of the ITS-1 and partial LSU rDNA when compared with specimens of a second group (OTUs 2 and 4) by 12% and 2%, respectively. Results of the phylogenetic analyses of the LSU rDNA sequence data showed total (100%) bootstrap support for the separation of P. lantauensis into 2 distinct clades. At least 11 of the 18 nucleotide differences in the LSU sequence between the two P. lantauensis clades were derived (i.e. autapomorphic) characters when the morphologically distinct species, P. epinepheli and P. coioidesis, were used as outgroups. Furthermore, there were several autapomorphic character states for each P. lantauensis clade. This provides sufficient evidence to reject the null hypothesis that P. lantauensis represents a single species. Morphological and morphometric differences between these two clades provided additional strong support for the separation of P. lantauensis into two species. These two parasite species were found to co-exist on one of the two species of serranid fish (i.e. Epinephelus coioides) examined in the South China Sea (Guangdong Province, China).


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School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, 135 Xingang West Street, Haizhu District, Guangzhou 510275, Guangdong Province, The People's Republic of China. Tel: +86 20 84115113. Fax: +86 20 84115113. E-mail:


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Molecular and morphological evidence indicates that Pseudorhabdosynochus lantauensis (Monogenea: Diplectanidae) represents two species

  • X. Y. WU (a1), N. B. CHILTON (a2), X. Q. ZHU (a3), M. Q. XIE (a1) and A. X. LI (a1)...


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