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Phylogeography of Trichuris populations isolated from different Cricetidae rodents



The phylogeography of Trichuris populations (Nematoda) collected from Cricetidae rodents (Muroidea) from different geographical regions was studied. Ribosomal DNA (Internal Transcribed Spacers 1 and 2, and mitochondrial DNA (cytochrome c- oxidase subunit 1 partial gene) have been used as molecular markers. The nuclear internal transcribed spacers (ITSs) 1 and 2 showed 2 clear-cut geographical and genetic lineages: one of the Nearctic region (Oregon), although the second was widespread throughout the Palaearctic region and appeared as a star-like structure in the minimum spanning network. The mitochondrial results revealed that T. arvicolae populations from the Palaearctic region were separated into 3 clear-cut geographical and genetic lineages: populations from Northern Europe, populations from Southern (Spain) and Eastern Europe (Croatia, Belarus, Kazahstan), and populations from Italy and France (Eastern Pyrénean Mountains). Phylogenetic analysis obtained on the basis of ITS1-5·8S-ITS2 rDNA sequences did not show a differential geographical structure; however, these markers suggest a new Trichuris species parasitizing Chionomys roberti and Cricetulus barabensis. The mitochondrial results revealed that Trichuris populations from arvicolinae rodents show signals of a post-glacial northward population expansion starting from the Pyrenees and Italy. Apparently, the Pyrenees and the Alps were not barriers to the dispersal of Trichuris populations.


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*Corresponding author: Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Seville, Prof. García González 2, 41012 Seville, Spain. Tel: +34954556773. Fax: +34954628162. E-mail:


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