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Novel polymorphic microsatellite loci in Anisakis pegreffii and A. simplex (s. s.) (Nematoda: Anisakidae): implications for species recognition and population genetic analysis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 June 2019

Simonetta Mattiucci*
Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Section of Parasitology, “Sapienza -University of Rome”, Laboratory affiliated to “Istituto Pasteur Italia-Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, Italy” P.le Aldo Moro, 5 00185 Rome, Italy
Eleonora Bello
Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences, Tuscia University, Viale dell'Università s/n 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Michela Paoletti
Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences, Tuscia University, Viale dell'Università s/n 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Steve C. Webb
Cawthron Institute, Nelson, New Zealand
Juan T. Timi
Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata-CONICET, Mar del Plata, Argentina
Arne Levsen
Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway
Paolo Cipriani
Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway
Giuseppe Nascetti
Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences, Tuscia University, Viale dell'Università s/n 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Author for correspondence: Simonetta Mattiucci, E-mail:


The species of Anisakis constitute one of the most widespread groups of ascaridoid nematodes in the marine ecosystem. Three closely related taxa are recognised in the A. simplex (s. l.) complex, i.e. A. pegreffii, A. simplex (s. s.) and A. berlandi. They are distributed in populations of their intermediate/paratenic (fish and squids) and definitive (cetaceans) hosts. A panel of seven microsatellite loci (Anisl 05784, Anisl 08059, Anisl 00875, Anisl 07132, Anisl 00314, Anisl 10535 and Anisl 00185), were developed and validated on a total of N = 943 specimens of A. pegreffii and A. simplex (s. s.), collected in fish and cetacean hosts from allopatric areas within the range of distribution of these parasite species. In addition, the locus Anisl 7, previously detected in those Anisakis spp., was investigated. The parasites were first identified by sequence analysis of the EF1 α-1 nDNA. The panel of the microsatellites loci here developed have allowed to: (i) detect diagnostic microsatellite loci between the two species; (ii) identify specimens of the two species A. pegreffii, A. simplex (s. s.) in a multi-marker nuclear genotyping approach; (iii) discover two sex-linked loci in both Anisakis species and (iv) estimate levels of genetic differentiation at both the inter- and intra-specific level.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019 

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