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Morphological and molecular characterization of Quinqueserialis (Digenea: Notocotylidae) species diversity in North America

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 May 2021

Demi K. Gagnon*
Affiliation:
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MBR3T 2N2, Canada
Emily A. Kasl
Affiliation:
Department of Biology, University of North Alabama, Florence, AL35632, USA
Whitney C. Preisser
Affiliation:
School of Aquatic and Fishery Science, University of Washington, Seattle, WA98105, USA
Lisa K. Belden
Affiliation:
Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA24061, USA
Jillian T. Detwiler
Affiliation:
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MBR3T 2N2, Canada
*
Author for correspondence: Demi K. Gagnon, E-mail: demi.gagnon@live.ca

Abstract

Estimates of trematode diversity are inaccurate due to unrecognized cryptic species and phenotypic plasticity within species. Integrative taxonomy (genetics, morphology and host use) increases the clarity of species delineation and improves knowledge of parasite biology. In this study, we used this approach to resolve taxonomic issues and test hypotheses of cryptic species in a genus of trematode, Quinqueserialis. Specimens from throughout North America were field collected from hosts and obtained from museums. We found three morphologically distinct groups and successfully sequenced specimens from two of these groups. DNA sequencing at the 28S and CO1 gene regions revealed that two of the three groups were genetically distinct. One genetic group included two morphological clusters demonstrating host-induced phenotypic plasticity within Quinqueserialis quinqueserialis. The other unique genetic group is a novel species, Quinqueserialis kinsellai n. sp., which is described herein. Our study illustrates the importance of integrating multiple sources of evidence when investigating trematode diversity to account for the influence of cryptic species or phenotypic plasticity. However, further sampling is needed to understand Quinqueserialis spp. diversity as some species have no genetic information associated with them.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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