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Cytogenetic and sequence comparison of adult Phyllodistomum (Digenea: Gorgoderidae) from the three-spined stickleback with larvae from two bivalves


Due to the low informative value of available morphological characters, cytogenetic and molecular methods, based on rDNA sequencing, were used to characterize adult and larval stages of Phyllodistomum spp. Species studied have 18 chromosomes with comparable absolute and relative lengths. Conventional Giemsa staining and karyometric analysis revealed clear differences in chromosome morphology of larval Phyllodistomum spp. infecting two bivalve host species, Sphaerium corneum and Pisidium amnicum. However, karyotypes of adult P. folium from three-spined sticklebacks and larval stages from S. corneum appear almost identical both with respect to the relative lengths and centromeric indices of the corresponding chromosome pairs. The entire internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region (ITS-1, 5.8S and ITS-2) and the D1-D3 region of 28S gene were sequenced and compared. Again, sufficient differences were observed between larval Phyllodistomum spp., while adult P. folium and larvae from S. corneum showed a high level of similarity. So, both cytogenetic and molecular data support the suggestion that they represent developmental stages of the same species. The results were compared with published data obtained by cytogenetic and molecular studies on the other Phyllodistomum species. Differences revealed in karyotype and rDNA sequences leads to the conclusion that the cercariaeum of P. folium sensu Sinitsin, 1905 could not be regarded as the larva of adult P. folium from three-spined stickleback.

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