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Haemogregarines of freshwater turtles from Southeast Asia with a description of Haemogregarina sacaliae sp. n. and a redescription of Haemogregarina pellegrini Laveran and Pettit, 1910

  • NELA DVOŘÁKOVÁ (a1) (a2), JANA KVIČEROVÁ (a3) (a4), MARTIN HOSTOVSKÝ (a5) and PAVEL ŠIROKÝ (a1) (a2)

Summary

The uniform morphology of the developmental stages of Haemogregarina species and the insufficient information supplied by the simplistic descriptions of previous authors complicates their differential diagnosis and proper species identification. In this study, we detected Haemogregarina spp. in 6 out of 22 (27·2%) examined turtles originating from Southeast Asia, Malayemys subtrijuga (n = 4), Sacalia quadriocellata (n = 1) and Platysternon megacephalum (n = 1), and compared them with the available literature data. Microscopic analysis of our isolates distinguished 2 morphological species, Haemogregarina pellegrini and one new species, being described in this paper as Haemogregarina sacaliae sp. n. Phylogenetic analyses based on 1210 bp long fragment of 18S rDNA sequences placed both haemogregarines firmly within the monophyletic Haemogregarina clade. Isolates of H. pellegrini from 2 distantly related turtle hosts, M. subtrijuga and P. megacephalum, were genetically identical. Despite the fact that numerous Haemogregarina species of turtles have been described, the incompleteness of the morphological data and relatively low host specificity provides the space for large synonymy within this taxon. Therefore, a complex approach combining microscopic analyses together with molecular-genetic methods should represent the basic standard for all taxonomic studies.

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Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Department of Biology and Wildlife Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Palackého tř. 1/3, 612 42 Brno, Czech Republic. E-mail: sirokyp@vfu.cz

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