, Volume 94, Issue 1, pp 10-15
Date: 27 Jul 2004

The phylogeny of diphyllobothriid tapeworms (Cestoda: Pseudophyllidea) based on ITS-2 rDNA sequences

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Phylogenetic analysis of sequences of the ITS-2 rRNA genes of 20 samples of pseudophyllidean cestodes of the family Diphyllobothriidae (Ligula, Digramma, Diphyllobothrium, and Schistocephalus) from different hosts and geographical regions revealed that: (1) the inclusion of ligulids (previously family Ligulidae) to the Diphyllobothriidae is correct; (2) Schistocephalus appears as the most basal taxon of the Diphyllobothriidae, well separated from Ligula and Digramma, thus supporting the validity of Schistocephalinae Dubinina, 1962; (3) Digramma belonged with samples of Ligula, thus suggesting its invalidity as a genus; and (4) isolates of Ligula, presumably belonging to Ligula intestinalis, are paraphyletic, indicating that this species may represent a complex of separate taxa. Our results indicate the necessity for a taxonomic revision of the family Diphyllobothriidae.