Phylogenetic relationships between Dicrocoelium chinensis populations in Japan and China based on mitochondrial nad1 gene sequences
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We carried out phylogenetic analyses of the relationships between Dicrocoelium chinensis populations in Japan and China using molecular markers. One hundred nine lancet flukes collected from Japan and China were identified as D. chinensis based on their testis orientation and the nucleotide sequences of their ribosomal ITS2. These flukes were analyzed phylogenetically using mitochondrial nad1 gene sequences. An analysis of molecular variance found that the percentage of variation between the countries was extremely high, indicating that the D. chinensis populations in Japan and China are differentiated genetically. D. chinensis mainly parasitizes wild sika deer, which is thought to originate in northeast Asia and to have colonized into Japan from the Eurasia continent in the Pleistocene glaciations. In addition, phylogenic analyses indicated that Japanese sika deer is genetically differentiated from Chinese population; therefore, we hypothesize that D. chinensis might have been introduced into Japan along with the migration of infected wild ruminants in the Pleistocene, and then the population became differentiated from the Chinese population. This study provides the nucleotide sequences of the nad1 gene of D. chinensis in Japan for the first time and shows that these sequences are useful for elucidating the phylogenetic relationships of the Dicrocoelium species prevalent in Asia.
KeywordsDicrocoelium chinensis China Japan nad1 Phylogenetic analysis ITS2
We would like to thank Editage (www.editage.jp) for English language editing.
Compliance with ethical standards
The authors declare that the experiments comply with the current laws of the country. The sika deer were obtained from regular hunting program of the particular hunting area in consideration of the wildlife protection and hunting management law of Japan. The Japanese serrow died accidentally in Japan. The flukes from the bile ducts of sheep and yak were collected in slaughterhouses in China. No animal was killed with the aim of providing samples for this study.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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