Comparative analysis of monozoic fish tapeworms Caryophyllaeus laticeps (Pallas, 1781) and recently described Caryophyllaeus chondrostomi Barčák, Oros, Hanzelová, Scholz, 2017, using microsatellite markers


The monozoic tapeworm Caryophyllaeus laticeps has been characterized by five markedly different morphotypes largely corresponding to different fish hosts. Recently, the most distinct morphotype 4 from the common nase Chondrostoma nasus was studied in more details resulting in description of a new species Caryophyllaeus chondrostomi. The molecular study based on mitochondrial cox1 and ribosomal lsrDNA did not reveal any interspecific differences between C. laticeps and C. chondrostomi and did not provide any molecular support for recognition of these two species. In the current study, six polymorphic microsatellite markers were applied in order to detect molecular differences between the two species and to provide molecular evidence of validity of C. chondrostomi. While all six microsatellite loci were amplified in different geographic populations of C. laticeps, only two of them provided the amplification product in C. chondrostomi. Results on the Bayesian analysis assigned C. chondrostomi and all geographic populations of C. laticeps to distinct clusters. Neither any close relationships among C. laticeps populations nor specific position of C. chondrostomi were revealed. Contrary, the results of the principal coordinate analysis revealed striking genetic separation of C. chondrostomi with no overlaps with any of the C. laticeps population or morphotype. Caryophyllaeus chondrostomi very probably underwent morphological divergence as a result of ongoing speciation, but this process has not yet been accompanied by sufficient genetic divergence. In this particular case, microsatellites were proved to be better molecular discriminative markers than rDNA and mtDNA.

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We would like to acknowledge Dr. Vladimíra Hanzelová a Dr. Mikuláš Oros (Institute of Parasitology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Košice, Slovakia) and Prof. Tomáš Scholz (Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Science, České Budějovice, Czech Republic) for providing parasitic material. Access to computing and storage facilities owned by parties and projects contributing to the National Grid Infrastructure MetaCentrum provided under the programme “Projects of Large Research, Development, and Innovations Infrastructures” (CESNET LM2015042) is greatly appreciated.


The work was financially supported by the Slovak Grant Agency VEGA no. 2/0134/17 and by the Slovak Research and Development Agency under contract APVV-0653-11.

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IKH coordinated and designed the work; EB, IKH and AO performed all molecular analyses; EB and IKH wrote the manuscript; LJ, PM and JŠ performed all statistical analyses, descriptive statistics, Fst statistics, Bayesian analysis and principal coordinate analysis and provided interpretation of statistical outputs; GM was responsible for fragment analysis and evaluation of microsatellite data. All authors have read and improved the final version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ivica Králová-Hromadová.

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Bazsalovicsová, E., Králová-Hromadová, I., Juhásová, L. et al. Comparative analysis of monozoic fish tapeworms Caryophyllaeus laticeps (Pallas, 1781) and recently described Caryophyllaeus chondrostomi Barčák, Oros, Hanzelová, Scholz, 2017, using microsatellite markers. Parasitol Res 119, 3995–4004 (2020).

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  • Cestoda
  • Caryophyllidea
  • Molecular taxonomy
  • Interspecific differences
  • Short tandem repeats