The molecular profile of Acanthogyrus (Acanthosentis) kashmirensis from the Indian subcontinent



The purpose of the present study was to provide molecular support for the validity of the morphological description of Acanthosentis kashmirensis Amin, Heckmann, Zargar, 2017 which was originally poorly described as Neoechinorhynchus kashmirensis Fotedar and Dar, 1977 from the Indian subcontinent, and to characterise its molecular identity and phylogenetic relationships.


Total DNA was extracted, and the partial region of the small subunit (SSU) 18S rDNA and ITS-rDNA genes were amplified and sequenced. Genetic diversity was calculated and phylogenetic analysis of the nucleotide sequence data was performed.


In this study, the molecular profile of this acanthocephalan was generated for the first time. Based on the partial 18S rDNA, interspecific variation between A. kashmirensis with different species of Acanthosentis and were 3.6–10.3% and 22.4–38.2% based on 18S rDNA and ITS-rDNA genes, respectively. We described the phylogenetic relationships of A. kashmirensis compared with other species of the genus and also with members of the family Quadrigyridae.


The ITS-rDNA sequences of members of the family Quadrigyridae are more variable than 18S rDNA that can be useful for achieving a proper assessment of biodiversity. Sequence data generation from additional species of Acanthosentis will be needed to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships of this group of acanthocephalans.

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The authors are grateful for the financial support of the Department of Biology at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah and for the Institutional Grant provided by The Parasitology Center, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA.

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Sharifdini, M., Amin, O.M. & Heckmann, R.A. The molecular profile of Acanthogyrus (Acanthosentis) kashmirensis from the Indian subcontinent. Acta Parasit. (2021).

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  • Acanthosentis kashmirensis
  • 18S rDNA
  • ITS-rDNA
  • Phylogeny