DAO 54:229-241 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/dao054229

Small subunit ribosomal DNA characterization of an unidentified aurantiactinomyxon form and its oligochaete host Tubifex ignotus

C. Negredo*, E. Dillane, M. F. Mulcahy

Department of Zoology and Animal Ecology, National University of Ireland, Lee Maltings, Prospect Row, Cork, Ireland

ABSTRACT: In this study, the small subunit (18S) ribosomal DNA gene from an aurantiactinomyxon form of unknown taxonomic position (A1) and from its aquatic oligochaete host (Tubifex ignotus) were characterized. Molecular sequence information on A1 was obtained to allow comparisons of this gene with known sequences from known myxosporean forms, and therefore to investigate possible relationships between this organism and its alternate myxosporean stage. Sequence data for the oligochaete host, together with morphological features, will allow reliable identification of this species in the future. Sequence data derived from the 18S DNA gene and data from other related or non-related organisms were analyzed and used to construct a phylogenetic tree. Phylogenetic studies provided an insight into the taxonomic position of A1. Sequence similarities within the 18S rDNA A1 gene and compared organisms indicated that A1 was most closely related to members of the suborder Variisporina (Myxidium lieberkuehni [Ml] and Sphaerospora oncorhynchi [So]). Clustering of the 3 organisms in the same branch was well supported by high bootstrap values (81%). A1 showed higher similarities with sequences of Ml (approximately 80%) than with So (approximately 79%). Myxosporean sequence analysis indicated that phylogenetic arrangements do not support traditional classification based on morphological criteria of the spores, but rather support arrangement by tissue location. Marine actinosporeans Triactinomyxon sp. and Tetraspora discoidea were found to be associated with Platysporinid myxosporeans, supporting previous findings. In this study, 18S rDNA sequence data are generated for first time for the aquatic oligochaete T. ignotus. Phylogenetic 18S rDNA gene analyses performed with T. ignotus support and confirm existing morphological and molecular phylogenetic studies. Paraphyly of the Tubificidae family was noticed.

KEY WORDS: Aurantiactinomyxon · Tubifex ignotus · 18S rDNA sequences · Phylogenetic analysis

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