DAO 57:231-235 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/dao057231

Genetic and morphologic differentiation of Bolbophorus confusus and B. levantinus (Digenea: Diplostomatidae), based on rDNA SSU polymorphism and SEM

R. Dzikowski1,3,*, M. G. Levy2, M. F. Poore2, J. R. Flowers2, I. Paperna1

1Department of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, PO Box 12, Rehovot 76100, Israel
2Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough St., Raleigh 27606, North Carolina, USA
3Present address: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Weill Medical College of Cornwell University, 1300 York Avenue, W-704, Box 62, New York, New York 10021, USA

ABSTRACT: Metacercariae of Bolbophorus species are serious pathogens of farmed fish. Molecular diagnostic tools, capable of identifying and differentiating these parasites, may assist in the development of rationale control strategies. The rDNA 18S (small sub-unit: SSU) genes of adult B. confusus and B. levantinus obtained from a pelican, Pelecanus onocrotalus, and a night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax, respectively, were amplified, sequenced, and aligned. Based on this alignment, we developed a genetic differentiation assay between B. confusus and B. levantinus. These 2 species were compared genetically with the North American species B. damnificus and Bolbophorus sp. (ŒType 2¹). The relationship between species is outlined and discussed. In addition to the molecular study, specimens of B. confusus and B. levantinus were compared morphologically, using scanning electron microscopy. Morphologic analysis revealed interspecific differences in details of the holdfast organ and the position of the acetabulum.


KEY WORDS: Digenea · Diplostomatidae · Bolbophorus confusus · Bolobphorus levantinus · 18S (SSU) rDNA gene · SEM


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