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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 58:35-40 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/dao058035

Genetic relationship among gill-infecting Myxobolus species (Myxosporea) of cyprinids: molecular evidence of importance of tissue-specificity

Edit Eszterbauer*

Veterinary Medical Research Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, PO Box 18, 1581 Budapest, Hungary

ABSTRACT: The importance of tissue-specificity was studied in Myxobolus spp. infecting the gills of 7 cyprinid species. The 18S rDNA of 10 Myxobolus species was amplified by optimised nested-PCR, resulting in ~1600 bp PCR products. Phylogenetic trees generated by distance matrix and parsimony analyses revealed 4 main groups. Muscle-infecting species all belonged to the same group, while members of 2 gill-infecting groups were clearly distinguishable on the basis of tissue-specificity, and were also recognisable by differences in spore morphology. On the basis of tissue tropism, phylogenetic relationships among the species examined indicate that genetic separation is a more ancient evolutionary feature than host-specificity.

KEY WORDS: Myxobolus · Myxosporeans · Phylogeny · 18S rDNA · Tissue tropism · Cyprinids · Gills

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