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Protist
Vol.
164, No. 1, 2013; Pages: 129 - 152

Molecular Phylogenetic Redefinition of Herpetomonas(Kinetoplastea, Trypanosomatidae), a Genus of Insect Parasites Associated with Flies

Tarcilla C. Borghesan, Robson C. Ferreira, Carmen S.A. Takata, Marta Campaner, Charlotte C. Borda, Fernando Paiva, Regina V. Milder, Marta M.G. Teixeira, Erney P. Camargo

Department of Parasitology, ICB, University of São Paulo (USP), São Paulo, 05508-000, SP, Brazil.

Abstract

In order to review the taxonomy of the genus Herpetomonas through phylogenetic and morphological analyses we barcoded 527 insect trypanosomatids by sequencing the V7V8 region of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene. Fifty two flagellates, 90% of them from Diptera, revealed to be related to known species of Herpetomonas. Sequences of entire glycosomal glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) and SSU rRNA genes were employed for phylogenetic inferences including representatives of all genera of Trypanosomatidae. In the resulting phylogenetic trees, the selected flagellates clustered into a monophyletic assemblage that we are considering as the redefined genusHerpetomonas. Internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) rDNA sequences and putative secondary structures of this region were compared for evaluation of inter- and intraspecific variability. The flagellates were classified in six already known species and five new species. In addition, two Leptomonas spp. were moved toHerpetomonas, now comprising 13 valid species, while four species were excluded from the genus. Light and electron microscopy revealed the extreme polymorphism of Herpetomonas, hindering genus and species identification by morphological characteristics. Our findings also showed that some species ofHerpetomonas are generalist parasites of flies and appear to be as cosmopolitan as their hosts.

Keywords: Diptera; insect trypanosomatids; Herpetomonas; morphology; phylogeny; taxonomy


 

 

 
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