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Molecular phylogeny of the genus Taenia (Cestoda: Taeniidae): proposals for the resurrection of Hydatigera Lamarck, 1816 and the creation of a new genus Versteria

International Journal for Parasitology 43(6): 427-437

Molecular phylogeny of the genus Taenia (Cestoda: Taeniidae): proposals for the resurrection of Hydatigera Lamarck, 1816 and the creation of a new genus Versteria

The cestode family Taeniidae generally consists of two valid genera, Taenia and Echinococcus. The genus Echinococcus is monophyletic due to a remarkable similarity in morphology, features of development and genetic makeup. By contrast, Taenia is a highly diverse group formerly made up of different genera. Recent molecular phylogenetic analyses strongly suggest the paraphyly of Taenia. To clarify the genetic relationships among the representative members of Taenia, molecular phylogenies were constructed using nuclear and mitochondrial genes. The nuclear phylogenetic trees of 18S ribosomal DNA and concatenated exon regions of protein-coding genes (phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and DNA polymerase delta) demonstrated that both Taenia mustelae and a clade formed by Taenia parva, Taenia krepkogorski and Taenia taeniaeformis are only distantly related to the other members of Taenia. Similar topologies were recovered in mitochondrial genomic analyses using 12 complete protein-coding genes. A sister relationship between T. mustelae and Echinococcus spp. was supported, especially in protein-coding gene trees inferred from both nuclear and mitochondrial data sets. Based on these results, we propose the resurrection of Hydatigera Lamarck, 1816 for T. parva, T. krepkogorski and T. taeniaeformis and the creation of a new genus, Versteria, for T. mustelae. Due to obvious morphological and ecological similarities, Taenia brachyacantha is also included in Versteria gen. nov., although molecular evidence is not available. Taenia taeniaeformis has been historically regarded as a single species but the present data clearly demonstrate that it consists of two cryptic species.
The molecular phylogeny of the genus Taenia has been reconstructed. Members of Taenia are paraphyletic. The revival of Hydatigera and the erection of Versteria gen. nov. are proposed.

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Accession: 036771753

PMID: 23428901

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2012.11.014

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