Le, T.H., Blair, D. & McManus, D.P. Mitochondrial genomes of human helminths and their use as markers in population genetics and phylogeny. Acta Trop. 77, 243-256

Molecular Parasitology Unit, Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health and Nutrition, The Queensland Institute of Medical Research and The University of Queensland, 300 Herston Road, Qld 4029, Brisbane, Australia.
Acta Tropica (Impact Factor: 2.27). 01/2001; 77(3):243-56. DOI: 10.1016/S0001-706X(00)00157-1
Source: PubMed


To date, over 100 complete metazoan mitochondrial (mt) genomes of different phyla have been reported. Here, we briefly summarise mt gene organisation in the Metazoa and review what is known of the mt genomes of nematodes and flatworms parasitic in humans. The availability of complete or almost complete mtDNA sequences for several parasitic helminths provides a rich source of genetic markers for phylogenetic analysis and study of genetic variability in helminth groups. Examples of the application of mtDNA in studies on Ascaris, Onchocerca, Schistosoma, Fasciola, Paragonimus, Echinostoma, Echinococcus and Taenia are described.

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    • "Gene abbreviations are according to [69]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Dictyocaulus species are strongylid nematodes of major veterinary significance in ruminants, such as cattle and cervids, and cause serious bronchitis or pneumonia (dictyocaulosis or “husk”). There has been ongoing controversy surrounding the validity of some Dictyocaulus species and their host specificity. Here, we sequenced and characterized the mitochondrial (mt) genomes of Dictyocaulus viviparus (from Bos taurus) with Dictyocaulus sp. cf. eckerti from red deer (Cervus elaphus), used mt datasets to assess the genetic relationship between these and related parasites, and predicted markers for future population genetic or molecular epidemiological studies. Methods The mt genomes were amplified from single adult males of D. viviparus and Dictyocaulus sp. cf. eckerti (from red deer) by long-PCR, sequenced using 454-technology and annotated using bioinformatic tools. Amino acid sequences inferred from individual genes of each of the two mt genomes were compared, concatenated and subjected to phylogenetic analysis using Bayesian inference (BI), also employing data for other strongylids for comparative purposes. Results The circular mt genomes were 13,310 bp (D. viviparus) and 13,296 bp (Dictyocaulus sp. cf. eckerti) in size, and each contained 12 protein-encoding, 22 transfer RNA and 2 ribosomal RNA genes, consistent with other strongylid nematodes sequenced to date. Sliding window analysis identified genes with high or low levels of nucleotide diversity between the mt genomes. At the predicted mt proteomic level, there was an overall sequence difference of 34.5% between D. viviparus and Dictyocaulus sp. cf. eckerti, and amino acid sequence variation within each species was usually much lower than differences between species. Phylogenetic analysis of the concatenated amino acid sequence data for all 12 mt proteins showed that both D. viviparus and Dictyocaulus sp. cf. eckerti were closely related, and grouped to the exclusion of selected members of the superfamilies Metastrongyloidea, Trichostrongyloidea, Ancylostomatoidea and Strongyloidea. Conclusions Consistent with previous findings for nuclear ribosomal DNA sequence data, the present analyses indicate that Dictyocaulus sp. cf. eckerti (red deer) and D. viviparus are separate species. Barcodes in the two mt genomes and proteomes should serve as markers for future studies of the population genetics and/or epidemiology of these and related species of Dictyocaulus.
    Parasites & Vectors 10/2012; 5(1):241. DOI:10.1186/1756-3305-5-241 · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    • "variation within and between nematode species [30]. Analysis of substitution rates at mt cox1 and nad4 loci in pairs of congeneric nematode species suggests that mtDNA markers are well suited for the detection of cryptic nematode species [4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial (mt) genome sequences have enabled comparison of population genetics and evolution for numerous free-living and parasitic nematodes. Here we define the complete mt genome of Wuchereria bancrofti through analysis of isolates from Papua New Guinea, India and West Africa. Sequences were assembled for each isolate and annotated with reference to the mt genome sequence for Brugia malayi. The length of the W. bancrofti mt genome is approximately 13,637 nucleotides, contains 2 ribosomal RNAs (rrns), 22 transfer RNAs (trns), 12 protein-coding genes, and is characterized by a 74.6% AT content. The W. bancrofti mt gene order is identical to that reported for Onchocerca volvulus, Dirofilaria immitis, Setaria digitata and B. malayi. In addition to using translational start codons identified previously in the mt protein-coding genes of other filarial nematodes, W. bancrofti appears to be unique in using TGT as a translational start codon. Similarly, use of incomplete stop codons in mt protein-coding genes appears to be more common in W. bancrofti than in other human filarial parasites. The complete mt genome sequence reported here provides new genetic markers for investigating phylogenetic and geographic relationships between isolates, and assessing population diversity within endemic regions. The sequence polymorphism enables new strategies to monitor the progress of public health interventions to control and eliminate this important human parasite. We illustrate the utility of this sequence and single nucleotide polymorphisms by inferring the divergence times between the three W. bancrofti isolates, suggesting predictions into their origin and migration.
    Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 02/2012; 183(1):32-41. DOI:10.1016/j.molbiopara.2012.01.004 · 1.79 Impact Factor
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    • "In addition, the sequence data of a number of mitochondrial (mt) DNA genes provides a rich source of genetic markers for informative systematic and epidemiological studies, which is enhanced by their large size, the lack of recombination and high variability (Le et al., 2000; Jex et al., 2010). MtDNA sequences have proven useful for analyzing withinspecies variation of parasitic flatworms (see Le et al., 2000). For example, mtDNA genes were used as genetic markers for investigations of the carcinogenic liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini (Saijuntha et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Multilocus enzyme electrophoresis (MEE) and DNA sequencing of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (CO1) gene were used to genetically compare four species of echinostomes of human health importance. Fixed genetic differences among adults of Echinostoma revolutum, Echinostoma malayanum, Echinoparyphium recurvatum and Hypoderaeum conoideum were detected at 51-75% of the enzyme loci examined, while interspecific differences in CO1 sequence were detected at 16-32 (8-16%) of the 205 alignment positions. The results of the MEE analyses also revealed fixed genetic differences between E. revolutum from Thailand and Lao PDR at five (19%) of 27 loci, which could either represent genetic variation between geographically separated populations of a single species, or the existence of a cryptic (i.e. genetically distinct but morphologically similar) species. However, there was no support for the existence of cryptic species within E. revolutum based on the CO1 sequence between the two geographical areas sampled. Genetic variation in CO1 sequence was also detected among E. malayanum from three different species of snail intermediate host. Separate phylogenetic analyses of the MEE and DNA sequence data revealed that the two species of Echinostoma (E. revolutum and E. malayanum) did not form a monophyletic clade. These results, together with the large number of morphologically similar species with inadequate descriptions, poor specific diagnoses and extensive synonymy, suggest that the morphological characters used for species taxonomy of echinostomes in South-East Asia should be reconsidered according to the concordance of biology, morphology and molecular classification.
    Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 12/2010; 11(2):375-81. DOI:10.1016/j.meegid.2010.11.009 · 3.02 Impact Factor
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