We carried out phylogenetic analyses of the relationships between Dicrocoelium chinensis populations in Japan and China using molecular markers. One hundred nine lancet flukes collected from Japan and China were identified as D. chinensis based on their testis orientation and the nucleotide sequences of their ribosomal ITS2. These flukes were analyzed phylogenetically using mitochondrial nad1 gene sequences. An analysis of molecular variance found that the percentage of variation between the countries was extremely high, indicating that the D. chinensis populations in Japan and China are differentiated genetically. D. chinensis mainly parasitizes wild sika deer, which is thought to originate in northeast Asia and to have colonized into Japan from the Eurasia continent in the Pleistocene glaciations. In addition, phylogenic analyses indicated that Japanese sika deer is genetically differentiated from Chinese population; therefore, we hypothesize that D. chinensis might have been introduced into Japan along with the migration of infected wild ruminants in the Pleistocene, and then the population became differentiated from the Chinese population. This study provides the nucleotide sequences of the nad1 gene of D. chinensis in Japan for the first time and shows that these sequences are useful for elucidating the phylogenetic relationships of the Dicrocoelium species prevalent in Asia.
Parasitology Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 22, 2017
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