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Phylogenetic Relationships among Eight Eimeria Species Infecting Domestic Fowl Inferred Using Complete Small Subunit Ribosomal DNA Sequences

John R. Barta, Donald S. Martin, Paul A. Liberator, Michael Dashkevicz, Jennifer W. Anderson, Scott D. Feighner, Alex Elbrecht, Ann Perkins-Barrow, Mark C. Jenkins, Harry D. Danforth, Michael D. Ruff and Helen Profous-Juchelka
The Journal of Parasitology
Vol. 83, No. 2 (Apr., 1997), pp. 262-271
DOI: 10.2307/3284453
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3284453
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Phylogenetic Relationships among Eight Eimeria Species Infecting Domestic Fowl Inferred Using Complete Small Subunit Ribosomal DNA Sequences
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Abstract

Complete 18S ribosomal RNA gene sequences were determined for 8 Eimeria species of chickens and for Eimeria bovis of cattle. Sequences were aligned with each other and with sequences from 2 Sarcocystis spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, and 4 Cryptosporidium spp. Aligned sequences were analyzed by maximum parsimony to infer evolutionary relationships among the avian Eimeria species. Eimeria bovis was found to be the sister taxon to the 8 Eimeria species infecting chickens. Within the avian Eimeria species, E. necatrix and E. tenella were sister taxa; this clade attached basally to the other chicken coccidia. The remaining Eimeria spp. formed 3 clades that correlated with similarities based on oocyst size and shape. Eimeria mitis and Eimeria mivati (small, near spherical oocysts) formed the next most basal clade followed by a clade comprising Eimeria praecox, Eimeria maxima, and Eimeria brunetti (large, oval oocysts), which was the sister group to Eimeria acervulina (small, oval oocysts). The 4 clades of avian Eimeria species were strongly supported in a bootstrap analysis. Basal rooting of E. necatrix and E. tenella between E. bovis and the remaining Eimeria species and the apparent absence of coccidia that infect the ceca of jungle fowl all suggest that E. necatrix and E. tenella may have arisen from a host switch, perhaps from the North American turkey, Meleagris gallopavo.

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