Eimeria trichosuri: Phylogenetic position of a marsupial coccidium, based on 18S rDNA sequences
ML Power, C Richter, S Emery, J Hufschmid, MR Gillings
EXPERIMENTAL PARASITOLOGY | ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE | Published : 2009
Phylogenetic analysis of the genus Eimeria suggests that parasite and host have coevolved over broad evolutionary timescales. Here we extend this analysis by determining the 18S rDNA gene sequence of the marsupial coccidium, Eimeria trichosuri, and assessing its phylogenetic position relative to Eimeria from birds, reptiles and placental mammals. This analysis placed E. trichosuri clones in a clade that diverged before the major clade comprising species from placental mammals. The position of E.trichosuri is consistent with host phylogeny where marsupials represent an ancient evolutionary line that predates the placental mammal line.
The Authors thank Professor Ian Beveridge for comments and suggestions. Funding for this project was provided though the Macquarie University Research Fellowship scheme.