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Different species of the genus Ophidascaris (Baylis, 1921; Nematoda: Ascaridida, Ascaridoidea) are intestinal parasites of various snake species. More than 30 Ophidascaris species have been reported worldwide; however, few molecular genetic studies have been conducted on this genus. We sequenced the complete mitogenome of Ophidascaris wangi parasitizing two snake species of the family Colubridae, i.e., Elaphe carinata (G√ľnther, 1864) and Dinodon rufozonatum. The mitogenome sequence of O. wangi was approximately 14,660 base pairs (bp) long and encoded 36 genes, including 12 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 2 ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes, and 22 transfer RNA genes. Gene arrangement, genome content, and transcription direction were in line with those in Toxascaris leonina (Linstow, 1902; Ascaridida: Ascarididae). Phylogenetics of O. wangi and other ascaridoids were reconstructed based on the concatenated amino acid sequences of 12 PCGs, and on nucleotide sequences of 12 PCGs and two rRNA genes. Phylogenetic analyses were performed using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference methods, and the results suggested that O. wangi constitutes a sister clade of Ascaris, Parascaris, Baylisascaris, and Toxascaris within the family Ascarididae, which is a sister clade of Toxocaridae. The mitogenome sequence of O. wangi obtained from the present study will be useful for future identification of the nematode worms in the genus Ophidascaris and will increase the understanding of population genetics, molecular epidemiology, and phylogenetics of ascaridoid nematodes in snakes.

Citation

Cheng-Yan Zhou, Jun Ma, Qi-Wu Tang, Xing-Quan Zhu, Qian-Ming Xu. The mitogenome of Ophidascaris wangi isolated from snakes in China. Parasitology research. 2021 May;120(5):1677-1686

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PMID: 33754190

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