Molecular phylogeny of Megalobatrachonema (Nematoda: Ascaridida), with description of a new species based on morphological and molecular evidence

Infect Genet Evol. 2020 Jun;80:104172. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2020.104172. Epub 2020 Jan 3.


Species of MegalobatrachonemaYamaguti, 1941 (Ascaridida: Cosmocercoidea) are important nematode parasites in amphibians and reptiles. However, the phylogenetic relationship of its included two subgenera Megalobatrachonema and Chabaudgolvania remains unclear. In the present study, a new species of Megalobatrachonema, M. (Chabaudgolvania) wangi sp. nov., was described based on the specimens collected from the lesser spiny frog Quasipaa exilispinosa (Liu & Hu) (Amphibia: Anura) in China. The ribosomal [large ribosomal DNA (28S) and internal transcribed spacer (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2)] and mitochondrial [12S small subunit ribosomal DNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1)] target regions of the new species and M. (Chabaudgolvania) terdentatum, together with the 12S region of M. (Megalobatrachonema) hainanensis, were amplified and sequenced for molecular identification and phylogeny. Moreover, in order to clarify the systematic position of the new species and the phylogenetic relationship of the two subgenera Megalobatrachonema and Chabaudgolvania, phylogenetic analyses based on 28S + ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 + 12S sequence data were performed using maximum likelihood (ML) inference and Bayesian inference (BI). The molecular phylogenetic results conflicted with the current classification and challenged the validity of the subgenus Chabaudgolvania, that should be a synonym of the subgenus Megalobatrachonema. The presence or absence of valves in the oesophageal bulb as a key criterion for delimitation of the two subgenera Megalobatrachonema and Chabaudgolvania seems to be unreliable.

Keywords: Ascaridida; Cosmocercoidea; Frog; Genetic data; Phylogeny; Systematics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't