Publication details

Mitogenomics and Evolutionary History of Rodent Whipworms (Trichuris spp.) Originating from Three Biogeographic Regions



Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Life
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Trichuris; whipworms; mitogenomes; comparative genomics; rodents; palearctic; Afrotropical; Indomalayan; phylogenetics
Description Trichuris spp. is a widespread nematode which parasitizes a wide range of mammalian hosts including rodents, the most diverse mammalian order. However, genetic data on rodent whipworms are still scarce, with only one published whole genome (Trichuris muris) despite an increasing demand for whole genome data. We sequenced the whipworm mitogenomes from seven rodent hosts belonging to three biogeographic regions (Palearctic, Afrotropical, and Indomalayan), including three previously described species: Trichuris cossoni, Trichurisarvicolae, and Trichurismastomysi. We assembled and annotated two complete and five almost complete mitogenomes (lacking only the long non-coding region) and performed comparative genomic and phylogenetic analyses. All the mitogenomes are circular, have the same organisation, and consist of 13 protein-coding, 2 rRNA, and 22 tRNA genes. The phylogenetic analysis supports geographical clustering of whipworm species and indicates that T. mastomysi found in Eastern Africa is able to infect multiple closely related rodent hosts. Our results are informative for species delimitation based on mitochondrial markers and could be further used in studies on phylogeny, phylogeography, and population genetics of rodent whipworms.
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