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PLoS One. 2013 Nov 7;8(11):e79860. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079860. eCollection 2013.

RPS8--a new informative DNA marker for phylogeny of Babesia and Theileria parasites in China.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Etiological Biology, Key Laboratory of Veterinary Parasitology of Gansu Province, Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Lanzhou, China.


Piroplasmosis is a serious debilitating and sometimes fatal disease. Phylogenetic relationships within piroplasmida are complex and remain unclear. We compared the intron-exon structure and DNA sequences of the RPS8 gene from Babesia and Theileria spp. isolates in China. Similar to 18S rDNA, the 40S ribosomal protein S8 gene, RPS8, including both coding and non-coding regions is a useful and novel genetic marker for defining species boundaries and for inferring phylogenies because it tends to have little intra-specific variation but considerable inter-specific difference. However, more samples are needed to verify the usefulness of the RPS8 (coding and non-coding regions) gene as a marker for the phylogenetic position and detection of most Babesia and Theileria species, particularly for some closely related species.

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