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Mol Biol Evol. 1999 Dec;16(12):1740-51.

Phylogeny of the genera Entamoeba and Endolimax as deduced from small-subunit ribosomal RNA sequences.

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Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA.


We sequenced small-subunit ribosomal RNA genes (16S-like rDNAs) of 10 species belonging to the genera Entamoeba and Endolimax. This study was undertaken to (1) resolve the relationships among the major lineages of Entamoeba previously identified by riboprinting; (2) examine the validity of grouping the genera Entamoeba and Endolimax in the same family, the Entamoebidae; and (3) examine how different models of nucleotide evolution influence the position of Entamoeba in eukaryotic phylogenetic reconstructions. The results obtained with distance, parsimony, and maximum-likelihood analyses support monophyly of the genus Entamoeba and are largely in accord with riboprinting results. Species of Entamoeba producing cysts with the same number of nuclei from monophyletic groups. The most basal Entamoeba species are those that produce cysts with eight nuclei, while the group producing four-nucleated cysts is most derived. Most phylogenetic reconstructions support monophyly of the Entamoebidae. In maximum-likelihood and parsimony analyses, Endolimax is a sister taxon to Entamoeba, while in some distance analyses, it represents a separate lineage. The secondary loss of mitochondria and other organelles from these genera is confirmed by their relatively late divergence in eukaryotic 16S-like rDNA phylogenies. Finally, we show that the positions of some (fast-evolving) eukaryotic lineages are uncertain in trees constructed with models that make corrections for among-site rate variation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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