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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2003 Dec;29(3):550-62.

Are Ichthyosporea animals or fungi? Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of elongation factor 1alpha of Ichthyophonus irregularis.

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1
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Program in Evolutionary Biology, Canada. m.ragan@imb.uq.edu.au

Abstract

Ichthyosporea is a recently recognized group of morphologically simple eukaryotes, many of which cause disease in aquatic organisms. Ribosomal RNA sequence analyses place Ichthyosporea near the divergence of the animal and fungal lineages, but do not allow resolution of its exact phylogenetic position. Some of the best evidence for a specific grouping of animals and fungi (Opisthokonta) has come from elongation factor 1alpha, not only phylogenetic analysis of sequences but also the presence or absence of short insertions and deletions. We sequenced the EF-1alpha gene from the ichthyosporean parasite Ichthyophonus irregularis and determined its phylogenetic position using neighbor-joining, parsimony and Bayesian methods. We also sequenced EF-1alpha genes from four chytrids to provide broader representation within fungi. Sequence analyses and the presence of a characteristic 12 amino acid insertion strongly indicate that I. irregularis is a member of Opisthokonta, but do not resolve whether I. irregularis is a specific relative of animals or of fungi. However, the EF-1alpha of I. irregularis exhibits a two amino acid deletion heretofore reported only among fungi.

PMID:
14615193
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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