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Parasitol Res. 2004 Sep;94(1):10-5. Epub 2004 Jul 27.

The phylogeny of diphyllobothriid tapeworms (Cestoda: Pseudophyllidea) based on ITS-2 rDNA sequences.

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Institute of Parasitology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of South Bohemia, Branisovská 31, 370 05 Ceské Budejovice, Czech Republic.


Phylogenetic analysis of sequences of the ITS-2 rRNA genes of 20 samples of pseudophyllidean cestodes of the family Diphyllobothriidae (Ligula, Digramma, Diphyllobothrium, and Schistocephalus) from different hosts and geographical regions revealed that: (1) the inclusion of ligulids (previously family Ligulidae) to the Diphyllobothriidae is correct; (2) Schistocephalus appears as the most basal taxon of the Diphyllobothriidae, well separated from Ligula and Digramma, thus supporting the validity of Schistocephalinae Dubinina, 1962; (3) Digramma belonged with samples of Ligula, thus suggesting its invalidity as a genus; and (4) isolates of Ligula, presumably belonging to Ligula intestinalis, are paraphyletic, indicating that this species may represent a complex of separate taxa. Our results indicate the necessity for a taxonomic revision of the family Diphyllobothriidae.

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