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Mol Cells. 2007 Jun 30;23(3):379-90.

Characterization of the complete mitochondrial genome of Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense (Diphyllobothriidae: Cestoda), and development of molecular markers for differentiating fish tapeworms.

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Department of Parasitology and Medical Research Institute, College of Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 361-763, Korea.


We sequenced and characterized the complete mitochondrial genome of the Japanese fish tapeworm D. nihonkaiense. The genome is a circular-DNA molecule of 13607 bp (one nucleotide shorter than that of D. latum mtDNA) containing 12 protein-coding genes (lacking atp8), 22 tRNA genes and two rRNA genes. Gene order and genome content are identical to those of the other cestodes reported thus far, including its congener D. latum. The only exception is Hymenolepis diminuta in which the positions of trnS2 and trnL1 are switched. We tested a PCR-based molecular assay designed to rapidly and accurately differentiate between D. nihonkaiense and D. latum using species-specific primers based on a comparison of their mtDNA sequences. We found the PCR-based system to be very reliable and specific, and suggest that PCR-based identification methods using mtDNA sequences could contribute to the study of the epidemiology and larval ecology of Diphyllobothrium species.

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