Fascioloides jacksoni (syn. Fasciola jacksoni, Cobbold, 1869) (Platyhelminthes: Echinostomatoidea), is a liver fluke that causes severe morbidity and mortality of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus maximus). Understandings on molecular diagnosis, epidemiology, genetics and evolution of this flatworm are limited. In this study, we present the complete mitochondrial DNA (mt) sequence of 14,952 bp obtained from an individual fluke and comparative characterization of mitogenomic features with fasciolids, primarily, Fascioloides magna and other taxa in the superfamily Echinostomatoidea. Taxonomic relationship within and between Echinostomatoidea, Opisthorchioidea and Paramphistomoidea in the order Plagiorchiida, are also taxonomically considered. The complete circular mt molecule of Fas. jacksoni contained 12 protein-coding, two ribosomal RNA, 22 transfer RNA genes, and a non-coding region (NCR) rich in tandem repeat units. As common in digenean trematodes, Fas. jacksoni has the usual gene order, the absence of atp8 and the overlapped region by 40 bp between nad4L and nad4 genes. The NCR located between tRNAGlu (trnE) and cox3 contained nine nearly identical tandem repeat units (TRs of 113 bp each). Special DHU-arm missing tRNAs for Serine were found for both, tRNAS1(AGN) and tRNAS2(UCN). Base composition indicated that cox1 of Fas. jacksoni showed the lowest (11.8% to Fas. magna, 12.9 - 13.6% to Fasciola spp. and 18.1% to Fasciolopsis buski) and nad6 the highest divergence rate (19.2%, 23.8-26.5% and 27.2% to each fasciolid group), respectively. A clear bias in nucleotide composition, as of 61.68%, 62.88% and 61.54%, with a negative AT-skew of the corresponding values (-0.523, -0.225 and - 0.426) for PCGs, MRGs and mtDNA for Fas. jacksoni and likewise data for the fasciolids. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed the sister branch of Fas. jacksoni and Fas. magna with the nodal support of 100%, clearly separated from the taxonomically recognized Fasciola spp. With the previous studies, mitogenomic data presented in this study are strongly supportive for Fasciola jacksoni reappraisal as Fascioloides jacksoni in the Fascioloides genus.
- Fasciola (Fascioloides) jacksoni
- Fascioloides magna
- Mitochondrial genome
- Phylogenetic analysis
- Skewness value