Description and phylogenetic analyses of ribosomal transcription units from species of Fasciolidae (Platyhelminthes Digenea)

T H Le, K L T Pham, H T T Doan, T K Xuyen Le, K T Nguyen, S P Lawton

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Many members of Fasciolidae are common trematodes in cattle, buffaloes, sheep, elephants, pigs, with some capable of infecting humans also. In this study, the complete or near-complete sequences of ribosomal transcription unit (rTU or rDNA), each of Fasciola hepatica (Australia), Fascioloides jacksoni (Sri Lanka), Fasciolopsis buski (Vietnam) and three isolates of F. gigantica (Vietnam), were obtained and characterized. The full length of rDNA for each F. hepatica, 'hybrid' Fasciola sp., Fas. jacksoni and Fa. Buski, was 7657 bp, 7966 bp, 7781 bp and 8361 bp, with the complete intergenic spacer region (IGS) (862 bp, 1170 bp, 987 bp and 561 bp), respectively. The rDNA of two 'pure' F. gigantica isolates from Vietnam was 6794 bp with unsequenced IGS. For 28S rRNA genes the Fasciola spp. are equal, 1958 bp for 18S, 160 bp for 5.8S, 3863 bp and 454 bp for ITS1 but ITS2 differ by one nucleotide (Thymine) (359 or 360 bp). The ITS1 of the sensu lato Fa. buski has some distinguishable features, 286 bp for ITS2, 3862 bp for 28S and four repeat units of 356-361 bp each found in ITS1. The 28S rDNA analysis showed the lowest level of divergence (0-0.57%) between F. hepatica and F. gigantica and higher (2.23-2.62%) and highest (6-6.42%) for Fas. jacksoni and Fasciolopsis, respectively. The tree of 43 strains/species clearly produced a well-supported phylogeny, where 18 fasciolids consistently grouped, forming a discrete Fasciolidae clade, distinct from Philophthalmidae, Echinostomatidae and Echinochasmidae in Echinostomatoidea. Fascioloides jacksoni is outside Fasciola spp.: basal with Fas. magna, as previously demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere136
JournalJournal of Helminthology
Publication statusFirst published - 6 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Fasciola spp.
  • Fasciolidae
  • IGS
  • phylogeny
  • rDNA sequence
  • ribosomal transcription unit


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