Unravelling the riddle of Radix: DNA barcoding for species identification of freshwater snail intermediate hosts of zoonotic digeneans and estimating their inter-population evolutionary relationships

Scott P Lawton, Rivka M Lim, Juliet P Dukes, Stephen M Kett, Richard T Cook, Anthony J Walker, Ruth S Kirk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Radix spp. are intermediate host snails for digenean parasites of medical and veterinary importance. Within this genus, species differentiation using shell and internal organ morphology can result in erroneous species identification, causing problems when trying to understand the population biology of Radix. In the present study, DNA barcoding, using cox1 and ITS2 sequences, identified populations of Radix auricularia and Radix balthica from specimens originally morphologically identified as Radix peregra from the UK. Assessment of cox1 and ITS2 as species identification markers showed that, although both markers differentiated species, cox1 possessed greater molecular diversity and higher phylogenetic resolution. Cox1 also proved useful for gaining insights into the evolutionary relationships of Radix species populations. Phylogenetic analysis and haplotype networks of cox1 indicated that R. auricularia appeared to have invaded the UK several times; some haplotypes forming a distinct UK specific clade, whilst others are more akin to those found on mainland Europe. This was in contrast to relationships between R. balthica populations, which had low molecular diversity and no distinct UK specific haplotypes, suggesting recent and multiple invasions from mainland Europe. Molecular techniques therefore appear to be crucial for distinguishing Radix spp., particularly using cox1. This barcoding marker also enables the population biology of Radix spp. to be explored, and is invaluable for monitoring the epidemiology of fluke diseases especially in the light of emerging diseases and food security.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-74
Number of pages12
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Volume35
Early online date18 Jul 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Cyclooxygenase 1/analysis
  • DNA/analysis
  • DNA Barcoding, Taxonomic/methods
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Fresh Water/parasitology
  • Genetic Variation
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Introduced Species
  • Phylogeny
  • Phylogeography
  • Snails/classification
  • Trematode Infections/parasitology
  • United States
  • Zoonoses/parasitology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Unravelling the riddle of Radix: DNA barcoding for species identification of freshwater snail intermediate hosts of zoonotic digeneans and estimating their inter-population evolutionary relationships'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this