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Patterns and processes in the evolution of animal parasitic nematodes

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image of Nematology
For more content, see Nematologica.

The parasitic Nematoda have traditionally been classified distinct from free-living species, and animal parasites treated separately from plant parasites. In classical concepts of phylogenetic relationships within the phylum, parasitic groups are usually afforded ordinal status and their origins are often obscure. We have been using molecular phylogenetics to examine the interrelationships of animal parasites with free-living and plant-parasitic groups, and find that a new view of the origins and radiation of animal parasites is warranted. Using sequence from the nuclear small subunit ribosomal RNA gene, we have constructed an alignment that allows robust phylogenetic inference. With this dataset, we place the Strongylida as a monophyletic clade nested within the Rhabditina. The Ascaridida, Oxyurida and Spirurida are closely related, but currently have no clear closest free-living sister taxon. Strongyloides spp. are rooted in a radiation of cephalobid/tylenchid species. Where available, other sequences in general confirm these relationships.

Les Nematoda parasites ont été traditionnellement classifiés séparément des espèces libres, les parasites d’animaux étant traités séparément des parasites de plantes. Suivant les concepts classiques des relations phylogénétiques à l’intérieur du phylum, les groupes parasites sont habituellement traités au niveau ordinal et leurs origines sont souvent inconnues. Utilisant la phylogénie moléculaire, les interrelations des parasites animaux avec les groupes d’espèces libres et parasites de plantes ont été étudiées conduisant à la conclusion qu’une nouvelle approche des origines et de l’évolution des parasites animaux est nécessaire. Sur la base de la petite sous-unité nucléaire du gène de l’ARN ribosomal, un alignement est proposé qui permet une inférence phylogénétique solide. Avec cet ensemble de données, les Strongylida sont considérés comme un clade monophylétique emboîté au sein des Rhabditina. Les Ascaridida, Oxyurida et Spirurida sont étroitement reliés, mais jusqu’à présent sans relation étroite claire avec des taxons de nématode libre. Les Strongyloides spp. ont évolué à partir des cephalobides/tylenchides. Lorsqu’elles sont disponibles, les données issues d’autres séquences confirment le plus souvent ces relations.


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