Phylogenetic analyses reveal that Schellackia parasites (Apicomplexa) detected in American lizards are closely related to the genus Lankesterella: Is the range of Schellackia restricted to the Old World?

Rodrigo Megía-Palma, Javier Martínez, Dhanashree Paranjpe, Verónica D'Amico, Rocio Aguilar, María Gabriela Palacios, Robert Cooper, Francisco Ferri-Yáñez, Barry Sinervo, Santiago Merino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Species of Schellackia Reichenow, 1919 have been described from the blood of reptiles distributed worldwide. Recently, Schellackia spp. detected in European and Asian lizards have been molecularly characterised. However, parasites detected in American lizard hosts remain uncharacterised. Thus, phylogenetic affinities between the Old and New World parasite species are unknown. 

Methods: In the present study, we characterised morphologically and molecularly the hemococcidian parasites (sporozoites) that infect three lizard hosts from North America and two from South America. 

Results: In total, we generated 12 new 18S rRNA gene sequences of hemococcidian parasites infecting New World lizard hosts. By the microscopic examination of the smears we identified Schellackia golvani Rogier & Landau, 1975 (ex Anolis carolinensis Voigt) and Schellackia occidentalis Bonorris & Ball, 1955 (ex Uta stansburiana Baird & Girard and Sceloporus occidentalis Baird & Girard) in some samples, but the phylogenetic analysis indicated that all 18S rDNA sequences are distant from Schellackia species found in Old World lizards. In fact, the hemococcidian parasites detected in the New World lizards (including S. occidentalis and S. golvani) were closely related to the genus Lankesterella Labbé, 1899. Consequently, we suggest these two species to be included within the genus Lankesterella

Conclusions: Life history traits of hemococcidian parasites such as the type of host blood cells infected, host species or number of refractile bodies are not valid diagnostic characteristics to differentiate the parasites between the genera Schellackia and Lankesterella. Indeed, lankesterellid parasites with a different number of refractile bodies had a close phylogenetic origin. Based on the phylogenetic results we provide a systematic revision of the North American hemococcidians. Our recommendation is to include the species formerly described in the genus Schellackia that infect American lizards into Lankesterella (Lankesterellidae) as Lankesterella golvani (Rogier & Landau, 1975) n. comb and L. occidentalis (Bonorris & Ball, 1955) n. comb.

Original languageEnglish
Article number470
Number of pages10
JournalParasites and Vectors
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Haemococcidia
  • Lankesterella
  • Lankesterellidae
  • Reptile
  • Schellackia
  • Schellackiidae

Cite this

Megía-Palma, Rodrigo ; Martínez, Javier ; Paranjpe, Dhanashree ; D'Amico, Verónica ; Aguilar, Rocio ; Palacios, María Gabriela ; Cooper, Robert ; Ferri-Yáñez, Francisco ; Sinervo, Barry ; Merino, Santiago. / Phylogenetic analyses reveal that Schellackia parasites (Apicomplexa) detected in American lizards are closely related to the genus Lankesterella : Is the range of Schellackia restricted to the Old World?. In: Parasites and Vectors. 2017 ; Vol. 10, No. 1.
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title = "Phylogenetic analyses reveal that Schellackia parasites (Apicomplexa) detected in American lizards are closely related to the genus Lankesterella: Is the range of Schellackia restricted to the Old World?",
abstract = "Background: Species of Schellackia Reichenow, 1919 have been described from the blood of reptiles distributed worldwide. Recently, Schellackia spp. detected in European and Asian lizards have been molecularly characterised. However, parasites detected in American lizard hosts remain uncharacterised. Thus, phylogenetic affinities between the Old and New World parasite species are unknown. Methods: In the present study, we characterised morphologically and molecularly the hemococcidian parasites (sporozoites) that infect three lizard hosts from North America and two from South America. Results: In total, we generated 12 new 18S rRNA gene sequences of hemococcidian parasites infecting New World lizard hosts. By the microscopic examination of the smears we identified Schellackia golvani Rogier & Landau, 1975 (ex Anolis carolinensis Voigt) and Schellackia occidentalis Bonorris & Ball, 1955 (ex Uta stansburiana Baird & Girard and Sceloporus occidentalis Baird & Girard) in some samples, but the phylogenetic analysis indicated that all 18S rDNA sequences are distant from Schellackia species found in Old World lizards. In fact, the hemococcidian parasites detected in the New World lizards (including S. occidentalis and S. golvani) were closely related to the genus Lankesterella Labb{\'e}, 1899. Consequently, we suggest these two species to be included within the genus Lankesterella. Conclusions: Life history traits of hemococcidian parasites such as the type of host blood cells infected, host species or number of refractile bodies are not valid diagnostic characteristics to differentiate the parasites between the genera Schellackia and Lankesterella. Indeed, lankesterellid parasites with a different number of refractile bodies had a close phylogenetic origin. Based on the phylogenetic results we provide a systematic revision of the North American hemococcidians. Our recommendation is to include the species formerly described in the genus Schellackia that infect American lizards into Lankesterella (Lankesterellidae) as Lankesterella golvani (Rogier & Landau, 1975) n. comb and L. occidentalis (Bonorris & Ball, 1955) n. comb.",
keywords = "Haemococcidia, Lankesterella, Lankesterellidae, Reptile, Schellackia, Schellackiidae",
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Phylogenetic analyses reveal that Schellackia parasites (Apicomplexa) detected in American lizards are closely related to the genus Lankesterella : Is the range of Schellackia restricted to the Old World? / Megía-Palma, Rodrigo; Martínez, Javier; Paranjpe, Dhanashree; D'Amico, Verónica; Aguilar, Rocio; Palacios, María Gabriela; Cooper, Robert; Ferri-Yáñez, Francisco; Sinervo, Barry; Merino, Santiago.

In: Parasites and Vectors, Vol. 10, No. 1, 470, 10.10.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - Phylogenetic analyses reveal that Schellackia parasites (Apicomplexa) detected in American lizards are closely related to the genus Lankesterella

T2 - Is the range of Schellackia restricted to the Old World?

AU - Megía-Palma, Rodrigo

AU - Martínez, Javier

AU - Paranjpe, Dhanashree

AU - D'Amico, Verónica

AU - Aguilar, Rocio

AU - Palacios, María Gabriela

AU - Cooper, Robert

AU - Ferri-Yáñez, Francisco

AU - Sinervo, Barry

AU - Merino, Santiago

PY - 2017/10/10

Y1 - 2017/10/10

N2 - Background: Species of Schellackia Reichenow, 1919 have been described from the blood of reptiles distributed worldwide. Recently, Schellackia spp. detected in European and Asian lizards have been molecularly characterised. However, parasites detected in American lizard hosts remain uncharacterised. Thus, phylogenetic affinities between the Old and New World parasite species are unknown. Methods: In the present study, we characterised morphologically and molecularly the hemococcidian parasites (sporozoites) that infect three lizard hosts from North America and two from South America. Results: In total, we generated 12 new 18S rRNA gene sequences of hemococcidian parasites infecting New World lizard hosts. By the microscopic examination of the smears we identified Schellackia golvani Rogier & Landau, 1975 (ex Anolis carolinensis Voigt) and Schellackia occidentalis Bonorris & Ball, 1955 (ex Uta stansburiana Baird & Girard and Sceloporus occidentalis Baird & Girard) in some samples, but the phylogenetic analysis indicated that all 18S rDNA sequences are distant from Schellackia species found in Old World lizards. In fact, the hemococcidian parasites detected in the New World lizards (including S. occidentalis and S. golvani) were closely related to the genus Lankesterella Labbé, 1899. Consequently, we suggest these two species to be included within the genus Lankesterella. Conclusions: Life history traits of hemococcidian parasites such as the type of host blood cells infected, host species or number of refractile bodies are not valid diagnostic characteristics to differentiate the parasites between the genera Schellackia and Lankesterella. Indeed, lankesterellid parasites with a different number of refractile bodies had a close phylogenetic origin. Based on the phylogenetic results we provide a systematic revision of the North American hemococcidians. Our recommendation is to include the species formerly described in the genus Schellackia that infect American lizards into Lankesterella (Lankesterellidae) as Lankesterella golvani (Rogier & Landau, 1975) n. comb and L. occidentalis (Bonorris & Ball, 1955) n. comb.

AB - Background: Species of Schellackia Reichenow, 1919 have been described from the blood of reptiles distributed worldwide. Recently, Schellackia spp. detected in European and Asian lizards have been molecularly characterised. However, parasites detected in American lizard hosts remain uncharacterised. Thus, phylogenetic affinities between the Old and New World parasite species are unknown. Methods: In the present study, we characterised morphologically and molecularly the hemococcidian parasites (sporozoites) that infect three lizard hosts from North America and two from South America. Results: In total, we generated 12 new 18S rRNA gene sequences of hemococcidian parasites infecting New World lizard hosts. By the microscopic examination of the smears we identified Schellackia golvani Rogier & Landau, 1975 (ex Anolis carolinensis Voigt) and Schellackia occidentalis Bonorris & Ball, 1955 (ex Uta stansburiana Baird & Girard and Sceloporus occidentalis Baird & Girard) in some samples, but the phylogenetic analysis indicated that all 18S rDNA sequences are distant from Schellackia species found in Old World lizards. In fact, the hemococcidian parasites detected in the New World lizards (including S. occidentalis and S. golvani) were closely related to the genus Lankesterella Labbé, 1899. Consequently, we suggest these two species to be included within the genus Lankesterella. Conclusions: Life history traits of hemococcidian parasites such as the type of host blood cells infected, host species or number of refractile bodies are not valid diagnostic characteristics to differentiate the parasites between the genera Schellackia and Lankesterella. Indeed, lankesterellid parasites with a different number of refractile bodies had a close phylogenetic origin. Based on the phylogenetic results we provide a systematic revision of the North American hemococcidians. Our recommendation is to include the species formerly described in the genus Schellackia that infect American lizards into Lankesterella (Lankesterellidae) as Lankesterella golvani (Rogier & Landau, 1975) n. comb and L. occidentalis (Bonorris & Ball, 1955) n. comb.

KW - Haemococcidia

KW - Lankesterella

KW - Lankesterellidae

KW - Reptile

KW - Schellackia

KW - Schellackiidae

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