Nucleotide sequences were determined for the rRNA internal transcribed spacers 1 and 2 (ITS1 and 2) and the 5′ terminus of the large subunit rRNA in selected Gyrodactylus species. Examination of primary sequence variation and secondary structure models in ITS2 and variable region V4 of the small subunit rRNA revealed that structure was largely conserved despite significant variation in sequence. ITS1 sequences were highly variable, and models of structure were unreliable but, despite this, show some resemblance to structures predicted in Digenea. ITS2 models demonstrated binding of the 3′ end of 5.8S rRNA to the 5′ end of the large subunit rRNA and enabled the termini of these genes to be defined with greater confidence than previously. The structure model shown here may prove useful in future phylogenetic analyses.
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