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1 May 2000 Descriptions and Phylogenetic Systematics of Myxobolus spp. from Cyprinids in Algonquin Park, Ontario
Kowthar Y. Salim, Sherwin S. Desser
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Eight species of Myxobolus were collected from four species of cyprinids in Algonquin Park, Ontario. On the basis of spore morphology, five of these species are described as new and two are redescribed. The evolutionary relationships among these eight species were studied using partial small subunit ribosomal DNA (ssu-rDNA) sequence data. The resulting cladograms, which were highly resolved and with strongly supported relationships, allowed for the evaluation of spore morphology, host specificity, and tissue tropism, criteria traditionally used in species identification. These criteria, recently criticized for creating artificial rather than natural taxonomic groupings, were evaluated for their reliability in the systematics of the species examined. The data showed that distantly related species often infect the same host and tissue, and that closely related species often occur in different hosts. Morphologically similar species are more closely related to each other and the taxonomy based on spore morphology is consistent with the relationships depicted in the phylogenies. These results suggest that spore morphology is better than host specificity and tissue tropism as a species character, as well as for determining evolutionary relationships among the species of Myxobolus examined.

Kowthar Y. Salim and Sherwin S. Desser "Descriptions and Phylogenetic Systematics of Myxobolus spp. from Cyprinids in Algonquin Park, Ontario," The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 47(3), 309-318, (1 May 2000).
Received: 18 August 1999; Accepted: 1 February 2000; Published: 1 May 2000

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evolutionary relationships
host specificity
Molecular phylogenetics
small subunit ribosomal DNA
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