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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Phylogenetic relationships of Sarcocystis species from sheep, goats, cattle and mice based on ribosomal RNA sequences.

Partial sequences of the small subunit ribosomal RNA of four species of Sarcocystis were obtained by reverse transcription of total cellular RNA. The semi-conserved regions of these four species were aligned with homologous sequences of two other Sarcocystis species and a range of other eukaryotes including Toxoplasma, Eimeria and Cryptosporidium. Parsimony analysis of the aligned sequences showed that Sarcocystis and Toxoplasma had a more recent common ancestor with Eimeria than with Cryptosporidium. The six Sarcocystis spp. did not cluster together in this analysis; two monophyletic groups were observed, one formed by the two Sarcocystis spp. with felids as definitive hosts, and another by the four Sarcocystis spp. with canids as definitive hosts. These two clades were segregated by Toxoplasma. An analysis of nucleotide divergence suggests that the difference between the two groups of Sarcocystis spp. is similar to that between invertebrates and vertebrates. The results obtained here question the validity of a separation of the genus Sarcocystis from Toxoplasma and refute classifications that place these two genera into two different subfamilies of the Sarcocystidae.[1]


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