An 18S ribosomal DNA barcode for the study of Isomermis lairdi, a parasite of the blackfly Simulium damnosum s.l.
Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 2009, 23(3): 238-244.
The mermithid parasite, Isomermis lairdi Mondet, Poinar & Bernadou (Nematoda: Mermithidae), is known to have a major impact on populations of Simulium damnosum s.l. Theobald (Diptera: Simuliidae) and on their efficiency as vectors of Onchocerca volvulus (Leuckart) (Nematoda: Filarioidea). However, the value of I. lairdi and other mermithid parasites as potential means of integrated vector control has not been fully realized. This is partly because traditional taxonomic approaches have been insufficient for describing and analysing important aspects of their biology and host range. In total, rDNA barcode sequences have been obtained from over 70 I. lairdi mermithids found parasitizing S. damnosum s.l. larvae in three different rivers. No two sequences were found to vary by more than 0.5%, and cytospecies identification of mermithid hosts revealed that I. lairdi with identical rDNA barcodes can parasitize multiple cytoforms of the S. damnosum complex, including S. squamosum (Enderlein). Phylogenetic analysis using a partial sequence from the 18S ribosomal DNA barcode, grouped I. lairdi in a monophyletic group with Gastromermis viridis Welch (Nematoda: Mermithidae) and Isomermis wisconsinensis Welch (Nematoda: Mermithidae).
Isomermis lairdi; Simulium damnosum; 18S rDNA; DNA barcoding; onchocerciasis Mermithidae