BackgroundThe recently discovered Babesia sp. Mymensingh, which causes clinical bovine babesiosis, has a wide geographical distribution. We investigated the phylogenetic position of Babesia sp. Mymensingh using its mitochondrial, plastid, and nuclear genes. Based on morphological and molecular data, Babesia sp. Mymensingh is a unique species and we named it as Babesia naoakii n. sp.MethodsA blood DNA sample from a Babesia sp. Mymensingh-infected cow was subjected to genome sequencing to obtain the sequences of mitochondrial, plastid, and nuclear genes. Six phylogenetic trees were then constructed with (1) concatenated amino acid sequences of cytochrome oxidase subunit I, cytochrome oxidase subunit III, and cytochrome b genes of the mitochondrial genome; (2) 16S rRNA of the plastid genome; (3) nucleotide sequences of the elongation factor Tu gene of the plastid genome; (4) ITS1-5.8S rRNA-ITS2; (5) concatenated nucleotide sequences of 89 nuclear genes; and (6) concatenated amino acid sequences translated from the 89 nuclear genes.ResultsIn all six phylogenetic trees, B. naoakii n. sp. formed a sister clade to the common ancestor of Babesia bigemina and B. ovata. The concatenated nuclear genes of B. naoakii n. sp. and their translated amino acid sequences shared lower identity scores with the sequences from B. bigemina (82.7% and 84.7%, respectively) and B. ovata (83.5% and 85.5%, respectively) compared with the identity scores shared between the B. bigemina and B. ovata sequences (86.3% and 87.9%, respectively).ConclusionsOur study showed that B. naoakii n. sp. occupies a unique phylogenetic position distinct from existing Babesia species. Our findings, together with morphological differences, identify B. naoakii n. sp. as a distinct parasite species.Graphical

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