Developmental stages and molecular phylogeny of Hepatozoon tuatarae, a parasite infecting the New Zealand tuatara, Sphenodon punctatus and the tick, Amblyomma sphenodonti

James Herbert, Stephanie Godfrey, Christopher Bull, Robert Menz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    11 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The developmental stages of Hepatozoon tuatarae were elucidated in both the tuatara host, Sphenodon punctatus and the tick, Amblyomma sphenodonti. PCR amplicons from A. sphenodonti samples identified DNA matching H. tuatarae. Dissection of tick samples showed oogenesis and sporogony occurring in the haemocoel of A. sphenodonti with the average mature oocyst size being 236 × 228 μm. Partial sequence data of the parasite's small subunit ribosomal gene, obtained by PCR, was used for phylogenetic comparison. Characterisation of the H. tuatarae lifecycle will help in conservation management of the tuatara.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1311-1315
    Number of pages5
    JournalInternational Journal For Parasitology
    Volume40
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010

    Keywords

    • 18S rRNA
    • Apicomplexa
    • Hepatozoon tuatarae
    • Ixodidae
    • Life cycle
    • Tuatara

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