Molecular characterization of Argulus bengalensis and Argulus siamensis (Crustacea: Argulidae) infecting the cultured carps in West Bengal, India using 18S rRNA gene sequences

Document Type: Original article


1 Department of Aquatic Animal Health, Faculty of Fishery Sciences, West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences, Chakgaria, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

2 Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences, Belgachia, Kolkata, West Bengal, India


The present study characterized Argulus spp. infecting the cultured carps using 18S rRNA gene sequences, estimated the genetic similarity among Argulus spp. and established their phylogenetic relationship. Of the 320 fish samples screened, 34 fish (10.6%) had Argulus infection. The parasitic frequency index (PFI) was observed to be high (20%) in Hypophthalmichthys molitrix and Labeo bata. The frequency of infection was high in September (PFI: 17%) and October (PFI: 12.9%). The 18S rRNA sequences of five A. bengalensis (KF583878, KF192316,KM016968,KM016969,andKM016970) and one A. siamensis (KF583879) of this study showed genetic heterogeneity and exhibited 77-99% homology among the 18S rRNA gene sequences of Argulus spp. of NCBI GenBank database. Among the Indian Argulus spp. the sequence homology was 87–100%. Evolutionary pair-wise distances between Indian Argulus spp. and other Argulus spp. ranged from 0 to 20.20%. In the phylogenetic tree, all the crustaceans were clustered together as a separate clade with two distinct lineages. The lineage-1 comprised exclusive of Branchiura (Argulus spp.). All Argulus bengalensis clustered together and A. siamensis (KF583879) was closely related to Argulus sp. JN558648. The results of the present study provided baseline data for future work on population structure analysis of Indian Argulus species.  


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