Microheterogeneity and coevolution: an examination of rDNA sequence characteristics in Neoparamoeba pemaquidensis and its prokinetoplastid endosymbiont. Academic Article uri icon


  • Neoparamoeba pemaquidensis, the etiological agent of amoebic gill disease, has shown surprising sequence variability among different copies of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene within an isolate. This intra-genomic microheterogeneity was confirmed and extended to an analysis of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. High levels of intra-genomic nucleotide diversity (Pi=0.0201-0.0313) were found among sequenced ITS regions from individual host amoeba isolates. In contrast, the ITS region of its endosymbiont revealed significantly lower levels of intra-genomic nucleotide diversity (Pi=0.0028-0.0056) compared with the host N. pemaquidensis. Phylogenetic and ParaFit coevolution analyses involving N. pemaquidensis isolates and their respective endosymbionts confirmed a significant coevolutionary relationship between the two protists. The observation of non-shared microheterogeneity and coevolution emphasizes the complexity of the interactions between N. pemaquidensis and its obligate endosymbiont.

publication date

  • September 2007