Occurrence and molecular identification of Monogenea from blue-spotted flathead Platycephalus caeruleopunctatus (Scorpaeniformes: Platycephalidae) in Australian waters

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Abstract

This study describes the occurrence and molecular identification of Monogenea from blue-spotted flathead Platycephalus caeruleopunctatus (McCulloch) (Scorpaeniformes: Platycephalidae) from waters off the NSW coast, Australia. Platycephalus spp. are favoured by consumers for delicate, white, mild flavoured flesh and therefore are commercially important species within Australia. Platycephalus spp. are also extensively targeted by Australian recreational fishers. There has been no previous study that has exclusively focused on Pl. caeruleopunctatus in Australia or globally. Although a single study by Dillon (1985), of monogeneans infecting Platycephalus spp. from Australian waters, identified Microcotyle bassensis Murray, 1931 in Pl. caeruleopunctatus. The present study combines both morphological and molecular methods to identify both host and parasites. A total of 116 fish, sourced from the waters off the coast of New South Wales, Australia, were examined. A total of 1498 Monogenea were recovered from the gills. The overall prevalence, mean intensity, and mean abundance were 72%, 18.05, and 12.91, respectively. Monogenea were initially classified morphologically as two different species M. bassensis (family: Microcotylidae) and Platycephalotrema bassense (Hughes, 1928) Kritsky & Nitta, 2019 (family: Ancyrocephalidae). Molecular identification of Monogenea was conducted through sequencing of their mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) and nuclear 28S genes. The specific identification of host Pl. caeruleopunctatus was confirmed through sequencing the cox1 gene. There was no comparable sequence for cox1 and 28S genes available in GenBank for the monogenean species found in the present study. Only a single sequence (obtained from the nuclear ITS2-rDNA) was deposited in GenBank for M. bassensis. However, the phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear sequences revealed that the identified Monogenea clustered according to their familial groups. Platycephalotrema bassense was identified for the first time in Pl. caeruleopunctatus in the present study. This study has provided the first evidence for the exploration of both cox1 and 28S sequences of all Monogenea. The findings of this study serve as a foundation for future monogenean research on other Platycephalus spp. from Australian waters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-590
Number of pages18
JournalParasitology Research
Volume121
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2022

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