First Report on Karyolysus sp. (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) from Green Bellied Lizard Darevskia chlorogaster in the North of Iran

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Guilan, Rasht. Iran

2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran

3 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran


Parasites play a crucial role in ecosystems by interacting in population processes, shaping entire community structures and significantly reducing host fitness in the wild. The phylum Apicomplexa is a diverse group of obligate unicellular blood parasites with a vast distribution. Species of reptiles are exposed to apicomplexan blood parasites, mainly haemogregarines and haemosporidians. Haemogregarine parasites belonging to the suborder Adeleorina are common and widely distributed in lizards. The genus Karyolysus Labbe, 1894 (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina: Karyolysidae), is composed of intracellular haemogregarine parasites which can be found in various genera of Palearctic lizards. The vectors of the parasites are gamasid mites from the genus Ophionyssus. In the present study, we characterised molecularly the haemogregarine parasites from green bellied lizards, Darevskia chlorogaster in the north of Iran. The fragments of the 18S rRNA gene of reptile haemogregarines were amplified using the primer set Hep300 and Hep900. DNA sequences of 493 bp length were aligned with DNA sequences obtained from GenBank through blasting. The BLAST analysis revealed a 100% identity with published sequences of the genus Karyolysus. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that the obtained haplotypes were identical to the Karyolysus sp. (KJ461944) sequence from Ophionyssus mites isolated from Lacerta viridis from Hungary. In addition to being the first molecular characterisation of a Karyolysus within the Iranian lizards, it was also the first report of a species of Karyolysus infecting the Darevskia genus. The present study provided additional information about the new host of Karyolysus species, its distribution and host specificity and provided further hints to clarify future phylogenetic relations between these parasites.


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