Molecular techniques are invaluable for investigation on the biodiversity of Anopheles mosquitoes. This study aimed at investigating the spatial-genetic variations among Anopheles mosquitoes from different areas of Peninsular Malaysia, as well as deciphering evolutionary relationships of the local Anopheles mosquitoes with the mosquitoes from neighbouring countries using the anopheline ITS2 rDNA gene.
Members of the genus Aglaia have been reported to contain bioactive phytochemicals. The genus, belonging to the Meliaceae family, is represented by at least 120 known species of woody trees or shrubs in the tropical rain forest. As some of these species are very similar in their morphology, taxonomic identification can be difficult. A reliable and definitive molecular method which can identify Aglaia to the level of the species will hence be useful in comparing the content of specific bioactive compounds between the species of this genus. Here, we report the analysis of DNA sequences in the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA and the observation of a unique nucleotide signature in the ITS that can be used for the identification of Aglaia stellatopilosa. The nucleotide signature consists of nine bases over the length of the ITS sequence (654 bp). This uniqueness was validated in 37 samples identified as Aglaia stellatopilosa by an expert taxonomist, whereas the nucleotide signature was lacking in a selection of other Aglaia species and non-Aglaia genera. This finding suggests that molecular typing could be utilized in the identification of Aglaia stellatopilosa.
Brugia malayi is one of the parasitic worms which causes lymphatic filariasis in humans. Its geographical distribution includes a large part of Asia. Despite its wide distribution, very little is known about the genetic variation and molecular epidemiology of this species. In this study, the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) nucleotide sequences of B. malayi from microfilaria-positive human blood samples in Northeast Borneo Island were determined, and compared with published ITS1 sequences of B. malayi isolated from cats and humans in Thailand. Multiple alignment analysis revealed that B. malayi ITS1 sequences from Northeast Borneo were more similar to each other than to those from Thailand. Phylogenetic trees inferred using Neighbour-Joining and Maximum Parsimony methods showed similar topology, with 2 distinct B. malayi clusters. The first cluster consisted of Northeast Borneo B. malayi isolates, whereas the second consisted of the Thailand isolates. The findings of this study suggest that B. malayi in Borneo Island has diverged significantly from those of mainland Asia, and this has implications for the diagnosis of B. malayi infection across the region using ITS1-based molecular techniques.
Fusarium species section Liseola namely F. fujikuroi, F. proliferatum, F. andiyazi, F. verticillioides, and F. sacchari are well-known plant pathogens on rice, sugarcane and maize. In the present study, restriction analysis of the intergenic spacer regions (IGS) was used to characterize the five Fusarium species isolated from rice, sugarcane and maize collected from various locations in Peninsular Malaysia. From the analysis, and based on restriction patterns generated by the six restriction enzymes, Bsu151, BsuRI, EcoRI, Hin6I, HinfI, and MspI, 53 haplotypes were recorded among 74 isolates. HinfI showed the most variable restriction patterns (with 11 patterns), while EcoRI showed only three patterns. Although a high level of variation was observed, it was possible to characterize closely related species and isolates from different species. UPGMA cluster analysis showed that the isolates of Fusarium from the same species were grouped together regardless of the hosts. We conclude that restriction analysis of the IGS regions can be used to characterize Fusarium species section Liseola and to discriminate closely related species as well as to clarify their taxonomic position.
Morphological identification of edible mushrooms can sometimes prove troublesome, because phenotypic variation in fungi can be affected by substrate and environmental factors. One of the most important problems for mushroom breeders is the lack of a systematic consensus tool to distinguish different species, which are sometimes morphologically identical. Basidiomycetes as one of the largest groups of edible mushrooms have become more important in recent times for their medicinal and nutritional properties. Partial rDNA sequences, including the Internal Transcribed Spacer I-5.8SrDNA-Internal Transcribed Spacer II, were used in this study for molecular identification and assessment of phylogenetic relationships between selected edible species of the Basidiomycetes. Phylogenetic trees showed five distinct clades; each clade belonging to a separate family group. The first clade included all the species belonging to the Pleurotaceae (Pleurotus spp.) family; similarly, the second, third, fourth, and fifth clades consist of species from the Agaricaceae (Agaricus sp.), Lyophllaceae (Hypsigygus sp.), Marasmiaceae (Lentinula edodes sp.) and Physalacriaceae (Flammulina velutipes sp.) families, respectively. Moreover, different species of each family were clearly placed in a distinct sub-cluster and a total of 13 species were taken for analysis. Species differentiation was re-confirmed by AMOVA analysis (among the populations: 99.67%; within: 0.33%), nucleotide divergence, haplotyping and P value. Polymorphism occurred throughout the ITS regions due to insertion-deletion and point mutations, and can be clearly differentiated within the families as well as genera. Moreover, this study proves that the sequence of the ITS region is a superior molecular DNA barcode for taxonomic identification of Basidiomycetes.
Plastid trnL-trnF and nuclear ribosomal ITS sequences were obtained from selected wild-type individuals of Polygonum minus Huds. in Peninsular Malaysia. The 380 bp trnL-trnF sequences of the Polygonum minus accessions were identical. Therefore, the trnL-trnF failed to distinguish between the Polygonum minus accessions. However, the divergence of ITS sequences (650 bp) among the Polygonum minus accessions was 1%, indicating that these accessions could be distinguished by the ITS sequences. A phylogenetic relationship based on the ITS sequences was inferred using neighbor-joining, maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference. All of the tree topologies indicated that Polygonum minus from Peninsular Malaysia is unique and different from the synonymous Persicaria minor (Huds.) Opiz and Polygonum kawagoeanum Makino.
A gasteroid bolete collected recently in Sarawak on the island of Borneo is described as the new species Spongiforma squarepantsii. A comprehensive description, illustrations, phylogenetic placement and a comparison with a closely allied species are provided.
The lung fluke, Paragonimus westermani (Kerbert, 1878), is widely distributed in Asia, and exhibits much variation in its biological properties. Previous phylogenetic studies using DNA sequences have demonstrated that samples from north-east Asia form a tight group distinct from samples from south Asia (Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia). Among countries from the latter region, considerable molecular diversity was observed. This was investigated further using additional DNA sequences (partial mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) and the second internal transcribed spacer of the nuclear ribosomal gene repeat (ITS2)) from additional samples of P. westermani. Phylogenies inferred from these again found three or four groups within P. westermani, depending on the method of analysis. Populations of P. westermani from north-east Asia use snail hosts of the family Pleuroceridae and differ in other biological properties from populations in south Asia (that use snail hosts of the family Thiaridae). It is considered that the populations we sampled can be divided into two species, one in north-east Asia and the other in south Asia.
Three new and one previously described species of Physalacria (Physalacriaceae, Agaricales) are reported from China. Specimens of two additional species described from Malaysia and North America were studied for comparison. Placements of these species were corroborated based on morphological observations and molecular evidence from partial sequences of the nuc rDNA internal transcribed spacer regions (ITS) and the 28S D1-D3 region, and genes for translation elongation factor 1-α (tef1α) and the second largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (rpb2). These new species of Physalacria distributed in subtropical China were found on rotten wood of broadleaf trees or bamboo and possess stipitate-capitate basidiomata with four-spored basidia, clamp connections and smooth, inamyloid basidiospores. To facilitate studies of the genus in Asia, a key is provided for all Physalacria species reported from this region.
Anopheles sundaicus s.l. is a malaria vector in coastal areas of Southeast Asia. Previous studies showed at least four distinct species within the complex. The present study investigated the phylogeography and the status of A. sundaicus s.l. populations from Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia with regard to A. sundaicus s.s. from Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo and A. epiroticus in Vietnam and Thailand. Three lineages recovered by analyses of Cyt-b and COI (mtDNA) confirmed the presence of A. sundaicus s.s. in Malaysian Borneo, the distribution of A. epiroticus from southern Vietnam to peninsular Malaysia, and recognised a distinct form in Indonesia that is named A. sundaicus E. The phylogenetic and demographic analyses suggest that the three species were separated during the Early Pleistocene (1.8-0.78 Myr) and experienced bottlenecks followed by a genetic expansion in more recent times. Based on the results and knowledge of the biogeography of the area, we hypothesise that the combination of cyclical island and refugium creation was the cause of lineage isolation and bottleneck events during the Pleistocene.
Based on the sequences of the internal transcribed spacers (ITS-1 and ITS-2) of nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) of Toxocara canis, Toxocara cati, Toxocara malaysiensis and Toxascaris leonina, specific forward primers were designed in the ITS-1 or ITS-2 for each of the four ascaridoid species of dogs and cats. These primers were used individually together with a conserved primer in the large subunit of rDNA to amplify partial ITS-1 and/or ITS-2 of rDNA from 107 DNA samples from ascaridoids from dogs and cats in China, Australia, Malaysia, England and the Netherlands. This approach allowed their specific identification, with no amplicons being amplified from heterogeneous DNA samples, and sequencing confirmed the identity of the sequences amplified. The minimum amounts of DNA detectable using the PCR assays were 0.13-0.54ng. These PCR assays should provide useful tools for the diagnosis and molecular epidemiological investigations of toxocariasis in humans and animals.
The species diversity and genetic structure of mosquitoes belonging to the Anopheles maculatus group in Southeast Asia were investigated using the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) of ribosomal DNA (rDNA). A molecular phylogeny indicates the presence of at least one hitherto unrecognised species. Mosquitoes of chromosomal form K from eastern Thailand have a unique ITS2 sequence that is 3.7% divergent from the next most closely related taxon (An. sawadwongporni) in the group. In the context of negligible intraspecific variation at ITS2, this suggests that chromosomal form K is most probably a distinct species. Although An. maculatus sensu stricto from northern Thailand and southern Thailand/peninsular Malaysia differ from each other in chromosomal banding pattern and vectorial capacity, no intraspecific variation was observed in the ITS2 sequences of this species over this entire geographic area despite an extensive survey. A PCR-based identification method was developed to distinguish five species of the group (An. maculatus, An. dravidicus, An. pseudowillmori, An. sawadwongporni and chromosomal form K) to assist field-based studies in northwestern Thailand. Sequences from 187 mosquitoes (mostly An. maculatus and An. sawadwongporni) revealed no intraspecific variation in specimens from Thailand, Cambodia, mainland China, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam, suggesting that this identification method will be widely applicable in Southeast Asia. The lack of detectable genetic structure also suggests that populations of these species are either connected by gene flow and/or share a recent common history.
Disjunctive distributions across paleotropical regions in the Indian Ocean Basin (IOB) often invoke dispersal/vicariance debates. Exacum (Gentianaceae, tribe Exaceae) species are spread around the IOB, in Africa, Madagascar, Socotra, the Arabian peninsula, Sri Lanka, India, the Himalayas, mainland Southeast Asia including southern China and Malaysia, and northern Australia. The distribution of this genus was suggested to be a typical example of vicariance resulting from the breakup of the Gondwanan supercontinent. The molecular phylogeny of Exacum is in principle congruent with morphological conclusions and shows a pattern that resembles a vicariance scenario with rapid divergence among lineages, but our molecular dating analysis demonstrates that the radiation is too recent to be associated with the Gondwanan continental breakup. We used our dating analysis to test the results of DIVA and found that the program predicted impossible vicariance events. Ancestral area reconstruction suggests that Exacum originated in Madagascar, and divergence dating suggests its origin was not before the Eocene. The Madagascan progenitor, the most recent common ancestor of Exacum, colonized Sri Lanka and southern India via long-distance dispersals. This colonizer underwent an extensive range expansion and spread to Socotra-Arabia, northern India, and mainland Southeast Asia in the northern IOB when it was warm and humid in these regions. This widespread common ancestor retreated subsequently from most parts of these regions and survived in isolation in Socotra-Arabia, southern India-Sri Lanka, and perhaps mainland Southeast Asia, possibly as a consequence of drastic climatic changes, particularly the spreading drought during the Neogene. Secondary diversification from these surviving centers and Madagascar resulted in the extant main lineages of the genus. The vicariance-like pattern shown by the phylogeny appears to have resulted from long-distance dispersals followed by extensive range expansion and subsequent fragmentation. The extant African species E. oldenlandioides is confirmed to be recently dispersed from Madagascar.
Forty-eight isolates of Pseudo-nitzschia species were established from the Miri coast of Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo) and underwent TEM observation and molecular characterization. Ten species were found: P. abrensis, P. batesiana, P. fukuyoi, P. kodamae, P. lundholmiae, P. multistriata, P. pungens, P. subfraudulenta, as well as two additional new morphotypes, herein designated as P. bipertita sp. nov. and P. limii sp. nov. This is the first report of P. abrensis, P. batesiana, P. kodamae, P. fukuyoi, and P. lundholmiae in coastal waters of Malaysian Borneo. Pseudo-nitzschia bipertita differs from its congeners by the number of sectors that divide the poroids, densities of band striae, and its cingular band structure. Pseudo-nitzschia limii, a pseudo-cryptic species in the P. pseudodelicatissima complex sensu lato, is distinct by having wider proximal and distal mantles, a higher number of striae, and greater poroid height in the striae of the valvocopula. The species were further supported by the phylogenetic reconstructions of the nuclear-encoded large subunit ribosomal gene and the second internal transcribed spacer. Phylogenetically, P. bipertita clustered with its sister taxa (P. subpacifica + P. heimii); P. limii appears as a sister taxon to P. kodamae and P. hasleana in the ITS2 tree. Pairwise comparison of ITS2 transcripts with its closest relatives revealed the presence of both hemi- and compensatory base changes. Toxicity analysis showed detectable levels of domoic acid in P. abrensis, P. batesiana, P. lundholmiae, and P. subfraudulenta, but both new species tested below the detection limit.
The chloroplastic trnL intron and the nuclear internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region were sequenced for 11 Nepenthes species recorded in Peninsular Malaysia to examine their phylogenetic relationship and to evaluate the usage of trnL intron and ITS sequences for phylogenetic reconstruction of this genus.
Three species of Opisthomonorcheides Parukhin, 1966 are reported for the first time from Indonesian waters: O. pampi (Wang, 1982) Liu, Peng, Gao, Fu, Wu, Lu, Gao & Xiao, 2010 and O. ovacutus (Mamaev, 1970) Machida, 2011 from Parastromateus niger (Bloch), and O. decapteri Parukhin, 1966 from Atule mate (Cuvier). Both O. pampi and O. ovacutus can now be considered widespread in the Indo-Pacific region, with earlier records of these species being from Fujian Province, China and Penang, Malaysia, respectively. We redescribe O. decapteri from one of its original hosts, Atule mate, off New Caledonia, and report this species from Jakarta Bay, Indonesia, extending its range throughout the Indian Ocean into the south-western Pacific. All three species possess a genital atrium that is long, sometimes very long, and a genital pore that is located in the forebody. This validates the interpretation that the original description was erroneous in reporting the genital pore in the hindbody, well posterior to the ventral sucker. These observations verify the synonymy of Retractomonorchis Madhavi, 1977 with Opisthomonorcheides. A major discrepancy between the species of Opisthomonorcheides is that some are described with the uterus entering the terminal organ laterally and some with it entering terminally; this feature needs further analysis. Based on the length of the genital atrium and the posterior extent of the vitellarium, the 27 species of Opisthomonorcheides considered valid can be divided into four groups. Among the 53 host records analysed, the families Carangidae (53% of records), Stromateidae (17%) and Serranidae (5.7%) are the most common; the reports are overwhelmingly from members of the Perciformes (91%), with further records in the Clupeiformes (5.7%), Gadiformes (1.9%) and Pleuronectiformes (1.9%). Two fish genera (Parastromateus Bleeker and Pampus Bonaparte) dominate the recorded hosts, with the black pomfret Parastromateus niger harbouring six species, the silver pomfret Pampus argenteus (Euphrasen) harbouring six, and the Chinese silver pomfret P. chinensis (Euphrasen) two. A host-parasite checklist is presented. We discuss the host-specificity of members of the genus, questioning some records such as that of O. decapteri in a deep-sea macrourid. We also comment on the morphological similarity, but phylogenetic distance, between the various Pomfret species, advancing the possibility that a series of host misidentifications has occurred. Sequences of the ITS2 rDNA gene generated for O. pampi and O. ovacutus are briefly discussed and molecular data are lodged in the GenBank database.
Some Amanita specimens collected from Malaysia are critically investigated by morphological examination and molecular analysis of two gene fragments, the nuc rDNA partial 28S (28S) gene and the internal transcriber spacer (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 = ITS) regions. Six phylogenetic species of Amanita section Caesareae are recognized among the studied collections. One of them is described as new, A. malayensis. Four of the phylogenetic species correspond with existing morphology-based taxa: A. aporema, A. javanica, A. princeps, and A. similis. The remaining species is not described because of the paucity of material. Detailed descriptions and the distribution of these southeastern Asian species are provided, along with a key to the species of section Caesareae from Malaysia.
Coptotermes gestroi, the Asian subterranean termite (AST), is an economically important structural and agricultural pest that has become established in many areas of the world. For the first time, phylogeography was used to illuminate the origins of new found C. gestroi in the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; Ohio, USA; Florida, USA; and Brisbane, Australia. Phylogenetic relationships of C. gestroi collected in indigenous locations within Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore as well as from the four areas of introduction were investigated using three genes (16S rRNA, COII, and ITS) under three optimality criteria encompassing phenetic and cladistic assumptions (maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and neighbor-joining). All three genes showed consistent support for a close genetic relationship between C. gestroi samples from Singapore and Ohio, whereas termite samples from Australia, Puerto Rico, and Key West, FL were more closely related to those from Malaysia. Shipping records further substantiated that Singapore and Malaysia were the likely origin of the Ohio and Australia C. gestroi, respectively. These data provide support for using phylogeography to understand the dispersal history of exotic termites. Serendipitously, we also gained insights into concerted evolution in an ITS cluster from rhinotermitid species in two genera.
Two field isolates of Rhizoctonia solani were isolated from infected paddy plants in Malaysia. These isolates were verified via ITS-rDNA analysis that yielded ~720 bp products of the ITS1-5.8S-ITS4 region, respectively. The sequenced products showed insertion and substitution incidences which may result in strain diversity and possible variation in disease severity. These strains showed some regional and host-specific relatedness via Maximum Likelihood and further phylogenetic analysis via Maximum Parsimony showed that these strains were closely related to R. solani AG1-1A (with 99-100% identity). Subsequent to strain verification and analysis, these isolates were used in the screening of twenty rice varieties for tolerance or resistance to sheath blight via mycelial plug method where both isolates (1801 and 1802) showed resistance or moderate resistance to Teqing, TETEP, and Jasmine 85. Isolate 1802 was more virulent based on the disease severity index values. This study also showed that the mycelial plug techniques were efficient in providing uniform inoculum and humidity for screening. In addition this study shows that the disease severity index is a better mode of scoring for resistance compared to lesion length. These findings will provide a solid basis for our future breeding and screening activities at the institution.
Peritonitis still remains a serious complication with high rate of morbidity and mortality in patients on CAPD. Rapid and accurate identification of pathogens causing peritonitis in a CAPD patient is essential for early and optimal treatment. The aim of this study was to use 16S rRNA and ITS gene sequencing to identify common bacterial and fungal pathogens directly from the peritoneal fluid without culturing. Ninety one peritoneal fluids obtained from 91 different patients on CAPD suspected for peritonitis were investigated for etiological agents by 16S rRNA and ITS gene sequencing. Data obtained by molecular method was compared with the results obtained by culture method. Among the 45 patients confirmed for peritonitis based on international society of peritoneal dialysis (ISPD) guidelines, the etiological agents were identified in 37(82.2%) samples by culture method, while molecular method identified the etiological agents in 40(88.9%) samples. Despite the high potential application of the 16S rRNA and ITS gene sequencing in comparison to culture method to detect the vast majority of etiological agents directly from peritoneal fluids; it could not be used as a standalone test as it lacks sensitivity to identify some bacterial species due to high genetic similarity in some cases and inadequate database in Gene Bank. However, it could be used as a supplementary test to the culture method especially in the diagnosis of culture negative peritonitis.