The mitochondrial genome sequence of Enterobius vermicularis (Nematoda: Oxyurida) - An idiosyncratic gene order and phylogenetic information for chromadorean nematodes

Seokha Kang, Tahera Sultana, Keeseon S. Eom, Yung Chul Park, Nathan Soonthornpong, Steven A. Nadler, Joong Ki Park

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The complete mitochondrial genome sequence was determined for the human pinworm Enterobius vermicularis (Oxyurida: Nematoda) and used to infer its phylogenetic relationship to other major groups of chromadorean nematodes. The E. vermicularis genome is a 14,010-bp circular DNA molecule that encodes 36 genes (12 proteins, 22 tRNAs, and 2 rRNAs). This mtDNA genome lacks atp8, as reported for almost all other nematode species investigated. Phylogenetic analyses (maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, neighbor joining, and Bayesian inference) of nucleotide sequences for the 12 protein-coding genes of 25 nematode species placed E. vermicularis, a representative of the order Oxyurida, as sister to the main Ascaridida+Rhabditida group. Tree topology comparisons using statistical tests rejected an alternative hypothesis favoring a closer relationship among Ascaridida, Spirurida, and Oxyurida, which has been supported from most studies based on nuclear ribosomal DNA sequences. Unlike the relatively conserved gene arrangement found for most chromadorean taxa, E. vermicularis mtDNA gene order is very unique, not sharing similarity to any other nematode species reported to date. This lack of gene order similarity may represent idiosyncratic gene rearrangements unique to this specific lineage of the oxyurids. To more fully understand the extent of gene rearrangement and its evolutionary significance within the nematode phylogenetic framework, additional mitochondrial genomes representing a greater evolutionary diversity of species must be characterized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-97
Number of pages11
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Rogozin and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions to the manuscript. Adult worms for DNA sequencing were provided by the Parasite Resource Bank of Korea National Research Resource Center, Republic of Korea. This work was supported by a Korea Research Foundation Grant funded by the Korean Government (MOEHRD, Basic Research Promotion Fund) (KRF-2006-C00544) and by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) grant funded by the Korea government (MOST) (No. R01-2007-000-10735-0). Work in the laboratory of S. Nadler was supported by NSF Tree of Life grant DEB-0228692.


  • Chromadorea
  • Enterobius vermicularis
  • Gene arrangement
  • Mitochondrial genome
  • Molecular phylogeny
  • Nematoda
  • Oxyurida


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