Korean J Parasitol.  1999 Dec;37(4):197-213. 10.3347/kjp.1999.37.4.197.

Phylogeny, host-parasite relationship and zoogeography

  • 1Department of Biology, Oita Medical University, Hasama, Japan. hasegawa@oita-med.ac.jp


Phylogeny is the evolutionary history of a group or the lineage of organisms and is reconstructed based on morphological, molecular and other characteristics. The genealogical relationship of a group of taxa is often expressed as a phylogenetic tree. The difficulty in categorizing the phylogeny is mainly due to the existence of frequent homoplasies that deceive observers. At the present time, cladistic analysis is believed to be one of the most effective methods of reconstructing a phylogenetic tree. Excellent computer program software for phylogenetic analysis is available. As an example, cladistic analysis was applied for nematode genera of the family Acuariidae, and the phylogenetic tree formed was compared with the system used currently. Nematodes in the genera Nippostrongylus and Heligmonoides were also analyzed, and the validity of the reconstructed phylogenetic trees was observed from a zoogeographical point of view. Some of the theories of parasite evolution were briefly reviewed as well. Coevolution of parasites and humans was discussed with special reference to the evolutionary relationship between Enterobius and primates.

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