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IDENTIFICATION AND MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF HEMOSPORIDIAN IN BARN OWL (Tyto alba)

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In this study, haemosporidian blood parasitesof barn owls (Tyto alba) samples sent by local farmer from Chumporn Province for molecular sexing were detected by PCR technique.  Eleven samples were positive and four PCR positive samples were randomly selected and sent for preliminary sequencing on the cytochrome b(Cytb) region of mitochondrial DNA.

The alignment of obtained sequences showed two groups of haemosporidian blood parasites; BO_2, BO_5 and BO_6) related to Haemoproteus spp. and BO_15 related to Plasmodium spp. We selected BO_6 and BO_15 representatives of the two groups and extended longer sequencing on the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (CoxI) region. BO_6 was clustered with Haemoproteus spp. found in other owl species, while BO_15 was clustered with Plasmodium spp. commonly found in avian species.Moreover, BO_6 and BO_15 also showed greater genetic distance than previous study. This implies that was possibly a new species of haemosporidian (Haemoproteus spp. andHaemoproteusspp ) in barn owl, due to the high value of the genetic distance. However, the genetic analysis of further genes is needed to clarify this hypothesis.

 

Keywords: barn owl, CoxI,Cytb, Haemoproteusspp., Plasmodium spp.

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