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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

INVESTIGATION OF APPARENT PARASITISM OF BIPALIUM KEWENSE BY AN UNKNOWN NEMATODE SPECIES**

Abstract

Two specimens of the terrestrial flatworm, Bipalium kewense, were initially collected for teaching purposes in Monroe, Georgia. Upon closer examination, both planarians were found to be internally inhabited by nematodes of an unknown species. Light microscopy revealed that these nematodes were sexually dimorphic and ovoviviparous, but the difficult nature of nematode identification from morphological characteristics necessitates the use of molecular genetics for species identification. In the current study, putative nematodes were collected, subjected to DNA extraction and underwent polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with primers for the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene. Sequencing will be performed on the PCR products, and sequencing analysis using BLASTn software may allow for accurate species identification. Parasitism of platyhelminths by nematodes is poorly understood; thus, these observations may constitute a previously undescribed phenomenon with implications for control of invasive Bipalium species.

Acknowledgements

Valdsota State University Department of Biology

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