Trop Med Infect Dis. 2023 Jan 12;8(1):59. doi: 10.3390/tropicalmed8010059.
The phylogenetic relationships within Neodermata were examined based on putative orthologous groups of proteins (OGPs) from 11 species of Monogenea, Trematoda, and Cestoda. The dataset included OGPs from BUSCO and OMA. Additionally, peptidases were identified and evaluated as phylogenetic markers. Phylogenies were inferred using the maximum likelihood method. A network analysis and a hierarchical grouping analysis of the principal components (HCPC) of orthologous groups of peptidases were performed. The phylogenetic analyses showed the monopisthocotylean monogeneans as the sister-group of cestodes, and the polyopisthocotylean monogeneans as the sister-group of trematodes. However, the sister-group relationship between Monopisthocotylea and Cestoda was not statistically well supported. The network analysis and HCPC also showed a cluster formed by polyopisthocotyleans and trematodes. The present study supports the non-monophyly of Monogenea. An analysis of mutation rates indicated that secreted peptidases and inhibitors, and those with multiple copies, are under positive selection pressure, which could explain the expansion of some families such as C01, C19, I02, and S01. Whilst not definitive, our study presents another point of view in the discussion of the evolution of Neodermata, and we hope that our data drive further discussion and debate on this intriguing topic.