Species of Allocreadiidae are an important component of the parasite fauna of freshwater vertebrates, particularly fishes, and yet their systematic relationships with other trematodes have not been clarified. Partial sequences of the 18S and 28S ribosomal RNA genes from 3 representative species of Allocreadiidae, i.e., Crepidostomum cooperi, Bunodera mediovitellata, and Polylekithum ictaluri, and from 79 other taxa representing 78 families of trematodes obtained from GenBank, were used in a phylogenetic analysis to address the relationships of Allocreadiidae with other plagiorchiiforms/plagiorchiidans. Maximum parsimony and Bayesian analyses of combined 18S and 28S rRNA gene sequence data place 2 of the allocreadiids, Crepidostomum cooperi and Bunodera mediovitellata, in a clade with species of Callodistomidae and Gorgoderidae, which, in turn is sister to a clade containing Polylekithum ictaluri and representatives of Encyclometridae, Dicrocoelidae, and Orchipedidae, a grouping supported by high bootstrap values. These results suggest that Polylekithum ictaluri is not an allocreadiid, a conclusion that is supported by reported differences between its cercaria and that of other allocreadiids. Although details of the life cycle of callodistomids, the sister taxon to Allocreadiidae, remain unknown, the relationship of Allocreadiidae and Gorgoderidae is consistent with their larval development in bivalve, rather than gastropod, molluscs, and with their host relationships (predominantly freshwater vertebrates). The results also indicate that, whereas Allocreadiidae is not a basal taxon, it is not included within the suborder Plagiorchiata. No support was found for a direct relationship between allocreadiids and opecoelids either.

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