Jul 21, 2016

Flexibility of co-evolutionary patterns in ectoparasite populations: genetic structure and diversity in Apodemus mice and their lice.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Jana MartinuJan Stefka


Host-parasite co-evolution belongs among the major processes governing evolution of biodiversity on the global scale. Numerous studies performed at inter-specific level revealed variety of patterns from strict co-speciation to lack of co-divergence and frequent host-switching, even in species tightly linked to their hosts. To explain these observations and formulate ecological hypotheses, we need to acquire better understanding to parasites population genetics and dynamics, and their main determinants. Here, we analyse the impact of co-evolutionary processes on genetic diversity and structure of parasite populations, using a model composed of the louse Polyplax serrata and its hosts, mice of the genus Apodemus , collected from several dozens of localities across Europe. We use mitochondrial DNA sequences and microsatellite data to describe the level of genealogical congruence between hosts and parasites and to assess genetic diversity of the populations. We also explore links between the genetic assignment of the parasite and its host affiliation, and test the prediction that populations of the parasite possessing narrower host specificity show deeper pattern of population structure and lower level of genetic diversity as a res...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Genetic Drift
Phenotypic Switching in Response to Host
Short Tandem Repeat
Ectozoic parasite
Polyplax serrata
Lice Infestations

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