Folia Parasitologica, vol. 63 (2016)

Folia Parasitologica 63:019 (2016) | 10.14411/fp.2016.019

Correlation between host specificity and genetic diversity for the muscle-dwelling fish parasite Myxobolus pseudodispar: examples of myxozoan host-shift?

Barbara Forró, Edit Eszterbauer
Institute for Veterinary Medical Research, Centre for Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences - Fish Parasitology, Budapest, Hungary

Myxobolus pseudodispar Gorbunova, 1936 (Myxozoa) is capable of infecting and developing mature myxospores in several cyprinid species. However, M. pseudodispar isolates from different fish show up to 5% differences in the SSU rDNA sequences. This is an unusually large intraspecific difference for myxozoans and only some of the muscle-dwelling myxozoan species possess such a high genetic variability. We intended to study the correlation between the host specificity and the phylogenetic relationship of the parasite isolates, and to find experimental proof for the putatively wide host range of M. pseudodispar with cross-infection experiments and phylogenetic analyses based on SSU rDNA. The experimental findings distinguished 'primary' and less-susceptible 'secondary' hosts. With some exceptions, M. pseudodispar isolates showed a tendency to cluster according to the fish host on the phylogenetic tree. Experimental and phylogenetic findings suggest the cryptic nature of the species. It is likely that host-shift occurred for M. pseudodispar and the parasite speciation in progress might explain the high genetic diversity among isolates which are morphologically indistinguishable.

Keywords: Myxozoa, cross-infection, SSU rDNA, molecular phylogeny, Cyprinidae, host specificity

Received: January 22, 2016; Accepted: April 26, 2016; Published online: June 2, 2016


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