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Unexpected diversity of Gyrodactylus species (Monogenea:Gyrodactylidae) parazitising cichlids of Southern Africa

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Year of publication 2013
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description High diversity of viviparous monogenea of the genus Gyrodactylus Nordmann, 1832 parasitizing cichlids from African continent, namely Zimbabwe and South Africa, is reported. Species identification based on haptoral sclerites morphometry and nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences revealed presence of 12 Gyrodactylus species, which only three of them are currently known for the sciences as described species (Gyrodactylus yacatli García-Vásquez, Hansen, Christison, Bron & Shinn, 2011, Gyrodactylus nyanzae Paperna, 1973 and Gyrodactylus sturmbaueri Vanhove, Snoeks, Volckaert & Huyse, 2011). Principal components analyses (PCA) facilitated distinguishing of morphologically similar species. This study brings the first record of G. yacatli collected on Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus niloticus (L.) and Pseudocrenilabrus philander philander (Weber) from Africa. Identification of nine undescribed Gyrodactylus species intimates high diversity of these parasites on African continent. Cichlid hosts can be parasitized by several Gyrodactylus species; O. n. nilotitus and P. p. philander with 6 and 5 species records, respectively. On the other hand, one Gyrodactylus species can be found from 4 host species. Such findings indicate less specific strategy of these parasites. Phylogenic analyses, the maximum likelihood and Bayesian interference analyses, revealed interspecific relationship. Resulted clustering of particular species is highly supported by similarities/differences in the morphology of the haptoral complexes.
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