Publication details

Fisheries targets in Lake Tanganyika: revealing the mystery of their parasite fauna

Authors

KMENTOVÁ Nikol VAN STEENBERGE Maarten RAEYMAEKERS J.A.M KOBLMÜLLER Stephan HABLÜTZEL Pascal GELNAR Milan MUTEREZI BUKINGA F. MULIMBWA N'SIBULA T. MASILYA MULUNGULA P. VANHOVE Maarten Pieterjan

Year of publication 2017
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Citation
Description Lake Tanganyika is the deepest and one of the most species-rich African Great Lakes. While dozens of studies focusing on this lake’s cichlids as famous model organisms have been already published, knowledge about economically important species is still poor. The fisheries effort is concentrated mainly in the lake’s pelagic zone with two clupeids (Limnothrissa miodon, Stolothrissa tanganicae) and four latid species (Lates angustifrons, L. mariae, L. microlepis, L. stappersii) as dominant targets. Surprisingly, almost nothing is known about their parasite fauna. We examined the abovementioned hosts for the presence of parasites to answer the following questions: which parasites infect clupeids and latids in Lake Tanganyika? Is there any seasonality or geographical variation in infection parameters? And is the parasite population structure related to host history or geographic origin? Samples originated from many localities in Lake Tanganyika including all three historical subbasins of the lake. Parasite species identification was based on the sclerotised structures of the attachment organ and the genitals. Molecular characterisation was conducted using nuclear and mitochondrial markers with different rates of molecular evolution. In total, three different parasite species belonging to the Monogenea were identified based on morphological as well molecular data. Seasonality in parasite prevalence of clupeids was observed with a peak in the rainy season, but no relation with the geographic origin of Ancyrocephalus was found. The parasite population structure inferred from part of the COI gene shows no north-south gradient. For future studies, the phylogeography of these parasites can reflect historical events that are too recent to be inferred from host genetics.
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