Publication details

Distribution of host-specific parasites in hybrids of phylogenetically related fish: the effects of genotype frequency and maternal ancestry?



Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Parasites and Vectors
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Hybridization; Cyprinid fish; Monogenean infection; Host specificity; Coadaptation
Description Background: Host specificity is one of the outputs of the coevolution between parasites and their associated hosts. Several scenarios have been proposed to explain the pattern of parasite distribution in parental and hybrid genotypes ranging from hybrid resistance to hybrid susceptibility. We hypothesized that host-parasite co-adaptation limits the infection of host-specific parasites in hybrid genotypes even under the condition of the high frequency of hybrids. The experimental monogenean infection in pure breeds of Blicca bjoerkna and Abramis brama and cross-breeds (the F1 generation of hybrids) under the condition of similar frequencies of pure and hybrid genotypes was investigated. We also examined the potential effect of the maternal origin of hybrids (potential co-adaptation at the level of mitochondrial genes) on monogenean abundance. Methods: Pure breeds of two cyprinids and two cross-breeds (one with B. bjoerkna, the next with A. brama in the maternal positions) were exposed to infection by monogeneans naturally occurring in B. bjoerkna and A. brama. The experiment was run under similar frequencies of the four breed lines. Results: We showed similar levels of monogenean infection in B. bjoerkna and A. brama. However, each species harboured specific monogenean fauna. Hybrids harboured all monogenean species specifically infecting one or the other species. Monogenean infection levels, especially those of Dactylogyrus specific to A. brama, were lower in hybrids. For the majority of host-specific parasites, there was no effect of the maternal origin of hybrids on monogenean abundance. Asymmetry was found in the distribution of specific parasites in favour of specialists of B. bjoerkna in the monogenean communities of hybrids. Conclusions: Our results indicate that the maternal mtDNA of hybrids is not an important predictor of host-specific monogenean infection, which may suggest that mitochondrial genes are not strongly involved in the coadaptation between monogeneans and their associated hosts. The asymmetry of species-specific parasites suggests similarity between the molecular components of the immune mechanisms in hybrids and B. bjoerkna. Our results revealed a difference between the degree of host-parasite coadaptation in specific parasites of A. brama and the degree of host-parasite coadaptation in specific parasites of B. bjoerkna and their associated hosts.
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