Publication details

Hidden in plain sight: novel molecular data reveal unexpected genetic diversity among paramphistome parasites (Digenea: Paramphistomoidea) of European water frogs



Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source PARASITOLOGY
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Balkan Peninsula; Diplodiscus subclavatus; haplotype diversity; Opisthodiscus diplodiscoides; Pelophylax; population genetics
Description Parasites might represent a helpful tool in understanding the historical dispersion and phylogeography of their hosts. In order to reveal whether the migration routes and diversification of hosts can be traceable in the genetic structures of their parasites, we investigated the diversity of paramphistomoid trematodes of Pelophylax frogs in 2 geographically distant European regions. Water frogs belonging to the genus Pelophylax represent a striking example of a species with a high variety of ecological adaptations and a rich evolutionary history. The parasites were collected from 2 Balkan endemic species, P. epeiroticus and P. kurtmuelleri, and 2 species in Slovakia, P. esculentus and P. ridibundus. While in Slovakia, Pelophylax frogs harboured 2 species, the diplodiscid Diplodiscus subclavatus and the cladorchiid Opisthodiscus diplodiscoides, only the former was recorded in the south-western Balkans. Remarkably high genetic diversity (16 unique mitochondrial cox1 haplotypes, recognized among 60 novel sequences) was observed in D. subclavatus, and subsequent phylogenetic analyses revealed a strong population-genetic structure associated with geographical distribution. We also evidenced the existence of 2 divergent D. subclavatus cox1 haplogroups in the south-western Balkans, which might be associated with the historical diversification of endemic water frogs in the regional glacial microrefugia.

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info