Publication details

Parasite hybridization in African Macrogyrodactylus spp. (Monogenea:Gyrodactylidae) signal historical host distribution



Year of publication 2010
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description Macrogyrodactylus spp. from the gills of Clarias gariepinus in Zimbabwe and Kenya, and C. anguillaris in Senegal were identified using haptoral sclerite morphology and by sequencing the nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacers (ITS) 1 and 2, partial 18S and the complete 5.8S rRNA gene. A molecular phylogeny was constructed using all sequenced Macrogyrodactylus species to date. Based on morphology, Macrogyrodactylus congolensis, M. heterobranchii, M. clarii, and M. karibae were identified, with one specimen from Zimbabwe displaying morphological features that were intermediate between M. heterobranchii and M. clarii. In the intermediate form, the partial 18S and ITS1 sequence was identical to that of M. heterobranchii while the remaining ITS1 and complete ITS2 region was almost identical to M. clarii as was the partial cox1 fragment, thus strongly suggesting a hybrid origin. At present, M. heterobranchii and M. clarii do not co-occur in southern Zimbabwe since the distribution range of their respective host species do not overlap. This hybridization event is therefore proof of historical sympatry of both fish species.
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