Informace o publikaci

Parasite-associated changes in fish host physiology and behaviour

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Rok publikování 2014
Druh Konferenční abstrakty
Popis My work on the ECIP project has covered the two initial years of my PhD thesis. I have been involved in several themes, including parasite manipulation of the fish host, effects of parasites on fish physiology, behaviour and social interactions and fieldwork focused on parasitological examination of African annual fish. Parasites display remarkable adaptations that increase the probability of successful transmission, including manipulation of host morphology and behaviour. The parasitic trematode Apatemon sp. has a complex life cycle involving Nothobranchius fishes as an intermediate host for its larvae (metacercariae). In a series of experimental observations, we examined the behaviour of a Mozambique killifish Nothobranchius furzeri infected with the Apatemon trematode. Apatemon-parasitised fish differed strikingly in their habitat use (dwelling just below the water’s surface) and response to the threat of capture by an artificial avian predator (prolonged stay in upper water layers) compared to control fish. In a further study, we focused on the function and evolutionary consequences of behavioural changes associated with parasitic infection and the physiological mechanisms of host phenotype modification (morphology, colouration, behaviour). As a model fish host, we used European bitterling Rhodeus amarus, a fish species widely used in behavioural and evolutionary-ecological studies. We focused on the effect of parasite (trematode Diplostomum pseudospathaceum) infection on bitterling reproductive behaviour and social interactions, including female choice and male expression of sexual ornamentation. During the fieldwork in Mozambique in 2013 we investigated parasite communities of four different Nothobranchius species from different habitats to test if (1) parasite diversity increases with increasing habitat stability and host richness, and (2) host immune response is higher in more stable habitats as life expectancy will be higher. Over the coming year we will investigate metabolic parameters of Diplostomum-infected and control European bitterling using intermittent flow respirometry in order to study the physiological consequences of parasitic infection.
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