To each his own: no evidence of gyrodactylid parasite host switches from invasive poeciliid fishes to Goodea atripinnis Jordan (Cyprinodontiformes: Goodeidae), the most dominant endemic freshwater goodeid fish in the Mexican Highlands.
ABSTRACT: Goodeid topminnows are live-bearing fishes endemic to the Mexican Highlands (Mesa Central, MC). Unfortunately, in the MC, environmental degradation and introduced species have pushed several goodeid species to the brink of extinction. Invasive fishes can introduce exotic parasites, and the most abundant goodeid, blackfin goodea Goodea atripinnis Jordan, is parasitised by six exotic helminths. Poeciliids are widely dispersed invasive fishes, which exert negative ecological effects on goodeids. Poeciliids host several species of the monogenean genus Gyrodactylus von Nordmann, 1832, including pathogenic, invasive parasites. Here, we looked for evidence of Gyrodactylus species switching hosts from poeciliids to goodeids.Fish were collected in rivers draining the MC into both sides of the continental divide. Hosts were screened for gyrodactylid parasites in localities where G. atripinnis and poeciliids occurred sympatrically. Gyrodactylus specimens were characterised morphologically (attachment apparatus) and molecularly (internal transcribed spacer region, ITS). A Bayesian phylogenetic tree using ITS sequences established relationships between gyrodactylids collected from goodeid fishes and those from parasites infecting poeciliids.Gyrodactylids were collected from G. atripinnis in six localities on both sides of the watershed where exotic poeciliids occurred sympatrically. Morphological and molecular analyses indicated the presence of four undescribed species of Gyrodactylus infecting this goodeid host. Gyrodactylus tomahuac n. sp., the most abundant and geographically widespread species, is described here. The other three Gyrodactylus spp. are not described, but their ITS sequences are used as molecular data presented here, are the only available for gyrodactylids infecting goodeid fishes. Morphological and molecular data suggest that two distinct groups of gyrodactylids infect goodeids, one of which shares a common ancestor with gyrodactylids parasitizing poeciliids.No evidence was found of gyrodactylids switching hosts from invasive poeciliids to endemic goodeids, nor vice versa. Moreover, considering that G. atripinnis is known to host both Gyrodactylus lamothei Mendoza-Palmero, Sereno-Uribe & Salgado-Maldonado, 2009 and Gyrodactylus mexicanus Mendoza-Palmero, Sereno-Uribe & Salgado-Maldonado, 2009, with the addition of G. tomahuac n. sp. and the three undescribed Gyrodactylus spp. reported, at least six gyrodactylids may infect this host. This would make monogeneans the second most abundant parasite group infecting G. atripinnis, which to date is known to harbour 22 helminth species: nine digeneans, five nematodes, four cestodes, three monogeneans and one acanthocephalan.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Monogenean flatworms are the main ectoparasites of fishes. Representatives of the species-rich families Gyrodactylidae and Dactylogyridae, especially those infecting cichlid fishes and clariid catfishes, are important parasites in African aquaculture, even more so due to the massive anthropogenic translocation of their hosts worldwide. Several questions on their evolution, such as the phylogenetic position of Macrogyrodactylus and the highly speciose Gyrodactylus, remain unresolved with available molecular markers. Also, diagnostics and population-level research would benefit from the development of higher-resolution genetic markers. We aim to offer genetic resources for work on African monogeneans by providing mitogenomic data of four species (two belonging to Gyrodactylidae, two to Dactylogyridae), and analysing their gene sequences and gene order from a phylogenetic perspective. RESULTS:Using Illumina technology, the first four mitochondrial genomes of African monogeneans were assembled and annotated for the cichlid parasites Gyrodactylus nyanzae, Cichlidogyrus halli, Cichlidogyrus mbirizei (near-complete mitogenome) and the catfish parasite Macrogyrodactylus karibae (near-complete mitogenome). Complete nuclear ribosomal operons were also retrieved, as molecular vouchers. The start codon TTG is new for Gyrodactylus and for Dactylogyridae, as is the incomplete stop codon TA for Dactylogyridae. Especially the nad2 gene is promising for primer development. Gene order was identical for protein-coding genes and differed between the African representatives of these families only in a tRNA gene transposition. A mitochondrial phylogeny based on an alignment of nearly 12,500 bp including 12 protein-coding and two ribosomal RNA genes confirms that the Neotropical oviparous Aglaiogyrodactylus forficulatus takes a sister group position with respect to the other gyrodactylids, instead of the supposedly 'primitive' African Macrogyrodactylus. Inclusion of the African Gyrodactylus nyanzae confirms the paraphyly of Gyrodactylus. The position of the African dactylogyrid Cichlidogyrus is unresolved, although gene order suggests it is closely related to marine ancyrocephalines. CONCLUSIONS:The amount of mitogenomic data available for gyrodactylids and dactylogyrids is increased by roughly one-third. Our study underscores the potential of mitochondrial genes and gene order in flatworm phylogenetics, and of next-generation sequencing for marker development for these non-model helminths for which few primers are available.
Project description:From December 2012 to November 2014, 267 fish belonging to the family Profundulidae (representing nine of the 11 species of the genus Profundulus) were collected in 26 localities of Middle-America, across southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras, comprising the distribution range of the genus, and analyzed for helminth parasites. Additionally, a database with all ten available published accounts of the helminth parasite fauna of this genus (the only genus within the family) was assembled. Based on both sources of information, a checklist containing all the records was compiled as a tool to address future questions in the areas of evolutionary biology, biogeography, ecology and phylogeography of this host-parasite association. The helminth parasite fauna of this fish group consists of 20 nominal species, classified in 17 genera and 14 families. It includes six species of adult digeneans, five metacercariae, two monogeneans, one adult cestode, three adult nematodes and three larval nematodes. The profundulid fishes are parasitized by a specialized group of helminth species (e.g. Paracreptotrema blancoi sensu Salgado-Maldonado et al. (2011b), Paracreptotrema profundulusi Salgado-Maldonado, Caspeta-Mandujano & Martínez Ramírez, 2011, Phyllodistomum spinopapillatum Pérez-Ponce de León, Pinacho-Pinacho, Mendoza-Garfias & García-Varela, 2015, Spinitectus humbertoi Mandujano-Caspeta & Moravec, 2000, Spinitectus mariaisabelae Caspeta-Mandujano Cabañas-Carranza & Salgado-Maldonado, 2007 and Rhabdochona salgadoi Mandujano-Caspeta & Moravec, 2000), representing the core helminth fauna that are not shared with other Middle-American fish species.
Project description:This study documents the development of a non-lethal sampling method to recover gyrodactylid parasites from large numbers of fish that will underpin an improved surveillance strategy for Gyrodactylus salaris. A review of published literature identified over 80 compounds that have previously been tested against gyrodactylids or closely related parasite species. Five safe and relatively fast-acting compounds were selected for testing to determine their efficiency in removing gyrodactylids from host fish in small-scale aquaria trials using three-spined stickleback infected with Gyrodactylus gasterostei as a model host-parasite system. The most effective compound was hydrogen peroxide; short-duration exposure (3 min) achieved a parasite detection sensitivity of 80%-89%. The practicality of exposing farmed salmonids to hydrogen peroxide for G. salaris surveillance was tested in the field by conducting a parasite recovery trial using a brown trout stock endemically infected with G. truttae and G. derjavinoides and comparing this to the whole-body examination procedure currently conducted by UK authorities. Significantly more parasites were recovered after exposing fish to hydrogen peroxide and filtering the treatment solution than by direct whole-body examination of killed fish (mean: 225 vs. 138 parasites per fish). The gyrodactylid recovery rate of the two methods was 84.6% and 51.9%, respectively. A comparison of timings for the two methods indicated scope for significant time savings in adopting the chemical screening method. The study demonstrated that hydrogen peroxide bath treatment may be successfully applied to the surveillance of gyrodactylid parasites and established as a non-lethal method for sampling farmed and wild fish. This approach has the potential to reduce resources required to collect and isolate parasites for diagnostic testing and improve the sensitivity and confidence of surveillance programmes designed to demonstrate freedom from disease, thus underpinning a robust and defensible surveillance strategy for G. salaris for the UK aquatic animal disease contingency plan.
Project description:A survey of the helminth parasites of alien freshwater fishes from Argentinean Patagonia is presented, based on samples taken from 2010 to 2017 and including previous published records. A total of 1129 fishes were collected, belonging to 11 species from 7 families. We surveyed 34 localities in 12 river basins, and found 43 parasite taxa (15 digeneans, 14 monogeneans, 5 cestodes, 5 nematodes, and 4 acanthocephalans), belonging to 22 families. Data are presented as a parasite/host list with information on host species and localities, site of infection, parasite life-history stage, origin, previous records in Patagonia, and accession numbers to vouchers. The most frequently found helminths were monogeneans and digeneans. Our data suggest that invading fish in Patagonia have transmitted fewer parasite species than they have received by spillback. Twenty-three (53%) of the parasites seem to be acquired by the exotic fishes from native hosts, while 15 helminths were co-introduced along with their exotic fish host and continue to parasitize these alien fish but did not invade native hosts; 4 of these species were introduced with carp, 3 with Cheirodon interruptus, 3 with Corydoras paleatus, 3 with Cnesterodon decemmaculatus, 1 with Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, and 1 with Jenynsia multidentata. The majority of these co-introduced parasites came from the Brazilic ichthyogeographic region (10 species). This is the first review of helminth parasites of alien fishes in Argentina; in total 12 new records of parasites for Argentina, 6 new records of parasites for Patagonia, and 29 new host-parasite records are presented here. This list is far from complete, however, given that some basins in southern Patagonia remain unexplored in terms of parasite detection.
Project description:In this study, two parasites on the fins of Homatula variegata were recorded from March to September 2016. A dissection mirror was used to examine the distribution and quantity of the ectoparasitic Gyrodactylus sp. and Paragyrodactylus variegatus on the host Homatula variegata in different seasons. The present study explored possible explanations for the site specificity of gyrodactylid parasites in 442 Homatula variegata infected with 4307 Gyrodactylus sp. (species identification is incomplete, only characterized to the genus level) and 1712 Paragyrodactylus variegatus. These two gyrodactylid parasites were collected from fish fins, and the fish were harvested in China's Qinling Mountains.The results indicated that the highest number of Gyrodactylus sp., which was numerically the dominant species, appeared on the fish fins in April, while the highest number of Paragyrodactylus variegatus was found on the fish fins in March. The two parasite species appeared to be partitioned spatially, with Gyrodactylus sp. occurring more frequently on pectoral and pelvic fins, and P. variegatus occurring more frequently on caudal fins. However, Gyrodactylus sp. appeared to occur on fish of all lengths, while P. variegatus tended to occur more abundantly on shorter fish rather than on longer fish. At lower Gyrodactylus sp. infection levels (<100), the pelvic and pectoral fins were the main locations of attachment, followed by the dorsal fin. For infections of more than 100 parasites, more samples of Gyrodactylus sp. were located on the pectoral fin. For a low number of Paragyrodactylus variegatus infections (<100), the pelvic and pectoral fins were the preferred locations of attachment, followed by the caudal fin. Between April and September, there were many monogenean parasites on fish fins, and the fish size was within the range of 5-10 cm. However, when a fish was longer than 10 cm long, the number of parasites on its fins greatly decreased.
Project description:The stunning diversity of cichlid fishes has greatly enhanced our understanding of speciation and radiation. Little is known about the evolution of cichlid parasites. Parasites are abundant components of biodiversity, whose diversity typically exceeds that of their hosts. In the first comprehensive phylogenetic parasitological analysis of a vertebrate radiation, we study monogenean parasites infecting tropheine cichlids from Lake Tanganyika. Monogeneans are flatworms usually infecting the body surface and gills of fishes. In contrast to many other parasites, they depend only on a single host species to complete their lifecycle. Our spatially comprehensive combined nuclear-mitochondrial DNA dataset of the parasites covering almost all tropheine host species (N?=?18), reveals species-rich parasite assemblages and shows consistent host-specificity. Statistical comparisons of host and parasite phylogenies based on distance and topology-based tests demonstrate significant congruence and suggest that host-switching is rare. Molecular rate evaluation indicates that species of Cichlidogyrus probably diverged synchronically with the initial radiation of the tropheines. They further diversified through within-host speciation into an overlooked species radiation. The unique life history and specialisation of certain parasite groups has profound evolutionary consequences. Hence, evolutionary parasitology adds a new dimension to the study of biodiversity hotspots like Lake Tanganyika.
Project description:A new species of Gyrodactylus von Nordmann, 1832 is described from the gills of Alcolapia grahami, a tilapian fish endemic to Lake Magadi. This alkaline soda lake in the Rift Valley in Kenya is an extreme environment with pH as high as 11, temperatures up to 42 °C, and diurnal fluctuation between hyperoxia and virtual anoxia. Nevertheless, gyrodactylid monogeneans able to survive these hostile conditions were detected from the gills the Magadi tilapia. The worms were studied using light microscopy, isolated sclerites observed using scanning electron microscopy, and molecular techniques used to genetically characterize the specimens. The gyrodactylid was described as Gyrodactylus magadiensis n. sp. and could be distinguished from other Gyrodactylus species infecting African cichlid fish based on the comparatively long and narrow hamuli, a ventral bar with small rounded anterolateral processes and a tongue-shaped posterior membrane, and marginal hooks with slender sickles which are angled forward, a trapezoid to square toe, rounded heel, a long bridge prior to reaching marginal sickle shaft, and a long lateral edge of the toe. The species is also distinct from all other Gyrodactylus taxa based on the ITS region of rDNA (ITS1-5.8s-ITS2), strongly supporting the designation of a new species. These findings represent the second record of Gyrodactylus from Kenya, with the description of G. magadiensis bringing the total number of Gyrodactylus species described from African cichlids to 18.
Project description:Co-speciation is a fundamental concept of evolutionary biology and intuitively appealing, yet in practice hard to demonstrate as it is often blurred by other evolutionary processes. We investigate the phylogeographic history of the monogenean ectoparasites Gyrodactylus teuchis and G. truttae on European salmonids of the genus Salmo. Mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 and the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 2 were sequenced for 189 Gyrodactylus individuals collected from 50 localities, distributed across most major European river systems, from the Iberian- to the Balkan Peninsula. Despite both anthropogenic and naturally caused admixture of the principal host lineages among major river basins, co-phylogenetic analyses revealed significant global congruence for host and parasite phylogenies, providing firm support for co-speciation of G. teuchis and its salmonid hosts brown trout (S. trutta) and Atlantic salmon (S. salar). The major split within G. teuchis, coinciding with the initial divergence of the hosts was dated to ~1.5 My BP, using a Bayesian framework based on an indirect calibration point obtained from the host phylogeny. The presence of G. teuchis in Europe thus predates some of the major Pleistocene glaciations. In contrast, G. truttae exhibited remarkably low intraspecific genetic diversity. Given the direct life cycle and potentially high transmission potential of gyrodactylids, this finding is interpreted as indication for a recent emergence (<60 ky BP) of G. truttae via a host-switch. Our study thus suggests that instances of two fundamentally different mechanisms of speciation (co-speciation vs. host-switching) may have occurred on the same hosts in Europe within a time span of less than 1.5 My in two gyrodactylid ectoparasite species.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Long wave-sensitive (LWS) opsin genes have undergone multiple lineage-specific duplication events throughout the evolution of teleost fishes. LWS repertoire expansions in live-bearing fishes (family Poeciliidae) have equipped multiple species in this family with up to four LWS genes. Given that color vision, especially attraction to orange male coloration, is important to mate choice within poeciliids, LWS opsins have been proposed as candidate genes driving sexual selection in this family. To date the genomic organization of these genes has not been described in the family Poeciliidae, and little is known about the mechanisms regulating the expression of LWS opsins in any teleost. RESULTS:Two BAC clones containing the complete genomic repertoire of LWS opsin genes in the green swordtail fish, Xiphophorus helleri, were identified and sequenced. Three of the four LWS loci identified here were linked in a tandem array downstream of two tightly linked short wave-sensitive 2 (SWS2) opsin genes. The fourth LWS opsin gene, containing only a single intron, was not linked to the other three and is the product of a retrotransposition event. Genomic and phylogenetic results demonstrate that the LWS genes described here share a common evolutionary origin with those previously characterized in other poeciliids. Using qualitative RT-PCR and MSP we showed that each of the LWS and SWS2 opsins, as well as three other cone opsin genes and a single rod opsin gene, were expressed in the eyes of adult female and male X. helleri, contributing to six separate classes of adult retinal cone and rod cells with average lambdamax values of 365 nm, 405 nm, 459 nm, 499 nm, 534 nm and 568 nm. Comparative genomic analysis identified two candidate teleost opsin regulatory regions containing putative CRX binding sites and hormone response elements in upstream sequences of LWS gene regions of seven teleost species, including X. helleri. CONCLUSIONS:We report the first complete genomic description of LWS and SWS2 genes in poeciliids. These data will serve as a reference for future work seeking to understand the relationship between LWS opsin genomic organization, gene expression, gene family evolution, sexual selection and speciation in this fish family.
Project description:Cryptic species complexes are common among parasites, which tend to have large populations and are subject to rapid evolution. Such complexes may arise through host-parasite co-evolution and/or host switching. For parasites that reproduce directly on their host, there might be increased opportunities for sympatric speciation, either by exploiting different hosts or different micro-habitats within the same host. The genus Gyrodactylus is a specious group of viviparous monogeneans. These ectoparasites transfer between teleosts during social contact and cause significant host mortality. Their impact on the guppy (Poecilia reticulata), an iconic evolutionary and ecological model species, is well established and yet the population genetics and phylogenetics of these parasites remains understudied. Using mtDNA sequencing of the host and its parasites, we provide evidence of cryptic speciation in Gyrodactylus bullatarudis, G. poeciliae and G. turnbulli. For the COII gene, genetic divergence of lineages within each parasite species ranged between 5.7 and 17.2%, which is typical of the divergence observed between described species in this genus. Different lineages of G. turnbulli and G. poeciliae appear geographically isolated, which could imply allopatric speciation. In addition, for G. poeciliae, co-evolution with a different host species cannot be discarded due to its host range. This parasite was originally described on P. caucana, but for the first time here it is also recorded on the guppy. The two cryptic lineages of G. bullatarudis showed considerable geographic overlap. G. bullatarudis has a known wide host range and it can also utilize a killifish (Anablepsoides hartii) as a temporary host. This killifish is capable of migrating overland and it could act as a transmission vector between otherwise isolated populations. Additional genetic markers are needed to confirm the presence of these cryptic Gyrodactylus species complexes, potentially leading to more in-depth genetic, ecological and evolutionary analyses on this multi-host-parasite system.