Netherlands Society for Evolutionary Biology Meeting 2019

  • Tiziana Gobbin (Speaker)

Activiteit: Academic presentationAcademic


Parasites may have strong eco-evolutionary interactions with their hosts. Consequently, they may initiate or promote host diversification. The radiation of cichlid fish in Lake Victoria provides a good model to study the role of parasites in the early stages of speciation. We analysed the macroparasite fauna of 17 young cichlid species from a recent radiation, and 2 older species from 2 non-radiating lineages. Host species had different parasite infection profiles, which were only partially explained by ecological factors (diet, water depth). This may indicate that differences in infection are not simply the result of differences in exposure, but that hosts evolved species-specific resistance, consistent with parasite-mediated divergent selection. Infection was similar between sampling years, indicating that parasite-mediated selection is stable through time. The monogenean gill parasite Cichlidogyrus, is considered a good candidate for driving parasite-mediated speciation, because it is host species-specific and has radiated elsewhere in Africa. We morphologically identified 8 Cichlidogyrus species, but found no evidence that Cichlidogyrus-mediated selection contributes to the early stages of speciation. Instead, differences in infection seem to accumulate after speciation. To conclude, we find significant interspecific variation in parasite infection profiles. However, the association between species divergence and parasite infection depends on the parasite taxon considered.
EvenementstitelNetherlands Society for Evolutionary Biology Meeting 2019
LocatieEde, NetherlandsToon op kaart
Mate van erkenningNational