: Studies on parasite biogeography and host spectrum provide insights into the processes driving parasite diversification. Global geographical distribution and a multi-host spectrum make the tapeworm Ligula intestinalis a promising model for studying both the vicariant and ecological modes of speciation in parasites. To understand the relative importance of host association and biogeography in the evolutionary history of this tapeworm, we analysed mtDNA and reduced-represented genomic SNP data for a total of 139 specimens collected from 18 fish-host genera across a distribution range representing 21 countries. Our results strongly supported the existence of at least 10 evolutionary lineages and estimated the deepest divergence at approximately 4.99-5.05 Mya, which is much younger than the diversification of the fish host genera and orders. Historical biogeography analyses revealed that the ancestor of the parasite diversified following multiple vicariance events and was widespread throughout the Palearctic, Afrotropical, and Nearctic between the late Miocene and early Pliocene. Cyprinoids were inferred as the ancestral hosts for the parasite. Later, from the late Pliocene to Pleistocene, new lineages emerged following a series of biogeographic dispersal and host-switching events. Although only a few of the current Ligula lineages show narrow host-specificity (to a single host genus), almost no host genera, even those that live in sympatry, overlapped between different Ligula lineages. Our analyses uncovered the impact of historical distribution shifts on host switching and the evolution of host specificity without parallel host-parasite co-speciation. Historical biogeography reconstructions also found that the parasite colonized several areas (Afrotropical and Australasian) much earlier than was suggested by only recent faunistic data.

Historical dispersal and host-switching formed the evolutionary history of a globally distributed multi-host parasite - the Ligula intestinalis species complex

Trucchi, Emiliano;
2023-01-01

Abstract

: Studies on parasite biogeography and host spectrum provide insights into the processes driving parasite diversification. Global geographical distribution and a multi-host spectrum make the tapeworm Ligula intestinalis a promising model for studying both the vicariant and ecological modes of speciation in parasites. To understand the relative importance of host association and biogeography in the evolutionary history of this tapeworm, we analysed mtDNA and reduced-represented genomic SNP data for a total of 139 specimens collected from 18 fish-host genera across a distribution range representing 21 countries. Our results strongly supported the existence of at least 10 evolutionary lineages and estimated the deepest divergence at approximately 4.99-5.05 Mya, which is much younger than the diversification of the fish host genera and orders. Historical biogeography analyses revealed that the ancestor of the parasite diversified following multiple vicariance events and was widespread throughout the Palearctic, Afrotropical, and Nearctic between the late Miocene and early Pliocene. Cyprinoids were inferred as the ancestral hosts for the parasite. Later, from the late Pliocene to Pleistocene, new lineages emerged following a series of biogeographic dispersal and host-switching events. Although only a few of the current Ligula lineages show narrow host-specificity (to a single host genus), almost no host genera, even those that live in sympatry, overlapped between different Ligula lineages. Our analyses uncovered the impact of historical distribution shifts on host switching and the evolution of host specificity without parallel host-parasite co-speciation. Historical biogeography reconstructions also found that the parasite colonized several areas (Afrotropical and Australasian) much earlier than was suggested by only recent faunistic data.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/309642
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