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Huyse, T.; Volckaert, F. A. (2002). Identification of a host-associated species complex using molecular and morphometric analyses, with the description of Gyrodactylus rugiensoides n. sp. (Gyrodactylidae, Monogenea). International Journal for Parasitology. 32(7): 907-919.
Huyse, T.; Volckaert, F. A.
Identification of a host-associated species complex using molecular and morphometric analyses, with the description of Gyrodactylus rugiensoides n. sp. (Gyrodactylidae, Monogenea)
International Journal for Parasitology
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Gyrodactylus rugiensis was originally described as a parasite occurring on the marine gobies Pomatoschistus minutus and Pomatoschistus microps. In our preliminary survey this species was also frequently found on Pomatoschistus pictus and Pomatoschistus lozanoi. Subsequent molecular analysis of the internal transcribed spacers rDNA region revealed that this parasite actually represents a complex of two apparently cryptic species, one restricted to P. microps and the other shared by P. minutus,P. lozanoi and P. pictus. Morphometric analyses were conducted on 17 features of the opisthaptoral hard parts of specimens collected from all four host species. Standard discriminant analysis showed a clear separation of both genotypes by significant differences in marginal hook and ventral bar features. Statistical classifiers (linear discriminant analysis and nearest neighbours) resulted in an estimated misclassification rate of 4.7 and 3.1%, respectively. Based on molecular, morphological and statistical analyses a new species, Gyrodactylus rugiensoides is described. This species seems to display a lower host-specificity than generally observed for Gyrodactylus species as it infects three sympatric host species.However, seasonal and host-dependent morphometric variation is shown for G. rugiensoides collected on P. pictus. Host-switching and gene flow might be important factors preventing speciation on closely related and sympatric host species. The presence of host associated species complexes in this Gyrodactylus-Pomatoschistus system is also confirmed by the presence of two host-dependent genotypes within G. micropsi found on P. minutus and P. lozanoi, and P. microps, respectively. By comparing host and parasite phylogeny, phylogenetic and ecological factors influencing host-specificity are discussed.