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Comparative Population Genetic Structure of a Parasite (Fascioloides magna) and Its Definitive Host

M. Mulvey, J. M. Aho, C. Lydeard, P. L. Leberg and M. H. Smith
Evolution
Vol. 45, No. 7 (Nov., 1991), pp. 1628-1640
DOI: 10.2307/2409784
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409784
Page Count: 13
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Comparative Population Genetic Structure of a Parasite (Fascioloides magna) and Its Definitive Host
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Abstract

The population genetic structure of the American liver fluke, Fascioloides magna, and its definitive host the white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, was examined in South Carolina. Flukes were significantly more common in deer from river-swamp habitat than upland areas and prevalence increased with host age. The distribution of flukes among deer occurred as a negative binomial with the mean dispersion parameter, k, equal to 0.17 and the range from 0.10 to 1.11 within local areas. Significant spatial genetic differentiation was observed for flukes and deer. Patterns of genetic distance in flukes were not concordant with those of the definitive host nor were they related to geographic distance between sample locations. Spatial genetic differentiation among flukes reflected the tendency for individual hosts to harbor multiple individuals from a limited number of parasite clones. The large population size of the parasite and movements of the definitive host tend to counteract factors that lead to spatial differentiation.

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