Evolutionary relationships between trematodes and snails emphasizing schistosomes and paragonimids

Blair, D., Davis, G.M., and Wu, B. (2001) Evolutionary relationships between trematodes and snails emphasizing schistosomes and paragonimids. Parasitology, 123 (7). S229-S243.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031182001008...


Snails and digeneans have been associated for at least 200 million years. Their inter-relationships over such a time-span must have been complex and varied. Few studies have attempted to explore these relationships in the light of knowledge of the phylogeny of both host and parasite groups. Here we focus on two important families of digeneans, the Schistosomatidae and the Paragonimidae, for which molecular phylogenies are available. We investigate the types of evolutionary relationships between host and parasite, operating at different phylogenetic depths, that might explain current host specificity and distributions of both associates. Both families of parasites utilise a number of highly diverged gastropod families, indicating that host extensions have featured in their histories. However, schistosomatids and paragonimids show different patterns of association with their snail hosts. As befits the apparently more ancient group, schistosomatids utilise snails from across a wide phylogenetic range within the Gastropoda. The genus Schistosoma itself has experienced one long-range host switch between pulmonates and caenogastropods. By contrast, paragonimids are restricted to two superfamilies of caenogastropods. Despite these differences, modern schistosomatid species appear to be more host specific than are paragonimids and host additions, at the level of host family, are far less common among species of schistosomatids than among paragonimids. Some species of Paragonimus exhibit remarkably low levels of host specificity, with different populations utilising snails of different families. Existing knowledge relating to the phenomenon will be presented in the context of phylogenies of schistosomatids, paragonimids, and their snail hosts. Discussion focuses on the usefulness of current theories of snail–digenean coevolution for interpreting these findings. In the past, much emphasis has been placed on the idea that digeneans engage in a one-to-one arms race with their snail host. We consider that phylogenetic tracking rather than an arms-race relationship might be a common alternative. Not being bound by the restrictions imposed by an arms race, some digeneans might be able to extend to new host species more easily than the literature suggests. Switches into related host taxa are most likely. However, ecologically equivalent but unrelated gastropod hosts may also be exploited. Given the right ecological setting, digeneans are able to switch across considerable phylogenetic distances. Examples from the Paragonimidae and Schistosomatidae are given.

Item ID: 493
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0031-1820
Keywords: parasitology; coevolution; Trematoda
Additional Information:

© 2001 Cambridge University Press : Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher : This journal is available online - use hypertext links above.

Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2006
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 387
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page