Data from: Comparative phylogeography of the plateau zokor (Eospalax baileyi) and its host-associated flea (Neopsylla paranoma) in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
Lin, Gonghua et al. (2014), Data from: Comparative phylogeography of the plateau zokor (Eospalax baileyi) and its host-associated flea (Neopsylla paranoma) in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.d0v11
Background: Specific host-parasite systems often embody a particular co-distribution phenomenon, in which the parasite’s phylogeographic pattern is dependent on its host. In practice, however, both congruent and incongruent phylogeographic patterns between the host and the parasite have been reported. Here, we compared the population genetics of the plateau zokor (Eospalax baileyi), a subterranean rodent, and its host-associated flea species, Neopsylla paranoma, with an aim to determine whether the two animals share a similar phylogeographic pattern. Results: We sampled 130 host-parasite pairs from 17 localities in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP), China, and sequenced a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) segment (~2,500 bp), including the complete COI and COII genes. We also detected 55 zokor and 75 flea haplotypes. AMOVA showed that the percentage of variation among the populations of zokors constituted 97.10%, while the within population variation was only 2.90%; for fleas, the values were 85.68% and 14.32%, respectively. Moreover, the flea Fst (fixation index) values were significantly smaller than in zokor. Although the Fst values between zokors and fleas were significantly and positively correlated (N =105, R =0.439, p =0.000), only a small amount (R2= 0.19) of the flea Fst variations could be explained by the zokor Fst variations. The two animals showed very distinct haplotype network structures from each other while co-phylogenetic analyses were unable to reject the hypothesis of an independence of speciation events. Conclusions: Zokors and fleas have very distinct population genetic patterns from each other, likely due to the influence of other sympatrically-distributed vertebrates on the transmission of fleas.