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Lacistorhynchidae family 28S alignment

Cite this dataset

Santoro, Mario et al. (2022). Lacistorhynchidae family 28S alignment [Dataset]. Dryad.


Aim: Trypanorhyncha cestodes comprise a wide range of heteroxenous parasites infecting elasmobranchs as definitive hosts, with crustaceans, squids, and fishes acting as intermediate/paratenic hosts. Limited data exist on the larval infection of these cestodes and the role of intermediate and paratenic hosts in the life cycle of these parasites. In this study, we investigated the factors that determine the occurrence and the level of infection of Grillotia plerocerci in the skeletal muscles of various deep sea benthonic sharks and analysed the parasites through an integrative taxonomic approach.

Location: Gulf of Naples, Mediterranean Sea.

Methods: Sharks obtained as bycatch of commercial trawling activities (i.e., Etmopterus spinax, Galeus melastomus and Scyliorhinus canicula) were used in this study. Data from a limited number of Dalatias licha and Scyliorhinus stellaris were also included. Grillotia plerocerci were molecularly characterized using the partial 28S large subunit rDNA. Boosted regression trees were used to model the relationship between the abundance of infection with both morphological and physiological predictors in each host.

Results: Plerocerci of Grillotia were detected in all shark species except S. stellaris. Host species significantly differed in terms of parasite abundance, with the highest and lowest prevalence and abundance of infection detected in G. melastomus and E. spinax, respectively. The relative influence of the traits involved in explaining the parasite abundance were related to the host size in G. melastomus, while both morphology- and physiology-related traits (e.g., gonadosomatic and hepatosomatic indices) explained the patterns observed in E. spinax and S. canicula. The 28S rDNA sequences shared identity of ∼99.40% with a Grillotia species previously found in the Mediterranean Sea. At intraspecific level, two different genotypes were found. A first type was retrieved only from D. licha, whereas a second type was found in G. melastomus, E. spinax, and S. canicula.

Main conclusions: Present results suggest that the two genotypes could be involved in different consumer-resource systems and confirm most of the examined shark species as transport hosts of Grillotia species for unknown larger top predators.