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Data from: Unexpected absence of genetic separation of a highly diverse population of hookworms from geographically isolated hosts

Citation

Haynes, Benjamin T. et al. (2015), Data from: Unexpected absence of genetic separation of a highly diverse population of hookworms from geographically isolated hosts, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8d987

Abstract

The high natal site fidelity of endangered Australian sea lions (Neophoca cinerea) along the southern Australian coast suggests that their maternally transmitted parasitic species, such as hookworms, will have restricted potential for dispersal. If this is the case, we would expect to find a hookworm haplotype structure corresponding to that of the host mtDNA haplotype structure; that is, restricted among geographically separated colonies. In this study, we used a fragment of the cytochrome c oxidase I mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) gene to investigate the diversity of hookworms (Uncinaria sanguinis) in N. cinerea to assess the importance of host distribution and ecology on the evolutionary history of the parasite. High haplotype (h = 0.986) and nucleotide diversity (π = 0.013) were seen, with 45 unique hookworm mtDNA haplotypes across N. cinerea colonies; with most of the variation (78%) arising from variability within hookworms from individual colonies. This is supported by the low genetic differentiation co-efficient (GST = 0.007) and a high gene flow (Nm = 35.25) indicating a high migration rate between the populations of hookworms. The haplotype network demonstrated no clear distribution and delineation of haplotypes according to geographical location. Our data rejects the vicariance hypothesis; that female host natal site fidelity and the transmammary route of infection restrict hookworm gene flow between N. cinerea populations and highlights the value of studies of parasite diversity and dispersal to challenge our understanding of parasite and host ecology.

Usage Notes

Location

Australia