Spatial population genetic structure of a bacterial parasite in close coevolution with its host

Andras, Jason P. and Fields, Peter D. and Ebert, Dieter. (2018) Spatial population genetic structure of a bacterial parasite in close coevolution with its host. Molecular Ecology, 27 (6). pp. 1371-1384.

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Knowledge of a species' population genetic structure can provide insight into fundamental ecological and evolutionary processes including gene flow, genetic drift and adaptive evolution. Such inference is of particular importance for parasites, as an understanding of their population structure can illuminate epidemiological and coevolutionary dynamics. Here, we describe the population genetic structure of the bacterium Pasteuria ramosa, a parasite that infects planktonic crustaceans of the genus Daphnia. This system has become a model for investigations of host-parasite interactions and represents an example of coevolution via negative frequency-dependent selection (aka "Red Queen" dynamics). To sample P. ramosa, we experimentally infected a panel of Daphnia hosts with natural spore banks from the sediments of 25 ponds throughout much of the species range in Europe and western Asia. Using 12 polymorphic variable number tandem repeat loci (VNTR loci), we identified substantial genetic diversity, both within and among localities, that was structured geographically among ponds. Genetic diversity was also structured among host genotypes within ponds, although this pattern varied by locality, with P. ramosa at some localities partitioned into distinct host-specific lineages, and other localities where recombination had shuffled genetic variation among different infection phenotypes. Across the sample range, there was a pattern of isolation by distance, and principal components analysis coupled with Procrustes rotation identified congruence between patterns of genetic variation and geography. Our findings support the hypothesis that Pasteuria is an endemic parasite coevolving closely with its host. These results provide important context for previous studies of this model system and inform hypotheses for future research.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Evolutionary Biology (Ebert)
UniBasel Contributors:Ebert, Dieter and Fields, Peter and Andras, Jason
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:15 May 2019 09:21
Deposited On:21 Feb 2019 15:15

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