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The sympatric occurrence of two genetically divergent lineages of sucking louse, Polyplax arvicanthis (Phthiraptera: Anoplura), on the four-striped mouse genus, Rhabdomys (Rodentia: Muridae).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23343502     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
SUMMARY Within southern Africa, the widely distributed four-striped mouse genus (Rhabdomys) is parasitized by, amongst others, the specific ectoparasitic sucking louse, Polyplax arvicanthis. Given the presence of significant geographically structured genetic divergence in Rhabdomys, and the propensity of parasites to harbour cryptic diversity, the molecular systematics of P. arvicanthis was investigated. Representatives of P. arvicanthis were sampled from Rhabdomys at 16 localities throughout southern Africa. Parsimony and Bayesian gene trees were constructed for the mitochondrial COI, 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA and nuclear CAD genes. Our findings support the existence of 2 genetic groups within P. arvicanthis separated by at least 25% COI sequence divergence, which is comparable to that observed among recognized Polyplax species. We therefore propose that these 2 genetic lineages probably represent distinct species and that the apparent absence of clear morphological differences may point to cryptic speciation. The 2 taxa have sympatric distributions throughout most of the sampled host range and also occasionally occur sympatrically on the same host individual. The co-occurrence of these genetically distinct lineages probably resulted from parasite duplication via host-associated allopatric divergence and subsequent reciprocal range expansions of the 2 parasite taxa throughout southern Africa.
Nina DU Toit; Sonja Matthee; Conrad A Matthee
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-1-24
Journal Detail:
Title:  Parasitology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1469-8161     ISO Abbreviation:  Parasitology     Publication Date:  2013 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-1-24     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401121     Medline TA:  Parasitology     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  1-13     Citation Subset:  -    
Evolutionary Genomics Group, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa.
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