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Coinfection patterns of two marine apicomplexans are not associated with genetic diversity of their polychaete host

Hiillos, Anna-Lotta; Rony, Irin; Rueckert, Sonja; Knott, Emily


Anna-Lotta Hiillos

Irin Rony

Emily Knott


Coinfections of two or more parasites within one host are more of a rule than an exception in nature. Interactions between coinfecting parasites can greatly affect their abundance and prevalence. Characteristics of the host, such as genetic diversity, can also affect the infection dynamics of coinfecting parasites. Here, we investigate for the first time the association of coinfection patterns of two marine apicomplexans, Rhytidocystis sp. and Selenidium pygospionis, with the genetic diversity of their host, the polychaete Pygospio elegans, from natural populations. Host genetic diversity was determined with seven microsatellite loci and summarized as allelic richness, inbreeding coefficient, and individual heterozygosity. We detected nonsignificant correlations between infection loads and both individual host heterozygosity and population genetic diversity. Prevalence and infection load of Rhytidocystis sp. were higher than those of S. pygospionis, and both varied spatially. Coinfections were common, and almost all hosts infected by S. pygospionis were also infected by Rhytidocystis sp. Rhytidocystis sp. infection load was significantly higher in dual infections. Our results suggest that factors other than host genetic diversity might be more important in marine apicomplexan infection patterns and experimental approaches would be needed to further determine how interactions between the apicomplexans and their host influence infection.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 8, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 4, 2022
Publication Date 2023-02
Deposit Date Jun 14, 2022
Publicly Available Date Feb 17, 2023
Journal Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
Print ISSN 1066-5234
Electronic ISSN 1550-7408
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 70
Issue 1
Article Number e12932
Keywords Gregarines, heterozygosity, host-symbiont interactions, Marosporida, symbiont-symbiont interactions
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