Podocotyle atomon (Trematoda: Digenea) impacts reproductive behaviour, survival and physiology in Gammarus zaddachi (Amphipoda)

Abstract : The Trematoda are a group of phylogenetically diverse metazoan parasites that exhibit complex life cycles that often pass through invertebrate and vertebrate hosts. Some trematodes influence their host's behaviour to benefit transmission. Their parasitic influence may impact host population size by inhibiting an individual's reproductive capacity. We assessed the impact of infection by Podocotyle atomon on the reproductive behaviour and fecundity of its amphipod intermediate host, Gammarus zaddachi, using laboratory and field studies. Parasite prevalence was high in the field, with males more likely to be infected (prevalence in males 64%, in females 39%). Males also suffered a higher parasite burden than females. Infected females were less active, but we found no evidence for a reduction in female reproductive success. Infected females also had comparable pairing success to uninfected females. In males, infection reduced survival and fecundity, with mortality being highest, and sperm numbers lowest, in heavily infected individuals. Trematode parasites are sometimes associated with altered host fecundity, but studies often lack the relevant experimental data to explore the evolution of the trait. We discuss this among information specific to the effect of P. atomon infection in G. zaddachi.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 12:35:10 PM
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Katherine L. Arundell, Aurore Dubuffet, Nina Wedell, Jamie Bojko, Martin S. J. Rogers, et al.. Podocotyle atomon (Trematoda: Digenea) impacts reproductive behaviour, survival and physiology in Gammarus zaddachi (Amphipoda). Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, Inter Research, 2019, 136 (1), pp.51-62. ⟨10.3354/dao03416⟩. ⟨hal-02359158⟩

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