Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Freshwater fish eyes: Great home for parasites

Date:
June 25, 2010
Source:
Wiley - Blackwell
Summary:
The limited immune response in the eyes of freshwater fishes has created a great home for parasites, according to new research. The study provides a lens into the evolutionary world of the larval flukes that parasitize Canadian fish.

The limited immune response in the eyes of freshwater fishes has created a great home for parasites, according to research published online in the journal Molecular Ecology. The study provides a lens into the evolutionary world of the larval flukes that parasitize Canadian fish.

Related Articles


"Canada probably has the best studied freshwater fish parasites in the world, so we were amazed when we found four times more species of flukes in a few fishes from the St. Lawrence than were previously known in all fishes across the whole country," says Sean Locke, who recently obtained his PhD from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

The larval flukes that infect freshwater fish mostly appear as microscopic, indistinct white blobs that are nearly impossible to identify. As a result, biologists have long had only a vague idea about how many fish‐dwelling parasite species exist.

The prevailing view has been that only a small number of generalist species infect all sorts of different fish. But Locke and his colleagues used DNA barcoding to show for the first time that this was not the case. The parasites found in most tissues- including muscle, gills, brains and internal organs-specialized on one or a few closely related fishes, the researchers found. In contrast, the lenses of fish eyes were home to five species of non‐specialized flukes that thrived in many different fish species and even frogs.

"The lens seems to be the host's Achilles' heel," says Locke. "An immune response there would blind the fish, so it appears evolution has favoured immunological restraint. The parasites there haven't needed to specialize in dealing with any one host's immune response and hence the same parasite species appear in all sorts of different fish."

The findings may have practical benefits for wildlife managers and fish farmers. Larval flukes are among the most common fish parasites in the world and cause problems in aquaculture and sport fisheries.

"Getting rid of wildlife parasites is very difficult even when you know what you're dealing with," notes Locke. "But identifying a pathogen is the first step to controlling it."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley - Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sean A. Locke, J. Daniel Mclaughlin, David J. Marcogliese. DNA barcodes show cryptic diversity and a potential physiological basis for host specificity among Diplostomoidea (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) parasitizing freshwater fishes in the St. Lawrence River, Canada. Molecular Ecology, 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04713.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley - Blackwell. "Freshwater fish eyes: Great home for parasites." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100622074824.htm>.
Wiley - Blackwell. (2010, June 25). Freshwater fish eyes: Great home for parasites. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100622074824.htm
Wiley - Blackwell. "Freshwater fish eyes: Great home for parasites." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100622074824.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins