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.

"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 August 1, 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 August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) The discovery of a bear cub in the Pyrenees mountains made headlines in April 2014. Despire several attempts to find the animal's mother, the cub remained alone. Now, the Pyrenees Conservation Foundation has constructed an enclosure. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

AP (Aug. 1, 2014) A rare whale fossil has been pulled from a Southern California backyard. The 16- to 17-million-year-old baleen whale fossil is one of about 20 baleen whale fossils known to exist. (Aug. 1) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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