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Are all species of Pseudorhabdosynochus strictly host specific? — A molecular study

Schoelinck, Charlotte, Cruaud, Corinne, Justine, Jean-Lou
Parasitology international 2012 v.61 no.2 pp. 356-359
Epinephelus, coral reefs, genes, grouper, host specificity, hosts, parasitology, surface water, New Caledonia
Species of the diplectanid monogenean genus Pseudorhabdosynochus are strictly host-specific (specialist), with the exception of P. cyanopodus, which was reported in New Caledonia, South Pacific, from two host species, Epinephelus cyanopodus and E. chlorostigma. We sequenced the COI gene of both host fish species and of their monogeneans. Morphological identification and pairwise distances showed that the two fish species were distinct (difference 6.1–6.6%), but that their monogeneans were not (difference 0–1.5%). A morphological study of sclerotised parts showed that specimens of P. cyanopodus are similar in both fish. Most species of groupers and their associated Pseudorhabdosynochus species are from warm surface waters, but the two groupers E. cyanopodus and E. chlorostigma are usually caught in deep-sea on the outer slope of the coral reef. This suggests that acquisition of a less strict host specificity is an adaptation of P. cyanopodus to deep-sea hosts.