Identification assisted by molecular markers of larval parasites in two limpet species (Patellogastropoda: Nacella) inhabiting Antarctic and Magellan coastal systems
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In the Southern Ocean, many parasites of vertebrates (mainly helminth groups) have been recognized as endemic species, but parasites of marine invertebrates remain almost unknown. It is reasonable to assume that digenean larvae will parasitize gastropods, bivalves, amphipods, and annelids, the usual first and second intermediate hosts for those parasites. Here, using an identification assisted by molecular markers, we report the Digenea species parasitizing the most abundant limpet species inhabiting ice-free rocky intertidal and subtidal zones of the Southern Ocean, viz. Nacella concinna from the Antarctic and Nacella deaurata from the Magellan region. The limpets harbored larval Digenea (two metacercariae and one sporocyst). Phylogenetic analysis based on the multilocus tree supported the hypothesis that N. concinna is parasitized by a species of Gymnophallidae, whereas the limpet N. deaurata is parasitized by Gymnophalloides nacellae and a species of Renicolidae. In addition, differences in prevalence and intensity were also recorded between the two compared host species and also from other congeneric species. This new knowledge in parasite species in marine invertebrates from the Southern Ocean reveals the presence of a particular parasite fauna and confirms the utility of molecular tools to identify biodiversity still scarcely known.
KeywordsNacella concinna Nacella deaurata Digenean parasites Molecular markers Southern Ocean
This work was supported and funded by the Instituto Antártico Chileno through the Inach RT 02–15 Grant, the National Commission of Scientific and Technological Investigation of Chile through the Fondo de Financiamiento de Centros de Investigación en Áreas Prioritarias (FONDAP) programme research center: Dynamics of High Latitude Marine Ecosystems (grant no. 15150003), and FONDECYT (postdoctoral grant no. 3180331 to C.P.M.-R.).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.
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