pp 1–13 | Cite as

Spatio-temporal population genetic structure, relative to demographic and ecological characteristics, in the freshwater snail Biomphalaria pfeifferi in Man, western Côte d’Ivoire

  • Yves-Nathan T. Tian-BiEmail author
  • Jean-Noël K. Konan
  • Abdourahamane Sangaré
  • Enrique Ortega-Abboud
  • Jürg Utzinger
  • Eliézer K. N’Goran
  • Philippe Jarne
Original Paper


Combining the analysis of spatial and temporal variation when investigating population structure enhances our capacity for unravelling the biotic and abiotic factors responsible for microevolutionary change. This work aimed at measuring the spatial and temporal genetic structure of populations of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria pfeifferi (the intermediate host of the trematode Schistosoma mansoni) in relation to the mating system (self-fertilization), demography, parasite prevalence and some ecological parameters. Snail populations were sampled four times in seven human-water contact sites in the Man region, western Côte d’Ivoire, and their variability was measured at five microsatellite loci. Limited genetic diversity and high selfing rates were observed in the populations studied. We failed to reveal an effect of demographic and ecological parameters on within-population diversity, perhaps as a result of a too small number of populations. A strong spatial genetic differentiation was detected among populations. The temporal differentiation within populations was high in most populations, though lower than the spatial differentiation. All estimates of effective population size were lower than seven suggesting a strong effect of genetic drift. However, the genetic drift was compensated by high gene flow. The genetic structure within and among populations reflected that observed in other selfing snail species, relying on high selfing rates, low effective population sizes, environmental stochasticity and high gene flow.


Spatio-temporal structure Demography Parasitic prevalence Gene flow Biomphalaria pfeifferi 



We thank two reviewers for a series of useful comments. This study received financial support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) allocated to the Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d'Ivoire (CSRS) via a project entitled “Contribution to the process of national reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire”. We are grateful to the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) for having supported the purchase of all the genetic analysis materials. We thank the Centre National de Recherche Agronomique (CNRA) for having allowed snail genotyping in the Laboratoire Central de Biotechnologie. We are also grateful to Rodolphe Dieugbé from ODAFEM-Man for his assistance during snail sampling.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Author Yves-Nathan T. Tian-Bi declares that he has no conflict of interest. Author Jean-Noël K. Konan declares that he has no conflict of interest. Author Abdourahamane Sangaré declares that he has no conflict of interest. Author Enrique Ortega-Abboud declares that he has no conflict of interest. Author Jürg Utzinger declares that he has no conflict of interest. Author Eliézer K. N’Goran declares that he has no conflict of interest. Author Philippe Jarne declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Génétique, Unité de Formation et de Recherche BiosciencesUniversité Félix Houphouët-BoignyAbidjan 22Côte d’Ivoire
  2. 2.Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d’IvoireAbidjan 01Côte d’Ivoire
  3. 3.Centre National de Recherche AgronomiqueAbidjan 01Côte d’Ivoire
  4. 4.Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et EvolutiveUMR 5175, CNRS, IRD, Université de Montpellier, Université Paul Valéry Montpellier, EPHEMontpellier Cedex 5France
  5. 5.Swiss Tropical and Public Health InstituteBaselSwitzerland
  6. 6.University of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  7. 7.Laboratoire de Zoologie-Biologie Animale, Unité de Recherche et de Formation Parasitologie et Ecologie Parasitaire, Unité de Formation et de Recherche BiosciencesUniversité Félix Houphouët-BoignyAbidjan 22Côte d’Ivoire

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