Host-parasite interactions at the genetic level in the Schistocephalus solidus tapeworm, copepods, and threespine stickleback system




Shim, Kum C.

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In chapter one I surveyed the genetic structuring of 12 Schistocephalus solidus tapeworm populations from Vancouver Island, BC, and compared it to that of their threespine stickleback fish hosts. There were small but significant genetic differences among the tapeworm populations, and these genetic differences were significantly smaller than those of the fish. The latter indicates that the parasite disperses more readily than their fish hosts. In Chapter two, I investigated if there was local adaptation and host specify of the tapeworm to its copepod hosts. Results indicate that the tapeworm is not locally adapted to the copepods, but there was host specificity as a copepod genus was more parasitized than another genus. In chapter three, I explored if stickleback host immunity can cause divergent selection in the tapeworm. Indeed, there were at least eight loci under divergent selection in tapeworm populations caused by a strong immunological respond to infection from the fish.


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