Co-divergence or opportunism: The evolution of trematode parasitism in the sea (2005–2007)

Digeneans are a major group of parasitic helminths that occur in vertebrates as definitive hosts and molluscs as intermediate hosts. They have low host-specificity to vertebrates and their distribution is controlled mainly by host diet; they are resource-trackers occurring e.g. in unrelated herbivores. In contrast digeneans are strongly host-specific to molluscs. Has this come about through co-divergence or another kind of resource tracking? Surprisingly we don't know. Digeneans arose in the sea so it is there that we seek to answer this question by phylogenetic and life-cycle studies of a key and economically significant marine digenean family the Bucephalidae
Grant type:
ARC Discovery Projects
Funded by:
Australian Research Council