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  • Cited by 4
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Okamura, Beth 2016. Hidden infections and changing environments. Integrative and Comparative Biology, p. icw008.


    Taylor, Paul D. 2015. Fossil Parasites.


    Hartikainen, Hanna Gruhl, Alexander and Okamura, Beth 2014. Diversification and repeated morphological transitions in endoparasitic cnidarians (Myxozoa: Malacosporea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Vol. 76, p. 261.


    McElroy, Eric J. and de Buron, I. 2014. Host Performance as a Target of Manipulation by Parasites: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Parasitology, Vol. 100, Issue. 4, p. 399.


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Parasitism and phenotypic change in colonial hosts

  • HANNA HARTIKAINEN (a1) (a2), INÊS FONTES (a2) and BETH OKAMURA (a2)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031182013000899
  • Published online: 21 August 2013
Abstract
SUMMARY

Changes in host phenotype are often attributed to manipulation that enables parasites to complete trophic transmission cycles. We characterized changes in host phenotype in a colonial host–endoparasite system that lacks trophic transmission (the freshwater bryozoan Fredericella sultana and myxozoan parasite Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae). We show that parasitism exerts opposing phenotypic effects at the colony and module levels. Thus, overt infection (the development of infectious spores in the host body cavity) was linked to a reduction in colony size and growth rate, while colony modules exhibited a form of gigantism. Larger modules may support larger parasite sacs and increase metabolite availability to the parasite. Host metabolic rates were lower in overtly infected relative to uninfected hosts that were not investing in propagule production. This suggests a role for direct resource competition and active parasite manipulation (castration) in driving the expression of the infected phenotype. The malformed offspring (statoblasts) of infected colonies had greatly reduced hatching success. Coupled with the severe reduction in statoblast production this suggests that vertical transmission is rare in overtly infected modules. We show that although the parasite can occasionally infect statoblasts during overt infections, no infections were detected in the surviving mature offspring, suggesting that during overt infections, horizontal transmission incurs a trade-off with vertical transmission.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK. E-mail: h.hartikainen@nhm.ac.uk
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