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“Parasite turnover zone” at secondary contact: a new pattern in host-parasite population genetics.
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  • Jana Martinu,
  • Jan Stefka,
  • Anbu Poosakkannu,
  • Václav Hypša
Jana Martinu
University of South Bohemia Faculty of Science
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Jan Stefka
University of South Bohemia
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Anbu Poosakkannu
University of South Bohemia Faculty of Science
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Václav Hypša
University of South Bohemia Faculty of Science
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Peer review status:IN REVISION

02 Jul 2020Submitted to Molecular Ecology
05 Jul 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
09 Aug 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
11 Aug 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor

Abstract

We introduce a new pattern of population genetic structure in a host-parasite system that can arise after secondary contact of previously isolated populations. Due to different generation time and therefore different tempo of molecular evolution the host and parasite populations reach different degrees of genetic differentiation during their separation (e.g. in refugia). Consequently, during the secondary contact the host populations are able to re-establish a single panmictic population across the area of contact, while the parasite populations stop their dispersal at the secondary contact zone and create a narrow hybrid zone. From the host’s perspective, the parasite’s hybrid zone functions on a microevolutionary scale as a “parasite turnover zone”: while the hosts are passing from area A to area B, their parasites turn genetically from the area A genotypes to the area B genotypes. We demonstrate this novel pattern on a model composed of Apodemus mice and Polyplax lice by comparing maternally inherited markers (complete mitochondrial genomes, and complete genomes of vertically transmitted symbiont Legionella polyplacis) with SNPs derived from the louse genomic data. We discuss circumstances that may lead to this pattern and possible reasons why it has been overlooked in the studies on host-parasite population genetics.