High levels of inbreeding with spatial and host-associated structure in lice of an endangered freshwater seal

Stephany Virrueta Herrera, Tommi Nyman, Kevin Johnson, Andrew Sweet, Eeva Ylinen & Mervi Kunnasranta
Host-specialist parasites of endangered large vertebrates are in many cases more endangered than their hosts. In particular, low host population densities and reduced among-host transmission rates are expected to lead to inbreeding within parasite infrapopulations living on single host individuals. Furthermore, spatial population structures of directly-transmitted parasites should be concordant with those of their hosts. Using population genomic approaches, we investigated inbreeding and population structure in a host-specialist seal louse (Echinophthirius horridus) infesting the Saimaa...
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