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1 December 2015 Microgeographic Population Genetic Structure of Baylisascaris procyonis (Nematoda: Ascaroidae) in Western Michigan Indicates the Grand River Is a Barrier to Gene Flow
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Abstract

Baylisascaris procyonis , the raccoon roundworm, is increasingly being recognized for its zoonotic and public health importance. Fine-scale analyses of the population genetics of this species have been hampered due to a lack of appropriate genetic markers. To this end, we developed 8 novel polymorphic microsatellites for B. procyonis and used these markers to elucidate microgeographic structuring of this parasite in a 500-km2 study area in western Michigan. Our analyses revealed significant levels of genetic differentiation amongst the 74 worms collected from 10 different raccoons. Critically, Bayesian clustering indicated 2 genetically distinct groups, one on either side of the Grand River which bisects our study area. Estimates of FST, and results from AMOVA and isolation by distance, further corroborated a scenario whereby the river is acting as a barrier to gene flow, a rather unexpected finding given the high vagility of raccoons and microgeographic scale of the analysis. It is possible that the Grand River is a major dispersal barrier for B. procyonis because raccoons are most likely to disperse across the river when it is frozen, and worm burden in raccoons approaches zero during the winter.

© American Society of Parasitologists 2015
Christina A. Sarkissian, Sara K. Campbell, Guha Dharmarajan, Joseph Jacquot, L. Kristen Page, and Douglas H. Graham "Microgeographic Population Genetic Structure of Baylisascaris procyonis (Nematoda: Ascaroidae) in Western Michigan Indicates the Grand River Is a Barrier to Gene Flow," Journal of Parasitology 101(6), 671-676, (1 December 2015). https://doi.org/10.1645/15-767
Received: 25 March 2015; Accepted: 1 August 2015; Published: 1 December 2015
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