Mating system plays a determinant role in the maintenance and distribution of genetic variations. It can be assessed indirectly by analyzing the distribution of the genetic variability within populations or directly by considering how mating pairs are formed. In the present study, 71 pairs of adult Schistosoma mansoni worms sampled from naturally infected rats were genotyped to investigate how male and female schistosomes paired according to their genetic relatedness. Among all samples, pangamy, the random association between males and females, could not be rejected. Whereas the schistosome mating system has been intensively studied under experimental conditions, to the best of our knowledge, our study is the first to attempt to understand the way in which males and females pair in natural conditions.
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