Parasitism drives host genome evolution: Insights from the Pasteuria ramosa - Daphnia magna system

Yann Xavier Claude Bourgeois, Anne C. Roulin, Kristina Müller, Dieter Ebert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Because parasitism is thought to play a major role in shaping host genomes, it has been predicted that genomic regions associated with resistance to parasites should stand out in genome scans, revealing signals of selection above the genomic background. To test whether parasitism is indeed such a major factor in host evolution and to better understand host–parasite interaction at the molecular level, we studied genome‐wide polymorphisms in 97 genotypes of the planktonic crustacean Daphnia magna originating from three localities across Europe. Daphnia magna is known to coevolve with the bacterial pathogen Pasteuria ramosa for which host genotypes (clonal lines) are either resistant or susceptible. Using association mapping, we identified two genomic regions involved in resistance to P. ramosa, one of which was already known from a previous QTL analysis. We then performed a naïve genome scan to test for signatures of positive selection and found that the two regions identified with the association mapping further stood out as outliers. Several other regions with evidence for selection were also found, but no link between these regions and phenotypic variation could be established. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that parasitism is driving host genome evolution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1106-1113
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Early online date23 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • association mapping
  • Daphnia magna
  • host–parasite interactions
  • local adaptation
  • Pasteuria ramosa
  • selection analysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Parasitism drives host genome evolution: Insights from the Pasteuria ramosa - Daphnia magna system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this