Cospeciation

Abstract

Cospeciation is joint speciation of both host and parasite, resulting in host and parasite phylogenies being mirror images of each other.

Keywords: cospeciation; coevolution; phylogeny; molecular evolution

Figure 1.

Processes in a host–parasite association. The host and parasite may speciate at the same time (a) or the parasite may speciate independently of its host (b, c). If independent speciation occurs, then one or more of the descendant parasites may colonize a new host (b) or the parasite may remain on the original host (c). Absence of a parasite from a host where it would be expected to occur may be due to extinction of that parasite (d), or the ancestors of the host lineage may not have inherited the ancestral parasite (e).

Figure 2.

Three null hypotheses concerning host–parasite cospeciation. First (a) the topologies of the host and parasite trees are identical, although the rates of evolution and speciation times may differ. Second (b) given that the topologies are the same, the relative speciation times are identical, even if the rates are different in the two clades. Third (c) is the topologies, speciation times, and rates are identical in host and parasite. Huelsenbeck et al. (1997).

Figure 3.

Phylogenies for pocket gophers and their chewing lice parasites with branch lengths proportional to number of substitutions at the third codon position in the mitochondrial DNACOI gene. Pocket gopher genera are Orthogeomys, Pappogeomys, Cratogeomys, Geomys, Thomomys and Zygogeomys; louse genera are Geomydoecus and Thomomydoecus. Thin lines connect gophers with their species‐specific parasite. Inset shows a louse clasping a gopher hair shaft. From Hafner et al..

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References

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Hoberg EP, Brooks DR and Siegel‐Causey D (1997) Host parasite co‐speciation: history, principles and prospects. In: Clayton DH and Moore J (eds) Host–Parasite Evolution: General Principles and Avian Models, pp. 212–235. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Further Reading

Humphrey‐Smith I (1989) The evolution of phylogenetic specificity among parasitic organisms. Parasitology Today 5: 385–387.

Page RDM (ed.) (2003) Tangled Trees: Phylogeny, Cospeciation, and Coevolution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Page RDM and Charleston MA (1998) Trees within trees: phylogeny and historical associations. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 13: 356–359.

Page RDM and Hafner MS (1996) Molecular phylogenies and host–parasite cospeciation: gophers and lice as a model system. In: Harvey PH, Leigh Brown AJ, Maynard Smith J and Nee S (eds) New Uses For New Phylogenies, pp. 255–270. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Paterson AM and Gray RD (1997) Host–parasite cospeciation, host switching, and missing the boat. In: Clayton DH and Moore J (eds) Host–Parasite Evolution: General Principles and Avian Models, pp. 236–250. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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How to Cite close
Page, Roderic DM(Jan 2006) Cospeciation. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0004124]