The occurrence and significance of triploidy in the liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica
Karyotyping of Fasciola hepatica samples from Britain and Ireland has identified a triploid isolate which is effectively aspermic, rendering it necessarily asexually reproducing. Considering the extensive presence of asexually reproducing diploid and triploid Fasciola in Asia it is suggested that facultative gynogenesis is widespread in this parasite. This has important implications for the population genetics and evolution of Fasciola, especially in relation to the development and spread of drug resistance, and must be considered in the mathematical modelling of this process.(Received June 7 2003)
(Revised August 11 2003)
(Accepted August 11 2003)
Key Words: Fasciola hepatica; triploidy; karyotype; parthenogenesis; drug resistance.
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p1 Present address: Department of Haematology, ‘C’ Floor, Belfast City Hospital, 51 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7AB.
p2 Present address: The Queen's University of Belfast, The Dept. of Veterinary Science, Stoney Road, Stormont, Belfast BT4 3SD.