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Endoparasite Diversity of Subterranean Rodents

Altangerel Tsogtsaikhan Dursahinhan, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Parasite systematics research is as equally essential as other organismal levels of biological research in studying our planet's biodiversity. This dissertation is designed and organized according to the DAMA protocol, first designed by Brooks et al. (2014), and has implemented the first two steps of the protocol: Documentation and Assessment. In this dissertation, I compiled all available endoparasite records of all subterranean rodents from four major zoogeographical regions. I used Wallace's (1876) zoogeographic terminologies. Chapter one consists of chronologically ordered literature reviews with the original host-parasite records. Four checklists were made of the most current taxonomic updates for all subterranean rodent host-parasites from Ethiopian, Palearctic/Oriental, Nearctic and Neotropic regions. The list is comprised of the parasitic taxonomic groups: protozoans, cestodes, nematodes, and acanthocephalans. In the second chapter, I synthesized all the subterranean rodent host-parasite records by utilizing Poulin's synthesis analysis using the bipartite networks to determine multiple critical parameters to quantify and measure the structure and interactions of the participants in host-parasite communities. A total of 65 subterranean hosts, 174 endoparasite species, and 282 interactions were used to create networks. These results were compared among the subterranean groups from different zoogeographical regions. The final chapter includes a new species of tapeworm description from a subterranean host species collected from Mongolia. A genetic distance analysis based on cytochrome-b sequences shows that Arostrilepis batsaikhani n. sp. most closely resembles Arostrilepis microtis Gulyaev and Chechulin 1997 by a high degree of genetic similarity (about 96%) but differs by having larger suckers on the scolex, testes, cirrus spines, and egg size. A phylogenetic analysis was conducted using a total evidence dataset combining continuous and discrete morphological characters with molecular data using maximum parsimony. Furthermore, biogeographic relationships of Arostrilepis were investigated using the first steps in PACT, which optimized the geographic areas onto the phylogenetic tree. The result shows that the biogeographic origin of this tapeworm might have initiated from the Nearctic. This systematic research analysis is an example of the full Stockholm Paradigm dynamic on display.

Subject Area

Biology|Systematic biology|Parasitology

Recommended Citation

Tsogtsaikhan Dursahinhan, Altangerel, "Endoparasite Diversity of Subterranean Rodents" (2021). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI28773743.