Dr. Mac & Colleagues Discover New Species, Publish Article

Dr. Chris McAllister, EOSC-Biology Professor and colleagues recently had a scientific paper published in the Journal of Parasitology entitled, “Two new species of Homalometron (Digenea: Apocreadiidae) from Nearctic freshwater fundulids, elucidation of the life cycle of H. cupuloris, and molecular phylogenetic analysis of some congeners”. This publication is noteworthy in that it included host fishes, Blackstripe Topminnows (Fundulus notatus) collected by Dr. McAllister from Broken Bow at Yashau Creek, McCurtain County, Oklahoma.

Figure 1. Original line drawing of H. robisoni by T. J. Fayton and journal front page. Scale bar = 250 µm.

Figure 1. Original line drawing of H. robisoni by T. J. Fayton and journal front page. Scale bar = 250 µm.

Eleven of 97 (10%) of these topminnows were infected with a new species of parasitic trematode (flatworm) they named, Homalometron robisoni (Fig. 1), after an esteemed colleague, Dr. Henry Robison, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Biology and coauthor of Fishes of Oklahoma, formerly of Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Arkansas.

The parasite represents the fifth species of the genus known from freshwater in North America. The study included morphological information (measurements) as well as molecular (rDNA) sequences of the worms. The life cycle of these parasites include maturing in the digestive tract of fishes with larval forms using snails as intermediate hosts.

Dr. McAllister and his colleagues continue studying the parasites of fishes of southeastern Oklahoma and have reported new host as well as new state (distributional) records for their parasites in various journals, including the Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Science. Future publications will include additional descriptions of new species of parasitic worms from this physiographic region of Oklahoma which contains one of the most distinctive fish assemblages in the state.

The complete citation of this paper is: Fayton, T. J., S. S. Curran, M. J. Andres, R. M. Overstreet, and C. T. McAllister. 2016. Two new species of Homalometron Stafford, 1904 (Digenea: Apocreadiidae) from Nearctic freshwater fundulids, elucidation of the life cycle of H. cupuloris, and molecular phylogenetic analysis of some congeners.  J. Parasitol. 102:94-104.

You can read the published article at http://www.journalofparasitology.org/doi/pdf/10.1645/15-862.

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Photos from 2016 Graduate Reception

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