Bryozoan endoparasite evolution

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Watch the video to see myxozoan parasites wriggling around inside a bryozoan.

Host-parasite interactions are usually understood by looking at traditional systems, such as the malaria parasite infecting animal hosts. However, colonial animals such as bryozoans present a different model.

Bryozoans offer endoparasites a potentially unlimited, genetically homogenous resource to exploit.

We are examining how myxozoans have evolved to parasitise colonial hosts by considering the evolutionary history of the exploiter and exploited.

We are researching:
  • morphological simplification of myxozoans (eg from active worms to sacs and plasmodia)
  • cycling between developmental stages depending on host condition
  • local adaptation between parasites and hosts
  • the origins of endoparasitism

Project researchers



A parasite that lives inside another organism, known as the host. Myxozoa are endoparasites. 

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