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Infect Genet Evol. 2011 Mar;11(2):262-9. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2010.12.013. Epub 2011 Jan 4.

Intraspecific variability in host manipulation by parasites.

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IRD, MIVEGEC (UMR CNRS/IRD/UM), Team Strategy and Adaptation of Transmission, 911 Avenue Agropolis, 34090 Montpellier, France.


Manipulative parasites have the capacity to alter a broad range of phenotypic traits in their hosts, extending from colour, morphology and behaviour. While significant attention has been devoted to describing the diversity of host manipulation among parasite clades, and testing the adaptive value of phenotypic traits that can be manipulated, there is increasing evidence that variation exists in the frequency and intensity of the changes displayed by parasitized individuals within single host-manipulative parasite systems. Such variability occurs within individuals, between individuals of a same population, and across populations. Here we review the non-genetic (i.e. environmental) and genetic causes of variability in host behaviour manipulation, discuss its evolutionary significance, and propose directions for further researches.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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