Evolutionary origins of sexual parasitism in an Australian freshwater fish

Evolutionary origins of sexual parasitism in an Australian freshwater fish

Project Information

Team

Peter Unmack and Mark Adams (Museum of South Australia)


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Project Summary

Carp gudgeons are the most abundant, widespread and biodiverse freshwater fishes in southeastern Australia, but unacknowledged presence of many cryptic species and sexually-parasitic lineages severely taints all research on this cornerstone group. This project will provide unrivalled evolutionary, genomic and taxonomic insights into this new instance of vertebrate sexual parasitism, which offers a unique mix of research advantages not displayed by any other sexual/unisexual complex. The knowledge gained will impact many research fields, including evolutionary theory addressing the unexplainable prevalence of sex, native fish ecology, and environmental monitoring of the Murray-Darling Basin, an ecosystem of world significance.