Towards unravelling the rosette agent enigma: spread and emergence of the co-invasive host-pathogen complex, Pseudorasbora parva-Sphaerothecum destruens.
The emergence of non-native fungal pathogens is a growing threat to global health, biodiversity, conservation biology, food security and the global economy. Moreover, a thorough understanding of the spread and emergence of pathogens among invasive and native host populations, as well as genetic analysis of the structure of co-invasive host populations, is crucial in terms of conservation biology and management strategies. Here we combined extensive catchment sampling, molecular detection tools and genomic signatures to (i) assess the prevalence of the rosette agent Sphaerothecum destruens in invasive and native fish populations in contrasting french regions, and (ii) characterize the genetic diversity and population structure of its co-invasive and asymptomatic carrier Pseudorasbora parva. Although S. destruens was not detected in all the fish collected its presence in contrasting freshwater ecosystems suggests that the disease may already be widespread in France. Furthermore, our results show that the detection of S. destruens DNA in its asymptomatic carrier P. parva is still limited. Finally, we found that P. parva populations show a homogeneous genetic and geographical structuring, which raises the possibility of the occurrence of successive introduction events in France from their native and invasive range.