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Negative correlation between male allocation and rate of self-fertilization in a hermaphroditic animal

By Mark O. Johnston, Bijon Das and Walter R. Hoeh


Sex-allocation theory predicts that the evolution of increased rates of self-fertilization should be accompanied by decreased allocation to male reproduction (sperm production and broadcast). This prediction has found support in plants but has not previously been tested in animals, which, in contrast to biotically pollinated plants, are free of complications associated with incorporating the costs of attractive structures such as petals. Here we report rates of self-fertilization as well as proportional allocation to male reproductive tissues within populations of the simultaneous hermaphrodite Utterbackia imbecillis, a freshwater mussel. Individuals from populations with higher selfing rates devoted a lower proportion of reproductive tissue to sperm production (correlation = −0.99), in support of theory

Topics: Biological Sciences
Publisher: The National Academy of Sciences
Year: 1998
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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