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Mode of origin differentially influences the fitness of parthenogenetic freshwater snails

By Steven G Johnson


How parthenogenetic lineages arise from sexual ancestors may strongly influence their persistence over evolutionary time. Hybrid parthenogens often have elevated heterozygosity and ploidy, thus making it difficult to disentangle the influence of reproductive mode, hybridity and ploidy on their relative fitness. By comparing the relative fitness of both hybrid and non-hybrid parthenogens to their sexual ancestors, further insight may be gained into how these three factors influence the maintenance of sexual and parthenogenetic reproduction. In the present study, hybrid and non-hybrid parthenogenetic and sexual snails (Campeloma sp.) were compared for the following characteristics: female size-fecundity curves, offspring size, survivorship, and growth. Compared to nearby sexual populations, triploid hybrid parthenogens from the Florida Gulf coast have similar fecundity and offspring size, five-times higher survivorship, and 60% higher growth. Relative to nearby sexual populations, non-hybrid parthenogenetic C. limum from the Atlantic coast have significantly higher fecundity, smaller offspring size, similar survivorship and slightly lower growth. Given the considerable fitness advantages of parthenogens, especially hybrid parthenogens, it is enigmatic as to why these parthenogens occupy marginal natural habitats

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: The Royal Society
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:1559951
Provided by: PubMed Central
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