ABUNDANT ASEXUALITY IN TROPICAL FRESH-WATER OSTRACODES

Thomas Little, P D N HEBERT

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Comparisons of the distributional patterns of closely related sexual and asexual taxa have played an important role in efforts to deduce the evolutionary significance of sexual reproduction. However, the limited information now available concerning the incidence of asexual forms in the tropics remains an important gap in the data base. This study investigated the incidence of asexuality in Jamaican freshwater ostracodes, a group whose temperate zone members show frequent transitions to parthenogenesis. Analysis of gender ratios and genotypic diversity for 12 ostracode species from Jamaican ponds revealed only one species that reproduced sexually whereas the other taxa possessed genotypic characteristics typical of either diploid or polyploid apomictic parthenogens. The incidence of asexuality appears higher on Jamaica than on neighbouring mainland sites, a pattern which may be a consequence of the insularity and recent origin of its pond habitats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-555
Number of pages7
JournalHeredity
Volume73
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1994

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