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Clonal-Diversity Patterns and Breeding-System Variation in Daphnia pulex, asexual-Sexual Complex

Paul D. N. Hebert, Robert D. Ward and Lawrence J. Weider
Evolution
Vol. 42, No. 1 (Jan., 1988), pp. 147-159
DOI: 10.2307/2409123
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409123
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Clonal-Diversity Patterns and Breeding-System Variation in Daphnia pulex, asexual-Sexual Complex
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Abstract

Some individuals of the cladoceran crustacean, Daphnia pulex, reproduce by cyclic parthenogenesis, while others are obligate parthenogens. Cyclic parthenogenesis is the primitive breeding system; the transition to obligate parthenogenesis has been linked to sex-limited meiosis-suppression. Detailed study of patterns of breeding-system distribution and clonal diversity is justified because D. pulex is the first species in which the loss of sex has been related to this mechanism. The present study investigated the genotypic characteristics of 10 D. pulex populations from each of 22 sites in the Great Lakes watershed. This analysis revealed that populations reproducing by cyclic parthenogenesis were uncommon and restricted to southern sites. Most populations reproduced by obligate parthenogenesis, with the electrophoretic survey revealing an average of three clones per pond and 145 unique clones over the watershed. A combinatorial analysis was used to examine the relationships between clone discovery in the asexual populations and both sample size and genetic-sampling intensity. This analysis showed that the few clones found in individual ponds were readily discriminated, while diversity on a regional scale was underestimated. These methods provide a quantitative basis for assessing the level of clonal diversity in asexual populations and in asexually transmitted segments of the genome.

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