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Mitochondrial-DNA Analyses and the Origin and Relative Age of Parthenogenetic Lizards (Genus Cnemidophorus). III. C. velox and C. exsanguis

Craig C. Moritz, John W. Wright and Wesley M. Brown
Evolution
Vol. 43, No. 5 (Aug., 1989), pp. 958-968
DOI: 10.2307/2409577
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409577
Page Count: 11
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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.
Mitochondrial-DNA Analyses and the Origin and Relative Age of Parthenogenetic Lizards (Genus Cnemidophorus). III. C. velox and C. exsanguis
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Abstract

Mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs) of two unisexual, parthenogenetically reproducing species of whiptail lizards (Cnemidophorus velox and C. exsanguis) and their bisexual relatives were compared by restriction-enzyme analysis to assess levels of mtDNA variation and to establish the maternal ancestry of the unisexuals. No cleavage-site differences were found to be diagnostic between C. velox and C. exsanguis mtDNAs, suggesting an ancestry rooted in the same maternal lineage. The mtDNA of the unisexuals is relatively homogeneous, indicating that these lineages are of recent origin. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the maternal ancestor of both C. velox and C. exsanguis was most probably C. burti stictogrammus, C. costatus barrancorum, or an unidentified taxon closely related to them. In addition, the mtDNA analyses demonstrate conclusively that the triploid species C. velox could not have been formed by the fertilization of an unreduced (diploid) C. inornatus egg, further strengthening the hypothesis that parthenogenesis in Cnemidophorus results from hybridization.

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