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The Effects of Contrasting Modes of Fertilization on Levels of Inbreeding in the Marine Invertebrate Genus Corella

C. Sarah Cohen
Evolution
Vol. 50, No. 5 (Oct., 1996), pp. 1896-1907
DOI: 10.2307/2410748
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410748
Page Count: 12
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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.
The Effects of Contrasting Modes of Fertilization on Levels of Inbreeding in the Marine Invertebrate Genus Corella
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Abstract

A simple difference in the body design of two species of marine urochordates in the ascidian genus Corella suggested that these species may differ in their mating systems. The two coexisting species share common life-history traits and morphology with the exception of a difference in body design that affects site of fertilization and embryonic development. Corella inflata has internal fertilization and embryonic development, while C. willmeriana has external fertilization and embryonic development. The natural mating system of these two species of solitary ascidians was inferred by comparing the relative survival of selfed and outcrossed fertilizations in the laboratory. Corella inflata, the internal fertilizer, showed no difference in survival between selfed and outcrossed fertilizations at any developmental stage through metamorphosis and early juvenile development. In contrast, self-fertilized crosses of C. willmeriana had significantly lower survival than outcrossed fertilizations even at the earliest scorable developmental stages. These results suggest that C. inflata may inbreed frequently in nature, while viable C. willmeriana offspring are primarily a result of outcrossing. The internally-fertilizing species, C. inflata, showed approximately 10% male sterility in laboratory crosses despite apparent morphological hermaphroditism. The externally-fertilizing, commonly outcrossing species, C. willmeriana, showed no difference in fertility between genders.

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