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Self-Fertilization and Monogenic Strains in Natural Populations of Terrestrial Slugs

Gary F. McCracken and Robert K. Selander
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 77, No. 1, [Part 2: Biological Sciences] (Jan., 1980), pp. 684-688
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/8274
Page Count: 5
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Self-Fertilization and Monogenic Strains in Natural Populations of Terrestrial Slugs
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Abstract

Electrophoretic studies of genetic variation in 14 species of terrestrial slugs of the families Arionidae, Philomycidae, and Limacidae in the eastern United States indicate that self-fertilization, either facultative or obligatory, is the normal breeding system in six of the species. Three of these six species are single monogenic strains; one consists of three monogenic strains; one includes a highly heterozygous form and two monogenic strains; and one has a moderate amount of polymorphism but little heterozygosity and strong linkage disequilibrium. Eight species are outcrossers, being highly polymorphic and panmictic within local populations. Niche breadth, assessed in terms of extent of geographic distribution and variety of habitats occupied and measured on an experimental plot of woodland, is greater in some monogenic strains than in highly heterozygous, outcrossing species. Colonizing success apparently is independent of the amount of genetic variation carried by a species.

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