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Contagious parthenogenesis, automixis, and a sex determination meltdown


Engelstädter, J; Sandrock, C; Vorburger, C (2011). Contagious parthenogenesis, automixis, and a sex determination meltdown. Evolution, 65(2):501-511.

Abstract

Because of the twofold cost of sex, genes conferring asexual reproduction are expected to spread rapidly in sexual populations. However, in reality this simple prediction is often confounded by several complications observed in natural systems. Motivated by recent findings in the Cape honey bee and in the parasitoid wasp Lysiphlebus fabarum, we explore through mathematical models the spread of a recessive, parthenogenesis inducing allele in a haplodiploid population. The focus of these models is on the intricate interactions between the mode of parthenogenesis induction through automixis and complementary sex determination (CSD) systems. These interactions may result in asexual production of diploid male offspring and the spread of the parthenogenesis-inducing allele through these males. We demonstrate that if parthenogenetic females produce a substantial proportion of male offspring, this may prevent the parthenogenesis-inducing allele from spreading. However, this effect is weakened if these diploid males are at least partially fertile. We also predict a degradation of multilocus CSD systems during the spread of parthenogenesis, following which only a single polymorphic CSD locus is maintained. Finally, based on empirical parameter estimates from L. fabarum we predict that male production in parthenogens is unlikely to prevent the eventual loss of sexual reproduction in this system.

Because of the twofold cost of sex, genes conferring asexual reproduction are expected to spread rapidly in sexual populations. However, in reality this simple prediction is often confounded by several complications observed in natural systems. Motivated by recent findings in the Cape honey bee and in the parasitoid wasp Lysiphlebus fabarum, we explore through mathematical models the spread of a recessive, parthenogenesis inducing allele in a haplodiploid population. The focus of these models is on the intricate interactions between the mode of parthenogenesis induction through automixis and complementary sex determination (CSD) systems. These interactions may result in asexual production of diploid male offspring and the spread of the parthenogenesis-inducing allele through these males. We demonstrate that if parthenogenetic females produce a substantial proportion of male offspring, this may prevent the parthenogenesis-inducing allele from spreading. However, this effect is weakened if these diploid males are at least partially fertile. We also predict a degradation of multilocus CSD systems during the spread of parthenogenesis, following which only a single polymorphic CSD locus is maintained. Finally, based on empirical parameter estimates from L. fabarum we predict that male production in parthenogens is unlikely to prevent the eventual loss of sexual reproduction in this system.

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8 citations in Web of Science®
13 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:08 Mar 2011 17:01
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:43
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0014-3820
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.01145.x
PubMed ID:21029077
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-44719

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