Analysis of a possible independent origin of triploid P. formosa outside of the Río Purificación river system
FRANCISCO JAVIER GARCIA DE LEON
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"Unisexuality, or all female reproduction, is rare among vertebrates. Studying these exceptional organisms may give useful information with respect to the evolution and maintenance of sexual reproduction. Poecilia formosa was the first unisexual vertebrate species to be detected and since then has served as a paradigmatic organism for unisexuality and studies on the evolution of sex. It reproduces through gynogenesis, using sperm of males from related species to trigger parthenogenetic development of the unreduced diploid eggs. Like in other unisexual vertebrates, triploids occur in a certain range of P. formosa. It has been suggested that the addition of the host species derived third chromosome set is evolutionary important. Clonal organisms lack sufficient genotypic diversity for adaptive changes to variable environments. Also non-recombining genomes cannot purge deleterious mutations and therefore unisexual organisms should suffer from a genomic decay. Thus, polyploidization leading to triploidy should bring "fresh" genetic material into the asexual lineage. To evaluate the importance of triploidy for maintaining the asexual species, it is important to know whether such an introgression event happens at a reasonable frequency."
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