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Heredity (Edinb). 2003 Mar;90(3):260-7.

Gene flow between arrhenotokous and thelytokous populations of Venturia canescens (Hymenoptera).

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  • 1Animal Ecology, Institute of Evolutionary and Ecological Sciences, University of Leiden, PO Box 9516, NL-2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands. mvschneider@rulsfb.leidenuniv.nl


In the solitary parasitoid wasp Venturia canescens both arrhenotokously (sexual) and thelytokously (parthenogenetical) reproducing individuals occur sympatrically. We found in the laboratory that thelytokous wasps are able to mate, receive and use sperm of arrhenotokous males. Using nuclear (amplified fragment length polymorphism, virus-like protein) and mitochondrial (restriction fragment length polymorphism) markers, we show the occurrence of gene flow from the arrhenotokous to the thelytokous mode in the field. Our results reinforce the paradox of sex in this species.

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