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Heredity (Edinb). 2012 Apr;108(4):386-95. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2011.84. Epub 2011 Sep 14.

Population genetic structure of sexual and parthenogenetic damselflies inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear markers.

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1
Evolutionary Ecology Group, Department of Ecology and Animal Biology, Universidade de Vigo, EUET Forestal, Pontevedra, Spain. olalla.lorenzo@uvigo.es

Abstract

It has been postulated that obligate asexual lineages may persist in the long term if they escape from negative interactions with either sexual lineages or biological enemies; and thus, parthenogenetic populations will be more likely to occur in places that are difficult for sexuals to colonize, or those in which biological interactions are rare, such as islands or island-like habitats. Ischnura hastata is the only known example of natural parthenogenesis within the insect order Odonata, and it represents also a typical example of geographic parthenogenesis, as sexual populations are widely distributed in North America, whereas parthenogenetic populations of this species have only been found at the Azores archipelago. In order to gain insight in the origin and distribution of parthenogenetic I. hastata lineages, we have used microsatellites, mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data, to examine the population genetic structure of this species over a wide geographic area. Our results suggest that sexual populations of I. hastata in North America conform to a large subdivided population that has gone through a recent spatial expansion. A recent single long distance dispersal event, followed by a demographic expansion, is the most parsimonious hypothesis explaining the origin of the parthenogenetic population of this species in the Azores islands.

PMID:
21915148
PMCID:
PMC3313047
DOI:
10.1038/hdy.2011.84
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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