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Genetic variability and transgenerational regulation of investment in sex in the monogonont rotifer Brachionus plicatilis

Abstract : In cyclical parthenogens such as aphids, cladocerans and rotifers, the coupling between sexual reproduction and the production of resting stages (diapausing eggs) imposes strong constraints on the timing of sex. Whereas induction of sex is generally triggered by environmental cues, the response to such cues may vary across individuals according to genetic and nongenetic factors. In this study, we explored genetic and epigenetic causes of variation for the propensity for sex using a collection of strains from a Spanish population of monogonont rotifers (Brachionus plicatilis) in which variation for the threshold population density at which sex is induced (mixis threshold) had been documented previously. Our results show significant variation for the mixis threshold among 20 clones maintained under controlled conditions for 15 asexual generations. The effect of the number of clonal generations since hatching of the diapausing egg on the mixis ratio (proportion of sexual offspring produced) was tested on 4 clones with contrasted mixis thresholds. The results show a negative correlation between the mixis threshold and mixis ratio, as well as a significant effect of the number of clonal generations since fertilization, sex being repressed during the first few generations after hatching of the diapausing egg.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02407896
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 12, 2019 - 4:46:59 PM
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Long-term archiving on: : Friday, March 13, 2020 - 11:31:52 PM

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Océane Seudre, Eloïse Vanhoenacker, Stéphane Mauger, Jérôme Coudret, Denis Roze. Genetic variability and transgenerational regulation of investment in sex in the monogonont rotifer Brachionus plicatilis. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Wiley, In press, ⟨10.1111/jeb.13554⟩. ⟨hal-02407896⟩

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