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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications / Early release of eggs and embryos in a brooding ancient asexual ostracod: Brood selection or a gambling strategy to increase fecundity?

R.L.a Pinto, C.E.F.a Rocha and K.b Martens (2007)

Early release of eggs and embryos in a brooding ancient asexual ostracod: Brood selection or a gambling strategy to increase fecundity?

Hydrobiologia, 585(1):249-253.

Asexual lineages lack the means to purge their genomes of (deleterious) mutations through recombination. Evolutionary theory thus predicts that such lineages will be prone to early extinction. In brooding animals, brood selection might provide a mechanism to counter the accumulation of mutations. Of the three putative ancient asexual animal groups, only the darwinulid ostracods are brooders. Here, we test the incidence of egg and juvenile abortion in a darwinulid species, Penthesilenula brasiliensis, under two temperature treatments. Part of the offspring is released without brooding (close to 30\% in one treatment). The majority of these aborted eggs hatches and develops. As it is unlikely that females are such bad judges of offspring quality, either the surviving animals will present deficiencies later on in development (brood selection) or early egg release can be a (bet-hedging) strategy to increase fecundity in favourable conditions. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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