Variability for mixis initiation in Brachionus plicatilis
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- Aparici, E., Carmona, M.J. & Serra, M. Hydrobiologia (2001) 446: 45. doi:10.1023/A:1017517020927
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Deductions from both evolutionary models and inductive argumentation from empirical data support the notion of intraspecific variability for the initiation of sexual reproduction (mixis) within rotifer populations. In this study, we focus on the time and density at which mixis is initiated in a growing population. Cyclical parthenogenetic clones of Brachionus plicatilis established by hatching of resting eggs, isolated from a natural habitat, have been tested at the start of their sexual phase. Clones exhibited great variation for this trait, their time of switching to sexual reproduction being correlated with population density. Most of the variation for mixis initiation has either low or no heritability and is caused by individual environmental factors.