, Volume 298, Issue 1–3, pp 45–65

Sex determination and evolution of unisexuality in the Conchostraca

  • Clay Sassaman
1. Phylogeny and Evolution

DOI: 10.1007/BF00033799

Cite this article as:
Sassaman, C. Hydrobiologia (1995) 298: 45. doi:10.1007/BF00033799


Field collected or laboratory-reared samples of 60 species of conchostracans (representing all extant genera) indicate that males and females are equally common in most species. Deviations from this pattern occur in four lineages.Cyzicus andLeptestheria each include at least one unisexual species; many species of Limnadiinae are either unisexual or characterized by female-biased sex ratios; and Cyclestheriidae are either unisexual or express males in the later generations of their life cycles. Laboratory studies indicate that species with sex ratios near unity are gonochoric (obligately sexual), whereas females in species with female-biased sex ratios are capable of both outcrossing and selfing modes of reproduction. Phylogenetic analysis of patterns of reproduction suggest that sexual reproduction is the primitive condition. Genetic analysis of sexual species indicate that gender is determined by one or a few genetic factors and that the male-determining allele is recessive. The inheritance of gender in androdioecious species (where females are capable of self-fertilization) is similar to that in sexual species. Androdioecy is likely to be the intermediate stage between obligately sexual reproduction and unisexuality in the Limnadiinae. The phylogenetic distribution of sex ratio variation suggests that unisexuality in Cyzicidae, Leptestheriidae, and Cyclestheriidae has arisen independently of that in the Limnadiinae and that these cases have evolved by different evolutionary pathways.

Key words

Sex ratio androdioecy reproduction genetics parthenogenesis 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clay Sassaman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

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