Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 531–543 | Cite as

Genetic compatibility between sexual and clonal genomes in local populations of the hybridogeneticRana esculenta complex

  • Raymond D. Semlitsch
  • Sabine Schmiedehausen
  • Hansjürg Hotz
  • Peter Beerli


Hybridogenetic species possess a hybrid genome: half is clonally inherited (hemiclonal reproduction) while the other half is obtained each generation by sexual reproduction with a parental species. We addressed the question of whether different hemiclones of the hybridogenetic water frogRana esculenta are locally adapted for genetic compatibility with their sexual parental hostRana lessonae. We artificially crossedR. esculenta females of three hemiclones (GUT1, GUT2 and GUT3) from a pond near Gütighausen, Switzerland and one hemiclone (HEL1) from near Hellberg, Switzerland each toR. lessonae males from both populations. We also created primary hybrids by crossing the sameR. lessonae males from both populations toR. ridibunda females from Poznań, Poland (POZ). Tadpoles were then reared in the laboratory at two food levels to assess their performance related to early larval growth rate, body size at metamorphosis and length of the larval period. Tadpoles from hemiclones GUT1, GUT3 and POZ had higher growth rates than those from hemiclones GUT2 and HEL1 at the low food level, but at the high food level all growth rates were higher and diverged significantly between hemiclones GUT2 and HEL1. Tadpoles from the intrapopulational crosses GUT2 × GUT and HEL1 × HEL were larger at metamorphosis than those from the interpopulational crosses GUT2 × HEL and HEL1 × GUT. A high food level increased the size at metamorphosis in all tadpoles. A high food level also decreased the days to metamorphosis and tadpoles from GUT1, GUT3 and POZ had the shortest larval period whereas those from GUT2 and HEL1 had the longest. These results indicate that the differential compatibility of clonal genomes may play an important role in hybridogenetic species successfully using locally adapted sexual genomes of parental species and that interclonal selection is likely important in determining the distribution of hemiclones among local populations.


amphibian body size clonal genetic compatibility growth hybridogenesis local adaptation metamorphosis Rana esculenta tadpole 


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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond D. Semlitsch
    • 1
  • Sabine Schmiedehausen
    • 1
  • Hansjürg Hotz
    • 2
  • Peter Beerli
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of ZoologyUniversity of ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Zoological MuseumUniversity of ZürichZürichSwitzerland

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