, 675:13 | Cite as

Lack of early laboratory postzygotic reproductive isolation between two ecotypes of Littorina saxatilis (Mollusca, Gastropoda) showing strong premating sexual isolation

  • M. Saura
  • M. Martínez-Fernández
  • M. J. Rivas
  • A. Caballero
  • E. Rolán-Alvarez
Primary Research Paper


Two sympatric and divergent adaptive ecotypes of Littorina saxatilis (RB and SU) are known to hybridize showing partial premating isolation in the wild. Previous studies have revealed that morphological intermediate forms (presumably hybrids) present fitness (viability, sexual selection and fecundity) similar to that from pure ecotypes at the mid-shore. However, the absence of postzygotic isolation due to genetic incompatibility cannot be ruled out unless it is measured directly on true F 1 hybrids. In this study, we overcome this problem and present data on 56 individual crosses including the four possible mating combinations (RB/RB, RB/SU, SU/RB and SU/SU) to compare fertilization and fecundity rates (including young progeny viability) between the four type crosses. Pooled RB female crosses showed apparently larger fertility and fecundity than pooled SU female crosses, probably because of differences in fecundity and laboratory survivorship between ecotypes. However, similar fertilization and fecundity rates were found for both RB and SU females when mated with different male types, supporting the idea that genetic-incompatibility-based postzygotic isolation can be ignored as a major determinant of this polymorphism in nature.


Ecological speciation Fecundity Fertility Laboratory culture Postmating isolation Premating isolation 



The authors are thankful the ECIMAT institution for providing marine laboratory facilities, Teresa Muiños and Nieves Santamaría for technical help, and two anonymous referees for helpful comments. The authors are also grateful to the following institutions for funding: the Ministerio de Ciencia e Inovación (MICINN) (CGL2008-00135/BOS), the Fondos Feder and Xunta de Galicia (INCITE09 310 006 PR; and the Grupos de Referencia Competitiva, 2010/80). María José Rivas was supported by an FPI research grant from the MICINN (Spain).

Supplementary material

10750_2011_788_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (37 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 36 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Saura
    • 1
  • M. Martínez-Fernández
    • 1
  • M. J. Rivas
    • 1
  • A. Caballero
    • 1
  • E. Rolán-Alvarez
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Bioquímica, Xenética e Inmunoloxía, Facultade de BioloxíaUniversidade de VigoVigoSpain

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