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Origin and genetic diversity of diploid parthenogenetic Artemia in Eurasia

Maccari, Marta; Amat, Francisco; Gómez, Africa


Marta Maccari

Francisco Amat


Valerio Ketmaier


There is wide interest in understanding how genetic diversity is generated and maintained in parthenogenetic lineages, as it will help clarify the debate of the evolution and maintenance of sexual reproduction. There are three mechanisms that can be responsible for the generation of genetic diversity of parthenogenetic lineages: contagious parthenogenesis, repeated hybridization and microorganism infections (e.g. Wolbachia). Brine shrimps of the genus Artemia (Crustacea, Branchiopoda, Anostraca) are a good model system to investigate evolutionary transitions between reproductive systems as they include sexual species and lineages of obligate parthenogenetic populations of different ploidy level, which often co-occur. Diploid parthenogenetic lineages produce occasional fully functional rare males, interspecific hybridization is known to occur, but the mechanisms of origin of asexual lineages are not completely understood. Here we sequenced and analysed fragments of one mitochondrial and two nuclear genes from an extensive set of populations of diploid parthenogenetic Artemia and sexual species from Central and East Asia to investigate the evolutionary origin of diploid parthenogenetic Artemia, and geographic origin of the parental taxa. Our results indicate that there are at least two, possibly three independent and recent maternal origins of parthenogenetic lineages, related to A. urmiana and Artemia sp. from Kazakhstan, but that the nuclear genes are very closely related in all the sexual species and parthenogegetic lineages except for A. sinica, who presumable took no part on the origin of diploid parthenogenetic strains. Our data cannot rule out either hybridization between any of the very closely related Asiatic sexual species or rare events of contagious parthenogenesis via rare males as the contributing mechanisms to the generation of genetic diversity in diploid parthenogenetic Artemia lineages.


Maccari, M., Amat, F., & Gómez, A. (2013). Origin and genetic diversity of diploid parthenogenetic Artemia in Eurasia. PLoS ONE, 8(12), e83348.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 4, 2013
Online Publication Date Dec 20, 2013
Publication Date Dec 20, 2013
Deposit Date May 26, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 26, 2015
Journal PLoS one
Print ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 12
Pages e83348
Keywords Diploid parthenogenetic Artemia
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article published in PLoS one, 2013, v.8, iss. 12 at
Contract Date May 26, 2015


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Copyright Statement
© 2013 Maccari et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

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