Multiple paternity in the freshwater snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum
Article first published online: 16 NOV 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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Ecology and Evolution
Volume 2, Issue 12, pages 3179–3185, December 2012
How to Cite
Ecology and Evolution 2012; 2(12): 3179–3185
- Issue published online: 13 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 16 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 24 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Received: 5 SEP 2012
- National Science Foundation. Grant Numbers: DEB-0640639, DEB-1110396
- Genetic diversity;
- multiple paternity;
- sire evenness
Mating multiply may incur costs, such as exposure to predators and to sexually transmitted diseases. Nevertheless, it may be favored, in spite of these costs, as a way to increase the genetic diversity of offspring through fertilization by multiple males. Here, we tested for multiple paternity in a freshwater snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum), which is host to several species of sterilizing trematode worms. Using microsatellites markers, we found multiple paternity in two different snail populations, with as many as seven males fertilizing a single female. In addition, high evenness of sire fertilization was found within individual broods. Multiple paternity can occur for a variety of reasons; however, given that these populations experience high risk of infection by a sterilizing trematode, one potential explanation may be that multiple paternity and high evenness of sire fertilizations increase the chances of the production of parasite-resistant offspring.