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Keywords:

  • aphid;
  • apomixis;
  • endomeiosis;
  • parthenogenesis;
  • recombination;
  • mutation;
  • variation;
  • polymorphism;
  • position effect;
  • Myzus persicae;
  • Acyrthosiphon pisum

Evidence in the literature purporting to show genetic variability within parthenogenetic lines of aphids is reviewed. The results of three experimental approaches to this problem are reported: (1) a long term study of fluctuation in alate morph production in six lines of Myzus persicae; (2) an attempt tp select for caudal hair form in Acyrthosiphon pisum; (3) a study of the inheritance of esterase variants of M. persicae in sexual and parthenogenetic reproduction. It is concluded that genetic recombination during parthenogenesis is not the general rule in diese aphids, and that aphid parthenogenesis should be regarded as of ameiotic or apomictic type. Possible alternative explanations for the different kinds of variation or apparent variation which occur within aphid clonal lineages are discussed.