PARASITES, SEX, AND CLONAL DIVERSITY IN NATURAL SNAIL POPULATIONS
Article first published online: 10 JAN 2011
© 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Volume 65, Issue 5, pages 1474–1481, May 2011
How to Cite
King, K. C., Jokela, J. and Lively, C. M. (2011), PARASITES, SEX, AND CLONAL DIVERSITY IN NATURAL SNAIL POPULATIONS. Evolution, 65: 1474–1481. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.01215.x
- Issue published online: 26 APR 2011
- Article first published online: 10 JAN 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 20 DEC 2010 05:04AM EST
- Received June 21, 2010, Accepted December 6, 2010
- Clonal diversity;
- frequency-dependent selection;
- host–parasite coevolution;
- Red Queen hypothesis
Under the Red Queen hypothesis, host–parasite coevolution selects against common host genotypes. Although this mechanism might underlie the persistence of sexual reproduction, it might also maintain high clonal diversity. Alternatively, clonal diversity might be maintained by multiple origins of parthenogens from conspecific sexuals, a feature in many animal groups. Herein, we addressed the maintenance of overall genetic diversity by coevolving parasites, as predicted by the Red Queen hypothesis. We specifically examined the contribution of parasites to host clonal diversity and the frequency of sexually reproducing individuals in natural stream populations of Potamopyrgus antipodarum snails. We also tested the alternative hypothesis that clonal diversity is maintained by the input of clones by mutation from sympatric sexuals. Clonal diversity and the frequency of sexual individuals were both positively related to infection frequency. Surprisingly, although clones are derived by mutation from sexual snails, parasites explained more of the genotypic variation among parthenogenetic subpopulations. Our findings thus highlight the importance of parasites as drivers of clonal diversity, as well as sex.