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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Hormonal induction of undescribed males resolves cryptic species of cladocerans.

Cyclic parthenogens have a mixed breeding system with both meiotic and ameiotic eggs. Although investment in sexual stages is often synchronized with seasonal cycles, the degree of investment is a quantitative trait associated with habitat instability. Populations of cyclic parthenogens from stable environments, such as large lakes and oceans, generally show reduced or undetectable investment in males. Indeed, males of many species of lacustrine cyclic parthenogens are unknown to science. Methyl farnesoate (MF), a crustacean juvenile hormone, has been implicated as an inducer of male formation in Daphnia magna (Crustacea: Cladocera), a denizen of unstable habitats with marked sexual recruitment. Here, we show experimentally that MF induces male production in four distantly related lacustrine species of cladocerans under growth conditions unfavourable for male production. The males of three species are new to science. Unlike females, the anatomy of the previously unknown males of Bosmina (Lunobosmina) oriens permitted ready morphological diagnosis of sibling species and subfossils. The results suggest that the role for MF in the sex determination of cladocerans is general.[1]


  1. Hormonal induction of undescribed males resolves cryptic species of cladocerans. Kim, K., Kotov, A.A., Taylor, D.J. Proc. Biol. Sci. (2006) [Pubmed]
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