Sex, males, and hermaphrodites in the scale insect Icerya purchasi

Andrew Mongue, Sozos Michaelides, Oliver Coombe, Alejandro Tena, Dong-Soon Kim, Benjamin Normark, Andy Gardner, Mark Hoddle, Laura Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Androdioecy (the coexistence of males and hermaphrodites) is a rare mating system for which the evolutionary dynamics are poorly understood. Here we study the only presumed case of androdioecy in insects, found in the cottony cushion scale, Icerya purchasi . In this species, female-like hermaphrodites have been shown to produce sperm and self-fertilize. However, rare males are sometimes observed too. In a large population-genetic analysis, we show for the first time that although self-fertilization appears to be the primary mode of reproduction, rare outbreeding events between males and hermaphrodites do occur, and we thereby confirm androdioecy as the mating system of I. purchasi . Thus, this insect appears to have the colonization advantages of a selfing organism while also benefitting from periodic reintroduction of genetic variation through outbreeding with males.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalEvolution
VolumeEarly View
Early online date2 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 May 2021

Keywords

  • Androdioecy
  • Haplodiploidy
  • Mating systems
  • Microsatellite markers
  • Population genetics
  • Scale insects

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Sex, males, and hermaphrodites in the scale insect Icerya purchasi'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this