Mutational divergence of life-history traits in an obligate parthenogen

Genome. 1994 Feb;37(1):33-5. doi: 10.1139/g94-005.


Three lines of obligately parthenogenetic Daphnia were allowed to diverge for a 4-year period (approximately 150 generations) with mutation as the sole source of variability. Life-history traits and morphological characters were then surveyed for between-line differences. Significant divergence was found with respect to both number and size of offspring, with no difference in total offspring biomass. No significant differences were found in any of the other characters. These results confirm the hypothesis that purely asexual lines can accumulate enough polygenic variation via mutation to support potentially adaptive changes on a microevolutionary time scale.