Evol Ecol Res 11: 125-134 (2009)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Inbreeding effects on sperm production in clam shrimp (Eulimnadia texana)

Stephen C. Weeks1, Sadie K. Reed1, Donald W. Ott1 and Franca Scanabissi2

1Program in Integrated Bioscience, Department of Biology, The University of Akron, Akron, OH, USA and  2Dipartimento di Biologia Evoluzionistica Sperimentale, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Correspondence: S.C. Weeks, Program in Integrated Bioscience, Department of Biology, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-3908, USA.
e-mail: scw@uakron.edu


Hypothesis: Inbreeding depression is manifest in lower sperm production.

Organism: Freshwater crustaceans (clam shrimp – Eulimnadia texana), from the southwestern United States, which have high levels of inbreeding.

Methods: Comparisons of semi-thin sections of the male gonad among selfed and outcrossed siblings from four families.

Results: There was a twofold reduction in sperm production in inbred relative to outcrossed males. Inbreeding depression in males was higher than previous estimates from hermaphrodites.

Conclusions: Inbreeding markedly reduces sperm production. The observed low levels of sperm production can explain both the low average outcrossing rates as well as the variation in these rates reported in previous studies of these crustaceans.

Keywords: androdioecy, branchiopod crustacean, inbreeding depression, mating system, Spinicaudata.

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