WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An all-female freshwater fish species known as the Amazon molly that inhabits rivers and creeks alongside the Texas-Mexico border resides proof that sexual replica could also be vastly over-rated.
Scientists stated on Monday they’ve deciphered the genome of the Amazon molly, one of many few vertebrate species to depend on asexual replica, and found that it had not one of the genetic flaws, comparable to an accumulation of dangerous mutations or an absence of genetic variety, they’d anticipated.
They discovered that the Amazon molly, named after the fierce feminine warriors of historic Greek mythology, boasts a hardy genetic make-up that makes it equally match, or much more so, than fish utilizing sexual replica through which each maternal and paternal genes are handed alongside to offspring.
“The Amazon molly is doing fairly properly,” stated biologist Manfred Schartl of the College of Wuerzburg in Germany. “Unexpectedly, we didn’t discover the indicators of genomic decay as predicted.”
The fish reproduces utilizing a technique through which a feminine’s egg cell develops right into a child with out being fertilized by a male’s sperm cell. However that doesn’t imply the fish doesn’t want some hanky panky.
“The Amazon molly feminine produces clones of itself by duping a male of a intently associated species to mate together with her. The asexual mode of replica termed gynogenesis requires the feminine to mate with a male however not one of the male’s genome is handed to the offspring,” stated geneticist Wesley Warren of the McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington College in St. Louis.
The Amazon molly’s egg cells are activated to turn into an embryo by a sperm cell that degenerates with out fusing with the egg’s nucleus.
The fish is as much as about three inches (eight cm) lengthy and eats bugs, crops, algae and different meals. The research confirmed it originated when two different species, the Atlantic molly and the Sailfin molly, mated about 100,000 to 200,000 years in the past.
Animals that reproduce asexually are uncommon in comparison with the overwhelming majority that exist as women and men and reproduce sexually.
“It was lengthy thought that vertebrates wouldn’t be capable to exist in such a manner. It was a sensation when the Amazon molly was the primary asexual vertebrate found in 1932,” Schartl stated.
About 50 vertebrates are identified to make use of asexual replica together with fish, amphibians and reptiles.
The analysis was printed within the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.
Reporting by Will Dunham; Modifying by Sandra Maler