Repeated evolution and reversibility of self-fertilization in the volvocine green algae*
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol
MetadataShow full item record
CitationHanschen, E. R., Herron, M. D., Wiens, J. J., Nozaki, H. and Michod, R. E. (2018), Repeated evolution and reversibility of self‐fertilization in the volvocine green algae. Evolution, 72: 386-398. doi:10.1111/evo.13394
Rights© 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
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AbstractOutcrossing and self-fertilization are fundamental strategies of sexual reproduction, each with different evolutionary costs and benefits. Self-fertilization is thought to be an evolutionary dead-end strategy, beneficial in the short term but costly in the long term, resulting in self-fertilizing species that occupy only the tips of phylogenetic trees. Here, we use volvocine green algae to investigate the evolution of self-fertilization. We use ancestral-state reconstructions to show that self-fertilization has repeatedly evolved from outcrossing ancestors and that multiple reversals from selfing to outcrossing have occurred. We use three phylogenetic metrics to show that self-fertilization is not restricted to the tips of the phylogenetic tree, a finding inconsistent with the view of self-fertilization as a dead-end strategy. We also find no evidence for higher extinction rates or lower speciation rates in selfing lineages. We find that self-fertilizing species have significantly larger colonies than outcrossing species, suggesting the benefits of selfing may counteract the costs of increased size. We speculate that our macroevolutionary results on self-fertilization (i.e., non-tippy distribution, no decreased diversification rates) may be explained by the haploid-dominant life cycle that occurs in volvocine algae, which may alter the costs and benefits of selfing.
Note12 month embargo; published online: 14 November 2017
VersionFinal accepted manuscript
SponsorsNational Aeronautics and Space Administration [NNX13AH41G, NNX15AR33G]; National Institute of Health [GM084905]; National Science Foundation [MCB-1412395, DEB-1457701]; MEXT/JSPS KAKENHI [15K14590, 16H02518]
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