Haploid Females in the Parasitic Wasp Nasonia vitripennis

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Science  12 Jan 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5809, pp. 206
DOI: 10.1126/science.1133388

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The insect order of Hymenoptera (ants, bees, sawflies, and wasps) consists almost entirely of haplodiploid species. Under haplodiploidy, males develop from unfertilized eggs and are haploid, whereas females develop from fertilized eggs and are diploid. Although diploid males commonly occur, haploid females have never been reported. In analyzing the phenomenon of gynandromorphism in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis, we found a line that generates complete phenotypic females from unfertilized eggs. These females have ovaries, can lay eggs, and are haploid, as shown by cytological and flow cytometric analyses. The data show that diploidy is not necessary for female development.

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