Temperature and sperm incorporation in polyploid salamanders

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Science  24 Nov 1989:
Vol. 246, Issue 4933, pp. 1032-1034
DOI: 10.1126/science.2587986


Although most animals reproduce sexually, a number of all-female groups exist. Triploid hybrid salamanders appear to maintain themselves by using a male's sperm to activate their eggs, after which the sperm nucleus is eliminated (gynogenesis). The incidence of sperm nuclear incorporation in eggs of these salamanders depends on temperature. Triploid offspring derived gynogenetically are more frequent at lower temperature, whereas tetraploid offspring derived sexually are far more frequent at higher temperatures. Temperature-dependent variability in sperm nuclear incorporation helps explain the variability in reproductive modes reported for hybrid salamanders.

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