Reproduction by the Semichaste: Gynogenesis, Hybridogenesis, and Kleptogenesis
Three natural quasi-asexual or quasi-sexual genetic modes (hybridogenesis, hybridogenesis, and kleptogenesis) can be described as parthenogenetic-like processes with added dashes of sex. Females in the clonal or hemi-clonal taxa that live these reproductive lifestyles are not virgins; rather, each mates with a male from a foreign species and utilizes his sperm. However, because of the cellular mechanics involved, these males usually make no lasting genetic contribution to future generations of the unisexual lineage. Instead, they have been the duped victims of sexual parasitism. Approximately 50 “species” of fish and amphibian, usually but not always consisting solely of females, constitutively reproduce by one or another of these mechanisms of sexual parasitism. This chapter describes the cellular bases, evolutionary histories, and ecological ramifications of all known cases of sperm-dependent unisexuality in vertebrate animals.
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