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Rates of nucleotide substitution in sexual and anciently asexual rotifers.


ABSTRACT: The class Bdelloidea of the phylum Rotifera is the largest well studied eukaryotic taxon in which males and meiosis are unknown, and the only one for which these indications of ancient asexuality are supported by cytological and molecular genetic evidence. We estimated the rates of synonymous and nonsynonymous substitutions in the hsp82 heat shock gene in bdelloids and in facultatively sexual rotifers of the class Monogononta, employing distance based and maximum likelihood methods. Relative-rate tests, using acanthocephalan rotifers as an outgroup, showed slightly higher rates of nonsynonymous substitution and slightly lower rates of synonymous substitution in bdelloids as compared with monogononts. The opposite trend, however, was seen in intraclass pairwise comparisons. If, as it seems, bdelloids have evolved asexually, an equality of bdelloid and monogonont substitution rates would suggest that the maintenance of sexual reproduction in monogononts is not attributable to an effect of sexual reproduction in limiting the load of deleterious nucleotide substitutions.

SUBMITTER: Mark Welch DB 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC34419 | BioStudies | 2001-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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