The boa can output offspring without mating


06/11/2010

Information that look completely turned ten scientific theories of reproduction reptiles, the researchers presented the State of North Carolina State University, discovered that female boa can produce offspring without mating.

Most of all, what is striking that the discovery shows that babies born this way of asexual reproduction possess the attributes that were previously considered impossible.

Large brood of pups, all of which are female, produced by "supermom" shows a complete absence of male influence - no genetic fingerprint that a male was involved in the reproductive process. Moreover the whole brood remained a rare recessive color mutation of his mother.

It is first observed asexual reproduction, known in the scientific world as parthenogenesis, the scientists credited with boa. Dr. Warren Booth (Warren Booth), a researcher in entomology and the lead author of the analysis reported the results of a new discovery may force scientists to revise the theory of reproducing reptiles, especially among the more simple snake species like boa.

The analysis is published in the online version of Biology Letters, a Royal Society journal.

Serpent’s sex chromosomes differ slightly from mammals - male snakes cells have two chromosomes Z, whereas female cells snakes have Z chromosome and W. While the analysis shows that all the young female, which appeared as a result of asexual reproduction, the chromosomes are WW, phenomenon, according to the scientists, which previously and assume they could not. Such females with WW chromosomes could only be produced primarily through a complex process in the laboratory, and only in fish and amphibians.

In addition to this strange mixed breeding is also the fact that within two years, the same female boa constrictor has produced not one, but two different snake broods, all of whom were female with WW and maternal chromosomes rare color mutation. One brood contained 12 babies and the second - 10. But it was not because she lacked male participation in the process: the female has already carried out before mating with males of the snake, before she gave birth to a litter of rare. The versatile supermom first reproduce the "old fashioned way" - pairing with a male - in front of her two cases of asexual reproduction.

Dr. Warren Booth doubts that this is a rare type of procreation was due to changes in the environment. He notes that the violations and changes in the environment or daily life associated with the occurrence of asexual reproduction in some species of fish and other animals, boa happened.

It is possible that this snake is a kind of genetic freak of nature, but in the words, of Warren, asexual procreation in snakes could be more common than people actually think.

"Reproducing both ways could be revolutionary" - adds Dr. Booth. "If suitable males are absent, why waste time when you have the potential to create their own copies? And then, when there will be a suitable pair, you can now go back to sexual reproduction."

Dr. Booth, who himself has bred and reptiles, now taken over the care of one of the young females, to take part in the analysis. When the pet reaches sexual maturity in a few years, the researcher will closely watch whether it will mate with a male, will lead to their own offspring, or will apply two methods similar to his mother. In any case, these WW-chromosome females will continue their line of "strong women" reproduce in any way, but that it was a female.

Original: Sciencedaily Translation: M. Potter


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