Data from: Microsatellite evidence for high frequency of multiple paternity in the marine gastropod Rapana venosa
Xue, Dongxiu; Zhang, Tao; Jin-Xian, Liu; Liu, Jin-Xian (2014), Data from: Microsatellite evidence for high frequency of multiple paternity in the marine gastropod Rapana venosa, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.88741
Background: Inferring of parentage in natural populations is important in understanding the mating systems of a species, which have great effects on its genetic structure and evolution. Muricidae, a large group (approximately 1,600 species) of marine gastropods, are poorly investigated in patterns of multiple paternity and sperm competition based on molecular techniques. The veined Rapa whelk, Rapana venosa, a commercially important muricid species with internal fertilization, is an ideal species to study the occurrence and frequency of multiple paternity and to facilitate understanding of their reproductive strategies. Methodology/Principal Findings: We developed five highly polymorphic microsatellites in R. venosa and applied them to identify multiple paternity in 19 broods (1381 embryos) collected from Dandong, China. Multiple paternity was detected in 17 (89.5%) of 19 broods. The number of sires per brood ranged from 1 to 7 (4.3 on average). Of the 17 multiply sired broods, 16 (94.1%) were significantly skewed from equal paternal contributions, and had a dominant sire which was also dominant in each assayed capsule. Conclusions: Our results indicate that a high level of multiple paternity occurs in the wild population of R. venosa. Similar patterns of multiple paternity in the 2–6 assayed capsules from each brood imply that fertilization events within the body of a female occur mostly (but not entirely) as random draws from a “well-but-not-perfectly blended sperm pool” of her several mates. Strongly skewed distributions of fertilization success among sires also suggest that sperm competition and/or cryptic female choice might be important for post-copulatory paternity biasing in this species.