Skip to main content

Genetic diversity and the origins of parthenogenesis in the teiid lizard Aspidoscelis laredoensis

Cite this dataset

Barley, Anthony; Cordes, James; Walker, James; Thomson, Robert (2021). Genetic diversity and the origins of parthenogenesis in the teiid lizard Aspidoscelis laredoensis [Dataset]. Dryad.


Unisexual vertebrates typically form through hybridization events between sexual species in which reproductive mode transitions occur in the hybrid offspring. This evolutionary history is thought to have important consequences for the ecology of unisexual lineages and their interactions with congeners in natural communities. However, these consequences have proven challenging to study owing to uncertainty about patterns of population genetic diversity in unisexual lineages. Of particular interest is resolving the contribution of historical hybridization events vs. postformational mutation to patterns of genetic diversity in nature. Here we use restriction site associated DNA genotyping to evaluate genetic diversity and demographic history in Aspidoscelis laredoensis, a diploid unisexual lizard species from the vicinity of the Rio Grande River in southern Texas and northern Mexico. The sexual progenitor species from which one or more lineages are derived also occur in the Rio Grande Valley region, although patterns of distribution across individual sites are quite variable. Results from population genetic and phylogenetic analyses resolved the major axes of genetic variation in this species and highlight how these match predictions based on historical patterns of hybridization. We also found discordance between results of demographic modelling using different statistical approaches with the genomic data. We discuss these insights within the context of the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that generate and maintain lineage diversity in unisexual species. As one of the most dynamic, intriguing, and geographically well investigated groups of whiptail lizards, these species hold substantial promise for future studies on the constraints of diversification in unisexual vertebrates.


This data was collected using a double digest restriction site associated DNA genotyping protocol and an Illumina NovaSeq sequencing platform. It was processed using the ipyrad assembly software.

Usage notes

The ReadMe.txt file contains a description of the datasets and scripts. The data and analyses performed are fully described in the associated manuscript.


National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1754350

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-190017