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Data from: Effects of complex life cycles on genetic diversity: cyclical parthenogenesis

Cite this dataset

Rouger, Romuald et al. (2016). Data from: Effects of complex life cycles on genetic diversity: cyclical parthenogenesis [Dataset]. Dryad.


Neutral patterns of population genetic diversity in species with complex life cycles are difficult to anticipate. Cyclical parthenogenesis (CP), in which organisms undergo several rounds of clonal reproduction followed by a sexual event, is one such life cycle. Many species, including crop pests (aphids), human parasites (trematodes) or models used in evolutionary science (Daphnia), are cyclical parthenogens. It is therefore crucial to understand the impact of such a life cycle on neutral genetic diversity. In this paper, we describe distributions of genetic diversity under conditions of CP with various clonal phase lengths. Using a Markov chain model of CP for a single locus and individual-based simulations for two loci, our analysis first demonstrates that strong departures from full sexuality are observed after only a few generations of clonality. The convergence towards predictions made under conditions of full clonality during the clonal phase depends on the balance between mutations and genetic drift. Second, the sexual event of CP usually resets the genetic diversity at a single locus towards predictions made under full sexuality. However, this single recombination event is insufficient to reshuffle gametic phases towards full-sexuality predictions. Finally, for similar levels of clonality, CP and acyclic partial clonality (wherein a fixed proportion of individuals are clonally produced within each generation) differentially affect the distribution of genetic diversity. Overall, this work provides solid predictions of neutral genetic diversity that may serve as a null model in detecting the action of common evolutionary or demographic processes in cyclical parthenogens (for example, selection or bottlenecks).

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