Evidence for multiple paternity in two species of Orconectes crayfish
Multiple mating is expected to be common in organisms that produce large clutches as a mechanism by which sexual reproduction can enrich genetic variation. For freshwater crayfish, observation of multiple mating suggests the potential for high rates of multiple paternity, but genetic confirmation is largely lacking from natural populations. We studied paternity within wild-caught broods of two crayfish species in the genus Orconectes (Sanborn's crayfish ( Orconectes sanbornii (Faxon, 1884)) and the Allegheny crayfish ( Orconectes obscurus (Hagen, 1870))). Although females have been observed mating with multiple males, this is the first genetic confirmation of multiple paternity in broods of these two species. Berried females were collected in the field and maintained in aquaria until their eggs hatched. We amplified and genotyped extracted DNA from maternal and hatchling tissue for several microsatellite loci. For both species, paternity reconstruction (GERUD 2.0) yielded 2-3 sires per brood and no single paternity clutches. We discuss these results from natural populations in light of the body of work on reproductive ecology of decapod crustaceans and in the context of changes in life history following the transition from marine to freshwater habitats.
Kahrl, A., R.H. Laushman, and A.J. Roles. 2014. "Evidence for multiple paternity in two species of Orconectes crayfish." Canadian Journal of Zoology 92(11): 985-988.
NRC Research Press
Canadian Journal of Zoology
Allegheny crayfish, Crayfish, Decapod crustacean, Multiple paternity, Orconectes, Orconectes obscurus, Orconectes sanbornii, Sanborn's crayfish