Off spring of aged mothers of rotifer Brachionus calycifl orus shows lower sexual propensity than their elder siblings under crowded conditions

  • Wenjie Li
  • Cuijuan NiuEmail author
  • Xiaoxuan Li


Maternal eff ects are one of the most interesting topics in evolutionary ecology as they can aff ect the rate of evolution and population dynamics by phenotypic manipulation of off spring related to fi tness. At present, studies examining the interaction between maternal environment eff ects and maternal age (birth order) eff ects are scarce. We designed an experiment to reveal whether environmentally induced maternal manipulation works equally on off spring across birth orders in rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus. In the experiment, newborn amictic mothers (F0 ) were cultured parallelly in low (LD) and high (HD) population density. Off spring (F1 ) of young (YF0 ) and old mothers (OF0 ) in both LD and HD groups were cultured under a crowded condition and the mixis ratios of both F 1 and F 2 were examined. Results show that F1 from HD-YF0 had a signifi cantly higher mixis ratio and those amictic ones produced daughters (F2 ) with higher mixis ratio in response to crowding than those from HD-OF0. In contrast, no such diff erences among F1 siblings were found in the LD-F 0 group. Therefore, the eff ect of maternal age on the sexual propensity of the off spring can be aff ected independently by the maternal population density.

Key word

rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus sexual propensity birth order eff ect maternal environment mixis ratio 


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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, College of Life SciencesBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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