Proceedings of the royal society of london series b-biological sciences vol:266 issue:1437 pages:2471-2477
Cyclical parthenogenesis involves an alternation of parthenogenetic and sexual reproduction. In cyclical parthenogens with a short generation time, seasonal succession of clones switching to sexual reproduction at different periods of the growing season entails the risk of severe inbreeding with associated fitness costs. We show however, that differences in genotype frequencies between males and sexual females result in a substantial reduction in the probability of selfing in natural Daphnia populations. This suggests that responses to male- and sexual egg-inducing stimuli may be uncoupled at the level of individual clones as a mechanism to avoid severe inbreeding.