Laboratory synthesis of an independently reproducing vertebrate species

| 21 Comments

The TalkOrigins Archive has two articles (here and here) on observed instances of speciation. Now a recent PNAS paper describes speciation in Aspidoscelis, a genus of whiptail lizards. The paper is titled “Laboratory synthesis of an independently reproducing vertebrate species.” From the abstract:

Here we report the generation of four self-sustaining clonal lineages of a tetraploid species resulting from fertilization of triploid oocytes from a parthenogenetic Aspidoscelis exsanguis with haploid sperm from Aspidoscelis inornata. Molecular and cytological analysis confirmed the genetic identity of the hybrids and revealed that the females retain the capability of parthenogenetic reproduction characteristic of their triploid mothers. The tetraploid females have established self-perpetuating clonal lineages which are now in the third generation.

Read more at Nobel Intent, to which we tip our hat.

21 Comments

Does this count as intelligent design? :P

Unisex species would seem to be a good test of evolution since they would very high uniformity because of the extreme founder effect (whole species literally born from a single female: “eve”). All variation would be from mutation and variants would be separated into different lineages. Are there any good studies of this?

Still a lizard! blah blah blah.

Karen S. said: Still a lizard!

That’s what makes the experiment a success!

If they hadn’t produced a lizard, I doubt they would’ve gotten published. :)

Do they make good pets?

Cue “artificial selection” argument…

ted said:

Unisex species would seem to be a good test of evolution since they would very high uniformity because of the extreme founder effect (whole species literally born from a single female: “eve”). All variation would be from mutation and variants would be separated into different lineages. Are there any good studies of this?

There are literally thousands of studies on parthenogenesis in animals. There are studies of obligate parthenogens, facultative parthenogens, cyclic parthenogens, gynogenesis, etc. There are also studies of transitions between different modes of reproduction, as well as the fate of the parthenogenetic lineages. And that’s just in animals, not to mention bacteria and plants.

In general, parthenogenetic lineages are short lived in evolutionary time, due to lack of recombination. However, there are many different mechanisms by which genetic variation can be increased, even in parthenogenetic forms.

Stanton said:

Do they make good pets?

Only the females.

Does this count as intelligent design? :P

It could mean that the scientist is God, or that a scientist designed all life forms.

Worth noting I’ll need to update Emergence of New Species.

kay said:

Does this count as intelligent design? :P

WATERLOO!

Gary Hurd said:

Worth noting I’ll need to update Emergence of New Species.

Thanks for reminding me of your list, Gary. I forgot about it. Sorry.

RBH said:

Gary Hurd said:

Worth noting I’ll need to update Emergence of New Species.

Thanks for reminding me of your list, Gary. I forgot about it. Sorry.

Not to worry.

Haha, I was posting in the discussion on that piece. It still amazes me that a few people can read an article describing how evolution happened in the lab and still say evolution isn’t true.

The previous “controversial” article Dr. Jay wrote up was about a study of gun ownership as a health issue. Since it was even tangentially related to 2nd Amendment things, about 3/4 of the way down the article he stuck in this sentence at the tail of a paragraph:

If you have read this far, please mention Bananas in your comment below. We’re pretty sure 90% of the respondants to this story won’t even read it first.

Since then he’s posted articles about evolution and climate change, both of which I think could have used the banana test.

Wheels said: …about 3/4 of the way down the article (Dr. Jay) stuck in this sentence at the tail of a paragraph:

If you have read this far, please mention Bananas in your comment below. We’re pretty sure 90% of the respondants to this story won’t even read it first.

Since then he’s posted articles about evolution and climate change, both of which I think could have used the banana test.

I’ve been trying to explain the incoming Japanese radiation threat to folks, and finding nobody understands billionths and trillionths. That’s where the Banana Equivalent Dose comes in handy.

Gary,

Here’s an excellent list of parthenogenesis in lizards courtesy of Greg Meyer over at Jerry Coyne’s blog:

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress[…]ail-lizards/

Sincerely,

John

Apparently the Rev. Dr. John C “Jonathon” Wells has something over on Evolution Lies and Deceit about this being an example of something called secondary speciation. Only primary speciation is evolutiona which has never been observed, blahblahblah .…

fusilier, who can’t force himslf to find a linkie to that MIP site

James 2:24

Wheels said:

The previous “controversial” article Dr. Jay wrote up was about a study of gun ownership as a health issue.

Must…resist…mustn’t…derail…uuurrrggghhhh…apples…oranges…science…pseudoscience…Cartman…midget…CAN’T…MAINTAIN…BWHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Paul Burnett said:

I’ve been trying to explain the incoming Japanese radiation threat to folks, and finding nobody understands billionths and trillionths. That’s where the Banana Equivalent Dose comes in handy.

And does it appear to offer them any Comfort?

http://books.google.com/books?id=WJ[…]CBgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Cole%20A%20Lizard%20foretold%20Allan%20markezich&f=false

Sorry, this is as close as I could get you to a reference. Basic story is that there was a parthenogenetic lizard in Amazonas State, Venezuela. It was thought that the species G. cryptus was the founding father, but this could not be supported by study of preserved material.

Allan Markezich hitched a plane ride with me into the interior of Amazonas. We were down by the river catching killifish (what my NSF grant was for, grant cited in the lizard paper acknowledgments) and Allan caught these lizards in litter along the water’s edge. He knew what they were, and got some back alive for chromosome study, which supported the hypothesis that they were the male parent of the parthenogenetic species.

But it’s still a lizard, even if it can’t find a date for Friday night. :)

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on May 5, 2011 11:18 PM.

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