Martin P, Thonagel S, Scholtz G. 2016. The parthenogenetic Marmorkrebs (Malacostraca: Decapoda: Cambaridae) is a triploid organism. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 54(1): 13–21. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jzs.12114
There is a close association between parthenogenesis and polyploidy. For this reason, we undertook a karyological analysis to test whether the parthenogenetic Marmorkrebs, Procambarus fallax forma virginalis, possesses an enlarged set of chromosomes. For this purpose, we karyotyped the Marmorkrebs, the sexual form of P. fallax (together called P. fallax complex), and the closely related species P. alleni. The latter shows 94 chromosomes in the haploid condition. In contrast to this, we found a haploid set of 92 chromosomes in individuals of the P. fallax complex. However, in mitotic metaphases the sexual form shows 184 chromosomes, whereas the Marmorkrebs possesses 276 chromosomes. Hence, the parthenogenetic Marmorkrebs reveals a triple amount of the haploid chromosome number. In addition, we detected a strikingly large subtelocentric chromosome which appears once in haploid and twice in diploid cells of sexual individuals of the P. fallax complex. In the parthenogenetic Marmorkrebs, this prominent chromosome occurs thrice. All this clearly reveals that the Marmorkrebs is a triploid organism. The applicability of the used methods, the significance of polyploidy in evolution of Decapoda, putative pathways to parthenogenetic triploidy, a possible hybrid origin and the scientific and ecological consequences of an increased chromosome set in Marmorkrebs are discussed.
Keywords: apomictic thelytoky • autopolyploid • allopolyploid • whole-genome duplication • elongation factor 2 • invasive species