08 November 2007

Scholtz and colleagues, 2003

As new papers on Marmorkrebs are published, I will post the abstracts here, to facilitate searches. Meanwhile, I will add already published papers in roughly chronological order.

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Nature cover, 20 February 2003Scholtz G, Braband A, Tolley L, Reimann A, Mittmann B, Lukhaup C, Steuerwald F & Vogt G. 2003. Parthenogenesis in an outsider crayfish. Nature 421(6925): 806. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/421806a


It has been rumoured that an unidentified decapod crustacean, a crayfish of marbled appearance and of uncertain geographical origin that was introduced into the German aquarium trade in the mid-1990s, is capable of unisexual reproduction (parthenogenesis). Here we confirm that this marbled crayfish ('Marmorkrebs') is parthenogenetic under laboratory conditions and use morphological and molecular analysis to show that it belongs to the American Cambaridae family. Although parthenogenesis is widespread among the Crustacea, and shrimp, lobsters, crayfish and crabs are otherwise versatile in their modes of reproduction, it has not been reported before in decapods, the largest and economically most important crustacean group. By virtue of its parthenogenetic reproduction, the marbled crayfish emerges not only as an interesting laboratory model but also as a potential ecological threat in that it could outcompete native forms should even a single specimen be released into European lakes and rivers.

Keywords: None provided.

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