Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/66495
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Type: Journal article
Title: Parthenogenesis in Komodo dragons
Author: Watts, P.
Buley, K.
Sanderson, S.
Boardman, W.
Ciofi, C.
Gibson, R.
Citation: Nature, 2006; 444(7122):1021-1022
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Issue Date: 2006
ISSN: 0028-0836
1476-4687
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Responsibility: 
Phillip C. Watts, Kevin R. Buley, Stephanie Sanderson, Wayne Boardman, Claudio Ciofi, Richard Gibson
Abstract: Parthenogenesis, the production of offspring without fertilization by a male, is rare in vertebrate species, which usually reproduce after fusion of male and female gametes. Here we use genetic fingerprinting to identify parthenogenetic offspring produced by two female Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) that had been kept at separate institutions and isolated from males; one of these females subsequently produced additional offspring sexually. This reproductive plasticity indicates that female Komodo dragons may switch between asexual and sexual reproduction, depending on the availability of a mate--a finding that has implications for the breeding of this threatened species in captivity. Most zoos keep only females, with males being moved between zoos for mating, but perhaps they should be kept together to avoid triggering parthenogenesis and thereby decreasing genetic diversity.
Keywords: Animals; Animals, Zoo; Lizards; Parthenogenesis; Homozygote; Female; Male; Sexual Behavior, Animal; United Kingdom
Rights: © 2006 Nature Publishing Group
RMID: 0020106283
DOI: 10.1038/4441021a
Appears in Collections:Animal and Veterinary Sciences publications

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