Sex determination and polyploid gigantism in the dwarf surfclam (Mulinia lateralis say)

X. Guo, S. K. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Mulinia lateralis, the dwarf surfclam, is a suitable model for bivalve genetics because it is hardy and has a short generation time. In this study, gynogenetic and triploid M. lateralis were successfully induced. For gynogenesis, eggs were fertilized with sperm irradiated with ultraviolet light and subsequently treated with cytochalasin B to block the release of the second polar body (PB2). Triploidy was induced by blocking PB2 in normally fertilized eggs. The survival of gynogenetic diploids was very low, only 0.7% to 8 days post-fertilization (PF), compared with 15.2% in the triploid groups and 27.5% in the normal diploid control. Larvae in all groups metamorphosed at 8-10 days PF, and there was no significant post-larval mortality. At sexual maturation (2-3 months PF), all gynogenetic diploids were female, and there was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in sex ratio between diploids and triploids. These results suggested that the dwarf surfclam may have an XX-female, XY-male sex determination with Y-domination. Compared with diploids, triploids had a relative fecundity of 59% for females and 80% for males. Eggs produced by triploid females were 53% larger (P < 0.001) in volume than those from diploid females. In both length and weight measurements at three months PF, the gynogenetic diploids were no significantly (P > 0.33) different from normal diploid females, suggesting that inbreeding depression was minimal in meiosis II gynogens. Triploid clams were significantly larger (P < 0.001) than normal diploids. We hypothesize that the increased body-size in triploids was caused by a polyploid gigantism due to the increased cell volume and a lack of cell-number compensation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1199-1206
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sex determination and polyploid gigantism in the dwarf surfclam (Mulinia lateralis say)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this