Amazon Molly Fish are All Female
Posted on April 24, 2008 Comments (2)
The species, found in Texas and Mexico, interacts with males of other species to trigger its reproduction process. The offspring are clones of their mother and do not inherit any of the male’s DNA. Typically, when creatures reproduce asexually, harmful changes creep into their genes over many generations.
One theory is that the fish may occasionally be taking some of the DNA from the males that trigger reproduction, in order to refresh their gene pool.
Dr Laurence Loewe, of the university’s School of Biological Sciences, said: “What we have shown now is that this fish really has something special going on and that some special tricks exist to help this fish survive. “Maybe there is still occasional sex with strangers that keeps the species alive. Future research may give us some answers.”
He added that their findings could also help them understand more about how other creatures operate. “I think one of the interesting things is that we are learning more about how other species might use these tricks as well,” he said. “It might have a more general importance.”