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Reindeer lichens reproduce sexually far more than scientists thought

Reindeer lichens reproduce sexually far more than scientists thought

Science
Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Like most lichen, reindeer lichen can reproduce both sexually and asexually, by sending out spores or simply cloning themselves. Previously, researchers assumed reindeer lichen, Cladonia stellaris, was primarily a clonal species, and would therefore feature relatively low levels of genetic diversity. Advertisement But according to a new genomic survey, published Friday in the American Journal of Botany, the reindeer lichen that blanket the forest floors of northern Canada have been doing a lot more gene-mixing than scientists thought. In other words, reindeer lichen have been having plenty of sex. Lichen are composite organisms featuring fungi and algae. Algae provide energy via photosynthesis, while the fungi secure nutrients from organic matter in rocks, soil and bark....
Salamander found to reproduce using the sperm of at least three males

Salamander found to reproduce using the sperm of at least three males

Science
June 12 (UPI) -- Why pass along the genes of a single mate when you can impart one's offspring with DNA from three fathers? Such is the unique reproductive strategy used by hybrid all-female populations of ambystomatid salamanders.When biologists from the University of Iowa sequenced the genome of all-female, or unisexual, salamanders, they found equal portions of DNA from three different species, Ambystoma laterale, Ambystoma texanum and Ambystoma tigrinum."We're hypothesizing the successful individuals have balanced gene expression," Maurine Neiman, a professor of biology at Iowa, said in a news release. "This balance might have been a prerequisite for the emergence and continued success of this particular hybrid lineage."Researchers believe all-female salamanders employ a reproductive t...