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Rapid divergent coevolution of Sinopotamon freshwater crab genitalia facilitates a burst of species diversification

Authors
  • YAO, Fengxin1
  • SHI, Boyang1
  • WANG, Xiaoqi1
  • PAN, Da1
  • BAI, Ming2
  • YAN, Jie1
  • CUMBERLIDGE, Neil3
  • SUN, Hongying1
  • 1 Nanjing Normal University, China , (China)
  • 2 Chinese Academy of Sciences, China , (China)
  • 3 Northern Michigan University, Marquette, USA , (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Integrative Zoology
Publisher
John Wiley and Sons Inc.
Publication Date
Apr 22, 2020
Volume
15
Issue
3
Pages
174–186
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/1749-4877.12424
PMID: 31773900
PMCID: PMC7216907
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown
External links

Abstract

One of the most striking radiations in brachyuran evolution is the considerable morphological diversification of the external reproductive structures of primary freshwater crabs: the male first gonopod (G1) and the female vulva (FV). However, the lack of quantitative studies, especially the lack of data on female genitalia, has seriously limited our understanding of genital evolution in these lineages. Here we examined 69 species of the large Chinese potamid freshwater crab genus Sinopotamon Bott, 1967 (more than 80% of the described species). We used a landmark‐based geometric morphometric approach to analyze variation in the shape of the G1 and FV, and to compare the relative degree of variability of the genitalia with non‐reproductive structures (the third maxillipeds). We found rapid divergent evolution of the genitalia among species of Sinopotamon when compared to non‐reproductive traits. In addition, the reconstruction of ancestral groundplans, together with plotting analyses, indicated that the FV show the most rapid divergence, and that changes in FV traits correlate with changes in G1 traits. Here we provide new evidence for coevolution between the male and female external genitalia of Sinopotamon that has likely contributed to rapid divergent evolution and an associated burst of speciation in this lineage.

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