Parthenogenesis in a whitetip reef shark Triaenodon obesus involves a reduction in ploidy. Academic Article uri icon


  • Genetic analysis of a female whitetip reef shark Triaenodon obesus and her stillborn pup, assumed to be of parthenogenetic origin, revealed that the pup was homozygous at all 24 nuclear-encoded microsatellites assayed, consistent with the idea that diploidy in the pup had been restored via terminal fusion. Flow cytometric analysis, however, indicated that the genome size of the pup was no more than half that of the mother, and microscopy revealed that nuclear volume was c. 1.73 times larger in the mother than in the pup. Together these data suggest that the pup was genetically haploid, developing directly from an unfertilized egg; as far as is known, this is the first observation of a spontaneously produced haploid vertebrate.

published proceedings

  • J Fish Biol

altmetric score

  • 2.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Portnoy, D. S., Hollenbeck, C. M., Johnston, J. S., Casman, H. M., & Gold, J. R.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Portnoy, DS||Hollenbeck, CM||Johnston, JS||Casman, HM||Gold, JR

publication date

  • August 2014