Algal reproductive strategies

hawkins hawkins at square.mk.toyota.co.jp
Tue Dec 19 19:49:52 EST 1995

Is it true that unlike Chlamydomonas, other algae such as Chlorella
reproduce solely asexually such that all progeny are essentialy clones of
the parent?  What is the generality of this among algae, do species with
mating types or strictly asexual species predominate?  It seems that tetrad
clonal reproduction can be advantageous in the rapid expansion of an
organism such as Chlorella to dominate an environment, but I'm wondering
what are the mechanisms for generating genetic diversity in such a
population in order to cope with altered conditions, since at least some
strains of Chlorella can certainly adapt to a wide range of conditions.  It
seems that retroposons may be one such mechanism, but is that sufficient or
are there other ways to generate clonal diversity (and to what extent are
they used)?  If anyone has any thoughts on these issues, I would be
interested to find out.

Richard Hawkins

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