Geographical variation in dormancy in a copepod: evidence from population crosses

TitleGeographical variation in dormancy in a copepod: evidence from population crosses
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1988
AuthorsWyngaard GA

Populations of the freshwater copepod Mesocyclops edax inhabiting Michigan lakes are dormant during winter, whereas populations inhabiting Florida lakes develop and reproduce continuously throughout the year. A Michigan and a Florida population were exposed to dormancy inducing conditions (low temperature and short photoperiod) in the laboratory and observed for indications of dormancy. All Michigan individuals and a small percentage of the Florida individuals entered dormancy as indicated by prolonged duration of the fourth copepodid instar and cessation of feeding. I suggest that in these populations these observations represent diapause, rather than quiescence. The two populations were crossbred to examine the nature of inheritance of dormancy. The F1 hybrids exhibited an incidence of diapause approximately intermediate between the Florida and Michigan parental stocks. The backcrosses of F1 individuals to the Michigan and Florida stocks, respectively, exhibited a high and an intermediate incidence of diapause. Survival of the F2 crosses was very low. The present study presents evidence of genetic differentiation between the Michigan and Florida populations of M. edax with respect to ability to diapause.