This Mutant Crayfish Clones Itself, and It’s Taking Over Europe - The New York Times


34 bookmarks. First posted by vishnugopal 11 days ago.


Feral populations started turning up in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia and Ukraine in Europe, and later in Japan and Madagascar. Once they succeeded, they sequenced the genomes of 15 other specimens, including marbled crayfish living in German lakes and those belonging to other species. It apparently evolved from a species known as the slough crayfish, Procambarus fallax, which lives only in the tributaries of the Satilla River in Florida and Georgia. Yet that single genome has allowed the clones to thrive in all manner of habitats — from abandoned coal fields in Germany to rice paddies in Madagascar. In their new study, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, the researchers show that the marbled crayfish has spread across Madagascar at an astonishing pace, across an area the size of Indiana in about a decade.
8 days ago by sechilds
This Mutant Crayfish Clones Itself, and It’s Taking Over Europe - The New York Times
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9 days ago by jamescampbell
We have crayfish in the River Suir and the NYT are following the story:
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9 days ago by topgold
The marbled crayfish is a mutant species that clones itself, scientists report. The population is exploding in Europe, but the species appears to have…
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10 days ago by flobosg
"Only about 1 in 10,000 species comprise cloning females. Many studies suggest that sex-free species are rare because they don’t last long.

In one such study, Abraham E. Tucker of Southern Arkansas University and his colleagues studied 11 asexual species of water fleas, a tiny kind of invertebrate. Their DNA indicates that the species only evolved about 1,250 years ago.

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There are a lot of clear advantages to being a clone. Marbled crayfish produce nothing but fertile offspring, allowing their populations to explode. “Asexuality is a fantastic short-term strategy,” said Dr. Tucker.

In the long term, however, there are benefits to sex. Sexually reproducing animals may be better at fighting off diseases, for example.

If a pathogen evolves a way to attack one clone, its strategy will succeed on every clone. Sexually reproducing species mix their genes together into new combinations, increasing their odds of developing a defense.

The marbled crayfish offers scientists a chance to watch this drama play out practically from the beginning. In its first couple decades, it’s doing extremely well. But sooner or later, the marbled crayfish’s fortunes may well turn.

“Maybe they just survive for 100,000 years,” Dr. Lyko speculated. “That would be a long time for me personally, but in evolution it would just be a blip on the radar.”"
crazy  biology  life  animals  nature 
10 days ago by ssam
Frank Lyko, a biologist at the German Cancer Research Center, studies the six-inch-long marbled crayfish. Finding specimens is easy: Dr. Lyko can buy the crayfish at pet stores in Germany, or he can head with colleagues to a nearby lake. via Pocket
biology  newsletter 
10 days ago by thewavingcat
Before about 25 years ago, the species simply did not exist. A single drastic mutation in a single crayfish produced the marbled crayfish in an instant.

The mutation made it possible for the creature to clone itself, and now it has spread across much of Europe and gained a toehold on other continents. In Madagascar, where it arrived about 2007, it now numbers in the millions and threatens native crayfish.

I, for one, welcome our new crayfish overlords.
mutation  genetics  asexuality  species  speciation  clone  female 
10 days ago by kybernetikos
RT : This story is
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cray
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10 days ago by mjr5749
Thanks to the young age of the species, marbled crayfish could shed light on one of the big mysteries about the animal kingdom: why so many animals have sex.
11 days ago by samn
Frank Lyko, a biologist at the German Cancer Research Center, studies the six-inch-long marbled crayfish. Finding specimens is easy: Dr. Lyko can buy the crayfish at pet stores in Germany, or he can head with colleagues to a nearby lake. via Pocket
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11 days ago by egwillim
Favorite tweet:

This is WILD. A single mutation 25 years ago created an all-female species of crayfish that reproduces asexually in huge numbers, and they are literally taking over the world: https://t.co/znx6rsFIXp

— Laurie Voss (@seldo) February 6, 2018
IFTTT  Twitter 
11 days ago by Ryanvlower
The marbled crayfish is a mutant species that clones itself, scientists report. The population is exploding in Europe, but the species appears to have…
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11 days ago by kohlmannj
But instead of reproducing sexually, the first marbled crayfish was able to induce her own eggs to start dividing into embryos. The offspring, all females, inherited identical copies of her three sets of chromosomes. They were clones.
nature  animals  weird 
11 days ago by jellis
The marbled crayfish is a mutant species that clones itself, scientists report. The population is exploding in Europe, but the species appears to have…
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11 days ago by mjbrej
soon 🦀💅 
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11 days ago by ejl
Frank Lyko, a biologist at the German Cancer Research Center, studies the six-inch-long marbled crayfish. Finding specimens is easy: Dr. Lyko can buy the crayfish at pet stores in Germany, or he can head with colleagues to a nearby lake.
11 days ago by pitiphong_p
Before about 25 years ago, the species simply did not exist. A single drastic mutation in a single crayfish produced the marbled crayfish in an instant.

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The mutation made it possible for the creature to clone itself, and now it has spread across much of Europe and gained a toehold on other continents.
weekly  animal  poetry  evolution 
11 days ago by twwoodward
The marbled crayfish is a mutant species that clones itself, scientists report. The population is exploding in Europe, but the species appears to have…
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11 days ago by Aetles
RT : Tonight's required reading: a science-fiction story happening in real life.
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11 days ago by Iko
The marbled crayfish is a mutant species that clones itself, scientists report. The population is exploding in Europe, but the species appears to have…
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11 days ago by bits
"The mutation made it possible for the creature to clone itself"
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11 days ago by mchung
The marbled crayfish is a mutant species that clones itself, scientists report. The population is exploding in Europe, but the species appears to have…
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11 days ago by edmadrid
Tonight's required reading: a science-fiction story happening in real life.
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11 days ago by vishnugopal