On the rediscovery of Volvox perglobator (Volvocales, Chlorophyceae) and the evolution of outcrossing from self-fertilization

Erik R. Hanschen, Dinah R. Davison, Patrick J. Ferris, Richard E. Michod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Hypothesis: Genetic recombination underlies the frequent origins of self-fertilization and rare reversions to outcrossing. Organisms: Volvox perglobator, Gonium pectorale, volvocine green algae. Methods: We report the rediscovery of a volvocine alga, obligate outcrossing V. perglobator, including morphological characteristics and molecular phylogeny. We use ancestral-state reconstruction and phylogenetic simulation to demonstrate multiple transitions between self-fertilization and outcrossing. We sequence sex-determining genes in multiple volvocine algae. Results: We find significant support for numerous origins of self-fertilization and multiple reversions to outcrossing. Volvox perglobator is one of these reversions to outcrossing. Combination of ancestrally sex-restricted and sex-determining genes into the same genotype correlates with the evolution of self-fertilization. Re-segregation of these same sex-determining loci into separate sexes correlates with the evolution of outcrossing. These results suggest that recombination underlies the evolutionary transitions between self-fertilization and outcrossing in the volvocine algae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-318
Number of pages20
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2018


  • Homothallism
  • Phylogenetics
  • Reversion
  • Self-fertilization
  • Sexual reproduction
  • Volvocine green algae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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