Reproductive isolation in Rhabditidae (Nematoda: Secernentea); mechanisms that isolate six species of three genera

S. E. Baird, M. E. Sutherlin, S. W. Emmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


The authors attempted interspecific hybridizations between Caenorhabditis elegans, Caenorhabditis briggsae, Caenorhabditis remanei, Caenorhabditis sp. v, Rhabditis sp., and Pelodera teres. Copulation was observed in all crosses between Caenorhabditis species; none resulted in the generation of stable hybrid populations. No copulation was observed in crosses between Carenorhabditis males and Rhabditis or Pelodera females, even when congeneric females were present, suggesting that Caenorhabditis males are able to selectively recognize congeneric females by a short-range stimulus. All pairwise combinations of Caenorhabditis species were isolated to some degree by gametic mechanisms; seven of 12 combinations were cross infertile and five of 12 were cross-fertile but had low brood sizes. In cross-fertile combinations, most hybrid embryos were inviable and arrested prior to gastrulation. Only in crosses of C. briggsae males to C. sp. v females did any hybrids survive embryogenesis. Most of these C. briggsae/C. sp. v hybrids arrested during larval development, and the few that reached adulthood invariably were female. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-594
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Reproductive isolation in Rhabditidae (Nematoda: Secernentea); mechanisms that isolate six species of three genera'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this