Self-compatible hermaphroditic organisms that mix self-fertilization and outcrossing are of great interest for investigating the evolution of mating systems. We investigate the evolution of selfing in Lymnaea truncatula, a self-compatible hermaphroditic freshwater snail. We first analyze the consequences of selfing in terms of genetic variability within and among populations and then investigate how these consequences along with the species ecology (harshness of the habitat and parasitism) might govern the evolution of selfing. Snails from 13 localities (classified as temporary or permanent depending on their water availability) were sampled in western Switzerland and genotyped for seven microsatellite loci. FIS (estimated on adults) and progeny array analyses (on hatchlings) provided similar selfing rate estimates of 80%. Populations presented a low polymorphism and were highly differentiated (FST = 0.58). Although the reproductive assurance hypothesis would predict higher selfing rate in temporary populations, no difference in selfing level was observed between temporary and permanent populations. However, allelic richness and gene diversity declined in temporary habitats, presumably reflecting drift. Infection levels varied but were not simply related to either estimated population selfing rate or to differences in heterozygosity. These findings and the similar selfing rates estimated for hatchlings and adults suggest that within-population inbreeding depression is low in L. truncatula.
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Vol. 57 • No. 10