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Microevolutionary processes in Euglena pisciformis. Genetic drift or adaptation?



Microevolutionary processes in Euglena pisciformis. Genetic drift or adaptation?



Archiv fuer Hydrobiologie Suppl. 114(0): 23-37



In natural populations of Euglena pisciformis KLEBs a high degree of genetic polymorphism is maintained among the clones, (proved by using analysis of restriction fragment length polymorphism - RFLP method) as a result of intensive microevolutionary processes. It seems that the evolution is bidirectional and is the result of two types of reproductive strategies by which the organism adapts to life in a highly variable environment. The first is based on the protection of dividing stages via the formation of thick slime envelopes (protecting them from drastic changes of the environment and from drought) at the expense of the rate of cell division. The second promotes an expansive population development without protecting even a small number of cells, in case of a sudden occurrence of drought or unfavourable changes in physical and chemical conditions. The coexistence of genetically distinct clones in an astatic container representing various strategies of life and reproduction increases the chances of species survival.

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