MAY 19, 2016 11:01 AM PDT

All-Female Salamanders Grow Tails Back Up to 36% Faster

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

There is a species of salamanders that reside in the Northeastern part of North America that are basically an all-female population and don’t even need males to reproduce.
 
They reproduce by cloning themselves rather than by mating, which allows them to essentially keep producing new generations of offspring on their own.

Scientists studied the cloning characteristics of an all-female salamander population by observing their regeneration capabilities.

Cloning, which has been known to amplify genetic mutations and issues down the line, isn’t exactly dubbed the most “fail-safe” way of reproducing, so scientists were interested in why the species hadn’t mutated much from its original form being that the cloning process was re-using so many old genes over and over.
 
While studying this species, Ohio State University scientists had a very strong interest in the tails. Regeneration is essentially like cloning, but only for a targeted part of the body only. Obviously, being skilled at cloning, they must have an innate ability to regrow their tails too.
 
To find out more, scientists snipped a few tails to watch them regenerate so they could find out what the results of grow-back tests would be. The findings were published in the Journal of Zoology and take an unexpected turn.
 
Without a doubt, the all-female population of salamanders were very efficient at growing back their tails, but the scientists also found something even more interesting – the all-female populations of salamanders were much faster at growing their tails back than their male counterparts were and there weren’t any major mutations in the regrowth.
 
Perhaps a skill learned from millions of years of cloning, their tail regeneration abilities were up to 36% faster than that of their male counterparts.
 
The studied species of all-female salamanders are polyploids, which means they have multiple sets of chromosomes that are thought to be the driving force behind the speedy regeneration. Many other animals, including other salamander species, are diploids or triploids, which means they only have two or three sets, but the salamanders outnumbered that by a long shot.
 
This advantage would have been beneficial to tissue regeneration.

Source: Ohio State University, National Geographic

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 18, 2020
Cancer
Clinical trials go forth for osteosarcoma in dogs and glioblastoma multiforme in humans using the same precision medicine
JUL 18, 2020
Clinical trials go forth for osteosarcoma in dogs and glioblastoma multiforme in humans using the same precision medicine
A development in precision medicine in cancer treatment for dogs has led to a similar advancement in cancer treatment fo ...
AUG 20, 2020
Health & Medicine
Studying the World's Deadliest Animal
AUG 20, 2020
Studying the World's Deadliest Animal
Imagine hundreds of mosquitoes feeding on your arm for the sake of research! This is one unique aspect fueling the work ...
SEP 06, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
The fluid dynamics of pelagic snails' movement
SEP 06, 2020
The fluid dynamics of pelagic snails' movement
Warm water pelagic snails don’t get much attention, but they certainly should. The snails move between ocean surfa ...
SEP 24, 2020
Technology
What Drives Essential Sensing in Animals?
SEP 24, 2020
What Drives Essential Sensing in Animals?
What drives essential sensing in animals? Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a new theory that can pr ...
OCT 20, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
The Gene Behind the Glow of the Sea Pickle is ID'ed
OCT 20, 2020
The Gene Behind the Glow of the Sea Pickle is ID'ed
In this photo by OceanX, researchers off the coast of Brazil collected Pyrosoma atlanticum specimens with a special robo ...
NOV 07, 2020
Earth & The Environment
Is Monarch wing size influenced by the environment?
NOV 07, 2020
Is Monarch wing size influenced by the environment?
Monarchs are shifting their migration patterns to live year-round in locations where the plants they need are always ava ...
Loading Comments...