This is the first report of gynandromorphy in Isoptera. An Asian dry-wood termite, Neotermes koshunensis (Shiraki) [Kalotermitidae], possessing both male and female phenotypic characteristics, was found on Okinawa Island, Japan. This deformed individual showed morphological and anatomical hermaphroditism in the abdomen. The right side of the seventh sternite was the female form and contained an ovary, while the left side was the male form and contained a testis. Genotypic analysis revealed that this individual was a genotypic bilateral chimera. These results suggested that the termite was a bilateral gynandromorph with a male left side and a female right side. As reported previously in other insects, double fertilization (by two sperms, one with an X and one with a Y chromosome) of a binucleate egg is the most likely mechanism that generated this genotypic bilateral chimera. N. koshunensis has the ability to reproduce through parthenogenesis, in which the secondary polar body is likely to be used for nuclear phase recovery. If the second polar body in this mechanism has high fertility and healthy embryogenic potential, like an egg nucleus, some of gynandromorphs might be produced by a side effect of parthenogenetic ability.
Naturwissenschaften – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 4, 2017
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