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Sample records for affecting sex ratio

  1. Transgenerational sex determination: the embryonic environment experienced by a male affects offspring sex ratio

    PubMed Central

    Warner, Daniel A.; Uller, Tobias; Shine, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Conditions experienced during embryonic development can have lasting effects, even carrying across generations. Most evidence for transgenerational effects comes from studies of female mammals, with much less known about egg-laying organisms or paternally-mediated effects. Here we show that offspring sex can be affected by the incubation temperature its father experiences years earlier. We incubated eggs of an Australian lizard with temperature-dependent sex determination under three thermal regimes; some eggs were given an aromatase inhibitor to produce sons at temperatures that usually produce only daughters. Offspring were raised to maturity and freely interbred within field enclosures. After incubating eggs of the subsequent generation and assigning parentage, we found that the developmental temperature experienced by a male significantly influences the sex of his future progeny. This transgenerational effect on sex ratio may reflect an epigenetic influence on paternally-inherited DNA. Clearly, sex determination in reptiles is far more complex than is currently envisaged. PMID:24048344

  2. Ecological context and metapopulation dynamics affect sex-ratio variation among dioecious plant populations

    PubMed Central

    Field, David L.; Pickup, Melinda; Barrett, Spencer C. H.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Populations of dioecious flowering plants commonly exhibit heterogeneity in sex ratios and deviations from the equilibrium expectation of equal numbers of females and males. Yet the role of ecological and demographic factors in contributing towards biased sex ratios is currently not well understood. Methods Species-level studies from the literature were analysed to investigate ecological correlates of among-population sex-ratio variation and metapopulation models and empirical data were used to explore the influence of demography and non-equilibrium conditions on flowering sex ratios. Key Results The survey revealed significant among-population heterogeneity in sex ratios and this was related to the degree of sampling effort. For some species, sex-ratio bias was associated with the proportion of non-reproductive individuals, with greater male bias in populations with a lower proportion of individuals that were flowering. Male-biased ratios were also found at higher altitudes and latitudes, and in more xeric sites. Simulations and empirical data indicated that clonal species exhibited greater heterogeneity in sex ratios than non-clonal species as a result of their slower approach to equilibrium. The simulations also indicated the importance of interactions between reproductive mode and founder effects, with greater departures from equilibrium in clonal populations with fewer founding individuals. Conclusions The results indicate that sex-based differences in costs of reproduction and non-equilibrium conditions can each play important roles in affecting flowering sex ratios in populations of dioecious plants. PMID:23444124

  3. Factors affecting sex ratio at birth in Croatia 1998-2008.

    PubMed

    Pavic, Dario

    2012-05-01

    This investigation aims to contribute to the existing literature on demographic and ecological factors affecting the sex ratio at birth, by analysing the births in Croatia from 1998 to 2008. Data from birth certificates for all Croatian births for the investigated period (n=420,256) were used to establish the link between parental ages, birth order, region of birth, parental occupation and parental education level, and sex of the child. The χ² test and t-test were used to assess the significance of each of the factors, along with multiple logistic regression to control for possible confounding effects. The results suggest that a joint higher age of both parents significantly lowers the sex ratio at birth. There is also a regional variation in sex ratio at birth, the lowest value being in Central Croatia and the highest in the City of Zagreb. Changes in the reproductive physiology of older parents are most probably responsible for the lower sex ratio, although the limited sample size warns against widespread generalizations. The causes of the regional variation in sex ratio at birth are most likely the different regional levels of obesity and physical inactivity. PMID:22225622

  4. Sex ratio of equine offspring is affected by the ages of the mare and stallion.

    PubMed

    Santos, Marianna Machado; Maia, Leonardo Lara; Nobre, Daniel Magalhães; Oliveira Neto, José Ferraz; Garcia, Tiago Rezende; Lage, Maria Coeli Gomes Reis; de Melo, Maria Isabel Vaz; Viana, Walmir Santos; Palhares, Maristela Silveira; da Silva Filho, José Monteiro; Santos, Renato Lima; Valle, Guilherme Ribeiro

    2015-10-15

    second trial, with a more restricted number of horses, confirmed the influence of the age of the mare on the offspring sex ratio. We concluded that the parental age affected the offspring sex ratio in horses and that this effect was stronger for the mares than for the stallions. PMID:26234461

  5. Population sex-ratio affecting behavior and physiology of overwintering bank voles (Myodes glareolus).

    PubMed

    Sipari, Saana; Haapakoski, Marko; Klemme, Ines; Palme, Rupert; Sundell, Janne; Ylönen, Hannu

    2016-05-15

    Many boreal rodents are territorial during the breeding season but during winter become social and aggregate for more energy efficient thermoregulation. Communal winter nesting and social interactions are considered to play an important role for the winter survival of these species, yet the topic is relatively little explored. Females are suggested to be the initiators of winter aggregations and sometimes reported to survive better than males. This could be due to the higher social tolerance observed in overwintering females than males. Hormonal status could also affect winter behavior and survival. For instance, chronic stress can have a negative effect on survival, whereas high gonadal hormone levels, such as testosterone, often induce aggressive behavior. To test if the winter survival of females in a boreal rodent is better than that of males, and to assess the role of females in the winter aggregations, we generated bank vole (Myodes glareolus) populations of three different sex ratios (male-biased, female-biased and even density) under semi-natural conditions. We monitored survival, spatial behavior and hormonal status (stress and testosterone) during two winter months. We observed no significant differences in survival between the sexes or among populations with differing sex-ratios. The degree of movement area overlap was used as an indicator of social tolerance and potential communal nesting. Individuals in male biased populations showed a tendency to be solitary, whereas in female biased populations there was an indication of winter aggregation. Females living in male-biased populations had higher stress levels than the females from the other populations. The female-biased sex-ratio induced winter breeding and elevated testosterone levels in males. Thus, our results suggest that the sex-ratio of the overwintering population can lead to divergent overwintering strategies in bank voles. PMID:26976741

  6. Son-Killer: A Third Extrachromosomal Factor Affecting the Sex Ratio in the Parasitoid Wasp, NASONIA (=MORMONIELLA) VITRIPENNIS

    PubMed Central

    Skinner, Samuel Way

    1985-01-01

    An extrachromosomal factor, termed son-killer (sk), affects the sex ratio in a parasitoid wasp, Nasonia (=Mormoniella ) vitripennis. The factor is maternally transmitted and alters the secondary sex ratio of an infected female through mortality of approximately 80% of the male embryos. No effect on the primary (zygotic) sex ratio is observed. Ninety-five percent of the daughters of an infected female inherit son-killer. The factor can also be transmitted contagiously when the progeny of infected and uninfected females develop simultaneously on a single host. In newly infected strains, the sex ratio effects are equivalent to those in the original. PMID:3988039

  7. Mother's prior intrauterine position affects the sex ratio of her offspring in house mice.

    PubMed Central

    Vandenbergh, J G; Huggett, C L

    1994-01-01

    Sex ratio alterations related to environmental factors occur in several mammals, but no mechanism has been identified to explain the adjustment. Intrauterine position (IUP) may provide the context in which such alterations occur. Previous studies on house mice and gerbils reveal that the position of a fetus in the uterus in relation to the sex of its neighbors influences its later anatomy, physiology, and behavior. The anogenital distance (AGD) of females located between two males (2M) is longer than that of females not between two males (OM). We have found that the IUP, as determined by cesarean section and by an index of the AGD, correlates with the sex ratio of the litters produced by female mice. The sex ratio of the first litter born to 2M females was 58% males, for 1M females was 51% males and for OM females was 42% males. The effect on sex ratio continues into the second litter. The number of pups produced by mothers of different IUPs in her first two litters did not differ, suggesting that the sex ratio adjustment occurs prior to parturition. These results provide a basis for the natural variability observed in sex ratios of litter-bearing mammals and suggest that one or more intrauterine mechanisms may be responsible for environmentally related sex ratio alterations. PMID:7972008

  8. Sex allocation and secondary sex ratio in Cuban boa ( Chilabothrus angulifer): mother's body size affects the ratio between sons and daughters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frynta, Daniel; Vejvodová, Tereza; Šimková, Olga

    2016-06-01

    Secondary sex ratios of animals with genetically determined sex may considerably deviate from equality. These deviations may be attributed to several proximate and ultimate factors. Sex ratio theory explains some of them as strategic decisions of mothers improving their fitness by selective investment in sons or daughters, e.g. local resource competition hypothesis (LRC) suggests that philopatric females tend to produce litters with male-biased sex ratios to avoid future competition with their daughters. Until now, only little attention has been paid to examine predictions of sex ratio theory in snakes possessing genetic sex determination and exhibiting large variance in allocation of maternal investment. Cuban boa is an endemic viviparous snake producing large-bodied newborns (˜200 g). Extremely high maternal investment in each offspring increases importance of sex allocation. In a captive colony, we collected breeding records of 42 mothers, 62 litters and 306 newborns and examined secondary sex ratios (SR) and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) of newborns. None of the examined morphometric traits of neonates appeared sexually dimorphic. The sex ratio was slightly male biased (174 males versus 132 females) and litter sex ratio significantly decreased with female snout-vent length. We interpret this relationship as an additional support for LRC as competition between mothers and daughters increases with similarity of body sizes between competing snakes.

  9. Sex allocation and secondary sex ratio in Cuban boa (Chilabothrus angulifer): mother's body size affects the ratio between sons and daughters.

    PubMed

    Frynta, Daniel; Vejvodová, Tereza; Šimková, Olga

    2016-06-01

    Secondary sex ratios of animals with genetically determined sex may considerably deviate from equality. These deviations may be attributed to several proximate and ultimate factors. Sex ratio theory explains some of them as strategic decisions of mothers improving their fitness by selective investment in sons or daughters, e.g. local resource competition hypothesis (LRC) suggests that philopatric females tend to produce litters with male-biased sex ratios to avoid future competition with their daughters. Until now, only little attention has been paid to examine predictions of sex ratio theory in snakes possessing genetic sex determination and exhibiting large variance in allocation of maternal investment. Cuban boa is an endemic viviparous snake producing large-bodied newborns (∼200 g). Extremely high maternal investment in each offspring increases importance of sex allocation. In a captive colony, we collected breeding records of 42 mothers, 62 litters and 306 newborns and examined secondary sex ratios (SR) and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) of newborns. None of the examined morphometric traits of neonates appeared sexually dimorphic. The sex ratio was slightly male biased (174 males versus 132 females) and litter sex ratio significantly decreased with female snout-vent length. We interpret this relationship as an additional support for LRC as competition between mothers and daughters increases with similarity of body sizes between competing snakes. PMID:27216175

  10. Logging Affects Fledgling Sex Ratios and Baseline Corticosterone in a Forest Songbird

    PubMed Central

    Leshyk, Rhiannon; Nol, Erica; Burke, Dawn M.; Burness, Gary

    2012-01-01

    Silviculture (logging) creates a disturbance to forested environments. The degree to which forests are modified depends on the logging prescription and forest stand characteristics. In this study we compared the effects of two methods of group-selection (“moderate” and “heavy”) silviculture (GSS) and undisturbed reference stands on stress and offspring sex ratios of a forest interior species, the Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla), in Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada. Blood samples were taken from nestlings for corticosterone and molecular sexing. We found that logging creates a disturbance that is stressful for nestling Ovenbirds, as illustrated by elevated baseline corticosterone in cut sites. Ovenbirds nesting in undisturbed reference forest produce fewer male offspring per brood (proportion male = 30%) while logging with progressively greater forest disturbance, shifted the offspring sex ratio towards males (proportion male: moderate = 50%, heavy = 70%). If Ovenbirds in undisturbed forests usually produce female-biased broods, then the production of males as a result of logging may disrupt population viability. We recommend a broad examination of nestling sex ratios in response to anthropogenic disturbance to determine the generality of our findings. PMID:22432000

  11. Operational sex ratio and density do not affect directional selection on male sexual ornaments and behavior.

    PubMed

    Head, Megan L; Lindholm, Anna K; Brooks, Robert

    2008-01-01

    Demographic parameters including operational sex ratio (OSR) and population density may influence the opportunity for, and strength of sexual selection. Traditionally, male-biased OSRs and high population densities have been thought to increase the opportunity for sexual selection on male sexual traits due to increased male competition for mates. Recent experimental evidence, however, suggests that male-biased OSRs might reduce the opportunity for sexual selection due to increased sexual coercion experienced by females. How OSR, density, and any resultant changes in the opportunity for sexual selection actually affect selection on male sexual traits is unclear. In this study, we independently manipulated OSR and density in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) without altering the number of males present. We recorded male and female behavior and used DNA microsatellite data to assign paternity to offspring and estimate male reproductive success. We then used linear selection analyses to examine the effects of OSR and density on directional sexual selection on male behavioral and morphological traits. We found that females were pursued more by males in male-biased treatments, despite no change in individual male behavior. There were no differences in sexual behavior experienced by females or performed by males in relation to density. Neither OSR nor density significantly altered the opportunity for sexual selection. Also, Although there was significant multivariate linear selection operating on males, neither OSR nor density altered the pattern of sexual selection on male traits. Our results suggest that differences in either OSR or density (independent of the number of males present) are unlikely to alter directional evolutionary change in male sexual traits. PMID:18067568

  12. Maternally derived carotenoid pigments affect offspring survival, sex ratio, and sexual attractiveness in a colorful songbird

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGraw, K. J.; Adkins-Regan, E.; Parker, R. S.

    2005-08-01

    In egg-laying animals, mothers can influence the development of their offspring via the suite of biochemicals they incorporate into the nourishing yolk (e.g. lipids, hormones). However, the long-lasting fitness consequences of this early nutritional environment have often proved elusive. Here, we show that the colorful carotenoid pigments that female zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata) deposit into egg yolks influence embryonic and nestling survival, the sex ratio of fledged offspring, and the eventual ornamental coloration displayed by their offspring as adults. Mothers experimentally supplemented with dietary carotenoids prior to egg-laying incorporated more carotenoids into eggs, which, due to the antioxidant activity of carotenoids, rendered their embryos less susceptible to free-radical attack during development. These eggs were subsequently more likely to hatch, fledge offspring, produce more sons than daughters, and produce sons who exhibited more brightly colored carotenoid-based beak pigmentation. Provisioned mothers also acquired more colorful beaks, which directly predicted levels of carotenoids found in eggs, thus indicating that these pigments may function not only as physiological ‘damage-protectants’ in adults and offspring but also as morphological signals of maternal reproductive capabilities.

  13. The effect of sex ratios on suicide.

    PubMed

    Kuroki, Masanori

    2014-12-01

    Whereas sex ratios are likely to affect the likelihood of marriage, how sex ratios affect health and survival is underexplored. This study uses suicide as a measure of mental health and examines how suicides are affected by sex ratios. As women tend to marry men older than themselves, shrinking populations will lead to higher sex ratios (i.e., higher proportions of men) in the marriage market. Using data from Japan, I find that high sex ratios, both early-life and current, are correlated with higher male suicide rates, whereas female suicide rates are generally not affected. The results of this study have important implications for public health in countries where imbalanced sex ratios are a concern. PMID:23943552

  14. The sex ratio at birth.

    PubMed

    Rubin, E

    1967-10-01

    Several aspects of the disparity in birth ratio of males over females are discussed including variations among different races, variations by order of birth, by age of the parent, and in multiple births. Avenues of statistical exploration are suggested in an attempt to indicate certain peculiarities in nature. The Negro population in the United States has a sex ratio of 102 males to 100 females as opposed to 105:100 for whites, a highly significant difference. Inferences from these statistics are suggested for study of the sex ratios of mixed unions. The group classified as Mulatto show a lower sex ratio and further analysis of this was suggested including examination of slave records. For the white population sex ratio declines from 106.2 to 102.9 between 1st order and 7th order births. This is highly significant. However, nonwhite determinations were more irregular. Data limitations on sex ratio by age of parent prevented conclusive results. Multiple births among whites show a decline from 105.3 for single live births to 103.2 for twins and 86.1 for all other plural deliveries. Among nonwhites these ratios are 102.3, 99.7, and 102.6 respectively. Further information should be developed using the multiple facts relating to the sex ratio at birth. PMID:12275623

  15. Sex ratios in bumble bees

    PubMed Central

    Bourke, A. F. G.

    1997-01-01

    The median proportion of investment in females among 11 populations of seven bumble bee (Bombus) species was 0.32 (range 0.07 to 0.64). By contrast, two species of workerless social parasites in the related genus Psithyrus had female-biased sex allocation, the reasons for which remain unclear. Male-biased sex allocation in Bombus contradicts the predictions of Trivers and Hare's sex ratio model for the social Hymenoptera, which are that the population sex investment ratio should be 0.5 (1:1) under queen control and 0.75 (3:1 females:males) under worker control (assuming single, once-mated, outbred queens and non-reproductive workers). Male bias in Bombus does not appear to be either an artefact, or purely the result of symbiotic sex ratio distorters. According to modifications of the Trivers–Hare model, the level of worker male-production in Bombus is insufficient to account for observed levels of male bias. There is also no evidence that male bias arises from either local resource competition (related females compete for resources) or local mate enhancement (related males cooperate in securing mates). Bulmer presented models predicting sexual selection for protandry (males are produced before females) in annual social Hymenoptera and, as a consequence (given some parameter values), male-biased sex allocation. Bumble bees fit the assumptions of Bulmer's models and are protandrous. These models therefore represent the best current explanation for the bees' male-biased sex investment ratios. This conclusion suggests that the relative timing of the production of the sexes strongly influences sex allocation in the social Hymenoptera.

  16. Neighbours' Breeding Success and the Sex Ratio of Their Offspring Affect the Mate Preferences of Female Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Drullion, Dominique; Dubois, Frédérique

    2011-01-01

    Several hypotheses on divorce predict that monogamous pairs should split up more frequently after a breeding failure. Yet, deviations from the expected pattern “success-stay, failure-leave” have been reported in several species. One possible explanation for these deviations would be that individuals do not use only their own breeding performance (i.e., private information) but also that of others (i.e., public information) to decide whether or not to divorce. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the relative importance of private and public information for mate choice decisions in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).We manipulated the reproductive performance of breeding pairs and measured females' preferences for their mate and the neighbouring male first following pair formation and then seven weeks later when all females had laid eggs and the young were independent. Although all females reduced their preference for their mate after a breeding failure, the decrease was significant only when the neighbouring pair had reproduced successfully. Furthermore, there was no evidence that females biased the sex ratio of their offspring according to their mate's attractiveness. On the other hand, after reproduction, both successful and unsuccessful females increased their preferences for males who had produced a larger proportion of sons. Despite the fact that other mechanisms may have also contributed to our findings, we suggest that females changed their mate preferences based on the proportion of sons produced by successful males, because offspring sex ratio reflects the male's testosterone level at the moment of fertilization and hence is an indicator of his immune condition. PMID:22216351

  17. Neighbours' breeding success and the sex ratio of their offspring affect the mate preferences of female zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Drullion, Dominique; Dubois, Frédérique

    2011-01-01

    Several hypotheses on divorce predict that monogamous pairs should split up more frequently after a breeding failure. Yet, deviations from the expected pattern "success-stay, failure-leave" have been reported in several species. One possible explanation for these deviations would be that individuals do not use only their own breeding performance (i.e., private information) but also that of others (i.e., public information) to decide whether or not to divorce. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the relative importance of private and public information for mate choice decisions in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).We manipulated the reproductive performance of breeding pairs and measured females' preferences for their mate and the neighbouring male first following pair formation and then seven weeks later when all females had laid eggs and the young were independent. Although all females reduced their preference for their mate after a breeding failure, the decrease was significant only when the neighbouring pair had reproduced successfully. Furthermore, there was no evidence that females biased the sex ratio of their offspring according to their mate's attractiveness. On the other hand, after reproduction, both successful and unsuccessful females increased their preferences for males who had produced a larger proportion of sons. Despite the fact that other mechanisms may have also contributed to our findings, we suggest that females changed their mate preferences based on the proportion of sons produced by successful males, because offspring sex ratio reflects the male's testosterone level at the moment of fertilization and hence is an indicator of his immune condition. PMID:22216351

  18. Sustainable sex ratio in lattice populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tainaka, K.; Hayashi, T.; Yoshimura, J.

    2006-05-01

    We present a lattice model of mating populations. Simulation is performed by two different methods: local and global interactions. Simulation results account for the reason why the observed sex ratio is nearly one half in many animals. The male-biased sex ratio, such as in human populations, is also explained.

  19. Haplodiploidy, sex-ratio adjustment, and eusociality.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Andy; Ross, Laura

    2013-03-01

    Hamilton's "haplodiploidy hypothesis" holds that inflated sororal relatedness has promoted altruistic sib rearing in haplodiploids, potentially explaining their apparent predisposition to eusociality. Here, we suggest that haplodiploidy may instead promote eusociality simply by facilitating sex-ratio adjustment. Specifically, haplodiploidy may enable sex-ratio bias toward the more helpful sex, owing to "local resource enhancement," and such sex-ratio bias may promote the evolution of helping by individuals of that sex, owing to the "rarer-sex effect." This could explain why haplodiploidy appears to have been important for eusociality in taxa with only female helpers, such as ants, wasps, and bees, but not in taxa with both male and female helpers, such as termites. PMID:23448893

  20. Sex ratios in pheasant research and management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dale, F.H.

    1952-01-01

    Sex ratios are of primary importance in interpretation of extensive studies of pheasant populations. They are necessary for converting crowing-cock indices to population estimates even where annual trends are to be studied in the same area. Reliability of population estimates from hunting season kill of pheasants suffers primarily from inability to estimate sex ratios accurately. Fall sex ratio is an index to production and where adult sex ratios are divergent can serve as a good check on production per hen. Age ratios of cocks cannot be interpreted directly as an index of productivity, even within the boundaries of one state, unless adult sex ratios are known. The relationship between observed and actual sex ratio varies significantly from season to season and according to the method of observation. In view of their importance in population studies and the lack of reliability of present methods, it is believed that intensive studies on techniques for obtaining sex ratios are a major need in pheasant research.

  1. On the variability of alligator sex ratios

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nichols, J.D.; Chabreck, R.H.

    1980-01-01

    Samples of alligators from wild and 'farm' populations exhibited disproportionate sex ratios. Males predominated among young alligators from wild populations, whereas females were much more abundant than males in the farm population, where resources were superabundant. These results and other considerations lead us to hypothesize that environmental factors influence sex determination in alligators. During favorable environmental conditions natural selection is expected to favor a preponderance of the sex whose individuals exhibit the greater environmentally associated variation in relative fitness. We hypothesize that environmentally associated variation in age at sexual maturity of females produces sufficient variation in relative fitness of females to result in selection for low sex ratios during periods of resource abundance.

  2. ``sex Ratio'' Meiotic Drive in Drosophila Testacea

    PubMed Central

    James, A. C.; Jaenike, J.

    1990-01-01

    We document the occurrence of ``sex ratio'' meiotic drive in natural populations of Drosophila testacea. ``Sex ratio'' males sire >95% female offspring. Genetic analysis reveals that this effect is due to a meiotically driven X chromosome, as in other species of Drosophila in which ``sex ratio'' has been found. In contrast to other drosophilids, the ``sex ratio'' and standard chromosomes of D. testacea do not differ in gene arrangement, implying that the effect may be due to a single genetic factor in this species. In all likelihood, the ``sex ratio'' condition has evolved independently in D. testacea and in the Drosophila obscura species group, as the loci responsible for the effect occur on different chromosomal elements. An important ecological consequence of ``sex ratio'' is that natural populations of D. testacea exhibit a strong female bias. Because D. testacea mates, oviposits, and feeds as adults and larvae on mushrooms, this species provides an excellent opportunity to study the selective factors in nature that prevent ``sex ratio'' chromosomes from increasing to fixation and causing the extinction of the species. PMID:2249763

  3. Parasite Stress Predicts Offspring Sex Ratio

    PubMed Central

    Dama, Madhukar Shivajirao

    2012-01-01

    In this study, I predict that the global variation of offspring sex ratio might be influenced in part by the level of parasite stress. From an energetic standpoint, higher gestational costs of producing a male offspring could decrease male births in a population with limited resources. This implies that, any factor that limits the parental resources could be expected to favor female offspring production. Human sex ratio at birth (SRB) is believed to be influenced by numerous socioeconomic, biological, and environmental factors. Here, I test a prediction that parasite stress, by virtue of its effects on the general health condition, may limit the parental investment ability and therefore could influence the SRB at the population level. The statistical analysis supports this prediction, and show that the level of parasite stress has a significant inverse relation with population SRB across the world. Further, this relation is many-folds stronger than the association of SRB with other factors, like; polygyny, fertility, latitude, and son-preference. Hence, I propose that condition affecting ability of parasites (but not adaptive significance) could be a likely causal basis for the striking variation of SRB across populations. PMID:23049967

  4. A demographic model for sex ratio evolution and the effects of sex-biased offspring costs.

    PubMed

    Shyu, Esther; Caswell, Hal

    2016-03-01

    The evolution of the primary sex ratio, the proportion of male births in an individual's offspring production strategy, is a frequency-dependent process that selects against the more common sex. Because reproduction is shaped by the entire life cycle, sex ratio theory would benefit from explicitly two-sex models that include some form of life cycle structure. We present a demographic approach to sex ratio evolution that combines adaptive dynamics with nonlinear matrix population models. We also determine the evolutionary and convergence stability of singular strategies using matrix calculus. These methods allow the incorporation of any population structure, including multiple sexes and stages, into evolutionary projections. Using this framework, we compare how four different interpretations of sex-biased offspring costs affect sex ratio evolution. We find that demographic differences affect evolutionary outcomes and that, contrary to prior belief, sex-biased mortality after parental investment can bias the primary sex ratio (but not the corresponding reproductive value ratio). These results differ qualitatively from the widely held conclusions of previous models that neglect demographic structure. PMID:26900452

  5. Sex-different response in growth traits to resource heterogeneity explains male-biased sex ratio

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsushita, Michinari; Takao, Mikako; Makita, Akifumi

    2016-08-01

    In dioecious plants, differences in growth traits between sexes in a response to micro-environmental heterogeneity may affect sex ratio bias and spatial distributions. Here, we examined sex ratios, stem growth traits and spatial distribution patterns in the dioecious clonal shrub Aucuba japonica var. borealis, in stands with varying light intensities. We found that male stems were significantly more decumbent (lower height/length ratio) but female stems were upright (higher height/length ratio). Moreover, we found sex-different response in stem density (no. of stems per unit area) along a light intensity gradient; in males the stem density increased with increases in canopy openness, but not in females. The higher sensitivity of males in increasing stem density to light intensity correlated with male-biased sex ratio; fine-scale sex ratio was strongly male-biased as canopy openness increased. There were also differences between sexes in spatial distributions of stems. Spatial segregation of sexes and male patches occupying larger areas than female patches might result from vigorous growth of males under well-lit environments. In summary, females and males showed different growth responses to environmental variation, and this seemed to be one of possible causes for the sex-differential spatial distributions and locally biased sex ratios.

  6. Soil moisture and sex ratio in a plant with nuclear-cytoplasmic sex inheritance.

    PubMed Central

    Barr, Camille M.

    2004-01-01

    I investigated whether soil moisture affects relative fitness of females and hermaphrodites and sex ratio in a gynodioecious plant with nuclear-cytoplasmic sex inheritance. I contrast these results with those from species with strictly nuclear sex inheritance. I performed a manipulative watering experiment on seed fitness of the two sexes, and field studies measuring seed fitness and sex ratio as a function of soil moisture. In the dry site, watered hermaphrodites produced approximately twice as many seeds as unwatered hermaphrodites, with little treatment effect on female seed production. Over a natural soil moisture gradient, the ratio of female to hermaphrodite seed production was higher in dry than in wet sites. These data show that the seed fitness advantage of females is a function of soil moisture. Despite this, regression of soil moisture on the sex ratio of 23 populations was not significant. These results indicate a sex-dependent effect of soil moisture on resource allocation to seeds that does not translate into a strong effect on sex ratio. This is consistent with theory based on genomic conflict in which sex ratios are predicted to be only partly determined by fitness differences of the sexes. PMID:15347517

  7. Patterns of Family Formation in Response to Sex Ratio Variation.

    PubMed

    Schacht, Ryan; Kramer, Karen L

    2016-01-01

    The impact that unbalanced sex ratios have on health and societal outcomes is of mounting contemporary concern. However, it is increasingly unclear whether it is male- or female-biased sex ratios that are associated with family and social instability. From a socio-demographic perspective, male-biased sex ratios leave many men unable to find a mate, elevating competition among males, disrupting family formation and negatively affecting social stability. In contrast, from a mating-market perspective, males are expected to be less willing to marry and commit to a family when the sex ratio is female-biased and males are rare. Here we use U.S. data to evaluate predictions from these competing frameworks by testing the relationship between the adult sex ratio and measures of family formation. We find that when women are rare men are more likely to marry, be part of a family and be sexually committed to a single partner. Our results do not support claims that male-biased sex ratios lead to negative family outcomes due to a surplus of unmarried men. Rather, our results highlight the need to pay increased attention to female-biased sex ratios. PMID:27556401

  8. Patterns of Family Formation in Response to Sex Ratio Variation

    PubMed Central

    Schacht, Ryan; Kramer, Karen L.

    2016-01-01

    The impact that unbalanced sex ratios have on health and societal outcomes is of mounting contemporary concern. However, it is increasingly unclear whether it is male- or female-biased sex ratios that are associated with family and social instability. From a socio-demographic perspective, male-biased sex ratios leave many men unable to find a mate, elevating competition among males, disrupting family formation and negatively affecting social stability. In contrast, from a mating-market perspective, males are expected to be less willing to marry and commit to a family when the sex ratio is female-biased and males are rare. Here we use U.S. data to evaluate predictions from these competing frameworks by testing the relationship between the adult sex ratio and measures of family formation. We find that when women are rare men are more likely to marry, be part of a family and be sexually committed to a single partner. Our results do not support claims that male-biased sex ratios lead to negative family outcomes due to a surplus of unmarried men. Rather, our results highlight the need to pay increased attention to female-biased sex ratios. PMID:27556401

  9. Kinship Institutions and Sex Ratios in India

    PubMed Central

    CHAKRABORTY, TANIKA; KIM, SUKKOO

    2010-01-01

    This article explores the relationship between kinship institutions and sex ratios in India at the turn of the twentieth century. Because kinship rules vary by caste, language, religion, and region, we construct sex ratios by these categories at the district level by using data from the 1901 Census of India for Punjab (North), Bengal (East), and Madras (South). We find that the male-to-female sex ratio varied positively with caste rank, fell as one moved from the North to the East and then to the South, was higher for Hindus than for Muslims, and was higher for northern Indo-Aryan speakers than for the southern Dravidian-speaking people. We argue that these systematic patterns in the data are consistent with variations in the institution of family, kinship, and inheritance. PMID:21308567

  10. Breeding Sex Ratios in Adult Leatherback Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) May Compensate for Female-Biased Hatchling Sex Ratios

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Kelly R.; Dutton, Peter H.

    2014-01-01

    For vertebrates with temperature-dependent sex determination, primary (or hatchling) sex ratios are often skewed, an issue of particular relevance to concerns over effects of climate change on populations. However, the ratio of breeding males to females, or the operational sex ratio (OSR), is important to understand because it has consequences for population demographics and determines the capacity of a species to persist. The OSR also affects mating behaviors and mate choice, depending on the more abundant sex. For sea turtles, hatchling and juvenile sex ratios are generally female-biased, and with warming nesting beach temperatures, there is concern that populations may become feminized. Our purpose was to evaluate the breeding sex ratio for leatherback turtles at a nesting beach in St. Croix, USVI. In 2010, we sampled nesting females and later sampled their hatchlings as they emerged from nests. Total genomic DNA was extracted and all individuals were genotyped using 6 polymorphic microsatellite markers. We genotyped 662 hatchlings from 58 females, matching 55 females conclusively to their nests. Of the 55, 42 females mated with one male each, 9 mated with 2 males each and 4 mated with at least 3 males each, for a multiple paternity rate of 23.6%. Using GERUD1.0, we reconstructed parental genotypes, identifying 47 different males and 46 females for an estimated breeding sex ratio of 1.02 males for every female. Thus we demonstrate that there are as many actively breeding males as females in this population. Concerns about female-biased adult sex ratios may be premature, and mate choice or competition may play more of a role in sea turtle reproduction than previously thought. We recommend monitoring breeding sex ratios in the future to allow the integration of this demographic parameter in population models. PMID:24505403

  11. The ecological and evolutionary drivers of female-biased sex ratios: two-sex models of perennial seagrasses.

    PubMed

    Shelton, Andrew Olaf

    2010-03-01

    Among sexually reproducing species, differences between the sexes within species are ubiquitous. Despite the clear effect of sex differences on sex ratios and population growth rates, demographic models rarely consider both sexes explicitly. Here I explore the causes of extreme female-biased sex ratios in two marine angiosperms (Phyllospadix spp.). Using demographic data, I develop two-sex matrix projection models to assess the magnitude of demographic differences necessary to generate observed sex ratios and the consequences of sex differences for population growth rates. I demonstrate that small sex differences in survival can generate biased sex ratios, but the importance of sexual reproduction differs markedly between species. Even in the absence of a direct trade-off between sexual and asexual reproduction, the presence of two reproductive modes affects both the importance of sex and the sex-ratio bias. Using sensitivity analyses, I quantify the contribution of shared and sex-specific vital rates and show that until males become rare, the sensitivity of sex-specific vital rates is small relative to that of shared vital rates. I demonstrate that placing sex differences in the context of a demographic model that includes biologically motivated life-history trade-offs can explain the maintenance of sex-specific life histories and the persistence of skewed sex ratios. PMID:20109068

  12. Male pygmy hippopotamus influence offspring sex ratio

    PubMed Central

    Saragusty, Joseph; Hermes, Robert; Hofer, Heribert; Bouts, Tim; Göritz, Frank; Hildebrandt, Thomas B.

    2012-01-01

    Pre-determining fetal sex is against the random and equal opportunity that both conceptus sexes have by nature. Yet, under a wide variety of circumstances, populations shift their birth sex ratio from the expected unity. Here we show, using fluorescence in situ hybridization, that in a population of pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) with 42.5% male offspring, males bias the ratio of X- and Y-chromosome-bearing spermatozoa in their ejaculates, resulting in a 0.4337±0.0094 (mean±s.d.) proportion of Y-chromosome-bearing spermatozoa. Three alternative hypotheses for the shifted population sex ratio were compared: female counteract male, female indifferent, or male and female in agreement. We conclude that there appears little or no antagonistic sexual conflict, unexpected by prevailing theories. Our results indicate that males possess a mechanism to adjust the ratio of X- and Y-chromosome-bearing spermatozoa in the ejaculate, thereby substantially expanding currently known male options in sexual conflict. PMID:22426218

  13. Disproportionate sex ratios of wolf pups

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mech, L.D.

    1975-01-01

    Males comprised 66 percent of wild wolf (Canis lupus) pups from a saturated, high-density wolf range in northeastern Minnesota, possibly reflecting disproportionate conception of males. Packs from areas of lower wolf density in other areas of Minnesota had equal sex ratios of pups or a disproportionate number of female pups. Captive wolves showed a slight preponderance of male pups.

  14. Sex Ratios at Birth and Environmental Temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lerchl, Alexander

    The relationship between average monthly air temperature and sex ratios at birth (SRB) was analyzed for children born in Germany during the period 1946-1995. Both the absolute temperature and - more markedly - the monthly temperature deviations from the overall mean were significantly positively correlated with the SRB (P<0.01) when temperatures were time-lagged against the SRB data by -10 or -11months. It is concluded that the sex of the offspring is partially determined by environmental temperatures prior to conception.

  15. Sex ratios at birth after induced abortion

    PubMed Central

    Urquia, Marcelo L.; Moineddin, Rahim; Jha, Prabhat; O’Campo, Patricia J.; McKenzie, Kwame; Glazier, Richard H.; Henry, David A.; Ray, Joel G.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Skewed male:female ratios at birth have been observed among certain immigrant groups. Data on abortion practices that might help to explain these findings are lacking. Methods: We examined 1 220 933 births to women with up to 3 consecutive singleton live births between 1993 and 2012 in Ontario. Records of live births, and induced and spontaneous abortions were linked to Canadian immigration records. We determined associations of male:female infant ratios with maternal birthplace, sex of the previous living sibling(s) and prior spontaneous or induced abortions. Results: Male:female infant ratios did not appreciably depart from the normal range among Canadian-born women and most women born outside of Canada, irrespective of the sex of previous children or the characteristics of prior abortions. However, among infants of women who immigrated from India and had previously given birth to 2 girls, the overall male:female ratio was 1.96 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.75–2.21) for the third live birth. The male:female infant ratio after 2 girls was 1.77 (95% CI 1.26–2.47) times higher if the current birth was preceded by 1 induced abortion, 2.38 (95% CI 1.44–3.94) times higher if preceded by 2 or more induced abortions and 3.88 (95% CI 2.02–7.50) times higher if the induced abortion was performed at 15 weeks or more gestation relative to no preceding abortion. Spontaneous abortions were not associated with male-biased sex ratios in subsequent births. Interpretation: High male:female ratios observed among infants born to women who immigrated from India are associated with induced abortions, especially in the second trimester of pregnancy. PMID:27067818

  16. Maternal transmission, sex ratio distortion, and mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    Perlman, Steve J.; Hodson, Christina N.; Hamilton, Phineas T.; Opit, George P.; Gowen, Brent E.

    2015-01-01

    In virtually all multicellular eukaryotes, mitochondria are transmitted exclusively through one parent, usually the mother. In this short review, we discuss some of the major consequences of uniparental transmission of mitochondria, including deleterious effects in males and selection for increased transmission through females. Many of these consequences, particularly sex ratio distortion, have well-studied parallels in other maternally transmitted genetic elements, such as bacterial endosymbionts of arthropods. We also discuss the consequences of linkage between mitochondria and other maternally transmitted genetic elements, including the role of cytonuclear incompatibilities in maintaining polymorphism. Finally, as a case study, we discuss a recently discovered maternally transmitted sex ratio distortion in an insect that is associated with extraordinarily divergent mitochondria. PMID:25870270

  17. Embryo development and sex ratio of in vitro-produced porcine embryos are affected by the energy substrate and hyaluronic acid added to the culture medium.

    PubMed

    Torner, Eva; Bussalleu, Eva; Briz, M Dolors; Yeste, Marc; Bonet, Sergi

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, the effects of replacing glucose with pyruvate-lactate and supplementing these in vitro culture (IVC) media with hyaluronic acid (HA) on porcine embryo development and sex ratio were examined. The in vitro-produced (IVP) porcine embryos were cultured in NCSU-23 medium with 0.0, 0.5 or 1.0mgmL(-1) HA, and with either 5.55mM glucose (IVC-Glu) or pyruvate (0.17mM)-lactate (2.73mM) from 0 to 48h post insemination (h.p.i.) and then with glucose from 48 to 168h.p.i. (IVC-PL). Those embryos cultured with IVC-PL had significantly higher blastocyst rates (23.7±1.5%) than those cultured with IVC-Glu (14.27±2.75%). At 1.0mgmL(-1), HA tended to skew the sex ratio of blastocysts towards males in those embryos cultured in IVC-PL, and led to a significant decrease in the blastocyst rate compared with embryos cultured in the presence of 0.5 and 0.0mgmL(-1) HA and IVC-Glu (4.28±0.28% vs 11.01±1.42% and 10.14±2.77%, respectively) and IVC-PL (14.37±1.35% vs 20.96±2.85% and 22.99±1.39%, respectively). In contrast, there were no significant differences in the total cell number per blastocyst or in apoptosis rates. In conclusion, pyruvate and lactate were the preferred energy substrates in the early stages of IVP porcine embryos. Moreover, 1.0mgmL(-1) HA significantly decreased the percentage of blastocyst rates in both the IVC-Glu and IVC-PL groups, but only by a preferential loss of female embryos for those cultured in IVC-PL. PMID:23657201

  18. Consistent sex ratio bias of individual female dragon lizards

    PubMed Central

    Uller, Tobias; Mott, Beth; Odierna, Gaetano; Olsson, Mats

    2006-01-01

    Sex ratio evolution relies on genetic variation in either the phenotypic traits that influence sex ratios or sex-determining mechanisms. However, consistent variation among females in offspring sex ratio is rarely investigated. Here, we show that female painted dragons (Ctenophorus pictus) have highly repeatable sex ratios among clutches within years. A consistent effect of female identity could represent stable phenotypic differences among females or genetic variation in sex-determining mechanisms. Sex ratios were not correlated with female size, body condition or coloration. Furthermore, sex ratios were not influenced by incubation temperature. However, the variation among females resulted in female-biased mean population sex ratios at hatching both within and among years. PMID:17148290

  19. Repeated in utero and lactational 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin exposure affects male gonads in offspring, leading to sex ratio changes in F{sub 2} progeny

    SciTech Connect

    Ikeda, Masahiko . E-mail: ikedam@ys2.u-shizuoka-ken.ac.jp; Tamura, Masashi; Yamashita, Junko; Suzuki, Chinatsu; Tomita, Takako

    2005-08-15

    The effects of in utero and lactational 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) on the reproductive system of male rat offspring (F{sub 1}) and the sex ratio of the subsequent generation (F{sub 2}) were examined. Female Holtzman rats were gavaged with an initial loading dose of 400 ng/kg TCDD prior to mating, followed by weekly maintenance doses of 80 ng/kg during mating, pregnancy, and the lactation period. Maternal exposure to TCDD had no significant effects on fetus/pup (F{sub 1}) mortality, litter size, or sex ratio on gestation day (GD) 20 or postnatal day (PND) 2. The TCDD concentration in maternal livers and adipose tissue on GD20 was 1.21 and 1.81 ng/kg, respectively, and decreased at weaning to 0.72 in the liver and 0.84 in the adipose tissue. In contrast, the TCDD concentration in pup livers was 1.32 ng/kg on PND2 and increased to 1.80 ng/kg at weaning. Ventral prostate weight of male offspring was significantly decreased by TCDD exposure on PND28 and 120 compared with that of controls. Weight of the testes, cauda epididymides, and seminal vesicle, and sperm number in the cauda epididymis were not changed by TCDD exposure at PND120. TCDD- or vehicle-exposed male offspring were mated with unexposed females. The sex ratio (percentage of male pups) of F{sub 2} offspring was significantly reduced in the TCDD-exposed group compared with controls. These results suggest that in utero and lactational TCDD exposures affect the development of male gonads in offspring (F{sub 1}), leading to changes in the sex ratio of the subsequent generation (F{sub 2})

  20. Maladaptive sex ratio adjustment by a sex-changing shrimp in selective-fishing environments.

    PubMed

    Chiba, Susumu; Yoshino, Kenji; Kanaiwa, Minoru; Kawajiri, Toshifumi; Goshima, Seiji

    2013-05-01

    1. Selective harvesting is acknowledged as a serious concern in efforts to conserve wild animal populations. In fisheries, most studies have focused on gradual and directional changes in the life-history traits of target species. While such changes represent the ultimate response of harvested animals, it is also well known that the life history of target species plastically alters with harvesting. However, research on the adaptive significance of these types of condition-dependent changes has been limited. 2. We explored the adaptive significance of annual changes in the age at sex-change of the protandrous (male-first) hermaphroditic shrimp and examined how selective harvesting affects life-history variation, by conducting field observations across 13 years and a controlled laboratory experiment. In addition, we considered whether plastic responses by the shrimp would be favourable, negligible or negative with respect to the conservation of fishery resources. 3. The age at sex-change and the population structure of the shrimp fluctuated between years during the study period. The results of the field observations and laboratory experiment both indicated that the shrimp could plastically change the timing of sex-change in accordance with the age structure of the population. These findings provide the first concrete evidence of adult sex ratio adjustment by pandalid shrimp, a group that has been treated as a model in the sex allocation theory. 4. The sex ratio adjustment by the shrimp did not always seem to be sufficient, however, as the supplement of females is restricted by their annual somatic growth rate. In addition, adjusted sex ratios are further skewed by the unintentional female-selectivity of fishing activity prior to the breeding season, indicating that the occurrence of males that have postponed sex-change causes sex ratio adjustment to become unfavourable. 5. We conclude that the plastic responses of harvested animals in selective fishing environments

  1. The human sex ratio from conception to birth

    PubMed Central

    Orzack, Steven Hecht; Stubblefield, J. William; Akmaev, Viatcheslav R.; Colls, Pere; Munné, Santiago; Scholl, Thomas; Steinsaltz, David; Zuckerman, James E.

    2015-01-01

    We describe the trajectory of the human sex ratio from conception to birth by analyzing data from (i) 3- to 6-d-old embryos, (ii) induced abortions, (iii) chorionic villus sampling, (iv) amniocentesis, and (v) fetal deaths and live births. Our dataset is the most comprehensive and largest ever assembled to estimate the sex ratio at conception and the sex ratio trajectory and is the first, to our knowledge, to include all of these types of data. Our estimate of the sex ratio at conception is 0.5 (proportion male), which contradicts the common claim that the sex ratio at conception is male-biased. The sex ratio among abnormal embryos is male-biased, and the sex ratio among normal embryos is female-biased. These biases are associated with the abnormal/normal state of the sex chromosomes and of chromosomes 15 and 17. The sex ratio may decrease in the first week or so after conception (due to excess male mortality); it then increases for at least 10–15 wk (due to excess female mortality), levels off after ∼20 wk, and declines slowly from 28 to 35 wk (due to excess male mortality). Total female mortality during pregnancy exceeds total male mortality. The unbiased sex ratio at conception, the increase in the sex ratio during the first trimester, and total mortality during pregnancy being greater for females are fundamental insights into early human development. PMID:25825766

  2. Sex investment ratios in eusocial Hymenoptera support inclusive fitness theory.

    PubMed

    Bourke, A F G

    2015-11-01

    Inclusive fitness theory predicts that sex investment ratios in eusocial Hymenoptera are a function of the relatedness asymmetry (relative relatedness to females and males) of the individuals controlling sex allocation. In monogynous ants (with one queen per colony), assuming worker control, the theory therefore predicts female-biased sex investment ratios, as found in natural populations. Recently, E.O. Wilson and M.A. Nowak criticized this explanation and presented an alternative hypothesis. The Wilson-Nowak sex ratio hypothesis proposes that, in monogynous ants, there is selection for a 1 : 1 numerical sex ratio to avoid males remaining unmated, which, given queens exceed males in size, results in a female-biased sex investment ratio. The hypothesis also asserts that, contrary to inclusive fitness theory, queens not workers control sex allocation and queen-worker conflict over sex allocation is absent. Here, I argue that the Wilson-Nowak sex ratio hypothesis is flawed because it contradicts Fisher's sex ratio theory, which shows that selection on sex ratio does not maximize the number of mated offspring and that the sex ratio proposed by the hypothesis is not an equilibrium for the queen. In addition, the hypothesis is not supported by empirical evidence, as it fails to explain 'split' (bimodal) sex ratios or data showing queen and worker control and ongoing queen-worker conflict. By contrast, these phenomena match predictions of inclusive fitness theory. Hence, the Wilson-Nowak sex ratio hypothesis fails both as an alternative hypothesis for sex investment ratios in eusocial Hymenoptera and as a critique of inclusive fitness theory. PMID:26238365

  3. A heritable component in sex ratio and caste determination in a Cardiocondyla ant.

    PubMed

    Frohschammer, Sabine; Heinze, Jürgen

    2009-01-01

    Studies on sex ratios in social insects provide among the most compelling evidence for the importance of kin selection in social evolution. The elegant synthesis of Fisher's sex ratio principle and Hamilton's inclusive fitness theory predicts that colony-level sex ratios vary with the colonies' social and genetic structures. Numerous empirical studies in ants, bees, and wasps have corroborated these predictions. However, the evolutionary optimization of sex ratios requires genetic variation, but one fundamental determinant of sex ratios - the propensity of female larvae to develop into young queens or workers ("queen bias") - is thought to be largely controlled by the environment. Evidence for a genetic influence on sex ratio and queen bias is as yet restricted to a few taxa, in particular hybrids.Because of the very short lifetime of their queens, ants of the genus Cardiocondyla are ideal model systems for the study of complete lifetime reproductive success, queen bias, and sex ratios. We found that lifetime sex ratios of the ant Cardiocondyla kagutsuchi have a heritable component. In experimental single-queen colonies, 22 queens from a genetic lineage with a highly female-biased sex ratio produced significantly more female-biased offspring sex ratios than 16 queens from a lineage with a more male-biased sex ratio (median 91.5% vs. 58.5% female sexuals). Sex ratio variation resulted from different likelihood of female larvae developing into sexuals (median 50% vs. 22.6% female sexuals) even when uniformly nursed by workers from another colony.Consistent differences in lifetime sex ratios and queen bias among queens of C. kagutsuchi suggest that heritable, genetic or maternal effects strongly affect caste determination. Such variation might provide the basis for adaptive evolution of queen and worker strategies, though it momentarily constrains the power of workers and queens to optimize caste ratios. PMID:19863794

  4. [[On the change of sex ratio by the Japanese zodiac

    PubMed

    Sakai, H

    1989-04-01

    Changes in the sex ratio in Japan from 1899 to 1986 are analyzed using data from official sources. The emphasis is on differences in the sex ratio according to the signs of the Japanese zodiac. The author notes that although the significance of the zodiac on the sex ratio has been decreasing since the early 1970s, it still has a measurable impact. PMID:12282506

  5. Sex ratios of births, mortality, and air pollution: can measuring the sex ratios of births help to identify health hazards from air pollution in industrial environments?

    PubMed Central

    Williams, F L; Ogston, S A; Lloyd, O L

    1995-01-01

    OBJECTIVES--To compare the sex ratios of births and mortality in 12 Scottish localities with residential exposure to pollution from a variety of industrial sources with those in 12 nearby and comparable localities without such exposure. METHODS--24 localities were defined by postcode sectors. SMRs for lung cancer and for all causes of death and sex ratios of births were calculated for each locality for the years 1979-83. Log linear regression was used to assess the relation between exposure, sex ratios, and mortality. RESULTS--Mortalities from all causes were consistently and significantly higher in the residential areas exposed to air pollution than in the non-exposed areas. A similar, but less consistently significant, excess of mortality from lung cancer in the exposed areas was also found. The associations between exposure to the general air pollution and abnormal sex ratios, and between abnormal sex ratios and mortality, were negligible. CONCLUSIONS--Sex ratios were not consistently affected when the concentrations or components of the air pollution were insufficiently toxic to cause substantially increased death rates. Monitoring of the sex ratio does not provide a reliable screening measure for detecting cryptic health hazards from industrial air pollution in the general residential environment. PMID:7735388

  6. The Effect of Climate Fluctuation on Chimpanzee Birth Sex Ratio

    PubMed Central

    Kühl, Hjalmar S.; N'Guessan, Antoine; Riedel, Julia; Metzger, Sonja; Deschner, Tobias

    2012-01-01

    Climate and weather conditions, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation, precipitation and temperature influence the birth sex ratio (BSR) of various higher latitude species, including deer, elephant seals or northern human populations. Although, tropical regions show only little variation in temperature, climate and weather conditions can fluctuate with consequences for phenology and food resource availability. Here, we evaluate, whether the BSR of chimpanzees, inhabiting African tropical forests, is affected by climate fluctuations as well. Additionally, we evaluate, if variation in consumption of a key food resource with high nutritional value, Coula edulis nuts, is linked to both climate fluctuations and variation in BSR. We use long-term data from two study groups located in Taï National Park, Côte d'Ivoire to assess the influence of local weather conditions and the global climate driver El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on offspring sex. Côte d'Ivoire has experienced considerable climate variation over the last decades, with increasing temperature and declining precipitation. For both groups we find very similar time windows around the month of conception, in which offspring sex is well predicted by ENSO, with more males following low ENSO values, corresponding to periods of high rainfall. Furthermore, we find that the time spent cracking and feeding on Coula nuts is strongly influenced by climate conditions. Although, some of our analysis suggest that a higher proportion of males is born after periods with higher nut consumption frequency, we cannot conclude decisively at this point that nut consumption may influence shifts in BSR. All results combined suggest that also chimpanzees may experience climate related shifts in offspring sex ratios as response to climate fluctuation. PMID:22563387

  7. Bayesian Reconstruction of Two-Sex Populations by Age: Estimating Sex Ratios at Birth and Sex Ratios of Mortality1

    PubMed Central

    Wheldon, Mark C.; Raftery, Adrian E.; Clark, Samuel J.; Gerland, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Summary The original version of Bayesian reconstruction, a method for estimating age-specific fertility, mortality, migration and population counts of the recent past with uncertainty, produced estimates for female-only populations. Here we show how two-sex populations can be similarly reconstructed and probabilistic estimates of various sex ratio quantities obtained. We demonstrate the method by reconstructing the populations of India from 1971 to 2001, Thailand from 1960 to 2000, and Laos from 1985 to 2005. We found evidence that in India, sex ratio at birth exceeded its conventional upper limit of 1.06, and, further, increased over the period of study, with posterior probability above 0.9. In addition, almost uniquely, we found evidence that life expectancy at birth (e0) was lower for females than for males in India (posterior probability for 1971–1976 equal to 0.79), although there was strong evidence for a narrowing of the gap through to 2001. In both Thailand and Laos, we found strong evidence for the more usual result that e0 was greater for females and, in Thailand, that the difference increased over the period of study. PMID:26612972

  8. Sex ratios in fetuses and liveborn infants with autosomal aneuploidy

    SciTech Connect

    Heuther, C.A.; Martin, R.L.M.; Stoppelman, S.M.

    1996-06-14

    Ten data sources were used substantially to increase the available data for estimating fetal and livebirth sex ratios for Patau (trisomy 13), Edwards (trisomy 18), and Down (trisomy 21) syndromes and controls. The fetal sex ratio estimate was 0.88 (N = 584) for trisomy 13, 0.90 (N = 1702) for trisomy 18, and 1.16 (N = 3154) for trisomy 21. All were significantly different from prenatal controls (1.07). The estimated ratios in prenatal controls were 1.28 (N = 1409) for CVSs and 1.06 (N = 49427) for amniocenteses, indicating a clear differential selection against males, mostly during the first half of fetal development. By contrast, there were no sex ratio differences for any of the trisomies when comparing gestational ages <16 and >16 weeks. The livebirth sex ratio estimate was 0.90 (N = 293) for trisomy 13, 0.63 (N = 497) for trisomy 18, and 1.15 (N = 6424) for trisomy 21, the latter two being statistically different than controls (1.05) (N = 3660707). These ratios for trisomies 13 and 18 were also statistically different than the ratio for trisomy 21. Only in trisomy 18 did the sex ratios in fetuses and livebirths differ, indicating a prenatal selection against males >16 weeks. No effects of maternal age or race were found on these estimates for any of the fetal or livebirth trisomies. Sex ratios for translocations and mosaics were also estimated for these aneuploids. Compared to previous estimates, these results are less extreme, most likely because of larger sample sizes and less sample bias. They support the hypothesis that these trisomy sex ratios are skewed at conception, or become so during embryonic development through differential intrauterine selection. The estimate for Down syndrome livebirths is also consistent with the hypothesis that its higher sex ratio is associated with paternal nondisjunction. 36 refs., 5 tabs.

  9. Nestling sex ratio in the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paxton, E.H.; Sogge, M.K.; McCarthey, T.D.; Keim, P.

    2002-01-01

    Using molecular-genetic techniques, we determined the gender of 202 Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) nestlings from 95 nests sampled over a five-year period. Overall nestling sex ratio did not vary significantly from 50:50 among years, by clutch order, or by mating strategy (monogamous vs. polygamous pairings). However, we did observe significant differences among the four sites sampled, with sex ratios biased either toward males or females at the different sites. Given the small population sizes and geographic isolation of many of the endangered subspecies' breeding populations, sex-ratio differences may have localized negative impacts. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2002.

  10. Nestling sex ratios in the southwestern willow flycatcher

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paxton, E.H.; Sogge, M.K.; McCarthey, Tracy; Keim, Paul

    2002-01-01

    Using molecular-genetic techniques, we determined the gender of 202 Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) nestlings from 95 nests sampled over a five-year period. Overall nestling sex ratio did not vary significantly from 50:50 among years, by clutch order, or by mating strategy (monogamous vs. polygamous pairings). However, we did observe significant differences among the four sites sampled, with sex ratios biased either toward males or females at the different sites. Given the small population sizes and geographic isolation of many of the endangered subspecies' breeding populations, sex-ratio differences may have localized negative impacts.

  11. Dioecy and the evolution of sex ratios in ants.

    PubMed

    Wiernasz, Diane C; Cole, Blaine J

    2009-06-01

    Split sex ratios, when some colonies produce only male and others only female reproductives, is a common feature of social insects, especially ants. The most widely accepted explanation for split sex ratios was proposed by Boomsma and Grafen, and is driven by conflicts of interest among colonies that vary in relatedness. The predictions of the Boomsma-Grafen model have been confirmed in many cases, but contradicted in several others. We adapt a model for the evolution of dioecy in plants to make predictions about the evolution of split sex ratios in social insects. Reproductive specialization results from the instability of the evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) sex ratio, and is independent of variation in relatedness. We test predictions of the model with data from a long-term study of harvester ants, and show that it correctly predicts the intermediate sex ratios we observe in our study species. The dioecy model provides a comprehensive framework for sex allocation that is based on the pay-offs to the colony via production of males and females, and is independent of the genetic variation among colonies. However, in populations where the conditions for the Boomsma-Grafen model hold, kin selection will still lead to an association between sex ratio and relatedness. PMID:19324757

  12. Inter-Annual Variability of Fledgling Sex Ratio in King Penguins

    PubMed Central

    Viblanc, Vincent A.; Gachot-Neveu, Hélène; Beaugey, Magali; Le Maho, Yvon; Le Bohec, Céline

    2014-01-01

    As the number of breeding pairs depends on the adult sex ratio in a monogamous species with biparental care, investigating sex-ratio variability in natural populations is essential to understand population dynamics. Using 10 years of data (2000–2009) in a seasonally monogamous seabird, the king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus), we investigated the annual sex ratio at fledging, and the potential environmental causes for its variation. Over more than 4000 birds, the annual sex ratio at fledging was highly variable (ranging from 44.4% to 58.3% of males), and on average slightly biased towards males (51.6%). Yearly variation in sex-ratio bias was neither related to density within the colony, nor to global or local oceanographic conditions known to affect both the productivity and accessibility of penguin foraging areas. However, rising sea surface temperature coincided with an increase in fledging sex-ratio variability. Fledging sex ratio was also correlated with difference in body condition between male and female fledglings. When more males were produced in a given year, their body condition was higher (and reciprocally), suggesting that parents might adopt a sex-biased allocation strategy depending on yearly environmental conditions and/or that the effect of environmental parameters on chick condition and survival may be sex-dependent. The initial bias in sex ratio observed at the juvenile stage tended to return to 1∶1 equilibrium upon first breeding attempts, as would be expected from Fisher’s classic theory of offspring sex-ratio variation. PMID:25493708

  13. Maternal nutrition affects reproductive output and sex allocation in a lizard with environmental sex determination.

    PubMed

    Warner, Daniel A; Lovern, Matthew B; Shine, Richard

    2007-03-22

    Life-history traits such as offspring size, number and sex ratio are affected by maternal feeding rates in many kinds of animals, but the consequences of variation in maternal diet quality (rather than quantity) are poorly understood. We manipulated dietary quality of reproducing female lizards (Amphibolurus muricatus; Agamidae), a species with temperature-dependent sex determination, to examine strategies of reproductive allocation. Females maintained on a poor-quality diet produced fewer clutches but massively (twofold) larger eggs with lower concentrations of yolk testosterone than did conspecific females given a high-quality diet. Although all eggs were incubated at the same temperature, and yolk steroid hormone levels were not correlated with offspring sex, the nutrient-deprived females produced highly male-biased sex ratios among their offspring. These responses to maternal nutrition generate a link between sex and offspring size, in a direction likely to enhance maternal fitness if large body size enhances reproductive success more in sons than in daughters (as seems plausible, given the mating system of this species). Overall, our results show that sex determination in these animals is more complex, and responsive to a wider range of environmental cues, than that suggested by the classification of 'environmental sex determination'. PMID:17251109

  14. Maternal nutrition affects reproductive output and sex allocation in a lizard with environmental sex determination

    PubMed Central

    Warner, Daniel A; Lovern, Matthew B; Shine, Richard

    2007-01-01

    Life-history traits such as offspring size, number and sex ratio are affected by maternal feeding rates in many kinds of animals, but the consequences of variation in maternal diet quality (rather than quantity) are poorly understood. We manipulated dietary quality of reproducing female lizards (Amphibolurus muricatus; Agamidae), a species with temperature-dependent sex determination, to examine strategies of reproductive allocation. Females maintained on a poor-quality diet produced fewer clutches but massively (twofold) larger eggs with lower concentrations of yolk testosterone than did conspecific females given a high-quality diet. Although all eggs were incubated at the same temperature, and yolk steroid hormone levels were not correlated with offspring sex, the nutrient-deprived females produced highly male-biased sex ratios among their offspring. These responses to maternal nutrition generate a link between sex and offspring size, in a direction likely to enhance maternal fitness if large body size enhances reproductive success more in sons than in daughters (as seems plausible, given the mating system of this species). Overall, our results show that sex determination in these animals is more complex, and responsive to a wider range of environmental cues, than that suggested by the classification of ‘environmental sex determination’. PMID:17251109

  15. Control of mammalian sex ratio by sexing sperm

    SciTech Connect

    Gledhill, B.L.

    1983-11-01

    Preselection of sex is discussed with emphasis on methods which have claimed success in separating X- and Y-chromosome-bearing sperm. Much of the recent experimental work in separating human X and Y sperm judges the success of enrichment solely by staining for the Y sperm with a quinacrine dye, which causes a bright fluorescence of the long arm of the Y chromosome. This method is questioned because the endpoint may be producing spurious results. Flow sorting is believed to be the first verified separation of mammalian sperm, but the sperm were nonviable. Flow cytometry can be used to quickly determine the success of other enrichment techniques. Bulk separation, as contrasted to separation based on determination of individual sperm characteristics, with 80% enrichment seems to be a reasonable future goal.

  16. Skewed sex ratios in India: "physician, heal thyself".

    PubMed

    Patel, Archana B; Badhoniya, Neetu; Mamtani, Manju; Kulkarni, Hemant

    2013-06-01

    Sex selection, a gender discrimination of the worst kind, is highly prevalent across all strata of Indian society. Physicians have a crucial role in this practice and implementation of the Indian Government's Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act in 1996 to prevent the misuse of ultrasound techniques for the purpose of prenatal sex determination. Little is known about family preferences, let alone preferences among families of physicians. We investigated the sex ratios in 946 nuclear families with 1,624 children, for which either one or both parents were physicians. The overall child sex ratio was more skewed than the national average of 914. The conditional sex ratios decreased with increasing number of previous female births, and a previous birth of a daughter in the family was associated with a 38 % reduced likelihood of a subsequent female birth. The heavily skewed sex ratios in the families of physicians are indicative of a deeply rooted social malady that could pose a critical challenge in correcting the sex ratios in India. PMID:23322380

  17. Does the Mother or Father Determine the Offspring Sex Ratio? Investigating the Relationship between Maternal Digit Ratio and Offspring Sex Ratio

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Tae Beom; Oh, Jin Kyu; Kim, Kwang Taek; Yoon, Sang Jin; Kim, Soo Woong

    2015-01-01

    Objective In mammals, high parental testosterone levels present around the time of conception are thought to skew offspring sex ratio toward sons. The second to fourth digit ratio (digit ratio) is now widely accepted as a negative correlate of prenatal testosterone. Thus, we investigated the association between digit ratio and offspring sex ratio. Methods A total of 508 Korean patients (257 males and 251 females) less than 60 years old who had one or more offspring were prospectively enrolled. The lengths of the 2nd and 4th digits of the right hand were measured by a single investigator using a digital vernier calliper. Next, the patients’ lifetime offspring birth sex ratios were investigated. Results Maternal (rather than paternal) digit ratio was significantly associated with the number of sons (r = -0.153, p = 0.015), number of daughters (r = 0.130, p = 0.039), and offspring sex ratio (r = -0.171, p = 0.007). And, the maternal digit ratio was a significant factor for predicting offspring sex ratio (B = -1.620, p = 0.008) on multiple linear regression analysis. The female patients with a lower digit ratio (< 0.95) were found to have a higher offspring sex ratio (0.609 versus 0.521, p = 0.046) compared to those with a higher digit ratio (≥ 0.95). Furthermore, females in the low digit ratio group have a probability 1.138 greater of having sons than females in the high digit ratio group. Conclusions Maternal digit ratio was negatively associated with offspring sex ratio. Females with a lower digit ratio were more likely to have more male offspring compared to those with a higher digit ratio. Thus, our results suggest that the sex of offspring might be more influenced by maternal rather than paternal factors. PMID:26575995

  18. The Trivers-Willard hypothesis: sex ratio or investment?

    PubMed

    Veller, Carl; Haig, David; Nowak, Martin A

    2016-05-11

    The Trivers-Willard hypothesis has commonly been considered to predict two things. First, that a mother in good condition should bias the sex ratio of her offspring towards males (if males exhibit greater variation in reproductive value). Second, that a mother in good condition should invest more per son than per daughter. These two predictions differ empirically, mechanistically and, as we demonstrate here, theoretically too. We construct a simple model of sex allocation that allows simultaneous analysis of both versions of the Trivers-Willard hypothesis. We show that the sex ratio version holds under very general conditions, being valid for a large class of male and female fitness functions. The investment version, on the other hand, is shown to hold only for a small subset of male and female fitness functions. Our results help to make sense of the observation that the sex ratio version is empirically more successful than the investment version. PMID:27170721

  19. Incubation temperature causes skewed sex ratios in a precocial bird.

    PubMed

    DuRant, Sarah E; Hopkins, William A; Carter, Amanda W; Kirkpatrick, Laila T; Navara, Kristin J; Hawley, Dana M

    2016-07-01

    Many animals with genetic sex determination are nonetheless capable of manipulating sex ratios via behavioral and physiological means, which can sometimes result in fitness benefits to the parent. Sex ratio manipulation in birds is not widely documented, and revealing the mechanisms for altered sex ratios in vertebrates remains a compelling area of research. Incubation temperature is a key component of the developmental environment for birds, but despite its well-documented effects on offspring phenotype it has rarely been considered as a factor in avian sex ratios. Using ecologically relevant manipulations of incubation temperature within the range 35.0-37.0°C, we found greater mortality of female embryos during incubation than males regardless of incubation temperature, and evidence that more female than male embryos die at the lowest incubation temperature (35.0°C). Our findings in conjunction with previous work in brush turkeys suggest incubation temperature is an important determinant of avian secondary sex ratios that requires additional study, and should be considered when estimating the impact of climate change on avian populations. PMID:27143750

  20. Effects of mating dynamics and crowding on sex ratio variance in mice.

    PubMed

    Krackow, S

    1997-05-01

    Mating units of six virgin females and one adult stud male were established to test for the effects of timing of mating and crowding of pregnant females on litter sex ratios in mice. Females either copulated during periods when no other female of the mating unit copulated simultaneously (single mating condition) or when more than one female copulated (multiple matings condition). Two crowding conditions were imposed on the animals: the females of 14 mating units were placed into individual cages after mating (isolated condition), while females of the other 13 mating units remained in the original group until shortly before littering (crowded condition). Sex ratio variance did not deviate from random expectation in litters arising from the multiple matings periods. However, in litters arising from single mating periods, extreme sex ratios were found significantly less frequently than expected by chance. Higher sex ratio variance in litters arising from multiple matings periods is attributed to the timing of mating being at higher variance under this condition, which is known to affect sex ratios in other rodents. Crowding significantly reduced sex ratio variance further. Reduced sex ratio variance under single mating and crowded conditions is speculated to follow from competition for resources between preimplantation embryos, which may be further increased by stressful effects of crowding. Loss of embryos after implantation appeared not to be responsible for the above effects. PMID:9227361

  1. Dynamics of sex ratio and female unmatedness under haplodiploidy

    PubMed Central

    Gardner, Andy

    2014-01-01

    Haplodiploid sex determination allows unmated females to produce sons. Consequently, a scarcity of males may lead to a significant proportion of females remaining unmated, which may in turn give rise to a surfeit of males in the following generation. Stable oscillation of the sex ratio has been predicted by classic models, and it remains a puzzle as to why this is not observed in natural populations. Here, I investigate the dynamics of sex allocation over ecological and evolutionary timescales to assess the potential for sustained oscillation. I find that, whilst stable oscillation of the sex ratio is possible, the scope for such dynamical behavior is reduced if sex allocation strategies are evolutionary labile, especially if mated females may facultatively adjust their sex allocation according to the present availability of mating partners. My model, taken together with empirical estimates of female unmatedness in haplodiploid taxa, suggests that sustained oscillation of the sex ratio is implausible in natural populations. However, this phenomenon may be relevant to artificially introduced biological control agents. PMID:24967080

  2. Coital rates, sex-selective infanticide, and sex ratios at birth.

    PubMed

    James, W H

    1996-01-01

    The author of this short article comments on the suggestion by Brewis and Underwood, in their report on Micronesia, that the high sex ratios at birth were due to the high coital rates (greater than 108-110). First, in Australia, the reported sex ratio of births conceived in the first month of marriage from 1908 to 1967 was 109. Mean reported marital coital rates during the first month of marriage for the United States and England are estimated to be 20 per month. The average coital rate is higher among women who conceive. If the variation of sex ratios across societies were explained by coital rates alone, Micronesian coital rates would have to be much greater than 20 per month throughout couples' reproductive lives, and 3 times the averages in postindustrial countries. Such coital rates have not been substantiated; other reasons may account for the high sex ratios in Micronesia. Brewis and Underwood stated that they did not believe sex-selective infanticide was an explanation of the high sex ratios; this may have been based on current practices. Yet past practices of sex-selective infanticide could influence current sex ratios, given that there is mathematical evidence that genetics may influence the probability of producing a child of a particular sex. Therefore, the average current sex ratio at conception and birth of a population depends on: the magnitude of the genetic component of the Lexis variance (the reproductive-lifetime probability of a couple's producing a boy at each birth); and 2) the extent of the sex-selective infanticide in the past. The total extent of the Lexis variance, including its genetic component, is unknown. PMID:8909113

  3. Age and Sex Ratios in a High-Density Wild Red-Legged Partridge Population

    PubMed Central

    Nadal, Jesús; Ponz, Carolina; Margalida, Antoni

    2016-01-01

    The dynamics of a wild red-legged partridge population were examined over a 14-year period in Spain to identify patterns in age and sex ratios in relation to weather parameters, and to assess the importance of these parameters in population dynamics and management. The results gave age ratios of 1.07 (but 2.13 in July counts), juvenile sex ratios of 1.01 and adult sex ratios of 1.47. Overall, 12% more females were hatched and female juvenile mortality was 7.3% higher than in males. Sex differential mortality explains the 19.2% deficit in adult females, which are more heavily predated than males during the breeding period. Accordingly, age ratios are dependent on sex ratios and both are density dependent. Over time, ratios and density changes appear to be influenced by weather and management. When the habitat is well conserved, partridge population dynamics can be explained by a causal chain: weather operates on net primary production, thereby affecting partridge reproduction and predation and, as a result, age and sex ratios in the October population. A reduction in the impact of predation (i.e. the effects of ground predators on eggs, chicks and breeding females) is the key factor to improve the conservation of partridge populations and associated biological processes. PMID:27508503

  4. Age and Sex Ratios in a High-Density Wild Red-Legged Partridge Population.

    PubMed

    Nadal, Jesús; Ponz, Carolina; Margalida, Antoni

    2016-01-01

    The dynamics of a wild red-legged partridge population were examined over a 14-year period in Spain to identify patterns in age and sex ratios in relation to weather parameters, and to assess the importance of these parameters in population dynamics and management. The results gave age ratios of 1.07 (but 2.13 in July counts), juvenile sex ratios of 1.01 and adult sex ratios of 1.47. Overall, 12% more females were hatched and female juvenile mortality was 7.3% higher than in males. Sex differential mortality explains the 19.2% deficit in adult females, which are more heavily predated than males during the breeding period. Accordingly, age ratios are dependent on sex ratios and both are density dependent. Over time, ratios and density changes appear to be influenced by weather and management. When the habitat is well conserved, partridge population dynamics can be explained by a causal chain: weather operates on net primary production, thereby affecting partridge reproduction and predation and, as a result, age and sex ratios in the October population. A reduction in the impact of predation (i.e. the effects of ground predators on eggs, chicks and breeding females) is the key factor to improve the conservation of partridge populations and associated biological processes. PMID:27508503

  5. Persistent unequal sex ratio in a population of grayling (Salmonidae) and possible role of temperature increase.

    PubMed

    Wedekind, Claus; Evanno, Guillaume; Székely, Tamás; Pompini, Manuel; Darbellay, Olivier; Guthruf, Joachim

    2013-02-01

    In some fishes, water chemistry or temperature affects sex determination or creates sex-specific selection pressures. The resulting population sex ratios are hard to predict from laboratory studies if the environmental triggers interact with other factors, whereas in field studies, singular observations of unusual sex ratios may be particularly prone to selective reporting. Long-term monitoring largely avoids these problems. We studied a population of grayling (Thymallus thymallus) in Lake Thun, Switzerland, that has been monitored since 1948. Samples of spawning fish have been caught about 3 times/week around spawning season, and water temperature at the spawning site has been continuously recorded since 1970. We used scale samples collected in different years to determine the average age of spawners (for life-stage specific analyses) and to identify the cohort born in 2003 (an extraordinarily warm year). Recent tissue samples were genotyped on microsatellite markers to test for genetic bottlenecks in the past and to estimate the genetically effective population size (N(e)). Operational sex ratios changed from approximately 65% males before 1993 to approximately 85% males from 1993 to 2011. Sex ratios correlated with the water temperatures the fish experienced in their first year of life. Sex ratios were best explained by the average temperature juvenile fish experienced during their first summer. Grayling abundance is declining, but we found no evidence of a strong genetic bottleneck that would explain the apparent lack of evolutionary response to the unequal sex ratio. Results of other studies show no evidence of endocrine disruptors in the study area. Our findings suggest temperature affects population sex ratio and thereby contributes to population decline. PMID:22891785

  6. Steinernema feltiae Intraspecific Variability: Infection Dynamics and Sex-Ratio

    PubMed Central

    Campos-Herrera, Raquel; Gutiérrez, Carmen

    2014-01-01

    Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) from the Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae families are well-known biocontrol agents against numerous insect pests. The infective juveniles (IJs) are naturally occurring in the soil and their success in locating and penetrating the host will be affected by extrinsic/intrinsic factors that modulate their foraging behavior. Characterizing key traits in the infection dynamics of EPNs is critical for establishing differentiating species abilities to complete their life cycles and hence, their long-term persistence, in different habitats. We hypothesized that phenotypic variation in traits related to infection dynamics might occur in populations belonging to the same species. To assess these intraspecific differences, we evaluated the infection dynamics of 14 populations of Steinernema feltiae in two experiments measuring penetration and migration in sand column. Intraspecific variability was observed in the percentage larval mortality, time to kill the insect, penetration rate, and sex-ratio in both experiments (P < 0.01). Larval mortality and nematode penetration percentage were lower in migration experiments than in penetration ones in most of the cases. The sex-ratio was significantly biased toward female-development dominance (P < 0.05). When the populations were grouped by habitat of recovery (natural areas, crop edge, and agricultural groves), nematodes isolated in natural areas exhibited less larval mortality and penetration rates than those from some types of agricultural associated soils, suggesting a possible effect of the habitat on the phenotypic plasticity. This study reinforces the importance of considering intraspecific variability when general biological and ecological questions are addressed using EPNs. PMID:24644369

  7. Steinernema feltiae Intraspecific Variability: Infection Dynamics and Sex-Ratio.

    PubMed

    Campos-Herrera, Raquel; Gutiérrez, Carmen

    2014-03-01

    Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) from the Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae families are well-known biocontrol agents against numerous insect pests. The infective juveniles (IJs) are naturally occurring in the soil and their success in locating and penetrating the host will be affected by extrinsic/intrinsic factors that modulate their foraging behavior. Characterizing key traits in the infection dynamics of EPNs is critical for establishing differentiating species abilities to complete their life cycles and hence, their long-term persistence, in different habitats. We hypothesized that phenotypic variation in traits related to infection dynamics might occur in populations belonging to the same species. To assess these intraspecific differences, we evaluated the infection dynamics of 14 populations of Steinernema feltiae in two experiments measuring penetration and migration in sand column. Intraspecific variability was observed in the percentage larval mortality, time to kill the insect, penetration rate, and sex-ratio in both experiments (P < 0.01). Larval mortality and nematode penetration percentage were lower in migration experiments than in penetration ones in most of the cases. The sex-ratio was significantly biased toward female-development dominance (P < 0.05). When the populations were grouped by habitat of recovery (natural areas, crop edge, and agricultural groves), nematodes isolated in natural areas exhibited less larval mortality and penetration rates than those from some types of agricultural associated soils, suggesting a possible effect of the habitat on the phenotypic plasticity. This study reinforces the importance of considering intraspecific variability when general biological and ecological questions are addressed using EPNs. PMID:24644369

  8. Skewed Sex Ratios and Criminal Victimization in India

    PubMed Central

    South, Scott J.; Trent, Katherine; Bose, Sunita

    2014-01-01

    Although substantial research has explored the causes of India’s excessively masculine population sex ratio, few studies have examined the consequences of this surplus of males. We merge individual-level data from the 2004–2005 India Human Development Survey with data from the 2001 India population census to examine the association between the district-level male-to-female sex ratio at ages 15 to 39 and self-reports of victimization by theft, breaking and entering, and assault. Multilevel logistic regression analyses reveal positive and statistically significant albeit substantively modest effects of the district-level sex ratio on all three victimization risks. We also find that higher male-to-female sex ratios are associated with the perception that young unmarried women in the local community are frequently harassed. Household-level indicators of family structure, socioeconomic status, and caste, as well as areal indicators of women’s empowerment and collective efficacy, also emerge as significant predictors of self-reported criminal victimization and the perceived harassment of young women. The implications of these findings for India’s growing sex ratio imbalance are discussed. PMID:24682921

  9. Sex ratio effects on reproductive strategies in humans

    PubMed Central

    Schacht, Ryan; Borgerhoff Mulder, Monique

    2015-01-01

    Characterizations of coy females and ardent males are rooted in models of sexual selection that are increasingly outdated. Evolutionary feedbacks can strongly influence the sex roles and subsequent patterns of sex differentiated investment in mating effort, with a key component being the adult sex ratio (ASR). Using data from eight Makushi communities of southern Guyana, characterized by varying ASRs contingent on migration, we show that even within a single ethnic group, male mating effort varies in predictable ways with the ASR. At male-biased sex ratios, men's and women's investment in mating effort are indistinguishable; only when men are in the minority are they more inclined towards short-term, low investment relationships than women. Our results support the behavioural ecological tenet that reproductive strategies are predictable and contingent on varying situational factors. PMID:26064588

  10. Estimators of the Human Effective Sex Ratio Detect Sex Biases on Different Timescales

    PubMed Central

    Emery, Leslie S.; Felsenstein, Joseph; Akey, Joshua M.

    2010-01-01

    Determining historical sex ratios throughout human evolution can provide insight into patterns of genomic variation, the structure and composition of ancient populations, and the cultural factors that influence the sex ratio (e.g., sex-specific migration rates). Although numerous studies have suggested that unequal sex ratios have existed in human evolutionary history, a coherent picture of sex-biased processes has yet to emerge. For example, two recent studies compared human X chromosome to autosomal variation to make inferences about historical sex ratios but reached seemingly contradictory conclusions, with one study finding evidence for a male bias and the other study identifying a female bias. Here, we show that a large part of this discrepancy can be explained by methodological differences. Specifically, through reanalysis of empirical data, derivation of explicit analytical formulae, and extensive simulations we demonstrate that two estimators of the effective sex ratio based on population structure and nucleotide diversity preferentially detect biases that have occurred on different timescales. Our results clarify apparently contradictory evidence on the role of sex-biased processes in human evolutionary history and show that extant patterns of human genomic variation are consistent with both a recent male bias and an earlier, persistent female bias. PMID:21109223

  11. Hormonal and behavioral determinants of the secondary sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Martin, J F

    1995-01-01

    The timing of insemination relative to ovulation and the frequency of insemination appear prominently in analyses of variations in human secondary sex ratios. Explanations invoking these variables are shown to be inadequate. A new synthetic model of sex determination is proposed in which the sex of offspring is powerfully determined by the state of the cervical mucus. The cervical state is then shown to be a function of hormonal factors endogenous to the female in interaction with the effects of previous inseminations. PMID:8738548

  12. Modeling Landscape-Level Spatial Variation in Sex Ratio Skew in the Mountain Pine Beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).

    PubMed

    James, Patrick M A; Janes, Jasmine K; Roe, Amanda D; Cooke, Barry J

    2016-08-01

    Through their influence on effective population sizes, sex ratio skew affects population dynamics. We examined spatial variation in female-biased sex ratios in the mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) outbreak in western Canada to better understand how environmental context affects sex ratio skew. Our specific objectives were to: 1) characterize spatial variation in mountain pine beetle sex ratio; 2) test previously asserted hypotheses that beetle sex ratio varies with tree diameter and year in outbreak; and 3) develop predictive models of sex ratio skew for larval and adult populations. Using logistic regression, we modeled the probability that an individual beetle (n = 2,369) was female as a function of multiple environmental variables across 34 stands in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. We identified a consistent female-biased sex ratio with significantly greater skew in adults (2:1, n = 713) than in larvae (1.76:1, n = 1,643). We found that the proportion of larval females increased with decreasing tree size and with outbreak age. However, adults did not respond to tree size and larvae did not respond to outbreak age. Predictive models differed between larvae and adults. All identified models perform well and included predictors related to weather, tree diameter, and year in outbreak. Female-biased sex ratios appear to originate from differential male mortality during development rather than from sex-biased oviposition, suggesting sex ratio skew is not the cause of outbreaks, but rather a consequence. PMID:27209334

  13. Decline in sex ratio at birth after Kobe earthquake.

    PubMed

    Fukuda, M; Fukuda, K; Shimizu, T; Møller, H

    1998-08-01

    We investigated the possible association between the Kobe earthquake (January 1995) and the sex ratio among live-born infants after the catastrophe. A significant decline in the sex ratio (0.501) of Hyogo Prefecture in October 1995 was observed 9 months after the Kobe earthquake as compared with an expected value of 0.516 in the period from January 1993 to January 1996 (P = 0.04; one-tailed). Simultaneously, a reduction in fertility of approximately 6% was also observed, compared with the month of October 2 years previously. Thus, the acute stress resulting from a great natural catastrophe can be a cause of a low sex ratio at birth 9 months later. PMID:9756319

  14. Persistent sex-by-environment effects on offspring fitness and sex-ratio adjustment in a wild bird population.

    PubMed

    Bowers, E Keith; Thompson, Charles F; Sakaluk, Scott K

    2015-03-01

    A major component of sex-allocation theory, the Trivers-Willard model (TWM), posits that sons and daughters are differentially affected by variation in the rearing environment. In many species, the amount of parental care received is expected to have differing effects on the fitness of males and females. When this occurs, the TWM predicts that selection should favour adjustment of the offspring sex ratio in relation to the expected fitness return from offspring. However, evidence for sex-by-environment effects is mixed, and little is known about the adaptive significance of producing either sex. Here, we test whether offspring sex ratios vary according to predictions of the TWM in the house wren (Troglodytes aedon, Vieillot). We also test the assumption of a sex-by-environment effect on offspring using two experiments, one in which we manipulated age differences among nestlings within broods, and another in which we held nestling age constant but manipulated brood size. As predicted, females with high investment ability overproduced sons relative to those with lower ability. Males were also overproduced early within breeding seasons. In our experiments, the body mass of sons was more strongly affected by the sibling-competitive environment and resource availability than that of daughters: males grew heavier than females when reared in good conditions but were lighter than females when in poor conditions. Parents rearing broods with 1:1 sex ratios were more productive than parents rearing broods biased more strongly towards sons or daughters, suggesting that selection favours the production of mixed-sex broods. However, differences in the condition of offspring as neonates persisted to adulthood, and their reproductive success as adults varied with the body mass of sons, but not daughters, prior to independence from parental care. Thus, selection should favour slight but predictable variations in the sex ratio in relation to the quality of offspring that parents are

  15. Persistent sex-by-environment effects on offspring fitness and sex-ratio adjustment in a wild bird population

    PubMed Central

    Bowers, E. Keith; Thompson, Charles F.; Sakaluk, Scott K.

    2014-01-01

    Summary A major component of sex-allocation theory, the Trivers-Willard Model (TWM), posits that sons and daughters are differentially affected by variation in the rearing environment. In many species, the amount of parental care received is expected to have differing effects on the fitness of males and females. When this occurs, the TWM predicts that selection should favour adjustment of the offspring sex ratio in relation to the expected fitness return from offspring. However, evidence for sex-by-environment effects is mixed and little is known about the adaptive significance of producing either sex. Here, we test whether offspring sex ratios vary according to predictions of the TWM in the house wren (Troglodytes aedon, Vieillot). We also test the assumption of a sex-by-environment effect on offspring using two experiments, one in which we manipulated age-differences among nestlings within broods, and another in which we held nestling age constant but manipulated brood size. As predicted, females with high investment ability over-produced sons relative to those with lower ability. Males were also over-produced early within breeding seasons. In our experiments, the body mass of sons was more strongly affected by the sibling-competitive environment and resource availability than that of daughters: males grew heavier than females when reared in good conditions but were lighter than females when in poor conditions. Parents rearing broods with 1:1 sex ratios were more productive than parents rearing broods biased more strongly towards sons or daughters, suggesting that selection favours the production of mixed-sex broods. However, differences in the condition of offspring as neonates persisted to adulthood, and their reproductive success as adults varied with the body mass of sons, but not daughters, prior to independence from parental care. Thus, selection should favour slight but predictable variations in the sex ratio in relation to the quality of offspring that

  16. Calves' sex ratio in naturally and artificially bred cattle in central Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Delesa, Effa Kefena; Yohannes, Aster; Alemayehu, Mengistu; Samuel, Temesgen; Yehualaeshet, Teshome

    2014-08-01

    A study was undertaken with the objective to identify some intrinsic (genotype of the cow, estrus time and parity) and extrinsic factors (service type, service time and estrus seasons) that affect calf sex ratio in naturally and artificially bred cattle in the central highlands of Ethiopia. A total of 4657 calving events were extracted from the long-term dairy cattle genetic improvement experiment at Holetta Agricultural Research Center. Factors that affect the logit of the probability of a female calf being born were obtained by using PROC GENMODE in Statistical Analysis System. Moreover, multivariate analysis was performed using PROC LOGISTIC procedure using forward selection procedure. Accordingly, genotype of the cow, parity, estrus season, and service type had considerable influences on calf sex ratio. However, estrus time and service time did not affect calf sex ratio (χ(2) = 0.83 and 0.79, respectively). In Ethiopia, smallholder dairy farmers often complain that artificial insemination (AI) skewed to producing more male calves. However, our study showed that AI did not alter female-to-male calf sex ratio. On the contrary, natural mating increases the probability of female calves born (odds ratio 1.38) over AI. Heifer/cows that showed estrus and bred during the harsh seasons of the years produced more female calves than those that bred during the good seasons of the year. This strongly agreed with Trivers and Willard sex allocation theory. PMID:24908336

  17. Predicted sex ratio of juvenile Kemp's Ridley sea turtles captured near Steinhatchee, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Geis, A.A.; Barichivich, W.J.; Wibbels, T.; Coyne, M.; Landry, A.M., Jr.; Owens, D.

    2005-01-01

    The Kemp's Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) is one of the most endangered sea turtles in the world, and it possesses temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). Sex ratios produced under TSD can vary widely and can affect the reproductive ecology of a population. Therefore, sex ratios produced from TSD are of ecological and conservation interest. The current study validated and utilized a testosterone radioimmunoassay (RIA) to examine the sex ratio of juvenile Kemp's Ridleys inhabiting the waters near Steinhatchee, Florida. Testosterone levels were measured in blood samples collected from juvenile Kemp's Ridleys captured over a three-year period. Results of this study indicate that a significant female bias (approximately 3.7:1) occurs in the aggregation of juvenile Kemp's Ridleys inhabiting the waters near Steinhatchee.

  18. An equal sex ratio followed by differential sex mortality causes overestimation of females in gall midges: no evidence for sex ratio regulation.

    PubMed

    Tabadkani, Seyed Mohammad; Ashouri, Ahmad; Qolizadeh, Majid

    2012-06-01

    Monogeny, the production of unisexual broods by individual females, has been recognized for nearly 80 years. The genetic nature of gall midges' sex determination predicts an equal numbers of male-producing and female-producing females in the populations such that the overall sex ratio is expected to be nearly 1:1. However, observations of some strictly monogenous populations with biased sex ratio, mainly toward females, have raised the question of whether gall midges are able to adjust their offspring sex ratio in response to changes in environmental conditions, and some authors have even considered sex ratio regulation as a strong force in the course of the evolution of monogeny. In this paper, first, by studying the sex ratio variations of the predatory gall midge, Aphidoletes aphidimyza within a generation, we showed that adult males emerge up to 1 day earlier and have shorter life span than females (less than 4 days and up to 6 days, respectively). Although, the sex ratio of A. aphidimyza at the time of emergence was nearly 1:1 (52.41% males), a simple population simulation indicated that the differential mortality of sexes can lead to a female-biased sex ratio estimation (57.88% females) under random sampling in the natural environments. Our results imply that the primary sex ratio of monogenous gall midges is nearly 1:1 and that the arrhenogenic/thelygenic gall midges are not able to alter the number of their male/female progenies in response to changes in environmental conditions. PMID:22643882

  19. An equal sex ratio followed by differential sex mortality causes overestimation of females in gall midges: no evidence for sex ratio regulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabadkani, Seyed Mohammad; Ashouri, Ahmad; Qolizadeh, Majid

    2012-06-01

    Monogeny, the production of unisexual broods by individual females, has been recognized for nearly 80 years. The genetic nature of gall midges' sex determination predicts an equal numbers of male-producing and female-producing females in the populations such that the overall sex ratio is expected to be nearly 1:1. However, observations of some strictly monogenous populations with biased sex ratio, mainly toward females, have raised the question of whether gall midges are able to adjust their offspring sex ratio in response to changes in environmental conditions, and some authors have even considered sex ratio regulation as a strong force in the course of the evolution of monogeny. In this paper, first, by studying the sex ratio variations of the predatory gall midge, Aphidoletes aphidimyza within a generation, we showed that adult males emerge up to 1 day earlier and have shorter life span than females (less than 4 days and up to 6 days, respectively). Although, the sex ratio of A. aphidimyza at the time of emergence was nearly 1:1 (52.41 % males), a simple population simulation indicated that the differential mortality of sexes can lead to a female-biased sex ratio estimation (57.88 % females) under random sampling in the natural environments. Our results imply that the primary sex ratio of monogenous gall midges is nearly 1:1 and that the arrhenogenic/thelygenic gall midges are not able to alter the number of their male/female progenies in response to changes in environmental conditions.

  20. Can environmental or occupational hazards alter the sex ratio at birth? A systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Terrell, Metrecia L.; Hartnett, Kathleen P.; Marcus, Michele

    2011-01-01

    More than 100 studies have examined whether environmental or occupational exposures of parents affect the sex ratio of their offspring at birth. For this review, we searched Medline and Web of Science using the terms ‘sex ratio at birth’ and ‘sex ratio and exposure’ for all dates, and reviewed bibliographies of relevant studies to find additional articles. This review focuses on exposures that have been the subject of at least four studies including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, pesticides, lead and other metals, radiation, boron, and g-forces. For paternal exposures, only dioxins and PCBs were consistently associated with sex ratios higher or lower than the expected 1.06. Dioxins were associated with a decreased proportion of male births, whereas PCBs were associated with an increased proportion of male births. There was limited evidence for a decrease in the proportion of male births after paternal exposure to DBCP, lead, methylmercury, non-ionizing radiation, ionizing radiation treatment for childhood cancer, boron, or g-forces. Few studies have found higher or lower sex ratios associated with maternal exposures. Studies in humans and animals have found a reduction in the number of male births associated with lower male fertility, but the mechanism by which environmental hazards might change the sex ratio has not yet been established. PMID:24149027

  1. Sex ratio biases in termites provide evidence for kin selection.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Kazuya; Hasegawa, Eisuke; Yamamoto, Yuuka; Kawatsu, Kazutaka; Vargo, Edward L; Yoshimura, Jin; Matsuura, Kenji

    2013-01-01

    Inclusive fitness theory, also known as kin selection theory, is the most general expansion of Darwin's natural selection theory. It is supported by female-biased investment by workers in the social Hymenoptera where relatedness to sisters is higher than to brothers because of haplodiploidy. However, a strong test of the theory has proven difficult in diploid social insects because they lack such relatedness asymmetry. Here we show that kin selection can result in sex ratio bias in eusocial diploids. Our model predicts that allocation will be biased towards the sex that contributes more of its genes to the next generation when sex-asymmetric inbreeding occurs. The prediction matches well with the empirical sex allocation of Reticulitermes termites where the colony king can be replaced by a queen's son. Our findings open broad new avenues to test inclusive fitness theory beyond the well-studied eusocial Hymenoptera. PMID:23807025

  2. Factors affecting attitudes toward juvenile sex offenders.

    PubMed

    Sahlstrom, Kimberly J; Jeglic, Elizabeth L

    2008-01-01

    This study investigated attitudes toward juvenile sex offenders and factors influencing those attitudes. Additionally, the influences of perpetrator characteristics such as age, gender, and ethnicity on societal attitudes towards intervention requirements were also investigated. Overall, attitudes toward juvenile sex offenders and their treatment amenability were negative. No differences in attitudes toward juvenile sex offenders were found between those who had been victims of sexual abuse and those that had not. Sex offenses committed by juvenile female sex offenders were viewed to be more serious and require more intervention than those committed by juvenile male sex offenders. PMID:19042245

  3. Evidence of Self-correction of Child Sex Ratios in India: A District-Level Analysis of Child Sex Ratios From 1981 to 2011.

    PubMed

    Diamond-Smith, Nadia; Bishai, David

    2015-04-01

    Sex ratios in India have become increasingly imbalanced over the past decades. We hypothesize that when sex ratios become very uneven, the shortage of girls will increase girls' future value, leading sex ratios to self-correct. Using data on children under 5 from the last four Indian censuses, we examine the relationship between the sex ratio at one point in time and the change in sex ratio over the next 10 years by district. Fixed-effects models show that when accounting for unobserved district-level characteristics--including total fertility rate, infant mortality rate, percentage literate, percentage rural, percentage scheduled caste, percentage scheduled tribe, and a time trend variable--sex ratios are significantly negatively correlated with the change in sex ratio in the successive 10-year period. This suggests that self-corrective forces are at work on imbalanced sex ratios in India. PMID:25504536

  4. Abnormal sex ratios in human populations: Causes and consequences

    PubMed Central

    Hesketh, Therese; Xing, Zhu Wei

    2006-01-01

    In the absence of manipulation, both the sex ratio at birth and the population sex ratio are remarkably constant in human populations. Small alterations do occur naturally; for example, a small excess of male births has been reported to occur during and after war. The tradition of son preference, however, has distorted these natural sex ratios in large parts of Asia and North Africa. This son preference is manifest in sex-selective abortion and in discrimination in care practices for girls, both of which lead to higher female mortality. Differential gender mortality has been a documented problem for decades and led to reports in the early 1990s of 100 million “missing women” across the developing world. Since that time, improved health care and conditions for women have resulted in reductions in female mortality, but these advances have now been offset by a huge increase in the use of sex-selective abortion, which became available in the mid-1980s. Largely as a result of this practice, there are now an estimated 80 million missing females in India and China alone. The large cohorts of “surplus” males now reaching adulthood are predominantly of low socioeconomic class, and concerns have been expressed that their lack of marriageability, and consequent marginalization in society, may lead to antisocial behavior and violence, threatening societal stability and security. Measures to reduce sex selection must include strict enforcement of existing legislation, the ensuring of equal rights for women, and public awareness campaigns about the dangers of gender imbalance. PMID:16938885

  5. Do malaria parasites follow the algebra of sex ratio theory?

    PubMed

    Schall, Jos J

    2009-03-01

    The ratio of male to female gametocytes seen in infections of Plasmodium and related haemosporidian parasites varies substantially, both within and among parasite species. Sex ratio theory, a mainstay of evolutionary biology, accounts for this variation. The theory provides an algebraic solution for the optimal sex ratio that will maximize parasite fitness. A crucial term in this solution is the probability of selfing by clone-mates within the vector (based on the clone number and their relative abundance). Definitive tests of the theory have proven elusive because of technical challenges in measuring clonal diversity within infections. Newly developed molecular methods now provide opportunities to test the theory with an exquisite precision. PMID:19201653

  6. Going All In: Unfavorable Sex Ratios Attenuate Choice Diversification.

    PubMed

    Ackerman, Joshua M; Maner, Jon K; Carpenter, Stephanie M

    2016-06-01

    When faced with risky decisions, people typically choose to diversify their choices by allocating resources across a variety of options and thus avoid putting "all their eggs in one basket." The current research revealed that this tendency is reversed when people face an important cue to mating-related risk: skew in the operational sex ratio, or the ratio of men to women in the local environment. Counter to the typical strategy of choice diversification, findings from four studies demonstrated that the presence of romantically unfavorable sex ratios (those featuring more same-sex than opposite-sex individuals) led heterosexual people to diversify financial resources less and instead concentrate investment in high-risk/high-return options when making lottery, stock-pool, retirement-account, and research-funding decisions. These studies shed light on a key process by which people manage risks to mating success implied by unfavorable interpersonal environments. These choice patterns have important implications for mating behavior as well as other everyday forms of decision making. PMID:27056976

  7. Suburbanization, estrogen contamination, and sex ratio in wild amphibian populations.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Max R; Giller, Geoffrey S J; Barber, Larry B; Fitzgerald, Kevin C; Skelly, David K

    2015-09-22

    Research on endocrine disruption in frog populations, such as shifts in sex ratios and feminization of males, has predominantly focused on agricultural pesticides. Recent evidence suggests that suburban landscapes harbor amphibian populations exhibiting similar levels of endocrine disruption; however the endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) sources are unknown. Here, we show that sex ratios of metamorphosing frogs become increasingly female-dominated along a suburbanization gradient. We further show that suburban ponds are frequently contaminated by the classical estrogen estrone and a variety of EDCs produced by plants (phytoestrogens), and that the diversity of organic EDCs is correlated with the extent of developed land use and cultivated lawn and gardens around a pond. Our work also raises the possibility that trace-element contamination associated with human land use around suburban ponds may be contributing to the estrogenic load within suburban freshwaters and constitutes another source of estrogenic exposure for wildlife. These data suggest novel, unexplored pathways of EDC contamination in human-altered environments. In particular, we propose that vegetation changes associated with suburban neighborhoods (e.g., from forests to lawns and ornamental plants) increase the distribution of phytoestrogens in surface waters. The result of frog sex ratios varying as a function of human land use implicates a role for environmental modulation of sexual differentiation in amphibians, which are assumed to only have genetic sex determination. Overall, we show that endocrine disruption is widespread in suburban frog populations and that the causes are likely diverse. PMID:26372955

  8. Suburbanization, estrogen contamination, and sex ratio in wild amphibian populations

    PubMed Central

    Lambert, Max R.; Giller, Geoffrey S. J.; Barber, Larry B.; Fitzgerald, Kevin C.; Skelly, David K.

    2015-01-01

    Research on endocrine disruption in frog populations, such as shifts in sex ratios and feminization of males, has predominantly focused on agricultural pesticides. Recent evidence suggests that suburban landscapes harbor amphibian populations exhibiting similar levels of endocrine disruption; however the endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) sources are unknown. Here, we show that sex ratios of metamorphosing frogs become increasingly female-dominated along a suburbanization gradient. We further show that suburban ponds are frequently contaminated by the classical estrogen estrone and a variety of EDCs produced by plants (phytoestrogens), and that the diversity of organic EDCs is correlated with the extent of developed land use and cultivated lawn and gardens around a pond. Our work also raises the possibility that trace-element contamination associated with human land use around suburban ponds may be contributing to the estrogenic load within suburban freshwaters and constitutes another source of estrogenic exposure for wildlife. These data suggest novel, unexplored pathways of EDC contamination in human-altered environments. In particular, we propose that vegetation changes associated with suburban neighborhoods (e.g., from forests to lawns and ornamental plants) increase the distribution of phytoestrogens in surface waters. The result of frog sex ratios varying as a function of human land use implicates a role for environmental modulation of sexual differentiation in amphibians, which are assumed to only have genetic sex determination. Overall, we show that endocrine disruption is widespread in suburban frog populations and that the causes are likely diverse. PMID:26372955

  9. Do differences in Toxoplasma prevalence influence global variation in secondary sex ratio? Preliminary ecological regression study.

    PubMed

    Dama, Madhukar S; Martinec Nováková, Lenka; Flegr, Jaroslav

    2016-08-01

    Sex of the fetus is genetically determined such that an equal number of sons and daughters are born in large populations. However, the ratio of female to male births across human populations varies significantly. Many factors have been implicated in this. The theory that natural selection should favour female offspring under suboptimal environmental conditions implies that pathogens may affect secondary sex ratio (ratio of male to female births). Using regression models containing 13 potential confounding factors, we have found that variation of the secondary sex ratio can be predicted by seroprevalence of Toxoplasma across 94 populations distributed across African, American, Asian and European continents. Toxoplasma seroprevalence was the third strongest predictor of secondary sex ratio, β = -0·097, P < 0·01, after son preference, β = 0·261, P < 0·05, and fertility, β = -0·145, P < 0·001. Our preliminary results suggest that Toxoplasma gondii infection could be one of the most important environmental factors influencing the global variation of offspring sex ratio in humans. The effect of latent toxoplasmosis on public health could be much more serious than it is usually supposed to be. PMID:27350331

  10. SEX-RATIO MEIOTIC DRIVE AND INTERSPECIFIC COMPETITION

    PubMed Central

    Unckless, Robert L.; Clark, Andrew G.

    2014-01-01

    It has long been known that processes occurring within a species may impact the interactions between species. For example, since competitive ability is sensitive to parameters including reproductive rate, carrying capacity and competition efficiency, the outcome of interspecific competition may be influenced by any process that alters these attributes. While several such scenarios have been discussed, the influence of selfish genetic elements within one species on competition between species has not received theoretical treatment. We show that, with strong competition, sex-ratio meiotic drive systems can result in a significant shift in community composition because the effective birth rate in the population may be increased by a female-biased sex-ratio. Using empirical data we attempt to estimate the magnitude of this effect in several Drosophila species. We infer that meiotic drive elements, selfish genetic elements within species, can provide a substantial competitive advantage to that species within a community. PMID:24835887

  11. Partnership status and the human sex ratio at birth.

    PubMed Central

    Norberg, Karen

    2004-01-01

    If two-parent care has different consequences for the reproductive success of sons and daughters, then natural selection may favour adjustment of the sex ratio at birth according to circumstances that forecast later family structure. In humans, this partnership-status hypothesis predicts fewer sons among extra-pair conceptions, but the rival 'attractiveness' hypothesis predicts more sons among extra-pair conceptions, and the 'fixed-phenotype' hypothesis predicts a constant probability of having a son, regardless of partnership status. In a sample of 86 436 human births pooled from five US population-based surveys, I found 51.5% male births reported by respondents who were living with a spouse or partner before the child's conception or birth, and 49.9% male births reported by respondents who were not (chi(2)=16.77 d.f.=1 p<0.0001). The effect was not explained by paternal bias against daughters, by parental age, education, income, ethnicity or by year of observation, and was larger when comparisons were made between siblings. To my knowledge, this is the first direct evidence for conditional adjustment of the sex ratio at birth in humans, and could explain the recent decline in the sex ratio at birth in some developed countries. PMID:15556894

  12. Preconception maternal polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations and the secondary sex ratio

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, Kira C.; Jackson, Leila W.; Lynch, Courtney D.; Kostyniak, Paul J.; Buck Louis, Germaine M. . E-mail: louisg@mail.nih.gov

    2007-01-15

    The secondary sex ratio is the ratio of male to female live births and historically has ranged from 102 to 106 males to 100 females. Temporal declines have been reported in many countries prompting authors to hypothesize an environmental etiology. Blood specimens were obtained from 99 women aged 24-34 prior to attempting pregnancy and quantified for 76 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners using dual column gas chromatography with electron capture detection. Women were prospectively followed until pregnancy or 12 cycles of trying. The odds of a male birth for three PCB groupings (total, estrogenic, anti-estrogenic) controlling for maternal characteristics were estimated using logistic regression. Among the 50 women with live births and PCB data, 26 female and 24 male infants were born (ratio 0.92). After adjusting for age and body mass index, odds of a male birth were elevated among women in the second (OR=1.29) and third (OR=1.48) tertiles of estrogenic PCBs; odds (OR=0.70) were reduced among women in the highest tertile of anti-estrogenic PCBs. All confidence intervals included one. The direction of the odds ratios in this preliminary study varied by PCB groupings, supporting the need to study specific PCB patterns when assessing environmental influences on the secondary sex ratio.

  13. Factors Affecting Attitudes toward Juvenile Sex Offenders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sahlstrom, Kimberly J.; Jeglic, Elizabeth L.

    2008-01-01

    This study investigated attitudes toward juvenile sex offenders and factors influencing those attitudes. Additionally, the influences of perpetrator characteristics such as age, gender, and ethnicity on societal attitudes towards intervention requirements were also investigated. Overall, attitudes toward juvenile sex offenders and their treatment…

  14. The genetic sex-determination system predicts adult sex ratios in tetrapods.

    PubMed

    Pipoly, Ivett; Bókony, Veronika; Kirkpatrick, Mark; Donald, Paul F; Székely, Tamás; Liker, András

    2015-11-01

    The adult sex ratio (ASR) has critical effects on behaviour, ecology and population dynamics, but the causes of variation in ASRs are unclear. Here we assess whether the type of genetic sex determination influences the ASR using data from 344 species in 117 families of tetrapods. We show that taxa with female heterogamety have a significantly more male-biased ASR (proportion of males: 0.55 ± 0.01 (mean ± s.e.m.)) than taxa with male heterogamety (0.43 ± 0.01). The genetic sex-determination system explains 24% of interspecific variation in ASRs in amphibians and 36% in reptiles. We consider several genetic factors that could contribute to this pattern, including meiotic drive and sex-linked deleterious mutations, but further work is needed to quantify their effects. Regardless of the mechanism, the effects of the genetic sex-determination system on the adult sex ratio are likely to have profound effects on the demography and social behaviour of tetrapods. PMID:26444239

  15. Serial monogamy and sex ratio bias in Nazca boobies.

    PubMed

    Maness, Terri J; Anderson, David J

    2007-08-22

    Biased operational sex ratios (OSRs) can drive sexual selection on members of the over-represented sex via competition for mates, causing higher variance and skew in reproductive success (RS) among them if an individual's quality is a persistent characteristic. Alternatively, costs of reproduction may degrade breeding performance, creating the opportunity for members of the limiting sex to switch mates adaptively, effectively homogenizing variance and skew in RS among the sex in excess. We tested these two contrasting models in a male-biased population of the Nazca booby (Sula granti) with demonstrated costs of reproduction with data on total RS over a 14-year period. Variances and skews in RS were similar, and males changed from breeder to non-breeder more frequently than females. Under the persistent individual quality model, females should mate only with high quality males, and non-breeding males should seldom enter the breeding pool, yet 45% of non-breeding males (re)entered the breeding pool each year on average. Many Nazca booby females apparently exchange a depleted male for a new mate from the pool of current non-breeder males. Our evidence linking serial monogamy to costs of reproduction is novel and suggests selection on female mating preferences based on an interaction between at least two life-history components (OSR and reproductive effort). PMID:17567557

  16. Genetic architecture of sex determination in fish: applications to sex ratio control in aquaculture

    PubMed Central

    Martínez, Paulino; Viñas, Ana M.; Sánchez, Laura; Díaz, Noelia; Ribas, Laia; Piferrer, Francesc

    2014-01-01

    Controlling the sex ratio is essential in finfish farming. A balanced sex ratio is usually good for broodstock management, since it enables to develop appropriate breeding schemes. However, in some species the production of monosex populations is desirable because the existence of sexual dimorphism, primarily in growth or first time of sexual maturation, but also in color or shape, can render one sex more valuable. The knowledge of the genetic architecture of sex determination (SD) is convenient for controlling sex ratio and for the implementation of breeding programs. Unlike mammals and birds, which show highly conserved master genes that control a conserved genetic network responsible for gonad differentiation (GD), a huge diversity of SD mechanisms has been reported in fish. Despite theory predictions, more than one gene is in many cases involved in fish SD and genetic differences have been observed in the GD network. Environmental factors also play a relevant role and epigenetic mechanisms are becoming increasingly recognized for the establishment and maintenance of the GD pathways. Although major genetic factors are frequently involved in fish SD, these observations strongly suggest that SD in this group resembles a complex trait. Accordingly, the application of quantitative genetics combined with genomic tools is desirable to address its study and in fact, when applied, it has frequently demonstrated a multigene trait interacting with environmental factors in model and cultured fish species. This scenario has notable implications for aquaculture and, depending upon the species, from chromosome manipulation or environmental control techniques up to classical selection or marker assisted selection programs, are being applied. In this review, we selected four relevant species or fish groups to illustrate this diversity and hence the technologies that can be used by the industry for the control of sex ratio: turbot and European sea bass, two reference species of

  17. Aggressive behavior of the male parent predicts brood sex ratio in a songbird

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szász, Eszter; Garamszegi, László Zsolt; Hegyi, Gergely; Szöllősi, Eszter; Markó, Gábor; Török, János; Rosivall, Balázs

    2014-08-01

    Brood sex ratio is often affected by parental or environmental quality, presumably in an adaptive manner that is the sex that confers higher fitness benefits to the mother is overproduced. So far, studies on the role of parental quality have focused on parental morphology and attractiveness. However, another aspect, the partner's behavioral characteristics, may also be expected to play a role in brood sex ratio adjustment. To test this hypothesis, we investigated whether the proportion of sons in the brood is predicted by the level of territorial aggression displayed by the father, in the collared flycatcher ( Ficedula albicollis). The proportion of sons in the brood was higher in early broods and increased with paternal tarsus length. When controlling for breeding date and body size, we found a higher proportion of sons in the brood of less aggressive fathers. Male nestlings are more sensitive to the rearing environment, and the behavior of courting males may often be used by females to assess their future parental activity. Therefore, adjusting brood sex ratio to the level of male aggression could be adaptive. Our results indicate that the behavior of the partner could indeed be a significant determinant in brood sex ratio adjustment, which should not be overlooked in future studies.

  18. Developmental mortality increases sex-ratio bias of a size-dimorphic bark beetle

    PubMed Central

    Lachowsky, Leanna E; Reid, Mary L

    2014-01-01

    1. Given sexual size dimorphism, differential mortality owing to body size can lead to sex-biased mortality, proximately biasing sex ratios. This mechanism may apply to mountain pine beetles, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, which typically have female-biased adult populations (2 : 1) with females larger than males. Smaller males could be more susceptible to stresses than larger females as developing beetles overwinter and populations experience high mortality. 2. Survival of naturally-established mountain pine beetles during the juvenile stage and the resulting adult sex ratios and body sizes (volume) were studied. Three treatments were applied to vary survival in logs cut from trees containing broods of mountain pine beetles. Logs were removed from the forest either in early winter, or in spring after overwintering below snow or after overwintering above snow. Upon removal, logs were placed at room temperature to allow beetles to complete development under similar conditions. 3. Compared with beetles from logs removed in early winter, mortality was higher and the sex ratio was more female-biased in overwintering logs. The bias increased with overwinter mortality. However, sex ratios were female-biased even in early winter, so additional mechanisms, other than overwintering mortality, contributed to the sex-ratio bias. Body volume varied little relative to sex-biased mortality, suggesting other size-independent causes of male-biased mortality. 4. Overwintering mortality is considered a major determinant of mountain pine beetle population dynamics. The disproportionate survival of females, who initiate colonisation of live pine trees, may affect population dynamics in ways that have not been previously considered. PMID:25400320

  19. Hybridization and regional sex ratios in Nemophila menziesii.

    PubMed

    Barr, C M

    2004-07-01

    I tested whether a region of high female frequencies in the gynodioecious plant, Nemophila menziesii, may be due to hybridization between regionally distributed populations with different corolla colours. I crossed plants in the greenhouse from populations with different corolla colours and found that hybrid crosses yielded higher frequencies of females than within-colour crosses. In the field, I found that populations with high female frequencies had intermediate mean corolla colours and higher variance in corolla colour, two traits suggesting hybridization. Nemophila menziesii has nuclear-cytoplasmic sex inheritance, thus if populations with different corolla colours are fixed for different male-sterile cytoplasms and matching nuclear restorer alleles, hybridization between populations with different corolla colour should yield high frequencies of females. Two populations that are all hermaphroditic in the field segregated females in hybrid crosses suggesting that field populations may contain sex ratio distorters but appear undistorted, a prediction of genomic conflict theory. PMID:15271078

  20. Sex-biased survival predicts adult sex ratio variation in wild birds

    PubMed Central

    Székely, Tamás; Liker, András; Freckleton, Robert P.; Fichtel, Claudia; Kappeler, Peter M.

    2014-01-01

    Adult sex ratio (ASR) is a central concept in population demography and breeding system evolution, and has implications for population viability and biodiversity conservation. ASR exhibits immense interspecific variation in wild populations, although the causes of this variation have remained elusive. Using phylogenetic analyses of 187 avian species from 59 families, we show that neither hatching sex ratios nor fledging sex ratios correlate with ASR. However, sex-biased adult mortality is a significant predictor of ASR, and this relationship is robust to 100 alternative phylogenetic hypotheses, and potential ecological and life-history confounds. A significant component of adult mortality bias is sexual selection acting on males, whereas increased reproductive output predicts higher mortality in females. These results provide the most comprehensive insights into ASR variation to date, and suggest that ASR is an outcome of selective processes operating differentially on adult males and females. Therefore, revealing the causes of ASR variation in wild populations is essential for understanding breeding systems and population dynamics. PMID:24966308

  1. Sex-biased survival predicts adult sex ratio variation in wild birds.

    PubMed

    Székely, Tamás; Liker, András; Freckleton, Robert P; Fichtel, Claudia; Kappeler, Peter M

    2014-08-01

    Adult sex ratio (ASR) is a central concept in population demography and breeding system evolution, and has implications for population viability and biodiversity conservation. ASR exhibits immense interspecific variation in wild populations, although the causes of this variation have remained elusive. Using phylogenetic analyses of 187 avian species from 59 families, we show that neither hatching sex ratios nor fledging sex ratios correlate with ASR. However, sex-biased adult mortality is a significant predictor of ASR, and this relationship is robust to 100 alternative phylogenetic hypotheses, and potential ecological and life-history confounds. A significant component of adult mortality bias is sexual selection acting on males, whereas increased reproductive output predicts higher mortality in females. These results provide the most comprehensive insights into ASR variation to date, and suggest that ASR is an outcome of selective processes operating differentially on adult males and females. Therefore, revealing the causes of ASR variation in wild populations is essential for understanding breeding systems and population dynamics. PMID:24966308

  2. Spatio-temporal variation in the incubation duration and sex ratio of hawksbill hatchlings: implication for future management.

    PubMed

    dei Marcovaldi, Maria A G; Santos, Armando J B; Santos, Alexsandro S; Soares, Luciano S; Lopez, Gustave G; Godfrey, Matthew H; López-Mendilaharsu, Milagros; Fuentes, Mariana M P B

    2014-08-01

    Climate change poses a unique threat to species with temperature dependent sex determination (TSD), such as marine turtles, where increases in temperature can result in extreme sex ratio biases. Knowledge of the primary sex ratio of populations with TSD is key for providing a baseline to inform management strategies and to accurately predict how future climate changes may affect turtle populations. However, there is a lack of robust data on offspring sex ratio at appropriate temporal and spatial scales to inform management decisions. To address this, we estimate the primary sex ratio of hawksbill hatchlings, Eretmochelys imbricata, from incubation duration of 5514 in situ nests from 10 nesting beaches from two regions in Brazil over the last 27 years. A strong female bias was estimated in all beaches, with 96% and 89% average female sex ratios produced in Bahia (BA) and Rio Grande do Norte (RN). Both inter-annual (BA, 88 to 99%; RN, 75 to 96% female) and inter-beach (BA, 92% to 97%; RN, 81% to 92% female) variability in mean offspring sex ratio was observed. These findings will guide management decisions in Brazil and provide further evidence of highly female-skew sex ratios in hawksbill turtles. PMID:25086976

  3. Does the timing of attainment of maturity influence sexual size dimorphism and adult sex ratio in turtles?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Gibbons, J. Whitfield; Agha, Mickey

    2014-01-01

    The attainment of sexual maturity has been shown to affect measures of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) and adult sex ratios in several groups of vertebrates. Using data for turtles, we tested the model that sex ratios are expected to be male-biased when females are larger than males and female-biased when males are larger than females because of the relationship of each with the attainment of maturity. Our model is based on the premise that the earlier-maturing sex remains smaller, on average throughout life, and predominates numerically unless the sexes are strongly affected by differential mortality, differential emigration, and immigration, or biased primary sex ratios. Based on data for 24 species in seven families, SSD and sex ratios were significantly negatively correlated for most analyses, even after the effect of phylogenetic bias was removed. The analyses provide support for the model that SSD and adult sex ratios are correlated in turtles as a result of simultaneous correlation of each with sexual differences in attainment of maturity (bimaturism). Environmental sex determination provides a possible mechanism for the phenomenon in turtles and some other organisms.

  4. Skewed birth sex ratio and premature mortality in elephants.

    PubMed

    Saragusty, Joseph; Hermes, Robert; Göritz, Frank; Schmitt, Dennis L; Hildebrandt, Thomas B

    2009-10-01

    Sex allocation theories predict equal offspring number of both sexes unless differential investment is required or some competition exists. Left undisturbed, elephants reproduce well and in approximately even numbers in the wild. We report an excess of males are born and substantial juvenile mortality occurs, perinatally, in captivity. Studbook data on captive births (CB, n=487) and premature deaths (PD, <5 years of age; n=164) in Asian and African elephants in Europe and North America were compared with data on Myanmar timber (Asian) elephants (CB, n=3070; PD, n=738). Growth in CB was found in three of the captive populations. A significant excess of male births occurred in European Asian elephants (ratio: 0.61, P=0.044) and in births following artificial insemination (0.83, P=0.003), and a numerical inclination in North American African elephants (0.6). While juvenile mortality in European African and Myanmar populations was 21-23%, it was almost double (40-45%) in all other captive populations. In zoo populations, 68-91% of PD were within 1 month of birth with stillbirth and infanticide being major causes. In Myanmar, 62% of juvenile deaths were at >6 months with maternal insufficient milk production, natural hazards and accidents being the main causes. European Asian and Myanmar elephants PD was biased towards males (0.71, P=0.024 and 0.56, P<0.001, respectively). The skewed birth sex ratio and high juvenile mortality hinder efforts to help captive populations become self-sustaining. Efforts should be invested to identify the mechanism behind these trends and seek solutions for them. PMID:19058933

  5. Association of Educational Level and Child Sex Ratio in Rural and Urban India

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Inchani, Lisa R.; Lai, Dejian

    2008-01-01

    Utilizing data from the Census of India, this study compared child sex ratio in rural and urban regions of India and analyzed whether the child sex ratio was associated with mother's education level. The child sex ratios in the rural and urban regions throughout India were analyzed using the two-sample and paired Student's t-test. Further, the…

  6. Where have all the females gone? Male biased sex-ratio in Arctodiaptomus alpinus (Imhof, 1885) in alpine lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Žibrat, U.; Brancelj, A.

    2009-04-01

    In populations with both males and females sex-ratio is one of the driving forces of population dynamics. It influences fecundity, inbreeding and social interactions. Sex-ratio is affected by several biotic and abiotic factors, either by selective killing of one sex or by inducing migrations. In alpine lakes of Triglav National Park, Slovenia, an extremely male biased sex-ratio in Arctodiaptomus alpinus (Imhof, 1885) was regularly observed since 1992. We analysed population dynamics and sex-ratio of A. alpinus in three alpine lakes (Jezero v Ledvicah, Rjavo jezero and Zgornje Kriško jezero) from Triglav National Park in Slovenia. In addition to seasonal dynamics we also researched long-term changes in sex-ratio (in a period of 11 years from autumn samples) as a result of increased air-temperature, and zooplankton diurnal vertical migrations. Adults of both sexes were found to appear at the same time in the water collumn with males prevailing throughout the season. A similar trend was found in copepodites CV. The percent of adult females began increasing in late summer, when there were no more copepodites and recrutation from copepodites CV to adults stopped, while male mortality increased. All cohorts of A. alpinus were found to perform diurnal vertical migrations. Both adult and CV females remained close to the bottom during the day and migrated vertically during the night. Results of the long-term study show no changes in sex-ratio in autumn.

  7. The high sex ratio in China: what do the Chinese think?

    PubMed

    Shou, C; Wang, L; Zheng, W J; Zhou, X D; Li, L; Hesketh, T

    2012-01-01

    High sex ratios are well documented in many Asian countries, including China. This study was conducted in three Chinese provinces to explore awareness of the high sex ratios and its effects. Questionnaires were completed by 7435 respondents; 46% were urban and 53% were female. Sixty-four per cent were aware of the high sex ratio, and the majority were able to identify a range of consequences both for society and for unmarried men. These high levels of awareness of the negative impacts of high sex ratios should ultimately help to reduce the sex ratio at birth. PMID:22220305

  8. Sex ratio bias, male aggression, and population collapse in lizards.

    PubMed

    Le Galliard, Jean-François; Fitze, Patrick S; Ferrière, Régis; Clobert, Jean

    2005-12-13

    The adult sex ratio (ASR) is a key parameter of the demography of human and other animal populations, yet the causes of variation in ASR, how individuals respond to this variation, and how their response feeds back into population dynamics remain poorly understood. A prevalent hypothesis is that ASR is regulated by intrasexual competition, which would cause more mortality or emigration in the sex of increasing frequency. Our experimental manipulation of populations of the common lizard (Lacerta vivipara) shows the opposite effect. Male mortality and emigration are not higher under male-biased ASR. Rather, an excess of adult males begets aggression toward adult females, whose survival and fecundity drop, along with their emigration rate. The ensuing prediction that adult male skew should be amplified and total population size should decline is supported by long-term data. Numerical projections show that this amplifying effect causes a major risk of population extinction. In general, such an "evolutionary trap" toward extinction threatens populations in which there is a substantial mating cost for females, and environmental changes or management practices skew the ASR toward males. PMID:16322105

  9. The effect of glucosamine concentration on the development and sex ratio of bovine embryos.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Koji; Iwata, Hisataka; Thompson, Jeremy G

    2008-01-30

    Glucosamine is a component of hyaluronic acid and an alternative substrate to glucose for the extracellular matrix synthesis of COCs. Its addition to an IVM medium reduces the glucose consumption of bovine COCs. Glucosamine is also metabolized to UDP-N-acetyl glucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc) via the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway and is utilized for O-linked glycosylation by the X-linked enzyme, O-linked GlcNAc transferase (OGT). Moreover, the inactivation of the second X chromosome in female embryos is influential in producing the sex ratio bias observed in vitro when embryos are cultured in the presence of glucose above 2.5mM. Accordingly, the aim of this study is to examine whether the presence of glucosamine during maturation or embryo culture causes a sex ratio bias in bovine blastocysts. Glucosamine was added to the medium in three different embryo developmental periods: in vitro maturation, the one-cell to eight-cell stage (before the maternal-zygotic transition, MZT), and the eight-cell to blastocyst stage (after MZT). When glucosamine was added during in vitro maturation, the developmental competence of oocytes was severely compromised. However, the sex ratio of embryos was not influenced. When glucosamine was added to embryo culture medium during development from one-cell to eight-cell stage (before MZT), it affected neither the development nor the sex ratio of bovine embryos. Finally, when glucosamine was added after MZT, the development rate of embryos was severely decreased, and the sex ratio was skewed toward males. Moreover, an inhibitor of OGT, benzyl-2-acetamido-2-deoxy-alpha-D-galactopyranoside (BADGP), negated the effect of glucosamine on the sex ratio when it was added to embryo culture medium from the eight-cell to blastocyst stage (after MZT). These results suggest that, like glucose, the supplementation of glucosamine into the medium skewed the sex ratio to males and that OGT, an X-linked enzyme, was involved in this phenomenon. Moreover, this

  10. Transgenerational plasticity mitigates the impact of global warming to offspring sex ratios.

    PubMed

    Donelson, Jennifer M; Munday, Philip L

    2015-08-01

    Global warming poses a threat to organisms with temperature-dependent sex determination because it can affect operational sex ratios. Using a multigenerational experiment with a marine fish, we provide the first evidence that parents developing from early life at elevated temperatures can adjust their offspring gender through nongenetic and nonbehavioural means. However, this adjustment was not possible when parents reproduced, but did not develop, at elevated temperatures. Complete restoration of the offspring sex ratio occurred when parents developed at 1.5 °C above the present-day average temperature for one generation. However, only partial improvement in the sex ratio occurred at 3.0 °C above average conditions, even after two generations, suggesting a limitation to transgenerational plasticity when developmental temperature is substantially increased. This study highlights the potential for transgenerational plasticity to ameliorate some impacts of climate change and that development from early life may be essential for expression of transgenerational plasticity in some traits. PMID:25820432

  11. Limiting options: Sex ratios, incarceration rates and sexual risk behavior among people on probation and parole

    PubMed Central

    Green, Traci C.; Pouget, Enrique R.; Harrington, Magdalena; Taxman, Faye S.; Rhodes, Anne G.; O’Connell, Daniel; Martin, Steven S.; Prendergast, Michael; Friedmann, Peter D.

    2012-01-01

    Background To investigate how incarceration may affect risk of acquiring HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, we tested associations of ex-offenders’ sexual risk behavior with the male-female sex ratio and the male incarceration rate. Methods Longitudinal data from 1287 drug-involved persons on probation and parole as part of the Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies were matched by county of residence with population factors, and stratified by race/ethnicity and gender. Generalized estimating equations assessed associations of having unprotected sex with a partner who had HIV risk factors, and having more than 1 sex partner in the past month. Results Among non-Hispanic Black men and women, low sex ratios were associated with greater risk of having unprotected sex with a risky partner (Adjusted relative risk (ARR) = 1.76, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.29, 2.42; ARR = 2.48, 95% CI = 1.31, 4.73, respectively). Among non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White women, low sex ratios were associated with having more than 1 sex partner (ARR = 2.00, 95% CI = 1.02, 3.94; ARR = 1.71, 95% CI = 1.06, 2.75, respectively). High incarceration rates were associated with greater risk of having a risky partner for all men (non-Hispanic Black: ARR= 2.14, 95% CI=1.39, 3.30; non-Hispanic White: ARR= 1.39, 95% CI: 1.05, 1.85; Hispanic: ARR = 3.99, 95% CI =1.55, 10.26) and having more than one partner among non-Hispanic White men (ARR= 1.92, 95% CI = 1.40, 2.64). Conclusions Low sex ratios and high incarceration rates may influence the number and risk characteristics of sex partners of ex-offenders. HIV-prevention policies and programs for ex-offenders could be improved by addressing structural barriers to safer sexual behavior. PMID:22592827

  12. A female-biased sex ratio reduces the twofold cost of sex.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Kazuya; Hasegawa, Eisuke

    2016-01-01

    The evolution of sexual reproduction remains a fascinating enigma in biology. Theoretically, populations of sexual organisms investing half of their resources into producing male offspring that don't contribute to reproduction should grow at only half the rate of their asexual counterparts. This demographic disadvantage due to male production is known as the twofold cost of sex. However, the question of whether this cost is truly twofold for sexual females remains unanswered. The cost of producing males should decrease when the number of male offspring is reduced. Here, we report a case where the cost of males is actually less than twofold. By measuring the numbers of sexual strain coexisting with asexual strain among thrips, our survey revealed that the sexual strain showed female-biased sex ratios and that the relative frequency of sexual strain is negatively correlated with the proportion of males in the sexual strain. Using computer simulations, we confirmed that a female-biased sex ratio evolves in sexual individuals due to the coexistence of asexual individuals. Our results demonstrate that there is a cost of producing males that depends on the number of males. We therefore conclude that sexual reproduction can evolve with far fewer benefits than previously assumed. PMID:27035400

  13. A female-biased sex ratio reduces the twofold cost of sex

    PubMed Central

    Kobayashi, Kazuya; Hasegawa, Eisuke

    2016-01-01

    The evolution of sexual reproduction remains a fascinating enigma in biology. Theoretically, populations of sexual organisms investing half of their resources into producing male offspring that don’t contribute to reproduction should grow at only half the rate of their asexual counterparts. This demographic disadvantage due to male production is known as the twofold cost of sex. However, the question of whether this cost is truly twofold for sexual females remains unanswered. The cost of producing males should decrease when the number of male offspring is reduced. Here, we report a case where the cost of males is actually less than twofold. By measuring the numbers of sexual strain coexisting with asexual strain among thrips, our survey revealed that the sexual strain showed female-biased sex ratios and that the relative frequency of sexual strain is negatively correlated with the proportion of males in the sexual strain. Using computer simulations, we confirmed that a female-biased sex ratio evolves in sexual individuals due to the coexistence of asexual individuals. Our results demonstrate that there is a cost of producing males that depends on the number of males. We therefore conclude that sexual reproduction can evolve with far fewer benefits than previously assumed. PMID:27035400

  14. Sex ratio estimations of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings at Kuriat islands, Tunisia: can minor nesting sites contribute to compensate globally female-biased sex ratio?

    PubMed

    Jribi, Imed; Bradai, Mohamed Nejmeddine

    2014-01-01

    Hatchling sex ratios in the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta were estimated by placing electronic temperature recorders in seven nests at Kuriat islands (Tunisia) during the 2013 nesting season. Based on the mean temperatures during the middle third of the incubation period, and on incubation duration, the sex ratio of hatchlings at Kuriat islands was highly male-biased. Presently, the majority of hatchling sex ratio studies are focused on major nesting areas, whereby the sex ratios are universally believed to be heavily female-biased. Here we present findings from a minor nesting site in the Mediterranean, where the hatchling sex ratio was found to be male-biased, suggesting a potential difference between major and minor nesting sites. PMID:25379528

  15. Sex Ratio Estimations of Loggerhead Sea Turtle Hatchlings at Kuriat Islands, Tunisia: Can Minor Nesting Sites Contribute to Compensate Globally Female-Biased Sex Ratio?

    PubMed Central

    Bradai, Mohamed Nejmeddine

    2014-01-01

    Hatchling sex ratios in the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta were estimated by placing electronic temperature recorders in seven nests at Kuriat islands (Tunisia) during the 2013 nesting season. Based on the mean temperatures during the middle third of the incubation period, and on incubation duration, the sex ratio of hatchlings at Kuriat islands was highly male-biased. Presently, the majority of hatchling sex ratio studies are focused on major nesting areas, whereby the sex ratios are universally believed to be heavily female-biased. Here we present findings from a minor nesting site in the Mediterranean, where the hatchling sex ratio was found to be male-biased, suggesting a potential difference between major and minor nesting sites. PMID:25379528

  16. The origin of female-biased sex ratios in intertidal seagrasses (Phyllospadix spp.).

    PubMed

    Shelton, Andrew Olaf

    2010-05-01

    Flowering sex ratios of dioecious plants are commonly male-biased but rarely female-biased. While greater costs of reproduction from females have been repeatedly demonstrated and explain male biases, male reproductive costs almost never exceed female costs, making the origins of female biases enigmatic. I investigated the seagrasses Phyllospadix scouleri and P. serrulatus (surfgrasses), which have some of the most extreme female-biased sex ratios documented (>90% female), to identify the mechanisms driving sex ratio bias. I developed sex-linked amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers and applied them to three P. scouleri life stages at four sites to determine when during the life cycle sex ratio bias arises. Sex ratios were even among seedlings but became more female-biased at later life stages, indicating that sex ratios were driven by male-biased mortality. To identify when during the life cycle sex ratio bias developed, I examined sex differences in survival among seedlings and three aspects of reproductive costs that could potentially generate biased sex ratios under field conditions. No differences in seedling survival between the sexes were detected, and there was no evidence of substantial sex differences in costs of reproduction. I found no support for a trade-off between current and future reproduction or between reproductive investment and growth. Thus, costs of reproduction appear unlikely to drive sex ratio bias in surfgrass. Instead, small sex differences in growth and survival spread across the life cycle appear to be responsible for female-biased sex ratios and suggest that life history trade-offs other than reproductive costs drive sex ratio bias. PMID:20503870

  17. Male-biased sex ratios of fish embryos near a pulp mill: temporary recovery after a short-term shutdown.

    PubMed Central

    Larsson, D G Joakim; Förlin, Lars

    2002-01-01

    In a previous study we showed that broods from the viviparous eelpout Zoarces viviparus were significantly male biased in 1998 in the vicinity of a large kraft pulp mill on the Swedish Baltic coast. One suggested hypothesis was that masculinizing compounds in the effluent were affecting gonadal differentiation of the embryos, resulting in skewed sex ratios. In this article, we present further evidence for a causal relationship between the exposure to the effluent and the male-biased sex ratios. Analyses of historical samples showed that the eelpout produced male-biased broods close to the mill in 1997 in addition to 1998. During 1999, the mill was shut down for 17 days, coinciding with the period when the gonads of the eelpout embryos differentiate. Subsequently, in the fall of 1999, the sex ratios were no longer male biased; however, the following year (2000), a significant male bias reappeared. Investigations at 13 sites for up to 4 years showed a relatively stable sex ratio around 50/50, with the exceptions by the mill and with few observations of deviating ratios at other sites. Several reports document endocrine disturbances in fish near pulp and paper mills, including the expression of male secondary sex characters in female fish. The repeatedly identified male bias at the investigated mill, the normalization after mill shutdown, and the reappearance the following year indicate that pulp mill effluents also can affect sex ratios of nearby fish. PMID:12153752

  18. Relationship Formation and Stability in Emerging Adulthood: Do Sex Ratios Matter?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warner, Tara D.; Manning, Wendy D.; Giordano, Peggy C.; Longmore, Monica A.

    2011-01-01

    Research links sex ratios with the likelihood of marriage and divorce. However, whether sex ratios similarly influence precursors to marriage (transitions in and out of dating or cohabiting relationships) is unknown. Utilizing data from the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study and the 2000 U.S. Census, this study assesses whether sex ratios…

  19. Multi-factorial influences on sex ratio: a spatio-temporal investigation of endocrine disruptor pollution and neighborhood stress

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Ewan; Watterson, Andrew; Tyler, Andrew N; McArthur, John; Scott, E Marion

    2014-01-01

    Background: It is suggested the declining male birth proportion in some industrialized countries is linked to ubiquitous endocrine disruptor exposure. Stress and advanced parental age are determinants which frequently present positive findings. Multi-factorial influences on population sex ratio are rarely explored or tested in research. Objectives: To test the hypothesis that dual factors of pollution and population stress affects sex proportion at birth through geographical analysis of Central Scotland. Methods: The study incorporates the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) tools to overlay modeled point source endocrine disruptor air emissions with “small-area” data on multiple deprivation (a proxy measurement of stress) and birth sex. Historical review of regional sex ratio trends presents additional data on sex ratio in Scotland to consider. Results: There was no overall concentration in Central Scotland of low sex ratio neighborhoods with areas where endocrine disruptor air pollution and deprivation or economic stress were high. Historical regional trends in Scotland (from 1973), however, do show significantly lower sex ratio values for populations where industrial air pollution is highest (i.e. Eastern Central Scotland). Conclusions: Use of small area data sets and pollution inventories is a potential new method of inquiry for reproductive environmental and health protection monitoring and has produced interesting findings. PMID:25000111

  20. [Offspring Sex Ratio in the Captive Population of Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus Pallas)].

    PubMed

    Mudrik, E A; Kashentseva, T A; Postelnykh, K A; Nosachenko, G V; Politov, D V

    2015-12-01

    The sex ratio of Siberian crane chicks (Grus leucogeranus Pallas) from the captive population ofthe Oka Crane Breeding Center was analyzed with the use of molecular sex marker EE0.6 in 2009-2014. We determined the sex of 84 birds bred from 12 dams by means of artificial insemination and natural breeding. The total primary sex ratio was 40:44, and the secondary sex ratio was 36:39 with a minor predominance of females. The mortality rate of embryos was the same for both sexes. The primary and secondary sex ratio among the first eggs in clutches showed the same trends as those observed in general analysis. The relatedness of parents by microsatellite DNA has no effect on offspring sex in both natural breeding and artificial insemination. PMID:27055304

  1. Androgen receptor blockade using flutamide skewed sex ratio of litters in mice

    PubMed Central

    Gharagozlou, Faramarz; Youssefi, Reza; Vojgani, Mehdi; Akbarinejad, Vahid; Rafiee, Ghazaleh

    2016-01-01

    Maternal testosterone has been indicated to affect sex ratio of offspring. The present study was conducted to elucidate the role of androgen receptor in this regard by blockade of androgen receptor using flutamide in female mice. Mice were randomly assigned to two experimental groups. Mice in the control (n = 20) and treatment (n = 20) groups received 8 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) followed by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) injection (8 IU) 47 hr later. In addition, mice in the control and treatment groups received four injections of ethanol-saline vehicle and flutamide solution (2.50 mg), respectively, started from 1 hr before eCG injection until hCG injection at 12-hr intervals. Conception rate was not different between the treatment (18/20: 90.00%) and control (19/20: 95.00%) groups (p > 0.05). Litter size was higher in the treatment (8.22 ± 0.26) than control (7.21 ± 0.28) group (p < 0.05). Male sex ratio was lower in the flutamide-treated mice (67/148: 45.30%) as compared with the untreated ones (80/137: 58.40%; odds ratio = 1.69; p < 0.05). In conclusion, the results showed that androgen receptor blockade could skew sex ratio of offspring toward females implying that the effect of testosterone on sex ratio might be through binding to androgen receptor. In addition, the blockade of androgen receptor using flutamide appeared to enhance litter size. PMID:27482363

  2. Androgen receptor blockade using flutamide skewed sex ratio of litters in mice.

    PubMed

    Gharagozlou, Faramarz; Youssefi, Reza; Vojgani, Mehdi; Akbarinejad, Vahid; Rafiee, Ghazaleh

    2016-01-01

    Maternal testosterone has been indicated to affect sex ratio of offspring. The present study was conducted to elucidate the role of androgen receptor in this regard by blockade of androgen receptor using flutamide in female mice. Mice were randomly assigned to two experimental groups. Mice in the control (n = 20) and treatment (n = 20) groups received 8 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) followed by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) injection (8 IU) 47 hr later. In addition, mice in the control and treatment groups received four injections of ethanol-saline vehicle and flutamide solution (2.50 mg), respectively, started from 1 hr before eCG injection until hCG injection at 12-hr intervals. Conception rate was not different between the treatment (18/20: 90.00%) and control (19/20: 95.00%) groups (p > 0.05). Litter size was higher in the treatment (8.22 ± 0.26) than control (7.21 ± 0.28) group (p < 0.05). Male sex ratio was lower in the flutamide-treated mice (67/148: 45.30%) as compared with the untreated ones (80/137: 58.40%; odds ratio = 1.69; p < 0.05). In conclusion, the results showed that androgen receptor blockade could skew sex ratio of offspring toward females implying that the effect of testosterone on sex ratio might be through binding to androgen receptor. In addition, the blockade of androgen receptor using flutamide appeared to enhance litter size. PMID:27482363

  3. Proximate causes of the variation of the human sex ratio at birth.

    PubMed

    James, William H

    2015-12-01

    There is evidence that the human sex ratio (proportion males at birth) is the result of two processes. First, the sexes of zygotes (from which the primary sex ratio would be calculated) are thought to be partially controlled by the hormone levels of both parents around the time of conception. Second, this primary sex ratio is apparently modified downwards by male-sex-selective spontaneous abortion caused by high levels of maternal stress-induced adrenal androgens, thus yielding the sex ratio at birth (the secondary sex ratio). Since maternal stress is one cause of spontaneous abortion (and of other forms of reproductive sub-optimality), and since some forms of pharmacological treatment of maternal stress are deleterious to the foetus, best practice would suggest non-pharmacological treatment (e.g. psychotherapy, hypnosis or massage) for pregnant women who have a previous history of spontaneous abortion, preterm birth or low-birth-weight infants. PMID:26549774

  4. Maternal Condition but Not Corticosterone Is Linked to Offspring Sex Ratio in a Passerine Bird

    PubMed Central

    Henderson, Lindsay J.; Evans, Neil P.; Heidinger, Britt J.; Adams, Aileen; Arnold, Kathryn E.

    2014-01-01

    There is evidence of offspring sex ratio adjustment in a range of species, but the potential mechanisms remain largely unknown. Elevated maternal corticosterone (CORT) is associated with factors that can favour brood sex ratio adjustment, such as reduced maternal condition, food availability and partner attractiveness. Therefore, the steroid hormone has been suggested to play a key role in sex ratio manipulation. However, despite correlative and causal evidence CORT is linked to sex ratio manipulation in some avian species, the timing of adjustment varies between studies. Consequently, whether CORT is consistently involved in sex-ratio adjustment, and how the hormone acts as a mechanism for this adjustment remains unclear. Here we measured maternal baseline CORT and body condition in free-living blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) over three years and related these factors to brood sex ratio and nestling quality. In addition, a non-invasive technique was employed to experimentally elevate maternal CORT during egg laying, and its effects upon sex ratio and nestling quality were measured. We found that maternal CORT was not correlated with brood sex ratio, but mothers with elevated CORT fledged lighter offspring. Also, experimental elevation of maternal CORT did not influence brood sex ratio or nestling quality. In one year, mothers in superior body condition produced male biased broods, and maternal condition was positively correlated with both nestling mass and growth rate in all years. Unlike previous studies maternal condition was not correlated with maternal CORT. This study provides evidence that maternal condition is linked to brood sex ratio manipulation in blue tits. However, maternal baseline CORT may not be the mechanistic link between the maternal condition and sex ratio adjustment. Overall, this study serves to highlight the complexity of sex ratio adjustment in birds and the difficulties associated with identifying sex biasing mechanisms. PMID:25347532

  5. Sex ratio and spatial distribution of male and female Antennaria dioica (Asteraceae) plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varga, Sandra; Kytöviita, Minna-Maarit

    2011-09-01

    Sex ratio, sex spatial distribution and sexual dimorphism in reproduction and arbuscular mycorrhizal colonisation were investigated in the dioecious clonal plant Antennaria dioica (Asteraceae). Plants were monitored for five consecutive years in six study plots in Oulanka, northern Finland. Sex ratio, spatial distribution of sexes, flowering frequency, number of floral shoots and the number and weight of inflorescences were recorded. In addition, intensity of mycorrhizal fungi in the roots was assessed. Both sexes flowered each year with a similar frequency, but the overall genet sex ratio was strongly female-biased. The bivariate Ripley's analysis of the sex distribution showed that within most plots sexes were randomly distributed except for one plot. Sexual dimorphism was expressed as larger floral and inflorescence production and heavier inflorescences in males. In addition, the roots of both sexes were colonised to a similar extent by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The female sex-biased flowering ratios reported are not consistent among years and cannot be explained in terms of spatial segregation of the sexes or sex lability. The possible reasons for the female-biased sex ratio are discussed.

  6. Sex Determination in Bluegill Sunfish Lepomis macrochirus: Effect of Temperature on Sex Ratio of Four Geographic Strains.

    PubMed

    Shen, Zhi-Gang; Wang, Han-Ping; Yao, Hong; O'Bryant, Paul; Rapp, Dean; Zhu, Kun-Qian

    2016-06-01

    There is increasing evidence that temperature effects on sex ratio in fish species are ubiquitous. Temperature effects on sex ratio could be influenced by parent, strain, and population, whether in fish species with temperature-dependent sex determination or genetic sex determination plus temperature effects. In the present study, effects of genotype-temperature interactions on sex determination in bluegill sunfish were further investigated, based on our previous results, using four geographic strains: Hebron, Jones, Hocking, and Missouri. In the Hebron strain, the two higher-temperature treatment groups (24 °C and 32 °C) produced more males than the low-temperature treatment group (17 °C) from 6 days post-hatching (dph) to 90 dph. In contrast, the low-temperature treatment produced more males than the other two higher-temperature treatments in the Jones strain. No significant effects of temperature on sex ratio were detected in the other two strains. Our results from sex ratio variance in different treatment times suggest that the thermosensitive period of sex differentiation occurs prior to 40 dph. Our results further confirmed that genotype-temperature interactions influence sex determination in bluegill. Therefore, to significantly increase the proportion of males, which grow faster and larger than females, a consumer- and environment-friendly approach may be achieved through selection of temperature sensitivity in bluegill. PMID:27365415

  7. Spiteful soldiers and sex ratio conflict in polyembryonic parasitoid wasps.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Andy; Hardy, Ian C W; Taylor, Peter D; West, Stuart A

    2007-04-01

    The existence of spiteful behaviors remains controversial. Spiteful behaviors are those that are harmful to both the actor and the recipient, and they represent one of the four fundamental types of social behavior (alongside selfishness, altruism, and mutual benefit). It has generally been assumed that the conditions required for spite to evolve are too restrictive, and so spite is unlikely to be important. This idea has been challenged in recent years, with the realization that localized competition can relax the conditions required for spite to evolve. Here we develop a theoretical model for a prime candidate for a spiteful behavior, the production of the sterile soldier caste in polyembryonic wasps. Our results show that (a) the biology of these soldiers is consistent with their main role being to mediate conflict over the sex ratio and not to defend against competitors and (b) greater conflict will occur in more outbred populations. We also show that the production of the sterile soldier caste can be classed as a spiteful behavior but that, to an extent, this is merely a semantic choice, and other interpretations such as altruism or indirect altruism are valid. However, the spite interpretation is useful in that it can lead to a more natural interpretation of relatedness and facilitate the classification of behaviors in a way that emphasizes biologically interesting differences that can be empirically tested. PMID:17427122

  8. Adaptive sex ratio variation in pre-industrial human (Homo sapiens) populations?

    PubMed Central

    Lummaa, V; Merilä, J; Kause, A

    1998-01-01

    Sex allocation theory predicts that in a population with a biased operational sex ratio (OSR), parents will increase their fitness by adjusting the sex ratio of their progeny towards the rarer sex, until OSR has reached a level where the overproduction of either sex no longer increases a parent's probability of having grandchildren. Furthermore, in a monogamous mating system, a biased OSR is expected to lead to lowered mean fecundity among individuals of the more abundant sex. We studied the influence of OSR on the sex ratio of newborns and on the population birth rate using an extensive data set (n = 14,420 births) from pre-industrial (1775-1850) Finland. The overall effect of current OSR on sex ratio at birth was significant, and in the majority of the 21 parishes included in this study, more sons were produced when males were rarer than females. This suggests that humans adjusted the sex ratio of their offspring in response to the local OSR to maximize the reproductive success of their progeny. Birth rate and, presumably, also population growth rate increased when the sex ratio (males:females) among reproductive age classes approached equality. However, the strength of these patterns varied across the parishes, suggesting that factors other than OSR (e.g. socioeconomic or environmental factors may also have influenced the sex ratio at birth and the birth rate. PMID:9881467

  9. High Adult Sex Ratios and Risky Sexual Behaviors: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Bien, Cedric H.; Cai, Yong; Emch, Michael E.; Parish, William; Tucker, Joseph D.

    2013-01-01

    Background Thirty-four countries worldwide have abnormally high sex ratios (>102 men per 100 women), resulting in over 100 million missing women. Widespread sex selective abortion, neglect of young girls leading to premature mortality, and gendered migration have contributed to these persistent and increasing distortions. Abnormally high adult sex ratios in communities may drive sexually transmitted disease (STD) spread where women are missing and men cannot find stable partners. We systematically reviewed evidence on the association between high community sex ratios and individual sexual behaviors. Methods and Findings Seven databases (PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, Scopus, The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Sociological Abstracts, and PopLINE) were searched without restrictions on time or location. We followed PRISMA guidelines and evaluated quality according to STROBE criteria. 1093 citations were identified and six studies describing 57,054 individuals were included for review. All six studies showed an association between high community sex ratios and individual sexual risk behaviors. In high sex ratio communities, women were more likely to have multiple sex partners and men were more likely to delay first sexual intercourse and purchase sex. Only two studies included STD outcomes. Conclusions High community sex ratios were associated with increased individual sexual risk behavior among both men and women. However, none of the studies examined unprotected sex or appropriately adjusted for gendered migration. Further studies are needed to understand the effect of community sex ratios on sexual health and to inform comprehensive STD control interventions. PMID:23967223

  10. Forest clearing and sex ratio in forest-dwelling wood ant Formica aquilonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sorvari, Jouni; Hakkarainen, Harri

    2007-05-01

    Sex ratios of ants have been shown to vary with food resource levels in several studies, but it is not known whether forest clear-cutting has any effect on sex ratio of aphid-tending forest-dwelling ants. We investigated whether the offspring sex ratio of the forest dwelling ant Formica aquilonia varied as a response to clear-cutting. We found that the proportion of males was smaller in clear-cuts than in adjacent forests. Our results are among the first showing that anthropogenic changes in forest structures may have a potential to modify sex ratios of social insects and other forest-dwelling animals.

  11. Phenobarbital plasma level/dose ratio in monotherapy. Influence of age, sex and dose.

    PubMed

    Durán, J A; Sánchez, A; Serrano, M I; Serrano, J S

    1988-05-01

    Phenobarbital plasma level/dose ratio (L/D) has been studied in 536 outpatients distributed in groups according to age, sex and drug dosage. Samples were obtained prior to the first morning dose. Plasma levels that correspond to the steady-state phase were determined by homogeneous enzymatic immunoassay (EMITR). From the results it must be pointed out: 1) An increase of L/D as the age increases within each group; 2) A decrease of L/D as the dose of phenobarbital increases in the overall sample; 3) Sex does not affect L/D in any of the subgroups studied; 4) For a given dose higher blood levels are reached in children 7 to 15 years old in our sample than in other comparable studies in Spain. PMID:3398650

  12. Does Sex Education Affect Adolescent Sexual Behaviors and Health?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sabia, Joseph J.

    2006-01-01

    This study examines whether offering sex education to young teenagers affects several measures of adolescent sexual behavior and health: virginity status, contraceptive use, frequency of intercourse, likelihood of pregnancy, and probability of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent…

  13. A method for estimating fall adult sex ratios from production and survival data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wight, H.M.; Heath, R.G.; Geis, A.D.

    1965-01-01

    This paper presents a method of utilizing data relating to the production and survival of a bird population to estimate a basic fall adult sex ratio. This basic adult sex ratio is an average value derived from average production and survival rates. It is an estimate of the average sex ratio about which the fall adult ratios will fluctuate according to annual variations in production and survival. The basic fall adult sex ratio has been calculated as an asymptotic value which is the limit of an infinite series wherein average population characteristics are used as constants. Graphs are provided that allow the determination of basic sex ratios from production and survival data of a population. Where the respective asymptote has been determined, it may be possible to estimate various production and survival rates by use of variations of the formula for estimating the asymptote.

  14. Invasion, Coexistence, and Extinction Driven by Preemptive Competition and Sex Ratio

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molnar, Ferenc; Caraco, Thomas; Korniss, Gyorgy

    2012-02-01

    We investigate competitive invasion in a simple population dynamics model, where females can differ genetically in the sex ratio of their offspring, and males can differ in mortality. Analyzing of the mean-field dynamics, we obtain conditions for ecological stability of a given sex-ratio allele for any mortality rate parameters. We also found that stable coexistence of the two alleles is possible, but only males can differ; one female phenotype is present. Our results show that the success of invasion is determined by the female birth sex ratio. A lower female ratio never excludes a larger female sex ratio; in case of coexistence, the surviving female phenotype always has the greater female sex ratio. Finally, we identified an interesting invasion-to-extinction scenario: successful invasion followed by extinction occurs when the invader initially propagates with the resident allele, but after excluding the resident, cannot survive on its own.

  15. Territory Quality and Plumage Morph Predict Offspring Sex Ratio Variation in a Raptor

    PubMed Central

    Chakarov, Nayden; Pauli, Martina; Mueller, Anna-Katharina; Potiek, Astrid; Grünkorn, Thomas; Dijkstra, Cor; Krüger, Oliver

    2015-01-01

    Parents may adapt their offspring sex ratio in response to their own phenotype and environmental conditions. The most significant causes for adaptive sex-ratio variation might express themselves as different distributions of fitness components between sexes along a given variable. Several causes for differential sex allocation in raptors with reversed sexual size dimorphism have been suggested. We search for correlates of fledgling sex in an extensive dataset on common buzzards Buteo buteo, a long-lived bird of prey. Larger female offspring could be more resource-demanding and starvation-prone and thus the costly sex. Prominent factors such as brood size and laying date did not predict nestling sex. Nonetheless, lifetime sex ratio (LSR, potentially indicative of individual sex allocation constraints) and overall nestling sex were explained by territory quality with more females being produced in better territories. Additionally, parental plumage morphs and the interaction of morph and prey abundance tended to explain LSR and nestling sex, indicating local adaptation of sex allocation However, in a limited census of nestling mortality, not females but males tended to die more frequently in prey-rich years. Also, although females could have potentially longer reproductive careers, a subset of our data encompassing full individual life histories showed that longevity and lifetime reproductive success were similarly distributed between the sexes. Thus, a basis for adaptive sex allocation in this population remains elusive. Overall, in common buzzards most major determinants of reproductive success appeared to have no effect on sex ratio but sex allocation may be adapted to local conditions in morph-specific patterns. PMID:26445010

  16. Causes and consequences of spatial variation in sex ratios in a declining bird species.

    PubMed

    Morrison, Catriona A; Robinson, Robert A; Clark, Jacquie A; Gill, Jennifer A

    2016-09-01

    Male-biased sex ratios occur in many bird species, particularly in those with small or declining populations, but the causes of these skews and their consequences for local population demography are rarely known. Within-species variation in sex ratios can help to identify the demographic and behavioural processes associated with such biases. Small populations may be more likely to have skewed sex ratios if sex differences in survival, recruitment or dispersal vary with local abundance. Analyses of species with highly variable local abundances can help to identify these mechanisms and the implications for spatial variation in demography. Many migratory bird species are currently undergoing rapid and severe declines in abundance in parts of their breeding ranges and thus have sufficient spatial variation in abundance to explore the extent of sex ratio biases, their causes and implications. Using national-scale bird ringing data for one such species (willow warbler, Phylloscopus trochilus), we show that sex ratios vary greatly across Britain and that male-biased sites are more frequent in areas of low abundance, which are now widespread across much of south and east England. These sex ratio biases are sufficient to impact local productivity, as the relative number of juveniles caught at survey sites declines significantly with increasing sex ratio skew. Sex differences in survival could influence this sex ratio variation, but we find little evidence for sex differences in survival increasing with sex ratio skew. In addition, sex ratios have become male-biased over the last two decades, but there are no such trends in adult survival rates for males or females. This suggests that lower female recruitment into low abundance sites is contributing to these skews. These findings suggest that male-biased sex ratios in small and declining populations can arise through local-scale sex differences in survival and dispersal, with females recruiting disproportionately into larger

  17. Mate choice and the operational sex ratio: an experimental test with robotic crabs.

    PubMed

    Hayes, C L; Callander, S; Booksmythe, I; Jennions, M D; Backwell, P R Y

    2016-07-01

    The operational sex ratio (OSR: sexually active males: receptive females) predicts the intensity of competition for mates. It is less clear, however, under what circumstances, the OSR predicts the strength of sexual selection - that is, the extent to which variation in mating success is attributable to traits that increase the bearer's attractiveness and/or fighting ability. To establish causality, experiments that manipulate the OSR are required. Furthermore, if it is possible to control for any OSR-dependent changes in the chosen sex (e.g. changes in male courtship), we can directly test whether the OSR affects the behaviour of the choosing sex (e.g. female choice decisions). We conducted female mate choice experiments in the field using robotic models of male fiddler crabs (Uca mjoebergi). We used a novel design with two females tested sequentially per trial. As in nature, the choice of the first female to mate therefore affected the mates available to the next female. In general, we detected significant sexual selection due to female choice for 'males' with larger claws. Importantly, the strength of sexual selection did not vary across five different OSR/density treatments. However, as the OSR decreased (hence the number of available males declined), females chose the 'males' with the largest claws available significantly more often than expected by chance. Possible reasons for this mismatch between the expected and observed effects of the OSR on the strength of sexual selection are discussed. PMID:27087241

  18. On the Relationship between Marital Opportunity and Teen Pregnancy: The Sex Ratio Question.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barber, Nigel

    2001-01-01

    Used United Nations cross-national data to examine the relationship between low sex ratio, marital opportunity, and teen pregnancy. Geographical region, per capita gross national product, marital rate, and urban and rural status were used as control variables in analyses that utilized sex ratios to predict teen births. Overall, early childbearing…

  19. Sibling Sex Ratio of Individuals Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder as Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mouridsen, Svend Erik; Rich, Bente; Isager, Torben

    2010-01-01

    Aim: To study the sex ratio (proportion of males) in siblings of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) as children. Method: In the current study, we extended previous studies dealing with the androgen theory of autism and examined sex ratios in the siblings of 326 individuals with ASD (245 males, 81 females) who had been…

  20. Sex Ratio Adaptations to Local Mate Competition in a Parasitic Wasp.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Werren, John H.

    1980-01-01

    This study discusses the behavior of the females of the parasitic wasp Nasonia vitripennis, which adjust the sex ratio of their broods according to whether or not they are the first or second wasp to parasitize a host. The results provide a quantitative test of sex ratio theory. (Author/SA)

  1. The Financial Consequences of Too Many Men: Sex Ratio Effects on Saving, Borrowing, and Spending

    PubMed Central

    Griskevicius, Vladas; Tybur, Joshua M.; Ackerman, Joshua M.; Delton, Andrew W.; Robertson, Theresa E.; White, Andrew E.

    2012-01-01

    The ratio of males to females in a population is an important factor in determining behavior in animals. We propose that sex ratio also has pervasive effects in humans, such as by influencing economic decisions. Using both historical data and experiments, we examined how sex ratio influences saving, borrowing, and spending in the United States. Findings show that male-biased sex ratios (an abundance of men) lead men to discount the future and desire immediate rewards. Male-biased sex ratios decreased men’s desire to save for the future and increased their willingness to incur debt for immediate expenditures. Sex ratio appears to influence behavior by increasing the intensity of same-sex competition for mates. Accordingly, a scarcity of women led people to expect men to spend more money during courtship, such as by paying more for engagement rings. These findings demonstrate experimentally that sex ratio influences human decision making in ways consistent with evolutionary biological theory. Implications for sex ratio effects across cultures are discussed. PMID:21767031

  2. INFLUENCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL TEMPERATURE ON SEX-RATIOS IN THE TIDEWATER SILVERSIDE, 'MENIDIA PENINSULAE' (PISCES: ATHERINIDAE)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The sex-ratios of Menidia peninsulae from Santa Rosa Island, Florida were studied during a 13 month survey. Weekly samples revealed significant deviations from the expected sex-ratio of 1:1. During May-October, young-of-the-year (YOY) females comprised 70 to 94% of the individual...

  3. The financial consequences of too many men: sex ratio effects on saving, borrowing, and spending.

    PubMed

    Griskevicius, Vladas; Tybur, Joshua M; Ackerman, Joshua M; Delton, Andrew W; Robertson, Theresa E; White, Andrew E

    2012-01-01

    The ratio of males to females in a population is an important factor in determining behavior in animals. We propose that sex ratio also has pervasive effects in humans, such as by influencing economic decisions. Using both historical data and experiments, we examined how sex ratio influences saving, borrowing, and spending in the United States. Findings show that male-biased sex ratios (an abundance of men) lead men to discount the future and desire immediate rewards. Male-biased sex ratios decreased men's desire to save for the future and increased their willingness to incur debt for immediate expenditures. Sex ratio appears to influence behavior by increasing the intensity of same-sex competition for mates. Accordingly, a scarcity of women led people to expect men to spend more money during courtship, such as by paying more for engagement rings. These findings demonstrate experimentally that sex ratio influences human decision making in ways consistent with evolutionary biological theory. Implications for sex ratio effects across cultures are discussed. PMID:21767031

  4. Sheep grazing causes shift in sex ratio and cohort structure of Brandt's vole: Implication of their adaptation to food shortage.

    PubMed

    Li, Guoliang; Hou, Xianglei; Wan, Xinrong; Zhang, Zhibin

    2016-01-01

    Livestock grazing has been demonstrated to affect the population abundance of small rodents in grasslands, but the causative mechanism of grazing on demographic parameters, particularly the age structure and sex ratio, is rarely investigated. In this study, we examined the effects of sheep grazing on the cohort structure and sex ratio of Brandt's vole (Lasiopodomys brandtii) in Inner Mongolia of China by using large manipulative experimental enclosures during 2010-2013. Our results indicated that sheep grazing significantly decreased the proportion of the spring-born cohort, but increased the proportion of the summer-born cohort. Grazing increased the proportion of males in both spring and summer cohorts. In addition, we found a negative relation between population density and the proportion of the overwinter cohort. Our results suggest that a shift in the cohort structure and the sex ratio may be an important strategy for small rodents to adapt to changes in food resources resulting from livestock grazing. PMID:26331731

  5. Do scientific theories affect men's evaluations of sex crimes?

    PubMed

    Dar-Nimrod, Ilan; Heine, Steven J; Cheung, Benjamin Y; Schaller, Mark

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary psychology accounts of gender differences in sexual behaviors in general and men's sexual aggression, in particular, has been criticized for legitimizing males' sexual misconduct. To empirically assess such critiques, two studies examined how men's judgments of male sex crimes (solicitation of sex from a prostitute; rape) are influenced by exposure to (a) evolutionary psychological theories and (b) social-constructivist theories. Across two studies, a consistent pattern emerged compared with a control condition (a) exposure to evolutionary psychology theories had no observable impact on male judgments of men's criminal sexual behavior, whereas (b) exposure to social-constructivist theories did affect judgments, leading men to evaluate sex crimes more harshly. Additional results (from Study 2) indicate that this effect is mediated by perceptions of male control over sexual urges. These results have implications for journalists, educators, and scientists. Aggr. Behav. 37:440-449, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc. PMID:21678431

  6. The effect of size and sex ratio experiences on reproductive competition in Nicrophorus vespilloides burying beetles in the wild.

    PubMed

    Hopwood, P E; Moore, A J; Tregenza, T; Royle, N J

    2016-03-01

    Male parents face a choice: should they invest more in caring for offspring or in attempting to mate with other females? The most profitable course depends on the intensity of competition for mates, which is likely to vary with the population sex ratio. However, the balance of pay-offs may vary among individual males depending on their competitive prowess or attractiveness. We tested the prediction that sex ratio and size of the resource holding male provide cues regarding the level of mating competition prior to breeding and therefore influence the duration of a male's biparental caring in association with a female. Male burying beetles, Nicrophorus vespilloides were reared, post-eclosion, in groups that differed in sex ratio. Experimental males were subsequently translocated to the wild, provided with a breeding resource (carcass) and filmed. We found no evidence that sex ratio cues prior to breeding affected future parental care behaviour but males that experienced male-biased sex ratios took longer to attract wild mating partners. Smaller males attracted a higher proportion of females than did larger males, securing significantly more monogamous breeding associations as a result. Smaller males thus avoided competitive male-male encounters more often than larger males. This has potential benefits for their female partners who avoid both intrasexual competition and direct costs of higher mating frequency associated with competing males. PMID:26749372

  7. The Maternal Legacy: Female Identity Predicts Offspring Sex Ratio in the Loggerhead Sea Turtle

    PubMed Central

    Reneker, Jaymie L.; Kamel, Stephanie J.

    2016-01-01

    In organisms with temperature-dependent sex determination, the incubation environment plays a key role in determining offspring sex ratios. Given that global temperatures have warmed approximately 0.6 °C in the last century, it is necessary to consider how organisms will adjust to climate change. To better understand the degree to which mothers influence the sex ratios of their offspring, we use 24 years of nesting data for individual female loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) observed on Bald Head Island, North Carolina. We find that maternal identity is the best predictor of nest sex ratio in univariate and multivariate predictive models. We find significant variability in estimated nest sex ratios among mothers, but a high degree of consistency within mothers, despite substantial spatial and temporal thermal variation. Our results suggest that individual differences in nesting preferences are the main driver behind divergences in nest sex ratios. As such, a female’s ability to plastically adjust her nest sex ratios in response to environmental conditions is constrained, potentially limiting how individuals behaviorally mitigate the effects of environmental change. Given that many loggerhead populations already show female-biased offspring sex ratios, understanding maternal behavioral responses is critical for predicting the future of long-lived species vulnerable to extinction. PMID:27363786

  8. Variably male-biased sex ratio in a marine bird with females larger than males.

    PubMed

    Torres, R; Drummond, H

    1999-01-01

    When the costs of rearing males and females differ progeny sex ratios are expected to be biased toward the less expensive sex. Blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii) females are larger and roughly 32% heavier than males, thus presumably more costly to rear. We recorded hatching and fledging sex ratios in 1989, and fledging sex ratios during the next 5 years. In 1989, the sample of 751 chicks showed male bias at hatching (56%) and at fledging (57% at 90 days). Fledging sex ratios during the five subsequent reproductive seasons were at unity (1 year) or male-biased, varying from 56% to 70%. Male bias was greater during years when mean sea surface temperature was warmer and food was presumably in short supply. During two warm-water years (only) fledging sex ratio varied with hatching date. Proportions of male fledglings increased with date from 0.48 to 0.73 in 1994, and from 0.33 to 0.79 in 1995. Similar results were obtained when the analysis was repeated using only broods with no nestling mortality, suggesting that the overall increase in the proportion of males over the season was the result of sex ratio adjustments at hatching. The male-biased sex ratio, and the increased male bias during poor breeding conditions supports the idea that daughters may be more costly than sons, and that their relative cost increases in poor conditions. PMID:20135156

  9. The Maternal Legacy: Female Identity Predicts Offspring Sex Ratio in the Loggerhead Sea Turtle.

    PubMed

    Reneker, Jaymie L; Kamel, Stephanie J

    2016-01-01

    In organisms with temperature-dependent sex determination, the incubation environment plays a key role in determining offspring sex ratios. Given that global temperatures have warmed approximately 0.6 °C in the last century, it is necessary to consider how organisms will adjust to climate change. To better understand the degree to which mothers influence the sex ratios of their offspring, we use 24 years of nesting data for individual female loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) observed on Bald Head Island, North Carolina. We find that maternal identity is the best predictor of nest sex ratio in univariate and multivariate predictive models. We find significant variability in estimated nest sex ratios among mothers, but a high degree of consistency within mothers, despite substantial spatial and temporal thermal variation. Our results suggest that individual differences in nesting preferences are the main driver behind divergences in nest sex ratios. As such, a female's ability to plastically adjust her nest sex ratios in response to environmental conditions is constrained, potentially limiting how individuals behaviorally mitigate the effects of environmental change. Given that many loggerhead populations already show female-biased offspring sex ratios, understanding maternal behavioral responses is critical for predicting the future of long-lived species vulnerable to extinction. PMID:27363786

  10. Auger electron spectroscopy for the determination of sex and age related Ca/P ratio at different bone sites

    SciTech Connect

    Balatsoukas, Ioannis; Kourkoumelis, Nikolaos; Tzaphlidou, Margaret

    2010-10-15

    The Ca/P ratio of normal cortical and trabecular rat bone was measured by Auger electron spectroscopy (AES). Semiquantitative analysis was carried out using ratio techniques to draw conclusions on how age, sex and bone site affect the relative composition of calcium and phosphorus. Results show that Ca/P ratio is not sex dependent; quite the opposite, bone sites exhibit variations in elemental stoichiometry where femoral sections demonstrate higher Ca/P ratio than rear and front tibias. Age-related changes are more distinct for cortical bone in comparison with the trabecular bone. The latter's Ca/P ratio remains unaffected from all the parameters under study. This study confirms that AES is able to successfully quantify bone mineral main elements when certain critical points, related to the experimental conditions, are addressed effectively.

  11. Auger electron spectroscopy for the determination of sex and age related Ca/P ratio at different bone sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balatsoukas, Ioannis; Kourkoumelis, Nikolaos; Tzaphlidou, Margaret

    2010-10-01

    The Ca/P ratio of normal cortical and trabecular rat bone was measured by Auger electron spectroscopy (AES). Semiquantitative analysis was carried out using ratio techniques to draw conclusions on how age, sex and bone site affect the relative composition of calcium and phosphorus. Results show that Ca/P ratio is not sex dependent; quite the opposite, bone sites exhibit variations in elemental stoichiometry where femoral sections demonstrate higher Ca/P ratio than rear and front tibias. Age-related changes are more distinct for cortical bone in comparison with the trabecular bone. The latter's Ca/P ratio remains unaffected from all the parameters under study. This study confirms that AES is able to successfully quantify bone mineral main elements when certain critical points, related to the experimental conditions, are addressed effectively.

  12. Secular trends in human sex ratios : Their influence on individual and family behavior.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, F A

    1991-09-01

    Secular change in sex ratios is examined in relation to experience in the family. Two theoretical perspectives are outlined: Guttentag and Secord's (1983) adaptation of social exchange theory, and sexual selection theory. Because of large-scale change in number of births and typical age differentials between men and women at marriage, low sex ratios at couple formation ages existed in the U.S. between 1965 and the early 1980s. The currently high sex ratios, however, will persist until the end of the century. High sex ratios appear to be associated with lower divorce rates, male commitment to careers that promise economic rewards, male willingness to engage in child care, higher fertility, and higher rates of sexual violence. Sexual selection theory calls attention to intrasexual competition in the numerically larger sex. PMID:24222281

  13. Age, sex and reproductive status affect boldness in dogs.

    PubMed

    Starling, Melissa J; Branson, Nicholas; Thomson, Peter C; McGreevy, Paul D

    2013-09-01

    Boldness in dogs is believed to be one end of the shy-bold axis, representing a super-trait. Several personality traits fall under the influence of this super-trait. Previous studies have found that boldness is affected by breed and breed groups, influences performance in sporting dogs, and is affected in some cases by the sex of the dogs. This study investigated the effects of dog age, sex and reproductive status on boldness in dogs by way of a dog personality survey circulated amongst Australian dog owners. Age had a significant effect on boldness (F=4.476; DF=16,758; P<0.001), with boldness decreasing with age in years. Males were bolder than females (F=19.219; DF=1,758; P<0.001) and entire dogs were bolder than neutered dogs (F=4.330; DF=1,758; P<0.038). The study indicates how behaviour may change in adult dogs as they age and adds to the literature on how sex and reproductive status may affect personality in dogs. PMID:23778256

  14. Exposure to widespread environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals and human sperm sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Jurewicz, Joanna; Radwan, Michał; Sobala, Wojciech; Radwan, Paweł; Jakubowski, Lucjusz; Wielgomas, Bartosz; Ligocka, Danuta; Brzeźnicki, Sławomir; Hanke, Wojciech

    2016-06-01

    In recent years, a trend toward a declining proportion of male births has been noted in several, but not all, industrialized countries. The underlying reason for the drop in the sex ratio is unclear, but one theory states that widespread environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals affecting the male reproductive system in a negative manner could be part of the explanation. The present study was designed to investigate whether the urinary phthalate, pyrethroids and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons metabolites concentrations were associated with sperm Y:X ratio. The study population consisted of 194 men aged under 45 years of age who attended infertility clinic in Lodz, Poland for diagnostic purposes with normal semen concentration of 20-300 mln/ml or with slight oligozoospermia (semen concentration of 15-20 mln/ml) (WHO, 1999). The Y:X ratio was assessed by fluorescent in situ hybridization. Urinary concentrations of 1-hydroxypyrene were measured by high performance liquid chromatography, phthalate metabolites were analyzed using a procedure based on the LC-MS/MS methods and metabolites of synthetic pyrethroids were assessed by gas chromatography ion-tap mass spectrometry method. After adjustment for potential confounders (past diseases, age, abstinence, smoking, alcohol consumption, sperm concentration, motility, morphology) 5OH MEHP, CDCCA to TDCCA and 1-OHP was negatively related to Y:X sperm chromosome ratio (p = 0.033, p < 0.001, p = 0.047 respectively). As this is the first study to elucidate the association between the level of metabolites of widespread environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals (phthalates, synthetic pyrethroids, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) on sex chromosome ratio in sperm therefore, these findings require further replication in other populations. PMID:27031570

  15. Mating system and sex ratios of a pollinating fig wasp with dispersing males.

    PubMed Central

    Greeff, Jaco M

    2002-01-01

    Recent studies have used sex ratios to quantify the mating systems of organisms, the argument behind it being that more female-biased sex ratios are an indication of higher local mate competition, which goes hand-in-hand with higher levels of inbreeding. Although qualitative tests of the effects of mating systems on sex ratios abound, there is a dearth of studies that quantify both the mating system and the sex ratio. I use a colour dimorphism with a simple Mendelian inheritance to quantify the mating system of an unusual fig-pollinating wasp in which males disperse to obtain matings on non-natal mating patches. In qualitative agreement with initial expectations, the sex ratios of single foundresses are found to be higher than those of regular species. However, by quantifying the mating system, it is shown that the initial expectation is incorrect and this species' sex ratio is a poor predictor of its mating system (it underestimates the frequency of sib-mating). The species has a very high variance in sex ratio suggesting that excess males can simply avoid local mate competition (and hence a lowered fitness to their mother) by dispersing to other patches. PMID:12495498

  16. Sex ratio variation shapes the ecological effects of a globally introduced freshwater fish.

    PubMed

    Fryxell, David C; Arnett, Heather A; Apgar, Travis M; Kinnison, Michael T; Palkovacs, Eric P

    2015-10-22

    Sex ratio and sexual dimorphism have long been of interest in population and evolutionary ecology, but consequences for communities and ecosystems remain untested. Sex ratio could influence ecological conditions whenever sexual dimorphism is associated with ecological dimorphism in species with strong ecological interactions. We tested for ecological implications of sex ratio variation in the sexually dimorphic western mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis. This species causes strong pelagic trophic cascades and exhibits substantial variation in adult sex ratios. We found that female-biased populations induced stronger pelagic trophic cascades compared with male-biased populations, causing larger changes to key community and ecosystem responses, including zooplankton abundance, phytoplankton abundance, productivity, pH and temperature. The magnitude of such effects indicates that sex ratio is important for mediating the ecological role of mosquitofish. Because both sex ratio variation and sexual dimorphism are common features of natural populations, our findings should encourage broader consideration of the ecological significance of sex ratio variation in nature, including the relative contributions of various sexually dimorphic traits to these effects. PMID:26490793

  17. Maladaptive Sex Ratio Adjustment in the Invasive Brine Shrimp Artemia franciscana.

    PubMed

    Lievens, Eva J P; Henriques, Gil J B; Michalakis, Yannis; Lenormand, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    Sex allocation theory is often hailed as the most successful area of evolutionary theory due to its striking success as a predictor of empirical observations [1]. Most naturally occurring sex ratios can be explained by the principle of equal investment in the sexes [2-4] or by cases of "extraordinary" sex allocation [5]. Deviations from the expected sex ratio are often correlated with weak selection or low environmental predictability (e.g., [6, 7]); true cases of aberrant sex allocation are surprisingly rare [8]. Here, we present a case of long-lasting maladaptive sex allocation, which we discovered in invasive populations of the exclusively sexual brine shrimp Artemia franciscana. A. franciscana was introduced to Southern France roughly 500 generations ago [9]; since then, it has coexisted with the native asexual species Artemia parthenogenetica [10]. Although we expect A. franciscana to produce balanced offspring sex ratios, we regularly observed extremely male-biased sex ratios in invasive A. franciscana, which were significantly correlated to the proportion of asexuals in the overall population. We experimentally proved that both invasive- and native-range A. franciscana overproduced sons when exposed to excess females, without distinguishing between conspecific and asexual females. We conclude that A. franciscana adjust their offspring sex ratio in function of the adult sex ratio but are information limited in the presence of asexual females. Their facultative adjustment trait, which is presumably adaptive in their native range, has thus become maladaptive in the invasive range where asexuals occur. Despite this, it has persisted unchanged for hundreds of generations. PMID:27185556

  18. Sex-specific responses to climate change in plants alter population sex ratio and performance.

    PubMed

    Petry, William K; Soule, Judith D; Iler, Amy M; Chicas-Mosier, Ana; Inouye, David W; Miller, Tom E X; Mooney, Kailen A

    2016-07-01

    Males and females are ecologically distinct in many species, but whether responses to climate change are sex-specific is unknown. We document sex-specific responses to climate change in the plant Valeriana edulis (valerian) over four decades and across its 1800-meter elevation range. Increased elevation was associated with increased water availability and female frequency, likely owing to sex-specific water use efficiency and survival. Recent aridification caused male frequency to move upslope at 175 meters per decade, a rate of trait shift outpacing reported species' range shifts by an order of magnitude. This increase in male frequency reduced pollen limitation and increased seedset. Coupled with previous studies reporting sex-specific arthropod communities, these results underscore the importance of ecological differences between the sexes in mediating biological responses to climate change. PMID:27365446

  19. Large-Scale Age-Dependent Skewed Sex Ratio in a Sexually Dimorphic Avian Scavenger

    PubMed Central

    Lambertucci, Sergio A.; Carrete, Martina; Donázar, José Antonio; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    Age-dependent skewed sex ratios have been observed in bird populations, with adult males generally outnumbering females. This trend is mainly driven by higher female mortality, sometimes associated with anthropogenic factors. Despite the large amount of work on bird sex ratios, research examining the spatial stability of adult sex ratios is extremely scarce. The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) is the only bird of prey with strong sexual dimorphism favouring males (males are 30% heavier than females). By examining data from most of its South-American range, we show that while the juvenile sex ratio is balanced, or even female-skewed, the sex ratio becomes increasing male-skewed with age, with adult males outnumbering females by >20%, and, in some cases by four times more. This result is consistent across regions and independent of the nature of field data. Reasons for this are unknown but it can be hypothesized that the progressive disappearance of females may be associated with mortality caused by anthropogenic factors. This idea is supported by the asymmetric habitat use by the two sexes, with females scavenging in more humanized areas. Whatever the cause, male-skewed adult sex ratios imply that populations of this endangered scavenger face higher risks of extinction than previously believed. PMID:23029488

  20. Human sex ratio at birth and residential proximity to nuclear facilities in France.

    PubMed

    Scherb, Hagen; Kusmierz, Ralf; Voigt, Kristina

    2016-04-01

    The possible detrimental genetic impact on humans living in the vicinity of nuclear facilities has been previously studied. We found evidence for an increase in the human secondary sex ratio (sex odds) within distances of up to 35km from nuclear facilities in Germany and Switzerland. Here, we extend our pilot investigations using new comprehensive data from France. The French data (1968-2011) account for 36,565 municipalities with 16,968,701 male and 16,145,925 female births. The overall sex ratio was 1.0510. Using linear and nonlinear logistic regression models with dummy variables coding for appropriately grouped municipalities, operation time periods, and corresponding spatiotemporal interactions, we consider the association between annual municipality-level birth sex ratios and minimum distances of municipalities from nuclear facilities. Within 35km from 28 nuclear sites in France, the sex ratio is increased relative to the rest of France with a sex odds ratio (SOR) of 1.0028, (95% CI: 1.0007, 1.0049). The detected association between municipalities' minimum distances from nuclear facilities and the sex ratio in France corroborates our findings for Germany and Switzerland. PMID:26880420

  1. Sex Ratio at Birth and Mortality Rates Are Negatively Related in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Dama, Madhukar Shivajirao

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary theory posits that resource availability and parental investment ability could signal offspring sex selection, in order to maximize reproductive returns. Non-human studies have provided evidence for this phenomenon, and maternal condition around the time of conception has been identified as most important factor that influence offspring sex selection. However, studies on humans have reported inconsistent results, mostly due to use of disparate measures as indicators of maternal condition. In the present study, the cross-cultural differences in human natal sex ratio were analyzed with respect to indirect measures of condition namely, life expectancy and mortality rate. Multiple regression modeling suggested that mortality rates have distinct predictive power independent of cross-cultural differences in fertility, wealth and latitude that were earlier shown to predict sex ratio at birth. These findings suggest that sex ratio variation in humans may relate to differences in parental and environmental conditions. PMID:21887320

  2. Sex ratio at birth and mortality rates are negatively related in humans.

    PubMed

    Dama, Madhukar Shivajirao

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary theory posits that resource availability and parental investment ability could signal offspring sex selection, in order to maximize reproductive returns. Non-human studies have provided evidence for this phenomenon, and maternal condition around the time of conception has been identified as most important factor that influence offspring sex selection. However, studies on humans have reported inconsistent results, mostly due to use of disparate measures as indicators of maternal condition. In the present study, the cross-cultural differences in human natal sex ratio were analyzed with respect to indirect measures of condition namely, life expectancy and mortality rate. Multiple regression modeling suggested that mortality rates have distinct predictive power independent of cross-cultural differences in fertility, wealth and latitude that were earlier shown to predict sex ratio at birth. These findings suggest that sex ratio variation in humans may relate to differences in parental and environmental conditions. PMID:21887320

  3. Past primary sex-ratio estimates of 4 populations of Loggerhead sea turtle based on TSP durations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monsinjon, Jonathan; Kaska, Yakup; Tucker, Tony; LeBlanc, Anne Marie; Williams, Kristina; Rostal, David; Girondot, Marc

    2016-04-01

    Ectothermic species are supposed to be strongly affected by climate change and particularly those that exhibit temperature-dependent sex-determination (TSD). Actually, predicting the embryonic response of such organism to incubation-temperature variations in natural conditions remains challenging. In order to assess the vulnerability of sea turtles, primary sex-ratio estimates should be produced at pertinent ecological time and spatial scales. Although information on this important demographic parameter is one of the priorities for conservation purpose, accurate methodology to produce such an estimate is still lacking. The most commonly used method invocates incubation duration as a proxy for sex-ratio. This method is inappropriate because temperature influences incubation duration during all development whereas sex is influenced by temperature during only part of development. The thermosensitive period of development for sex determination (TSP) lies in the middle third of development. A model of embryonic growth must be used to define precisely the position of the TSP at non-constant incubation temperatures. The thermal reaction norm for embryonic growth rate have been estimated for 4 distinct populations of the globally distributed and threatened marine turtle Caretta caretta. A thermal reaction norm describes the pattern of phenotypic expression of a single genotype across a range of temperatures. Moreover, incubation temperatures have been reconstructed for the last 35 years using a multi-correlative model with climate temperature. After development of embryos have been modelled, we estimated the primary sex-ratio based on the duration of the TSP. Our results suggests that Loggerhead sea turtles nesting phenology is linked with the period within which both sexes can be produced in variable proportions. Several hypotheses will be discussed to explain why Caretta caretta could be more resilient to climate change than generally thought for sex determination.

  4. Under what conditions do climate-driven sex ratios enhance versus diminish population persistence?

    PubMed Central

    Boyle, Maria; Hone, Jim; Schwanz, Lisa E; Georges, Arthur

    2014-01-01

    For many species of reptile, crucial demographic parameters such as embryonic survival and individual sex (male or female) depend on ambient temperature during incubation. While much has been made of the role of climate on offspring sex ratios in species with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), the impact of variable sex ratio on populations is likely to depend on how limiting male numbers are to female fecundity in female-biased populations, and whether a climatic effect on embryonic survival overwhelms or interacts with sex ratio. To examine the sensitivity of populations to these interacting factors, we developed a generalized model to explore the effects of embryonic survival, hatchling sex ratio, and the interaction between these, on population size and persistence while varying the levels of male limitation. Populations with TSD reached a greater maximum number of females compared to populations with GSD, although this was often associated with a narrower range of persistence. When survival depended on temperature, TSD populations persisted over a greater range of temperatures than GSD populations. This benefit of TSD was greatly reduced by even modest male limitation, indicating very strong importance of this largely unmeasured biologic factor. Finally, when males were not limiting, a steep relationship between sex ratio and temperature favoured population persistence across a wider range of climates compared to the shallower relationships. The opposite was true when males were limiting – shallow relationships between sex ratio and temperature allowed greater persistence. The results highlight that, if we are to predict the response of populations with TSD to climate change, it is imperative to 1) accurately quantify the extent to which male abundance limits female fecundity, and 2) measure how sex ratios and peak survival coincide over climate. PMID:25512848

  5. A cost of Wolbachia-induced sex reversal and female-biased sex ratios: decrease in female fertility after sperm depletion in a terrestrial isopod.

    PubMed

    Rigaud, Thierry; Moreau, Jérôme

    2004-09-22

    A number of parasites are vertically transmitted to new host generations via female eggs. In such cases, host reproduction is an intimate component of parasite fitness and no cost of the infection on host reproduction is expected to evolve. A number of these parasites distort host sex ratios towards females, thereby increasing either parasite fitness or the proportion of the host that transmit the parasite. In terrestrial isopods (woodlice), Wolbachia bacteria are responsible for sex reversion and female-biased sex ratios, changing genetic males into functional neo-females. Although sex ratio distortion is a powerful means for parasites to increase in frequency in host populations, it also has potential consequences on host biology, which may, in turn, have consequences for parasite prevalence. We used the woodlouse Armadillidium vulgare to test whether the interaction between Wolbachia infection and the resulting excess of females would limit female fertility through the reduction in sperm number that they receive from males. We showed that multiple male mating induces sperm depletion, and that this sperm depletion affects fertility only in infected females. This decrease in fertility, associated with male mate choice, may limit the spread of Wolbachia infections in host populations. PMID:15347518

  6. A cost of Wolbachia-induced sex reversal and female-biased sex ratios: decrease in female fertility after sperm depletion in a terrestrial isopod.

    PubMed Central

    Rigaud, Thierry; Moreau, Jérôme

    2004-01-01

    A number of parasites are vertically transmitted to new host generations via female eggs. In such cases, host reproduction is an intimate component of parasite fitness and no cost of the infection on host reproduction is expected to evolve. A number of these parasites distort host sex ratios towards females, thereby increasing either parasite fitness or the proportion of the host that transmit the parasite. In terrestrial isopods (woodlice), Wolbachia bacteria are responsible for sex reversion and female-biased sex ratios, changing genetic males into functional neo-females. Although sex ratio distortion is a powerful means for parasites to increase in frequency in host populations, it also has potential consequences on host biology, which may, in turn, have consequences for parasite prevalence. We used the woodlouse Armadillidium vulgare to test whether the interaction between Wolbachia infection and the resulting excess of females would limit female fertility through the reduction in sperm number that they receive from males. We showed that multiple male mating induces sperm depletion, and that this sperm depletion affects fertility only in infected females. This decrease in fertility, associated with male mate choice, may limit the spread of Wolbachia infections in host populations. PMID:15347518

  7. Do Tiers Affect Student Transfer? Examining the Student Admission Ratio

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moodie, Gavin

    2007-01-01

    This study considers whether formally segmenting 4-year institutions by admissions selectivity affects the admission of transfer students. It develops a new measure, the student admission ratio, to compare the admission of transfer students in formally and highly segmented systems, informally and less segmented systems, and in formally unified…

  8. TOO MANY MEN? SEX RATIOS AND WOMEN’S PARTNERING BEHAVIOR IN CHINA

    PubMed Central

    Trent, Katherine; South, Scott J.

    2011-01-01

    The relative numbers of women and men are changing dramatically in China, but the consequences of these imbalanced sex ratios have received little attention. We merge data from the Chinese Health and Family Life Survey with community-level data from Chinese censuses to examine the relationship between cohort- and community-specific sex ratios and women’s partnering behavior. Consistent with demographic-opportunity theory and sociocultural theory, we find that high sex ratios (indicating more men relative to women) are associated with an increased likelihood that women marry before age 25. However, high sex ratios are also associated with an increased likelihood that women engage in premarital and extramarital sexual relationships and have had more than one sexual partner, findings consistent with demographic-opportunity theory but inconsistent with sociocultural theory. PMID:22199403

  9. Causes of Sex Ratio Bias May Account for Unisexual Sterility in Hybrids: A New Explanation of Haldane's Rule and Related Phenomena

    PubMed Central

    Hurst, L. D.; Pomiankowski, A.

    1991-01-01

    Unisexual hybrid disruption can be accounted for by interactions between sex ratio distorters which have diverged in the species of the hybrid cross. One class of unisexual hybrid disruption is described by Haldane's rule, namely that the sex which is absent, inviable or sterile is the heterogametic sex. This effect is mainly due to incompatibility between X and Y chromosomes. We propose that this incompatibility is due to a mutual imbalance between meiotic drive genes, which are more likely to evolve on sex chromosomes than autosomes. The incidences of taxa with sex chromosome drive closely matches those where Haldane's rule applies: Aves, Mammalia, Lepidoptera and Diptera. We predict that Haldane's rule is not universal but is correct for taxa with sex chromosome meiotic drive. A second class of hybrid disruption affects the male of the species regardless of which sex is heterogametic. Typically the genes responsible for this form of disruption are cytoplasmic. These instances are accounted for by the release from suppression of cytoplasmic sex ratio distorters when in a novel nuclear cytotype. Due to the exclusively maternal transmission of cytoplasm, cytoplasmic sex ratio distorters cause only female-biased sex ratios. This asymmetry explains why hybrid disruption is limited to the male. PMID:1916248

  10. Seminal plasma affects sperm sex sorting in boars.

    PubMed

    Alkmin, Diego V; Parrilla, Inmaculada; Tarantini, Tatiana; Del Olmo, David; Vazquez, Juan M; Martinez, Emilio A; Roca, Jordi

    2016-04-01

    Two experiments were conducted in boar semen samples to evaluate how both holding time (24h) and the presence of seminal plasma (SP) before sorting affect sperm sortability and the ability of sex-sorted spermatozoa to tolerate liquid storage. Whole ejaculate samples were divided into three aliquots immediately after collection: one was diluted (1:1, v/v) in Beltsville thawing solution (BTS; 50% SP); the SP of the other two aliquots was removed and the sperm pellets were diluted with BTS + 10% of their own SP (10% SP) or BTS alone (0% SP). The three aliquots of each ejaculate were divided into two portions, one that was processed immediately for sorting and a second that was sorted after 24h storage at 15-17°C. In the first experiment, the ability to exhibit well-defined X- and Y-chromosome-bearing sperm peaks (split) in the cytometry histogram and the subsequent sorting efficiency were assessed (20 ejaculates). In contrast with holding time, the SP proportion influenced the parameters examined, as evidenced by the higher number of ejaculates exhibiting split and better sorting efficiency (P<0.05) in semen samples with 0-10% SP compared with those with 50% SP. In a second experiment, the quality (viability, total and progressive motility) and functionality (plasma membrane fluidity and intracellular generation of reactive oxygen species) of sex-sorted spermatozoa were evaluated after 0, 72 and 120h storage at 15-17°C (10 ejaculates). Holding time and SP proportion did not influence the quality or functionality of stored sex-sorted spermatozoa. In conclusion, a holding time as long as 24h before sorting did not negatively affect sex sorting efficiency or the ability of sorted boar spermatozoa to tolerate long-term liquid storage. A high proportion of SP (50%) in the semen samples before sorting reduced the number of ejaculates to be sorted and negatively influenced the sorting efficiency, but did not affect the ability of sex-sorted spermatozoa to tolerate liquid

  11. Effects of larval-juvenile treatment with perchlorate and co-treatment with thyroxine on zebrafish sex ratios

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mukhi, S.; Torres, L.; Patino, R.

    2007-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the effect of larval-juvenile exposure to perchlorate, a thyroid hormone synthesis inhibitor, on the establishment of gonadal sex ratios in zebrafish. Zebrafish were exposed to untreated water or water containing perchlorate at 100 or 250 ppm for a period of 30 days starting at 3 days postfertilization (dpf). Recovery treatments consisted of a combination of perchlorate and exogenous thyroxine (T4; 10 nM). Thyroid histology was assessed at the end of the treatment period (33 dpf), and gonadal histology and sex ratios were determined in fish that were allowed an additional 10-day period of growth in untreated water. As expected, exposure to perchlorate caused changes in thyroid histology consistent with hypothyroidism and these effects were reversed by co-treatment with exogenous T4. Perchlorate did not affect fish survival but co-treatment with T4 induced higher mortality. However, relative to the corresponding perchlorate concentration, co-treatment with T4 caused increased mortality only at a perchlorate concentration of 100 ppm. Perchlorate alone or in the presence of T4 suppressed body length at 43 dpf relative to control values. Perchlorate exposure skewed the sex ratio toward female in a concentration-dependent manner, and co-treatment with T4 not only blocked the feminizing effect of perchlorate but also overcompensated by skewing the sex ratio towards male. Moreover, co-treatment with T4 advanced the onset of spermatogenesis in males. There was no clear association between sex ratios and larval survival or growth. We conclude that endogenous thyroid hormone plays a role in the establishment of gonadal sex phenotype during early development in zebrafish. ?? 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. The sex ratio distortion in the human head louse is conserved over time

    PubMed Central

    Perotti, M Alejandra; Catalá, Silvia S; Ormeño, Analía del V; Żelazowska, Monika; Biliński, Szczepan M; Braig, Henk R

    2004-01-01

    Background At the turn of the 19th century the first observations of a female-biased sex ratio in broods and populations of the head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis, had been reported. A study by Buxton in 1940 on the sex ratio of lice on prisoners in Ceylon is still today the subject of reanalyses. This sex ratio distortion had been detected in ten different countries. In the last sixty years no new data have been collected, especially on scalp infestations under economically and socially more developed conditions. Results Here we report a female bias of head lice in a survey of 480 school children in Argentina. This bias is independent of the intensity of the pediculosis, which makes local mate competition highly unlikely as the source of the aberrant sex ratio; however, other possible adaptive mechanisms cannot be discounted. These lice as well as lice from pupils in Britain were carrying several strains of the endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia pipientis, one of the most wide spread intracellular sex ratio distorters. Similar Wolbachia strains are also present in the pig louse, Haematopinus suis, suggesting that this endosymbiont might have a marked influence on the biology of the whole order. The presence of a related obligate nutritional bacterium in lice prevents the investigation of a causal link between sex ratio and endosymbionts. Conclusions Regardless of its origin, this sex ratio distortion in head lice that has been reported world wide, is stable over time and is a remarkable deviation from the stability of frequency-dependent selection of Fisher's sex ratio. A female bias first reported in 1898 is still present over a hundred years and a thousand generations later. PMID:15140268

  13. How stigma affects healthcare access for transgender sex workers.

    PubMed

    Roche, Kirsten; Keith, Corey

    Stigmatisation of transgender sex workers (TSWs) has been recognised as contributing to illness and poorer health outcomes for this population. It could be argued that part of this stigma comes from nurses. With their frequent face-to-face interactions with their clients, nurses come from a unique place of power to influence the health outcomes and the feelings and thoughts that transgender sex workers have about the healthcare system in general, and whether or not they feel safe accessing it. Because there is very limited literature that explores stigmatisation of TSWs on the part of nurses, the needs of TSWs are scarcely being addressed. This article addresses why a higher proportion of transgender people participate in sex work compared with people in the general population; how stigmatisation by nurses affects access to healthcare resources for TSWs; why nurses experience stigmatising thoughts and beliefs; and how nurses can create a positive impact on TSW clients. The authors have found that, although there are a number of complex reasons for bias and stigma, it is extremely important for the health of these clients that nurses put empathy, sensitivity and compassion at the forefront of their practice. PMID:25426530

  14. The impact of sex ratio and economic status on local birth rates.

    PubMed

    Chipman, A; Morrison, E

    2013-04-23

    Human mating and reproductive behaviour can vary depending on various mechanisms, including the local sex ratio. Previous research shows that as sex ratios become female-biased, women from economically deprived areas are less likely to delay reproductive opportunities to wait for a high-investing mate but instead begin their reproductive careers sooner. Here, we show that the local sex ratio also has an impact on female fertility schedules. At young ages, a female-biased ratio is associated with higher birth rates in the poorest areas, whereas the opposite is true for the richest areas. At older ages, a female-biased ratio is associated with higher birth rates in the richest, but not the poorest areas. These patterns suggest that female-female competition encourages poorer women to adopt a fast life-history strategy and give birth early, and richer women to adopt a slow life-history strategy and delay reproduction. PMID:23407502

  15. Hybrid LTA vehicle controllability as affected by buoyancy ratio

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyers, D. N.; Kubicki, P.; Tarczynski, T.; Fairbanks, A.; Piasecki, F. N.

    1979-01-01

    The zero and low speed controllability of heavy lift airships under various wind conditions as affected by the buoyancy ratio are investigated. A series of three hybrid LTA vehicls were examined, each having a dynamic thrust system comprised of four H-34 helicopters, but with buoyant envelopes of different volumes (and hence buoyancies), and with varying percentage of helium inflation and varying useful loads (hence gross weights). Buoyancy ratio, B, was thus examined varying from approximately 0.44 to 1.39. For values of B greater than 1.0, the dynamic thrusters must supply negative thrust (i.e. downward).

  16. Brief Report: Parental Age and the Sex Ratio in Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anello, Alene; Reichenberg, Abraham; Luo, Xiaodong; Schmeidler, James; Hollander, Eric; Smith, Christopher J.; Puleo, Connor M.; Kryzak, Lauren A.; Silverman, Jeremy M.

    2009-01-01

    The male-to-female (M:F) ratio for autism spectrum disorders (ASD), typically about 4:1, appears to decrease with increasing paternal age, but this relationship has not been systematically tested. With 393 ASD cases from families with two or more ASD cases, we categorized paternal age into five age groups (less than 30, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45+)…

  17. Offspring sex ratio is related to paternal train elaboration and yolk corticosterone in peafowl.

    PubMed

    Pike, Thomas W; Petrie, Marion

    2005-06-22

    Several recent experimental studies have provided strong evidence for the ability of birds to manipulate the sex ratio of their offspring prior to laying. Using a captive population of peafowl (Pavo cristatus), we tested experimentally the effects of paternal attractiveness on offspring sex ratio, and related sex ratio deviations to egg-yolk concentrations of testosterone, 17beta-estradiol and corticosterone. When females were mated to males whose attractiveness had been experimentally reduced by removing prominent eyespot feathers from their trains, they produced significantly more female offspring, had significantly higher yolk corticosterone concentrations and tended to have lower levels of yolk testosterone than when mated to the same males with their full complement of feathers. Concentrations of 17beta-estradiol did not vary consistently with sex ratio biases. These findings add to the small number of studies providing experimental evidence that female birds can control the primary sex ratio of their offspring in response to paternal attractiveness, and highlight the possibility that corticosterone and perhaps testosterone are involved in the sex manipulation process in birds. PMID:17148167

  18. Can Sibling Sex Ratios Be Used as a Valid Test for the Prenatal Androgen Hypothesis of Autism Spectrum Disorders?

    PubMed Central

    Cheslack-Postava, Keely; Susser, Ezra; Liu, Kayuet; Bearman, Peter S.

    2015-01-01

    Background Sibling sex ratios have been applied as an indirect test of a hypothesized association between prenatal testosterone levels and risk for autism, a developmental disorder disproportionately affecting males. Differences in sibling sex ratios between those with and without autism would provide evidence of a shared risk factor for autism and offspring sex. Conclusions related to prenatal testosterone, however, require additional assumptions. Here, we used directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) to clarify the elements required for a valid test of the hypothesis that sibling sex ratios differ between children with and without autism. We then conducted such a test using a large, population-based sample of children. Methods Over 1.1 million subjects, born in California from 1992–2007, and identified through birth records, were included. The association between autism diagnosis, determined using the administrative database of the California Department of Developmental Services, and the sex of the subsequent sibling was examined using generalized estimating equations. Sources of potential bias identified using DAGs were addressed. Results Among male children with autism, 52.2% of next-born siblings were brothers, versus 51.0% for unaffected males. For females with autism, 50.2% of following siblings were brothers versus 51.2% among control females. The relative risk of a subsequent male sibling associated with autism diagnosis was 1.02 (95% confidence interval: 0.99, 1.04). Conclusions In a large, population-based sample we failed to find evidence suggesting an excess of brothers among children with autism while controlling for several threats to validity. This test cannot rule out a role of any given exposure, including prenatal testosterone, in either risk of autism or offspring sex ratio, but suggests against a common cause of both. PMID:26495967

  19. Does the changing sex ratio of multiple sclerosis give opportunities for intervention?

    PubMed

    Boström, I; Landtblom, A-M

    2015-01-01

    In several international studies, an increasing women-to-men (w/m) ratio in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) has been reported. Such sex ratios have been analysed by year of onset or by year of birth. In a Swedish study, data from the Swedish MS register (SMSreg) were used to analyse the w/m ratio in Sweden. The sex ratio was analysed both by year of birth (8834 patients) and by year of onset (9098 patients). No increased w/m ratio was seen in this study. The age-specific sex ratio did not demonstrate any significant changes. However, a new investigation of the sex ratio in Sweden, based on data from all available data sources (19,510 patients), showed a significantly increased w/m ratio of MS in Sweden from 1.70 to 2.67. Environmental factors such as cigarette smoking, hormonal factors and nutrition are of interest in this context, but the cause of the increasing w/m ratio in MS is yet not possible to explain. PMID:26046558

  20. Sex ratio estimation and survival analysis for Orthetrum coerulescens (Odonata, Libellulidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kery, M.; Juillerat, L.

    2004-01-01

    There is controversy over whether uneven sex ratios observed in mature dragonfly populations are a mere artifact resulting from the higher observability of males. Previous studies have at best made indirect inference about sex ratios by analysis of survival or recapture rates. Here, we obtain direct estimates of sex ratio from capture?recapture data based on the Cormack?Jolly?Seber model. We studied Orthetrum coerulescens (Fabricius, 1798) at three sites in the Swiss Jura Mountains over an entire activity period. Recapture rates per 5-day interval were 3.5 times greater for males (0.67, SE 0.02) than for females (0.19, SE 0.02). At two sites, recapture rate increased over the season for males and was constant for females, and at one site it decreased with precipitation for both sexes. In addition, recapture rate was higher with higher temperature for males only. We found no evidence for higher male survival rates in any population. Survival per 5-day interval for both sexes was estimated to be 0.77 (95% CI 0.75?0.79) without significant site or time-specific variation. There were clear effects of temperature (positive) and precipitation (negative) on survival rate at two sites. Direct estimates of sex ratios were not significantly different from 1 for any time interval. Hence, the observed male-biased sex ratio in adult O. coerulescens was an artifact resulting from the better observability of males. The method presented in this paper is applicable to sex ratio estimation in any kind of animal.

  1. Index and ring finger ratio--a morphologic sex determinant in South-Indian children.

    PubMed

    Kanchan, Tanuj; Pradeep Kumar, G

    2010-12-01

    To investigate the sexual dimorphism of index and ring finger ratio in South Indian children. The index finger length (IFL) and the ring finger length (RFL) were measured in 350 subjects aged between 2 and 12 years using a steel measuring tape. The index and ring finger ratio was computed by dividing index finger length by ring finger length. The data obtained were analyzed statistically using SPSS, version 11.0. Mean RFL was greater than mean IFL in both males and females. The mean ring finger length was longer in males than females and mean index finger length longer in females than males. However, these sex differences observed for index and ring finger length were not significant in both hands. Statistically significant sex differences were observed from the derived index and ring finger ratio. The mean index and ring finger ratio was found to be higher in females than males. Significant correlation was found between age and index and ring finger lengths. Index and ring finger ratio however, did not show any significant correlation with age. This study suggests that among South-Indian children, the index and ring finger ratio of 0.97 and less is indicative of male, and a ratio of more than 0.97 is indicative of female sex. The ratio can be a useful sex indicator irrespective of the age of the individual. PMID:20369311

  2. Inbreeding and Offspring Sex Ratio in the Pygmy Hippopotamus (Cheoropsis liberiensis) Population Kept in Zoological Gardens.

    PubMed

    Graczyk, Magdalena; Cwiertnia, Piotr; Borowska, Alicja; Barczak, Elżbieta; Szwaczkowski, Tomasz

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to estimate the inbreeding level and its impact on offspring sex ratio in the pygmy hippopotamus population kept in zoological gardens. Records of pygmy hippopotamus born between 1873-2013 were extracted from the international studbook. Totally, 1357 individuals originating from 148 breeding units were included (individuals with unknown sex were omitted). The offspring sex ratio is defined as the number of sons to the total number of progeny of each dam and sire. Spearman's rank correlation was employed to examine the relationships between the inbreeding level and offspring sex ratio. Inbreeding coefficients and individual increase in inbreeding coefficients (included as a linear co-variable) were examined as well as the geographic region and birth period using general linear models. The average inbreeding coefficient was 5.39%. The following sex proportion was observed for the inbred population: 57% and 43% for females and males, respectively. A significant relationship between inbreeding level of parents and their offspring sex ratio were estimated for European zoological gardens, whereas in others geographic regions the dependencies were insignificant. PMID:26103683

  3. Couples’ Urinary Bisphenol A and Phthalate Metabolite Concentrations and the Secondary Sex Ratio

    PubMed Central

    Bae, Jisuk; Kim, Sungduk; Kannan, Kurunthachalam; Buck Louis, Germaine M.

    2015-01-01

    With limited research focusing on non-persistent chemicals as exogenous factors affecting human sex selection, this study aimed to evaluate the association of urinary bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalate metabolite concentrations with the secondary sex ratio (SSR), defined as the ratio of male to female live births. The current analysis is limited to singleton live births (n=220, 43.9%) from the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) Study, which enrolled couples upon discontinuing contraception and followed while trying for pregnancy and through delivery those achieving pregnancy. Using modified Poisson regression models accounting for potential confounders, we estimated the relative risks (RRs) of a male birth per standard deviation change in the log-transformed maternal, paternal, and couple urinary BPA and 14 phthalate metabolite concentrations (ng/mL) measured upon enrollment. When maternal and paternal chemical concentrations were modeled jointly, paternal BPA (RR, 0.77; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.62–0.95) and mono-isobutyl phthalate (RR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.67–1.00) were significantly associated with a female excess. Contrarily, maternal BPA (RR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.03–1.31), mono-isobutyl phthalate (RR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.06–1.54), mono-benzyl phthalate (RR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.08–1.58), and mono-n-butyl phthalate (RR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.01–1.51) were significantly associated with a male excess. These findings underscore varying patterns for the SSR in relation to parental exposures. Given the absence of previous investigation, these partner-specific associations of non-persistent chemicals with the SSR need future corroboration. PMID:25677702

  4. Couples' urinary bisphenol A and phthalate metabolite concentrations and the secondary sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Bae, Jisuk; Kim, Sungduk; Kannan, Kurunthachalam; Buck Louis, Germaine M

    2015-02-01

    With limited research focusing on non-persistent chemicals as exogenous factors affecting human sex selection, this study aimed to evaluate the association of urinary bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalate metabolite concentrations with the secondary sex ratio (SSR), defined as the ratio of male to female live births. The current analysis is limited to singleton live births (n=220, 43.9%) from the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) Study, in which couples discontinuing contraception with the intention of becoming pregnant were enrolled and followed while trying for pregnancy and through delivery for those achieving pregnancy. Using modified Poisson regression models accounting for potential confounders, we estimated the relative risks (RRs) of a male birth per standard deviation change in the log-transformed maternal, paternal, and couple urinary BPA and 14 phthalate metabolite concentrations (ng/mL) measured upon enrollment. When maternal and paternal chemical concentrations were modeled jointly, paternal BPA (RR, 0.77; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.62-0.95) and mono-isobutyl phthalate (RR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.67-1.00) were significantly associated with a female excess. Contrarily, maternal BPA (RR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.03-1.31), mono-isobutyl phthalate (RR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.06-1.54), mono-benzyl phthalate (RR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.08-1.58), and mono-n-butyl phthalate (RR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.01-1.51) were significantly associated with a male excess. These findings underscore varying patterns for the SSR in relation to parental exposures. Given the absence of previous investigation, these partner-specific associations of non-persistent chemicals with the SSR need future corroboration. PMID:25677702

  5. Widespread vertical transmission and associated host sex-ratio distortion within the eukaryotic phylum Microspora.

    PubMed Central

    Terry, Rebecca S.; Smith, Judith E.; Sharpe, Rosie G.; Rigaud, Thierry; Littlewood, D. Timothy J.; Ironside, Joseph E.; Rollinson, David; Bouchon, Didier; MacNeil, Calum; Dick, Jaimie T. A.; Dunn, Alison M.

    2004-01-01

    Vertical transmission (VT) and associated manipulation of host reproduction are widely reported among prokaryotic endosymbionts. Here, we present evidence for widespread use of VT and associated sex-ratio distortion in a eukaryotic phylum. The Microspora are an unusual and diverse group of eukaryotic parasites that infect all animal phyla. Following our initial description of a microsporidian that feminizes its crustacean host, we survey the diversity and distribution of VT within the Microspora. We find that vertically transmitted microsporidia are ubiquitous in the amphipod hosts sampled and that they are also diverse, with 11 species of microsporidia detected within 16 host species. We found that infections were more common in females than males, suggesting that host sex-ratio distortion occurs in five out of eight parasite species tested. Phylogenetic reconstruction demonstrates that VT occurs in all major lineages of the phylum Microspora and that sex-ratio distorters are found on multiple branches of the phylogenetic tree. We propose that VT is either an ancestral trait or evolves with peculiar frequency in this phylum. If the association observed here between VT and host sex-ratio distortion holds true across other host taxa, these eukaryotic parasites may join the bacterial endosymbionts in their importance as sex-ratio distorters. PMID:15315893

  6. Elevated Mortality among Birds in Chernobyl as Judged from Skewed Age and Sex Ratios

    PubMed Central

    Møller, Anders Pape; Bonisoli-Alquati, Andrea; Rudolfsen, Geir; Mousseau, Timothy A.

    2012-01-01

    Background Radiation has negative effects on survival of animals including humans, although the generality of this claim is poorly documented under low-dose field conditions. Because females may suffer disproportionately from the effects of radiation on survival due to differences in sex roles during reproduction, radiation-induced mortality may result in male-skewed adult sex ratios. Methodology/Principal Finding We estimated the effects of low-dose radiation on adult survival rates in birds by determining age ratios of adults captured in mist nets during the breeding season in relation to background radiation levels around Chernobyl and in nearby uncontaminated control areas. Age ratios were skewed towards yearlings, especially in the most contaminated areas, implying that adult survival rates were reduced in contaminated areas, and that populations in such areas could only be maintained through immigration from nearby uncontaminated areas. Differential mortality in females resulted in a strongly male-skewed sex ratio in the most contaminated areas. In addition, males sang disproportionately commonly in the most contaminated areas where the sex ratio was male skewed presumably because males had difficulty finding and acquiring mates when females were rare. The results were not caused by permanent emigration by females from the most contaminated areas because none of the recaptured birds had changed breeding site, and the proportion of individuals with morphological abnormalities did not differ significantly between the sexes for areas with normal and higher levels of contamination. Conclusions/Significance These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the adult survival rate of female birds is particularly susceptible to the effects of low-dose radiation, resulting in male skewed sex ratios at high levels of radiation. Such skewed age ratios towards yearlings in contaminated areas are consistent with the hypothesis that an area exceeding 30,000 km2 in

  7. Increased sex ratio in Russia and Cuba after Chernobyl: a radiological hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The ratio of male to female offspring at birth may be a simple and non-invasive way to monitor the reproductive health of a population. Except in societies where selective abortion skews the sex ratio, approximately 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. Generally, the human sex ratio at birth is remarkably constant in large populations. After the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in April 1986, a long lasting significant elevation in the sex ratio has been found in Russia, i.e. more boys or fewer girls compared to expectation were born. Recently, also for Cuba an escalated sex ratio from 1987 onward has been documented and discussed in the scientific literature. Presentation of the hypothesis By the end of the eighties of the last century in Cuba as much as about 60% of the food imports were provided by the former Soviet Union. Due to its difficult economic situation, Cuba had neither the necessary insight nor the political strength to circumvent the detrimental genetic effects of imported radioactively contaminated foodstuffs after Chernobyl. We propose that the long term stable sex ratio increase in Cuba is essentially due to ionizing radiation. Testing of the hypothesis A synoptic trend analysis of Russian and Cuban annual sex ratios discloses upward jumps in 1987. The estimated jump height from 1986 to 1987 in Russia measures 0.51% with a 95% confidence interval (0.28, 0.75), p value < 0.0001. In Cuba the estimated jump height measures 2.99% (2.39, 3.60), p value < 0.0001. The hypothesis may be tested by reconstruction of imports from the world markets to Cuba and by radiological analyses of remains in Cuba for Cs-137 and Sr-90. Implications of the hypothesis If the evidence for the hypothesis is strengthened, there is potential to learn about genetic radiation risks and to prevent similar effects in present and future exposure situations. PMID:23947741

  8. How do climate-linked sex ratios and dispersal limit range boundaries?

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Geographic ranges of ectotherms such as reptiles may be determined strongly by abiotic factors owing to causal links between ambient temperature, juvenile survival and individual sex (male or female). Unfortunately, we know little of how these factors interact with dispersal among populations across a species range. We used a simulation model to examine the effects of dispersal, temperature-dependent juvenile survival and sex determining mechanism (temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and genotypic sex determination (GSD)) and their interactions, on range limits in populations extending across a continuous range of air temperatures. In particular, we examined the relative importance of these parameters for population persistence to recommend targets for future empirical research. Results Dispersal influenced the range limits of species with TSD to a greater extent than in GSD species. Whereas male dispersal led to expanded species ranges across warm (female-producing) climates, female dispersal led to expanded ranges across cool (male-producing) climates. Two-sex dispersal eliminated the influence of biased sex ratios on ranges. Conclusion The results highlight the importance of the demographic parameter of sex ratio in determining population persistence and species range limits. PMID:25011492

  9. Maternal Lineage of Warmblood Mares Contributes to Variation of Gestation Length and Bias of Foal Sex Ratio

    PubMed Central

    Kuhl, J.; Stock, K. F.; Wulf, M.; Aurich, C.

    2015-01-01

    Maternal lineage influences performance traits in horses. This is probably caused by differences in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) transferred to the offspring via the oocyte. In the present study, we investigated if reproductive traits with high variability—gestation length and fetal sex ratio—are influenced by maternal lineage. Data from 142 Warmblood mares from the Brandenburg State Stud at Neustadt (Dosse), Germany, were available for the study. Mares were grouped according to their maternal lineage. Influences on the reproduction parameters gestation length and sex ratio of offspring were analyzed by simple and multiple analyses of variance. A total of 786 cases were included. From the 142 mares, 119 were assigned to six maternal lineages with n≥10 mares per lineage, and 23 mares belonged to smaller maternal lineages. The mean number of live foals produced per mare was 4.6±3.6 (±SD). Live foal rate was 83.5%. Mean gestation length was 338.5±8.9 days (±SD) with a range of 313 to 370 days. Gestation length was affected by maternal lineage (p<0.001). Gestation length was also significantly influenced by the individual mare, age of the mare, year of breeding, month of breeding and sex of the foal (p<0.05). Of the 640 foals born alive at term, 48% were male and 52% female. Mare age group and maternal lineage significantly influenced the sex ratio of the foals (p<0.05). It is concluded that maternal lineage influences reproductive parameters with high variation such as gestation length and foal sex ratio in horses. In young primiparous and aged mares, the percentage of female offspring is higher than the expected 1:1 ratio. PMID:26436555

  10. Disentangling the effect of genes, the environment and chance on sex ratio variation in a wild bird population.

    PubMed

    Postma, Erik; Heinrich, Franziska; Koller, Ursina; Sardell, Rebecca J; Reid, Jane M; Arcese, Peter; Keller, Lukas F

    2011-10-01

    Sex ratio theory proposes that the equal sex ratio typically observed in birds and mammals is the result of natural selection. However, in species with chromosomal sex determination, the same 1 : 1 sex ratio is expected under random Mendelian segregation. Here, we present an analysis of 14 years of sex ratio data for a population of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) on Mandarte Island, at the nestling stage and at independence from parental care. We test for the presence of variance in sex ratio over and above the binomial variance expected under Mendelian segregation, and thereby quantify the potential for selection to shape sex ratio. Furthermore, if sex ratio variation is to be shaped by selection, we expect some of this extra-binomial variation to have a genetic basis. Despite ample statistical power, we find no evidence for the existence of either genetic or environmentally induced variation in sex ratio, in the nest or at independence. Instead, the sex ratio variation observed matches that expected under random Mendelian segregation. Using one of the best datasets of its kind, we conclude that female song sparrows do not, and perhaps cannot, adjust the sex of their offspring. We discuss the implications of this finding and make suggestions for future research. PMID:21345862

  11. Perspectives of Medical Interns Regarding Female Feticide and Declining Sex Ratio in India

    PubMed Central

    Avachat, Shubhada; Raut, Pritish; Zambare, Mrinal; Gund, Dilipkumar; Pundkar, Rutuja

    2013-01-01

    Background: Female feticide, skewed sex ratio, and its attendant social evils have grave ethical undertones for medical professionals and our commitment to save lives. A concerted effort by all is essential against female feticide. Aim: This study was to assess the knowledge of female feticide, declining sex ratio, and corrective measures among medical interns. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 79 medical interns. Data werecollected with the help of predesigned structured questionnaire. Chi-square tests, Kruskal-Wallis tests, and Z tests were used to test the significance level. Results: Knowledge of current sex ratio was significantly better among female interns than male interns. Majority of interns opined that creating awareness is an effective measure to combat declining sex ratio and only 33 interns had correct knowledge regarding all measures. Only 37.9% of interns knew all the legal indications for use of prenatal diagnostic techniques. However, 81% of interns were aware of punishments mentioned for violation of the Act. Mean score of knowledge was 22.06 among males and 24.4 among females. Conclusion: The findings in our study underline the need to sensitize doctors regardingevery aspect of Pre-Conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act and selective sex determination. PMID:24083222

  12. Impaired imprinted X chromosome inactivation is responsible for the skewed sex ratio following in vitro fertilization.

    PubMed

    Tan, Kun; An, Lei; Miao, Kai; Ren, Likun; Hou, Zhuocheng; Tao, Li; Zhang, Zhenni; Wang, Xiaodong; Xia, Wei; Liu, Jinghao; Wang, Zhuqing; Xi, Guangyin; Gao, Shuai; Sui, Linlin; Zhu, De-Sheng; Wang, Shumin; Wu, Zhonghong; Bach, Ingolf; Chen, Dong-Bao; Tian, Jianhui

    2016-03-22

    Dynamic epigenetic reprogramming occurs during normal embryonic development at the preimplantation stage. Erroneous epigenetic modifications due to environmental perturbations such as manipulation and culture of embryos during in vitro fertilization (IVF) are linked to various short- or long-term consequences. Among these, the skewed sex ratio, an indicator of reproductive hazards, was reported in bovine and porcine embryos and even human IVF newborns. However, since the first case of sex skewing reported in 1991, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We reported herein that sex ratio is skewed in mouse IVF offspring, and this was a result of female-biased peri-implantation developmental defects that were originated from impaired imprinted X chromosome inactivation (iXCI) through reduced ring finger protein 12 (Rnf12)/X-inactive specific transcript (Xist) expression. Compensation of impaired iXCI by overexpression ofRnf12to up-regulateXistsignificantly rescued female-biased developmental defects and corrected sex ratio in IVF offspring. Moreover, supplementation of an epigenetic modulator retinoic acid in embryo culture medium up-regulatedRnf12/Xistexpression, improved iXCI, and successfully redeemed the skewed sex ratio to nearly 50% in mouse IVF offspring. Thus, our data show that iXCI is one of the major epigenetic barriers for the developmental competence of female embryos during preimplantation stage, and targeting erroneous epigenetic modifications may provide a potential approach for preventing IVF-associated complications. PMID:26951653

  13. Hypotheses on the stability and variation of human sex ratios at birth.

    PubMed

    James, William H

    2012-10-01

    Human sex ratios at birth simultaneously show both significant variation with a number of variables, and striking stability across time. Hypotheses on these features are discussed here. A) The causes of the stability are not established. B) There are several hypotheses which purport to explain sex ratio variation. 1. The Trivers–Willard hypothesis has had only limited success. This may be because (from a methodological standpoint) it has an unusual provenance in that it is not a response to a perceived need for explanation of an observed phenomenon. At present there seems too much evidence in its favour for this hypothesis to be rejected, and too much against it, for it to be accepted. 2. My hypothesis proposes that hormone concentrations (of both parents) around the time of conception partially control the sex of the zygote. A substantial quantity of data has been adduced in favour of this hypothesis. But it cannot explain all types of variation of sex ratios at birth. 3. It has been proposed by Catalano that other variation in sex ratios at birth is associated with maternal stress during pregnancy. He and his co-workers have adduced substantial quantities of data to support this hypothesis too. PMID:22776504

  14. Variance in age-specific sex composition of Pacific halibut catches, and comparison of statistical and genetic methods for reconstructing sex ratios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loher, Timothy; Woods, Monica A.; Jimenez-Hidalgo, Isadora; Hauser, Lorenz

    2016-01-01

    Declines in size at age of Pacific halibut Hippoglossus stenolepis, in concert with sexually-dimorphic growth and a constant minimum commercial size limit, have led to the expectation that the sex composition of commercial catches should be increasingly female-biased. Sensitivity analyses suggest that variance in sex composition of landings may be the most influential source of uncertainty affecting current understanding of spawning stock biomass. However, there is no reliable way to determine sex at landing because all halibut are eviscerated at sea. In 2014, a statistical method based on survey data was developed to estimate the probability that fish of any given length at age (LAA) would be female, derived from the fundamental observation that large, young fish are likely female whereas small, old fish have a high probability of being male. Here, we examine variability in age-specific sex composition using at-sea commercial and closed-season survey catches, and compare the accuracy of the survey-based LAA technique to genetic markers for reconstructing the sex composition of catches. Sexing by LAA performed best for summer-collected samples, consistent with the hypothesis that the ability to characterize catches can be influenced by seasonal demographic shifts. Additionally, differences between survey and commercial selectivity that allow fishers to harvest larger fish within cohorts may generate important mismatch between survey and commercial datasets. Length-at-age-based estimates ranged from 4.7% underestimation of female proportion to 12.0% overestimation, with mean error of 5.8 ± 1.5%. Ratios determined by genetics were closer to true sample proportions and displayed less variability; estimation to within < 1% of true ratios was limited to genetics. Genetic estimation of female proportions ranged from 4.9% underestimation to 2.5% overestimation, with a mean absolute error of 1.2 ± 1.2%. Males were generally more difficult to assign than females: 6.7% of

  15. Flock sizes and sex ratios of canvasbacks in Chesapeake Bay and North Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haramis, G.M.; Derleth, E.L.; Link, W.A.

    1994-01-01

    Knowledge of the distribution, size, and sex ratios of flocks of wintering canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria) is fundamental to understanding the species' winter ecology and providing guidelines for management. Consequently, in winter 1986-87, we conducted 4 monthly aerial photographic surveys to investigate temporal changes in distribution, size, and sex ratios of canvasback flocks in traditional wintering areas of Chesapeake Bay and coastal North Carolina. Surveys yielded 35mm imagery of 194,664 canvasbacks in 842 flocks. Models revealed monthly patterns of flock size in North Carolina and Virginia, but no pattern of change in Maryland. A stepwise analysis of flock size and sex ratio fit a common positive slope (increasing proportion male) for all state-month datasets, except for North Carolina in February where the slope was larger (P lt 0.001). State and month effects on intercepts were significant (P lt 0.001) and confirmed a previously identified latitudinal gradient in sex ratio in the survey region. There was no relationship between flock purity (% canvasbacks vs. other species) and flock size except in North Carolina in January, February, and March when flock purity was related to flock size. Contrasting characteristics in North Carolina with regard to flock size (larger flocks) and flock purity suggested that proximate factors were reinforcing flocking behavior and possibly species fidelity there. Of possible factors, the need to locate foraging sites within this large, open-water environment was hypothesized to be of primary importance. Comparison of January 1981 and 1987 sex ratios indicated no change in Maryland, but lower (P lt 0.05) canvasback sex ratios (proportion male) in Virginia and North Carolina.

  16. Analysis of the sex ratio of reported gonorrhoea incidence in Shenzhen, China

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Mingzhou; Lan, Lina; Feng, Tiejian; Zhao, Guanglu; Wang, Feng; Hong, Fuchang; Wu, Xiaobing; Zhang, Chunlai; Wen, Lizhang; Liu, Aizhong; Best, John McCulloch; Tang, Weiming

    2016-01-01

    Objective To assess the clinical process of gonorrhoea diagnosis and report in China, and to determine the difference of sex ratio between reported incidence based on reporting data and true diagnosis rate based on reference tests of gonorrhoea. Setting A total of 26 dermatology and sexually transmitted disease (STD) departments, 34 obstetrics-gynaecology clinics and 28 urology outpatient clinics selected from 34 hospitals of Shenzhen regarded as our study sites. Participants A total of 2754 participants were recruited in this study, and 2534 participants completed the questionnaire survey and provided genital tract secretion specimens. There were 1106 male and 1428 female participants. Eligible participants were patients who presented for outpatient STD care at the selected clinics for the first time in October 2012 were at least 18 years old, and were able to give informed consent. Outcome measures Untested rate, true-positive rate, false-negative rate and unreported rate of gonorrhoea, as well as reported gonorrhoea incidence sex ratio and true diagnosis sex ratio were calculated and used to describe the results. Results 2534 participants were enrolled in the study. The untested rate of gonorrhoea among females was significantly higher than that among males (female 88.1%, male 68.3%, p=0.001). The male-to-female sex ratios of untested rate, true-positive rate, false-negative rate and unreported rate were 1:1.3, 1.2:1, 1:1.6 and 1:1.4, respectively. The reported gonorrhoea incidence sex ratio of new diagnosed gonorrhoea was 19.8:1 (male vs female: 87/1106 vs 5/1420), while the true diagnosis sex ratio was 2.5:1 (male vs female: 161/1106 vs 84/1420). These data indicate that the sex ratio of reported gonorrhoea incidence has been overestimated by a factor of 7.9 (19.8/2.5). Conclusions We found the current reported gonorrhoea incidence and sex ratios to be inaccurate due to underestimations of gonorrhoea incidence, especially among women. PMID:26975933

  17. The effects of adult sex ratio on mating competition in male and female guppies (Poecilia reticulata) in two wild populations.

    PubMed

    Chuard, Pierre J C; Brown, Grant E; Grant, James W A

    2016-08-01

    When competing for mates, males typically exhibit higher rates of intrasexual aggression and courtship than females. Operational sex ratio, represented here by adult sex ratio (ASR) as a proxy, is likely the best predictor of this competition, which typically increases between members of one sex as members of the opposite sex become rarer. Moreover, in populations subject to high predation, males often decrease mating competitive behaviour due to predation risk. We explored the combined effects of ASR and population of origin (low vs. high ambient predation risk) on mating competition in male and female wild-caught Trinidadian guppies. Both male and female aggression rates increased with ASR, but the increase for males was only significant in the low-predation population. In regard to male mating tactics, courtship propensity was unaffected by ASR, while the propensity to sneak increased at male-biased ASRs. Guppies from a high predation population had lower aggression rates than their low predation counterpart, but male courtship and sneaking attempts did not differ between populations. Surprisingly, females were just as aggressive as males when competing for mates. These results highlight the trade-offs between antipredator and agonistic behaviour, which may affect sexual selection pressures in wild populations. PMID:27208810

  18. Anxiety, sex-linked behaviors, and digit ratios (2D:4D).

    PubMed

    Evardone, Milagros; Alexander, Gerianne M

    2009-06-01

    The second to fourth (2D:4D) digit ratio, a sexually dimorphic, phenotypic characteristic putatively associated with perinatal androgen action, has been used to evaluate the hypothesized relation between prenatal hormonal factors and a variety of sexually dimorphic behaviors, including sex-linked psychopathology. Smaller digit ratios, suggestive of stronger perinatal androgen action, have been associated with male-linked disorders (e.g., autism), and larger digit ratios, suggestive of weaker perinatal androgen action, have been associated with female-linked disorders (e.g., depression and eating disorders). To evaluate the possible relation between digit ratio and another traditionally female-linked disorder, anxiety, 2D:4D ratios were measured in a non-clinical sample (58 men, 52 women). Participants also completed a battery of anxiety and gender role measures and performed two spatial/cognitive tasks typically showing a male advantage (mental rotation and targeting) and two tasks typically showing a female advantage (location memory and spatial working memory). Men with a more feminine pattern of sex-linked traits and behaviors (including digit ratios) reported greater anxiety. In contrast, greater anxiety in women was associated with both female-typical and male-typical traits and behaviors, but and no significant association between digit ratio and anxiety was found. This pattern of results suggests that the development of anxiety is multiply determined, with contributing factors varying by sex. PMID:17943431

  19. Distal femoral aspect ratios throughout childhood: an MRI study of normative data and sex comparisons.

    PubMed

    Schwarzkopf, Ran; Bauer, Andrea; Chaurasia, Avinash; Hall, Amber M; Zurakowski, David; Scott, Richard D

    2016-05-01

    The ratio of anteroposterior (AP) to medial-lateral (ML) dimensions of the distal femur in adults differs by sex. The average AP/ML dimension ratios are 0.82 for females and 0.79 for males. How and when this difference develops is not yet understood. In this study, the distal femoral dimensions and physeal development of 345 participants younger than 21 years of age were evaluated by MRI. Regression analysis indicated a significant increase in the AP/ML ratio with increasing age for both sexes. In girls, the ratio increased from 0.63 at ages 0-5 years to 0.76 at 15-20 years. In boys, the ratio increased from 0.61 to 0.73 over the same age groups. Female distal femur dimensions are narrower than that of males from birth. Throughout childhood, both sexes show gradual increases in AP/ML ratios. After closure of the physes, the AP/ML ratio in children approaches adult values, with females continuing to have relatively narrower dimensions than males. PMID:26895290

  20. Simultaneous failure of two sex-allocation invariants: implications for sex-ratio variation within and between populations

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, António M. M.; Gardner, Andy

    2015-01-01

    Local mate competition (LMC) occurs when male relatives compete for mating opportunities, and this may favour the evolution of female-biased sex allocation. LMC theory is among the most well developed and empirically supported topics in behavioural ecology, clarifies links between kin selection, group selection and game theory, and provides among the best quantitative evidence for Darwinian adaptation in the natural world. Two striking invariants arise from this body of work: the number of sons produced by each female is independent of both female fecundity and also the rate of female dispersal. Both of these invariants have stimulated a great deal of theoretical and empirical research. Here, we show that both of these invariants break down when variation in female fecundity and limited female dispersal are considered in conjunction. Specifically, limited dispersal of females following mating leads to local resource competition (LRC) between female relatives for breeding opportunities, and the daughters of high-fecundity mothers experience such LRC more strongly than do those of low-fecundity mothers. Accordingly, high-fecundity mothers are favoured to invest relatively more in sons, while low-fecundity mothers are favoured to invest relatively more in daughters, and the overall sex ratio of the population sex ratio becomes more female biased as a result. PMID:26085590

  1. Sex-Specific Arrival Times on the Breeding Grounds: Hybridizing Migratory Skuas Provide Empirical Support for the Role of Sex Ratios.

    PubMed

    Lisovski, Simeon; Fröhlich, Anne; von Tersch, Matthew; Klaassen, Marcel; Peter, Hans-Ulrich; Ritz, Markus S

    2016-04-01

    In migratory animals, protandry (earlier arrival of males on the breeding grounds) prevails over protogyny (females preceding males). In theory, sex differences in timing of arrival should be driven by the operational sex ratio, shifting toward protogyny in female-biased populations. However, empirical support for this hypothesis is, to date, lacking. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed arrival data from three populations of the long-distance migratory south polar skua (Catharacta maccormicki). These populations differed in their operational sex ratio caused by the unidirectional hybridization of male south polar skuas with female brown skuas (Catharacta antarctica lonnbergi). We found that arrival times were protandrous in allopatry, shifting toward protogyny in female-biased populations when breeding in sympatry. This unique observation is consistent with theoretical predictions that sex-specific arrival times should be influenced by sex ratio and that protogyny should be observed in populations with female-biased operational sex ratio. PMID:27028080

  2. Comparison of Isokinetic Hip Abduction and Adduction Peak Torques and Ratio Between Sexes

    PubMed Central

    Sugimoto, Dai; Mattacola, Carl G.; Mullineaux, David R.; Palmer, Thomas G.; Hewett, Timothy E.

    2014-01-01

    Objective To evaluate hip abductor and adductor peak torque outputs and compare their ratios between sexes. Design A cross-sectional laboratory-controlled study. Setting Participants visited a laboratory and performed an isokinetic hip abductor and adductor test. All participants performed 2 sets of 5 repetitions of concentric hip abduction and adduction in a standing position at 60 degrees per second. Gravity was determined as a function of joint angle relative to the horizontal plane and was corrected by normalizing the weight of the limb on an individual basis. Participants A total of 36 collegiate athletes. Independent Variable Sex (20 females and 16 males). Main Outcome Measures Bilateral peak hip abductor and adductor torques were measured. The 3 highest peak torque values were averaged for each subject. Results Independent t tests were used to compare sex differences in hip abductor and adductor peak torques and the abductor:adductor peak torque ratios. Males demonstrated significantly greater hip abductor peak torque compared with females (males 1.29 ± 0.24 Nm/kg, females 1.13 ± 0.20 Nm/kg; P = 0.03). Neither hip adductor peak torque nor their ratios differed between sexes. Conclusions Sex differences in hip abductor strength were observed. The role of weaker hip abductors in females deserves further attention and may be a factor for higher risk of knee pathologies. PMID:24905541

  3. Maternal Condition Does Not Influence Birth Sex Ratios in Anubis Baboons (Papio anubis)

    PubMed Central

    Silk, Joan B.; Strum, Shirley C.

    2010-01-01

    Trivers and Willard predicted that when parental condition has differential effects on the fitness of male and female offspring, parents who are in good condition will bias investment toward the sex that benefits most from additional investment. Efforts to test predictions derived from Trivers and Willard's model have had mixed results, perhaps because most studies have relied on proxy measures of parental condition, such as dominance rank. Here, we examine the effects of female baboons condition on birth sex ratios and post-natal investment, based on visual assessments of maternal body condition. We find that local environmental conditions have significant effects on female condition, but maternal condition at conception has no consistent relationship with birth sex ratios. Mothers who are in poorer condition at the time of conception resume cycling significantly later than females who are in better condition, but the sex of their infants has no effect on the time to resumption of cycling. Thus, our findings provide strong evidence that maternal condition influences females' ability to reproduce, but females do not facultatively adjust the sex ratio of their offspring in relation to their dominance rank or current condition. PMID:20877648

  4. Sex ratios and sexual dimorphism among recently transformed sea lampreys, Petromyzon marinus Linnaeus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Applegate, Vernon C.; Thomas, M.L.H.

    1965-01-01

    The sex, length, and weight were determined of nearly all recently transformed sea lampreys migrating downstream in the Carp Lake River, Michigan, in the fall, winter, and spring of 1960-61. Similar data were collected from samples of an earlier run in the Carp Lake River and of runs in three other tributaries of Lakes Huron and Michigan. The sex ratio of the 1960-61 migrants in the Carp Lake River was 324 males:100 females. Sex ratios of migrants in the other runs varied from 77 to 86 males:100 females. The high proportion of males in the 1960-61 run in the Carp Lake River is attributed to the effective prevention of recruitment of sea lampreys in the river and transformation of the females at an earlier age than is characteristic of the males. A near equal sex ratio among recently transformed migrants is considered normal for the species. The sex composition of a run changed during the period of migration. The proportion of males among the migrants was greatest at the beginning of the run and declined steadily thereafter. The average size was smaller for males than for females. Differences in the mean lengths and weights of the sexes were statistically significant. The length-weight relation differed for the sexes and showed a slower rate of increase of weight with increase in length than is characteristic of other stages of the animals' life cycle. Seasonal changes in the length-weight relation had a trend toward lower weights among the migrants coming downstream in the later months of the run.

  5. Effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake on Secondary Sex Ratio and Perinatal Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Kohta; Yamagata, Zentaro; Kawado, Miyuki; Hashimoto, Shuji

    2016-01-01

    Background The effect of natural disasters on secondary sex ratio (SSR) and perinatal outcomes has been suggested. This study aimed to examine effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake on perinatal outcomes using vital statistics of Japan. Methods Birth registration data from vital statistics of Japan between March 2010 and March 2012 were used. Pregnant women who experienced the earthquake were categorized according to their gestational period as of March 11, 2011, as follows: gestational weeks 4–11, 12–19, 20–27, and 28–36 (2011 group). Similarly, pregnant women who did not experience the earthquake were categorized according to their gestational period as of March 11, 2010 and used as controls (2010 group). We also categorized prefectures as “extremely affected”, “moderately affected”, and “slightly or unaffected” regions. SSR, birth weight, and gestational period were compared between both groups. Results The number of singleton births was 688 479 in the 2010 group and 679 131 in the 2011 group. In the extremely affected region, the SSR among women at 4–11 weeks of gestation was significantly lower in the 2011 group compared with the 2010 group (49.8% vs 52.1%, P = 0.009). In the extremely affected region, children born to women who experienced the earthquake at 28–36 weeks of gestation had significantly lower birth weights. Conclusions The SSR declined among women who experienced the earthquake during early pregnancy, particularly in the extremely affected region. However, no apparent negative effect of the earthquake on perinatal outcomes was observed, although birth weight of infants who were born to women who experienced the earthquake at 28–36 weeks of gestation were lower. PMID:26639751

  6. Sequence Analysis of the Segmental Duplication Responsible for Paris Sex-Ratio Drive in Drosophila simulans

    PubMed Central

    Fouvry, Lucie; Ogereau, David; Berger, Anne; Gavory, Frederick; Montchamp-Moreau, Catherine

    2011-01-01

    Sex-ratio distorters are X-linked selfish genetic elements that facilitate their own transmission by subverting Mendelian segregation at the expense of the Y chromosome. Naturally occurring cases of sex-linked distorters have been reported in a variety of organisms, including several species of Drosophila; they trigger genetic conflict over the sex ratio, which is an important evolutionary force. However, with a few exceptions, the causal loci are unknown. Here, we molecularly characterize the segmental duplication involved in the Paris sex-ratio system that is still evolving in natural populations of Drosophila simulans. This 37.5 kb tandem duplication spans six genes, from the second intron of the Trf2 gene (TATA box binding protein-related factor 2) to the first intron of the org-1 gene (optomotor-blind-related-gene-1). Sequence analysis showed that the duplication arose through the production of an exact copy on the template chromosome itself. We estimated this event to be less than 500 years old. We also detected specific signatures of the duplication mechanism; these support the Duplication-Dependent Strand Annealing model. The region at the junction between the two duplicated segments contains several copies of an active transposable element, Hosim1, alternating with 687 bp repeats that are noncoding but transcribed. The almost-complete sequence identity between copies made it impossible to complete the sequencing and assembly of this region. These results form the basis for the functional dissection of Paris sex-ratio drive and will be valuable for future studies designed to better understand the dynamics and the evolutionary significance of sex chromosome drive. PMID:22384350

  7. Non-quantitative adjustment of offspring sex ratios in pollinating fig wasps

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Rui-Wu; Sun, Bao-Fa; He, Jun-Zhou; Dunn, Derek W.

    2015-01-01

    Fig wasp is one of the most well known model systems in examining whether or not the parents could adjust their offspring sex ratio to maximize their gene frequency transmission in next generations. Our manipulative experiments showed that, in all of the five pollinator wasps of figs (Agaonidae) that have different averages of foundress numbers per syconium, almost the same proportions of male offspring are produced in the experiment that foundresses deposit one hour then are killed with ether (66.1%–70.1%) and over the lifespan of each foundress (14.0%–21.0%). The foundresses tend to deposit their male eggs prior to female eggs. The observed increase in the proportion of male offspring as a function of foundress number results from density-dependent interference competition among the foundresses. These results showed that the selection of gene frequency transmission through the behavioral adjustment in the evolution of sex ratio does not exist in these five fig wasps. The results here implied that genetic adjustment mechanisms of the sex ratio of fig wasps can only be triggered to be on or off and that the foundresses can not quantitatively adjust their sex ratio according to increased environmental selection pressure. PMID:26293349

  8. Lunar cycles at mating do not influence sex ratio at birth in horses.

    PubMed

    Aguilar, J J; Cuervo-Arango, J; Santa Juliana, L

    2015-02-01

    It is scientifically demonstrated that lunar cycles have important effects on several biological events. Controversy exists about the lunar influence on human and animal parturition. In addition, in the horse industry, especially in Polo Horse breeders of Argentina and around the world there is a higher demand for female offspring than for males. The objective of this study was to determine whether there is a significant association between the lunar phase at the time of mating and the sex ratio at birth in horses. The Argentinean Stud Book provided information related to all matings registered for Thoroughbred and Arab horses between 2003 and 2011. Statistical associations were tested between dates of matings at different lunar phases or days and sex ratio at birth. A total of 65.535 gestations were studied. Overall, sex ratio at birth resulted in 33.396 fillies (50.96%) and 32.139 colts (49.04%). The percentages of males and females at birth were not statistically different amongst the different lunar phases or days. We can strongly conclude that managing the breeding dates in relation to lunar cycles in order to manipulate the sex ratio of the offspring is not a viable option in horses. PMID:25153135

  9. Sex Ratio at Birth and Infant Mortality Rate in China: An Empirical Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lai, Denjian

    2005-01-01

    In this article, we used the data from the last three population censuses of China in 1982, 1990 and 2000, to study the dynamics of the sex ratio at birth and the infant mortality rate in China. In the late 1970s, China started its economic reform and implemented many family planning programs. Since then there has been great economic development…

  10. Organization of the sex-ratio Meiotic Drive Region in Drosophila simulans

    PubMed Central

    Montchamp-Moreau, Catherine; Ogereau, David; Chaminade, Nicole; Colard, Alexandre; Aulard, Sylvie

    2006-01-01

    Sex-ratio meiotic drive is the preferential transmission of the X chromosome by XY males, which occurs in several Drosophila species and results in female-biased progeny. Although the trait has long been known to exist, its molecular basis remains completely unknown. Here we report a fine-mapping experiment designed to characterize the major drive locus on a sex-ratio X chromosome of Drosophila simulans originating from the Seychelles (XSR6). This primary locus was found to contain two interacting elements at least, both of which are required for drive expression. One of them was genetically tracked to a tandem duplication containing six annotated genes (Trf2, CG32712, CG12125, CG1440, CG12123, org-1), and the other to a candidate region located ∼110 kb away and spanning seven annotated genes. RT–PCR showed that all but two of these genes were expressed in the testis of both sex-ratio and standard males. In situ hybridization to polytene chromosomes revealed a complete association of the duplication with the sex-ratio trait in random samples of X chromosomes from Madagascar and Reunion. PMID:16387875

  11. Too Many Men? Sex Ratios and Women's Partnering Behavior in China

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trent, Katherine; South, Scott J.

    2011-01-01

    The relative numbers of women and men are changing dramatically in China, but the consequences of these imbalanced sex ratios have received little empirical attention. We merge data from the Chinese Health and Family Life Survey with community-level data from Chinese censuses to examine the relationship between cohort- and community-specific sex…

  12. Sex-Ratio and Gender Differences in Depression in an Unselected Adult Population.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baumgart, E. P.; Oliver, J. M.

    1981-01-01

    Neither sex-ratio nor gender differences in depression were found in adult sample, similar to pattern found among university students. No demographic variable was correlated significantly with depression. Suggests results may be due to the elimination of face-to-face interviews, which expose males to greater negative repercussions for exhibiting…

  13. Does polyandry control population sex ratio via regulation of a selfish gene?

    PubMed Central

    Price, Tom A. R.; Bretman, Amanda; Gradilla, Ana C.; Reger, Julia; Taylor, Michelle L.; Giraldo-Perez, Paulina; Campbell, Amy; Hurst, Gregory D. D.; Wedell, Nina

    2014-01-01

    The extent of female multiple mating (polyandry) can strongly impact on the intensity of sexual selection, sexual conflict, and the evolution of cooperation and sociality. More subtly, polyandry may protect populations against intragenomic conflicts that result from the invasion of deleterious selfish genetic elements (SGEs). SGEs commonly impair sperm production, and so are likely to be unsuccessful in sperm competition, potentially reducing their transmission in polyandrous populations. Here, we test this prediction in nature. We demonstrate a heritable latitudinal cline in the degree of polyandry in the fruitfly Drosophila pseudoobscura across the USA, with northern population females remating more frequently in both the field and the laboratory. High remating was associated with low frequency of a sex-ratio-distorting meiotic driver in natural populations. In the laboratory, polyandry directly controls the frequency of the driver by undermining its transmission. Hence we suggest that the cline in polyandry represents an important contributor to the cline in sex ratio in nature. Furthermore, as the meiotic driver causes sex ratio bias, variation in polyandry may ultimately determine population sex ratio across the USA, a dramatic impact of female mating decisions. As SGEs are ubiquitous it is likely that the reduction of intragenomic conflict by polyandry is widespread. PMID:24695427

  14. Count ratio model reveals bias affecting NGS fold changes

    PubMed Central

    Erhard, Florian; Zimmer, Ralf

    2015-01-01

    Various biases affect high-throughput sequencing read counts. Contrary to the general assumption, we show that bias does not always cancel out when fold changes are computed and that bias affects more than 20% of genes that are called differentially regulated in RNA-seq experiments with drastic effects on subsequent biological interpretation. Here, we propose a novel approach to estimate fold changes. Our method is based on a probabilistic model that directly incorporates count ratios instead of read counts. It provides a theoretical foundation for pseudo-counts and can be used to estimate fold change credible intervals as well as normalization factors that outperform currently used normalization methods. We show that fold change estimates are significantly improved by our method by comparing RNA-seq derived fold changes to qPCR data from the MAQC/SEQC project as a reference and analyzing random barcoded sequencing data. Our software implementation is freely available from the project website http://www.bio.ifi.lmu.de/software/lfc. PMID:26160885

  15. Count ratio model reveals bias affecting NGS fold changes.

    PubMed

    Erhard, Florian; Zimmer, Ralf

    2015-11-16

    Various biases affect high-throughput sequencing read counts. Contrary to the general assumption, we show that bias does not always cancel out when fold changes are computed and that bias affects more than 20% of genes that are called differentially regulated in RNA-seq experiments with drastic effects on subsequent biological interpretation. Here, we propose a novel approach to estimate fold changes. Our method is based on a probabilistic model that directly incorporates count ratios instead of read counts. It provides a theoretical foundation for pseudo-counts and can be used to estimate fold change credible intervals as well as normalization factors that outperform currently used normalization methods. We show that fold change estimates are significantly improved by our method by comparing RNA-seq derived fold changes to qPCR data from the MAQC/SEQC project as a reference and analyzing random barcoded sequencing data. Our software implementation is freely available from the project website http://www.bio.ifi.lmu.de/software/lfc. PMID:26160885

  16. Female-Bias in a Long-Term Study of a Species with Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination: Monitoring Sex Ratios for Climate Change Research.

    PubMed

    Braun McNeill, Joanne; Avens, Larisa; Goodman Hall, April; Goshe, Lisa R; Harms, Craig A; Owens, David W

    2016-01-01

    Alterations have occurred and continue to manifest in the Earth's biota as a result of climate change. Animals exhibiting temperature dependent sex determination (TSD), including sea turtles, are perhaps most vulnerable to a warming of the Earth as highly skewed sex ratios can result, potentially leading to population extinction resulting from decreased male recruitment. Recent studies have begun to quantify climate change impacts to sea turtle populations, especially in terms of predicting effects on hatchling sex ratios. However, given the inherent difficulty in studying sex ratios at this life stage, a more accurate assessment of changes in population sex ratios might be derived by evaluating the juvenile portion of foraging aggregations. We investigated the long-term trend in sex ratio of a juvenile loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtle population inhabiting Pamlico and Core Sounds, North Carolina, USA. We used plasma testosterone reference ranges measured using radioimmunoassay (RIA) to assign sex for 959 turtles and confirmed sex assignment of a subset (N = 58) of the sampled turtles through laparoscopic examination of their gonads. Our results demonstrate that for this particular population of loggerheads, sex ratios (3Females:1Male) had not significantly changed over a 10 year period (1998-2007), nor showed any significant difference among 5-cm straight carapace length (SCL) size classes. Ultimately, these findings provide a basis for comparison with future sex ratios, and highlight the importance of establishing similar long-term studies monitoring secondary, rather than primary, sex ratios, so that needed mitigation measures to climate change impacts can be implemented. PMID:27579608

  17. A CRISPR-Cas9 sex-ratio distortion system for genetic control.

    PubMed

    Galizi, Roberto; Hammond, Andrew; Kyrou, Kyros; Taxiarchi, Chrysanthi; Bernardini, Federica; O'Loughlin, Samantha M; Papathanos, Philippos-Aris; Nolan, Tony; Windbichler, Nikolai; Crisanti, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Genetic control aims to reduce the ability of insect pest populations to cause harm via the release of modified insects. One strategy is to bias the reproductive sex ratio towards males so that a population decreases in size or is eliminated altogether due to a lack of females. We have shown previously that sex ratio distortion can be generated synthetically in the main human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae, by selectively destroying the X-chromosome during spermatogenesis, through the activity of a naturally-occurring endonuclease that targets a repetitive rDNA sequence highly-conserved in a wide range of organisms. Here we describe a CRISPR-Cas9 sex distortion system that targets ribosomal sequences restricted to the member species of the Anopheles gambiae complex. Expression of Cas9 during spermatogenesis resulted in RNA-guided shredding of the X-chromosome during male meiosis and produced extreme male bias among progeny in the absence of any significant reduction in fertility. The flexibility of CRISPR-Cas9 combined with the availability of genomic data for a range of insects renders this strategy broadly applicable for the species-specific control of any pest or vector species with an XY sex-determination system by targeting sequences exclusive to the female sex chromosome. PMID:27484623

  18. Arachidonic Acid Enhances Reproduction in Daphnia magna and Mitigates Changes in Sex Ratios Induced by Pyriproxyfen

    PubMed Central

    Ginjupalli, Gautam K.; Gerard, Patrick D.; Baldwin, William S.

    2016-01-01

    Arachidonic acid (AA) is one of only two unsaturated fatty acids retained in the ovaries of crustaceans, and an inhibitor of HR97g, a nuclear receptor expressed in adult ovaries. We hypothesized that as a key fatty acid, AA may be associated with reproduction and potentially environmental sex determination in Daphnia. Reproduction assays with AA indicate that it alters female/male sex ratios by increasing female production. This reproductive effect only occurred during a restricted P. subcapitata diet. Next, we tested whether enriching a poorer algal diet (C. vulgaris) with AA enhances overall reproduction and sex ratios. AA enrichment of a C. vulgaris diet also enhances fecundity at 1.0 and 4.0μM by 30–40% in the presence and absence of pyriproxyfen. This indicates that AA is crucial in reproduction regardless of environmental sex determination. Furthermore, our data indicates that P. subcapitata may provide a threshold concentration of AA needed for reproduction. Diet switch experiments from P. subcapitata to C. vulgaris mitigate some but not all of AA’s effects when compared to a C. vulgaris only diet, suggesting that some AA provided by P. subcapitata is retained. In summary, AA supplementation increases reproduction and represses pyriproxyfen-induced environmental sex determination in D. magna in restricted diets. A diet rich in AA may provide protection from some reproductive toxicants such as the juvenile hormone agonist, pyriproxyfen. PMID:25393616

  19. Temporal variability of local abundance, sex ratio and activity in the Sardinian chalk hill blue butterfly

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Casula, P.; Nichols, J.D.

    2003-01-01

    When capturing and marking of individuals is possible, the application of newly developed capture-recapture models can remove several sources of bias in the estimation of population parameters such as local abundance and sex ratio. For example, observation of distorted sex ratios in counts or captures can reflect either different abundances of the sexes or different sex-specific capture probabilities, and capture-recapture models can help distinguish between these two possibilities. Robust design models and a model selection procedure based on information-theoretic methods were applied to study the local population structure of the endemic Sardinian chalk hill blue butterfly, Polyommatus coridon gennargenti. Seasonal variations of abundance, plus daily and weather-related variations of active populations of males and females were investigated. Evidence was found of protandry and male pioneering of the breeding space. Temporary emigration probability, which describes the proportion of the population not exposed to capture (e.g. absent from the study area) during the sampling process, was estimated, differed between sexes, and was related to temperature, a factor known to influence animal activity. The correlation between temporary emigration and average daily temperature suggested interpreting temporary emigration as inactivity of animals. Robust design models were used successfully to provide a detailed description of the population structure and activity in this butterfly and are recommended for studies of local abundance and animal activity in the field.

  20. A CRISPR-Cas9 sex-ratio distortion system for genetic control

    PubMed Central

    Galizi, Roberto; Hammond, Andrew; Kyrou, Kyros; Taxiarchi, Chrysanthi; Bernardini, Federica; O’Loughlin, Samantha M.; Papathanos, Philippos-Aris; Nolan, Tony; Windbichler, Nikolai; Crisanti, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Genetic control aims to reduce the ability of insect pest populations to cause harm via the release of modified insects. One strategy is to bias the reproductive sex ratio towards males so that a population decreases in size or is eliminated altogether due to a lack of females. We have shown previously that sex ratio distortion can be generated synthetically in the main human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae, by selectively destroying the X-chromosome during spermatogenesis, through the activity of a naturally-occurring endonuclease that targets a repetitive rDNA sequence highly-conserved in a wide range of organisms. Here we describe a CRISPR-Cas9 sex distortion system that targets ribosomal sequences restricted to the member species of the Anopheles gambiae complex. Expression of Cas9 during spermatogenesis resulted in RNA-guided shredding of the X-chromosome during male meiosis and produced extreme male bias among progeny in the absence of any significant reduction in fertility. The flexibility of CRISPR-Cas9 combined with the availability of genomic data for a range of insects renders this strategy broadly applicable for the species-specific control of any pest or vector species with an XY sex-determination system by targeting sequences exclusive to the female sex chromosome. PMID:27484623

  1. Couples' urinary concentrations of benzophenone-type ultraviolet filters and the secondary sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Bae, Jisuk; Kim, Sungduk; Kannan, Kurunthachalam; Buck Louis, Germaine M

    2016-02-01

    The secondary sex ratio (SSR), defined as the ratio of males to females at birth, has been investigated in relation to endocrine disruptors to search for environmental toxicants perturbing human sex selection. Benzophenone (BP)-type ultraviolet (UV) filters, which are used in sunscreens and personal care products, have been reported to exert estrogenic and anti-androgenic activities. This study aimed to evaluate the association between maternal, paternal, and couple urinary concentrations of BP-type UV filters and the SSR, given the absence of previous investigation. The study cohort comprised 220 couples who were enrolled in the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) Study between 2005 and 2009 prior to conception and who had a singleton birth during the follow-up period. Couples' urinary concentrations of five BP-type UV filters (ng/mL) were measured using triple-quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry: 2,4-dihydroxybenzophenone (BP-1), 2,2',4,4'-tetrahydroxybenzophenone (BP-2), 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone (BP-3), 2,2'-dihydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone (BP-8), and 4-hydroxybenzophenone (4-OH-BP). Modified Poisson regression models were used to estimate the relative risks (RRs) of a male birth for each BP-type UV filter, after adjusting for potential confounders. When maternal and paternal urinary BP-type UV filter concentrations were modeled jointly, both maternal BP-2 (2nd vs 1st tertile, RR, 0.62, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.43-0.91) and paternal BP-2 (3rd vs 1st tertile, RR, 0.67, 95% CI, 0.45-0.99; p-trend, 0.04) were significantly associated with an excess of female births. Contrarily, maternal 4-OH-BP was significantly associated with an excess of male births (2nd vs 1st tertile, RR, 1.87, 95% CI, 1.27-2.74; 3rd vs 1st tertile, RR, 1.80, 95% CI, 1.13-2.87; p-trend, 0.02). Our findings provide the first evidence suggesting that BP-type UV filters may affect the SSR. However, future corroboration is needed, given the exploratory

  2. Quantifying the relative risk of sex offenders: risk ratios for static-99R.

    PubMed

    Hanson, R Karl; Babchishin, Kelly M; Helmus, Leslie; Thornton, David

    2013-10-01

    Given the widespread use of empirical actuarial risk tools in corrections and forensic mental health, it is important that evaluators and decision makers understand how scores relate to recidivism risk. In the current study, we found strong evidence for a relative risk interpretation of Static-99R scores using 8 samples from Canada, United Kingdom, and Western Europe (N = 4,037 sex offenders). Each increase in Static-99R score was associated with a stable and consistent increase in relative risk (as measured by an odds ratio or hazard ratio of approximately 1.4). Hazard ratios from Cox regression were used to calculate risk ratios that can be reported for Static-99R. We recommend that evaluators consider risk ratios as a useful, nonarbitrary metric for quantifying and communicating risk information. To avoid misinterpretation, however, risk ratios should be presented with recidivism base rates. PMID:23264543

  3. Beyond species recognition: somatic state affects long-distance sex pheromone communication

    PubMed Central

    Chemnitz, Johanna; Jentschke, Petra C.; Ayasse, Manfred; Steiger, Sandra

    2015-01-01

    Long-range sex pheromones have been subjected to substantial research with a particular focus on their biosynthesis, peripheral perception, central processing and the resulting orientation behaviour of perceivers. Fundamental to the research on sex attractants was the assumption that they primarily coordinate species recognition. However, especially when they are produced by the less limiting sex (usually males), the evolution of heightened condition dependence might be expected and long-range sex pheromones might, therefore, also inform about a signaller's quality. Here we provide, to our knowledge, the first comprehensive study of the role of a male's long-range pheromone in mate choice that combines chemical analyses, video observations and field experiments with a multifactorial manipulation of males' condition. We show that the emission of the long-distance sex pheromone of the burying beetle, Nicrophorus vespilloides is highly condition-dependent and reliably reflects nutritional state, age, body size and parasite load—key components of an individual's somatic state. Both, the quantity and ratio of the pheromone components were affected but the time invested in pheromone emission was largely unaffected by a male's condition. Moreover, the variation in pheromone emission caused by the variation in condition had a strong effect on the attractiveness of males in the field, with males in better nutritional condition, of older age, larger body size and bearing less parasites being more attractive. That a single pheromone is influenced by so many aspects of the somatic state and causes such variation in a male's attractiveness under field conditions was hitherto unknown and highlights the need to integrate indicator models of sexual selection into pheromone research. PMID:26180067

  4. Beyond species recognition: somatic state affects long-distance sex pheromone communication.

    PubMed

    Chemnitz, Johanna; Jentschke, Petra C; Ayasse, Manfred; Steiger, Sandra

    2015-08-01

    Long-range sex pheromones have been subjected to substantial research with a particular focus on their biosynthesis, peripheral perception, central processing and the resulting orientation behaviour of perceivers. Fundamental to the research on sex attractants was the assumption that they primarily coordinate species recognition. However, especially when they are produced by the less limiting sex (usually males), the evolution of heightened condition dependence might be expected and long-range sex pheromones might, therefore, also inform about a signaller's quality. Here we provide, to our knowledge, the first comprehensive study of the role of a male's long-range pheromone in mate choice that combines chemical analyses, video observations and field experiments with a multifactorial manipulation of males' condition. We show that the emission of the long-distance sex pheromone of the burying beetle, Nicrophorus vespilloides is highly condition-dependent and reliably reflects nutritional state, age, body size and parasite load--key components of an individual's somatic state. Both, the quantity and ratio of the pheromone components were affected but the time invested in pheromone emission was largely unaffected by a male's condition. Moreover, the variation in pheromone emission caused by the variation in condition had a strong effect on the attractiveness of males in the field, with males in better nutritional condition, of older age, larger body size and bearing less parasites being more attractive. That a single pheromone is influenced by so many aspects of the somatic state and causes such variation in a male's attractiveness under field conditions was hitherto unknown and highlights the need to integrate indicator models of sexual selection into pheromone research. PMID:26180067

  5. Factors modifying valproate plasma level/dose ratio: age, sex, dose and plasma level.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, A; Durán, J A; Abadín, J A

    1989-09-01

    Valproate plasma level/dose (L/D) ratios obtained from 155 outpatients under long-term monotherapeutic regimen have been studied. Analytical data were obtained by enzymatic immunoassay (EMIT) from paired samples taken before the morning drug dosage. L/D ratios were increased with age and plasma level and decreased with dose. There were no sex differences in L/D in the different age, dose and concentration groups. L/D ratios were higher than those found by other researchers in our country. PMID:2511386

  6. Effects of diets supplemented by fish oil on sex ratio of pups in bitch.

    PubMed

    Gharagozlou, Faramarz; Youssefi, Reza; Akbarinejad, Vahid

    2016-01-01

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of fish oil supplementation prior to mating on secondary sex ratio of pups (the proportion of males at birth) in bitches. Sixty five bitches (German Shepherd, n = 35; Husky, n = 30) were enrolled in the study. Bitches (140-150 days post-estrus) were given 2% per dry matter intake palm oil and fish oil in the control (n = 33) and treatment (n = 32) groups, respectively. To induce estrus, bitches were received equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) administration (50 IU kg(-1)) 30 days after nutritional supplementation followed by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) administration (500 IU per dog) seven days later. Bitches were introduced to dogs of the same breed after hCG administration. The weight of bitches was increased over time (p < 0.05), but their weight change was not different between two groups (p > 0.05). The mating rate, pregnancy rate and litter size were not influenced by treatment and breed. Secondary sex ratio was higher in the treatment (105/164; 64.00%) than in the control (68/147; 46.30%) group (p < 0.05; adjusted odds ratio = 2.068). Moreover, secondary sex ratio was higher in Husky bitches (88/141; 62.40%) compared to German Shepherd (85/170; 50.00%; p < 0.05; adjusted odds ratio = 1.661). In conclusion, the present study showed that inclusion of fish oil in the diet of bitches prior to mating could increase the proportion of male pups at birth. In addition, it appears that there might be variation among dog breeds with regard to the sex ratio of offspring. PMID:27482354

  7. Effects of diets supplemented by fish oil on sex ratio of pups in bitch

    PubMed Central

    Gharagozlou, Faramarz; Youssefi, Reza; Akbarinejad, Vahid

    2016-01-01

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of fish oil supplementation prior to mating on secondary sex ratio of pups (the proportion of males at birth) in bitches. Sixty five bitches (German Shepherd, n = 35; Husky, n = 30) were enrolled in the study. Bitches (140-150 days post-estrus) were given 2% per dry matter intake palm oil and fish oil in the control (n = 33) and treatment (n = 32) groups, respectively. To induce estrus, bitches were received equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) administration (50 IU kg-1) 30 days after nutritional supplementation followed by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) administration (500 IU per dog) seven days later. Bitches were introduced to dogs of the same breed after hCG administration. The weight of bitches was increased over time (p < 0.05), but their weight change was not different between two groups (p > 0.05). The mating rate, pregnancy rate and litter size were not influenced by treatment and breed. Secondary sex ratio was higher in the treatment (105/164; 64.00%) than in the control (68/147; 46.30%) group (p < 0.05; adjusted odds ratio = 2.068). Moreover, secondary sex ratio was higher in Husky bitches (88/141; 62.40%) compared to German Shepherd (85/170; 50.00%; p < 0.05; adjusted odds ratio = 1.661). In conclusion, the present study showed that inclusion of fish oil in the diet of bitches prior to mating could increase the proportion of male pups at birth. In addition, it appears that there might be variation among dog breeds with regard to the sex ratio of offspring. PMID:27482354

  8. Between-year variation in population sex ratio increases with complexity of the breeding system in Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Kümmerli, Rolf; Keller, Laurent

    2011-06-01

    While adaptive adjustment of sex ratio in the function of colony kin structure and food availability commonly occurs in social Hymenoptera, long-term studies have revealed substantial unexplained between-year variation in sex ratio at the population level. In order to identify factors that contribute to increased between-year variation in population sex ratio, we conducted a comparative analysis across 47 Hymenoptera species differing in their breeding system. We found that between-year variation in population sex ratio steadily increased as one moved from solitary species, to primitively eusocial species, to single-queen eusocial species, to multiple-queen eusocial species. Specifically, between-year variation in population sex ratio was low (6.6% of total possible variation) in solitary species, which is consistent with the view that in solitary species, sex ratio can vary only in response to fluctuations in ecological factors such as food availability. In contrast, we found significantly higher (19.5%) between-year variation in population sex ratio in multiple-queen eusocial species, which supports the view that in these species, sex ratio can also fluctuate in response to temporal changes in social factors such as queen number and queen-worker control over sex ratio, as well as factors influencing caste determination. The simultaneous adjustment of sex ratio in response to temporal fluctuations in ecological and social factors seems to preclude the existence of a single sex ratio optimum. The absence of such an optimum may reflect an additional cost associated with the evolution of complex breeding systems in Hymenoptera societies. PMID:21597259

  9. Peaks of solar cycles affect the gender ratio.

    PubMed

    Davis, George E; Lowell, Walter E

    2008-12-01

    In this study, we report that the gender ratio (GR) at death [where GR=(N(males)/N(males)+N(females))] of those born (and likely conceived) in solar cycle peaks (about a 3-year period occurring on average every approximately 11 years), is inversely related to mean male age at death; e.g., the higher the GR(at death) the lower the mean lifespan, while the GR(at death) of those born in non-peak years has no relation to mean male lifespan. Although changes in the GR are small and may be of little clinical significance, the GR is a sensitive indicator of environmental effects, and therefore is pertinent to epigenetics. This paper supports the hypothesis that solar radiation, probably in the ultraviolet spectrum, by some manner interacts with chromosomal DNA (genes) and produces the genetic variety that not only fosters adaptation, but also produces the diseases that reduce lifespan. This paper also proposes that sunlight is more effective in modifying genomes at the time of conception than later in gestation or infancy. Referring to the work of others, this study also reveals that geographic latitude also affects the GR, suggesting that the variation in light is probably as important as the intensity of light in modifying genomes. This study finds that men sustain more genetic variation, producing 28% more disease than women, as well as a 2% decrease in GR from birth to death, and a shorter life (in Maine) by 7 years. PMID:18755551

  10. Environmental factors influencing adult sex ratio in Poecilia reticulata: laboratory experiments.

    PubMed

    McKellar, A E; Hendry, A P

    2011-10-01

    The potential causes of adult sex ratio variation in guppies Poecilia reticulata were tested in laboratory experiments that evaluated the mortality rates of male and female P. reticulata exposed to potential predators (Hart's rivulus Rivulus hartii and freshwater prawns Macrobrachium crenulatum) and to different resource levels. Poecilia reticulata mortality increased in the presence of R. hartii and M. crenulatum, and low resource levels had an effect on mortality only in the presence of M. crenulatum. Rivulus hartii preyed more often on male than on female P. reticulata, and this sex-biased predation was not simply the result of males being smaller than females. In contrast, no sex-biased mortality was attributable to M. crenulatum or low resource levels. PMID:21967582

  11. Predicted sex ratio of juvenile Hawksbill Seaturtles inhabiting Buck Island Reef national monument, U.S. Virgin Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Geis, A.; Wibbels, T.; Phillips, B.; Hillis-Starr, Z.; Meylan, A.; Meylan, P.; Diez, C.; Van Dam, R.

    2003-01-01

    Hawksbill Seaturtles have temperature-dependent sex determination. As such, the resulting sex ratios are of conservational and ecological significance. Buck Island Reef is an interesting location for sex ratio studies since it represents a natural and unexploited foraging ground for hawksbills in the Caribbean. To examine sex ratios, blood samples were obtained from juvenile Hawksbill Seaturtles captured on Buck Island Reef over a four-year period. We used a radioimmunoassay to determine testosterone levels in those samples and compared those values to testosterone levels of juvenile hawksbills from the Caribbean whose sex has been verified by laparoscopy. The results of this study reveal a significantly female-biased sex ratio (approximately 80% female) occurs in this juvenile aggregation inhabiting Buck Island Reef.

  12. Thermal fluctuation within nests and predicted sex ratio of Morelet's Crocodile.

    PubMed

    Escobedo-Galván, Armando H; López-Luna, Marco A; Cupul-Magaña, Fabio G

    2016-05-01

    Understanding the interplay between thermal variations and sex ratio in reptiles with temperature-dependent sex determination is the first step for developing long-term conservation strategies. In case of crocodilians, the information is fragmentary and insufficient for establishing a general framework to consider how thermal fluctuation influence sex determination under natural conditions. The main goal of this study was to analyze thermal variation in nests of Crocodylus moreletii and to discuss the potential implications for predicting offspring sex ratio. The study was carried out at the Centro de Estudios Tecnológicos del Mar N° 2 and at the Sistemas Productivos Cocodrilo, Campeche, Mexico. Data was collected in the nesting season of Morelet's Crocodiles during three consecutive seasons (2007-2009). Thermal fluctuations for multiple areas of the nest chamber were registered by data loggers. We calculate the constant temperature equivalent based on thermal profiles among nests to assess whether there are differences between the nest temperature and its equivalent to constant temperature. We observed that mean nest temperature was only different among nests, while daily thermal fluctuations vary depending on the depth position within the nest chamber, years and nests. The constant temperature equivalent was different among and within nests, but not among survey years. We observed differences between constant temperature equivalent and mean nest temperature both at the top and in the middle of the nest cavities, but were not significantly different at the bottom of nest cavities. Our results enable examine and discuss the relevance of daily thermal fluctuations to predict sex ratio of the Morelet's Crocodile. PMID:27157330

  13. Parental thermal environment alters offspring sex ratio and fitness in an oviparous lizard.

    PubMed

    Schwanz, Lisa E

    2016-08-01

    The environment experienced by parents can impact the phenotype of their offspring (parental effects), a critical component of organismal ecology and evolution in variable or changing environments. Although temperature is a central feature of the environment for ectotherms, its role in parental effects has been little explored until recently. Here, parental basking opportunity was manipulated in an oviparous lizard with temperature-dependent sex determination, the jacky dragon (Amphibolurus muricatus). Eggs were incubated at a temperature that typically produces a 50:50 sex ratio, and hatchlings were reared in a standard thermal environment. Offspring of parents in short bask conditions appeared to have better fitness outcomes in captive conditions than those of parents in long bask conditions - they had greater growth and survival as a function of their mass. In addition, the sex of offspring (male or female) depended on the interaction between parental treatment and egg mass, and treatment impacted whether sons or daughters grew larger in their first season. The interactive effects of treatment on offspring sex and growth are consistent with adaptive explanations for the existence of temperature-dependent sex determination in this species. Moreover, the greater performance recorded in short bask offspring may represent an anticipatory parental effect to aid offspring in predicted conditions of restricted thermal opportunity. Together, these responses constitute a crucial component of the population response to spatial or temporal variation in temperature. PMID:27229475

  14. Divorce and infidelity are associated with skewed adult sex ratios in birds.

    PubMed

    Liker, András; Freckleton, Robert P; Székely, Tamás

    2014-04-14

    Adult sex ratio (ASR) is a fundamental concept in population demography, and recent theory suggests that ASR plays a central role in social behavior, mating systems, and parental care. Unbalanced ASRs are predicted to influence pair-bond and mating behavior, since the rarer sex in the population has more potential partners to mate with than the more common sex. Here we use phylogenetic comparative analyses to test whether ASR is related to three major aspects of mating behavior: divorce, social polygamy, and pair-bond infidelity. ASR is strongly correlated with long-term pair bonds, since the divorce rate is higher in species with a female-biased sex ratio, indicating that mate change by pair members and/or breaking of pair bonds by unmated individuals is more frequent when females outnumber males. Short-term pair bonds are also associated with unbalanced ASRs: males are more commonly polygamous when females outnumber males, and conversely, females are more polygamous when males outnumber females. Furthermore, infidelity increases with male-biased ASR in socially monogamous birds, suggesting that male coercion and/or female willingness to cheat the partner are facilitated by male-biased ASR. Our results provide the first comprehensive support for the proposition that ASR influences multiple aspects of pair-bond and mating behavior in wild populations. PMID:24656831

  15. Effects of perchlorate bioaccumulation on Spodoptera litura growth and sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Qin, Junhao; Shu, Yinghua; Li, Yongjun; He, Hongzhi; Li, Huashou

    2016-05-01

    Perchlorate (ClO4 (-)) pollution is widespread in the natural environment, but the effects of ClO4 (-) on the terrestrial insects are rarely studied. Here, when phytophagous insect Spodoptera litura larvae were fed on the diets with different ClO4 (-) concentrations, changes in their life-history traits were recorded; ClO4 (-) accumulations in feces and insect body were detected. The results demonstrated that ClO4 (-) bioaccumulation in insect at the different developmental stages was ranked in the order: adults > pupae > the 4th > 5th > 6th instar larvae. Besides, ClO4 (-) accumulations in the feces were ranked in the order: the 6th > 5th > 4th instar larvae. The ClO4 (-) accumulations in female pupae and adults were significantly higher than that in males. ClO4 (-) bioaccumulation in insect prolonged larval development time and caused a skewed sex ratio (the percentage of males at metamorphosis significantly decreased) under 100 to 200 mg ClO4 (-)/kg treatment. Therefore, ClO4 (-) accumulations in S. litura body presented developmental stage-, sex-specific pattern, and the sex-specific ClO4 (-) accumulations resulted in difference of sex ratio. These effects were observed at concentrations reported in natural environments contaminated with ClO4 (-), suggesting that this contaminant may pose a threat to the normal development and growth of this insect species. PMID:26810791

  16. Effects of thyroid endocrine manipulation on sex-related gene expression and population sex ratios in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Prakash; Tang, Song; Mayer, Gregory D; Patiño, Reynaldo

    2016-09-01

    Thyroid hormone reportedly induces masculinization of genetic females and goitrogen treatment delays testicular differentiation (ovary-to-testis transformation) in genetic males of Zebrafish. This study explored potential molecular mechanisms of these phenomena. Zebrafish were treated with thyroxine (T4, 2nM), goitrogen [methimazole (MZ), 0.15mM], MZ (0.15mM) and T4 (2nM) (rescue treatment), or reconstituted water (control) from 3 to 33days postfertilization (dpf) and maintained in control water until 45dpf. Whole fish were collected during early (25dpf) and late (45dpf) testicular differentiation for transcript abundance analysis of selected male (dmrt1, amh, ar) and female (cyp19a1a, esr1, esr2a, esr2b) sex-related genes by quantitative RT-PCR, and fold-changes relative to control values were determined. Additional fish were sampled at 45dpf for histological assessment of gonadal sex. The T4 and rescue treatments caused male-biased populations, and T4 alone induced precocious puberty in ∼50% of males. Male-biased sex ratios were accompanied by increased expression of amh and ar and reduced expression of cyp19a1a, esr1, esr2a, and esr2b at 25 and 45dpf and, unexpectedly, reduced expression of dmrt1 at 45dpf. Goitrogen exposure increased the proportion of individuals with ovaries (per previous studies interpreted as delay in testicular differentiation of genetic males), and at 25 and 45dpf reduced the expression of amh and ar and increased the expression of esr1 (only at 25dpf), esr2a, and esr2b. Notably, cyp19a1a transcript was reduced but via non-thyroidal pathways (not restored by rescue treatment). In conclusion, the masculinizing activity of T4 at the population level may be due to its ability to inhibit female and stimulate male sex-related genes in larvae, while the inability of MZ to induce cyp19a1a, which is necessary for ovarian differentiation, may explain why its "feminizing" activity on gonadal sex is not permanent. PMID:27255368

  17. Effects of thyroid endocrine manipulation on sex-related gene expression and population sex ratios in Zebrafish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sharma, Prakash; Tang, Song; Mayer, Gregory D.; Patino, Reynaldo

    2016-01-01

    Thyroid hormone reportedly induces masculinization of genetic females and goitrogen treatment delays testicular differentiation (ovary-to-testis transformation) in genetic males of Zebrafish. This study explored potential molecular mechanisms of these phenomena. Zebrafish were treated with thyroxine (T4, 2 nM), goitrogen [methimazole (MZ), 0.15 mM], MZ (0.15 mM) and T4 (2 nM) (rescue treatment), or reconstituted water (control) from 3 to 33 days postfertilization (dpf) and maintained in control water until 45 dpf. Whole fish were collected during early (25 dpf) and late (45 dpf) testicular differentiation for transcript abundance analysis of selected male (dmrt1, amh, ar) and female (cyp19a1a, esr1, esr2a, esr2b) sex-related genes by quantitative RT-PCR, and fold-changes relative to control values were determined. Additional fish were sampled at 45 dpf for histological assessment of gonadal sex. The T4 and rescue treatments caused male-biased populations, and T4 alone induced precocious puberty in ∼50% of males. Male-biased sex ratios were accompanied by increased expression of amh and ar and reduced expression of cyp19a1a, esr1, esr2a, and esr2b at 25 and 45 dpf and, unexpectedly, reduced expression of dmrt1 at 45 dpf. Goitrogen exposure increased the proportion of individuals with ovaries (per previous studies interpreted as delay in testicular differentiation of genetic males), and at 25 and 45 dpf reduced the expression of amh and ar and increased the expression of esr1 (only at 25 dpf), esr2a, and esr2b. Notably, cyp19a1a transcript was reduced but via non-thyroidal pathways (not restored by rescue treatment). In conclusion, the masculinizing activity of T4 at the population level may be due to its ability to inhibit female and stimulate male sex-related genes in larvae, while the inability of MZ to induce cyp19a1a, which is necessary for ovarian differentiation, may explain why its “feminizing” activity on gonadal

  18. Use of 35-mm color aerial photography to acquire mallard sex ratio data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ferguson, E.L.; Jorde, D.G.; Sease, J.L.

    1981-01-01

    A conventional 35-mm camera equipped with an f2.8 135-mm lens and ASA 64 color film was used to acquire sex ratio data on mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) wintering in the Platte River Valley of south-central Nebraska. Prelight focusing for a distance of 30.5 metres and setting of shutter speed at 1/2000 of a second eliminated focusing and reduced image motion problems and resulted in high-resolution, large-scale aerial photography of small targets. This technique has broad application to the problem of determining sex ratios of various species of waterfowl concentrated on wintering and staging areas. The aerial photographic method was cheaper than the ground ocular method when costs were compared on a per-100 bird basis.

  19. Mutually beneficial host exploitation and ultra-biased sex ratios in quasisocial parasitoids

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Xiuyun; Meng, Ling; Kapranas, Apostolos; Xu, Fuyuan; Hardy, Ian C.W.; Li, Baoping

    2014-01-01

    Selfish interests usually preclude resource sharing, but under some conditions collective actions enhance per capita gains. Such Allee effects underlay early explanations of social evolution but current understanding focusses on kin selection (inclusive fitness). We find an Allee effect that explains unusual quasisociality (cooperative brood care) among parasitoid wasps without invoking or precluding kin selection effects. In Sclerodermus harmandi, individual females produce most offspring when exploiting small hosts alone. However, larger hosts are more successfully exploited by larger groups of females, with the per-female benefits outweighing the costs of host sharing. Further, the extremely biased sex ratios (97% female) are better explained by mutually beneficial female–female interactions that increase the reproductive value of daughters (local resource enhancement), rather than by the usually invoked local mate competition between males. Thus, atypical quasisocial behaviour in a parasitoid wasp directly enhances reproductive success and selects for very extremely female-biased sex ratios. PMID:25216091

  20. Evolutionary ecology of human birth sex ratio under the compound influence of climate change, famine, economic crises and wars.

    PubMed

    Helle, Samuli; Helama, Samuli; Lertola, Kalle

    2009-11-01

    1. Human sex ratio at birth at the population level has been suggested to vary according to exogenous stressors such as wars, ambient temperature, ecological disasters and economic crises, but their relative effects on birth sex ratio have not been investigated. It also remains unclear whether such associations represent environmental forcing or adaptive parental response, as parents may produce the sex that has better survival prospects and fitness in a given environmental challenge. 2. We examined the simultaneous role of wars, famine, ambient temperature, economic development and total mortality rate on the annual variation of offspring birth sex ratio and whether this variation, in turn, was related to sex-specific infant mortality rate in Finland during 1865-2003. 3. Our findings show an increased excess of male births during the World War II and during warm years. Instead, economic development, famine, short-lasting Finnish civil war and total mortality rate were not related to birth sex ratio. Moreover, we found no association between annual birth sex ratio and sex-biased infant mortality rate among the concurrent cohort. 4. Our results propose that some exogenous challenges like ambient temperature and war can skew human birth sex ratio and that these deviations likely represent environmental forcing rather than adaptive parental response to such challenges. PMID:19719518

  1. Highly skewed sex ratios and biased fossil deposition of moa: ancient DNA provides new insight on New Zealand's extinct megafauna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allentoft, Morten E.; Bunce, Michael; Scofield, R. Paul; Hale, Marie L.; Holdaway, Richard N.

    2010-03-01

    Ancient DNA was isolated from the bones of 267 individuals of the extinct New Zealand moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) from two late Holocene deposits [Pyramid Valley (PV) and Bell Hill Vineyard (BHV)] located 5.7 km apart in North Canterbury, South Island. The two sites' combined fossil record cover the last 3000 years of pre-human New Zealand and mitochondrial DNA confirmed that four species ( Dinornis robustus, Euryapteryx curtus, Emeus crassus, and Pachyornis elephantopus) were sympatric in the region. However, the relative species compositions in the two deposits differed significantly with D. robustus and E. crassus being most abundant at PV while E. curtus outnumbered the other three moa taxa combined at BHV. A subsample of 227 individuals had sufficient nuclear DNA preservation to warrant the use of molecular sexing techniques, and the analyses uncovered a remarkable excess of females in both deposits with an overall male to female ratio of 1:5.1. Among juveniles of E. curtus, the only species which was represented by a substantial fraction of juveniles, the sex ratio was not skewed (10 ♂, 10 ♀), suggesting that the observed imbalance arose as a result of differential mortality during maturation. Surprisingly, sex ratios proved significantly different between sites with a 1:2.2 ratio at BHV ( n = 90) and 1:14.2 at PV ( n = 137). Given the mobility of large ratites, and the proximity of the two fossil assemblages in space and time, these differences in taxonomic and gender composition indicate that moa biology and the local environment have affected the fossil representation dramatically and several possible explanations are offered. Apart from adding to our understanding of moa biology, these discoveries reinforce the need for caution when basing interpretation of the fossil record on material from a single site.

  2. Factors affecting economics of using sexed semen in dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    McCullock, Katelyn; Hoag, Dana L K; Parsons, Jay; Lacy, Michael; Seidel, George E; Wailes, William

    2013-10-01

    The use of sexed semen in the dairy industry has grown rapidly. However, high costs and low fertility have limited the use of this potentially valuable tool. This study used simulation to evaluate 160,000 combinations of key variables in 3 spheres of influence related to profit feasibility: (1) market (e.g., milk and calf prices), (2) dairy farm management (e.g., conception rates), and (3) technology (e.g., accuracy of sexing). These influential variables were used to determine the most favorable circumstances in which managers or technicians can effect change. Three distinct scenarios were created to model 3 initiatives that a producer might take with sexed semen: (1) using sexed semen on heifers, (2) using sexed semen on heifers and a fraction of the genetically superior cows, and (3) using sexed semen on heifers and a fraction of the genetically superior cows, and breeding all other cows with beef semen. Due to the large number of management, market, and technology combinations, a response surface and interpretive graphs were created to map the scope of influence for the key variables. Technology variables such as the added cost of sexed semen had relatively little effect on profitability, defined as net present value gain per cow, whereas management variables such as conception rate had a significant effect. Milk price had relatively little effect within each scenario, but was important across scenarios. Profitability was very sensitive to the price of dairy heifer calves, relative to beef and dairy bull calves. Scenarios 1 and 2 added about $50 to $75 per cow in net present value, which ranged from $0 to $200 and from $100 to $300, respectively. Scenario 3 usually was not profitable, primarily because fewer excess dairy replacement heifers were available for sale. Dairy heifer price proved to be the most influential variable, regardless of scenario. PMID:23932128

  3. [Long-term effects of dioxin on human health and sex ratio].

    PubMed

    Iguchi, T

    2000-12-01

    Extremely high dioxins exposure has been reported in 35 men dismantled an incinerator in Osaka, Japan. The average of the serum dioxin concentration in the workers was 680 pg, the maximum concentration was 5380 pg, these values were 200-300 times higher than normal healthy Japanese men(20-30 pg). The present article reviewed long-term effects of dioxins on human health and sex ratios after accidental dioxins exposure in Seveso, Italy, based on the recently published articles. PMID:11187745

  4. Observations on sex ratio and behavior of males in Xyleborinus saxesenii Ratzeburg (Scolytinae, Coleoptera)

    PubMed Central

    H.W. Biedermann, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Strongly female-biased sex ratios are typical for the fungalfeeding haplodiploid Xyleborini (Scolytinae, Coleoptera), and are a result of inbreeding and local mate competition (LMC). These ambrosia beetles are hardly ever found outside of trees, and thus male frequency and behavior have not been addressed in any empirical studies to date. In fact, for most species the males remain undescribed. Data on sex ratios and male behavior could, however, provide important insights into the Xyleborini’s mating system and the evolution of inbreeding and LMC in general. In this study, I used in vitro rearing methods to obtain the first observational data on sex ratio, male production, male and female dispersal, and mating behavior in a xyleborine ambrosia beetle. Females of Xyleborinus saxesenii Ratzeburg produced between 0 and 3 sons per brood, and the absence of males was relatively independent of the number of daughters to be fertilized and the maternal brood sex ratio. Both conformed to a strict LMC strategy with a relatively precise and constant number of males. If males were present they eclosed just before the first females dispersed, and stayed in the gallery until all female offspring had matured. They constantly wandered through the gallery system, presumably in search of unfertilized females, and attempted to mate with larvae, other males, and females of all ages. Copulations, however, only occurred with immature females. From galleries with males, nearly all females dispersed fertilized. Only a few left the natal gallery without being fertilized, and subsequently went on to produce large and solely male broods. If broods were male-less, dispersing females always failed to found new galleries. PMID:21594184

  5. Parrotfish sex ratios recover rapidly in Bermuda following a fishing ban

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Farrell, Shay; Luckhurst, Brian E.; Box, Stephen J.; Mumby, Peter J.

    2016-06-01

    Parrotfishes are an ecologically and commercially important teleost group whose grazing contributes to maintaining coral-dominated states on hermatypic reefs. However, overfishing has skewed sex ratios of Atlantic parrotfishes because fishing has disproportionate impacts on larger individuals, and males are generally larger than females. Whether protection from fishing may allow sex ratios to return to equilibrium is unknown, as fishing can induce irreversible ecological and/or evolutionary shifts. Bermuda banned trap fishing in 1990, creating a unique opportunity to analyse long-term responses of Atlantic parrotfishes to release from fishing. We found that sex ratios of four common parrotfishes were initially skewed, with male proportions ranging from 0.04 to 0.18. However, male proportions rebounded within 3-4 yr, equilibrating at values ranging from 0.36 to 0.54, similar to those reported at unfished sites in the region. Our results are encouraging for regional efforts to recover lost grazing function by restoring overfished herbivore populations.

  6. Sex-ratio conflicts, kin selection, and the evolution of altruism

    PubMed Central

    Alonso, Wladimir J.; Schuck-Paim, Cynthia

    2002-01-01

    Kin-selection theory has thrived in the explanation of a wide variety of biological phenomena, chiefly the evolution of biological altruism as that found in sterile castes of eusocial insects. Much of the way in which it has been tested is based on the existence of conflicts over sex-ratio production within eusocial colonies. However, despite neatly showing eusocial colonies as arenas where selection at the gene level triggers the appearance of sophisticated disputes, these studies have only demonstrated the existence of genes that act by biasing sex ratios to promote their own spread. Here we argue that such genes depend on the social organization of the colonies where they are expressed, but that they are not, in any way, the precursors of these societies—the major implication being that unequivocal evidence that eusociality evolved through the action of kin-selected altruistic genes is still lacking. Additionally, we highlight the neglect of alternative theories on the explanation of both biological altruism and sex-ratio conflicts, and defend that the enthusiasm with the latter has, in some cases, led to its inappropriate use as a basis for the explanation of other biological characteristics of eusocial organisms, when accounts based on phylogenetic or physiological constraints are also available. PMID:11997461

  7. Inbreeding and selection on sex ratio in the bark beetle Xylosandrus germanus

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Local Mate Competition (LMC) theory predicts a female should produce a more female-biased sex ratio if her sons compete with each other for mates. Because it provides quantitative predictions that can be experimentally tested, LMC is a textbook example of the predictive power of evolutionary theory. A limitation of many earlier studies in the field is that the population structure and mating system of the studied species are often estimated only indirectly. Here we use microsatellites to characterize the levels of inbreeding of the bark beetle Xylosandrus germanus, a species where the level of LMC is expected to be high. Results For three populations studied, genetic variation for our genetic markers was very low, indicative of an extremely high level of inbreeding (FIS = 0.88). There was also strong linkage disequilibrium between microsatellite loci and a very strong genetic differentiation between populations. The data suggest that matings among non-siblings are very rare (3%), although sex ratios from X. germanus in both the field and the laboratory have suggested more matings between non-sibs, and so less intense LMC. Conclusions Our results confirm that caution is needed when inferring mating systems from sex ratio data, especially when a lack of biological detail means the use of overly simple forms of the model of interest. PMID:22166098

  8. Explaining the Rapid Increase in Nigeria's Sex Ratio at Birth: Factors and Implications.

    PubMed

    Kaba, Amadu J

    2015-06-01

    This paper examines the rapid increase in Nigeria's sex ratio at birth from 1.03 boys born for every 1 girl born in each year from 1996-2008 to 1.06 in each year from 2009-2014, second only to Tunisia in Africa at 1.07. The average sex ratio at birth in the world in 2014 was 1.07. In most Black African nations or Black majority nations, it is 1.03 or less. Among the factors presented for this development are: historical fluctuations of sex ratio at birth; geography and ethnicity; male preference/chasing a son; Age of parents; high death rates of male infants and males in general; and wealth/socioeconomic status. Among the potential implications are: young and poor men in Nigeria may not be able to find brides and form families due to a potential shortage of females; emigration of young and poor Nigerian men to West (Africa) and elsewhere to seek brides and form families; immigration of marriage age women from West (Africa) and around the world to Nigeria to seek husbands; and low contraceptive use and high fertility rates in Nigeria. PMID:26506655

  9. Sex Ratio Meiotic Drive as a Plausible Evolutionary Mechanism for Hybrid Male Sterility

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Linbin; Xiao, Hailian; Tao, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Biological diversity on Earth depends on the multiplication of species or speciation, which is the evolution of reproductive isolation such as hybrid sterility between two new species. An unsolved puzzle is the exact mechanism(s) that causes two genomes to diverge from their common ancestor so that some divergent genes no longer function properly in the hybrids. Here we report genetic analyses of divergent genes controlling male fertility and sex ratio in two very young fruitfly species, Drosophila albomicans and D. nasuta. A majority of the genetic divergence for both traits is mapped to the same regions by quantitative trait loci mappings. With introgressions, six major loci are found to contribute to both traits. This genetic colocalization implicates that genes for hybrid male sterility have evolved primarily for controlling sex ratio. We propose that genetic conflicts over sex ratio may operate as a perpetual dynamo for genome divergence. This particular evolutionary mechanism may largely contribute to the rapid evolution of hybrid male sterility and the disproportionate enrichment of its underlying genes on the X chromosome – two patterns widely observed across animals. PMID:25822261

  10. Back-casting sociality in extinct species: new perspectives using mass death assemblages and sex ratios.

    PubMed Central

    Berger, J; Dulamtseren, S; Cain, S; Enkkhbileg, D; Lichtman, P; Namshir, Z; Wingard, G; Reading, R

    2001-01-01

    Despite 150 years of interest in the ecology of dinosaurs, mammoths, proto-hominids and other extinct vertebrates, a general framework to recreate patterns of sociality has been elusive. Based on our recent discovery of a contemporary heterospecific mass death assemblage in the Gobi Desert (Mongolia), we fit predictions about gender-specific associations and group living in extant ungulates to extinct ones. We relied on comparative data on sex-ratio variation and body-size dimorphism, basing analyses on 38 additional mass mortality sites from Asia, Africa, Europe and North America that span 50 million years. Both extant and extinct species died in aggregations with biased adult sex ratios, but the skew (from 1:1) was greater for extinct dimorphic taxa, suggesting that sociality in these extinct species can be predicted from spatial and demographic traits of extant ones. However, extinct rhinos, horses and zebras were inconsistent with predictions about adult sex ratios, which underscores the inherent difficulty in backcasting historic patterns to some monomorphic taxa. These findings shed light not only on the sociality of extinct species but provide a sound, although limited, footing for interpretation of modern death assemblages within the context of the emerging science of taphonomy and palaeobehaviour. PMID:11209882