Science.gov

Sample records for affecting sex ratio

  1. Population density affects sex ratio variation in red deer.

    PubMed

    Kruuk, L E; Clutton-Brock, T H; Albon, S D; Pemberton, J M; Guinness, F E

    1999-06-03

    Many mammal populations show significant deviations from an equal sex ratio at birth, but these effects are notoriously inconsistent. This may be because more than one mechanism affects the sex ratio and the action of these mechanisms depends on environmental conditions. Here we show that the adaptive relationship between maternal dominance and offspring sex ratio previously demonstrated in red deer (Cervus elaphus), where dominant females produced more males, disappeared at high population density. The proportion of males born each year declined with increasing population density and with winter rainfall, both of which are environmental variables associated with nutritional stress during pregnancy. These changes in the sex ratio corresponded to reductions in fecundity, suggesting that they were caused by differential fetal loss. In contrast, the earlier association with maternal dominance is presumed to have been generated pre-implantation. The effects of one source of variation superseded the other within about two generations. Comparison with other ungulate studies indicates that positive associations between maternal quality and the proportion of male offspring born have only been documented in populations below carrying capacity.

  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. 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.

  4. Did the 1991-1995 wars in the former Yugoslavia affect sex ratio at birth?

    PubMed

    Polasek, Ozren

    2006-01-01

    Proportion of males at birth (commonly referred to as the sex ratio) has been investigated for countries of former Yugoslavia that were affected by the 1991-1995 wars. Number of live births for Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina with Serbian Republic, and Serbia and Montenegro were obtained from the official vital statistics data and analysed with the Chi-square test. Results yielded no difference in the sex ratio associated with the war for the entire data set. However, country level data analysis revealed a significant increase in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Serbian Republic, where proportion of male births during the wartime reached as high as 0.523 (compared to 0.516 in the pre-war and 0.515 in the post-war period). Countries that were involved in either mild or intermediate level of warfare did not exhibit a significant increase in the sex ratio (e.g. Slovenia and Croatia). Although war in Croatia lasted a year longer than in Bosnia and Herzegovina, analysis of the most intensive wartime periods in Croatia did not yield significant change. It seems that a hypothetical threshold of the warfare intensity combined with duration has to be reached (e.g. as in case of Bosnia and Herzegovina), in order for war to influence the sex ratio.

  5. Working Late: Do Workplace Sex Ratios Affect Partnership Formation and Dissolution?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Svarer, Michael

    2007-01-01

    In this paper, I analyze the association between workplace sex ratios and partnership formation and dissolution. I find that the risk of dissolution increases with the fraction of coworkers of the opposite sex at both the female and male workplace. On the other hand, workplace sex ratios are not important for the overall transition rate from…

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. How rapidly can maternal behavior affecting primary sex ratio evolve in a reptile with environmental sex determination?

    PubMed

    Morjan, Carrie L

    2003-08-01

    Theoretical models identify maternal behavior as critical for the maintenance and evolution of sex ratios in organisms with environmental sex determination (ESD). Maternal choice of nest site is generally thought to respond more rapidly to sex ratio selection than environmental sensitivity of offspring sex (threshold temperatures) in reptiles with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD, a form of ESD). However, knowledge of the evolutionary potential for either of these traits in a field setting is limited. I developed a simulation model using local climate data and observed levels of phenotypic variation for nest-site choice and threshold temperatures in painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) with TSD. Both nest-site choice and threshold temperatures, and hence sex ratios, evolved slowly to simulated climate change scenarios. In contrast to expectations from previous models, nest-site choice evolved more slowly than threshold temperatures because of large climatic effects on nest temperatures and indirect selection on maternally expressed traits. A variant of the model, assuming inheritance of nest-site choice through natal imprinting, demonstrated that natal imprinting inhibited adaptive responses in female nest-site choice to climate change. These results predict that females have relatively low potential to adaptively adjust sex ratios through nest-site choice.

  10. Logging affects fledgling sex ratios and baseline corticosterone in a forest songbird.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. 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

  12. Sex Ratio Elasticity Influences the Selection of Sex Ratio Strategy.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yaqiang; Wang, Ruiwu; Li, Yaotang; Sam Ma, Zhanshan

    2016-12-23

    There are three sex ratio strategies (SRS) in nature-male-biased sex ratio, female-biased sex ratio and, equal sex ratio. It was R. A. Fisher who first explained why most species in nature display a sex ratio of ½. Consequent SRS theories such as Hamilton's local mate competition (LMC) and Clark's local resource competition (LRC) separately explained the observed deviations from the seemingly universal 1:1 ratio. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is not yet a unified theory that accounts for the mechanisms of the three SRS. Here, we introduce the price elasticity theory in economics to define sex ratio elasticity (SRE), and present an analytical model that derives three SRSs based on the following assumption: simultaneously existing competitions for both resources A and resources B influence the level of SRE in both sexes differently. Consequently, it is the difference (between two sexes) in the level of their sex ratio elasticity that leads to three different SRS. Our analytical results demonstrate that the elasticity-based model not only reveals a highly plausible mechanism that explains the evolution of SRS in nature, but also offers a novel framework for unifying two major classical theories (i.e., LMC &LRC) in the field of SRS research.

  13. Sex Ratio Elasticity Influences the Selection of Sex Ratio Strategy

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yaqiang; Wang, Ruiwu; Li, Yaotang; (Sam) Ma, Zhanshan

    2016-01-01

    There are three sex ratio strategies (SRS) in nature—male-biased sex ratio, female-biased sex ratio and, equal sex ratio. It was R. A. Fisher who first explained why most species in nature display a sex ratio of ½. Consequent SRS theories such as Hamilton’s local mate competition (LMC) and Clark’s local resource competition (LRC) separately explained the observed deviations from the seemingly universal 1:1 ratio. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is not yet a unified theory that accounts for the mechanisms of the three SRS. Here, we introduce the price elasticity theory in economics to define sex ratio elasticity (SRE), and present an analytical model that derives three SRSs based on the following assumption: simultaneously existing competitions for both resources A and resources B influence the level of SRE in both sexes differently. Consequently, it is the difference (between two sexes) in the level of their sex ratio elasticity that leads to three different SRS. Our analytical results demonstrate that the elasticity-based model not only reveals a highly plausible mechanism that explains the evolution of SRS in nature, but also offers a novel framework for unifying two major classical theories (i.e., LMC & LRC) in the field of SRS research. PMID:28009000

  14. Sex Ratio Elasticity Influences the Selection of Sex Ratio Strategy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yaqiang; Wang, Ruiwu; Li, Yaotang; (Sam) Ma, Zhanshan

    2016-12-01

    There are three sex ratio strategies (SRS) in nature—male-biased sex ratio, female-biased sex ratio and, equal sex ratio. It was R. A. Fisher who first explained why most species in nature display a sex ratio of ½. Consequent SRS theories such as Hamilton’s local mate competition (LMC) and Clark’s local resource competition (LRC) separately explained the observed deviations from the seemingly universal 1:1 ratio. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is not yet a unified theory that accounts for the mechanisms of the three SRS. Here, we introduce the price elasticity theory in economics to define sex ratio elasticity (SRE), and present an analytical model that derives three SRSs based on the following assumption: simultaneously existing competitions for both resources A and resources B influence the level of SRE in both sexes differently. Consequently, it is the difference (between two sexes) in the level of their sex ratio elasticity that leads to three different SRS. Our analytical results demonstrate that the elasticity-based model not only reveals a highly plausible mechanism that explains the evolution of SRS in nature, but also offers a novel framework for unifying two major classical theories (i.e., LMC & LRC) in the field of SRS research.

  15. Experimental manipulation of queen number affects colony sex ratio investment in the highly polygynous ant Formica exsecta

    PubMed Central

    Kümmerli, Rolf; Helms, Ken R; Keller, Laurent

    2005-01-01

    In polygynous (multiple queens per nest) ants, queen dispersal is often limited with young queens being recruited within the parental colony. This mode of dispersal leads to local resource competition between nestmate queens and is frequently associated with extremely male-biased sex ratios at the population level. The queen-replenishment hypothesis has been recently proposed to explain colony sex ratio investment under such conditions. It predicts that colonies containing many queens (subject to high local resource competition) should only produce males, whereas colonies hosting few queens (reduced or no local resource competition) should produce new queens in addition to males. We experimentally tested this hypothesis in the ant Formica exsecta by manipulating queen number over three consecutive years in 120 colonies of a highly polygynous population. Queens were transferred from 40 colonies into another 40 colonies while queen number was not manipulated in 40 control colonies. Genetic analyses of worker offspring revealed that our treatment significantly changed the number of reproductive queens. The sex ratio of colonies was significantly different between treatments in the third breeding season following the experiment initiation. We found that, as predicted by the queen-replenishment hypothesis, queen removal resulted in a significant increase in the proportion of colonies that produced new queens. These results provide the first experimental evidence for the queen-replenishment hypothesis, which might account for sex ratio specialization in many highly polygynous ant species. PMID:16096090

  16. Herbivores affect natural selection for floral-sex ratio in a field population of horsenettle, Solanum carolinense.

    PubMed

    Wise, Michael J; Hébert, Julie B

    2010-04-01

    Although aspects of a plant's breeding system are generally believed to have evolved in response to selection for effective pollination, herbivores may also play a selective role. Here we report on a field experiment involving 960 transplanted ramets of the andromonoecious herb Solanum carolinense in which the pattern of natural selection for an important breeding-system trait was influenced by naturally occurring herbivores. As the level of flower and fruit herbivory increased, the pattern of selection on floral-sex ratio went from stabilizing (with an optimum of 29% male flowers), to directional toward a lower proportion of males, with the optimum bottoming at 0% male. This pattern of selection likely helped generate the broad-sense genetic correlation (r = 0.42) between floral-sex ratio and resistance to herbivory. These results contribute to the growing awareness that herbivores can be important influences not only on plant resistance traits, but also on the evolution of their hosts' breeding system.

  17. 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.

  18. Human behaviour: sex ratio and the city.

    PubMed

    Székely, Áron; Székely, Tamás

    2012-09-11

    The ratio of males to females in a population is known to influence the behaviour, life histories and demography of animals. A recent experimental study finds that sex ratio also affects human economic behaviour, and in a manner consistent with evolutionary theory.

  19. Evolutionarily stable sex ratios and mutation load.

    PubMed

    Hough, Josh; Immler, Simone; Barrett, Spencer C H; Otto, Sarah P

    2013-07-01

    Frequency-dependent selection should drive dioecious populations toward a 1:1 sex ratio, but biased sex ratios are widespread, especially among plants with sex chromosomes. Here, we develop population genetic models to investigate the relationships between evolutionarily stable sex ratios, haploid selection, and deleterious mutation load. We confirm that when haploid selection acts only on the relative fitness of X- and Y-bearing pollen and the sex ratio is controlled by the maternal genotype, seed sex ratios evolve toward 1:1. When we also consider haploid selection acting on deleterious mutations, however, we find that biased sex ratios can be stably maintained, reflecting a balance between the advantages of purging deleterious mutations via haploid selection, and the disadvantages of haploid selection on the sex ratio. Our results provide a plausible evolutionary explanation for biased sex ratios in dioecious plants, given the extensive gene expression that occurs across plant genomes at the haploid stage.

  20. Parental care and adaptive brood sex ratio manipulation in birds.

    PubMed Central

    Hasselquist, Dennis; Kempenaers, Bart

    2002-01-01

    Under many circumstances, it might be adaptive for parents to bias the investment in offspring in relation to sex. Recently developed molecular techniques that allow sex determination of newly hatched offspring have caused a surge in studies of avian sex allocation. Whether females bias the primary brood sex ratio in relation to factors such as environmental and parental quality is debated. Progress is hampered because the mechanisms for primary sex ratio manipulation are unknown. Moreover, publication bias against non-significant results may distort our view of adaptive sex ratio manipulation. Despite this, there is recent experimental evidence for adaptive brood sex ratio manipulation in birds. Parental care is a particularly likely candidate to affect the brood sex ratio because it can have strong direct effects on the fitness of both parents and their offspring. We investigate and make predictions of factors that can be important for adaptive brood sex ratio manipulation under different patterns of parental care. We encourage correlational studies based on sufficiently large datasets to ensure high statistical power, studies identifying and experimentally altering factors with sex-differential fitness effects that may cause brood sex ratio skew, and studies that experimentally manipulate brood sex ratio and investigate fitness effects. PMID:11958704

  1. Sex ratio in relation to fathers' occupations.

    PubMed Central

    Dickinson, H O; Parker, L

    1997-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether the sex ratio of children varies between fathers of different occupations. METHODS: The sex ratio (the ratio of the number of boys to the number of girls at birth) was calculated in relation to paternal occupation in the cohort of all 253,433 live births in Cumbria, north west England, from 1950-89. Exact binomial confidence intervals were used to estimate whether the sex ratio in each occupational category was significantly different from that for the rest of the cohort. RESULTS: There were fewer occupational categories with significantly different sex ratios at the 5% level than expected by chance alone, assuming the same binomial distribution of sexes at birth within each paternal occupation. CONCLUSIONS: Significant variation of the sex ratio with fathers' occupations was not found. There is some evidence that the sex ratio shows less variance than expected under a binomial model which assumes independence of the sex of each child; a possible explanation of this may be parental preference for limiting family size after children of both sexes have been born or some other factor which results in children within a family being more likely to be of both sexes rather than the same sex. PMID:9470894

  2. Effect of the Lebanese civil war on sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Abu-Musa, Antoine; Usta, Ihab; Hannoun, Antoine; Nassar, Anwar

    2008-01-01

    Sex ratio is a subject of scientific interest but little is known about the factors that affect the sex ratio of humans. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of the Lebanese civil war on sex ratio. Data on all live births delivered at a large university hospital for the years 1977-2005 were used in this study. Study periods were defined as wartime (1977-1992) and post-war (1993-2005). The sex ratio in the study time period was calculated as the male proportion, i.e. males/males + females in live-born infants. Sex ratio during the war was compared with that of the post-war period. The sex ratio was similar in the war and post-war period (0.515 versus 0.513; OR = 1.007; 95% CI 0.98-1.04). The annual variation in the sex ratio during the study period did not show any significant change in any of the years. In conclusion, the Lebanese civil war did not cause a detectable change in sex ratio at birth. Factors that might have affected the sex ratio include the nature of the study population (civilians), the variable intensity of war in different periods, and the effect of stress and environmental toxins.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Secular trends and geographical variations in sex ratio at birth.

    PubMed

    Pavic, Dario

    2015-12-01

    Numerous studies have established the presence of secular trends and geographical variations in sex ratio at birth, albeit with mixed and often contradictory results. In addition, a multitude of environmental, social, economic, demographic and other factors has been proposed to influence the sex ratio at birth, thus complicating the interpretation of both secular trends and geographical variations. In this paper, the current state of knowledge on these issues is presented and critically assessed. Analyzing longer time series of sex ratio at birth with possible cycles and random components is given priority over establishing simple linear trends in the data. In analyzing the geographical variation in the sex ratio at birth, two different levels of analysis are distinguished (global and local), and two different sets of factors affecting the sex ratio at birth are proposed accordingly. Some key guidelines and future research directions are also proposed.

  6. Sex ratio dynamics and fluctuating selection on personality.

    PubMed

    Del Giudice, Marco

    2012-03-21

    Fluctuating selection has often been proposed as an explanation for the maintenance of genetic variation in personality. Here I argue that the temporal dynamics of the sex ratio can be a powerful source of fluctuating selection on personality traits, and develop this hypothesis with respect to humans. First, I review evidence that sex ratios modulate a wide range of social processes related to mating and parenting. Since most personality traits affect mating and parenting behavior, changes in the sex ratio can be expected to result in variable selection on personality. I then show that the temporal dynamics of the sex ratio are intrinsically characterized by fluctuations at various timescales. Finally, I address a number of evolutionary genetic challenges to the hypothesis. I conclude that the sex ratio hypothesis is a plausible explanation of genetic variation in human personality, and may be fruitfully applied to other species as well.

  7. 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

  8. Radiation and the sex ratio in man.

    PubMed

    SCHULL, W J; NEEL, J V

    1958-08-15

    An analysis of new data concerning the sex of children born to the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, together with a reanalysis of the data previously presented by Neel and Schull (9), reveals significant changes in the sex ratio of these children, changes in the direction to be expected if exposure had resulted in the induction of sex-linked lethal mutations (16).

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Climate Influences Fledgling Sex Ratio and Sex-Specific Dispersal in a Seabird

    PubMed Central

    Barros, Álvaro; Álvarez, David; Velando, Alberto

    2013-01-01

    Climate influences the dynamics of natural populations by direct effects over habitat quality but also modulating the phenotypic responses of organisms’ life-history traits. These responses may be different in males and females, particularly in dimorphic species, due to sex-specific requirements or constraints. Here, in a coastal seabird, the European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), we studied the influence of climate (North Atlantic Oscillation, NAO; Sea Surface Temperature, SST) on two sex-related population parameters: fledgling sex ratio and sex-specific dispersal. We found that fledgling sex ratio was female skewed in NAO-positive years and male skewed in NAO-negative years. Accordingly, females dispersed a longer distance in NAO-positive years when females were overproduced, and on the contrary, males dispersed more in NAO-negative years. Overall, our findings provide rare evidence on vertebrates with genetic sex determination that climate conditions may govern population dynamics by affecting sex-specific density and dispersal. PMID:23951144

  12. Is Canada's sex ratio in decline?

    PubMed Central

    Dodds, L; Armson, B A

    1997-01-01

    In this issue (see pages 37 to 41) Dr. Bruce B. Allan and associates report a small but statistically significant decrease--of about 0.2%--in the proportion of male live births in Canada over the period 1970-90. In this editorial, factors that have been reported in the literature to influence sex ratio are examined within a Canadian context. The authors suggest that although the reasons for the apparent decline in the sex ratio in Canada are unclear, the increasing use of ovulation induction may be a contributing factor. Data from the Nova Scotia Atlee Perinatal Database are discussed with a view to explaining the trend observed in Atlantic Canada, but no obvious explanation emerges. The authors argue that when the period of observation is extended no overall change in the sex ratio is apparent. This would suggest a tendency toward stabilization rather than decline. PMID:9006564

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Breeding sex ratios in adult leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) may compensate for female-biased hatchling sex ratios.

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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

  17. Male pygmy hippopotamus influence offspring sex ratio.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-28

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Intragenomic conflict produces sex ratio dynamics that favor maternal sex ratio distorters.

    PubMed

    Rood, Elaine S; Freedberg, Steven

    2016-11-01

    Maternal sex ratio distorters (MSDs) are selfish elements that enhance their transmission by biasing their host's sex allocation in favor of females. While previous models have predicted that the female-biased populations resulting from sex ratio distortion can benefit from enhanced productivity, these models neglect Fisherian selection for nuclear suppressors, an unrealistic assumption in most systems. We used individual-based computer simulation modeling to explore the intragenomic conflict between sex ratio distorters and their suppressors and explored the impacts of these dynamics on population-level competition between species characterized by MSDs and those lacking them. The conflict between distorters and suppressors was capable of producing large cyclical fluctuations in the population sex ratio and reproductive rate. Despite fitness costs associated with the distorters and suppressors, MSD populations often exhibited enhanced productivity and outcompeted non-MSD populations in single and multiple-population competition simulations. Notably, the conflict itself is beneficial to the success of populations, as sex ratio oscillations limit the competitive deficits associated with prolonged periods of male rarity. Although intragenomic conflict has been historically viewed as deleterious to populations, our results suggest that distorter-suppressor conflict can provide population-level advantages, potentially helping to explain the persistence of sex ratio distorters in a range of taxa.

  20. 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

  1. Maternal transmission, sex ratio distortion, and mitochondria.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-18

    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.

  2. Repeated in utero and lactational 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin exposure affects male gonads in offspring, leading to sex ratio changes in F2 progeny.

    PubMed

    Ikeda, Masahiko; 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 (F1) and the sex ratio of the subsequent generation (F2) 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 (F1) 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 F2 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 (F1), leading to changes in the sex ratio of the subsequent generation (F2).

  3. 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})

  4. Environmental sex reversal, Trojan sex genes, and sex ratio adjustment: conditions and population consequences.

    PubMed

    Stelkens, Rike B; Wedekind, Claus

    2010-02-01

    The great diversity of sex determination mechanisms in animals and plants ranges from genetic sex determination (GSD, e.g. mammals, birds, and most dioecious plants) to environmental sex determination (ESD, e.g. many reptiles) and includes a mixture of both, for example when an individual's genetically determined sex is environmentally reversed during ontogeny (ESR, environmental sex reversal, e.g. many fish and amphibia). ESD and ESR can lead to widely varying and unstable population sex ratios. Populations exposed to conditions such as endocrine-active substances or temperature shifts may decline over time due to skewed sex ratios, a scenario that may become increasingly relevant with greater anthropogenic interference on watercourses. Continuous exposure of populations to factors causing ESR could lead to the extinction of genetic sex factors and may render a population dependent on the environmental factors that induce the sex change. However, ESR also presents opportunities for population management, especially if the Y or W chromosome is not, or not severely, degenerated. This seems to be the case in many amphibians and fish. Population growth or decline in such species can potentially be controlled through the introduction of so-called Trojan sex genes carriers, individuals that possess sex chromosomes or genes opposite from what their phenotype predicts. Here, we review the conditions for ESR, its prevalence in natural populations, the resulting physiological and reproductive consequences, and how these may become instrumental for population management.

  5. [[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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Mating behavior, population growth, and the operational sex ratio: a periodic two-sex model approach.

    PubMed

    Jenouvrier, Stéphanie; Caswell, Hal; Barbraud, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2010-06-01

    We present a new approach to modeling two-sex populations, using periodic, nonlinear two-sex matrix models. The models project the population growth rate, the population structure, and any ratio of interest (e.g., operational sex ratio). The periodic formulation permits inclusion of highly seasonal behavioral events. A periodic product of the seasonal matrices describes annual population dynamics. The model is nonlinear because mating probability depends on the structure of the population. To study how the vital rates influence population growth rate, population structure, and operational sex ratio, we used sensitivity analysis of frequency-dependent nonlinear models. In nonlinear two-sex models the vital rates affect growth rate directly and also indirectly through effects on the population structure. The indirect effects can sometimes overwhelm the direct effects and are revealed only by nonlinear analysis. We find that the sensitivity of the population growth rate to female survival is negative for the emperor penguin, a species with highly seasonal breeding behavior. This result could not occur in linear models because changes in population structure have no effect on per capita reproduction. Our approach is applicable to ecological and evolutionary studies of any species in which males and females interact in a seasonal environment.

  9. How Will Cancer Affect My Sex Life?

    MedlinePlus

    ... Families How will cancer affect my sex life? Sexual feelings and attitudes vary greatly among people, even ... people have little or no change in their sexual desire and energy level during cancer treatment. Others ...

  10. Manipulation of primary sex ratio in birds: lessons from the homing pigeon (Columba livia domestica).

    PubMed

    Goerlich-Jansson, Vivian C; Müller, Martina S; Groothuis, Ton G G

    2013-12-01

    Across various animal taxa not only the secondary sex ratio but also the primary sex ratio (at conception) shows significant deviations from the expected equal proportions of sons and daughters. Birds are especially intriguing to study this phenomenon as avian females are the heterogametic sex (ZW); therefore sex determination might be under direct control of the mother. Avian sex ratios vary in relation to environmental or maternal condition, which can also affect the production of maternal steroids that in turn are involved in reproduction and accumulate in the developing follicle before meiosis. As the proximate mechanisms underlying biased primary sex ratio are largely elusive, we explored how, and to what extent, maternal steroid hormones may be involved in affecting primary or secondary sex ratio in clutches of various species of pigeons. First we demonstrated a clear case of seasonal change in sex ratio in first eggs both in the Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) and in a related species, the Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus), both producing clutches of two eggs. In the Homing Pigeon (Columba livia domestica), domesticated from the Rock Pigeon, testosterone treatment of breeding females induced a clear male bias, while corticosterone induced a female bias in first eggs and we argue that this is in line with sex allocation theory. We next analyzed treatment effects on follicle formation, yolk mass, and yolk hormones, the latter both pre- and post-ovulatory, in order to test a diversity of potential mechanisms related to both primary and secondary sex ratio manipulation. We conclude that maternal plasma hormone levels may affect several pre-ovulatory mechanisms affecting primary sex ratio, whereas egg hormones are probably involved in secondary sex ratio manipulation only.

  11. Experimental demonstration that pre- and post-conceptional mechanisms influence sex ratio in mouse embryos.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, Adela; Fernández, Raúl; Madrid-Bury, Ninoska; Moreira, Pedro Nuno; Borque, Concepción; Pintado, Belén; Gutiérrez-Adán, Alfonso

    2003-10-01

    Previously we have demonstrated in two monotocous species (bovine and sheep), a relationship between time of insemination, moment of ovulation, and embryo sex ratio. Here, we have analyzed in a polytocous specie (mice) if in addition to pre-conceptional mechanisms, also post-conceptional ones affect the offspring sex ratio. To verify this hypothesis we carried out two experiments. In the first experiment, we analyzed the effect of mating dynamics on the sex ratio of mice with synchronic male and female embryo development. Females were mated before and after ovulation and sacrificed 13 days later for sex determination of embryos and reabsorptions. A decreased litter size, and an increased offspring sex ratio in matings occurring later in oestrus, supported the view that a biased sex ratio may occur as the result of behavioral differences between the populations of X- or Y-bearing spermatozoa. In the second experiment, embryos developmentally synchronic and asynchronic with the recipient female endometrium were transferred, and again, 13 days later, females were sacrificed for sex determination of embryos and reabsorptions. The male proportion per litter found, indicated that our developmentally asynchronic transfers favored a sex ratio disbalance at birth. When combined, these results become the first experimental evidence supporting the view that both pre- and post-conceptional mechanisms of sex ratio distortion in polytocous species are not mutually exclusive and both may explain, under different conditions, sex ratio deviations at birth.

  12. Sex ratio variation and spatial distribution of Siparuna grandiflora, a tropical dioecious shrub.

    PubMed

    Nicotra, A B

    1998-06-01

    Populations of dioecious plant species often exhibit biased sex ratios. Such biases may arise as a result of sex-based differences in life history traits, or as a result of spatial segregation of the sexes. Of these, sex-based differentiation in life history traits is likely to be the most common cause of bias. In dioecious species, selection can act upon the sexes in a somewhat independent way, leading to differentiation and evolution toward sex-specific ecological optima. I examined sex ratio variation and spatial distribution of the tropical dioecious shrub Siparuna grandiflora to determine whether populations exhibited a biased sex ratio, and if so, whether the bias could be explained in terms of non-random spatial distribution or sex-based differentiation in life history traits. Sex ratio bias was tested using contingency tables, a logistic regression approach was utilized to examine variation in life history traits, and spatial distributions were analyzed using Ripley's K, a second-order neighborhood analysis. I found that although populations of S. grandiflora have a male-biased sex ratio within and among years, there was no evidence of spatial segregation of the sexes. Rather, the sex ratio bias was shown to result primarily from sex-based differentiation in life history traits; males reproduce at a smaller size and more frequently than females. The sexes also differ in the relationship between plant size and reproductive frequency. Light availability was shown to affect reproductive activity in both sexes, though among infrequently flowering plants, females require higher light levels than males to flower. The results of this study demonstrate that ecologically significant sex-based differentiation has evolved in S. grandiflora.

  13. Effect of timing of artificial insemination on sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Rorie, R W

    1999-12-01

    For a number of years, the time of insemination or mating during estrus has been believed to influence the sex ratio of offspring, with early insemination resulting in more females and late insemination, more males. Possible mechanisms of altering the sex ratio include facilitating or inhibiting the transport of either X- or Y-chromosome-bearing sperm through the reproductive tract, preferential selection of sperm at fertilization, or sex-specific death of embryos after fertilization. In livestock species, there is evidence for preferential selection of X- or Y-bearing sperm, based on the maturational state of the oocyte at fertilization. In deer and sheep, early and late insemination appears to skew the sex ratio toward females and males, respectively. In cattle, conflicting reports on the effect of time of insemination on sex ratio make the premise less clear. Many of the published studies lack adequate observations for definitive conclusions and/or are based on infrequent observations of estrus, making it difficult to assess the effect of time of insemination on sex ratio. It is likely that any effect of time of insemination on sex ratio in cattle is relatively small. Evidence is accumulating that treatments used for synchronization of estrus or ovulation in cattle may influence the sex ratio.

  14. Comparative analyses of sex-ratio variation in dioecious flowering plants.

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

    Dioecious plant species commonly exhibit deviations from the equilibrium expectation of 1:1 sex ratio, but the mechanisms governing this variation are poorly understood. Here, we use comparative analyses of 243 species, representing 123 genera and 61 families to investigate ecological and genetic correlates of variation in the operational (flowering) sex ratio. After controlling for phylogenetic nonindependence, we examined the influence of growth form, clonality, fleshy fruits, pollen and seed dispersal vector, and the possession of sex chromosomes on sex-ratio variation. Male-biased flowering sex ratios were twice as common as female-biased ratios. Male bias was associated with long-lived growth forms (e.g., trees) and biotic seed dispersal and fleshy fruits, whereas female bias was associated with clonality, especially for herbaceous species, and abiotic pollen dispersal. Female bias occurred in species with sex chromosomes and there was some evidence for a greater degree of bias in those with heteromorphic sex chromosomes. Although the role of interactions among these correlates require further study, our results indicate that sex-based differences in costs of reproduction, pollen and seed dispersal mechanisms and sex chromosomes can each play important roles in affecting flowering sex ratios in dioecious plants.

  15. A statistical analysis of the effect of warfare on the human secondary sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Graffelman, J; Hoekstra, R F

    2000-06-01

    Many factors have been hypothesized to affect the human secondary sex ratio (the annual percentage of males among all live births), among them race, parental ages, and birth order. Some authors have even proposed warfare as a factor influencing live birth sex ratios. The hypothesis that during and shortly after periods of war the human secondary sex ratio is higher has received little statistical treatment. In this paper we evaluate the war hypothesis using 3 statistical methods: linear regression, randomization, and time-series analysis. Live birth data from 10 different countries were included. Although we cannot speak of a general phenomenon, statistical evidence for an association between warfare and live birth sex ratio was found for several countries. Regression and randomization test results were in agreement. Time-series analysis showed that most human sex-ratio time series can be described by a common model. The results obtained using intervention models differed somewhat from results obtained by regression methods.

  16. Population abundance and sex ratio in dioecious helminth parasites.

    PubMed

    Poulin, Robert

    1997-07-01

    Parasite populations are highly fragmented in space and time, and consist of aggregates of genetically similar individuals sharing the same host. To avoid inbreeding, theory predicts that female-biased sex ratios should be strongly favoured when either or both prevalence and intensity of infection are low. Other models indicate that if sex ratios are selected to increase the probability of mating, they should be less biased at a high intensity of infection in polygamous parasites, since at high intensities all females are mated. To test these predictions, the relationship between sex ratio and both the prevalence and intensity of infection was examined in comparative studies across 193 populations of nematode and acanthocephalan parasites. Sex ratios in these two dioecious, polygamous taxa are usually female biased. Among natural populations, no significant relationship was observed once the confounding effects of phylogeny had been removed. However, among experimental populations of nematodes, a negative relationship was found between intensity of infection and sex ratio, even after controlling for phylogeny. In other words, at high intensities, populations of nematodes are less female biased. This result must be treated with caution because of the unusually high numbers of worms per host in experimental infections. Nevertheless, combined with information on the proximate mechanisms regulating sex ratios in these parasites, it suggests a link between the characteristics of parasite populations and their sex ratio.

  17. 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.

  18. Joint evolution of sex ratio and reproductive group size under local mate competition with inbreeding depression.

    PubMed

    Yamauchi, Atsushi; Kobayashi, Yutaka

    2011-02-07

    Local mate competition (LMC) may involve some amount of inbreeding between siblings. Because sib-mating is generally accompanied by inbreeding depression, natural selection may favor a reduced rate of sib-mating, possibly affecting the evolution of sex ratio and reproductive group size. The present study theoretically investigated the evolution of these traits under LMC in the presence of inbreeding depression. When the reproductive group size evolves, the determination mechanism of sex ratio is important because the timescale of the sex ratio response to reproductive group size can affect the evolutionary process. We consider a spectrum of sex ratio determination mechanisms from purely unconditional to purely conditional, including intermediate modes with various relative strengths of unconditional and conditional effects. This analysis revealed that both the evolutionarily stable reproductive group size and ratio of males increase with higher inbreeding depression and with a larger relative strength of an unconditional effect in sex ratio determination. Unexpectedly, when the sex ratio is controlled purely conditionally, the reproductive group size cannot exceed three even under the severest level of inbreeding depression (i.e., lethal effect). The present study reveals the conditions for LMC to evolve through the analysis of the joint evolution of reproductive group size and sex ratio.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Child underreporting, fertility, and sex ratio imbalance in China.

    PubMed

    Goodkind, Daniel

    2011-02-01

    Child underreporting is often neglected in studies of fertility and sex ratio imbalance in China. To improve estimates of these measures, I use intercensal comparisons to identify a rise in underreporting, which followed the increased enforcement and penalization under the birth planning system in 1991. A new triangulation of evidence indicates that about 19% of children at ages 0-4 were unreported in the 2000 census, more than double that of the 1990 census. This evidence contradicts assumptions underlying the fertility estimates of most recent studies. Yet, the analysis also suggests that China's fertility in the late 1990s (and perhaps beyond) was below officially adjusted levels. I then conduct a similar intercensal analysis of sex ratios of births and children, which are the world's highest primarily because of prenatal sex selection. However, given excess underreporting of young daughters, especially pronounced just after 1990, estimated ratios are lower than reported ratios. Sex ratios in areas with a "1.5-child" policy are especially distorted because of excess daughter underreporting, as well as sex-linked stopping rules and other factors, although it is unclear whether such policies increase use of prenatal sex selection. China's sex ratio at birth, once it is standardized by birth order, fell between 2000 and 2005 and showed a continuing excess in urban China, not rural China.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Secular trends in newborn sex ratios.

    PubMed

    Grech, Victor

    2014-11-01

    A wide variety of factors have been shown to influence the male to female ratio at birth, which invariably displays a male excess. This paper will review and amplify recent work by the author, with specific references to individual countries, regions and entire continents in order to provide a global overview of this subject. It will be shown that stress, including stress related to political events, influences this ratio. Man-made radiation is also shown to have played a significant role in relation to the Windscale fire (1957) and Chernobyl (1986).

  5. 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

  6. Temporal trends in the secondary sex ratio in Nordic countries.

    PubMed

    Fellman, Johan; Eriksson, Aldur W

    2011-01-01

    Attempts have been made to identify factors influencing the number of males per 100 females at birth, also called the secondary sex ratio. It has been proposed to vary inversely with the frequency of prenatal losses, but available data lend at best only weak support for this hypothesis. Statistical analyses have shown that comparisons between secondary sex ratios demand large data sets. Variations in the secondary sex ratio that have been reliably identified in family data have mostly been slight and without a notable influence on national birth registers. For Sweden, 1751-1950, the secondary sex ratio among all births and live births revealed increasing trends. The Swedish results are compared with available findings for live births in Finland, Norway, Denmark, and the small Icelandic population. For Norway and Denmark, the secondary sex ratio increased during 1801-1950. A similar, but stronger pattern was observed for Finland (1751-1950) and Iceland (1838-1950). During the latter half of the twentieth century, marked decreases were observed in all countries. Attempts to identify reliable associations between secondary sex ratios and stillbirth rates have been made, but no consistent results have emerged.

  7. Lethal combat and sex ratio evolution in a parasitoid wasp

    PubMed Central

    Innocent, Tabitha M.; Savage, Joanna; West, Stuart A.; Reece, Sarah E.

    2013-01-01

    Sex allocation theory provides excellent opportunities for testing how behavior and life histories are adjusted in response to environmental variation. One of the most successful areas from this respect is Hamilton’s local mate competition theory. As predicted by theory, a large number of animal species have been shown to adjust their offspring sex ratios (proportion male) conditionally, laying less female-biased sex ratios as the number of females that lay eggs on a patch increases. However, recent studies have shown that this predicted pattern is not followed by 2 parasitoid species in the genus Melittobia, which always produce extremely female-biased sex ratios. A possible explanation for this is that males fight fatally and that males produced by the first female to lay eggs on a patch have a competitive advantage over later emerging males. This scenario would negate the advantage of later females producing a less female-biased sex ratio. Here we examine fatal fighting and sex ratio evolution in another species, Melittobia acasta. We show that females of this species also fail to adjust their offspring sex ratio in response to the number of females laying eggs on a patch. We then show that although earlier emerging males do have an advantage in winning fights, this advantage 1) can be reduced by an interaction with body size, with larger males more likely to win fights and 2) only holds for a brief period around the time at which the younger males emerge from their pupae. This suggests that lethal male combat cannot fully explain the lack of sex ratio shift observed in Melittobia species. We discuss alternative explanations. PMID:24273326

  8. Lethal combat and sex ratio evolution in a parasitoid wasp.

    PubMed

    Innocent, Tabitha M; Savage, Joanna; West, Stuart A; Reece, Sarah E

    2007-07-01

    Sex allocation theory provides excellent opportunities for testing how behavior and life histories are adjusted in response to environmental variation. One of the most successful areas from this respect is Hamilton's local mate competition theory. As predicted by theory, a large number of animal species have been shown to adjust their offspring sex ratios (proportion male) conditionally, laying less female-biased sex ratios as the number of females that lay eggs on a patch increases. However, recent studies have shown that this predicted pattern is not followed by 2 parasitoid species in the genus Melittobia, which always produce extremely female-biased sex ratios. A possible explanation for this is that males fight fatally and that males produced by the first female to lay eggs on a patch have a competitive advantage over later emerging males. This scenario would negate the advantage of later females producing a less female-biased sex ratio. Here we examine fatal fighting and sex ratio evolution in another species, Melittobia acasta. We show that females of this species also fail to adjust their offspring sex ratio in response to the number of females laying eggs on a patch. We then show that although earlier emerging males do have an advantage in winning fights, this advantage 1) can be reduced by an interaction with body size, with larger males more likely to win fights and 2) only holds for a brief period around the time at which the younger males emerge from their pupae. This suggests that lethal male combat cannot fully explain the lack of sex ratio shift observed in Melittobia species. We discuss alternative explanations.

  9. 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

  10. Sex choice in plants: facultative adjustment of the sex ratio in the perennial herb Begonia gracilis.

    PubMed

    López, S; Domínguez, C A

    2003-11-01

    Sex allocation theory predicts that reproducing individuals will increase their fitness by facultatively adjusting their relative investment towards the rarer sex in response to population shifts in operational sex ratio (OSR). The evolution of facultative manipulation of sex ratio depends on the ability of the parents to track the conditions favouring skewed sex allocation and on the mechanism controlling sex allocation. In animals, which have well-developed sensorial mechanisms, facultative adjustment of sex ratios has been demonstrated on many occasions. In this paper, we show that plants have mechanisms that allow them to evaluate the population OSR. We simulated three different conditions of population OSR by manipulating the amount of pollen received by the female flowers of a monoecious herb, and examined the effect of this treatment on the allocation to male vs. female flowers. A shortage of pollen on the stigmas resulted in a more male-skewed sex allocation, whereas plants that experienced a relatively pollen rich environment tended to produce a more female-skewed sex allocation pattern. Our results for Begonia gracilis demonstrate that the individuals of this species are able to respond to the levels of pollination intensity experienced by their female flowers and adjust their patterns of sex allocation in accordance to the expectations of sex allocation theory.

  11. 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.

  12. Sex without sex chromosomes: genetic architecture of multiple loci independently segregating to determine sex ratios in the copepod Tigriopus californicus.

    PubMed

    Alexander, H J; Richardson, J M L; Edmands, S; Anholt, B R

    2015-12-01

    Sex-determining systems are remarkably diverse and may evolve rapidly. Polygenic sex-determination systems are predicted to be transient and evolutionarily unstable, yet examples have been reported across a range of taxa. Here, we provide the first direct evidence of polygenic sex determination in Tigriopus californicus, a harpacticoid copepod with no heteromorphic sex chromosomes. Using genetically distinct inbred lines selected for male- and female-biased clutches, we generated a genetic map with 39 SNPs across 12 chromosomes. Quantitative trait locus mapping of sex ratio phenotype (the proportion of male offspring produced by an F2 female) in four F2 families revealed six independently segregating quantitative trait loci on five separate chromosomes, explaining 19% of the variation in sex ratios. The sex ratio phenotype varied among loci across chromosomes in both direction and magnitude, with the strongest phenotypic effects on chromosome 10 moderated to some degree by loci on four other chromosomes. For a given locus, sex ratio phenotype varied in magnitude for individuals derived from different dam lines. These data, together with the environmental factors known to contribute to sex determination, characterize the underlying complexity and potential lability of sex determination, and confirm the polygenic architecture of sex determination in T. californicus.

  13. Dynamics of sex ratio and female unmatedness under haplodiploidy.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Andy

    2014-05-01

    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.

  14. Sibling sex ratio of boys with gender identity disorder.

    PubMed

    Zucker, K J; Green, R; Coates, S; Zuger, B; Cohen-Kettenis, P T; Zecca, G M; Lertora, V; Money, J; Hahn-Burke, S; Bradley, S J; Blanchard, R

    1997-07-01

    Sibling sex ratio (the ratio of brothers to sisters) was calculated for 444 boys with gender identity disorder (or with behaviors consistent with this diagnosis). The probands were ascertained from several researchers with expertise with this disorder and from the English language case report literature between 1938 and 1995. Among the probands with at least one sibling (N = 333), the results showed that boys with gender identity disorder had a significant excess of brothers to sisters, 131.1:100, when compared with the expected secondary sex ratio of 106:100. The excess of brothers replicated a previous study by Blanchard, Zucker, Bradley, and Hume (1995), in which the sibling sex ratio was 140.6:100. Further analyses showed that the probands were born later relative to their brothers than they were relative to their sisters. These findings are amenable to several psychosocial and biological explanations, which require further investigation.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Effective heritability of targets of sex-ratio selection under environmental sex determination.

    PubMed

    McGaugh, S E; Janzen, F J

    2011-04-01

    Selection is expected to maintain primary sex ratios at an evolutionary equilibrium. In organisms with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), targets of sex-ratio selection include the thermal sensitivity of the sex-determining pathway (hereafter, sex determination threshold) and nest-site choice. However, offspring sex may be canalized for nests located in thermally extreme environments; thus, genetic variance for the sex determination threshold is not expressed and is invisible to direct selection. The concept of 'effective heritability' accounts for this dependence and provides a more realistic prediction of the expected evolutionary response to selection in the wild. Past estimates of effective heritability of the sex determination threshold, which were derived from laboratory data, suggested that the potential for the sex determination threshold to evolve in the wild was extremely low. We re-evaluated original estimates of this parameter by analysing field-collected measures of nest temperatures, vegetation cover and clutch sex ratios from nests in a population of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta). We coupled these data with measurements of broad-sense heritability of the sex determination threshold in C. picta, using an experiment that splits clutches of eggs between a constant temperature (i.e. typical laboratory incubation) and a daily fluctuating temperature (i.e. similar to natural nests) with the same mean. We found that (i) the effective heritability of the sex determination threshold appears to have been historically underestimated and the effective heritability of nest-site choice has been overestimated and (ii) significant family-by-incubation treatment interaction exists for sex for C. picta between constant- and fluctuating-temperature regimes. Our results suggest that the thermal sensitivity of the sex-determining pathway may play a larger, more complex role in the microevolution of TSD than traditionally thought.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Sex ratio and sexual dimorphism of three lice species with contrasting prevalence parasitizing the house sparrow.

    PubMed

    Pap, Péter László; Adam, Costică; Vágási, Csongor István; Benkő, Zoltán; Vincze, Orsolya

    2013-02-01

    Female-biased sex ratio is a common phenomenon in parasites; however, the cause and consequence of the skewed sex ratio is less well known. Here, we studied the difference in sex ratio, a possible mechanism responsible for the development of unbalanced proportion of sexes and its consequences on sexual size dimorphism, between 3 louse species parasitizing the house sparrow Passer domesticus. Philopterus fringillae was more prevalent than Sturnidoecus refractariolus and Brueelia cyclothorax. As expected, the most common species, which was probably least affected by isolation and, hence, inbreeding, was characterized by a balanced sex ratio, whereas the 2 other species with low prevalence were significantly more female biased than expected on the basis of the local mate competition hypothesis. Further, in support of this notion, we found that P. fringillae infrapopulation size significantly, and positively, correlated with the sex ratio. Finally, we found significant differences in sexual dimorphism among the 3 louse species and, as expected, the relative size of males was smallest in species with a more female-biased sex ratio.

  2. Analysis of web height ratios according to age and sex.

    PubMed

    Sari, Elif

    2015-06-01

    Each component of the web space, a three-dimensional structure, should be carefully created during reconstruction of web space loss. One of these web space components is the web height. In this study, the dorsal view of subjects' hands was analyzed to determine the web height ratios. The web height ratios were then compared with respect to age and sex. The second and third web height ratios differed between adult men and women and between children and adults. However, no differences were observed among children. This study is unique because it focuses on the web height ratios of all web spaces according to age and sex and provides a very easy-to-use scale that may help surgeons to perform web space reconstruction. Moreover, the present study adds to the literature by providing information on the first web height ratios of the hand.

  3. 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

  4. India’s Distorted Sex Ratio: Dire Consequences for Girls

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Lisa R.; Montgomery, Susanne B.

    2017-01-01

    Female gender discrimination related to cultural preference for males is a common global problem, especially in Asian countries. Numerous laws intended to prevent discrimination on the basis of gender have been passed in India, yet the distorted female-to-male sex ratio seems to show worsening tendencies. Using detailed, two-year longitudinal chart abstraction data about delivery records of a private mission hospital in rural India, we explored if hospital birth ratio data differed in comparison to regional data, and what demographic and contextual variables may have influenced these outcomes. Using quantitative chart abstraction and qualitative contextual data, study results showed the female-to-male ratio was lower than the reported state ratio at birth. In the context of India’s patriarchal structure, with its strong son preference, women are under tremendous pressure or coerced to access community-based, sex-selective identification and female fetus abortion. Nurses may be key to turning the tide.

  5. 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.; 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Rainfall-driven sex-ratio genes in African buffalo suggested by correlations between Y-chromosomal haplotype frequencies and foetal sex ratio

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The Y-chromosomal diversity in the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) population of Kruger National Park (KNP) is characterized by rainfall-driven haplotype frequency shifts between year cohorts. Stable Y-chromosomal polymorphism is difficult to reconcile with haplotype frequency variations without assuming frequency-dependent selection or specific interactions in the population dynamics of X- and Y-chromosomal genes, since otherwise the fittest haplotype would inevitably sweep to fixation. Stable Y-chromosomal polymorphism due one of these factors only seems possible when there are Y-chromosomal distorters of an equal sex ratio, which act by negatively affecting X-gametes, or Y-chromosomal suppressors of a female-biased sex ratio. These sex-ratio (SR) genes modify (suppress) gamete transmission in their own favour at a fitness cost, allowing for stable polymorphism. Results Here we show temporal correlations between Y-chromosomal haplotype frequencies and foetal sex ratios in the KNP buffalo population, suggesting SR genes. Frequencies varied by a factor of five; too high to be alternatively explained by Y-chromosomal effects on pregnancy loss. Sex ratios were male-biased during wet and female-biased during dry periods (male proportion: 0.47-0.53), seasonally and annually. Both wet and dry periods were associated with a specific haplotype indicating a SR distorter and SR suppressor, respectively. Conclusions The distinctive properties suggested for explaining Y-chromosomal polymorphism in African buffalo may not be restricted to this species alone. SR genes may play a broader and largely overlooked role in mammalian sex-ratio variation. PMID:20416038

  9. Sex ratio adjustment by sex-specific maternal cannibalism in hamsters.

    PubMed

    Beery, Annaliese K; Zucker, Irving

    2012-10-10

    Mammalian offspring sex ratios can be biased via prenatal and postnatal mechanisms, including sperm selection, sex-specific embryo loss, and differential postnatal investment in males and females. Syrian hamsters routinely cannibalize some of their pups in the first days after birth. We present evidence that short day lengths, typically predictive of poor autumn and winter field conditions, are associated with male-biased sex ratios, achieved in part through selective perinatal maternal infanticide of female offspring. Higher peak litter sizes were associated with increased cannibalism rates, decreased final litter counts, and increased body mass of pups surviving to weaning. To our knowledge this is the first report of sex ratio adjustment by offspring cannibalism.

  10. 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.

  11. Geographical Variations in Sex Ratio Trends over Time in Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Trojano, Maria; Lucchese, Guglielmo; Graziano, Giusi; Taylor, Bruce V.; Simpson, Steve; Lepore, Vito; Grand’Maison, Francois; Duquette, Pierre; Izquierdo, Guillermo; Grammond, Pierre; Amato, Maria Pia; Bergamaschi, Roberto; Giuliani, Giorgio; Boz, Cavit; Hupperts, Raymond; Van Pesch, Vincent; Lechner-Scott, Jeannette; Cristiano, Edgardo; Fiol, Marcela; Oreja-Guevara, Celia; Saladino, Maria Laura; Verheul, Freek; Slee, Mark; Paolicelli, Damiano; Tortorella, Carla; D’Onghia, Mariangela; Iaffaldano, Pietro; Direnzo, Vita; Butzkueven, Helmut

    2012-01-01

    Background A female/male (F/M) ratio increase over time in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients was demonstrated in many countries around the world. So far, a direct comparison of sex ratio time-trends among MS populations from different geographical areas was not carried out. Objective In this paper we assessed and compared sex ratio trends, over a 60-year span, in MS populations belonging to different latitudinal areas. Methods Data of a cohort of 15,996 (F = 11,290; M = 4,706) definite MS with birth years ranging from 1930 to 1989 were extracted from the international MSBase registry and the New Zealand MS database. Gender ratios were calculated by six decades based on year of birth and were adjusted for the F/M born-alive ratio derived from the respective national registries of births. Results Adjusted sex ratios showed a significant increase from the first to the last decade in the whole MS sample (from 2.35 to 2.73; p = 0.03) and in the subgroups belonging to the areas between 83° N and 45° N (from 1.93 to 4.55; p<0.0001) and between 45° N to 35° N (from 1.46 to 2.30; p<0.05) latitude, while a sex ratio stability over time was found in the subgroup from areas between 12° S and 55° S latitude. The sex ratio increase mainly affected relapsing-remitting (RR) MS. Conclusions Our results confirm a general sex ratio increase over time in RRMS and also demonstrate a latitudinal gradient of this increase. These findings add useful information for planning case-control studies aimed to explore sex-related factors responsible for MS development. PMID:23133550

  12. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. A predictive relationship between population and genetic sex ratios in clonal species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLetchie, D. Nicholas; García-Ramos, Gisela

    2017-04-01

    Sexual reproduction depends on mate availability that is reflected by local sex ratios. In species where both sexes can clonally expand, the population sex ratio describes the proportion of males, including clonally derived individuals (ramets) in addition to sexually produced individuals (genets). In contrast to population sex ratio that accounts for the overall abundance of the sexes, the genetic sex ratio reflects the relative abundance of genetically unique mates, which is critical in predicting effective population size but is difficult to estimate in the field. While an intuitive positive relationship between population (ramet) sex ratio and genetic (genet) sex ratio is expected, an explicit relationship is unknown. In this study, we determined a mathematical expression in the form of a hyperbola that encompasses a linear to a nonlinear positive relationship between ramet and genet sex ratios. As expected when both sexes clonally have equal number of ramets per genet both sex ratios are identical, and thus ramet sex ratio becomes a linear function of genet sex ratio. Conversely, if sex differences in ramet number occur, this mathematical relationship becomes nonlinear and a discrepancy between the sex ratios amplifies from extreme sex ratios values towards intermediate values. We evaluated our predictions with empirical data that simultaneously quantified ramet and genet sex ratios in populations of several species. We found that the data support the predicted positive nonlinear relationship, indicating sex differences in ramet number across populations. However, some data may also fit the null model, which suggests that sex differences in ramet number were not extensive, or the number of populations was too small to capture the curvature of the nonlinear relationship. Data with lack of fit suggest the presence of factors capable of weakening the positive relationship between the sex ratios. Advantages of this model include predicting genet sex ratio using

  16. Offspring sex ratio in red-winged blackbirds is dependent on maternal age.

    PubMed

    Blank, J L; Nolan, V

    1983-10-01

    In a marsh-breeding population of red-winged blackbirds, the sex ratio of offspring that survived to leave the nest varied with maternal age. Old mothers produced an excess of male fledglings, middle-aged mothers produced almost equal proportions of males and females, and young mothers produced nearly twice as many females as males. More males than females hatched from the eggs of old mothers, whereas among newly hatched progeny of middle-aged and young mothers the sex ratio did not differ from unity. The hatching rate of eggs of old mothers was unusually low, suggesting that the biased sex ratio of their hatchlings may have been caused by more frequent death of female embryos, although other possibilities can be imagined. Starvation of nestlings after hatching also affected the sex ratio among young that left the nest. When starvation occurred, it fell principally on young produced by the last and next-to-last eggs laid in the clutch. Because old mothers allocated relatively more energy to those eggs than to earlier-laid eggs, whereas young mothers apportioned energy equally to their eggs, few nestlings of old mothers but many nestlings of young mothers starved. Most nestlings that died were male. It followed that the male bias in sex ratio of progeny of old mothers did not change between hatching and nestleaving, but the ratio among progeny of young mothers shifted after hatching to a strong bias favoring females at nest-leaving.

  17. Comparison between primary sex ratio in spermatozoa of bulls and secondary sex ratio in the deriving offspring.

    PubMed

    Amadesi, A; Frana, A; Gandini, L M; Bornaghi, V; Parati, K; Bongioni, G; Puglisi, R; Galli, A

    2015-01-15

    The objectives of the present work were to compare the primary sex ratio in sperm with the secondary sex ratio recorded in the offspring produced by artificial insemination (AI) with the same sperm and assess whether the primary sex ratio is influenced by sperm survival and motility after thawing. Calving data of 98 Holstein Friesian bulls used in AI were collected during 4 years, and commercial semen of the same bulls was analyzed immediately after thawing and after swim-up using a real-time polymerase chain reaction method developed and validated in our laboratory. Calving data relative to single bulls did not reveal any significant deviation between genders from the theoretical 1:1 for none of the bulls, being the mean values of male and female calves born 52.1 ± 2.80% and 47.9 ± 2.71%, respectively. Thereafter, calving events of bulls were classified and analyzed according to four classes of years: 2009 (n = 13,261), 2010 (n = 21,551), 2011 (n = 24,218), and 2012 (n = 41,726), and seasons categorized as winter, spring, summer, and fall. When data aggregated per years were analyzed, the difference between the two sexes was significant (P < 0.005) in favor of the male gender, whereas no influence of the season was evidenced. Real-time polymerase chain reaction did not evidence any difference between the mean values of frequency of Y chromosome-bearing sperm detected in three sperm batches of the same bulls analyzed immediately after thawing (51.1 ± 2.1), nor a difference with respect to the theoretical 1:1 ratio was reported after sperm analysis of one batch of sperm of the bulls analyzed after swim-up and immediately after thawing (50.1 ± 2.1 and 49.8 ± 1.8, respectively). The results are consistent with the observation of the farmers who often report a skewed sex ratio of the calves being born with AI in favor of the male gender. However, we have not evidenced differences in the primary sex ratio with respect to the theoretical 1:1 ratio both at thawing

  18. 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

  19. Artificial selection on ant female caste ratio uncovers a link between female-biased sex ratios and infection by Wolbachia endosymbionts.

    PubMed

    Pontieri, L; Schmidt, A M; Singh, R; Pedersen, J S; Linksvayer, T A

    2017-02-01

    Social insect sex and caste ratios are well-studied targets of evolutionary conflicts, but the heritable factors affecting these traits remain unknown. To elucidate these factors, we carried out a short-term artificial selection study on female caste ratio in the ant Monomorium pharaonis. Across three generations of bidirectional selection, we observed no response for caste ratio, but sex ratios rapidly became more female-biased in the two replicate high selection lines and less female-biased in the two replicate low selection lines. We hypothesized that this rapid divergence for sex ratio was caused by changes in the frequency of infection by the heritable bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia, because the initial breeding stock varied for Wolbachia infection, and Wolbachia is known to cause female-biased sex ratios in other insects. Consistent with this hypothesis, the proportions of Wolbachia-infected colonies in the selection lines changed rapidly, mirroring the sex ratio changes. Moreover, the estimated effect of Wolbachia on sex ratio (~13% female bias) was similar in colonies before and during artificial selection, indicating that this Wolbachia effect is likely independent of the effects of artificial selection on other heritable factors. Our study provides evidence for the first case of endosymbiont sex ratio manipulation in a social insect.

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

    PubMed

    Norberg, Karen

    2004-11-22

    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.

  1. Population sex ratios: another consideration in the reintroduction - reinforcement debate?

    PubMed

    Lambertucci, Sergio A; Carrete, Martina; Speziale, Karina L; Hiraldo, Fernando; Donázar, José Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Reintroduction or reinforcement (RorR) of wild populations is a common conservation strategy. Many conservation projects involve the release of individuals of poorly studied species. This may lead to inefficient results or negative impacts on the conservation efforts. Here, we provide new insights into the conservation implications and potential consequences of a skew in the sex ratio of released birds and of the number of birds supplemented for the demography of a long-lived dimorphic bird species, the Andean condor (Vulturgryphus). We demonstrate that a RorR conservation program may be less effective in conserving a species if the sex ratios of the releases and the recipient populations are not considered. We also show that releases can reduce population declines but only if carried out over long periods (i.e., several decades). This can mean high costs for release programs and the added challenge of maintaining programs over time. If RorR programs are to be implemented, bearing in mind the importance of properly assessing their effectiveness, we urge conservation researchers and managers to consider the implications of sex ratio biases for wild populations, and particularly for dimorphic species with sexually despotic behaviour.

  2. 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.

  3. Sex ratio strategies and the evolution of cue use.

    PubMed

    Moore, Jamie C; Zavodna, Monika; Compton, Stephen G; Gilmartin, Philip M

    2005-06-22

    Quantitative tests of sex allocation theory have often indicated that organism strategies deviate from model predictions. In pollinating fig wasps, Lipporrhopalum tentacularis, whole fig (brood) sex ratios are generally more female-biased than predicted by local mate competition (LMC) theory where females (foundresses) use density as a cue to assess potential LMC. We use microsatellite markers to investigate foundress sex ratios in L. tentacularis and show that they actually use their clutch size as a cue, with strategies closely approximating the predictions of a new model we develop of these conditions. We then provide evidence that the use of clutch size as a cue is common among species experiencing LMC, and given the other predictions of our model argue that this is because their ecologies mean it provides sufficiently accurate information about potential LMC that the use of other more costly cues has not evolved. We further argue that the use of these more costly cues by other species is due to the effect that ecological differences have on cue accuracy. This implies that deviations from earlier theoretical predictions often indicate that the cues used to assess environmental conditions differ from those assumed by models, rather than limits on the ability of natural selection to produce "perfect" organisms.

  4. Sex ratio strategies and the evolution of cue use

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Jamie C; Zavodna, Monika; Compton, Stephen G; Gilmartin, Philip M

    2005-01-01

    Quantitative tests of sex allocation theory have often indicated that organism strategies deviate from model predictions. In pollinating fig wasps, Lipporrhopalum tentacularis, whole fig (brood) sex ratios are generally more female-biased than predicted by local mate competition (LMC) theory where females (foundresses) use density as a cue to assess potential LMC. We use microsatellite markers to investigate foundress sex ratios in L. tentacularis and show that they actually use their clutch size as a cue, with strategies closely approximating the predictions of a new model we develop of these conditions. We then provide evidence that the use of clutch size as a cue is common among species experiencing LMC, and given the other predictions of our model argue that this is because their ecologies mean it provides sufficiently accurate information about potential LMC that the use of other more costly cues has not evolved. We further argue that the use of these more costly cues by other species is due to the effect that ecological differences have on cue accuracy. This implies that deviations from earlier theoretical predictions often indicate that the cues used to assess environmental conditions differ from those assumed by models, rather than limits on the ability of natural selection to produce ‘perfect’ organisms. PMID:16024394

  5. 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…

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Bare market: campus sex ratios, romantic relationships, and sexual behavior.

    PubMed

    Uecker, Jeremy E; Regnerus, Mark D

    2010-01-01

    Using a nationally representative sample of college women, we evaluate the effect of campus sex ratios on women's relationship attitudes and behaviors. Our results suggest that women on campuses where they comprise a higher proportion of the student body give more negative appraisals of campus men and relationships, go on fewer traditional dates, are less likely to have had a college boyfriend, and are more likely to be sexually active. These effects appear to stem both from decreased dyadic power among women on campuses where they are more numerous and from their increased difficulty locating a partner on such campuses.

  11. Exploring racial variations in the spousal sex ratio of killing.

    PubMed

    Regoeczi, W C

    2001-12-01

    The following article examines differences in the social situation of intimate partners as an explanation of racial differences in the female to male ratio of spousal homicides in Canada. An analysis of homicide data from 1961 to 1983 generated by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics reveals that the ratio of women killing their husbands to men killing their wives is highest for Aboriginals and lowest for Blacks, with the ratio for Whites falling in between. The possible sources of racial differences in this ratio include the proportion of couples (a) in common-law relationships, (b) who are co-residing as opposed to being separated, and (c) for whom there is a substantial age disparity between the partners. These factors are related to the spousal sex ratio of killing more generally. An exploration of interracial homicide patterns and racial variation in jealousy-motivated homicides was also undertaken. The findings reveal that controlling for the above factors substantially reduces the importance of race in predicting the gender of the homicide victim.

  12. 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.

  13. Sex ratio and women's career choice: does a scarcity of men lead women to choose briefcase over baby?

    PubMed

    Durante, Kristina M; Griskevicius, Vladas; Simpson, Jeffry A; Cantú, Stephanie M; Tybur, Joshua M

    2012-07-01

    Although the ratio of males to females in a population is known to influence behavior in nonhuman animals, little is known about how sex ratio influences human behavior. We propose that sex ratio affects women's family planning and career choices. Using both historical data and experiments, we examined how sex ratio influences women's career aspirations. Findings showed that a scarcity of men led women to seek high-paying careers and to delay starting a family. This effect was driven by how sex ratio altered the mating market, not just the job market. Sex ratios involving a scarcity of men led women to seek lucrative careers because of the difficulty women have in finding an investing, long-term mate under such circumstances. Accordingly, this low-male sex ratio produced the strongest desire for lucrative careers in women who are least able to secure a mate. These findings demonstrate that sex ratio has far-reaching effects in humans, including whether women choose briefcase over baby.

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. Factors affecting the aldosterone/renin ratio.

    PubMed

    Stowasser, M; Ahmed, A H; Pimenta, E; Taylor, P J; Gordon, R D

    2012-03-01

    Although the aldosterone/renin ratio (ARR) is the most reliable screening test for primary aldo-steronism, false positives and negatives occur. Dietary salt restriction, concomitant malignant or renovascular hypertension, pregnancy and treatment with diuretics (including spironolactone), dihydropyridine calcium blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, and angiotensin receptor antagonists can produce false negatives by stimulating renin. We recently reported selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors lower the ratio. Because potassium regulates aldosterone, uncorrected hypokalemia can lead to false negatives. Beta-blockers, alpha-methyldopa, clonidine, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs suppress renin, raising the ARR with potential for false positives. False positives may occur in patients with renal dysfunction or advancing age. We recently showed that (1) females have higher ratios than males, and (2) false positive ratios can occur during the luteal menstrual phase and while taking an oral ethynylestradiol/drospirenone (but not implanted subdermal etonogestrel) contraceptive, but only if calculated using direct renin concentration and not plasma renin activity. Where feasible, diuretics should be ceased at least 6 weeks and other interfering medications at least 2 before ARR measurement, substituting noninterfering agents (e. g., verapamil slow-release±hydralazine and prazosin or doxazosin) were required. Hypokalemia should be corrected and a liberal salt diet encouraged. Collecting blood midmorning from seated patients following 2-4 h upright posture improves sensitivity. The ARR is a screening test only and should be repeated once or more before deciding whether to proceed to confirmatory suppression testing. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry aldosterone assays represent a major advance towards addressing inaccuracies inherent in other available methods.

  17. Sex hormones alter sex ratios in the Indian skipper frog, Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis: Determining sensitive stages for gonadal sex reversal.

    PubMed

    Phuge, S K; Gramapurohit, N P

    2015-09-01

    In amphibians, although genetic factors are involved in sex determination, gonadal sex differentiation can be modified by exogenous steroid hormones suggesting a possible role of sex steroids in regulating the process. We studied the effect of testosterone propionate (TP) and estradiol-17β (E2) on gonadal differentiation and sex ratio at metamorphosis in the Indian skipper frog, Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis with undifferentiated type of gonadal differentiation. A series of experiments were carried out to determine the optimum dose and sensitive stages for gonadal sex reversal. Our results clearly indicate the importance of sex hormones in controlling gonadal differentiation of E. cyanophlyctis. Treatment of tadpoles with 10, 20, 40, and 80μg/L TP throughout larval period resulted in the development of 100% males at metamorphosis at all concentrations. Similarly, treatment of tadpoles with 40μg/L TP during ovarian and testicular differentiation resulted in the development of 90% males, 10% intersexes and 100% males respectively. Treatment of tadpoles with 10, 20, 40, and 80μg/L E2 throughout larval period likewise produced 100% females at all concentrations. Furthermore, exposure to 40μg/L E2 during ovarian and testicular differentiation produced 95% females, 5% intersexes and 91% females, 9% intersexes respectively. Both TP and E2 were also effective in advancing the stages of gonadal development. Present study shows the effectiveness of both T and E2 in inducing complete sex reversal in E. cyanophlyctis. Generally, exposure to E2 increased the larval period resulting in significantly larger females than control group while the larval period of control and TP treated groups was comparable.

  18. Haplodiploidy and the evolution of eusociality: split sex ratios.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Andy; Alpedrinha, João; West, Stuart A

    2012-02-01

    It is generally accepted that from a theoretical perspective, haplodiploidy should facilitate the evolution of eusociality. However, the "haplodiploidy hypothesis" rests on theoretical arguments that were made before recent advances in our empirical understanding of sex allocation and the route by which eusociality evolved. Here we show that several possible promoters of the haplodiploidy effect would have been unimportant on the route to eusociality, because they involve traits that evolved only after eusociality had become established. We then focus on two biological mechanisms that could have played a role: split sex ratios as a result of either queen virginity or queen replacement. We find that these mechanisms can lead haplodiploidy to facilitating the evolution of helping but that their importance varies from appreciable to negligible, depending on the assumptions. Furthermore, under certain conditions, haplodiploidy can even inhibit the evolution of helping. In contrast, we find that the level of promiscuity has a strong and consistently negative influence on selection for helping. Consequently, from a relatedness perspective, monogamy is likely to have been a more important driver of eusociality than the haplodiploidy effect.

  19. Effect of corticosterone and hen body mass on primary sex ratio in laying hen (Gallus gallus), using unincubated eggs.

    PubMed

    Aslam, Muhammad Aamir; Groothuis, Ton G G; Smits, Mari A; Woelders, Henri

    2014-04-01

    In various studies, chronic elevation of corticosterone levels in female birds under natural or experimental conditions resulted in female biased offspring sex ratios. In chicken, one study with injected corticosterone resulted in a male sex ratio bias. In the current study, we chronically elevated blood plasma corticosterone levels through corticosterone feeding (20 mg/kg feed) for 14 days using 30 chicken hens in each of treatment and control groups and studied the primary offspring sex ratio (here defined as the proportion of male fertile eggs determined in freshly laid eggs, i.e., without egg incubation). Mean plasma corticosterone concentrations were significantly higher in the treatment group but were not associated with sex ratio, laying rate, and fertility rate. Corticosterone treatment by itself did not affect egg sex but affected sex ratio as well as laying rate and fertility rate in interaction with hen body mass. Body mass had a negative association with sex ratio, laying rate, and fertility rate per hen in the corticosterone group, but a positive association with sex ratio in untreated hens. These interactions were already seen when taking the body mass at the beginning of the experiment, indicating intrinsic differences between light and heavy hens with regard to their reaction to corticosterone treatment. The effects on laying rate, fertility rate, and sex ratio suggest that some factor related to body mass act together with corticosterone to modulate ovarian functions. We propose that corticosterone treatment in conjunction with hen body mass can interfere with meiosis, which can lead to meiotic drive and to chromosomal aberrations resulting in postponed ovulation or infertile ova.

  20. Age at marriage, sex-ratios, and ethnic heterogamy.

    PubMed

    Stier, H; Shavit, Y

    1994-05-01

    "This paper focuses on the effects of age at marriage and the sex-ratio on patterns of ethnic homogamy among Israeli women. We hypothesize that later marriages are more likely than early marriages to be heterogamous as the 'marriage market' shifts from school to the work-place. By the same token, when facing severe marriage squeezes women will be forced to out-marry. Employing data from the 1983 census, we model mate selection of women from Afro-Asian and Euro-American origin in various birth-cohorts. The results do not fully support our hypotheses: we find that in and of itself, age at marriage does not enhance ethnic heterogamy."

  1. Biological sex affects the neurobiology of autism.

    PubMed

    Lai, Meng-Chuan; Lombardo, Michael V; Suckling, John; Ruigrok, Amber N V; Chakrabarti, Bhismadev; Ecker, Christine; Deoni, Sean C L; Craig, Michael C; Murphy, Declan G M; Bullmore, Edward T; Baron-Cohen, Simon

    2013-09-01

    In autism, heterogeneity is the rule rather than the exception. One obvious source of heterogeneity is biological sex. Since autism was first recognized, males with autism have disproportionately skewed research. Females with autism have thus been relatively overlooked, and have generally been assumed to have the same underlying neurobiology as males with autism. Growing evidence, however, suggests that this is an oversimplification that risks obscuring the biological base of autism. This study seeks to answer two questions about how autism is modulated by biological sex at the level of the brain: (i) is the neuroanatomy of autism different in males and females? and (ii) does the neuroanatomy of autism fit predictions from the 'extreme male brain' theory of autism, in males and/or in females? Neuroanatomical features derived from voxel-based morphometry were compared in a sample of equal-sized high-functioning male and female adults with and without autism (n = 120, n = 30/group). The first question was investigated using a 2 × 2 factorial design, and by spatial overlap analyses of the neuroanatomy of autism in males and females. The second question was tested through spatial overlap analyses of specific patterns predicted by the extreme male brain theory. We found that the neuroanatomy of autism differed between adult males and females, evidenced by minimal spatial overlap (not different from that occurred under random condition) in both grey and white matter, and substantially large white matter regions showing significant sex × diagnosis interactions in the 2 × 2 factorial design. These suggest that autism manifests differently by biological sex. Furthermore, atypical brain areas in females with autism substantially and non-randomly (P < 0.001) overlapped with areas that were sexually dimorphic in neurotypical controls, in both grey and white matter, suggesting neural 'masculinization'. This was not seen in males with autism. How differences in neuroanatomy

  2. A method for estimating population sex ratio for sage-grouse using noninvasive genetic samples.

    PubMed

    Baumgardt, J A; Goldberg, C S; Reese, K P; Connelly, J W; Musil, D D; Garton, E O; Waits, L P

    2013-05-01

    Population sex ratio is an important metric for wildlife management and conservation, but estimates can be difficult to obtain, particularly for sexually monomorphic species or for species that differ in detection probability between the sexes. Noninvasive genetic sampling (NGS) using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has become a common method for identifying sex from sources such as hair, feathers or faeces, and is a potential source for estimating sex ratio. If, however, PCR success is sex-biased, naively using NGS could lead to a biased sex ratio estimator. We measured PCR success rates and error rates for amplifying the W and Z chromosomes from greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) faecal samples, examined how success and error rates for sex identification changed in response to faecal sample exposure time, and used simulation models to evaluate precision and bias of three sex assignment criteria for estimating population sex ratio with variable sample sizes and levels of PCR replication. We found PCR success rates were higher for females than males and that choice of sex assignment criteria influenced the bias and precision of corresponding sex ratio estimates. Our simulations demonstrate the importance of considering the interplay between the sex bias of PCR success, number of genotyping replicates, sample size, true population sex ratio and accuracy of assignment rules for designing future studies. Our results suggest that using faecal DNA for estimating the sex ratio of sage-grouse populations has great potential and, with minor adaptations and similar marker evaluations, should be applicable to numerous species.

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kobayashi, Kazuya; Hasegawa, Eisuke

    2016-04-01

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. Local mate competition and transmission bottlenecks: a new model for understanding malaria parasite and other sex ratios.

    PubMed

    Neal, Allison T; Taylor, Peter D

    2014-12-21

    The local mate competition model from sex ratio theory predicts female-biased sex ratios in populations that are highly subdivided during mating, and is thought to accord well with the population structure of malaria parasites. However, the selective advantage of female-biased sex ratios comes from the resulting increase in total reproductive output, an advantage the transmission biology of malaria parasite likely reduces. We develop a mathematical model to determine how bottlenecks in transmission that cause diminishing fitness returns from female production affect sex ratio evolution. We develop four variations of this model that incorporate whether or not parasite clones have the ability to detect others that occupy the same host and whether or not the number of clones affects the total mating population size. Our model indicates that transmission bottlenecks favor less female-biased sex ratios than those predicted under LMC. This effect is particularly pronounced if clones have no information about the presence of coexisting clones and the number of mating individuals per patch is fixed. The model could extend our understanding of malaria parasite sex ratios in three main ways. First, it identifies inconsistencies between the theoretical predictions and the data presented in a previous study, and proposes revised predictions that are more consistent with underlying biology of the parasite. Second, it may account for the positive association between parasite density and sex ratio observed within and between some species. Third, it predicts a relationship between mortality rates in the vector and sex ratios, which appears to be supported by the little existing data we have. While the inspiration for this model came from malaria parasites, it should apply to any system in which per capita dispersal success diminishes with increasing numbers of females in a patch.

  9. Temporal and regional trends in the secondary sex ratio: The Nordic experience.

    PubMed

    Fellman, Johan

    2015-12-01

    The sex ratio (SR) at birth, also known as the secondary sex ratio, is defined as the number of males per 100 females and approximates 106. According to the literature, the SR shows notable heterogeneity and attempts have been made to identify factors influencing it, but comparisons demand large data sets. Attempts to identify associations between SRs and stillbirth rates (SBRs) have yielded inconsistent results. A common pattern observed in different countries is that during the first half of the twentieth century, the SR showed increasing trends, but during the second half, the trend decreased. Secular increases are thought to be caused by improved socio-economic conditions. The recent downward trends have been attributed to new reproductive hazards. Similar findings have been made in the Nordic countries. Factors affecting the SR within families remain poorly understood. Although these factors have an effect on family data, they have not been identified in large.

  10. Getting past nature as a guide to the human sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Timothy F

    2013-05-01

    Sex selection of children by pre-conception and post-conception techniques remains morally controversial and even illegal in some jurisdictions. Among other things, some critics fear that sex selection will distort the sex ratio, making opposite-sex relationships more difficult to secure, while other critics worry that sex selection will tilt some nations toward military aggression. The human sex ratio varies depending on how one estimates it; there is certainly no one-to-one correspondence between males and females either at birth or across the human lifespan. Complications about who qualifies as 'male' and 'female' complicate judgments about the ratio even further. Even a judiciously estimated sex ratio does not have, however, the kind of normative status that requires society to refrain from antenatal sex selection. Some societies exhibit lopsided sex ratios as a consequence of social policies and practices, and pragmatic estimates of social needs are a better guide to what the sex ratio should be, as against looking to 'nature'. The natural sex ratio cannot be a sound moral basis for prohibiting parents from selecting the sex of their children, since it ultimately lacks any normative meaning for social choices.

  11. Low sex ratio in children of professional basketball players in Spain.

    PubMed

    Palomares, A R; Lendinez Ramirez, A M; Ruiz-Galdon, M; Reyes-Engel, A

    2012-05-01

    The aim of this study was to ascertain the variations in the reproductive sex ratio (number of men to number of women) among male professional basketball players in Spain. This retrospective, cross-sectional study is based on a survey conducted in the Spanish professional basketball leagues during the season 2009-2010. A total of 172 professional basketball players completed an anonymous survey. Forty-seven of the respondents had offspring, with a total of 61 children: 70% girls and 30% boys, with a sex ratio value of 0.42. Thirty-three basketball players were Caucasian (CAU), with 44 children, nine boys and 35 girls (sex ratio = 0.26). Fourteen were black, of African heritage (AFR), with 17 children, nine boys and eight girls, (sex ratio = 1.12). Differences (P < 0.01) were found in offspring sex ratio values for all basketball players (sex ratio = 0.42) and for CAU group (sex ratio = 0.26) when compared with the general Spanish population (sex ratio = 1.06). Moreover, a significant seasonal variation was observed in CAU offspring sex ratio during the first quarter compared with the rest of the year (0.66 versus 0.12) (P < 0.03). In conclusion, a significant increase in the sex ratio value in favour of female offspring was observed in the group of CAU professional basketball players.

  12. 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

  13. Multigenerational response to artificial selection for biased clutch sex ratios in Tigriopus californicus populations.

    PubMed

    Alexander, H J; Richardson, J M L; Anholt, B R

    2014-09-01

    Polygenic sex determination (PSD) is relatively rare and theoretically evolutionary unstable, yet has been reported across a range of taxa. Evidence for multilocus PSD is provided by (i) large between-family variance in sex ratio, (ii) paternal and maternal effects on family sex ratio and (iii) response to selection for family sex ratio. This study tests the polygenic hypothesis of sex determination in the harpacticoid copepod Tigriopus californicus using the criterion of response to selection. We report the first multigenerational quantitative evidence that clutch sex ratio responds to artificial selection in both directions (selection for male- and female-biased families) and in multiple populations of T. californicus. In the five of six lines that showed a response to selection, realized heritability estimated by multigenerational analysis ranged from 0.24 to 0.58. Divergence of clutch sex ratio between selection lines is rapid, with response to selection detectable within the first four generations of selection.

  14. Sex Ratio and Sex Reversal in Two-year-old Class of Oyster, Crassostrea gigas (Bivalvia: Ostreidae).

    PubMed

    Park, Jung Jun; Kim, Hyejin; Kang, Seung Wan; An, Cheul Min; Lee, Sung-Ho; Gye, Myung Chan; Lee, Jung Sick

    2012-12-01

    The sex ratio (F:M) in the same population of oyster, Crassostrea gigas at the commencement of the study (2007) was 1:1.0, but changed to 1:2.8 by the end of the study (2008). The sex reversal rate in two-year-old oysters was 40.2%. Specifically, female to male sex reversal rate was 66.1%, which is higher than the male to female sex reversal rate of 21.1%. The sex reversal pattern of C. gigas appears to go from male⇒female⇒male, and as such is determined to be rhythmical hermaphroditism.

  15. 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

  16. Sexual orientation, handedness, sex ratio and fetomaternal tolerance-rejection.

    PubMed

    Valenzuela, Carlos Y

    2010-01-01

    Fraternal birth order (FBO) appears as a prenatal cause of 15% of homosexual males (gays) through mnemonic maternal anti-male factors. Non-right-handed men seem to be protected from homosexuality. Four hypotheses are proposed: (1) androgenic factors of non-right-handedness neutralize anti-male factors; (2) non-right-handedness and homosexuality are lethal or produce mental impairment; (3) non-right-handed male embryos are insensitive to anti-male factors; (4) mothers of non-right-handed fetuses do not produce anti-male factors. Studies of the sex ratio (SR) of older and younger siblings show: (1) a significant heterogeneity in the SR of siblings of right or non-right handed heterosexual men and women; (2) lesbians are born among siblings with high SR; (3) siblings of right-handed gays show a higher SR than non-right-handed gays that present a low SR. Based on our discovery of maternal tolerance-rejection processes, associated with genetic systems (ABO, Rh), where zygotes or embryos different from their mother induce better pregnancy and maternal tolerance than do those that share antigens with their mothers, I propose a new explanation for sexual relationships, sexual orientation, handedness and sibling SR. Lesbian embryos could induce tolerance from mothers with anti-female factors. Non-right-handedness could induce maternal tolerance, or change the maternal compatibility of "gay" embryos. Alternatively, gay embryos could be poor inducers of maternal tolerance towards male traits.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Male phenotypic quality influences offspring sex ratio in a polygynous ungulate

    PubMed Central

    Røed, Knut H; Holand, Øystein; Mysterud, Atle; Tverdal, Aage; Kumpula, Jouko; Nieminen, Mauri

    2006-01-01

    Evolutionary models of sex ratio adjustment applied to mammals have ignored that females may gain indirect genetic benefits from their mates. The differential allocation hypothesis (DAH) predicts that females bias the sex ratio of their offspring towards (more costly) males when breeding with an attractive male. We manipulated the number of available males during rut in a polygynous ungulate species, the reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), and found that a doubling of average male mass (and thus male attractiveness) in the breeding herd increased the proportion of male offspring from approximately 40 to 60%. Paternity analysis revealed indeed that males of high phenotypic quality sired more males, consistent with the DAH. This insight has consequences for proper management of large mammal populations. Our study suggests that harvesting, by generating a high proportion of young, small and unattractive mates, affects the secondary sex ratio due to differential allocation effects in females. Sustainable management needs to consider not only the direct demographic changes due to harvest mortality and selection, but also the components related to behavioural ecology and opportunities for female choice. PMID:17254998

  20. Sex ratio and fledging success of supplementary-fed Tengmalm's owl broods.

    PubMed

    Hörnfeldt, B; Hipkiss, T; Fridolfsson, A K; Eklund, U; Ellegren, H

    2000-02-01

    A nest box population of Tengmalm's owls (Aegolius funereus) in northern Sweden was studied to investigate the effects of extra food on the sex ratio between hatching and fledging in this sexually size-dimorphic species. The brood size and brood sex ratio of supplementary-fed and control broods were compared. Newly hatched nestlings were blood sampled and sexed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the sex-linked CHD1Z and CHD1W genes. The brood sex ratio at hatching was strongly male biased (65%); this was also the case in broods where all eggs hatched (72%). There was no relationship between hatch order and sex ratio, and hatching sex ratio did not vary significantly with laying date. Brood size decreased between hatching and fledging, but did not differ between fed and control broods at either stage. Brood sex ratio did not differ between hatching and fledging, and fledging sex ratio did not differ between fed and control broods. It was concluded that, at least during the year in which the study was carried out, feeding had no effect on brood reduction, and that male and female nestlings did not show any differential mortality. The mechanisms behind the male-biased sex ratio at hatching, and any possible adaptive reasons for it, are not known.

  1. Pollinating fig wasp Ceratosolen solmsi adjusts the offspring sex ratio to other foundresses.

    PubMed

    Hu, Hao-Yuan; Chen, Zhong-Zheng; Jiang, Zi-Feng; Huang, Da-Wei; Niu, Li-Ming; Fu, Yue-Guan

    2013-04-01

    Local mate competition theory predicts that offspring sex ratio in pollinating fig wasps is female-biased when there is only one foundress, and increased foundress density results in increased offspring sex ratio. Information of other foundresses and clutch size have been suggested to be the main proximate explanations for sex ratio adjustment under local mate competition. Our focus was to show the mechanism of sex ratio adjustment in a pollinating fig wasp, Ceratosolen solmsi Mayr, an obligate pollinator of the functionally dioecious fig, Ficus hispida Linn., with controlled experiments in the field. First, we obtained offspring from one pollinator and offspring at different oviposition sequences, and found that offspring sex ratio decreased with clutch size, and pollinators produced most of their male offspring at the start of bouts, followed by mostly females. Second, we found that offspring sex ratio increased with foundress density, and pollinators did adjust their offspring sex ratio to other females in the oviposition patches. We suggest that when oviposition sites are not limited, pollinators will mainly adjust their offspring sex ratio to other foundresses independent of clutch size changes, whereas adjusting clutch size may be used to adjust sex ratio when oviposition sites are limited.

  2. Changes in sex ratio from fertilization to birth in assisted-reproductive-treatment cycles

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In Western gender-neutral countries, the sex ratio at birth is estimated to be approximately 1.06. This ratio is lower than the estimated sex ratio at fertilization which ranges from 1.07 to 1.70 depending on the figures of sex ratio at birth and differential embryo/fetal mortality rates taken into account to perform these estimations. Likewise, little is known about the sex ratio at implantation in natural and assisted-reproduction-treatment (ART) cycles. In this bioessay, we aim to estimate the sex ratio at fertilization and implantation using data from embryos generated by standard in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in preimplantation genetic diagnosis cycles. Thereafter, we compare sex ratios at implantation and birth in cleavage- and blastocyst-stage-transfer cycles to propose molecular mechanisms accounting for differences in post-implantation male and female mortality and thereby variations in sex ratios at birth in ART cycles. Methods A literature review based on publications up to December 2013 identified by PubMed database searches. Results Sex ratio at both fertilization and implantation is estimated to be between 1.29 and 1.50 in IVF cycles and 1.07 in ICSI cycles. Compared with the estimated sex ratio at implantation, sex ratio at birth is lower in IVF cycles (1.03 after cleavage-stage transfer and 1.25 after blastocyst-stage transfer) but similar and close to unity in ICSI cycles (0.95 after cleavage-stage transfer and 1.04 after blastocyst-stage transfer). Conclusions In-vitro-culture-induced precocious X-chromosome inactivation together with ICSI-induced decrease in number of trophectoderm cells in female blastocysts may account for preferential female mortality at early post-implantation stages and thereby variations in sex ratios at birth in ART cycles. PMID:24957129

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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)

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Community psychological stressor-induced secondary sex ratio decline after a seismic sequence in the Greek island of Zakynthos.

    PubMed

    Tourikis, John D; Beratis, Ion N

    2013-03-01

    The secondary sex ratio (the ratio of boys to girls at birth) may demonstrate a decline following community stress-inducing major destructive events. This study aims to investigate whether or not moderate adverse life events, in conjunction with endogenous psychological characteristics, can induce sufficient community stress to affect the sex ratio. From April 3rd to May 8th 2006 a moderate sized earthquake sequence occurred offshore the Greek island of Zakynthos, which had been hit by a destructive earthquake half a century earlier. The monthly sex ratio after the earthquake sequence was estimated and compared with that of previous and following years. Eleven months after the onset of the earthquakes the sex ratio fell to 1.000, and during the next two months (March and April) it declined further to 0.612. The sex ratio one year before its decline was 1.158 and over a total 6-year period, 3 years before and 3 years after the sequence, it was 1.063; the March-April decline in male births is significant (OR=0.53, 95% CI=0.32-0.86, p=0.013, and OR=0.57, 95% CI=0.36-0.91, p=0.023, respectively). Also, the number of boys relative to girls in March-April 2007 was significantly lower than during the same months 3 years before and after the sequence (OR=0.50, 95% CI=0.31-0.82, p=0.007). The findings suggest that basic biological characteristics, such as the sex ratio, can be affected by psychological stressors interwoven with the pertaining psychology of the population.

  13. Pre-ovulation control of hatchling sex ratio in the Seychelles warbler.

    PubMed Central

    Komdeur, Jan; Magrath, Michael J L; Krackow, Sven

    2002-01-01

    Females of some bird species have a high degree of control over the sex ratio of their offspring at laying. Although several mechanisms have been put forward to explain how females might control the sex of their eggs, virtually nothing is known. As females are the heterogametic sex in birds, adjustment of the clutch sex ratio could arise either by pre- or post-ovulation control mechanisms. The Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis) exhibits extreme adaptive egg sex ratio bias. Typically, warblers produce only single-egg clutches, but by translocating pairs to vacant habitat of very high quality, most females were induced to produce two-egg clutches. Overall, females skewed clutch sex ratios strongly towards daughters (86.6%). This bias was evident in the first egg, but critically, also in the second eggs laid a day apart, even when all absent, unhatched, or unsexed second eggs were assumed to be male. Although a bias in the first egg may arise through either pre- or post-ovulation mechanisms, the skew observed in second eggs could only arise through pre-ovulation control. Post-ovulation adjustment may also contribute to skewed hatchling sex ratios, but as sex-biased release of gametes is likely to be a more efficient process of control, pre-ovulation mechanisms may be the sole means of adjustment in this species. High fitness differentials between sons and daughters, as apparent in the Seychelles warblers, may be necessary for primary sex ratio adjustment to evolve. PMID:12028765

  14. Density-dependent regulation of the sex ratio in an annual plant.

    PubMed

    Dorken, Marcel E; Pannell, John R

    2008-06-01

    Sex ratios are subject to strong frequency-dependent selection regulated by the mating system and the relative male versus female investment. In androdioecious plant populations, where males co-occur with hermaphrodites, the sex ratio depends on the rate of self-fertilization by hermaphrodites and on the relative pollen production of males versus hermaphrodites. Here, we report evolutionary changes in the sex ratio from experimental mating arrays of the androdioecious plant Mercurialis annua. We found that the progeny sex ratio depended strongly on density, with fewer males in the progeny of plants grown under low density. This occurred in part because of a plastic adjustment in pollen production by hermaphrodites, which produced more pollen when grown at low density than at high density. Our results provide support for the prediction that environmental conditions govern sex ratios through their effects on the relative fertility of unisexual versus hermaphrodite individuals.

  15. Manipulation of offspring sex ratio by second-mated female house wrens.

    PubMed Central

    Albrecht, Daniel J; Johnson, L Scott

    2002-01-01

    In 1973, Trivers and Willard proposed that offspring sex ratio should be associated with the quality of parental care likely to be provided to the offspring. We tested this hypothesis by comparing fledgling sex ratios in nests of first- and second-mated female house wrens (Troglodytes aedon). In our Wyoming population, second-mated females typically receive little or no male parental assistance and fledge fewer and lower-quality young compared with first-mated females. Assuming that being of lower quality has stronger negative effects on the future reproductive success of males than that of females in this polygynous population, we predicted that fledgling sex ratios in the nests of second-mated females would be female-biased compared with the fledgling sex ratios of first-mated females. Additionally, we asked whether any sex bias at fledging could have resulted from male-biased nestling mortality caused by sex-biased parental provisioning. As predicted, mean fledgling sex ratios in nests of second-mated females were more female-biased than fledgling sex ratios in nests of first-mated females. However, we found no evidence of either sex-biased nestling mortality or sex-biased parental provisioning. These findings suggest that females are responding to their status as second-mated females and to the associated low-quality parental care that their young are likely to receive by producing female-biased clutches rather than manipulating the offspring sex ratio through sex-biased nestling mortality. PMID:11886637

  16. Fertility transition and adverse child sex ratio in districts of India.

    PubMed

    Mohanty, Sanjay K; Rajbhar, Mamta

    2014-11-01

    Demographic research in India over the last two decades has focused extensively on fertility change and gender bias at the micro-level, and less has been done at the district level. Using data from the Census of India 1991-2011 and other sources, this paper shows the broad pattern of fertility transition and trends in the child sex ratio in India, and examines the determinants of the child sex ratio at the district level. During 1991-2011, while the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) declined by 1.2 children per woman, the child sex ratio fell by 30 points in the districts of India. However, the reduction in fertility was slower in the high-fertility compared with the low-fertility districts. The gender differential in under-five mortality increased in many districts of India over the study period. The decline in the child sex ratio was higher in the transitional compared with the low-fertility districts. The transitional districts are at higher risk of a low child sex ratio due to an increased gender differential in mortality and increase in the practice of sex-selective abortions. The sex ratio at birth and gender differential in mortality explains one-third of the variation, while region alone explains a quarter of the variation in the child sex ratio in the districts of India.

  17. 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

  18. Effects of gamma radiation on development, sterility, fecundity, and sex ratio of Dermanyssus gallinae (DeGeer) (Acari: Dermanyssidae)

    SciTech Connect

    Entrekin, D.L.; Oliver, J.H. Jr.; Pound, J.M.

    1987-06-01

    Protonymphal Dermanyssus gallinae were irradiated with 0.50, 0.75, 1.0, 3.0, and 6.0 krad of gamma radiation and subsequently monitored regarding their developmental, feeding, and mating success. Also, sex ratios of adults treated as protonymphs were recorded as were sex ratios of embryos and F1 adults produced by these adults. Doses up to 1.0 krad did not prevent development of treated protonymphs to the adult stage or stop mating. Three krad reduced the number of treated protonymphs attaining adulthood and 6.0-krad treatment prevented all mites from developing to the adult stage. Egg (embryo) production was normal for mites treated with 0.50 krad, but significantly curtailed by doses of 0.75 krad and greater. Radiation doses used in this study did not appear to affect the normal variable sex ratios observed in untreated mites.

  19. 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.

  20. Economics, cultural transmission, and the dynamics of the sex ratio at birth in China

    PubMed Central

    Lipatov, Mikhail; Li, Shuzhuo; Feldman, Marcus W.

    2008-01-01

    In rural China, the ratio of newborn boys to newborn girls [sex ratio at birth (SRB)] has been rising for several decades, to values significantly above its biological norm. This trend has a number of alarming societal consequences, and has attracted the attention of scholars and politicians. The root of the problem lies in a 2,500-year-old culture of son preference. This culture is intricately linked with the economic reality of each couple's life, so that there are financial and psychological repercussions to parents who have no sons. To bring greater clarity and understanding to this issue, we present a quantitative framework that describes the interaction between economics and cultural transmission. We start with an explicit mechanism by which economic incentives can change cultural beliefs of a given individual, and go on to include a mechanism of cultural inheritance from generation to generation. We then show how economic conditions can affect the dynamics of cultural change in an entire society, and may lead to a decrease in the country's sex ratio at birth. PMID:19047641

  1. 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.

  2. Pollination intensity influences sex ratios in dioecious Rumex nivalis, a wind-pollinated plant.

    PubMed

    Stehlik, Ivana; Barrett, Spencer C H

    2006-06-01

    Determining the mechanisms governing sex-ratio variation in dioecious organisms represents a central problem in evolutionary biology. It has been proposed that in plants with sex chromosomes competition between pollen tubes of female- versus male-determining microgametophytes (certation) causes female-biased primary sex ratios. Experimental support for this hypothesis is limited and recent workers have cast doubt on whether pollen-tube competition can modify sex ratios in dioecious plants. Here we investigate the influence of variation in pollination intensity on sex ratios in Rumex nivalis, a wind-pollinated alpine herb with strongly female-biased sex ratios. In a garden experiment, we experimentally manipulated pollination intensity using three concentric rings of female recipient plants at different distances from a central group of male pollen donors. This design enabled us to test the hypothesis that increasing pollen load size, by intensifying gametophyte competition, promotes female-biased sex ratios in R. nivalis. We detected a significant decline in pollen load at successive distance classes with concomitant reductions in seed set. Sex ratios of progeny were always female biased, but plants at the closest distance to male donors exhibited significantly greater female bias than more distant plants. The amount of female bias was positively correlated with the seed set of inflorescences. Hand pollination of stigmas resulted in approximately 100-fold higher stigmatic pollen loads than wind-pollinated stigmas and produced exceptionally female-biased progenies (female frequency = 0.96). Our results are the first to demonstrate a functional relation between stigmatic pollen capture, seed set, and sex ratio and suggest that certation can contribute towards female-biased sex ratios in dioecious plants.

  3. 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.

  4. Maternal natal environment and breeding territory predict the condition and sex ratio of offspring.

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

    Females in a variety of taxa adjust offspring sex ratios to prevailing ecological conditions. However, little is known about whether conditions experienced during a female's early ontogeny influence the sex ratio of her offspring. We tested for past and present ecological predictors of offspring sex ratios among known-age females that were produced as offspring and bred as adults in a population of house wrens. The body condition of offspring that a female produced and the proportion of her offspring that were male were negatively correlated with the size of the brood in which she herself was reared. The proportion of sons within broods was negatively correlated with maternal hatching date, and varied positively with the quality of a female's current breeding territory as predicted. However, females producing relatively more sons than daughters were less likely to return to breed in the population the following year. Although correlative, our results suggest that the rearing environment can have enduring effects on later maternal investment and sex allocation. Moreover, the overproduction of sons relative to daughters may increase costs to a female's residual reproductive value, constraining the extent to which sons might be produced in high-quality breeding conditions. Sex allocation in birds remains a contentious subject, largely because effects on offspring sex ratios are small. Our results suggest that offspring sex ratios are shaped by various processes and trade-offs that act throughout the female life history and ultimately reduce the extent of sex-ratio adjustment relative to classic theoretical predictions.

  5. Experimental evolution of reduced sex ratio adjustment under local mate competition.

    PubMed

    Macke, Emilie; Magalhães, Sara; Bach, Fabien; Olivieri, Isabelle

    2011-11-25

    Theory predicts that local mate competition (LMC) favors the evolution of female-biased sex ratios. Empirical support of this prediction is indirect and comes from comparative studies or from studies showing that individuals can adjust their offspring sex ratio in response to varying LMC intensities. Replicate lines from a population of the spider mite Tetranychus urticae were selected under three LMC intensities for up to 54 generations. Within each selection regime, the final sex ratio matched theoretical predictions. Furthermore, the ability of individuals to adjust their offspring sex ratio diminished in females evolving under strict LMC, but not in females evolving under relaxed LMC levels. These results provide direct experimental evidence for the evolutionary process by which LMC modifies sex-allocation strategies and suggest that evolution under strict and constant LMC may lead to a loss of phenotypic plasticity.

  6. Female philopatry in a heterogeneous environment: ordinary conditions leading to extraordinary ESS sex ratios

    PubMed Central

    Hulin, Vincent; Guillon, Jean-Michel

    2007-01-01

    Background We use a simulation-based model to study the impact of female philopatry and heterogeneity of habitat quality on the evolution of primary sex ratio. Results We show that these conditions may lead to strongly biased ESS habitat-dependent sex ratios, under two kinds of density-dependent population regulation. ESS sex ratios are always biased towards females in good habitats, towards males in poor habitats, and are generally equilibrated considering the whole population. Noticeably, the predicted bias of sex ratio usually increases with decreasing female philopatry. Conclusion The selection forces responsible for these results are fully described. This study provides a new perspective on the evolutionary significance of temperature sex determination. We discuss the case of turtles by comparing our theoretical results with field observations. PMID:17284311

  7. More Women Than Men: Implications of the Changing Sex Ratio.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skrabanek, R. L.

    Texas, like the rest of the nation, is undergoing a shift toward an excess of females. Review of the changing balance of the sexes reveals that there were only 95.9 males per 100 females in 1970 with a projected drop to 93.8 by 1980. In 1950 Texas had an excess of 15,000 males, but by 1960 females outnumbered males by 90,000 and by 234,000 in…

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  10. Developmental sexual dimorphism and the evolution of mechanisms for adjustment of sex ratios in mammals.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Elissa Z; Edwards, Amy M; Parsley, Laura M

    2017-02-01

    Sex allocation theory predicts biased offspring sex ratios in relation to local conditions if they would maximize parental lifetime reproductive return. In mammals, the extent of the birth sex bias is often unpredictable and inconsistent, leading some to question its evolutionary significance. For facultative adjustment of sex ratios to occur, males and females would need to be detectably different from an early developmental stage, but classic sexual dimorphism arises from hormonal influences after gonadal development. Recent advances in our understanding of early, pregonadal sexual dimorphism, however, indicate high levels of dimorphism in gene expression, caused by chromosomal rather than hormonal differences. Here, we discuss how such dimorphism would interact with and link previously hypothesized mechanisms for sex-ratio adjustment. These differences between males and females are sufficient for offspring sex both to be detectable to parents and to provide selectable cues for biasing sex ratios from the earliest stages. We suggest ways in which future research could use the advances in our understanding of sexually dimorphic developmental physiology to test the evolutionary significance of sex allocation in mammals. Such an approach would advance our understanding of sex allocation and could be applied to other taxa.

  11. The male handicap: male-biased mortality explains skewed sex ratios in brown trout embryos

    PubMed Central

    Labbé, L.

    2016-01-01

    Juvenile sex ratios are often assumed to be equal for many species with genetic sex determination, but this has rarely been tested in fish embryos due to their small size and absence of sex-specific markers. We artificially crossed three populations of brown trout and used a recently developed genetic marker for sexing the offspring of both pure and hybrid crosses. Sex ratios (SR = proportion of males) varied widely one month after hatching ranging from 0.15 to 0.90 (mean = 0.39 ± 0.03). Families with high survival tended to produce balanced or male-biased sex ratios, but SR was significantly female-biased when survival was low, suggesting that males sustain higher mortality during development. No difference in SR was found between pure and hybrid families, but the existence of sire × dam interactions suggests that genetic incompatibility may play a role in determining sex ratios. Our findings have implications for animal breeding and conservation because skewed sex ratios will tend to reduce effective population size and bias selection estimates. PMID:27928001

  12. The association between male-biased sex ratio and indicators of stress in red-spotted newts.

    PubMed

    Aspbury, Andrea S; Grayson, Kristine L; Fantaye, Selamawit; Nichols, Ian; Myers-Burton, Miranda; Ortiz-Mangual, Xavier; Gabor, Caitlin R

    2017-05-01

    In populations with a male-biased operational sex ratio, coercive mating by males can have fitness consequences for females. One component of reduced fitness for females in populations with a male-biased OSR may be greater activation of the stress response, resulting in higher corticosterone release rates (CORT; a glucocorticoid stress hormone in amphibians). We test the hypothesis that a male-biased sex ratio affects female activity and release rates of CORT and testosterone (T) in male and female red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens). First, we evaluated if chemical cues from a male-biased sex ratio affect activity and CORT release rates in females. We predicted that females exposed to chemical cues of three males would be less active and have higher CORT release rates than those exposed to chemical cues of one male. Second, we measured CORT release rates of red-spotted newts in field enclosures with either a male-biased or a female-biased sex ratio. We predicted that females in the male-biased treatment would have higher CORT and T release rates than those in a female-biased treatment, owing to higher levels of male harassment. We also predicted that males would have higher CORT and T release rates in male-biased treatments due to higher levels of male-male competition. Females were not less active in response to chemical cues from more males over fewer males, but there was a positive relationship between female activity and CORT when they were exposed to the cues of three males. We also found that females, but not males, in the male-biased sex ratio treatment had higher CORT and T release rates than those in the female-biased treatment. Our results support the hypothesis that a male-biased sex ratio leads to a higher stress response, which may underlie the observed decrease in immune function and body condition in previous work exposing female red-spotted newts to a male-biased sex ratio. This study furthers our understanding of the mechanistic basis

  13. Sex-specific effects of altered competition on nestling growth and survival: an experimental manipulation of brood size and sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Nicolaus, Marion; Michler, Stephanie P M; Ubels, Richard; van der Velde, Marco; Komdeur, Jan; Both, Christiaan; Tinbergen, Joost M

    2009-03-01

    1. An increase of competition among adults or nestlings usually negatively affects breeding output. Yet little is known about the differential effects that competition has on the offspring sexes. This could be important because it may influence parental reproductive decisions. 2. In sexual size dimorphic species, two main contradictory mechanisms are proposed regarding sex-specific effects of competition on nestling performance assuming that parents do not feed their chicks differentially: (i) the larger sex requires more resources to grow and is more sensitive to a deterioration of the rearing conditions ('costly sex hypothesis'); (ii) the larger sex has a competitive advantage in intra-brood competition and performs better under adverse conditions ('competitive advantage hypothesis'). 3. In the present study, we manipulated the level of sex-specific sibling competition in a great tit population (Parus major) by altering simultaneously the brood size and the brood sex ratio on two levels: the nest (competition for food among nestlings) and the woodlot where the parents breed (competition for food among adults). We investigated whether altered competition during the nestling phase affected nestling growth traits and survival in the nest and whether the effects differed between males, the larger sex, and females. 4. We found a strong negative and sex-specific effect of experimental brood size on all the nestling traits. In enlarged broods, sexual size dimorphism was smaller which may have resulted from biased mortality towards the less competitive individuals i.e. females of low condition. No effect of brood sex ratio on nestling growth traits was found. 5. Negative brood size effects on nestling traits were stronger in natural high-density areas but we could not confirm this experimentally. 6. Our results did not support the 'costly sex hypothesis' because males did not suffer from higher mortality under harsh conditions. The 'competitive advantage hypothesis' was

  14. Response of sex ratio to timing of breeding in the small cyprinid Gnathopogon caerulescens.

    PubMed

    Fujioka, Y; Kikko, T; Saegusa, J; Usuki, T; Ohtsuka, T

    2015-10-01

    The influence of hatching date on the sex ratio of wild Gnathopogon caerulescens was examined. Cohorts reared from eggs collected in the early and middle parts of the spawning season showed almost balanced sex ratios, with female bias in some cohorts. Cohorts born later in the season mostly displayed male bias, and the mean proportion of males later in the season was significantly higher than in early- and mid-season cohorts. These results indicate that the sex ratio of G. caerulescens changes with the time of breeding, increasing along with the ambient water temperature of the lake.

  15. 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.

  16. Large-scale age-dependent skewed sex ratio in a sexually dimorphic avian scavenger.

    PubMed

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Sex ratios, bill deformities, and PCBs in nestling double-crested cormorants

    SciTech Connect

    Stromborg, K.L.; Sileo, L.; Tuinen, P. van

    1995-12-31

    Deformed double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) nestlings examined from 1988--1992 had a sex ratio highly skewed toward females (66 of 81) compared to normal nestlings (43 of 80) (P < 0.005). The collection site, Green Bay, WI, is heavily contaminated with PCBs and the possibility of gender alteration was investigated in a designed study by comparing the sex of nestling birds determined using three techniques. These nestlings were collected at five sites, both contaminated and uncontaminated. Genetic sex was determined by cytogenetic techniques and phenotypic sex was determined by macroscopic and histologic examination of gonads. Differences between techniques resulted in a few instances of classifying genetic males as females by one or the other gonadal examinations. Sex ratios of the nestlings from the five sites were compared to binomial distributions assuming equal probabilities of males and females. Sex ratios of normal nestlings were not different from expected regardless of sex determination technique (P > 0.10). Deformed nestlings sexed cytogenetically or histologically did not differ from expected (P > 0.40), but deformed nestlings tended to be classified , macroscopically as females at a higher rate than expected (P = 0.092). The observed sex ratios obtained by macroscopic techniques did not differ between the 1968--1992 observational study and the designed study (P > 0.50). Histologic examination suggested two explanations for the skewed sex ratio: nestlings with undeterminable macroscopic sex usually had testes and, some gonads which grossly resembled ovaries were, in fact, testes. If phenotypic gender alteration is present in these birds, it is more evident at the gross structural level than at the histologic level.

  20. Female Fertilization: Effects of Sex-Specific Density and Sex Ratio Determined Experimentally for Colorado Potato Beetles and Drosophila Fruit Flies

    PubMed Central

    Vahl, Wouter K.; Boiteau, Gilles; de Heij, Maaike E.; MacKinley, Pamela D.; Kokko, Hanna

    2013-01-01

    If males and females affect reproduction differentially, understanding and predicting sexual reproduction requires specification of response surfaces, that is, two-dimensional functions that relate reproduction to the (numeric) densities of both sexes. Aiming at rigorous measurement of female per capita fertilization response surfaces, we conducted a multifactorial experiment and reanalyzed an extensive data set. In our experiment, we varied the density of male and female Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Colorado potato beetles) by placing different numbers of the two sexes on enclosed Solanum tuberosum (potato plants) to determine the proportion of females fertilized after 3 or 22 hours. In the reanalysis, we investigated how the short-term fertilization probability of three Drosophila strains (melanogaster ebony, m. sepia, and simulans) depended on adult sex ratio (proportion of males) and total density. The fertilization probability of female Leptinotarsa decemlineata increased logistically with male density, but not with female density. These effects were robust to trial duration. The fertilization probability of female Drosophila increased logistically with both sex ratio and total density. Treatment effects interacted in m. sepia, and simulans. These findings highlight the importance of well-designed, multifactorial experiments and strengthen previous experimental evidence for the relevance of sex-specific densities to understanding and prediction of female fertilization probability. PMID:23593206

  1. Female fertilization: effects of sex-specific density and sex ratio determined experimentally for Colorado potato beetles and Drosophila fruit flies.

    PubMed

    Vahl, Wouter K; Boiteau, Gilles; de Heij, Maaike E; MacKinley, Pamela D; Kokko, Hanna

    2013-01-01

    If males and females affect reproduction differentially, understanding and predicting sexual reproduction requires specification of response surfaces, that is, two-dimensional functions that relate reproduction to the (numeric) densities of both sexes. Aiming at rigorous measurement of female per capita fertilization response surfaces, we conducted a multifactorial experiment and reanalyzed an extensive data set. In our experiment, we varied the density of male and female Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Colorado potato beetles) by placing different numbers of the two sexes on enclosed Solanum tuberosum (potato plants) to determine the proportion of females fertilized after 3 or 22 hours. In the reanalysis, we investigated how the short-term fertilization probability of three Drosophila strains (melanogaster ebony, m. sepia, and simulans) depended on adult sex ratio (proportion of males) and total density. The fertilization probability of female Leptinotarsa decemlineata increased logistically with male density, but not with female density. These effects were robust to trial duration. The fertilization probability of female Drosophila increased logistically with both sex ratio and total density. Treatment effects interacted in m. sepia, and simulans. These findings highlight the importance of well-designed, multifactorial experiments and strengthen previous experimental evidence for the relevance of sex-specific densities to understanding and prediction of female fertilization probability.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    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.

  5. Caste ratios affect the reproductive output of social trematode colonies.

    PubMed

    Kamiya, T; Poulin, R

    2013-03-01

    Intraspecific phenotypic diversification in social organisms often leads to formation of physical castes which are morphologically specialized for particular tasks within the colony. The optimal caste allocation theory argues that specialized morphological castes are efficient at specific tasks, and hence different caste ratios should affect the ergonomic efficiency, hence reproductive output of the colony. However, the reproductive output of different caste ratios has been documented in few species of insects with equivocal support for the theory. This study investigated whether the ratios of nonreproductive and reproductive morphs affect the reproductive output of a recently discovered social trematode, Philophthalmus sp., in which the nonreproductive members are hypothesized to be defensive specialists. A census of natural infections and a manipulative in vitro experiment demonstrated a positive association between the reproductive output of trematode colonies and the ratio of nonreproductive to reproductive morphs in the presence of an intra-host trematode competitor, Maritrema novaezealandensis. On the contrary, without the competitor, reproductive output was negatively associated with the proportion of nonreproductive castes in colonies. Our findings demonstrate for the first time a clear fitness benefit associated with the nonreproductive castes in the presence of a competitor while illustrating the cost of maintaining such morphs in noncompetitive situations. Although the proximate mechanisms controlling caste ratio remain unclear in this trematode system, this study supports the prediction that the fitness of colonies is influenced by the composition of specialized functional morphs in social organisms, suggesting a potential for adaptive shifts of caste ratios over evolutionary time.

  6. Sex difference in strength and size ratios between reciprocal muscle groups in the lower leg.

    PubMed

    Akagi, R; Tohdoh, Y; Takahashi, H

    2013-05-01

    This study compared strength and size of reciprocal muscle groups in the lower leg between sexes. 20 young men and 14 young women volunteered as subjects. Joint torques developed during isometric maximal voluntary plantar flexion (TQPF) and dorsiflexion (TQDF) were measured using a dynamometer. Muscle volumes of plantar flexors (MVPF) and dorsiflexors (MVDF) were determined by magnetic resonance imaging. In each of the muscle groups, joint torque was significantly correlated with muscle volume in young men and women (r=0.610-0.848) and the y-intercept of the regression line between them was not significantly different from zero. Based on these observations, the dependencies of muscle strength ratio on muscle size ratio between the plantar flexors and dorsiflexors were investigated using joint torque and muscle volume. The correlations between the MVPF per MVDF and the TQPF per TQDF were significant both in young men (r=0.608) and women (r=0.773), suggesting that strength ratio is strongly affected by size ratio between the plantar flexors and dorsiflexors in young men and women.

  7. Sex ratio in silver foxes: effects of domestication and the star gene.

    PubMed

    Trut, L N

    1996-01-01

    The course of changes in secondary sex ratio (proportion of males at birth) in silver foxes bred at the fur farm of this Institute was analyzed. Data collected over several years of breeding of a domesticated (experimental) population selected for amenability to domestication and of a commercial (control) were compared. A tendency to increase in secondary sex ratio was demonstrated in both populations. However, the proportion of males at birth was higher in domestic foxes. This proportion, calculated from the combined data for 1978-1993, was 0.538±0.005 and 0.511±0.007 in the selected and commercial populations, respectively. The minimal departure of the observed sex ratio from 0.5 was demonstrated for litters with five pups, which is close to the average litter size in fox populations. The proportion of males increases with both increasing and decreasing litter size. An analysis of secondary sex ratio with respect to maternal age revealed a minimal departure of sex ratio from the expected in offspring from foxes of optimal reproductive age (2-4 years). An effect of the autosomal semidominant coat color mutation star on male excess at birth was also found: secondary sex ratio was higher (0.583±0.015) in offspring of mothers heterozygous for the star mutation than from standard types of the domesticated population. The increase in secondary sex ratio in the analyzed fox populations is viewed as a correlated response to selection for domestication. The hormonal mechanisms mediating the effects of both this selection and the star mutation on sex ratio at birth are discussed.

  8. 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.

  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. Sex ratio of White Stork Ciconia ciconia in different environments of Poland.

    PubMed

    Kamiński, Piotr; Grochowska, Ewa; Mroczkowski, Sławomir; Jerzak, Leszek; Kasprzak, Mariusz; Koim-Puchowska, Beata; Woźniak, Alina; Ciebiera, Olaf; Markulak, Damian

    2015-09-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze the variation in sex ratio of White Stork Ciconia ciconia chicks from differentiated Poland environments. We took under a consideration the impact of Cd and Pb for establish differences among sex ratio in chicks. We also study multiplex PCR employment for establish gender considerations. We collected blood samples via venipuncture of brachial vein of chicks during 2006-2008 breeding seasons at the Odra meadows (SW-Poland; control), which were compared with those from suburbs (SW-Poland), and from copper smelter (S-Poland; polluted) and from swamps near Baltic Sea. We found differences among sex ratio in White Stork chicks from types of environment. Male participation in sex structure is importantly higher in each type of environment excluded suburban areas. Differences in White Stork sex ratio according to the degree of environmental degradation expressed by Cd and Pb and sex-environment-metal interactions testify about the impact of these metals upon sex ratios in storks. Simultaneously, as a result of multiplex PCR, 18S ribosome gene, which served as internal control of PCR, was amplified in male and female storks. It means that it is possible to use primers designed for chicken in order to replicate this fragment of genome in White Stork. Moreover, the use of Oriental White Stork Ciconia boyciana W- chromosome specific primers makes it possible to determine the sex of C. ciconia chicks. Many factors make sex ratio of White Stork changes in subsequent breeding seasons, which depend significantly on specific environmental parameters that shape individual detailed defense mechanisms.

  11. 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+)…

  12. 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).

  13. 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

  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.

  15. 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.

  16. Sex ratios in early childhood autism and related conditions.

    PubMed

    Wing, L

    1981-10-01

    Children aged 0-14 on a specified census day, with impairments of verbal and nonverbal communication, social interaction and imaginative play, and with repetitive, stereotyped activities, were identified in an epidemiological study carried out in an area of southeast London. Sociable moderately, severely, and profoundly retarded children were included for comparison. An overall male:female ratio of 2.6:1 was found in those with language and social impairments, but, in the children of this group who were moderately, severely, or profoundly retarded, the ratio was 2.1:1, closely similar to that found in children in the same IQ range with Down's syndrome or cerebral palsy. The excess of males was much more marked in language and socially impaired children who were of higher ability, or who had a history of typical early childhood autism. The findings were linked to hypotheses of genetically greater variability in males, and to male-female differences in visuo-spatial and language skills.

  17. 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.

  18. Evolutionary implications for the determination of gametocyte sex ratios under fecundity variation for the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Teboh-Ewungkem, Miranda I; Yuster, Thomas

    2016-11-07

    We investigate sex ratio determination strategies for the Malaria parasite based on putative changes in its male fecundity over the lifetime of an infection, and how such strategies might have evolved. We model fitness using the incomplete fertilization limit developed in Teboh-Ewungkem and Yuster (2010). We divide the infection lifetime of a strain into two periods, assume each human is infected by two different strains, and assume that there are two different strategies present among the many strains in the general malaria parasite population. A unique parameter dependent ESS exists for all parameter values in both of our main models, with many such strategies unbeatable. These strategies produce both male and female biased population sex ratios with female bias predominating over most of the parameter space. The first model (SKM) suggests that strains without the ability to detect characteristics of other strains present could still have evolved strategies to vary sex ratio over their lifetimes, and the second model (DKM) suggests strains with detection abilities might have evolved after that. Our analysis suggests that once the ability to detect the population sizes and fecundities of other strains has developed, detection of their sex ratio choices confers no additional selective advantage in that a DKM ESS is still an ESS among sex ratio detecting strategies. The sex ratio choices for each DKM ESS are given by the equilibrium values of the parameter equivalent sex ratio detecting strategy described in Teboh-Ewungkem and Wang (2012), in the case where two strains employing that strategy encounter each other.

  19. Exposure to persistent organic pollutants and sperm sex chromosome ratio in men from the Faroe Islands

    PubMed Central

    Kvist, L.; Giwercman, A.; Weihe, P.; Jensen, T. Kold; Grandjean, P.; Halling, J.; Petersen, M. Skaalum; Giwercman, Y. Lundberg

    2015-01-01

    People in the Arctic as well as fishermen on the polluted Swedish east coast are highly exposed to persistent organic pollutants (POPs). These compounds have been shown to affect the sperm Y:X chromosome ratio. In present study, the aim was to investigate whether polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners and 1,1,-dichloro-2,2,-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane (p,p′-DDE) influence sperm sex chromosome ratio in Faroese men, and whether these men differ regarding Y:X ratio compared to Greenland Inuit and Swedish fishermen. The study population (n = 449) consisted of young men from the general population (n = 276) as well as proven fertile men (n = 173). The Y:X ratio was assessed by fluorescent in situ hybridization. Serum concentrations of POPs were measured using gas chromatography. Associations between POP concentrations and Y:X ratio were calculated using linear and non-linear regression models as well as trend analysis and pairwise comparison of exposure data categorized into quartiles. The selected POPs were associated with Y:X ratio in fertile Faroese men, but not in the total population; p,p′-DDE (95% CI for B = −0.005 to −0.001, p = 0.005) and ΣPCB (95% CI for B = −0.005 to −0.001, p = 0.012). Since p, p′-DDE and ΣPCB correlated significantly (r = 0.927, p < 0.001), the results involving the exposure variables can be regarded as a single finding. The Y:X ratio for the total Faroese population was 0.500 ± 0.018, which was statistically significantly lower than in both Inuit and Swedish fishermen (0.512 for both). In conclusion, Faroese men presented with lower Y:X ratio than Greenland Inuit and Swedish fishermen. Although no direct health effects are expected due to the lower Faroese Y:X ratio, it could be indicative of adverse effects on the reproductive system. PMID:25222300

  20. An Extraordinary Host-Specific Sex Ratio in an Avian Louse (Phthiraptera: Insecta)--Chemical Distortion?

    PubMed

    Douglas, H D; Malenke, J R

    2015-08-01

    Distortions of sex ratios and sexual traits from synthetic chemicals have been well documented; however, there is little evidence for such phenomena associated with naturally occurring chemical exposures. We reasoned that chemical secretions of vertebrates could contribute to skewed sex ratios in ectoparasitic insects due to differences in susceptibility among the sexes. For example, among ectoparasitic lice the female is generally the larger sex. Smaller males may be more susceptible to chemical effects. We studied sex ratios of lice on two sympatric species of colonial seabirds. Crested auklets (Aethia cristatella) secrete a strong smelling citrus-like odorant composed of aldehydes while a closely related congener the least auklet (Aethia pusilla) lacks these compounds. Each auklet hosts three species of lice, two of which are shared in common. We found that the sex ratio of one louse species, Quadraceps aethereus (Giebel), was highly skewed on crested auklets 1:69 (males: females), yet close to unity on least auklets (1:0.97). We suggest that a host-specific effect contributes to this difference, such as the crested auklet's chemical odorant.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Does Landscape Fragmentation Influence Sex Ratio of Dioecious Plants? A Case Study of Pistacia chinensis in the Thousand-Island Lake Region of China

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Lin; Lu, Jianbo

    2011-01-01

    The Thousand-Island Lake region in Zhejiang Province, China is a highly fragmented landscape with a clear point-in-time of fragmentation as a result of flooding to form the reservoir. Islands in the artificial lake were surveyed to examine how population sex ratio of a dioecious plant specie Pistacia chinensis B. was affected by landscape fragmentation. A natural population on the mainland near the lake was also surveyed for comparison. Population size, sex ratio and diameter at breast height (DBH) of individuals were measured over 2 years. More than 1,500 individuals, distributed in 31 populations, were studied. Soil nitrogen in the different populations was measured to identify the relationship between sex ratio and micro-environmental conditions. In accordance with the results of many other reports on biased sex ratio in relation to environmental gradient, we found that poor soil nitrogen areas fostered male-biased populations. In addition, the degree of sex ratio bias increased with decreasing population size and population connectivity. The biased sex ratios were only found in younger individuals (less than 50 years old) in small populations, while a stable 1∶1 sex ratio was found in the large population on the mainland. We concluded that the effects of landscape fragmentation on the dioecious population sex ratio were mainly achieved in relation to changing soil nitrogen conditions in patches and pollen limitation within and among populations. Large populations could maintain a more suitable environment in terms of nutrient conditions and pollen flow, subsequently maintaining a stable sex ratio in dioecious plant populations. Both micro-environmental factors and spatial structure should be considered in fragmented landscape for the conservation of dioecious plant species. PMID:21829667

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Breeding durations as estimators of adult sex ratios and population size.

    PubMed

    Payne, Nicholas Leslie; Gillanders, Bronwyn May; Semmens, Jayson

    2011-02-01

    Adult sex ratios (ASRs) and population size are two of the most fundamental parameters in population biology, as they are the main determinants of genetic and demographic viability, and vulnerability of a population to stochastic events. Underpinning the application of population viability analysis for predicting the extinction risk of populations is the need to accurately estimate parameters that determine the viability of populations (i.e. the ASR and population size). Here we demonstrate that a lack of temporal information can confound estimation of both parameters. Using acoustic telemetry, we compared differences in breeding durations of both sexes for a giant Australian cuttlefish Sepia apama breeding aggregation to the strongly male-biased operational sex ratio (4:1), in order to estimate the population ASR. The ratio of breeding durations between sexes was equal to the operational sex ratio, suggesting that the ASR is not strongly male-biased, but balanced. Furthermore, the short residence times of individuals at the breeding aggregation suggests that previous density-based abundance estimates have significantly underestimated population size. With the current wide application of population viability analysis for predicting the extinction risk of populations, tools to improve the accuracy of such predictions are vital. Here we provide a new approach to estimating the fundamental ASR parameter, and call for temporal considerations when estimating population size.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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 of Rnf12 to up-regulate Xist significantly 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-regulated Rnf12/Xist expression, 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Sex, age, and sex hormones affect recall of words in a directed forgetting paradigm.

    PubMed

    Kerschbaum, Hubert H; Hofbauer, Ildiko; Gföllner, Anna; Ebner, Birgit; Bresgen, Nikolaus; Bäuml, Karl-Heinz T

    2017-01-02

    During the course of serious discussion, an unexpected interruption may induce forgetting of the original topic of a conversation. Sex, age, and sex hormone levels may affect frequency and extension of forgetting. In a list-method directed forgetting paradigm, subjects have to learn two word lists. After learning list 1, subjects receive either a forget or a remember list 1 cue. When the participants had learned list 2 and completed a distraction task, they were asked to write down as many recalled items as possible, starting either with list 1 or list 2 items. In the present study, 96 naturally cycling women, 60 oral contraceptive users, 56 postmenopausal women, and 41 young men were assigned to one of these different experimental conditions. Forget-cued young subjects recall fewer list 1 items (list 1 forgetting) but more list 2 items (list 2 enhancement) compared with remember-cued subjects. However, forget-cued postmenopausal women showed reduced list 1 forgetting but enhanced list 2 retention. Remember-cued naturally cycling women recalled more list 1 items than oral contraceptive users, young men, and postmenopausal women. In forget-cued follicular women, salivary progesterone correlated positively with recalled list 2 items. Salivary 17β-estradiol did not correlate with recalled list 1 or list 2 items in either remember- or forget-cued young women. However, salivary 17β-estradiol correlated with item recall in remember-cued postmenopausal women. Our findings suggest that sex hormones do not globally modulate verbal memory or forgetting, but selectively affect cue-specific processing. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Sex Ratio Bias and Extinction Risk in an Isolated Population of Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus)

    PubMed Central

    Grayson, Kristine L.; Mitchell, Nicola J.; Monks, Joanne M.; Keall, Susan N.; Wilson, Joanna N.; Nelson, Nicola J.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms underlying population declines is critical for preventing the extinction of endangered populations. Positive feedbacks can hasten the process of collapse and create an ‘extinction vortex,’ particularly in small, isolated populations. We provide a case study of a male-biased sex ratio creating the conditions for extinction in a natural population of tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) on North Brother Island in the Cook Strait of New Zealand. We combine data from long term mark-recapture surveys, updated model estimates of hatchling sex ratio, and population viability modeling to measure the impacts of sex ratio skew. Results from the mark-recapture surveys show an increasing decline in the percentage of females in the adult tuatara population. Our monitoring reveals compounding impacts on female fitness through reductions in female body condition, fecundity, and survival as the male-bias in the population has increased. Additionally, we find that current nest temperatures are likely to result in more male than female hatchlings, owing to the pattern of temperature-dependent sex determination in tuatara where males hatch at warmer temperatures. Anthropogenic climate change worsens the situation for this isolated population, as projected temperature increases for New Zealand are expected to further skew the hatchling sex ratio towards males. Population viability models predict that without management intervention or an evolutionary response, the population will ultimately become entirely comprised of males and functionally extinct. Our study demonstrates that sex ratio bias can be an underappreciated threat to population viability, particularly in populations of long-lived organisms that appear numerically stable. PMID:24714691

  16. Determination of Sperm Sex Ratio in Bovine Semen Using Multiplex Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction.

    PubMed

    Khamlor, Trisadee; Pongpiachan, Petai; Sangsritavong, Siwat; Chokesajjawatee, Nipa

    2014-10-01

    Gender selection is important in livestock industries; for example, female calves are required in the dairy industry. Sex-sorted semen is commonly used for the production of calves of the desired gender. However, assessment of the sex ratio of the sorted semen is tedious and expensive. In this study, a rapid, cost effective and reliable method for determining the sex ratio was developed using a multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. In this assay, the X and Y chromosome-specific markers, i.e., bovine proteolipid protein (PLP) gene and sex-determining region Y (SRY) were simultaneously quantified in a single tube. The multiplex real-time PCR assay was shown to have high amplification efficiencies (97% to 99%) comparable to the separated-tube simplex real-time PCR assay. The results obtained from both assays were not significantly different (p>0.05). The multiplex assay was validated using reference DNA of known X ratio (10%, 50%, and 90%) as templates. The measured %X in semen samples were the same within 95% confidence intervals as the expected values, i.e., >90% in X-sorted semen, <10% in Y-sorted semen and close to 50% in the unsorted semen. The multiplex real-time PCR assay as shown in this study can thus be used to assess purity of sex-sorted semen.

  17. 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.

  18. Sex-ratio evolution in nuclear-cytoplasmic gynodioecy when restoration is a threshold trait.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Maia F; Delph, Lynda F

    2007-08-01

    Gynodioecious plant species, which have populations consisting of female and hermaphrodite individuals, usually have complex sex determination involving cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) alleles interacting with nuclear restorers of fertility. In response to recent evidence, we present a model of sex-ratio evolution in which restoration of male fertility is a threshold trait. We find that females are maintained at low frequencies for all biologically relevant parameter values. Furthermore, this model predicts periodically high female frequencies (>50%) under conditions of lower female seed fecundity advantages (compensation, x = 5%) and pleiotropic fitness effects associated with restorers of fertility (costs of restoration, y = 20%) than in other models. This model explains the maintenance of females in species that have previously experienced invasions of CMS alleles and the evolution of multiple restorers. Sensitivity of the model to small changes in cost and compensation values and to initial conditions may explain why populations of the same species vary widely for sex ratio.

  19. Sex ratios in field populations of two parasitoids (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) of Coccus hesperidum L. (Homoptera: Coccidae).

    PubMed

    Bernal, Julio S; Luck, Robert F; Morse, J G

    1998-10-01

    We tested several assumptions and predictions of host-quality-dependent sex allocation theory (Charnov et al. 1981) with data obtained for the parasitoid Metaphycus stanleyi Compere on its host, brown soft scale (Coccus hesperidum L.), in a California citrus grove and in the laboratory. Scales ceased growing after parasitization by M. stanleyi. Thus, M. stanleyi may gauge host quality (=size) at oviposition. Host size positively influenced adult parasitoid size, and parasitoid size in turn influenced adult longevity of M. stanleyi. However, parasitoid fitness gains with host size and adult size were similar in males versus females. Sex allocation to individual hosts by M. stanleyi depended on host size; females consistently emerged from larger hosts than males. Host size was important in a relative sense; the mean host sizes of females versus males, and of solitary versus gregarious parasitoids varied with the available host size distribution. The offspring sex ratio of M. stanleyi reflected the available host size distribution; the sex ratio of emerging parasitoids varied with the available host size distribution. We did not detect a "critical host size" below which males emerged, and above which females emerged; rather, only females emerged from hosts in the upper size range, and a variable ratio of males and females emerged from hosts in the lower size range. We conclude that the sex ratio of field populations of M. stanleyi is driven largely by the available size distribution of C. hesperidum. In addition, we tested predictions resulting from theoretical analyses of sex allocation in autoparasitoids with data obtained on Coccophagus semicircularis (Förster) parasitizing brown soft scale in the field. The sex ratio of C. semicircularis was consistently and strongly female biased (ca. 90% females). Based on available theoretical analyses, we suggest that this sex ratio pattern may have resulted from a very low encounter rate of secondary hosts coupled with a

  20. 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

  1. Raised mortality from lung cancer and high sex ratios of births associated with industrial pollution.

    PubMed Central

    Lloyd, O L; Smith, G; Lloyd, M M; Holland, Y; Gailey, F

    1985-01-01

    Geographical and temporal associations were shown between high mortality from lung cancer and a high sex ratio of births both in the town of Bathgate (Scotland) and in the area of that town which was most exposed to polluted air from a local steel foundry. These findings constituted a replication of a similar association in an adjacent town. PMID:4015995

  2. Sex Ratios, Economic Power, and Women's Roles: A Theoretical Extension and Empirical Test.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    South, Scott J.

    1988-01-01

    Tested hypotheses concerning sex ratios, women's roles, and economic power with data from 111 countries. Found undersupply of women positively associated with proportion of women who marry and fertility rate; inversely associated with women's average age at marriage, literacy rate, and divorce rate. Suggests women's economic power may counteract…

  3. Female starlings adjust primary sex ratio in response to aromatic plants in the nest.

    PubMed Central

    Polo, Vicente; Veiga, José P.; Cordero, Pedro J.; Viñuela, Javier; Monaghan, Pat

    2004-01-01

    Adjustment of offspring sex ratios should be favoured by natural selection when parents are capable of facultatively altering brood sex ratios and of recognizing the circumstances that predict the probable fitness benefit of producing sons and daughters. Although experimental studies have shown that female birds may adjust offspring sex ratios in response to changes in their own condition and in the external appearance of their mate, and male attributes other than his external morphology are also thought to act as signals of male quality, it is not known whether females will respond to changes in such signals, in the absence of any change in the appearance of the male himself. Here, we experimentally manipulated a male courtship display, the green plants carried to the nest by male spotless starlings (Sturnus unicolor), without changing any physical attributes of the male himself, and examined whether this influenced female decisions on offspring sex ratio. We found that in an environment in which female starlings were producing more daughters than sons, experimental enhancement of the green nesting material caused females to significantly increase the number of male eggs produced and thereby removed the female bias. This effect was consistent in 2 years and at two localities. This demonstrates that the green material, whose function has long puzzled biologists, conveys important information to the female and that she facultatively adjusts offspring production accordingly. PMID:15347516

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-21

    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.

  6. The changing sex ratios at birth during the civil war in Tajikistan: 1992-1997.

    PubMed

    Hohmann, Sophie; Roche, Sophie; Garenne, Michel

    2010-11-01

    Sex ratios at birth are known to change during wars or shortly after. This study investigated changes in sex ratios during the civil war that occurred in Tajikistan after the dismantling of the Soviet Union. This civil war was particularly bloody and long lasting, and had many demographic consequences. According to vital registration data, some 27,000 persons died in excess of previous trends during the civil war period (1992-1997), and total mortality was sometimes estimated to be three times higher by independent observers. Birth rates dropped markedly during the war, and sex ratios at birth increased significantly from 104.6 before the war to 106.9 during the war, to return to baseline values afterwards. The change in sex ratio is investigated according to demographic evidence (migration, delayed marriage, spouse separation), substantiated with qualitative evidence (difficulties with food supply), and compared with patterns found in Europe during World War II, as well as with recent wars in the Middle East.

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Imbalanced sex ratios, men's sexual behavior, and risk of sexually transmitted infection in China.

    PubMed

    South, Scott J; Trent, Katherine

    2010-12-01

    China has been experiencing pronounced changes in its sex ratio, but little research has explored the consequences of these changes for sexual behavior and health. We merge data from the 1999-2000 Chinese Health and Family Life Survey with community-level data from the 1982, 1990, and 2000 Chinese censuses to examine the relationship between the local sex ratio and several dimensions of men's sexual behavior and sexual health. Multilevel logistic regression models show that, when faced with a relative abundance of age-matched women in their community, Chinese men are slightly less likely to have intercourse with commercial sex workers, but are more likely to engage in premarital noncommercial intercourse and to test positive for a sexually transmitted infection. These findings are consistent with hypotheses derived from demographic-opportunity theory, which suggests that an abundance of opposite-sex partners will increase the risk of early, frequent, and multi-partner sex and, through this, sexually transmitted infection risk.

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Positive Selection of Deleterious Alleles through Interaction with a Sex-Ratio Suppressor Gene in African Buffalo: A Plausible New Mechanism for a High Frequency Anomaly

    PubMed Central

    van Hooft, Pim; Greyling, Ben J.; Getz, Wayne M.; van Helden, Paul D.; Zwaan, Bas J.; Bastos, Armanda D. S.

    2014-01-01

    Although generally rare, deleterious alleles can become common through genetic drift, hitchhiking or reductions in selective constraints. Here we present a possible new mechanism that explains the attainment of high frequencies of deleterious alleles in the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) population of Kruger National Park, through positive selection of these alleles that is ultimately driven by a sex-ratio suppressor. We have previously shown that one in four Kruger buffalo has a Y-chromosome profile that, despite being associated with low body condition, appears to impart a relative reproductive advantage, and which is stably maintained through a sex-ratio suppressor. Apparently, this sex-ratio suppressor prevents fertility reduction that generally accompanies sex-ratio distortion. We hypothesize that this body-condition-associated reproductive advantage increases the fitness of alleles that negatively affect male body condition, causing genome-wide positive selection of these alleles. To investigate this we genotyped 459 buffalo using 17 autosomal microsatellites. By correlating heterozygosity with body condition (heterozygosity-fitness correlations), we found that most microsatellites were associated with one of two gene types: one with elevated frequencies of deleterious alleles that have a negative effect on body condition, irrespective of sex; the other with elevated frequencies of sexually antagonistic alleles that are negative for male body condition but positive for female body condition. Positive selection and a direct association with a Y-chromosomal sex-ratio suppressor are indicated, respectively, by allele clines and by relatively high numbers of homozygous deleterious alleles among sex-ratio suppressor carriers. This study, which employs novel statistical techniques to analyse heterozygosity-fitness correlations, is the first to demonstrate the abundance of sexually-antagonistic genes in a natural mammal population. It also has important

  18. Positive selection of deleterious alleles through interaction with a sex-ratio suppressor gene in African Buffalo: a plausible new mechanism for a high frequency anomaly.

    PubMed

    van Hooft, Pim; Greyling, Ben J; Getz, Wayne M; van Helden, Paul D; Zwaan, Bas J; Bastos, Armanda D S

    2014-01-01

    Although generally rare, deleterious alleles can become common through genetic drift, hitchhiking or reductions in selective constraints. Here we present a possible new mechanism that explains the attainment of high frequencies of deleterious alleles in the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) population of Kruger National Park, through positive selection of these alleles that is ultimately driven by a sex-ratio suppressor. We have previously shown that one in four Kruger buffalo has a Y-chromosome profile that, despite being associated with low body condition, appears to impart a relative reproductive advantage, and which is stably maintained through a sex-ratio suppressor. Apparently, this sex-ratio suppressor prevents fertility reduction that generally accompanies sex-ratio distortion. We hypothesize that this body-condition-associated reproductive advantage increases the fitness of alleles that negatively affect male body condition, causing genome-wide positive selection of these alleles. To investigate this we genotyped 459 buffalo using 17 autosomal microsatellites. By correlating heterozygosity with body condition (heterozygosity-fitness correlations), we found that most microsatellites were associated with one of two gene types: one with elevated frequencies of deleterious alleles that have a negative effect on body condition, irrespective of sex; the other with elevated frequencies of sexually antagonistic alleles that are negative for male body condition but positive for female body condition. Positive selection and a direct association with a Y-chromosomal sex-ratio suppressor are indicated, respectively, by allele clines and by relatively high numbers of homozygous deleterious alleles among sex-ratio suppressor carriers. This study, which employs novel statistical techniques to analyse heterozygosity-fitness correlations, is the first to demonstrate the abundance of sexually-antagonistic genes in a natural mammal population. It also has important

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Regional impact of exposure to a polychlorinated biphenyl and polychlorinated dibenzofuran mixture from contaminated rice oil on stillbirth rate and secondary sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Yorifuji, Takashi; Kashima, Saori; Tokinobu, Akiko; Kato, Tsuguhiko; Tsuda, Toshihide

    2013-09-01

    Yusho disease, a polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and polychlorinated dibenzofuran (PCDF) mixed poisoning caused by contaminated rice oil, occurred in Japan in 1968. The evidence on reproductive outcome is limited. We therefore evaluated the regional impact of the exposure to the PCB and PCDF mixture on stillbirth rate and secondary sex ratio among the residents in two severely affected areas. We selected the regionally-affected towns of Tamanoura (n=4390 in 1970) and Naru (n=6569) in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, for study. We obtained data on stillbirths (spontaneous/artificial) and live-born births (total/male/female) from 1958 to 1994. For a decade and a half after the exposure, an increase in the rate of spontaneous stillbirths coincided with a decrease in the male sex ratio. Compared with the years 1958-1967, the ratios for spontaneous stillbirth rates were 2.16 (95% confidence interval: 1.58 to 2.97) for 1968-1977 and 1.80 (95% confidence interval: 1.25 to 2.60) for 1978-1987. The sex ratio (male proportion) was 0.483 (95% confidence interval: 0.457 to 0.508) in the first 10years after exposure. Exposure to a mixture of PCBs and PCDFs affected stillbirth and sex ratio for a decade and a half after the exposure.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-07

    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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Contrasting brood-sex ratio flexibility in two opiine (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) parasitoids of tephritid (Diptera) fruit files

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mass-rearing of fruit fly parasitoids for augmentative release would be more economical if production could be biased towards females. If sex ratios are ever to be manipulated under rearing conditions it is important to determine if, then understand why, sex ratio flexibility exists. Unequal brood-s...

  9. Sex ratio of mirid populations shifts in response to hostplant co-infestation or altered cytokinin signaling .

    PubMed

    Adam, Nora; Erler, Theresa; Kallenbach, Mario; Kaltenpoth, Martin; Kunert, Grit; Baldwin, Ian T; Schuman, Meredith C

    2017-01-01

    Herbivore species sharing a host plant often compete. In this study, we show that host plant-mediated interaction between two insect herbivores - a generalist and a specialist - results in a sex ratio shift of the specialist's offspring. We studied demographic parameters of the specialist Tupiocoris notatus (Hemiptera: Miridae) when co-infesting the host plant Nicotiana attenuata (Solanaceae) with the generalist leafhopper Empoasca sp. (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). We show that the usually female-biased sex ratio of T. notatus shifts toward a higher male proportion in the offspring on plants co-infested by Empoasca sp. This sex ratio change did not occur after oviposition, nor is it due differential mortality of female and male nymphs. Based on pyrosequencing and PCR of bacterial 16S rRNA amplicons, we concluded that sex ratio shifts were unlikely to be due to infection with Wolbachia or other known sex ratio-distorting endosymbionts. Finally, we used transgenic lines of N. attenuata to evaluate if the sex ratio shift could be mediated by changes in general or specialized host plant metabolites. We found that the sex ratio shift occurred on plants deficient in two cytokinin receptors (irCHK2/3). Thus, cytokinin-regulated traits can alter the offspring sex ratio of the specialist T. notatus.

  10. 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

  11. Driving a hard bargain: sex ratio and male marriage success in a historical US population.

    PubMed

    Pollet, Thomas V; Nettle, Daniel

    2008-02-23

    Evolutionary psychologists have documented a widespread female preference for men of high status and resources, and evidence from several populations suggests that this preference has real effects on marriage success. Here, we show that in the US population of 1910, socioeconomic status (SES) had a positive effect on men's chances of marrying. We also test a further prediction from the biological markets theory, namely that where the local sex ratio produces an oversupply of men, women will be able to drive a harder bargain. As the sex ratio of the states increases, the effect of SES on marriage success becomes stronger, indicating increased competition between men and an increased ability to choose on the part of women.

  12. 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.

  13. Poisson variations of the sex ratio at birth in African demographic surveys.

    PubMed

    Garenne, Michel

    2008-10-01

    Variations of the sex ratio at birth (SRB) were investigated using maternity history data collected in demographic surveys conducted in sub-Saharan Africa. Thirty-three countries were covered, totaling about 2.0 million births. The average SRB was 1.034 and varied by ethnicity, birth order, and maternal age. The effect of maternal age was significant for younger mothers (12-19 years old) and older mothers (40-49 years old), with a decline in sex ratios with increasing maternal age in both cases. The effect of birth order was significant only for the 20-39-year-old women, with a decline in sex ratio with increasing birth order. These two effects were similar for the three main population groups identified: populations from southern, eastern, and central Africa (SRB = 1.015), populations from West Africa and Sahelian countries (SRB = 1.040), and populations from Nigeria and Ethiopia (SRB = 1.087). In contrast, no effect of marital duration was found.

  14. 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.

  15. Population Sex Ratios: Another Consideration in the Reintroduction – Reinforcement Debate?

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Reintroduction or reinforcement (RorR) of wild populations is a common conservation strategy. Many conservation projects involve the release of individuals of poorly studied species. This may lead to inefficient results or negative impacts on the conservation efforts. Here, we provide new insights into the conservation implications and potential consequences of a skew in the sex ratio of released birds and of the number of birds supplemented for the demography of a long-lived dimorphic bird species, the Andean condor (Vulturgryphus). We demonstrate that a RorR conservation program may be less effective in conserving a species if the sex ratios of the releases and the recipient populations are not considered. We also show that releases can reduce population declines but only if carried out over long periods (i.e., several decades). This can mean high costs for release programs and the added challenge of maintaining programs over time. If RorR programs are to be implemented, bearing in mind the importance of properly assessing their effectiveness, we urge conservation researchers and managers to consider the implications of sex ratio biases for wild populations, and particularly for dimorphic species with sexually despotic behaviour. PMID:24086641

  16. Even more extreme fertility insurance and the sex ratios of protozoan blood parasites.

    PubMed

    Gardner, A; Reece, S E; West, S A

    2003-08-21

    Theory developed for malaria and other protozoan parasites predicts that the evolutionarily stable gametocyte sex ratio (z*; proportion of gametocytes that are male) should be related to the inbreeding rate (f) by the equation z*=(1-f)/2. Although this equation has been applied with some success, it has been suggested that in some cases a less female biased sex ratio can be favoured to ensure female gametes are fertilized. Such fertility insurance can arise in response to two factors: (i) low numbers of gametes produced per gametocyte and (ii) the gametes of only a limited number of gametocytes being able to interact. However, previous theoretical studies have considered the influence of these two forms of fertility insurance separately. We use a stochastic analytical model to address this problem, and examine the consequences of when these two types of fertility insurance are allowed to occur simultaneously. Our results show that interactions between the two types of fertility insurance reduce the extent of female bias predicted in the sex ratio, suggesting that fertility insurance may be more important than has previously been assumed.

  17. [Sex ratio adjustment of a non-pollinating fig wasp species on Ficus semicordata in Xishuangbanna].

    PubMed

    Song, Bo; Peng, Yan-Qiong; Guan, Jun-Ming; Yang, Pei; Yang, Da-Rong

    2008-03-01

    Through controlling the number of ovipositing foundresses inside a fig, and combining with the observation of ovipositing behavior and mating behavior, this paper studied the sex ratio of Apocryptophagus sp., a species of non-pollinating fig wasps hosted on Ficus semicordata in Xishuangbanna. The results showed that female Apocryptophagus sp. started to visit the fig on the 3rd day after pollinator Ceratosolen gravelyi oviposited. Apocryptaphagus sp. oviposited on the outside of the fig, and the ovipositing lasted for 2 days. Male Apocryptophagus sp. emerged at the same time with pollinators. The males opened a small hole on the wall of gall where the females developed, and mated with the females. Mated females emerged from their development fig, and left for a new receptive fig. The sex ratio of Apocryptaphagus sp. was in agreement with local mate competition theory, i. e., it was female-biased. Meanwhile, the total number of offspring increased with increasing foundress number. In contrast, the average number of offspring per foundress decreased. At individual level, when a female laid eggs inside a fig, the sex ratio of offspring correlated negatively with the number of offspring.

  18. 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

  19. Behavioral tactics of male sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) under varying operating sex ratios

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Quinn, Thomas P; Adkison, Milo D.; Ward, Michael B.

    1996-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated several reproductive-behavior patterns in male salmon, including competitive and sneaking tactics, the formation of hierarchies, and non-hierarchical aggregations around ripe females. Through behavioral observations at varying spatial and temporal scales, we examined the hypothesis that operational sex ratio (OSR) determines male sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) distribution and breeding tactics. Patterns of male distribution and behavior varied over both coarse and fine scales, associated with apparent shifts in reproductive opportunities, the physical characteristics of the breeding sites, and the deterioration of the fish as they approached death. Females spawned completely within a few days of arriving on the spawning grounds, whereas males courted the available ripe females from the date of their arrival on the spawning ground until their death. This difference in reproductive lifespans tended to elevate late-season OSRs but was partially counterbalanced by male departures and the arrival of other ripe females. The proportion of males able to dominate access to ripe females decreased and the number of large courting groups increased over the course of the season, apparently related to both increasing OSR and the deteriorating physical condition of males. However, great variation in OSR was observed within the spawning sites on a given day. OSRs were generally higher in shallow than in deep water, perhaps because larger females or more desirable breeding sites were concentrated in shallow water. The aggregations of males courting females were not stable (i.e. many arrivals and departures took place) and male aggression varied with group size. Aggression was most frequent at low OSRs and in groups of intermediate size (2–4 males per female), and much less frequent in larger groups, consistent with the needs of maximizing reproductive opportunities while minimizing unproductive energy expenditure. These results indicate

  20. Arachidonic acid enhances reproduction in Daphnia magna and mitigates changes in sex ratios induced by pyriproxyfen.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    Arachidonic acid is 1 of only 2 unsaturated fatty acids retained in the ovaries of crustaceans and an inhibitor of HR97g, a nuclear receptor expressed in adult ovaries. The authors hypothesized that, as a key fatty acid, arachidonic acid may be associated with reproduction and potentially environmental sex determination in Daphnia. Reproduction assays with arachidonic acid indicate that it alters female:male sex ratios by increasing female production. This reproductive effect only occurred during a restricted Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata diet. Next, the authors tested whether enriching a poorer algal diet (Chlorella vulgaris) with arachidonic acid enhances overall reproduction and sex ratios. Arachidonic acid enrichment of a C. vulgaris diet also enhances fecundity at 1.0 µM and 4.0 µM by 30% to 40% in the presence and absence of pyriproxyfen. This indicates that arachidonic acid is crucial in reproduction regardless of environmental sex determination. Furthermore, the data indicate that P. subcapitata may provide a threshold concentration of arachidonic acid needed for reproduction. Diet-switch experiments from P. subcapitata to C. vulgaris mitigate some, but not all, of arachidonic acid's effects when compared with a C. vulgaris-only diet, suggesting that some arachidonic acid provided by P. subcapitata is retained. In summary, arachidonic acid supplementation increases reproduction and represses pyriproxyfen-induced environmental sex determination in D. magna in restricted diets. A diet rich in arachidonic acid may provide protection from some reproductive toxicants such as the juvenile hormone agonist pyriproxyfen. Environ Toxicol Chem 2015;34:527-535. © 2014 SETAC.

  1. Sibling sex ratio and birth order in early-onset gender dysphoric adolescents.

    PubMed

    Schagen, Sebastian E E; Delemarre-van de Waal, Henriette A; Blanchard, Ray; Cohen-Kettenis, Peggy T

    2012-06-01

    Several sibship-related variables have been studied extensively in sexual orientation research, especially in men. Sibling sex ratio refers to the ratio of brothers to sisters in the aggregate sibships of a group of probands. Birth order refers to the probands' position (e.g., first-born, middle-born, last-born) within their sibships. Fraternal birth order refers to their position among male siblings only. Such research was extended in this study to a large group of early-onset gender dysphoric adolescents. The probands comprised 94 male-to-female and 95 female-to-male gender dysphoric adolescents. The overwhelming majority of these were homosexual or probably prehomosexual. The control group consisted of 875 boys and 914 girls from the TRAILS study. The sibling sex ratio of the gender dysphoric boys was very high (241 brothers per 100 sisters) compared with the expected ratio (106:100). The excess of brothers was more extreme among the probands' older siblings (300:100) than among their younger siblings (195:100). Between-groups comparisons showed that the gender dysphoric boys had significantly more older brothers, and significantly fewer older sisters and younger sisters, than did the control boys. In contrast, the only notable finding for the female groups was that the gender dysphoric girls had significantly fewer total siblings than did the control girls. The results for the male probands were consistent with prior speculations that a high fraternal birth order (i.e., an excess of older brothers) is found in all homosexual male groups, but an elevated sibling sex ratio (usually caused by an additional, smaller excess of younger brothers) is characteristic of gender dysphoric homosexual males. The mechanisms underlying these phenomena remain unknown.

  2. Birth order and sibling sex ratio in two samples of Dutch gender-dysphoric homosexual males.

    PubMed

    Blanchard, R; Zucker, K J; Cohen-Kettenis, P T; Gooren, L J; Bailey, J M

    1996-10-01

    Two studies were undertaken to confirm the previous findings that homosexual men in general tend to have a later than expected birth order and that extremely feminine homosexual men also tend to have a higher than expected proportion of brothers (i.e., a higher sibling sex ratio). Subjects in Study 1 were Dutch, adult and adolescent, biological male patients with gender dysphoria (persistent and recurrent desires to belong to the opposite sex), who were undergoing treatment with feminizing hormones. These comprised 83 patients who reported sexual attraction to other males (the homosexual group) and 58 who reported sexual attraction to females or equal attraction to males and females (the non-homosexual group). Subjects in Study 2 were Dutch adolescent male patients at another hospital. The homosexual group consisted of 21 gender-dysphoric homosexual teenagers referred to a gender identity clinic for children and adolescents. The control group were 21 adolescent males referred to the child psychiatry department of the same hospital for reasons other than gender identity disorder, homosexuality, or transvestism. These were individually matched to the homosexual subjects on age and sibship size. In both studies, the homosexual group had a significantly later average birth order than the comparison group. In Study 1, the homosexual group had a significantly elevated sibling sex ratio; this was not tested in Study 2 because of its small sample size. These studies add to the mounting evidence that late birth orders are common to all homosexual samples and that elevated sibling sex ratios are an additional characteristic of extremely feminine ones.

  3. Maternal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls and the secondary sex ratio: an occupational cohort study

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Though commercial production of polychlorinated biphenyls was banned in the United States in 1977, exposure continues due to their environmental persistence. Several studies have examined the association between environmental polychlorinated biphenyl exposure and modulations of the secondary sex ratio, with conflicting results. Objective Our objective was to evaluate the association between maternal preconceptional occupational polychlorinated biphenyl exposure and the secondary sex ratio. Methods We examined primipara singleton births of 2595 women, who worked in three capacitor plants at least one year during the period polychlorinated biphenyls were used. Cumulative estimated maternal occupational polychlorinated biphenyl exposure at the time of the infant's conception was calculated from plant-specific job-exposure matrices. A logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the association between maternal polychlorinated biphenyl exposure and male sex at birth (yes/no). Results Maternal body mass index at age 20, smoking status, and race did not vary between those occupationally exposed and those unexposed before the child's conception. Polychlorinated biphenyl-exposed mothers were, however, more likely to have used oral contraceptives and to have been older at the birth of their first child than non-occupationally exposed women. Among 1506 infants liveborn to polychlorinated biphenyl-exposed primiparous women, 49.8% were male; compared to 49.9% among those not exposed (n = 1089). Multivariate analyses controlling for mother's age and year of birth found no significant association between the odds of a male birth and mother's cumulative estimated polychlorinated biphenyl exposure to time of conception. Conclusions Based on these data, we find no evidence of altered sex ratio among children born to primiparous polychlorinated biphenyl-exposed female workers. PMID:21418576

  4. How required reserve ratio affects distribution and velocity of money

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xi, Ning; Ding, Ning; Wang, Yougui

    2005-11-01

    In this paper the dependence of wealth distribution and the velocity of money on the required reserve ratio is examined based on a random transfer model of money and computer simulations. A fractional reserve banking system is introduced to the model where money creation can be achieved by bank loans and the monetary aggregate is determined by the monetary base and the required reserve ratio. It is shown that monetary wealth follows asymmetric Laplace distribution and latency time of money follows exponential distribution. The expression of monetary wealth distribution and that of the velocity of money in terms of the required reserve ratio are presented in a good agreement with simulation results.

  5. Adult sex ratio, sexual dimorphism and sexual selection in a Mesozoic reptile.

    PubMed

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier; Xue, Yi-fan; Tintori, Andrea

    2015-09-22

    The evolutionary history of sexual selection in the geologic past is poorly documented based on quantification, largely because of difficulty in sexing fossil specimens. Even such essential ecological parameters as adult sex ratio (ASR) and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) are rarely quantified, despite their implications for sexual selection. To enable their estimation, we propose a method for unbiased sex identification based on sexual shape dimorphism, using size-independent principal components of phenotypic data. We applied the method to test sexual selection in Keichousaurus hui, a Middle Triassic (about 237 Ma) sauropterygian with an unusually large sample size for a fossil reptile. Keichousaurus hui exhibited SSD biased towards males, as in the majority of extant reptiles, to a minor degree (sexual dimorphism index -0.087). The ASR is about 60% females, suggesting higher mortality of males over females. Both values support sexual selection of males in this species. The method may be applied to other fossil species. We also used the Gompertz allometric equation to study the sexual shape dimorphism of K. hui and found that two sexes had largely homogeneous phenotypes at birth except in the humeral width, contrary to previous suggestions derived from the standard allometric equation.

  6. Emergence success and sex ratio of commercial alfalfa leafcutting bees from the United States and Canada.

    PubMed

    Pitts-Singer, Theresa L; James, Rosalind R

    2005-12-01

    Samples of overwintering alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (F.) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), cells were sent to the laboratory as loose cells or in nesting boards from bee managers in the United States and in Canada. X-radiographs of cells were used for determining cell contents. Cells containing live prepupae were incubated, and the sex of emerging adults was recorded daily. Cells from which no adult emerged were dissected to determine the developmental stage of dead bees and sex of dead pupae or adults. Bee cells incubated in commercial settings and placed in alfalfa fields by the same bee managers described above also were evaluated to determine adult emergence success. The proportion of live bees in wood nesting boards from the United States was much lower than the live proportion in polystyrene nesting boards from Canada and loose cells overwintered in the United States. For laboratory-incubated loose cells, survival and sex ratios of bees from Canadian sources were statistically higher than those of U.S. bees, but the onset and duration of emergence times were similar. Fewer bees survived in the commercial setting than in the laboratory. Prepupal mortality was significantly higher than pupal or adult mortality, but there was no significant difference between the sexes in the likelihood of survival during incubation. This study supports the commonly held belief that alfalfa leafcutting bees raised in Canada and then sold to the United States represent a more viable source of bees than most bees produced in the United States.

  7. The impact of the stopping rule on sex ratio of last births in Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Pham, Bang Nguyen; Adair, Timothy; Hill, Peter S; Rao, Chalapati

    2012-03-01

    This study examines the hypothesis that the stopping rule - a traditional postnatal sex selection method where couples decide to cease childbearing once they bear a son - plays a role in high sex ratio of last births (SRLB). The study develops a theoretical framework to demonstrate the operation of the stopping rule in a context of son preference. This framework was used to demonstrate the impact of the stopping rule on the SRLB in Vietnam, using data from the Population Change Survey 2006. The SRLB of Vietnam was high at the level of 130 in the period 1970-2006, and particularly in the period 1986-1995, when sex-selective abortion was not available. Women were 21% more likely to stop childbearing after a male birth compared with a female birth. The SRLB was highest at parity 2 (138.7), particularly in rural areas (153.5), and extremely high (181.9) when the previous birth was female. Given the declining fertility, the stopping rule has a potential synergistic effect with sex-selective abortion to accentuate a trend of one-son families in the population.

  8. Sex ratio estimations of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings by histological examination and nest temperatures at Fethiye beach, Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaska, Yakup; Ilgaz, Çetin; Özdemir, Adem; Başkale, Eyüp; Türkozan, Oğuz; Baran, Ibrahim; Stachowitsch, Michael

    2006-07-01

    Hatchling sex ratios in the loggerhead turtle ( Caretta caretta) were estimated by placing electronic temperature recorders in 21 nests at Fethiye beach during 2000 2002. Over the seasons, the mean temperature in the middle third of the incubation period ranged from 26.7 to 32.1°C, and incubation periods ranged from 49 to 67 days. Based on the mean temperatures during the middle third of the incubation period, and on histologically sexed dead hatchlings, the sex ratios of hatchlings at Fethiye beach were roughly equal, i.e. 60 65% of the hatchlings were females. This contrasts with the highly female-skewed sex ratios in loggerhead turtles elsewhere; Fethiye has a relatively high proportion of male hatchlings. For endangered sea turtles, the knowledge of hatchling sex ratios at different beaches, coupled with appropriate conservation measures, can make an important contribution to their survival.

  9. The number of illegal migrants of Mexican origin in the United States: sex ratio-based estimates for 1980.

    PubMed

    Bean, F D; King, A G; Passel, J S

    1983-02-01

    This article reports the results of applying a sex ratio-based method to estimate the number of undocumented Mexicans residing in the United States in 1980. The approach centers on a comparison between the hypothetical sex ratio one would expect to find in Mexico in the absence of emigration to the United States and the sex ratio that is in fact reported in preliminary results from the 1980 Mexican Census. The procedure involves, inter alia, assuming a range of values for the sex ratio at birth and for census coverage differentials by sex in Mexico. Even the combinations of these values most likely to result in large estimates suggest that no more than 4 million illegal migrants of Mexican origin were residing in the United States in 1980.

  10. Sex ratio estimations of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings by histological examination and nest temperatures at Fethiye beach, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Kaska, Yakup; Ilgaz, Cetin; Ozdemir, Adem; Başkale, Eyüp; Türkozan, Oğuz; Baran, Ibrahim; Stachowitsch, Michael

    2006-07-01

    Hatchling sex ratios in the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) were estimated by placing electronic temperature recorders in 21 nests at Fethiye beach during 2000-2002. Over the seasons, the mean temperature in the middle third of the incubation period ranged from 26.7 to 32.1 degrees C, and incubation periods ranged from 49 to 67 days. Based on the mean temperatures during the middle third of the incubation period, and on histologically sexed dead hatchlings, the sex ratios of hatchlings at Fethiye beach were roughly equal, i.e. 60-65% of the hatchlings were females. This contrasts with the highly female-skewed sex ratios in loggerhead turtles elsewhere; Fethiye has a relatively high proportion of male hatchlings. For endangered sea turtles, the knowledge of hatchling sex ratios at different beaches, coupled with appropriate conservation measures, can make an important contribution to their survival.

  11. Sex pheromone component ratios and mating isolation among three Lygus plant bug species of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byers, John A.; Fefer, Daniela; Levi-Zada, Anat

    2013-12-01

    The plant bugs Lygus hesperus, Lygus lineolaris, and Lygus elisus (Hemiptera: Miridae) are major pests of many agricultural crops in North America. Previous studies suggested that females release a sex pheromone attractive to males. Other studies showed that males and females contain microgram amounts of ( E)-4-oxo-2-hexenal, hexyl butyrate, and ( E)-2-hexenyl butyrate that are emitted as a defense against predators. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, we found that female L. lineolaris and L. elisus have a 4:10 ratio of hexyl butyrate to ( E)-2-hexenyl butyrate that is reversed from the 10:1 ratio in female L. hesperus (males of the three species have ~10:1 ratio). These reversed ratios among females of the species suggest a behavioral role. Because both sexes have nearly equal amounts of the major volatiles, females should release more to attract males. This expectation was supported because L. hesperus females released more hexyl butyrate (mean of 86 ng/h) during the night (1800-0700 hours) than did males (<1 ng/h). We used slow-rotating pairs of traps to test the attraction of species to blends of the volatiles with a subtractive method to detect synergism. Each species' major butyrate ester was released at 3 μg/h, the minor butyrate according to its ratio, and ( E)-4-oxo-2-hexenal at 2 μg/h. The resulting catches of only Lygus males suggest that ( E)-4-oxo-2-hexenal is an essential sex pheromone component for all three species, ( E)-2-hexenyl butyrate is essential for L. elisus and L. lineolaris, and hexyl butyrate is essential for L. hesperus. However, all three components are recognized by each species since ratios of the butyrate esters are critical for conspecific attraction and heterospecific avoidance by males and thus play a role in reproductive isolation among the three species. Because L. hesperus males and females are known to emit these major volatiles for repelling ant predators, our study links defensive allomones in Lygus bugs with an

  12. Study on mating ecology and sex ratio of three internally ovipositing fig wasps of Ficus curtipes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, F P; Yang, D R

    2010-04-01

    Studies on mating ecology and sex allocation in fig-parasitizing wasps ovipositing from outside the fig have given valuable insights into known factors that are responsible for the theory of sex ratio. Similarly, internally ovipositing fig-parasitizing wasps and fig-pollinating wasps provide interesting models for comparative analysis. In addition to the fig-pollinating wasp Eupristina sp., we found that Ficus curtipes hosts two species of internally ovipositing fig-parasitizing wasps: D. yangi and Lipothymus sp. Eupristina sp. males showed less aggression. Eupristina sp. has wingless males that mate only within the natal patch, providing excellent examples of full local-mate competition. D. yangi males showed high levels of aggression and lethal combat. D. yangi has winged males but mate mostly within the natal patch. Only a few matings occur after male dispersal. Its sex ratio was lower than the prediction of partial local mate competition theory. Wingless male Lipothymus sp., which mate partly after dispersal, did not present fatal fight. Therefore, the mating behaviour of D. yangi and Lipothymus sp. did not follow predicted patterns, based on wing morph. The mating pattern of D. yangi and Lipothymus sp. should follow the partial local mate competition theory. Furthermore, there was not a significant correlation between the proportion of males and the proportion of fruit parasitized in both winged D. yangi males and wingless Lipothymus sp. males.

  13. Does breeding population trajectory and age of nesting females influence disparate nestling sex ratios in two populations of Cooper's hawks?

    PubMed

    Rosenfield, Robert N; Stout, William E; Giovanni, Matthew D; Levine, Noah H; Cava, Jenna A; Hardin, Madeline G; Haynes, Taylor G

    2015-09-01

    Offspring sex ratios at the termination of parental care should theoretically be skewed toward the less expensive sex, which in most avian species would be females, the smaller gender. Among birds, however, raptors offer an unusual dynamic because they exhibit reversed size dimorphism with females being larger than males. And thus theory would predict a preponderance of male offspring. Results for raptors and birds in general have been varied although population-level estimates of sex ratios in avian offspring are generally at unity. Adaptive adjustment of sex ratios in avian offspring is difficult to predict perhaps in part due to a lack of life-history details and short-term investigations that cannot account for precision or repeatability of sex ratios across time. We conducted a novel comparative study of sex ratios in nestling Cooper's hawks (Accipiter cooperii) in two study populations across breeding generations during 11 years in Wisconsin, 2001-2011. One breeding population recently colonized metropolitan Milwaukee and exhibited rapidly increasing population growth, while the ex-Milwaukee breeding population was stable. Following life-history trade-off theory and our prediction regarding this socially monogamous species in which reversed sexual size dimorphism is extreme, first-time breeding one-year-old, second-year females in both study populations produced a preponderance of the smaller and cheaper sex, males, whereas ASY (after-second-year), ≥2-year-old females in Milwaukee produced a nestling sex ratio near unity and predictably therefore a greater proportion of females compared to ASY females in ex-Milwaukee who produced a preponderance of males. Adjustment of sex ratios in both study populations occurred at conception. Life histories and selective pressures related to breeding population trajectory in two age cohorts of nesting female Cooper's hawk likely vary, and it is possible that these differences influenced the sex ratios we documented for

  14. The AKR gene family and modifying sex ratios in palms through abiotic stress responsiveness.

    PubMed

    Somyong, Suthasinee; Poopear, Supannee; Jomchai, Nukoon; Uthaipaisanwong, Pichahpuk; Ruang-Areerate, Panthita; Sangsrakru, Duangjai; Sonthirod, Chutima; Ukoskit, Kittipat; Tragoonrung, Somvong; Tangphatsornruang, Sithichoke

    2015-05-01

    Sex ratio (SR), the ratio of female inflorescences to total inflorescences, is one of the main yield components of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq). The SR quantitative trait locus (QTL) was recently identified on linkage (LG) 8 with a phenotype variance explained (PVE) of 11.3 %. The use of both genetic and physical mapping is one strategy for uncovering the genetic basis of the traits. Here, we report the construction of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) and fosmid libraries, and their use for physical mapping in oil palm. Combined, the libraries consist of more than 200,000 clones, representing 6.35 genome equivalents. Physical mapping at the SR locus was implemented by incorporating the published oil palm genome sequence and positive BAC/fosmid clones as identified by colony PCR screening. Based on the previously published sequences, the interval (about 184 kb) was comprised of 19 contigs of the known sequences (~117 kb, 64 %). After, combining the 454 pyrosequences of 15 positive clones and the previously published sequences, the known sequences were revealed to cover about 82 % of the interval (~150 kb), and were used for identifying the new markers by designing 35 gene-based and 23 simple sequence repeat (SSR)-amplified primers. As a result, a putative aldo-keto reductase gene (named EgAKR1) was revealed to be a promising candidate for sex ratio determination, via controlling female inflorescence number (11 % of PVE). This was predicted from the two newly identified polymorphic marker loci (mEgSSRsr8-21LB and mEgAKR1-9) designing from EgAKR1. The functions of AKR gene families in other plant species and our promoter analysis suggested that EgAKR1 may contribute to the sex ratio through abiotic stress responsiveness.

  15. Differences in Movement Pattern and Detectability between Males and Females Influence How Common Sampling Methods Estimate Sex Ratio

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, João Fabrício Mota; Coelho, Marco Túlio Pacheco

    2016-01-01

    Sampling the biodiversity is an essential step for conservation, and understanding the efficiency of sampling methods allows us to estimate the quality of our biodiversity data. Sex ratio is an important population characteristic, but until now, no study has evaluated how efficient are the sampling methods commonly used in biodiversity surveys in estimating the sex ratio of populations. We used a virtual ecologist approach to investigate whether active and passive capture methods are able to accurately sample a population’s sex ratio and whether differences in movement pattern and detectability between males and females produce biased estimates of sex-ratios when using these methods. Our simulation allowed the recognition of individuals, similar to mark-recapture studies. We found that differences in both movement patterns and detectability between males and females produce biased estimates of sex ratios. However, increasing the sampling effort or the number of sampling days improves the ability of passive or active capture methods to properly sample sex ratio. Thus, prior knowledge regarding movement patterns and detectability for species is important information to guide field studies aiming to understand sex ratio related patterns. PMID:27441554

  16. Mothers under stress? Hatching sex ratio in relation to maternal baseline corticosterone in the common tern (Sterna hirundo).

    PubMed

    Riechert, Juliane; Chastel, Olivier; Becker, Peter H

    2013-09-01

    Sex ratio of progeny should be balanced if costs and benefits of rearing sons and daughters are equal. However, shifts in sex ratio have been demonstrated across bird species and it was suggested that females are able to adjust the primary sex ratio. One possible mechanism is the glucocorticoid corticosterone which rises under stressful conditions and can be deposited into egg yolk by mothers. We analysed primary sex ratio of common terns Sterna hirundo from 2006 to 2008 and related it to maternal baseline corticosterone level, laying date and year. Therefore, we took 101 blood samples of 71 breeding females via blood sucking bugs, a method with negligible stress for the birds. Sex ratio did not differ from parity in any of the analysed years, which were characterized by poor food availability and breeding success. Only within 1 year there was a tendency for more females in the last hatched chick. Neither corticosterone level nor laying date or year showed an influence on hatching sex ratio. The negative result concerning primary sex ratio and maternal baseline corticosterone level might suggest conditions to be good enough for mothers to prevent them from depositing high levels of corticosterone into eggs.

  17. Digit ratio varies with sex, egg order and strength of mate preference in zebra finches.

    PubMed Central

    Burley, Nancy Tyler; Foster, Valerie Suzanne

    2004-01-01

    The steroid environment encountered by developing vertebrates has important organizational effects on physiology and behaviour that persist throughout an organism's lifetime. Optimal allocation of maternal steroids to zygotes may be difficult to achieve because of the sexually antagonistic effects of steroids; thus, for example, a hormone environment beneficial to a developing male may be much less beneficial to a developing female. Research into the important topic of how mothers might adaptively adjust steroid titres experienced by particular young has been constrained by the difficulty of measuring the steroid environment experienced by the embryo at critical times in development. A potential approach to this problem has been suggested by research on variation in digit ratios in humans, where the ratio of the length of the second and fourth digits reflects the steroid environment experienced by the foetus; notably, digit 4 lengthens in response to androgens. In light of the conservative nature of homeobox genes regulating early development in tetrapods, we questioned whether a sex difference in digit ratio exists in a passerine bird, the zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata castanotis, and whether observed variation in the ratio is consistent with the previously reported pattern that androgen allocation to zebra finch egg yolk declines across laying order. We established an aviary population of outbred, wild-type zebra finches, and allowed them to breed freely. Hatchlings were marked to correspond to their egg order, and their digit ratios were measured after birds reached adulthood. We found that digit ratio increased across egg order, which is consistent with a pattern of decreasing androgen allocation. Moreover, digit ratios differed between the sexes. We also investigated whether variation in digit ratio among adult females predicted variation in their performance in mate-choice tests. Digit ratio accounted for almost 50% of the variance in strength of female

  18. Hamstrings to quadriceps peak torque ratios diverge between sexes with increasing isokinetic angular velocity.

    PubMed

    Hewett, Timothy E; Myer, Gregory D; Zazulak, Bohdanna T

    2008-09-01

    Our purpose was to determine if females demonstrate decreased hamstrings to quadriceps peak torque (H/Q) ratios compared to males and if H/Q ratios increase with increased isokinetic velocity in both sexes. Maturation disproportionately increases hamstrings peak torque at high velocity in males, but not females. Therefore, we hypothesised that mature females would demonstrate decreased H/Q ratios compared to males and the difference in H/Q ratio between sexes would increase as isokinetic velocity increased. Studies that analysed the H/Q ratio with gravity corrected isokinetic strength testing reported between 1967 and 2004 were included in our review and analysis. Keywords were hamstrings/quadriceps, isokinetics, peak torque and gravity corrected. Medline and Smart databases were searched combined with cross-checked bibliographic reference lists of the publications to determine studies to be included. Twenty-two studies were included with a total of 1568 subjects (1145 male, 423 female). Males demonstrated a significant correlation between H/Q ratio and isokinetic velocity (R=0.634, p<0.0001), and a significant difference in the isokinetic H/Q ratio at the lowest angular velocity (47.8+/-2.2% at 30 degrees /s) compared to the highest velocity (81.4+/-1.1% at 360 degrees /s, p<0.001). In contrast, females did not demonstrate a significant relationship between H/Q ratio and isokinetic velocity (R=0.065, p=0.77) or a change in relative hamstrings strength as the speed increased (49.5+/-8.8% at 30 degrees /s; 51.0+/-5.7% at 360 degrees /s, p=0.84). Gender differences in isokinetic H/Q ratios were not observed at slower angular velocities. However, at high knee flexion/extension angular velocities, approaching those that occur during sports activities, significant gender differences were observed in the H/Q ratio. Females, unlike males, do not increase hamstrings to quadriceps torque ratios at velocities that approach those of functional activities.

  19. Sex ratios provide evidence for monozygotic twinning in the ring-tailed lemur, Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    St Clair, John; Campbell-Palmer, Roisin; Lathe, Richard

    2014-02-01

    Monozygotic (MZ) twinning is generally considered to be rare in species other than human. We inspected sex ratios in European zoo-bred ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), revealing a significant excess of same-sex twins. Of 94 pairs, 60 (64%) were either both males or both females (p = .004). Application of the Weinberg differential rule argues that 27% of all twins in this species are MZ pairs. In this protected species, where twinning is commonplace (~50% of newborns are twins), the probable existence of frequent MZ twinning has ramifications for breeding programs aimed to maximize genetic diversity, and suggests that twin studies in a species other than human could have potential as a medical research tool.

  20. Measure your septa release ratios: pheromone release ratio variability affected by rubber septa and solvent

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The type of solvent and volume of the solvent used to load pheromone/volatile components onto rubber septa had significant effects on release ratios, the variability of those release ratios, and the recoverability of the volatile components during subsequent extraction with hexane. Volatile release ...

  1. Winning the Genetic Lottery: Biasing Birth Sex Ratio Results in More Grandchildren

    PubMed Central

    Thogerson, Collette M.; Brady, Colleen M.; Howard, Richard D.; Mason, Georgia J.; Pajor, Edmond A.; Vicino, Greg A.; Garner, Joseph P.

    2013-01-01

    Population dynamics predicts that on average parents should invest equally in male and female offspring; similarly, the physiology of mammalian sex determination is supposedly stochastic, producing equal numbers of sons and daughters. However, a high quality parent can maximize fitness by biasing their birth sex ratio (SR) to the sex with the greatest potential to disproportionately outperform peers. All SR manipulation theories share a fundamental prediction: grandparents who bias birth SR should produce more grandoffspring via the favored sex. The celebrated examples of biased birth SRs in nature consistent with SR manipulation theories provide compelling circumstantial evidence. However, this prediction has never been directly tested in mammals, primarily because the complete three-generation pedigrees needed to test whether individual favored offspring produce more grandoffspring for the biasing grandparent are essentially impossible to obtain in nature. Three-generation pedigrees were constructed using 90 years of captive breeding records from 198 mammalian species. Male and female grandparents consistently biased their birth SR toward the sex that maximized second-generation success. The most strongly male-biased granddams and grandsires produced respectively 29% and 25% more grandoffspring than non-skewing conspecifics. The sons of the most male-biasing granddams were 2.7 times as fecund as those of granddams with a 50∶50 bias (similar results are seen in grandsires). Daughters of the strongest female-biasing granddams were 1.2 times as fecund as those of non-biasing females (this effect is not seen in grandsires). To our knowledge, these results are the first formal test of the hypothesis that birth SR manipulation is adaptive in mammals in terms of grandchildren produced, showing that SR manipulation can explain biased birth SR in general across mammalian species. These findings also have practical implications: parental control of birth SR has the

  2. Effects of climate variation on timing of nesting, reproductive success, and offspring sex ratios of red-winged blackbirds.

    PubMed

    Weatherhead, Patrick J

    2005-06-01

    Predicting ecological consequences of climate change will be improved by understanding how species are affected by contemporary climate variation, particularly if analyses involve more than single ecological variables and focus on large-scale climate phenomena. I used 18 years of data from red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) studied over a 25-year period in eastern Ontario to explore chronological and climate-related patterns of reproduction. Although blackbirds started nesting earlier in years with warmer springs, associated with low winter values of the North Atlantic Oscillation Index (NAOI), there was no advance in laying dates over the study. Nesting ended progressively later and the breeding season lasted longer over the study, however, associated with higher spring values of NAOI. As the length of the nesting season increased, offspring sex ratios became more female biased, apparently as a result of females adjusting the sex of the eggs they laid, rather than from sex-biased nestling mortality. Clutch size did not vary systematically over the study or with climate. Opposing trends of declining nest success and increasing productivity of successful nests over the study resulted in no chronological change in productivity per female. Higher productivity of successful nests was associated with higher winter NAOI values, possibly because synchrony between nesting and food availability was higher in years with high NAOI values. Other than the association between the start of nesting and spring temperatures, local weather (e.g., temperature, rainfall) patterns that linked NAOI with reproduction were not identified, suggesting that weather patterns may be complex. Because climate affected most aspects of red-winged blackbird reproduction examined, focusing on associations between climate and single variables (e.g., first-egg dates) will have limited value in predicting how future climates will affect populations.

  3. Oviposition and Sex Ratio of the Redbanded Stink Bug, Piezodorous guildinii, in Soybean

    PubMed Central

    Temple, Joshua H.; Davis, Jeffrey A.; Hardke, Jarrod T.; Price, Paul P.; Leonard, B. Rogers

    2016-01-01

    Redbanded stink bug, Piezodorus guildinii (Westwood), is a significant soybean pest across the mid-south region of the United States. The objectives of these studies were to characterize: (1) redbanded stink bug oviposition in relationship to soybean maturity group (MG), plant structure, crop phenology, and vertical distribution within the plant canopy; and (2) redbanded stink bug adult sex ratios in relationship to soybean phenology. A total of 5645 redbanded stink bug eggs in 421 egg masses (clusters) were field collected from naturally-occurring populations in MG IV and V soybean over a three year period (2009 to 2011). The mean number of eggs within a cluster was 16.6 ± 0.3. Plant structures by MG interactions were highly significant with more egg masses oviposited on leaves in MG IV (79.4%) and more on pods in MG V (72.7%). The ratio of females to males was similar in all soybean growth stages except R5, where the sex ratio increased to 1.4:1, coinciding with peak oviposition. Only 29.9% of egg clusters in MG IV and 18.3% of egg clusters in MG V were oviposited in the upper 35 cm of the soybean canopy. Based on these results, sampling strategies and insecticide application placement for stink bugs may require modification. PMID:27322333

  4. Sex ratio of multiple sclerosis in persons born from 1930 to 1979 and its relation to latitude in Norway.

    PubMed

    Kampman, Margitta T; Aarseth, Jan Harald; Grytten, Nina; Benjaminsen, Espen; Celius, Elisabeth Gulowsen; Dahl, Ole Petter; Holmøy, Trygve; Løken-Amsrud, Kristin; Midgard, Rune; Myhr, Kjell-Morten; Risberg, Geir; Vatne, Anita; Torkildsen, Oivind

    2013-06-01

    A remarkable increase in female to male ratio of multiple sclerosis (MS) is recognised in high incidence areas. Norway is a high-risk area for MS, spanning latitudes 58-71 °N. We studied whether the sex ratio has changed over time and whether it differs by clinical phenotype or by latitude. Population-based epidemiological data and data from the Norwegian MS Registry on patients born from 1930 to 1979 were combined in this study. Place of birth was retrieved from the Norwegian Population Registry and information on clinical subtypes was obtained from the Norwegian MS Registry. The female to male ratio ranged from 1.7 to 2.7 (median 2.0) in 5,469 patients born in Norway, and increased slightly by 5-year blocks of year of birth (p = 0.043). The sex ratio was 2.6:1 in 825 patients born 1970-1979, which is significantly higher than in those born 1930-1969 (p < 0.001). In patients with relapsing remitting onset, the sex ratio was 2.4:1, while it was 1.1:1 in those with primary progressive disease. The sex ratio did not differ between the south, the middle and the north of the country. The overall sex ratio of MS is strongly determined by cases with relapsing remitting onset. We did not observe the remarkable increase in sex ratios of MS reported from other high-risk areas. The high sex ratio in the youngest birth cohorts may change as an increasing proportion of cases in this age group is being diagnosed. Sex ratio was not associated with latitude.

  5. Scrotal heat stress effects on sperm viability, sperm DNA integrity, and the offspring sex ratio in mice.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Crespo, M; Pintado, B; Gutiérrez-Adán, A

    2008-01-01

    Evidence exists to suggest detrimental effects of heat stress on male fertility. This study was designed to assess the effects of scrotal heat stress on mature and developing sperm in a mouse model. After receiving shock heat treatment (42 degrees C for 30 min), mature spermatozoa were recovered from the epididymis hours (6) or Days (7, 14, 21, 28, 60) later, to determine the variables: number of spermatozoa, sperm viability, motility and progressive motility, sperm DNA integrity as established by the TUNEL method, embryo implantation rate, and sex ratio of the fetuses conceived using the heat-exposed spermatozoa. Our results indicate that transient mild heat treatment does not affect in the same way the different types of male germ cells. Spermatocytes present within the testis at the time of heat stress resulted into a lower concentration of spermatozoa with reduced viability and low motility. Even though, DNA integrity of spermatozoa resulting from spermatocytes was also compromised by heat stress, the higher degree of DNA damage was found among spermatozoa resulting from spermatids present within the testis at the time of heat stress. At last, heat shock effect on spermatozoa present in the epididymis at the time of thermal stress resulted into a sex ratio distortion. These findings point to a higher sensitivity of spermatocytes to heat exposure and also suggest a different response of X and Y chromosome-bearing spermatozoa to heat stress that warrants further investigation.

  6. Adjustment of offspring sex ratios in relation to the availability of resources for philopatric offspring in the common brushtail possum.

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, C. N.; Clinchy, M.; Taylor, A. C.; Krebs, C. J.; Jarman, P. J.; Payne, A.; Ritchie, E. G.

    2001-01-01

    The local-resource-competition hypothesis predicts that where philopatric offspring compete for resources with their mothers, offspring sex ratios will be biased in favour of the dispersing sex. This should produce variation in sex ratios between populations in relation to differences in the availability of resources for philopatric offspring. However, previous tests of local resource competition in mammals have used indirect measures of resource availability and have focused on sex-ratio variation between species or individuals rather than between local populations. Here, we show that the availability of den sites predicts the offspring sex ratio in populations of the common brushtail possum. Female possums defend access to dens, and daughters, but not sons, occupy dens within their mother's range. However, the abundances of possums in our study areas were determined principally by food availability. Consequently, in food-rich areas with a high population density, the per-capita availability of dens was low, and the cost of having a daughter should have been high. This cost was positively correlated with male bias in the sex ratio at birth. Low per capita availability of dens was correlated with male bias in the sex ratio at birth. PMID:11571046

  7. Female-biased sex ratio, polygyny, and persistence in the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kus, Barbara E.; Howell, Scarlett; Wood, Dustin A.

    2017-01-01

    Demographic changes in populations, such as skewed sex ratios, are of concern to conservationists, especially in small populations in which stochastic and other events can produce declines leading to extirpation. We documented a decline in one of the few remaining populations of Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) in southern California, USA, which dropped from 40 to 5 adults between 2000 and 2015. Declines were unequal between sexes (94% for males, 82% for females). Adult sex ratios were female-biased in 10 of 16 yr. The proportion of paired males that were polygynous ranged from 0% to 100%, depending on the ratio of females to males in the adult population. Some males paired with up to 5 females simultaneously. We investigated the role of nestling sex ratio in the female-biased adult sex ratio by using genetic techniques to determine sex from blood samples collected from 162 nestlings in 72 nests from 2002 to 2009. Both population-level and within-brood nestling sex ratios were female-biased, and were not influenced by nest order (first or subsequent), parental mating type (monogamous or polygynous), or year. Disproportionately more females than males were recruited into the breeding population, mirroring nestling and fledgling sex ratios. It thus appears that a skewed nestling sex ratio has contributed to a female-biased adult population, which in turn has influenced mating behavior. We propose that the capacity for polygyny, which generally occurs at low levels in Southwestern Willow Flycatchers, has allowed this population to persist through a decline that might otherwise have resulted in extinction.

  8. Evolution of social parasitism in ants: size of sexuals, sex ratio and mechanisms of caste determination

    PubMed Central

    Aron, S.; Passera, L.; Keller, L.

    1999-01-01

    Social parasitism, one of the most intriguing phenomena in ants, has evolved to various levels, the most extreme form being parasites that have lost the worker caste and rely completely on the host's worker force to raise their brood. A remarkable feature of workerless social parasites is the small size of sexuals. It has been suggested that reduced size evolved as a means to take advantage of the host's caste-determination system, so that parasite larvae develop into sexuals with less food than is required to produce host workers. An important consequence of size reduction is that it might restrict the host workers' ability to discriminate between the brood of the social parasite and their own brood and might protect parasite sexuals from elimination. We found that sexuals of the workerless inquiline ant Plagiolepis xene were significantly smaller than the sexuals of their host Plagiolepis pygmaea, but remarkably similar to the host workers. The size variance of parasite sexuals was much lower than that of their host; this result possibly suggests that there is very stabilizing selection acting on size of the parasite sexuals. Comparison of the primary (egg) and secondary (adult) sex ratios of the parasite and host showed that miniaturization of P. xene sexuals has been accompanied by their ability to develop into sexuals even when the host P. pygmaea actively prevents production of its own sexuals. These results suggest that the inquiline's size and caste threshold have been reduced such that all individuals in a parasite brood will develop into sexuals. We also found that the adult sex ratio of P. xene was heavily female-biased. This bias probably stems from local mate competition that arises from sexuals mating within the nest. There was no significant difference between the proportion of haploid eggs and adult males produced; this observation indicates that a female-biased sex ratio is achieved by queens producing a higher proportion of diploid eggs rather

  9. Measure your septa release ratios: pheromone release ratio variability affected by rubber septa and solvent.

    PubMed

    Kuenen, L P S; Siegel, Joel P

    2015-03-01

    The type of solvent and the volume used to load pheromone components onto rubber septa had significant effects on pheromone release ratios, the variability of those release ratios, and the recoverability of the volatile components during subsequent extraction with hexane. Volatile release ratios of synthetic Oriental fruit moth (OFM) pheromone and additional volatile compounds were determined using a gas chromatograph column as a volatile trap for rapid (≤1 hr) analysis from individual rubber septa. Volatile compound solutions were prepared in hexane, pentane, CH2Cl2, and methyl tert-butyl ether, and a 10, 33, or 100 μl aliquot of each solution was applied to rubber septa. Septa loaded with 100 μl of CH2Cl2 emitted significantly (P < 0.05) higher alcohol: acetate (OH:Ac) ratios than septa loaded with the other solvents, which were all similar. Release ratios of the alcohol and acetate components of the OFM pheromone components were assessed over a 3 week period using septa loaded with each solvent. Regardless of loading solvent, the OFM OH:Ac ratios declined logarithmically over 3 weeks; however, the decay slope from septa loaded with CH2Cl2 solutions was different from those of the other three solvents, which were nearly all the same. A high variability in OH:Ac release ratios was measured overall, regardless of the solvent used or the volume it was applied in. Four compounds of near-equal mass: 1-dodecanol, 1-dodecanal, methyl decanoate, and tridecane emitted different release ratios dependent on the solvent, hexane or CH2Cl2, with which a septum was loaded. The more polar and the greater the mass of the test compound, the slower it was emitted from a septum regardless of solvent. These combined results plus comparisons to earlier reports, suggest that researchers should empirically assess the release ratios from septa to be used in bioassays rather than just reporting the type of septum, ratios of compounds applied and solvent used to prepare them.

  10. Improvement of vitrification of in vitro produced buffalo embryos with special reference to sex ratio following vitrification

    PubMed Central

    Mahmoud, K. Gh. M; Scholkamy, T. H; Darwish, S. F

    2015-01-01

    Cryopreservation and sexing of embryos are integrated into commercial embryo transfer technologies. To improve the effectiveness of vitrification of in vitro produced buffalo embryos, two experiments were conducted. The first evaluated the effect of exposure time (2 and 3 min) and developmental stage (morula and blastocysts) on the viability and development of vitrified buffalo embryos. Morphologically normal embryos and survival rates (re-expansion) significantly increased when vitrified morulae were exposed for 2 min compared to 3 min (P<0.001). On the other hand, morphologically normal and survival rates of blastocysts significantly increased when exposed for 3 min compared to 2 min (P<0.001). However, there were no significant differences between the two developmental stages (morulae and blastocystes) in the percentages of morphologically normal embryos and re-expansion rates after a 24 h culture. The second experiment aimed to evaluate the effect of viability on the sex ratio of buffalo embryos after vitrification and whether male and female embryos survived vitrification differently. A total number of 61 blastocysts were vitrified for 3 min with the same cryoprotectant as experiment 1. Higher percentages of males were recorded for live as compared to dead embryos; however, this difference was not significant. In conclusion, the post-thaw survival and development of in vitro produced morulae and blastocysts were found to be affected by exposure time rather than developmental stage. Survivability had no significant effect on the sex ratio of vitrified blastocysts; nevertheless, the number of surviving males was higher than dead male embryos. PMID:27175197

  11. Sex-of-offspring-specific transmission ratio distortion on mouse chromosome X.

    PubMed Central

    de la Casa-Esperon, E; Pardo-Manuel de Villena, F; Verner, A E; Briscoe, T L; Malette, J M; Rosa, M; Jin, W H; Sapienza, C

    2000-01-01

    During our study of the DDK syndrome, we observed sex ratio distortion in favor of males among the offspring of F(1) backcrosses between the C57BL/6 and DDK strains. We also observed significant and reproducible transmission ratio distortion in favor of the inheritance of DDK alleles at loci on chromosome X among female offspring but not among male offspring in (C57BL/6 x DDK)F(1) x C57BL/6 and (C57BL/6-Pgk1(a) x DDK)F(1) x C57BL/6 backcrosses. The observed transmission ratio distortion is maximum at DXMit210 in the central region of chromosome X and decreases progressively at proximal and distal loci, in a manner consistent with the predictions of a single distorted locus model. DXMit210 is closely linked to two distortion-controlling loci (Dcsx1 and Dcsx2) described previously in interspecific backcrosses. Our analysis suggests that the female-offspring-specific transmission ratio distortion we observe is likely to be the result of the death of embryos of particular genotypic combinations. In addition, we confirm the previous suggestion that the transmission ratio distortion observed on chromosome X in interspecific backcrosses is also the result of loss of embryos. PMID:10628993

  12. Sex and secrecy: How HIV-status disclosure affects safe sex among HIV-positive adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Toska, Elona; Cluver, Lucie D.; Hodes, Rebecca; Kidia, Khameer K.

    2015-01-01

    HIV-positive adolescents who engage in unsafe sex are at heightened risk for transmitting or re-acquiring HIV. Disclosure of HIV-status to sexual partners may impact on condom use, but no study has explored the effects of (i) adolescent knowledge of one's HIV-status, (ii) knowledge of partner status and (iii) disclosure to partners, on safer sex behaviour. This study aimed to identify whether knowledge of HIV-status by HIV-positive adolescents and partners was associated with safer sex. Eight fifty eight HIV-positive adolescents (10–19 years old, 52% female, 68.1% vertically infected) who had ever initiated antiretroviral treatment in 41 health facilities in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, were interviewed using standardised questionnaires. Quantitative analyses used multivariate logistic regressions, controlling for confounders. Qualitative research included interviews, focus group discussions and observations with 43 HIV-positive teenagers and their healthcare workers. N = 128 (14.9%) of the total sample had ever had sex, while N = 109 (85.1%) of sexually active adolescents had boy/girlfriend. In total, 68.1% of the sample knew their status, 41.5% of those who were sexually active and in relationships knew their partner's status, and 35.5% had disclosed to their partners. For adolescents, knowing one's status was associated with safer sex (OR = 4.355, CI 1.085–17.474, p = .038). Neither knowing their partner's status, nor disclosing one's HIV-status to a partner, were associated with safer sex. HIV-positive adolescents feared rejection, stigma and public exposure if disclosing to sexual and romantic partners. Counselling by healthcare workers for HIV-positive adolescents focused on benefits of disclosure, but did not address the fears and risks associated with disclosure. These findings challenge assumptions that disclosure is automatically protective in sexual and romantic relationships for HIV-positive adolescents, who may be ill-equipped to

  13. Girl or boy? Prenatal lead, cadmium and mercury exposure and the secondary sex ratio in the ALSPAC study

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, C.M.; Golding, J.; Emond, A.M.

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of prenatal exposure to lead, cadmium and mercury levels on the secondary sex ratio. Whole blood samples were collected from pregnant women enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) study at a median gestational age of 11 weeks and were analyzed for lead, cadmium and mercury. Regression analysis was used to identify associations between maternal lead, cadmium and mercury levels and the secondary sex ratio with adjustment for confounders. There was no evidence for associations between maternal lead, cadmium or mercury levels and the secondary sex ratio in this sample. It appears unlikely that alterations in the secondary sex ratio are influenced by exposure to heavy metals, but further work should be done in large cohorts in other countries to confirm these findings. PMID:24703858

  14. Declined sex ratio at birth in Fallujah (Iraq) during Iraq war with Iran.

    PubMed

    Saadat, Mostafa

    2011-01-01

    The main objective of this study was to investigate whether the sex ratio at birth (SRB, male proportion) alter in Iraq during its war against Iran (1980-1988). Here we compared 785 births (348 males, 437 females) during 1980-1989 with 1144 births (655 males, 489 females) before 1980 and 2914 births (1496 males, 1418 females) after 1989 in Fallujah, Iraq. The SRB significantly decreased during 1980-1989 in comparison with the ratios before 1980 (OR=0.595, 95 % CI: 0.495-0.714, P<0.001) and after 1989 (OR=0.755, 95 % CI: 0.644-0.884, P=0.001). Considering that the Iran-Iraq war began at 1980 and ended in 1988, therefore it seems that the SRB decreased in Fallujah (Iraq) during the war.

  15. Sex ratio determination in bovine semen: a new approach by quantitative real time PCR.

    PubMed

    Parati, K; Bongioni, G; Aleandri, R; Galli, A

    2006-12-01

    Sex preselection of livestock offspring in cattle represents, nowadays, a big potential for genetic improvement and market demand satisfaction. Sperm sorting by flow cytometer provides a powerful tool for artificial insemination and production of predefined sexed embryos but, an accurate verification of the yield of sperm separation remains essential for a field application of this technique or for improvement and validation of other related semen sexing technologies. In this work a new method for the determination of the proportion of X- and Y-bearing spermatozoa in bovine semen sample was developed by real time PCR. Two sets of primers and internal TaqMan probes were designed on specific X- and Y-chromosome genes. To allow a direct quantification, a standard reference was established using two plasmid cDNA clones (ratio 1:1) for the specific gene targets. The method was validated by a series of accuracy, repeatability and reproducibility assays and by testing two sets of sorted and unsorted semen samples. A high degree of accuracy (98.9%), repeatability (CV=2.58%) and reproducibility (CV=2.57%) was shown. The results of X- and Y-sorted semen samples analysed by real time PCR and by flow cytometric reanalysis showed no significant difference (P>0.05). The evaluation of X-chromosome bearing sperms content in unsorted samples showed an average of 51.11+/-0.56% for ejaculates and 50.17+/-0.58% for the commercial semen. This new method for quantification of the sexual chromosome content in spermatozoa demonstrated to be rapid and reliable, providing a valid support to the sperm sexing technologies.

  16. When sex work becomes your everything: The complex linkages between economy and affection among male sex workers in Peru

    PubMed Central

    Bayer, Angela M.; Garvich, Mijail; Díaz, David A.; Sánchez, Hugo; García, Patricia J.; Coates, Thomas J.

    2014-01-01

    In Peru, there are few studies on male sex workers (MSWs) and existing studies explore limited sub-groups or offer limited information about MSWs’ perspectives. This study provides in-depth perspectives from 40 MSWs who work in downtown Lima (Cercado) and in surrounding urban neighborhoods (non-Cercado) through interviews on their identities, lives and HIV/STI risks and vulnerabilities. Findings are that entry into sex work links economy and affection, particularly among Cercado MSWs. Continued sex work cements this link, making it difficult to exit sex work and establish goals. Ties between economics and affections influence MSWs’ perceived HIV/STI risks, vulnerabilities and prevention practices. Although Cercado MSWs report higher HIV/STI risks and vulnerabilities than non-Cercado peers, they report fewer prevention practices given inability to buy condoms and acceptance of client offers of higher payment, especially clients they feel affection for. MSWs need support to strengthen their self-perceptions and define and pursue their goals in order to improve their HIV/STI prevention practices, health and well-being. PMID:24368712

  17. A novel negative-stranded RNA virus mediates sex ratio in its parasitoid host

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Beibei; Yan, Zhichao; Hong, Jian; Werren, John H.; Song, Qisheng

    2017-01-01

    Parasitoid wasps are important natural enemies of arthropod hosts in natural and agricultural ecosystems and are often associated with viruses or virion-like particles. Here, we report a novel negative-stranded RNA virus from a parasitoid wasp (Pteromalus puparum). The complete viral genome is 12,230 nucleotides in length, containing five non-overlapping, linearly arranged open reading frames. Phylogenetically, the virus clusters with and is a novel member of the mononegaviral family Nyamiviridae, here designated as Pteromalus puparum negative-strand RNA virus 1 (PpNSRV-1). PpNSRV-1 is present in various tissues and life stages of the parasitoid wasp, and is transmitted vertically through infected females and males. Virus infections in field populations of P. puparum wasps ranged from 16.7 to 37.5%, without linearly correlating with temperature. PpNSRV-1 increased adult longevity and impaired several fitness parameters of the wasp, but had no influence on successful parasitism. Strikingly, PpNSRV-1 mediated the offspring sex ratio by decreasing female offspring numbers. RNA interference knockdown of virus open reading frame I eliminated these PpNSRV-1-induced effects. Thus, we infer that PpNSRV-1 has complex effects on its insect host including sex ratio distortion towards males, as well as possible mutualistic benefits through increasing wasp longevity. PMID:28278298

  18. Birth order and sibling sex ratio of children and adolescents referred to a gender identity service.

    PubMed

    Vanderlaan, Doug P; Blanchard, Ray; Wood, Hayley; Zucker, Kenneth J

    2014-01-01

    In adult male samples, homosexuality is associated with a preponderance of older brothers (i.e., the fraternal birth order effect). In several studies comparing gender dysphoric youth, who are likely to be homosexual in adulthood, to clinical or non-clinical control groups, the findings have been consistent with the fraternal birth order effect in males; however, less is known about unique sibship characteristics of gender dysphoric females. The current study investigated birth order and sibling sex ratio in a large sample of children and adolescents referred to the same Gender Identity Service (N = 768). Probands were classified as heterosexual males, homosexual males, or homosexual females based on clinical diagnostic information. Groups differed significantly in age and sibship size, and homosexual females were significantly more likely to be only children. Subsequent analyses controlled for age and for sibship size. Compared to heterosexual males, homosexual males had a significant preponderance of older brothers and homosexual females had a significant preponderance of older sisters. Similarly, the older sibling sex ratio of homosexual males showed a significant excess of brothers whereas that of homosexual females showed a significant excess of sisters. Like previous studies of gender dysphoric youth and adults, these findings were consistent with the fraternal birth order effect. In addition, the greater frequency of only children and elevated numbers of older sisters among the homosexual female group adds to a small literature on sibship characteristics of potential relevance to the development of gender identity and sexual orientation in females.

  19. SEX RATIO AT BIRTH AND THE IDEAL FAMILY IN CHI LINH DISTRICT, VIETNAM

    PubMed Central

    Thuy Duong, Doan Thi

    2016-01-01

    Chi Linh district, which locates in the Red Delta River region, has been recognized as the “hot pot” of high sex ratio at birth in Vietnam. This paper used community-based periodic Demographic-Epidemiologic Surveillance System (CHILILAB) to describe sex ratio at birth (SRB) and identify social - economic factors that related to the SRB. A total 5,940 births born from August 1, 2004 to August 31, 2011 was included in analysis. The SRB of 116.6 boys/100 girls (CI: 110.7 – 122.5) was significantly higher than normal. SRB were found high among second child having only older sister(s), among third child and higher birth order, among mothers who were 35 years and older, running small business or homemakers. Interestingly, a SRB of 91.4 boys/100 girls (CI: 81.8 – 102) was found among second children having an older brother, this is significantly lower than the normal level. Further research should be done to assert if abortion is practiced both to have a son and to have a daughter. PMID:27499813

  20. A novel negative-stranded RNA virus mediates sex ratio in its parasitoid host.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fei; Fang, Qi; Wang, Beibei; Yan, Zhichao; Hong, Jian; Bao, Yiming; Kuhn, Jens H; Werren, John H; Song, Qisheng; Ye, Gongyin

    2017-03-01

    Parasitoid wasps are important natural enemies of arthropod hosts in natural and agricultural ecosystems and are often associated with viruses or virion-like particles. Here, we report a novel negative-stranded RNA virus from a parasitoid wasp (Pteromalus puparum). The complete viral genome is 12,230 nucleotides in length, containing five non-overlapping, linearly arranged open reading frames. Phylogenetically, the virus clusters with and is a novel member of the mononegaviral family Nyamiviridae, here designated as Pteromalus puparum negative-strand RNA virus 1 (PpNSRV-1). PpNSRV-1 is present in various tissues and life stages of the parasitoid wasp, and is transmitted vertically through infected females and males. Virus infections in field populations of P. puparum wasps ranged from 16.7 to 37.5%, without linearly correlating with temperature. PpNSRV-1 increased adult longevity and impaired several fitness parameters of the wasp, but had no influence on successful parasitism. Strikingly, PpNSRV-1 mediated the offspring sex ratio by decreasing female offspring numbers. RNA interference knockdown of virus open reading frame I eliminated these PpNSRV-1-induced effects. Thus, we infer that PpNSRV-1 has complex effects on its insect host including sex ratio distortion towards males, as well as possible mutualistic benefits through increasing wasp longevity.

  1. The mechanism of sex ratio adjustment in a pollinating fig wasp.

    PubMed

    Raja, Shazia; Suleman, Nazia; Compton, Stephen G; Moore, Jamie C

    2008-07-22

    Sex ratio strategies in species subject to local mate competition (LMC), and in particular their fit to quantitative theoretical predictions, provide insight into constraints upon adaptation. Pollinating fig wasps are widely used in such studies because their ecology resembles theory assumptions, but the cues used by foundresses to assess potential LMC have not previously been determined. We show that Liporrhopalum tentacularis females (foundresses) use their clutch size as a cue. First, we make use of species ecology (foundresses lay multiple clutches, with second clutches smaller than first) to show that increases in sex ratio in multi-foundress figs occur only when foundresses are oviposition site limited, i.e. that there is no direct response to foundress density. Second, we introduce a novel technique to quantify foundress oviposition sequences and show, consistent with the theoretical predictions concerning clutch size-only strategies, that they produce mainly male offspring at the start of bouts, followed by mostly females interspersed by a few males. We then discuss the implications of our findings for our understanding of the limits of the ability of natural selection to produce 'perfect' organisms, and for our understanding of when different cue use patterns evolve.

  2. Birth Order and Sibling Sex Ratio of Children and Adolescents Referred to a Gender Identity Service

    PubMed Central

    VanderLaan, Doug P.; Blanchard, Ray; Wood, Hayley; Zucker, Kenneth J.

    2014-01-01

    In adult male samples, homosexuality is associated with a preponderance of older brothers (i.e., the fraternal birth order effect). In several studies comparing gender dysphoric youth, who are likely to be homosexual in adulthood, to clinical or non-clinical control groups, the findings have been consistent with the fraternal birth order effect in males; however, less is known about unique sibship characteristics of gender dysphoric females. The current study investigated birth order and sibling sex ratio in a large sample of children and adolescents referred to the same Gender Identity Service (N = 768). Probands were classified as heterosexual males, homosexual males, or homosexual females based on clinical diagnostic information. Groups differed significantly in age and sibship size, and homosexual females were significantly more likely to be only children. Subsequent analyses controlled for age and for sibship size. Compared to heterosexual males, homosexual males had a significant preponderance of older brothers and homosexual females had a significant preponderance of older sisters. Similarly, the older sibling sex ratio of homosexual males showed a significant excess of brothers whereas that of homosexual females showed a significant excess of sisters. Like previous studies of gender dysphoric youth and adults, these findings were consistent with the fraternal birth order effect. In addition, the greater frequency of only children and elevated numbers of older sisters among the homosexual female group adds to a small literature on sibship characteristics of potential relevance to the development of gender identity and sexual orientation in females. PMID:24651045

  3. The mechanism of sex ratio adjustment in a pollinating fig wasp

    PubMed Central

    Raja, Shazia; Suleman, Nazia; Compton, Stephen G; Moore, Jamie C

    2008-01-01

    Sex ratio strategies in species subject to local mate competition (LMC), and in particular their fit to quantitative theoretical predictions, provide insight into constraints upon adaptation. Pollinating fig wasps are widely used in such studies because their ecology resembles theory assumptions, but the cues used by foundresses to assess potential LMC have not previously been determined. We show that Liporrhopalum tentacularis females (foundresses) use their clutch size as a cue. First, we make use of species ecology (foundresses lay multiple clutches, with second clutches smaller than first) to show that increases in sex ratio in multi-foundress figs occur only when foundresses are oviposition site limited, i.e. that there is no direct response to foundress density. Second, we introduce a novel technique to quantify foundress oviposition sequences and show, consistent with the theoretical predictions concerning clutch size-only strategies, that they produce mainly male offspring at the start of bouts, followed by mostly females interspersed by a few males. We then discuss the implications of our findings for our understanding of the limits of the ability of natural selection to produce ‘perfect’ organisms, and for our understanding of when different cue use patterns evolve. PMID:18430647

  4. SEX RATIO AT BIRTH AND THE IDEAL FAMILY IN CHI LINH DISTRICT, VIETNAM.

    PubMed

    Thuy Duong, Doan Thi

    2015-12-01

    Chi Linh district, which locates in the Red Delta River region, has been recognized as the "hot pot" of high sex ratio at birth in Vietnam. This paper used community-based periodic Demographic-Epidemiologic Surveillance System (CHILILAB) to describe sex ratio at birth (SRB) and identify social - economic factors that related to the SRB. A total 5,940 births born from August 1, 2004 to August 31, 2011 was included in analysis. The SRB of 116.6 boys/100 girls (CI: 110.7 - 122.5) was significantly higher than normal. SRB were found high among second child having only older sister(s), among third child and higher birth order, among mothers who were 35 years and older, running small business or homemakers. Interestingly, a SRB of 91.4 boys/100 girls (CI: 81.8 - 102) was found among second children having an older brother, this is significantly lower than the normal level. Further research should be done to assert if abortion is practiced both to have a son and to have a daughter.

  5. Mitochondrial DNA polymorphism, sex ratio distorters and population genetics in the isopod Armadillidium vulgare.

    PubMed Central

    Rigaud, T; Bouchon, D; Souty-Grosset, C; Raimond, R

    1999-01-01

    Two maternally inherited sex ratio distorters (SRD) impose female-biased sex ratios on the wood louse Armadillidium vulgare by feminizing putative males. These SRD are (i) an intracytoplasmic bacterium of the genus Wolbachia, and (ii) another non-Mendelian element of unknown nature: the f element. Mitochondrial DNA variation was investigated in A. vulgare field populations to trace the evolution of host-SRD relationships and to investigate the effect of SRD on host cytoplasmic polymorphism. The Wolbachia endosymbionts showed no polymorphism in their ITS2 sequence and were associated with two closely related mitochondrial types. This situation probably reflects a single infection event followed by a slight differentiation of mitochondria. There was no association between the f element and a given mitochondrial type, which may confirm the fact that this element can be partially paternally transmitted. The spreading of a maternally inherited SRD in a population should reduce the mitochondrial diversity by a hitchhiking process. In A. vulgare, however, a within-population mtDNA polymorphism was often found, because of the deficient spread of Wolbachia and the partial paternal inheritance of the f element. The analysis of molecular variance indicated that A. vulgare populations are genetically structured, but without isolation by distance. PMID:10430591

  6. A framework for analyzing sex-selective abortion: the example of changing sex ratios in Southern Caucasus

    PubMed Central

    Hohmann, Sophie A; Lefèvre, Cécile A; Garenne, Michel L

    2014-01-01

    The paper proposes a socioeconomic framework of supply, demand, and regulation to explain the development of sex-selective abortion in several parts of the world. The framework is then applied to three countries of southern Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia) where sex-selective abortion has developed since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The authors argue that sex-selective abortion cannot be explained simply by patriarchal social systems, sex discrimination, or son preference. The emphasis is put on the long-term acceptability of abortion in the region, on acceptability of sex-screening by both the medical establishment and by the population, on newly imported techniques of sex-screening, and on the changing demand for children associated with the major economic and social changes that followed the dismantlement of the Soviet Union. PMID:25349481

  7. Effects of modification of in vitro fertilization techniques on the sex ratio of the resultant bovine embryos.

    PubMed

    Iwata, H; Shiono, H; Kon, Y; Matsubara, K; Kimura, K; Kuwayama, T; Monji, Y

    2008-05-01

    The duration of sperm-oocyte co-incubation has been observed to affect the sex ratio of in vitro produced bovine embryos. The purpose of this study was to investigate some factors that may be responsible for the skewed sex ratio. The factors studied were selected combinations of the duration of co-incubation, the presence or absence of cumulus cells, and the level of hyaluronic acid (HA) in the culture medium. Experiment 1 examined the effect of selected combinations of different factors during the fertilization phase of in vitro oocyte culture. The factors were the nature of the sperm or its treatment, the duration of the sperm-oocyte co-incubation, and the level of hyaluronic acid in the culture medium. In experiment 2, the capacitation of frozen-thawed-Percoll-washed sperm (control), pre-incubated, and non-binding sperm was evaluated by the zona pellucida (ZP) binding assay and the hypo-osmotic swelling test (HOST). The purpose of experiment 3 was to determine the oocyte cleavage rate and sex ratio of the embryos (>5 cells) produced as a consequence of the 10 treatments used in experiment 1. In treatments 1-3 (experiments 1 and 3) COC were co-cultured with sperm for 1, 5 or 18 h. Polyspermic fertilization rose as the co-incubation period increased (1 h 6.5%, 5 h 15.9%, 18 h 41.8%; P<0.05), and the highest rate of normal fertilization was observed for 5h culture (73.4%; P<0.05). The sex ratio was significantly (P<0.05) skewed from the expected 50:50 towards males following 1 h (64.4%) and 5 h (67.3%) co-incubation, but was not affected by 18 h incubation (52.3%). In treatment 4, sperm was pre-incubated for 1h and cultured with COC for 5 h. Relative to control sperm, pre-incubation of sperm increased ZP binding (116 versus 180 per ZP; P<0.05) and decreased the proportion of HOST positive sperm (65.8-48.6%; P<0.05; experiment 2). Pre-incubation did not affect the rates of polyspermy, normal fertilization or the sex ratio of the embryos (experiments 1 and 3). The

  8. Exogenously treated mammalian sex hormones affect inorganic constituents of plants.

    PubMed

    Erdal, Serkan; Dumlupinar, Rahmi

    2011-10-01

    The present study was undertaken to reveal the changes in inorganic constituents of plants exposed to mammalian sex hormones (MSH). Chickpea leaves were sprayed with 10(-4), 10(-6), 10(-9), 10(-12), and 10(-15) M concentrations of progesterone, β-estradiol, and androsterone at 7th day after sowing. The plants were harvested at the end of 18 days after treatment of MSH solutions and the inorganic components determined using a wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy technique. At all of the concentrations tested, MSH significantly increased the contents of K, S, Na, Ca, Mg, Zn, Fe, P, Cu, and Ni. Interestingly, only Mn and Cl contents decreased. The maximum changes in the inorganic composition were recorded at 10(-6) M for plants treated with progesterone and 10(-9) M for plants treated with β-estradiol and androsterone.

  9. Putative sex-specific human pheromones do not affect gender perception, attractiveness ratings or unfaithfulness judgements of opposite sex faces

    PubMed Central

    Hare, Robin M.; Schlatter, Sophie; Rhodes, Gillian

    2017-01-01

    Debate continues over the existence of human sex pheromones. Two substances, androstadienone (AND) and estratetraenol (EST), were recently reported to signal male and female gender, respectively, potentially qualifying them as human sex pheromones. If AND and EST truly signal gender, then they should affect reproductively relevant behaviours such as mate perception. To test this hypothesis, heterosexual, Caucasian human participants completed two computer-based tasks twice, on two consecutive days, exposed to a control scent on one day and a putative pheromone (AND or EST) on the other. In the first task, 46 participants (24 male, 22 female) indicated the gender (male or female) of five gender-neutral facial morphs. Exposure to AND or EST had no effect on gender perception. In the second task, 94 participants (43 male, 51 female) rated photographs of opposite-sex faces for attractiveness and probable sexual unfaithfulness. Exposure to the putative pheromones had no effect on either attractiveness or unfaithfulness ratings. These results are consistent with those of other experimental studies and reviews that suggest AND and EST are unlikely to be human pheromones. The double-blind nature of the current study lends increased support to this conclusion. If human sex pheromones affect our judgements of gender, attractiveness or unfaithfulness from faces, they are unlikely to be AND or EST.

  10. Sex-ratio meiotic drive in Drosophila simulans is related to equational nondisjunction of the Y chromosome.

    PubMed Central

    Cazemajor, M; Joly, D; Montchamp-Moreau, C

    2000-01-01

    The sex-ratio trait, an example of naturally occurring X-linked meiotic drive, has been reported in a dozen Drosophila species. Males carrying a sex-ratio X chromosome produce an excess of female offspring caused by a deficiency of Y-bearing sperm. In Drosophila simulans, such males produce approximately 70-90% female offspring, and 15-30% of the male offspring are sterile. Here, we investigate the cytological basis of the drive in this species. We show that the sex-ratio trait is associated with nondisjunction of Y chromatids in meiosis II. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using sex-chromosome-specific probes provides direct evidence that the drive is caused by the failure of the resulting spermatids to develop into functional sperm. XYY progeny were not observed, indicating that few or no YY spermatids escape failure. The recovery of XO males among the progeny of sex-ratio males shows that some nullo-XY spermatids become functional sperm and likely explains the male sterility. A review of the cytological data in other species shows that aberrant behavior of the Y chromosome may be a common basis of sex-ratio meiotic drive in Drosophila and the signal that triggers differential spermiogenesis failure. PMID:10628983

  11. Pollen limitation and Allee effect related to population size and sex ratio in the endangered Ottelia acuminata (Hydrocharitaceae): implications for conservation and reintroduction.

    PubMed

    Xia, J; Lu, J; Wang, Z X; Hao, B B; Wang, H B; Liu, G H

    2013-03-01

    Small populations may suffer more severe pollen limitation and result in Allee effects. Sex ratio may also affect pollination and reproduction success in dioecious species, which is always overlooked when performing conservation and reintroduction tasks. In this study, we investigated whether and how population size and sex ratio affected pollen limitation and reproduction in the endangered Ottelia acuminata, a dioecious submerged species. We established experimental plots with increasing population size and male sex ratio. We observed insect visitation, estimated pollen limitation by hand-pollinations and counted fruit set and seed production per fruit. Fruit set and seed production decreased significantly in small populations due to pollinator scarcity and thus suffered more severe pollen limitation. Although frequently visited, female-biased larger populations also suffered severe pollen limitation due to few effective visits and insufficient pollen availability. Rising male ratio enhanced pollination service and hence reproduction. Unexpectedly, pollinator preferences did not cause reduced reproduction in male-biased populations because of high pollen availability. However, reproductive outputs showed more variability in severe male-biased populations. Our results revealed two component Allee effects in fruit set and seed production, mediated by pollen limitation in O. acuminata. Moreover, reproduction decreased significantly in larger female-biased populations, increasing the risk of an Allee effect.

  12. Predicting the fate of a living fossil: how will global warming affect sex determination and hatching phenology in tuatara?

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Nicola J; Kearney, Michael R; Nelson, Nicola J; Porter, Warren P

    2008-01-01

    How will climate change affect species' reproduction and subsequent survival? In many egg-laying reptiles, the sex of offspring is determined by the temperature experienced during a critical period of embryonic development (temperature-dependent sex determination, TSD). Increasing air temperatures are likely to skew offspring sex ratios in the absence of evolutionary or plastic adaptation, hence we urgently require means for predicting the future distributions of species with TSD. Here we develop a mechanistic model that demonstrates how climate, soil and topography interact with physiology and nesting behaviour to determine sex ratios of tuatara, cold-climate reptiles from New Zealand with an unusual developmental biology. Under extreme regional climate change, all-male clutches would hatch at 100% of current nest sites of the rarest species, Sphenodon guntheri, by the mid-2080s. We show that tuatara could behaviourally compensate for the male-biasing effects of warmer air temperatures by nesting later in the season or selecting shaded nest sites. Later nesting is, however, an unlikely response to global warming, as many oviparous species are nesting earlier as the climate warms. Our approach allows the assessment of the thermal suitability of current reserves and future translocation sites for tuatara, and can be readily modified to predict climatic impacts on any species with TSD. PMID:18595840

  13. Evidence for sex ratio distortion by a new microsporidian parasite of a Corophiid amphipod.

    PubMed

    Mautner, S I; Cook, K A; Forbes, M R; McCurdy, D G; Dunn, A M

    2007-10-01

    In this paper, we describe the occurrence of a microsporidian parasite in female-biased populations of an intertidal amphipod, Corophium volutator (Pallas), at mudflat sites in the Bay of Fundy, Canada. Sequence data for the parasite's 16S rDNA indicate that it is a novel microsporidian species. This parasite was found principally in female host gonads, indicating that it might be a vertically transmitted, sex-distorting microparasite. At 4 sites each sampled in early and mid-summer, parasite prevalence varied from 0 to 21%. In the lab, infected mothers gave rise to more female-biased broods, than did uninfected mothers. Infection was not associated with size of females or with lowered survivorship of their young. Surprisingly, infected mothers actually had higher fertility controlling for body length than did uninfected mothers. Taken together, our results suggest that this novel microsporidian is likely a feminizing microparasite and is a contributing factor to local and widespread sex ratio distortion in C. volutator.

  14. Skewed sex ratios at birth and future marriage squeeze in China and India, 2005-2100.

    PubMed

    Guilmoto, Christophe Z

    2012-02-01

    I examine the potential impact of the anticipated future marriage squeeze on nuptiality patterns in China and India during the twenty-first century. I use population projections from 2005 to 2100 based on three different scenarios for the sex ratio at birth (SRB). To counteract the limitations of cross-sectional methods commonly used to assess the severity of marriage squeezes, I use a two-sex cohort-based procedure to simulate marriage patterns over the twenty-first century based on the female dominance model. I also examine two more-flexible marriage functions to illustrate the potential impact of changes in marriage schedules as a response to the marriage squeeze. Longitudinal indicators of marriage squeeze indicate that the number of prospective grooms in both countries will exceed that of prospective brides by more 50% for three decades in the most favorable scenario. Rates of male bachelorhood will not peak before 2050, and the squeeze conditions will be felt several decades thereafter, even among cohorts unaffected by adverse SRB. If the SRB is allowed to return to normalcy by 2020, the proportion of men unmarried at age 50 is expected to rise to 15% in China by 2055 and to 10% in India by 2065. India suffers from the additional impact of a delayed fertility transition on its age structures.

  15. Epigenetic regulation of sex ratios may explain natural variation in self-fertilization rates

    PubMed Central

    Ellison, Amy; Rodríguez López, Carlos Marcelino; Moran, Paloma; Breen, James; Swain, Martin; Megias, Manuel; Hegarty, Matthew; Wilkinson, Mike; Pawluk, Rebecca; Consuegra, Sofia

    2015-01-01

    Self-fertilization (selfing) favours reproductive success when mate availability is low, but renders populations more vulnerable to environmental change by reducing genetic variability. A mixed-breeding strategy (alternating selfing and outcrossing) may allow species to balance these needs, but requires a system for regulating sexual identity. We explored the role of DNA methylation as a regulatory system for sex-ratio modulation in the mixed-mating fish Kryptolebias marmoratus. We found a significant interaction between sexual identity (male or hermaphrodite), temperature and methylation patterns when two selfing lines were exposed to different temperatures during development. We also identified several genes differentially methylated in males and hermaphrodites that represent candidates for the temperature-mediated sex regulation in K. marmoratus. We conclude that an epigenetic mechanism regulated by temperature modulates sexual identity in this selfing species, providing a potentially widespread mechanism by which environmental change may influence selfing rates. We also suggest that K. marmoratus, with naturally inbred populations, represents a good vertebrate model for epigenetic studies. PMID:26559950

  16. Breeding periodicity and sex ratios in epifaunal marine amphipoda in Lough Hyne, Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costello, Mark J.; Myers, Alan A.

    1989-11-01

    Thirteen species of amphipod were recorded from sponges and associated biota, notably algae and tunicates, in Lough Hyne (Ine), south-west Ireland. The sex ratio rarely approached unity in any species. No male Corophium bonnellii were collected. Mature male Lysianassa ceratina were not collected between late July and early September. Ovigerous females occurred throughout the year in five species. Lysianassa ceratina had the most restricted breeding period (May to September). Breeding activity, based on this criterion of reproduction, was generally greatest between April and July, but this period was extended in some species. A secondary autumn peak in breeding activity was recorded in four species. A comparison between the data from the present study and those from a similar study in Scotland suggests that in the case of two of the species, Corophium bonnellii and Lembos websteri, egg production throughout the year may be related to differing summer maximum temperatures.

  17. Carl Düsing (1884) on the regulation of the sex-ratio.

    PubMed

    Edwards, A W

    2000-11-01

    In three publications in 1883 and 1884 Carl Düsing of Jena gave a mathematical account of the influence of natural selection on the sex ratio based on the same argument that Darwin had advanced in The Descent of Man (1871). The argument thus became quite well known, being included in the principal books on the subject around the turn of the century, as well as in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, references to Düsing being given. By 1930, when Fisher gave a verbal account of the argument in The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection, he saw no need to give references, and no other book of the period treated the subject, as a result of which Düsing's contribution became lost to view. We here give the important paragraphs of Düsing's mathematical account, translated into English.

  18. Education and gender bias in the sex ratio at birth: evidence from India.

    PubMed

    Echávarri, Rebeca A; Ezcurra, Roberto

    2010-02-01

    This article investigates the possible existence of a nonlinear link between female disadvantage in natality and education. To this end, we devise a theoretical model based on the key role of social interaction in explaining people's acquisition of preferences, which justifies the existence of a nonmonotonic relationship between female disadvantage in natality and education. The empirical validity of the proposed model is examined for the case of India, using district-level data. In this context, our econometric analysis pays particular attention to the role of spatial dependence to avoid any potential problems of misspecification. The results confirm that the relationship between the sex ratio at birth and education in India follows an inverted U-shape. This finding is robust to the inclusion of additional explanatory variables in the analysis, and to the choice of the spatial weight matrix used to quantify the spatial interdependence between the sample districts.

  19. Sex and the Single Cell. I. on the Action of Major Loci Affecting Sex Determination in DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Bruce S.; Ridge, Kimberly A.

    1980-01-01

    Sex determination in Drosophila melanogaster is under the control of the X chromosome:autosome ratio and at least four major regulatory genes: transformer (tra), transformer-2 (tra-2), doublesex (dsx) and intersex (ix). Attention is focused here on the roles of these four loci in sex determination. By examining the sexual phenotype of clones of homozygous mutant cells produced by mitotic recombination in flies heterozygous for a given recessive sex-determination mutant, we have shown that the tra, tra-2 and dsx loci determine sex in a cell-autonomous manner. The effect of removing the wild-type allele of each locus (by mitotic recombination) at a number of times during development has been used to determine when the wild-type alleles of the tra, tra-2 and dsx loci have been transcribed sufficiently to support normal sexual development. The wild-type alleles of all three loci are needed into the early pupal period for normal sex determination in the cells that produce the sexually dimorphic (in pigmentation) cuticle of the fifth and sixth dorsal abdominal segments. tra+ and tra-2+ cease being needed shortly before the termination of cell division in the abdomen, whereas dsx+ is required at least until the end of division. By contrast, in the foreleg, the wild-type alleles of tra+ and tra-2+ have functioned sufficiently for normal sexual differentiation to occur by about 24 to 48 hours before pupariation, but dsx+ is required in the foreleg at least until pupariation.——A comparison of the phenotypes produced in mutant/deficiency and homozygous mutant-bearing flies shows that dsx, tra-2 and tra mutants result in a loss of wild-type function and probably represent null alleles at these genes.—All possible homozygous doublemutant combinations of ix, tra-2 and dsx have been constructed and reveal a clear pattern of epistasis: dsx > tra, tra-2 > ix. We conclude that these genes function in a single pathway that determines sex. The data suggest that these mutants are

  20. Effect of separating bull semen into X and Y chromosome-bearing fractions on the sex ratio of resulting embryos.

    PubMed Central

    Hagele, W C; Hare, W C; Singh, E L; Grylls, J L; Abt, D A

    1984-01-01

    Seventy-six, day 12 to day 15 bovine embryos, collected from 14 donors which had been inseminated with either X or Y chromosome-bearing spermatozoa fractions of semen separated by a thermal convection counterstreaming sedimentation and forced convection galvanization process, were processed for sexing by chromosomal analysis. Fifty-seven embryos were sexed; 20 from Y chromosome-bearing and 37 from X chromosome-bearing fractions of semen. Statistical analysis of the sexing data indicated that there was no significant difference in the male: female ratio for donors receiving male fractions compared to those receiving female fractions. The Y chromosome-bearing fractions produced a male: female ratio that was indistinguishable from the expected 1:1 ratio. However, the X chromosome-bearing fractions of semen produced a highly significant deviation from the expected 1:1 ratio towards the male. PMID:6478299

  1. Biased sex ratio and low population density increase male mating success in the bug Nysius huttoni (Heteroptera: Lygaeidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qiao; He, Xiong Zhao; Yang, Linghuan; Hedderley, Duncan; Davis, Lorraine K.

    2009-01-01

    Demographic factors such as operational sex ratio (OSR) and local population density (LPD) are temporally and spatially dynamic in the natural environment but the influence of these variables on male mating success and the mechanisms behind it are still poorly understood and highly controversial. Here, we manipulated the OSR and LPD of a seed bug, Nysius huttoni, and carried out a series of mating trials to test how these variables affected male mating success. The two demographic factors had no significant interactions, suggesting that they affect male mating success independently in N. huttoni. In this species male mating success was significantly higher in both male- and female-biased OSR than in even OSR. It is suggested that, in male-biased OSR, the increased intensity of competition and interference does not result in lower male mating success; rather, males may make more effort in courting and females may have more chance to encounter better males, resulting in higher male mating success. In female-biased OSR, females may become less choosy and less likely to reject male mating attempt, leading to the higher male mating success. Lower male mating success in N. huttoni in high LPD may be due to increased interference between males and/or delayed female receptiveness for mating. OSR had a stronger effect on male mating success than LPD in N. huttoni, suggesting that OSR and LPD affect mating success in different ways and intensities.

  2. What affects fertility of sexed bull semen more, low sperm dosage or the sorting process?

    PubMed

    Frijters, A C J; Mullaart, E; Roelofs, R M G; van Hoorne, R P; Moreno, J F; Moreno, O; Merton, J S

    2009-01-01

    Until now it has been unclear to what extent the reduced fertility with sexed semen in the dairy industry is caused by too few sperm per AI dose, or by the effect of flow cytometric sorting, which is the established procedure for sexing semen. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of low sperm numbers per dose with and without sorting on non-return rates after 56 days (NRR 56); in addition, we evaluated the effects of bulls, in order to further optimize use of sexed semen. Based on results of using sexed semen from seven Holstein bulls, an overall numerical decline of 13.6% in NRR 56 was observed (P<0.05). About two-thirds of this decline (8.6%) was due to the low dose (P<0.05), and a third (5.0%) due to the process of sorting (P<0.05). The effect of low dosage and sorting differed among bulls. We observed a sex ratio of 91.6% females for sexed semen from the first 131 calves born. Currently the best way to increase fertility of sexed semen is by closely monitoring fertility so that the highest fertility bulls are used, and by improving farm animal management. However, to make substantial progress, more in depth studies are needed on the sexing technology, especially on aspects such as sorting procedures and sperm dosage.

  3. Sexual shape and size dimorphism in carabid beetles of the genus Ceroglossus: is geometric body size similar between sexes due to sex ratio?

    PubMed

    Benítez, Hugo A; Sanzana, Maria-José; Jerez, Viviane; Parra, Luis E; Hernández, Cristián E; Canales-Aguirre, Cristian B

    2013-04-01

    Insects in many species vary greatly in the expression of secondary sexual traits, resulting in sexual dimorphism, which has been proposed to be a consequence of differences in sexual selection. In this study, we analyze the occurrence of sexual shape dimorphism and the correlation between geometric body size in males and females and sex ratio in the genus Ceroglossus (Coleoptera: Carabidae) using geometric morphometrics and randomization analysis. Our results show a positive relationship between the centroid size of males and females and sex ratio. However, we also observed a trend to maintain a "similar" body shape between sexes and species due to characteristics associated with sexual selection of the group in which the scarcity of outstanding morphological characters does not restrict reproduction capacity. The trend in sexual proportions was found to be near 1:1 for the eight species. We propose that the observed differences between sexes associated with the sex ratio are due to an energy cost caused by sexual selection; nevertheless, since proportions are similar for all the species, it is really not relevant to generate more conspicuous structures for a stronger male-male competence.

  4. Sex differences in perceived pain are affected by an anxious brain.

    PubMed

    Goffaux, Philippe; Michaud, Karine; Gaudreau, Janou; Chalaye, Philippe; Rainville, Pierre; Marchand, Serge

    2011-09-01

    Decades of research confirm that women have greater pain sensitivity than men. Women also show greater overall anxiety sensitivity than men. Given these differences, we hypothesized that sex differences in anxiety would explain sex differences in experienced pain and physiological responses to pain (at both spinal and cortical levels). By measuring subjective pain, state/trait anxiety, nociceptive flexion reflexes, and somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs), it was possible to test the effects of anxiety on the processing of painful drives at different levels of the neuraxis while also documenting the role played by anxiety on sex differences in experienced pain. Results confirm that women are indeed more sensitive to pain than men. Importantly, this difference was accompanied by a significant sex difference in cortical activity (SEP amplitude) but not spinal nociceptive activity, suggesting that much of the sex difference in experienced pain is attributable to variations in thalamocortical processing and to ensuing changes in the appraisal of and/or emotional response to noxious insult. In support of this claim, we found that sex differences in cortical activity and subjective pain disappeared when trait anxiety was controlled for. This means that stable predispositions to respond with heightened apprehension contribute to baseline pain sensitivity differences between the sexes. These results indicate that the modulatory effect of affect on pain-related brain processes may explain why men and women experience painful shocks so differently. In our study, the mediating role of anxiety on sex differences in pain was tested and confirmed using path analysis.

  5. Population structure and the evolution of sexual size dimorphism and sex ratios in an insular population of Florida box turtles (Terrapene carolina bauri)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C.K.

    1997-01-01

    Hypotheses in the chelonian literature suggest that in species with sexual size dimorphism, the smaller sex will mature at a smaller size and a younger age than the larger sex, sex ratios should be biased in favor of the earlier maturing sex, and deviations from a 1:1 sex ratio result from maturation of the smaller sex at a younger age. I tested these hypotheses using data collected from 1991 to 1995 on an insular (Egmont Key) population of Florida box turtles, Terrapene carolina bauri. Contrary to predictions, the earlier maturing sex (males) grew to larger sizes than the late maturing sex. Males were significantly larger than females in mean carapace length but not mean body mass. Sex ratios were not balanced, favoring the earlier maturing sex (1.6 males:1 female), but the sex-ratio imbalance did not result from faster maturation of the smaller sex. The imbalance in the sex ratio in Egmont Key's box turtles is not the result of sampling biases; it may result from nest placement. Size-class structure and sex ratios can provide valuable insights into the status and trends of populations of long-lived turtles.

  6. Impact of prenatal technologies on the sex ratio in India: an overview

    PubMed Central

    Madan, Kamlesh; Breuning, Martijn H.

    2014-01-01

    The fact that techniques of prenatal diagnosis are used in India and China to selectively eliminate females is widely known. It has been extensively reported in the international media and in scientific publications since the 1990s. The publication of the Census of India 2011 shows that the ratio of girls to boys below the age of 6 years continues to decline at an alarming rate. Following that publication, this topic has again received international attention. The aim of this article is to better inform the human genetics community of the magnitude of this practice and its consequences in India. In this overview, we examine the impact of prenatal technology on the sex ratio in India. We present facts and figures from the Census of India and other publications that show that the practice is wide spread throughout India, in urban and rural areas, among the rich and the poor, and among the educated and the illiterate. We also briefly discuss the possible causes, consequences, and solutions. Genet Med 16 6, 425–432. PMID:24177057

  7. A large population parental care game: polymorphisms and feedback between patterns of care and the operational sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Ramsey, David M

    2010-10-21

    This article presents a game theoretic model of parental care which models the feedback between patterns of care and the operational sex ratio. It is assumed here that males can be in one of two states: searching for a mate or breeding (including caring for their offspring). Females can be in one of three states: receptive (searching), non-receptive or breeding. However, these sets of states can be adapted to the physiology of a particular species. The length of time that an individual remains in the breeding state depends on the level of care an individual gives. When in the searching state, individuals find partners at a rate dependent on the proportion of members of the opposite sex searching. These rates are defined to satisfy the Fisher condition that the total number of offspring of males equals the total number of offspring of females. The operational sex ratio is not defined exogenously, but can be derived from the adult sex ratio and the pattern of parental care. Pure strategy profiles and so-called single sex stable polymorphisms, in which behaviour is varied within one sex, are derived analytically. The difference between mixed evolutionarily stable strategies and stable polymorphisms within this framework is highlighted. The effects of various physiological and demographic parameters on patterns of care are considered.

  8. Does famine influence sex ratio at birth? Evidence from the 1959-1961 Great Leap Forward Famine in China.

    PubMed

    Song, Shige

    2012-07-22

    The current study examined the long-term trend in sex ratio at birth between 1929 and 1982 using retrospective birth histories of 310 101 Chinese women collected in a large, nationally representative sample survey in 1982. The study identified an abrupt decline in sex ratio at birth between April 1960, over a year after the Great Leap Forward Famine began, and October 1963, approximately 2 years after the famine ended, followed by a compensatory rise between October 1963 and July 1965. These findings support the adaptive sex ratio adjustment hypothesis that mothers in good condition are more likely to give birth to sons, whereas mothers in poor condition are more likely to give birth to daughters. In addition, these findings help explain the lack of consistent evidence reported by earlier studies based on the 1944-1945 Dutch Hunger Winter or the 1942 Leningrad Siege.

  9. Are female monarch butterflies declining in eastern North America? Evidence of a 30-year change in sex ratios at Mexican overwintering sites.

    PubMed

    Davis, Andrew K; Rendón-Salinas, Eduardo

    2010-02-23

    Every autumn the entire eastern North American population of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) undergoes a spectacular migration to overwintering sites in the mountains of central Mexico, where they form massive clusters and can number in the millions. Since their discovery, these sites have been extensively studied, and in many of these studies, monarchs were captured and sexes recorded. In a recent effort to compile the sex ratio data from these published records, a surprising trend was found, which appears to show a gradual decline in proportion of females over time. Sex ratio data from 14 collections of monarchs, all spanning 30 years and totaling 69 113 individuals, showed a significant negative correlation between proportion of females and year (r = -0.69, p = 0.007). Between 1976 and 1985, 53 per cent of overwintering monarchs were female, whereas in the last decade, 43 per cent were female. The relationship was significant with and without weighting the analyses by sampling effort. Moreover, analysis of a recent three-year dataset of sex ratios revealed no variation among nine separate colonies, so differences in sampling location did not influence the trend. Additional evidence from autumn migration collections appears to confirm that proportions of females are declining, and also suggests the sex ratio is shifting on breeding grounds. While breeding monarchs face a number of threats, one possibility is an increase in prevalence of the protozoan parasite, Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, which recent evidence shows affects females more so than males. Further study will be needed to determine the exact cause of this trend, but for now it should be monitored closely.

  10. Are female monarch butterflies declining in eastern North America? Evidence of a 30-year change in sex ratios at Mexican overwintering sites

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Andrew K.; Rendón-Salinas, Eduardo

    2010-01-01

    Every autumn the entire eastern North American population of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) undergoes a spectacular migration to overwintering sites in the mountains of central Mexico, where they form massive clusters and can number in the millions. Since their discovery, these sites have been extensively studied, and in many of these studies, monarchs were captured and sexes recorded. In a recent effort to compile the sex ratio data from these published records, a surprising trend was found, which appears to show a gradual decline in proportion of females over time. Sex ratio data from 14 collections of monarchs, all spanning 30 years and totaling 69 113 individuals, showed a significant negative correlation between proportion of females and year (r = −0.69, p = 0.007). Between 1976 and 1985, 53 per cent of overwintering monarchs were female, whereas in the last decade, 43 per cent were female. The relationship was significant with and without weighting the analyses by sampling effort. Moreover, analysis of a recent three-year dataset of sex ratios revealed no variation among nine separate colonies, so differences in sampling location did not influence the trend. Additional evidence from autumn migration collections appears to confirm that proportions of females are declining, and also suggests the sex ratio is shifting on breeding grounds. While breeding monarchs face a number of threats, one possibility is an increase in prevalence of the protozoan parasite, Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, which recent evidence shows affects females more so than males. Further study will be needed to determine the exact cause of this trend, but for now it should be monitored closely. PMID:19776062

  11. Collateral Consequences: Implications of male incarceration rates, imbalanced sex ratios and partner availability for heterosexual Black women

    PubMed Central

    Dauria, Emily F.; Oakley, Lisa; Jacob Arriola, Kimberly; Elifson, Kirk; Wingood, Gina; Cooper, Hannah L. F.

    2015-01-01

    While studies have found correlations between rates of incarceration and STIs, few have explored the mechanisms linking these phenomena. This qualitative study examines how male incarceration rates and sex ratios influence perceived partner availability and sexual partnerships for heterosexual Black women. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 33 Black women living in two US neighbourhoods: one with a high male incarceration rate and an imbalanced sex ratio (referred to as “Allentown”) and one with a low male incarceration rate and an equitable sex ratio (referred to as “Blackrock”). Data were analysed using grounded theory. In Allentown, male incarceration reduced the number of available men; participants largely viewed men available for partnerships as being of an undesirable quality. The number and desirability of men impacted on the nature of partnerships such that they were shorter, focused on sexual activity, and may be with higher risk sexual partners (e.g. transactional sex partners). In Blackrock, marriage rates contributed to the shortage of desirable male partners. By highlighting the role that the quantity and quality of male partners has on shaping sexual partnerships, this study advances current understandings of how incarceration and sex ratios shape HIV- and STI-related risk. PMID:26056724

  12. Collateral consequences: implications of male incarceration rates, imbalanced sex ratios and partner availability for heterosexual Black women.

    PubMed

    Dauria, Emily F; Oakley, Lisa; Arriola, Kimberly Jacob; Elifson, Kirk; Wingood, Gina; Cooper, Hannah L F

    2015-01-01

    While studies have found correlations between rates of incarceration and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), few studies have explored the mechanisms linking these phenomena. This qualitative study examines how male incarceration rates and sex ratios influence perceived partner availability and sexual partnerships for heterosexual Black women. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 33 Black women living in two US neighbourhoods, one with a high male incarceration rate and an imbalanced sex ratio (referred to as 'Allentown') and one with a low male incarceration rate and an equitable sex ratio (referred to as 'Blackrock'). Data were analysed using grounded theory. In Allentown, male incarceration reduced the number of available men, and participants largely viewed men available for partnerships as being of an undesirable quality. The number and desirability of men impacted on the nature of partnerships such that they were shorter, focused on sexual activity and may be with higher-risk sexual partners (e.g. transactional sex partners). In Blackrock, marriage rates contributed to the shortage of desirable male partners. By highlighting the role that the quantity and quality of male partners has on shaping sexual partnerships, this study advances current understandings of how incarceration and sex ratios shape HIV- and STI-related risk.

  13. Sexual system, sex ratio, and group living in the shrimp Thor amboinensis (De Man): relevance to resource-monopolization and sex-allocation theories.

    PubMed

    Baeza, J A; Piantoni, C

    2010-10-01

    The sexual system of the symbiotic shrimp Thor amboinensis is described, along with observations on sex ratio and host-use pattern of different populations. We used a comprehensive approach to elucidate the previously unknown sexual system of this shrimp. Dissections, scanning electron microscopy, size-frequency distribution analysis, and laboratory observations demonstrated that T. amboinensis is a protandric hermaphrodite: shrimp first mature as males and change into females later in life. Thor amboinensis inhabited the large and structurally heterogeneous sea anemone Stichodactyla helianthus in large groups (up to 11 individuals) more frequently than expected by chance alone. Groups exhibited no particularly complex social structure and showed male-biased sex ratios more frequently than expected by chance alone. The adult sex ratio was male-biased in the four separate populations studied, one of them being thousands of kilometers apart from the others. This study supports predictions central to theories of resource monopolization and sex allocation. Dissections demonstrated that unusually large males were parasitized by an undescribed species of isopod (family Entoniscidae). Infestation rates were similarly low in both sexes (≈11%-12%). The available information suggests that T. amboinensis uses pure search promiscuity as a mating system. This hypothesis needs to be formally tested with mating behavior observations and field measurements on the movement pattern of both sexes of the species. Further detailed studies on the lifestyle and sexual system of all the species within this genus and the development of a molecular phylogeny are necessary to elucidate the evolutionary history of gender expression in the genus Thor.

  14. Policing the epidemic: High burden of workplace violence among female sex workers in conflict-affected northern Uganda.

    PubMed

    Muldoon, Katherine A; Akello, Monica; Muzaaya, Godfrey; Simo, Annick; Shoveller, Jean; Shannon, Kate

    2017-01-01

    Sex workers in sub-Saharan Africa experience a high burden of HIV with a paucity of data on violence and links to HIV risk among sex workers, and even less within conflict-affected environments. Data are from a cross-sectional survey of female sex workers in Gulu, northern Uganda (n = 400). Logistic regression was used to determine the specific association between policing and recent physical/sexual violence from clients. A total of 196 (49.0%) sex workers experienced physical/sexual violence by a client. From those who experienced client violence the most common forms included physical assault (58.7%), rape (38.3%), and gang rape (15.8%) Police harassment was very common, a total of 149 (37.3%) reported rushing negotiations with clients because of police presence, a practice that was significantly associated with increased odds of client violence (adjusted odds ratio: 1.61, 95% confidence intervals: 1.03-2.52). Inconsistent condom use with clients, servicing clients in a bar, and working for a manager/pimp were also independently associated with recent client violence. Structural and community-led responses, including decriminalisation, and engagement with police and policy stakeholders, remain critical to addressing violence, both a human rights and public health imperative.

  15. Water pH during early development influences sex ratio and male morph in a West African cichlid fish, Pelvicachromis pulcher.

    PubMed

    Reddon, Adam R; Hurd, Peter L

    2013-06-01

    Environmental sex determination (ESD) is one of the most striking examples of phenotypic plasticity. Individuals from species that exhibit ESD can develop as either males or females depending on the particular environmental conditions they experience during early development. In fish, ESD species often show a relatively subtle effect of environment, resulting in a substantial number of both sexes being produced in both male- and female-biasing conditions, rather than the unisex clutches that are typical of many reptiles. This less dramatic form of ESD allows the opportunity to study the effects of sexual differentiation on within-sex variation in behavior and morphology by comparing same-sex individuals produced in male- and female-biasing conditions. Here, we confirm that sex determination in the West African cichlid, Pelvicachromis pulcher, is influenced by pH during early development. We show that pH also affects the ratio of two alternative male reproductive types with the polygynous morph being overproduced in male-biasing conditions and the monogamous male morph being overproduced in female-biasing conditions. Our results suggest that the sexual differentiation process may be an important force in maintaining individual variation in behavior and reproductive tactics.

  16. The sex ratio of older siblings in non-right-handed homosexual men.

    PubMed

    Blanchard, Ray; Lippa, Richard A

    2008-12-01

    This study tested the prediction, based on prior research, that non-right-handed homosexual men will report fewer than expected older brothers. Participants were 2486 heterosexual and homosexual, right-handed and non-right-handed, male and female adults, representing five samples collected for various projects by the second author. Data on sibship composition, sexual orientation, and hand-preference were gathered in the original research using on-line (Internet) or self-administered paper-and-pencil questionnaires. The non-right-handed homosexual men reported 83 older brothers per 100 older sisters, which was significantly lower than the human sex ratio of 106 live-born males per 100 live-born females. In contrast, the right-handed homosexual men reported 125 older brothers per 100 older sisters, which was significantly higher than the expected ratio. One possible explanation of these results is that older brothers increase the odds of homosexuality in right-handed males but decrease the odds of homosexuality in non-right-handed males. A second possibility is that older brothers decrease the probability that non-right-handed homosexual males will be represented in survey research. The latter scenario could arise if the combination of some biological factor associated with older brothers and some biological factor associated with non-right-handedness is so toxic that it kills the fetus or predisposes the individual to a condition (e.g., mental retardation, major mental illness) that makes him less likely to be available for research recruitment at Gay Pride parades (etc.) than other members of the gay community.

  17. Impact of economic conditions on the secondary sex ratio in a post-communist economy.

    PubMed

    Ządzińska, E; Rosset, I; Mikulec, A; Domański, C; Pawłowski, B

    2011-06-01

    According to the Trivers-Willard hypothesis the secondary sex ratio (SSR, the ratio of male to female newborns [M/F]) should be positively related to the parents' living conditions. This also means that if in some population parents experience environmental (e.g. economic) stress, the SSR should be relatively low. If this holds true, the fluctuations in the SSR of offspring could be one of the ways the human population reacts to environmental (and also socio-economic) changes. Although confirmed for many human populations, such a relationship was not observed in the populations living in the communist-era planned-economy countries until recently. We test the hypothesis that economic stress in Poland after the communist era is also related to the SSR decrease. Using quarterly data from the years 1995-2007 about the total number of live male (M) and female (F) newborns born in central Poland (sample size=310,532), we calculated the time series of the SSR. The quarterly economic conditions of the studied population within the period under consideration constituted the time series of the percentage change in private consumption at constant prices of the year 2000. The relationship between the SSR and the economic conditions in the analyzed 47 quarters of the year was tested with the use of the ARMA models. We have found that four quarters (one year) after the occurrence of economic stress there was a decline in the SSR. This result is consistent with the Trivers-Willard hypothesis at the population level in a modern free-trade economy of a post-communist country.

  18. A review of the established and suspected causes of variations in human sex ratio at birth.

    PubMed

    James, William H; Grech, Victor

    2017-03-24

    The human sex ratio (proportion male) at birth (SRB) varies with many variables. Some of this variation has an established proximate cause. For instance, low SRB (more females) at birth are associated with various forms of stressful events or circumstances during or prior to pregnancy. These low SRB are almost certainly mainly caused by maternal-stress-induced male foetal loss. Other types of SRB variation are thought to be caused by hormonal variation in either or both parents around the time of conception. One or other of these two types of proximate cause seems to be responsible for most of the established variation of SRB. This will be illustrated here in respect of some selected forms of SRB variation. It seems likely that a clarification of the hormonal causes of SRB variation will also help explain the striking (apparent) inconsistencies in the results of reported tests of the influential Trivers-Willard hypothesis. It is further proposed that an appreciation of the evidence that parental hormones influence SRB may enhance understanding of several important pathologies (hepatitis B, toxoplasmosis, testicular cancer, prostate cancer and autism).

  19. Evidence of Hermaphroditism and Sex Ratio Distortion in the Fungal Feeding Nematode Bursaphelenchus okinawaensis

    PubMed Central

    Shinya, Ryoji; Hasegawa, Koichi; Chen, Anthony; Kanzaki, Natsumi; Sternberg, Paul W.

    2014-01-01

    Nematodes have many different reproductive strategies along with their divergent life histories; the ability of hermaphrodite to self- and cross-fertilize is useful for genetic manipulation. Here, we demonstrate the hermaphroditism of the fungal feeding nematode Bursaphelenchus okinawaensis, which was formerly described as a parthenogenetic nematode, and we show its other unique sexual characteristics. To determine that it is hermaphroditic, we performed the following experiments: observation of the pronuclear and chromosome behavior during oogenesis and early embryogenesis; observation of spermatogenesis during the fourth larval stage; investigation of sperm utilization; and investigation of phenotypic segregation after cross-mating using a chemically induced visible mutant. We then investigated the mating preferences and spermatid size difference between males and hermaphrodites. B. okinawaensis males successfully mated only with sperm-depleted old hermaphrodites, and the spermatid sizes of males were almost the same as those of hermaphrodites. Moreover, the sex ratio of cross-fertilized progeny was highly skewed toward hermaphrodites. B. okinawaensis is phylogenetically distant from established model nematodes such as C. elegans and is more closely related to some economically relevant parasitic nematodes. This newly discovered hermaphroditic nematode has great potential for evolutionary and parasitological research. PMID:25122669

  20. Changes in Income at Macro Level Predict Sex Ratio at Birth in OECD Countries.

    PubMed

    Kanninen, Ohto; Karhula, Aleksi

    2016-01-01

    The human sex ratio at birth (SRB) is approximately 107 boys for every 100 girls. SRB was rising until the World War II and has been declining slightly after the 1950s in several industrial countries. Recent studies have shown that SRB varies according to exposure to disasters and socioeconomic conditions. However, it remains unknown whether changes in SRB can be explained by observable macro-level socioeconomic variables across multiple years and countries. Here we show that changes in disposable income at the macro level positively predict SRB in OECD countries. A one standard deviation increase in the change of disposable income is associated with an increase of 1.03 male births per 1000 female births. The relationship is possibly nonlinear and driven by extreme changes. The association varies from country to country being particular strong in Estonia. This is the first evidence to show that economic and social conditions are connected to SRB across countries at the macro level. This calls for further research on the effects of societal conditions on general characteristics at birth.

  1. Evidence of the genetic trend for secondary sex ratio in Iranian Holsteins.

    PubMed

    Ghavi Hossein-Zadeh, Navid

    2012-01-01

    Calving records from the Animal Breeding Center of Iran collected from January 2000 to December 2007 and comprising 520964 Holstein calving events from 2135 herds were analysed using animal and sire models to estimate variance components, heritabilities and genetic trends for secondary sex ratio (SSR) in the first, second and third parities. Direct heritabilities for SSR ranged from 0.00004 to 0.001 over the parities. The linear sire model estimate of heritabilities for SSR in the present study was from 0.0002 to 0.0008 over the parities. There were positive phenotypic and genetic trends for female rate in Iranian Holsteins over the years. Exploitable genetic variation in SSR can take advantage of sexual dimorphism for economically important traits, which may facilitate greater selection intensity and thus greater response to selection, as well as reducing the replacement costs. On the other hand, increasing genetic and phenotypic trends for female rate in the population under study could be partly assigned to increased use of new reproductive technologies in dairy herds; therefore, dairy farmers have the option to select from among their herd's potential dams and produce dairy replacement heifers from only the genetically superior animals, thus promoting enhanced rates of genetic gain.

  2. Changes in Income at Macro Level Predict Sex Ratio at Birth in OECD Countries

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The human sex ratio at birth (SRB) is approximately 107 boys for every 100 girls. SRB was rising until the World War II and has been declining slightly after the 1950s in several industrial countries. Recent studies have shown that SRB varies according to exposure to disasters and socioeconomic conditions. However, it remains unknown whether changes in SRB can be explained by observable macro-level socioeconomic variables across multiple years and countries. Here we show that changes in disposable income at the macro level positively predict SRB in OECD countries. A one standard deviation increase in the change of disposable income is associated with an increase of 1.03 male births per 1000 female births. The relationship is possibly nonlinear and driven by extreme changes. The association varies from country to country being particular strong in Estonia. This is the first evidence to show that economic and social conditions are connected to SRB across countries at the macro level. This calls for further research on the effects of societal conditions on general characteristics at birth. PMID:27437701

  3. Birth order, sibling sex ratio, handedness, and sexual orientation of male and female participants in a BBC internet research project.

    PubMed

    Blanchard, Ray; Lippa, Richard A

    2007-04-01

    This study investigated the relations among sexual orientation, fraternal birth order (number of older brothers), and hand-preference. The participants were 87,798 men and 71,981 women who took part in a Web-based research project sponsored by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The results yielded some evidence confirming prior findings that non-right-handedness is associated with homosexuality in men and women, that older brothers increase the odds of homosexuality in men, and that the effect of older brothers on sexual orientation is limited to right-handed men. The evidence was weaker than in previous studies, however, probably because the usual relations among the variables of interest were partially obscured by the effects of other factors. Thus, the homosexual men and women had higher rates of non-right-handedness than their heterosexual counterparts, but the strongest handedness finding for both sexes was a marked tendency for participants who described themselves as ambidextrous also to describe themselves as bisexual. The birth order data were strongly affected by a tendency for the male participants to report an excess of older sisters, and the female participants to report an excess of older brothers. Statistical analyses confirmed that this was an artifact of the parental stopping rule, "Continue having children until you have offspring of both sexes." In subsequent analyses, participants were divided into those who did and did not have younger siblings, on the grounds that the data of the former would be less contaminated by the stopping rule. In the former subsample, the right-handed homo/bisexual males showed the typical high ratio of older brothers to older sisters, whereas the non-right-handed homo/bisexual males did not.

  4. Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009

    PubMed Central

    Busby, Chris; Hamdan, Malak; Ariabi, Entesar

    2010-01-01

    There have been anecdotal reports of increases in birth defects and cancer in Fallujah, Iraq blamed on the use of novel weapons (possibly including depleted uranium) in heavy fighting which occurred in that town between US led forces and local elements in 2004. In Jan/Feb 2010 the authors organised a team of researchers who visited 711 houses in Fallujah, Iraq and obtained responses to a questionnaire in Arabic on cancer, birth defects and infant mortality. The total population in the resulting sample was 4,843 persons with and overall response rate was better than 60%. Relative Risks for cancer were age-standardised and compared to rates in the Middle East Cancer Registry (MECC, Garbiah Egypt) for 1999 and rates in Jordan 1996–2001. Between Jan 2005 and the survey end date there were 62 cases of cancer malignancy reported (RR = 4.22; CI: 2.8, 6.6; p < 0.00000001) including 16 cases of childhood cancer 0–14 (RR = 12.6; CI: 4.9, 32; p < 0.00000001). Highest risks were found in all-leukaemia in the age groups 0–34 (20 cases RR = 38.5; CI: 19.2, 77; p < 0.00000001), all lymphoma 0–34 (8 cases, RR = 9.24;CI: 4.12, 20.8; p < 0.00000001), female breast cancer 0–44 (12 cases RR = 9.7;CI: 3.6, 25.6; p < 0.00000001) and brain tumours all ages (4 cases, RR = 7.4;CI: 2.4, 23.1; P < 0.004). Infant mortality was based on the mean birth rate over the 4 year period 2006–2009 with 1/6th added for cases reported in January and February 2010. There were 34 deaths in the age group 0–1 in this period giving a rate of 80 deaths per 1,000 births. This may be compared with a rate of 19.8 in Egypt (RR = 4.2 p < 0.00001) 17 in Jordan in 2008 and 9.7 in Kuwait in 2008. The mean birth sex-ratio in the recent 5-year cohort was anomalous. Normally the sex ratio in human populations is a constant with 1,050 boys born to 1,000 girls. This is disturbed if there is a genetic damage stress. The ratio of boys to 1,000 girls in the 0–4, 5–9, 10–14 and 15–19 age cohorts in the

  5. Similar estimates of population genetic composition and sex ratio derived from carcasses and faeces of Eurasian otter Lutra lutra.

    PubMed

    Dallas, John F; Coxon, Karen E; Sykes, Tim; Chanin, Paul R F; Marshall, Freda; Carss, David N; Bacon, Philip J; Piertney, Stuart B; Racey, Paul A

    2003-01-01

    Collecting faeces is viewed as a potentially efficient way to sample elusive animals. Nonetheless, any biases in estimates of population composition associated with such sampling remain uncharacterized. The goal of this study was to compare estimates of genetic composition and sex ratio derived from Eurasian otter Lutra lutra spraints (faeces) with estimates derived from carcasses. Twenty per cent of 426 wild-collected spraints from SW England yielded composite genotypes for 7-9 microsatellites and the SRY gene. The expected number of incorrect spraint genotypes was negligible, given the proportions of allele dropout and false allele detection estimated using paired blood and spraint samples of three captive otters. Fifty-two different spraint genotypes were detected and compared with genotypes of 70 otter carcasses from the same area. Carcass and spraint genotypes did not differ significantly in mean number of alleles, mean unbiased heterozygosity or sex ratio, although statistical power to detect all but large differences in sex ratio was low. The genetic compositions of carcass and spraint genotypes were very similar according to confidence intervals of theta and two methods for assigning composite genotypes to groups. A distinct group of approximately 11 carcass and spraint genotypes was detected using the latter methods. The results suggest that spraints can yield unbiased estimates of population genetic composition and sex ratio.

  6. Polymorphism for Y-Linked Suppressors of Sex-Ratio in Two Natural Populations of Drosophila Mediopunctata

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho, A. B.; Vaz, S. C.; Klaczko, L. B.

    1997-01-01

    In several Drosophila species there is a trait known as ``sex-ratio'': males carrying certain X chromosomes (called ``SR'') produce female biased progenies due to X-Y meiotic drive. In Drosophila mediopunctata this trait has a variable expression due to Y-linked suppressors of sex-ratio expression, among other factors. There are two types of Y chromosomes (suppressor and nonsuppressor) and two types of SR chromosomes (suppressible and unsuppressible). Sex-ratio expression is suppressed in males with the SR(suppressible)/Y(suppressor) genotype, whereas the remaining three genotypes produce female biased progenies. Now we have found that ~10-20% of the Y chromosomes from two natural populations 1500 km apart are suppressors of sex-ratio expression. Preliminary estimates indicate that Y(suppressor) has a meiotic drive advantage of 6% over Y(nonsuppressor). This Y polymorphism for a nonneutral trait is unexpected under current population genetics theory. We propose that this polymorphism is stabilized by an equilibrium between meiotic drive and natural selection, resulting from interactions in the population dynamics of X and Y alleles. Numerical simulations showed that this mechanism may stabilize nonneutral Y polymorphisms such as we have found in D. mediopunctata. PMID:9215895

  7. Male-biased sex ratio does not promote increased sperm competitiveness in the seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus

    PubMed Central

    McNamara, Kathryn B.; Robinson, Stephen P.; Rosa, Márta E.; Sloan, Nadia S.; van Lieshout, Emile; Simmons, Leigh W.

    2016-01-01

    Sperm competition risk and intensity can select for adaptations that increase male fertilisation success. Evolutionary responses are examined typically by generating increased strength of sexual selection via direct manipulation of female mating rates (by enforcing monandry or polyandry) or by alteration of adult sex ratios. Despite being a model species for sexual selection research, the effect of sexual selection intensity via adult sex-ratio manipulation on male investment strategies has not been investigated in the seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus. We imposed 32 generations of experimental evolution on 10 populations of beetles by manipulating adult sex ratio. Contrary to predictions, males evolving in male-biased populations did not increase their testes and accessory gland size. This absence of divergence in ejaculate investment was also reflected in the fact that males from male-biased populations were not more successful in either preventing females from remating, or in competing directly for fertilisations. These populations already demonstrate divergence in mating behaviour and immunity, suggesting sufficient generations have passed to allow divergence in physiological and behavioural traits. We propose several explanations for the absence of divergence in sperm competitiveness among our populations and the pitfalls of using sex ratio manipulation to assess evolutionary responses to sexual selection intensity. PMID:27306351

  8. Male-biased sex ratio does not promote increased sperm competitiveness in the seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus.

    PubMed

    McNamara, Kathryn B; Robinson, Stephen P; Rosa, Márta E; Sloan, Nadia S; van Lieshout, Emile; Simmons, Leigh W

    2016-06-16

    Sperm competition risk and intensity can select for adaptations that increase male fertilisation success. Evolutionary responses are examined typically by generating increased strength of sexual selection via direct manipulation of female mating rates (by enforcing monandry or polyandry) or by alteration of adult sex ratios. Despite being a model species for sexual selection research, the effect of sexual selection intensity via adult sex-ratio manipulation on male investment strategies has not been investigated in the seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus. We imposed 32 generations of experimental evolution on 10 populations of beetles by manipulating adult sex ratio. Contrary to predictions, males evolving in male-biased populations did not increase their testes and accessory gland size. This absence of divergence in ejaculate investment was also reflected in the fact that males from male-biased populations were not more successful in either preventing females from remating, or in competing directly for fertilisations. These populations already demonstrate divergence in mating behaviour and immunity, suggesting sufficient generations have passed to allow divergence in physiological and behavioural traits. We propose several explanations for the absence of divergence in sperm competitiveness among our populations and the pitfalls of using sex ratio manipulation to assess evolutionary responses to sexual selection intensity.

  9. Long-term trends of bloater (Coregonus hoyi) recruitment in Lake Michigan: evidence for the effect of sex ratio

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bunnell, David B.; Madenjian, Charles P.; Croley, Thomas E.

    2006-01-01

    Long-term population trends are generally explained by factors extrinsic (e.g., climate, predation) rather than intrinsic (e.g., genetics, maternal effects) to the population. We sought to understand the long-term population dynamics of an important native Lake Michigan prey fish, the bloaterCoregonus hoyi. Over a 38-year time series, three 10- to 15-year phases occurred (poor, excellent, and then poor recruitment) without high interannual variability within a particular phase. We used dynamic linear models to determine whether extrinsic (winter and spring temperature, alewife predator densities) or intrinsic factors (population egg production, adult condition, adult sex ratio) explained variation in recruitment. Models that included population egg production, sex ratio, winter and spring temperature, and adult bloater condition explained the most variation. Of these variables, sex ratio, which ranged from 47% to 97% female across the time series, consistently had the greatest effect: recruitment declined with female predominance. Including biomass of adult alewife predators in the models did not explain additional variation. Overall our results indicated that bloater recruitment is linked to its sex ratio, but understanding the underlying mechanisms will require additional efforts.

  10. Dopamine D4 receptor polymorphism and sex interact to predict children’s affective knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Ben-Israel, Sharon; Uzefovsky, Florina; Ebstein, Richard P.; Knafo-Noam, Ariel

    2015-01-01

    Affective knowledge, the ability to understand others’ emotional states, is considered to be a fundamental part in efficient social interaction. Affective knowledge can be seen as related to cognitive empathy, and in the framework of theory of mind (ToM) as affective ToM. Previous studies found that cognitive empathy and ToM are heritable, yet little is known regarding the specific genes involved in individual variability in affective knowledge. Investigating the genetic basis of affective knowledge is important for understanding brain mechanisms underlying socio-cognitive abilities. The 7-repeat (7R) allele within the third exon of the dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4-III) has been a focus of interest, due to accumulated knowledge regarding its relevance to individual differences in social behavior. A recent study suggests that an interaction between the DRD4-III polymorphism and sex is associated with cognitive empathy among adults. We aimed to examine the same association in two childhood age groups. Children (N = 280, age 3.5 years, N = 283, age 5 years) participated as part of the Longitudinal Israel Study of Twins. Affective knowledge was assessed through children’s responses to an illustrated story describing different emotional situations, told in a laboratory setting. The findings suggest a significant interaction between sex and the DRD4-III polymorphism, replicated in both age groups. Boy carriers of the 7R allele had higher affective knowledge scores than girls, whereas in the absence of the 7R there was no significant sex effect on affective knowledge. The results support the importance of DRD4-III polymorphism and sex differences to social development. Possible explanations for differences from adult findings are discussed, as are pathways for future studies. PMID:26157401

  11. Catechol-O-methyltransferase val(158)met Polymorphism Interacts with Sex to Affect Face Recognition Ability.

    PubMed

    Lamb, Yvette N; McKay, Nicole S; Singh, Shrimal S; Waldie, Karen E; Kirk, Ian J

    2016-01-01

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) val158met polymorphism affects the breakdown of synaptic dopamine. Consequently, this polymorphism has been associated with a variety of neurophysiological and behavioral outcomes. Some of the effects have been found to be sex-specific and it appears estrogen may act to down-regulate the activity of the COMT enzyme. The dopaminergic system has been implicated in face recognition, a form of cognition for which a female advantage has typically been reported. This study aimed to investigate potential joint effects of sex and COMT genotype on face recognition. A sample of 142 university students was genotyped and assessed using the Faces I subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale - Third Edition (WMS-III). A significant two-way interaction between sex and COMT genotype on face recognition performance was found. Of the male participants, COMT val homozygotes and heterozygotes had significantly lower scores than met homozygotes. Scores did not differ between genotypes for female participants. While male val homozygotes had significantly lower scores than female val homozygotes, no sex differences were observed in the heterozygotes and met homozygotes. This study contributes to the accumulating literature documenting sex-specific effects of the COMT polymorphism by demonstrating a COMT-sex interaction for face recognition, and is consistent with a role for dopamine in face recognition.

  12. Catechol-O-methyltransferase val158met Polymorphism Interacts with Sex to Affect Face Recognition Ability

    PubMed Central

    Lamb, Yvette N.; McKay, Nicole S.; Singh, Shrimal S.; Waldie, Karen E.; Kirk, Ian J.

    2016-01-01

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) val158met polymorphism affects the breakdown of synaptic dopamine. Consequently, this polymorphism has been associated with a variety of neurophysiological and behavioral outcomes. Some of the effects have been found to be sex-specific and it appears estrogen may act to down-regulate the activity of the COMT enzyme. The dopaminergic system has been implicated in face recognition, a form of cognition for which a female advantage has typically been reported. This study aimed to investigate potential joint effects of sex and COMT genotype on face recognition. A sample of 142 university students was genotyped and assessed using the Faces I subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale – Third Edition (WMS-III). A significant two-way interaction between sex and COMT genotype on face recognition performance was found. Of the male participants, COMT val homozygotes and heterozygotes had significantly lower scores than met homozygotes. Scores did not differ between genotypes for female participants. While male val homozygotes had significantly lower scores than female val homozygotes, no sex differences were observed in the heterozygotes and met homozygotes. This study contributes to the accumulating literature documenting sex-specific effects of the COMT polymorphism by demonstrating a COMT-sex interaction for face recognition, and is consistent with a role for dopamine in face recognition. PMID:27445927

  13. Marriage season, promptness of successful pregnancy and first-born sex ratio in a historical natural fertility population - evidence for sex-dependent early pregnancy loss?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nonaka, K.; Desjardins, Bertrand; Charbonneau, Hubert; Légaré, Jacques; Miura, Teiji

    We investigated population-based vital records of the seventeenth and eighteenth century French Canadian population to assess the effects of marriage season on the outcome of the first births under natural fertility conditions (n=21,698 marriages). Promptness of the first successful conception after marriage differed according to marriage season; the proportion of marriages with a marriage-first birth interval of 8.0-10.0 months was lowest (34%) for marriages in August-October (P=0.001). Although the male/female sex ratio of the babies born with an interval of 8.0-10.0 months was generally higher (1.10) than those with an interval of 10.0-24.0 months (1.05), the marriages in August-October resulted in a significantly reduced sex ratio (0.96) among only the prompt conceptions (P=0.026). We discuss whether this seasonal reduction of the sex ratio could be partly explained by a clustered pregnancy loss of male zygotes in early pregnancy.

  14. The human operational sex ratio: effects of marriage, concealed ovulation, and menopause on mate competition.

    PubMed

    Marlowe, Frank W; Berbesque, J Colette

    2012-12-01

    Among mammals, male-male competition for sexual access to females frequently involves fighting. Larger body size gives males an advantage in fighting, which explains why males tend to be larger than females in many species, including anthropoid primates. Mitani et al. derived a formula to measure the operational sex ratio (OSR) to reflect the degree of male-male competition using the number of reproductively available males to females who are cycling and capable of conceiving. The OSR should predict the degree of sexual dimorphism in body mass-at least if male-male competition involves much fighting or threatening. Here, we use hunter-gatherer demographic data and the Mitani et al. formula to calculate the human OSR. We show that humans have a much lower degree of body mass sexual dimorphism than is predicted by our OSR. We suggest this is because human competition rarely involves fighting. In human hunter-gatherer societies, differences in the ages of marriage have an impact on competition in that the age of males at first marriage is younger when there is a lower percentage of married men with two or more wives, and older when there is a higher percentage of married men with two or more wives. We discuss the implications of this for females, along with the effects of two key life history traits that influence the OSR, concealed ovulation and menopause. While menopause decreases the number of reproductively available females to males and thus increases male-male competition, concealed ovulation decreases male-male competition. Finally, we discuss the importance of mostly monogamous mate bonds in human evolution.

  15. Sex ratio of congenital abnormalities in the function of maternal age: a population-based study.

    PubMed

    Csermely, Gyula; Urbán, Robert; Czeizel, Andrew E; Veszprémi, Béla

    2015-05-01

    Maternal age effect is well-known in the origin of numerical chromosomal aberrations and some isolated congenital abnormalities (CAs). The sex ratio (SR), i.e. number of males divided by the number of males and females together, of most CAs deviates from the SR of newborn population (0.51). The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the possible association of maternal age with the SR of isolated CAs in a population-based large dataset of the Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities, 1980-1996. First, SR of 24 CA entities/groups was estimated in 21,494 patients with isolated CA. In the next step SR of different maternal age groups was compared to the mean SR of the given CA-groups. The SR of four CA-groups showed some deviation in certain maternal age groups. Cases with anencephaly had female excess in young mothers (<25 years). Cases with skull's CAs particularly craniosynostosis had a male excess in cases born to women over 30 years. Two other CA groups (cleft lip ± palate and valvar pulmonic stenosis within the group of right-sided obstructive defect of heart) had significant deviation in SR of certain maternal age groups from the mean SR, but these deviations were not harmonized with joining age groups and thus were considered as a chance effect due to multiple testing. In conclusion, our study did not suggest that in general SR of isolated CAs might be modified by certain maternal age groups with some exception such as anencephaly and craniosynostosis.

  16. Superparasitism Drives Heritable Symbiont Epidemiology and Host Sex Ratio in a Wasp

    PubMed Central

    Parratt, Steven R.; Frost, Crystal L.; Schenkel, Martijn A.; Rice, Annabel

    2016-01-01

    Heritable microbial symbionts have profound impacts upon the biology of their arthropod hosts. Whilst our current understanding of the dynamics of these symbionts is typically cast within a framework of vertical transmission only, horizontal transmission has been observed in a number of cases. For instance, several symbionts can transmit horizontally when their parasitoid hosts share oviposition patches with uninfected conspecifics, a phenomenon called superparasitism. Despite this, horizontal transmission, and the host contact structures that facilitates it, have not been considered in heritable symbiont epidemiology. Here, we tested for the importance of host contact, and resulting horizontal transmission, for the epidemiology of a male-killing heritable symbiont (Arsenophonus nasoniae) in parasitoid wasp hosts. We observed that host contact through superparasitism is necessary for this symbiont’s spread in populations of its primary host Nasonia vitripennis, such that when superparasitism rates are high, A. nasoniae almost reaches fixation, causes highly female biased population sex ratios and consequently causes local host extinction. We further tested if natural interspecific variation in superparasitism behaviours predicted symbiont dynamics among parasitoid species. We found that A. nasoniae was maintained in laboratory populations of a closely related set of Nasonia species, but declined in other, more distantly related pteromalid hosts. The natural proclivity of a species to superparasitise was the primary factor determining symbiont persistence. Our results thus indicate that host contact behaviour is a key factor for heritable microbe dynamics when horizontal transmission is possible, and that ‘reproductive parasite’ phenotypes, such as male-killing, may be of secondary importance in the dynamics of such symbiont infections. PMID:27322651

  17. CHANGES IN SEX RATIO AT BIRTH IN CHINA: A DECOMPOSITION BY BIRTH ORDER.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Quanbao; Yu, Qun; Yang, Shucai; Sánchez-Barricarte, Jesús J

    2016-11-11

    The long-term high sex ratio at birth (SRB) is a serious issue in China. In this study, changes in SRB were decomposed into variations in SRB by birth order and compositional changes in female births by birth order. With SRB data from China's surveys and censuses, and SRB data from South Korea's vital registration and censuses from 1980-2015, the trend and decomposition results in SRB were compared between China and South Korea, and the decomposition results for urban and rural SRBs, and for provinces, are presented. In both China and South Korea the rise in the SRB was driven by a rise in the SRB at all birth orders, which was only partly counteracted by the change in the distribution of births by order. The overall rise in the SRB ended when there was a decline in the SRB at second birth or above in South Korea. In China the total effect of variations in SRB of all birth orders increased more for the rural population than for the urban population before 2000, resulting in a higher total SRB for rural than urban population. After 2000, the total effect of variations in SRB of all birth orders lowered the total SRB for the rural population, whereas the effect of compositional change increased the total SRB, leading to a very slight rise in the total SRB for the rural population. At the province level, there was no spatial autocorrelation for the changes in total SRB by province, the total effect of variations in SRB of all birth orders or the effect of compositional change. The effect of variations in SRB by birth order accounted for the majority of changes in total SRB in most provinces.

  18. Conflict between feminizing sex ratio distorters and an autosomal masculinizing gene in the terrestrial isopod Armadillidium vulgare Latr.

    PubMed

    Rigaud, T; Juchault, P

    1993-02-01

    Female sex determination in the pill bug Armadillidium vulgare is frequently under the control of feminizing parasitic sex factors (PSF). One of these PSF is an intracytoplasmic Wolbachia-like bacterium (F), while the other (f) is suspected of being an F-bacterial DNA sequence unstably integrated into the host genome. In most wild populations harboring PSF, all individuals are genetic males (ZZ), and female phenotypes occur only due to the presence of PSF which overrides the male determinant carried by the Z chromosome (females are thus ZZ +F or ZZ +f neo-females). Here we report the effects of the conflict between these PSF and a dominant autosomal masculinizing gene (M) on phenotypes. The M gene is able to override the feminizing effect of the f sex factor and, consequently, male sex may be restored. However, M is unable to restore male sex when competing with the F bacteria. It seems that the main effect of M is to delay the expression of F bacteria slightly, inducing intersex phenotypes. Most of these intersexes are functional females, able to transmit the masculinizing gene. The frequency of M and its effects on the sex ratio in wild populations are discussed.

  19. Sex ratio following preconception low-dose aspirin in women with prior pregnancy loss

    PubMed Central

    Radin, Rose G.; Mumford, Sunni L.; Silver, Robert M.; Lesher, Laurie L.; Galai, Noya; Faraggi, David; Wactawski-Wende, Jean; Townsend, Janet M.; Lynch, Anne M.; Simhan, Hyagriv N.; Sjaarda, Lindsey A.; Perkins, Neil J.; Zarek, Shvetha M.; Schliep, Karen C.; Schisterman, Enrique F.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND. Several lines of evidence suggest that male embryos may have greater vulnerability than female embryos to disordered inflammation; therefore, antiinflammatory drugs, such as low-dose aspirin (LDA), may alter the sex ratio. Here, we assessed the effect of LDA on male live birth and male offspring, incorporating pregnancy losses (n = 56) via genetic assessment, as part of a parallel-design, block-randomized, placebo-controlled trial of preconception LDA. METHODS. Participants (615 treated with LDA, 613 treated with placebo) ranged in age from 18 to 40 years of age, with 1 to 2 prior pregnancy losses. We estimated the intention-to-treat (ITT) risk ratio (RR) and 95% CI and assessed interaction with baseline high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) serum concentration — a marker of systemic inflammation. RESULTS. Among the 1,078 women who completed follow-up (535 treated with LDA, 543 treated with placebo), the male live birth ITT RR equaled 1.31 (95% CI: 1.07–1.59). With increasing tertile of hsCRP, the proportion of males at birth decreased in the placebo group, and the effect of LDA on male live birth increased (first tertile: 48% male in LDA vs. 52% in placebo, ITT RR = 0.97, 95% CI: 0.70–1.35; second tertile: 57% male in LDA vs. 43% in placebo, ITT RR = 1.36, 95% CI: 0.98–1.90; third tertile: 53% male in LDA vs. 35% in placebo, ITT RR = 1.70, 95% CI: 1.13–2.57; P interaction = 0.03). Analysis of pregnancy with male offspring yielded similar results. CONCLUSION. Initiation of LDA prior to conception restored numbers of male live births and pregnancy with male offspring among women with 1 to 2 prior pregnancy losses. Moreover, our data suggest that LDA modulates inflammation that would otherwise reduce the conception or survival of male embryos. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00467363. FUNDING. Intramural Research Program of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of

  20. The Prevalence and Correlates of Physical and Sexual Violence Affecting Female Sex Workers in Swaziland.

    PubMed

    Berger, Blair O; Grosso, Ashley; Adams, Darrin; Ketende, Sosthenes; Sithole, Bhekie; Mabuza, Xolile S; Mavimbela, Mpumelelo J; Baral, Stefan

    2016-02-12

    Female sex workers (FSW) have a heightened vulnerability to violence and negative sexual/reproductive health outcomes. Limited research has examined how experiencing physical and sexual violence (PSV) mediates risk for poor health outcomes among FSW in Swaziland. The present analyses aim to contribute to literature linking violence with poor health outcomes, high-risk behaviors, and reduced health service-seeking among FSW. Data were analyzed from a cross-sectional study conducted in Swaziland between July and September 2011 with 325 adult women who reported exchanging sex for money, goods, or favors in the last 12 months, recruited through respondent-driven sampling (RDS). Logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between PSV and ancillary violence/abuse exposures, risk behaviors, and sexual/reproductive and mental health outcomes. PSV was conceptualized as either ever having been beaten up as a result of selling sex or ever being forced to have sex since the age of 18, or both. Prevalence of PSV in this sample was 59.0% in crude estimation, and 48.4% (95% confidence interval [CI]:[39.2,57.6]) with RDS weighting. Separate RDS-weighted estimates of being beaten up as a result of sex work and ever being forced to have sex were 32.4% (95%CI=[24.4,40.4]) and 33.1% (95%CI =[25.0,41.2%]), respectively. Experiencing PSV was associated with being blackmailed (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]= 1.93, 95%CI= [1.07,3.52]), non-injection drug use in the last 12 months (aOR= 1.84, 95%CI= [1.02,3.33]), and feeling afraid to seek health services as a result of selling sex (aOR = 1.74, 95%CI= [1.01,2.99]). Given these findings, violence prevention strategies should be prioritized in programs that address Swazi FSW health, empowerment, and safety.

  1. Sex ratio in normal and disomic sperm: Evidence that the extra chromosome 21 preferentially segregates with the Y chromosome

    SciTech Connect

    Griffin, D.K.; Millie, E.A.; Hassold, T.J. |

    1996-11-01

    In humans, deviations from a 1:1 male:female ratio have been identified in both chromosomally normal and trisomic live births: among normal newborns there is a slight excess of males, among trisomy 18 live borns a large excess of females, and among trisomy 21 live borns an excess of males. These differences could arise from differential production of or fertilization by Y- or X-bearing sperm or from selection against male or female conceptions. To examine the proportion of Y- and X- bearing sperm in normal sperm and in sperm disomic for chromosomes 18 or 21, we used three-color FISH (to the X and Y and either chromosome 18 or chromosome 21) to analyze > 300,000 sperm from 24 men. In apparently normal sperm, the sex ratio was nearly 1:1 (148,074 Y-bearing to 148,657 X-bearing sperm), and the value was not affected by the age of the donor. Certain of the donors, however, had significant excesses of Y- or X-bearing sperm. In disomy 18 sperm, there were virtually identical numbers of Y- and X-bearing sperm; thus, the excess of females in trisomy 18 presumably is due to selection against male trisomic conceptions. In contrast, we observed 69 Y-bearing and 44 X-bearing sperm disomic for chromosome 21. This is consistent with previous molecular studies, which have identified an excess of males among paternally derived cases of trisomy 21, and suggests that some of the excess of males among Down syndrome individuals is attributable to a nondisjunctional mechanism in which the extra chromosome 21 preferentially segregates with the Y chromosome. 17 refs., 2 tabs.

  2. Sex Ratio and Body Mass of Adult Herbivorous Beetles Depend on Time of Occurrence and Light Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Łukowski, Adrian; Mąderek, Ewa; Giertych, Marian J.; Karolewski, Piotr

    2015-01-01

    Body mass and sex ratio (F/M) of folivorous insects are easily measured parameters that are commonly used to assess the effect of food quality, living conditions, and preferences on the selection of favourable sites for offspring. A study was conducted on the polyphagous beetle, Gonioctena quinquepunctata (a pest of the native Prunus padus and alien P. serotina) and on the monophagous beetle, Altica brevicollis coryletorum (a pest of Corylus avellana). Both species have a similar life cycle with emergence of current-year adults in summer, and reproduction of 1-year-old insects in spring. A. brevicollis coryletorum feeds primarily on sunlit shrubs, while G. quinquepunctata prefers shaded leaves. The present study assessed the effect of time of occurrence (insect age) on body mass in both sexes and on the sex ratio F/M, taking into account the influence of light conditions associated with their favoured food source (sunlit vs. shaded leaves). We hypothesized that a change in body mass in current-year insects would be determined by the amount of consumed food, while the sex ratio would be stable, when in 1-year-old insects females would die shortly after oviposition, while males would be active for a prolonged time. Results confirmed the hypothesis that changes in mass of current-year beetles was determined by the amount of food intake. We also found that in spring, unfertilized females coexist with fertilized ones and that the latter females live for some time after oviposition; resulting in fluctuations of the mean mass for females. In both species, 1-year-old beetles were heavier than current-year. The preference of A. brevicollis coryletorum for sunlit leaves results in a higher body weight than in G. quinquepunctata in both seasons. The data are consistent and indicate seasonal fluctuations in body mass and changes in the sex ratio in 1-year-old beetles, due to the entrance into their reproductive period. PMID:26657564

  3. Regulation of gonadal sex ratios and pubertal development by the thyroid endocrine system in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sharma, Prakash; Patino, Reynaldo

    2013-01-01

    We examined associations between thyroid condition, gonadal sex and pubertal development in zebrafish. Seventy-two-hour postfertilization larvae were reared in untreated medium or in the presence of goitrogens (sodium perchlorate, 0.82 mM; methimazole, 0.15 and 0.3 mM) or thyroxine (1 and 10 nM) for 30 days. Thyrocyte height, gonadal sex and gonadal development were histologically determined at 45 and 60 days postfertilization (dpf). Thyrocyte hypertrophy, an index of hypothyroidism, was observed at 45 and 60 dpf in perchlorate-treated but only at 45 dpf in methimazole-treated fish. Similarly, gonadal sex ratios were biased toward ovaries relative to control animals at 45 and 60 dpf in perchlorate-treated fish but only at 45 dpf in methimazole-treated fish. Gonadal sex ratios were biased toward testes at 45 and 60 dpf in thyroxine-treated fish. Spermatogenesis was delayed in testes from goitrogen-treated fish at 60 dpf relative to control values, but was unaffected in testes from thyroxine-treated individuals. Oogenesis seemed to be nonspecifically delayed in all treatments relative to control at 60 dpf. This study confirmed the previously reported association between hypothyroid condition and ovarian-skewed ratios, and hyperthyroid condition and testicular-skewed ratios, and also showed that male pubertal development is specifically delayed by experimental hypothyroidism. The simultaneous recovery from the hypothyroid and ovary-inducing effects of methimazole by 60 dpf (27 days post-treatment) suggests that the ovary-skewing effect of goitrogens is reversible when thyroid conditions return to basal levels before developmental commitment of gonadal sex. Conversely, the masculinizing effect of hyperthyroidism seems to be stable and perhaps permanent.

  4. Regulation of gonadal sex ratios and pubertal development by the thyroid endocrine system in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Sharma, Prakash; Patiño, Reynaldo

    2013-04-01

    We examined associations between thyroid condition, gonadal sex and pubertal development in zebrafish. Seventy-two-hour postfertilization larvae were reared in untreated medium or in the presence of goitrogens (sodium perchlorate, 0.82 mM; methimazole, 0.15 and 0.3 mM) or thyroxine (1 and 10 nM) for 30 days. Thyrocyte height, gonadal sex and gonadal development were histologically determined at 45 and 60 days postfertilization (dpf). Thyrocyte hypertrophy, an index of hypothyroidism, was observed at 45 and 60 dpf in perchlorate-treated but only at 45 dpf in methimazole-treated fish. Similarly, gonadal sex ratios were biased toward ovaries relative to control animals at 45 and 60 dpf in perchlorate-treated fish but only at 45 dpf in methimazole-treated fish. Gonadal sex ratios were biased toward testes at 45 and 60 dpf in thyroxine-treated fish. Spermatogenesis was delayed in testes from goitrogen-treated fish at 60 dpf relative to control values, but was unaffected in testes from thyroxine-treated individuals. Oogenesis seemed to be nonspecifically delayed in all treatments relative to control at 60 dpf. This study confirmed the previously reported association between hypothyroid condition and ovarian-skewed ratios, and hyperthyroid condition and testicular-skewed ratios, and also showed that male pubertal development is specifically delayed by experimental hypothyroidism. The simultaneous recovery from the hypothyroid and ovary-inducing effects of methimazole by 60 dpf (27 days post-treatment) suggests that the ovary-skewing effect of goitrogens is reversible when thyroid conditions return to basal levels before developmental commitment of gonadal sex. Conversely, the masculinizing effect of hyperthyroidism seems to be stable and perhaps permanent.

  5. Proportion of mated females, female mating experience, and sex ratio of the osmund sawfly, Strongylogaster osmundae (Hymenoptera, Tenthredinidae).

    PubMed

    Otsuka, Kimio; Koshio, Chiharu

    1999-07-01

    The proportion of mated females (M f) of the osmund sawfly, Strongylogaster osmundae, and the sex ratio of the eggs they deposited (r, proportion of males) were estimated in the wild by collecting egg masses. The proportion of mated females at oviposition varied from 0 to 1.0. M f was high (often 1.0) among the females that emerged after hibernation, and lower in the subsequent generations. Mated females of the hibernated generation deposited equal numbers of eggs of both sexes. Mated females of the first and subsequent generations produced more female than male eggs. These results qualitatively agreed with the prediction provided by an evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) model (if M f < 1 then r < 0.5). However, the quantitative prediction provided by the model [M f (1 - r) = 0.5] was not always observed in the wild, especially where the population density and M f were high. The value of r was often lower than the predicted one. The following simple hypothesis was tested by experimentation: "Females that encounter males frequently estimate the proportion of mated females to be high and deposit eggs with a 1:1 sex ratio." However, results did not support this hypothesis. Females that copulated soon after emergence and were courted by males two or more times did not show a higher offspring sex ratio than those which mated 1 or 2 days after emergence and experienced no other sexual encounter. Another mechanism for determination of r is suggested, and the reason why the population sex ratio of sawflies is often female-biased (r < 0.5) is discussed.

  6. Sex Ratio and Body Mass of Adult Herbivorous Beetles Depend on Time of Occurrence and Light Conditions.

    PubMed

    Łukowski, Adrian; Mąderek, Ewa; Giertych, Marian J; Karolewski, Piotr

    2015-01-01

    Body mass and sex ratio (F/M) of folivorous insects are easily measured parameters that are commonly used to assess the effect of food quality, living conditions, and preferences on the selection of favourable sites for offspring. A study was conducted on the polyphagous beetle, Gonioctenaquinquepunctata (a pest of the native Prunus padus and alien P. serotina) and on the monophagous beetle, Alticabrevicollis coryletorum (a pest of Corylus avellana). Both species have a similar life cycle with emergence of current-year adults in summer, and reproduction of 1-year-old insects in spring. A. brevicollis coryletorum feeds primarily on sunlit shrubs, while G. quinquepunctata prefers shaded leaves. The present study assessed the effect of time of occurrence(insect age) on body mass in both sexes and on the sex ratio F/M, taking into account the influence of light conditions associated with their favoured food source (sunlit vs. shaded leaves). We hypothesized that a change in body mass in current-year insects would be determined by the amount of consumed food, while the sex ratio would be stable, when in 1-year-old insects females would die shortly after oviposition, while males would be active for a prolonged time. Results confirmed the hypothesis that changes in mass of current-year beetles was determined by the amount of food intake. We also found that in spring, unfertilized females coexist with fertilized ones and that the latter females live for some time after oviposition; resulting in fluctuations of the mean mass for females. In both species, 1-year-old beetles were heavier than current-year. The preference of A. brevicollis coryletorum for sunlit leaves results in a higher body weight than in G. quinquepunctata in both seasons. The data are consistent and indicate seasonal fluctuations in body mass and changes in the sex ratio in 1-year-old beetles, due to the entrance into their reproductive period.

  7. Do scientific theories affect men’s evaluations of sex crimes?

    PubMed Central

    DAR-NIMROD, ILAN; HEINE, STEVEN J.; CHEUNG, BENJAMIN Y.; SCHALLER, MARK

    2012-01-01

    Evolutionary Psychology accounts of gender differences in sexual behaviors in general and men’s sexual aggression in particular, have 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 to 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. PMID:21678431

  8. Egg laying pattern, egg weight, body weight at hatch, and sex ratio bias relative to oviposition time of young-and mid-age broiler breeders.

    PubMed

    Zakaria, A H; Omar, O H

    2013-09-01

    Two experiments were conducted to determine oviposition pattern and the effect of oviposition time on egg weight, body weight at hatch, and sex ratio of hatched chickens. In Experiment 1, eggs were collected from young and mid-age broiler flocks for 6 consecutive days at hourly intervals between 0400 and 2000h. In Experiment 2, eggs were categorized to represent eggs where oviposition occurred early, middle and late in the clutch (later in the day). These eggs were incubated to determine body weight at hatch and sex ratio of hatched chickens relative to oviposition time. Time of oviposition was affected by age. For the young flock, the percentage of ovipositions occurring before the 1100h was 79%. In contrast to the young flock, the percentage of ovipositions occurring before the 1100h in the mid-age flock was less (68%; P<0.01). Furthermore, for the mid-age flock, the percentage of ovipositions occurring from 1200 to 1700h was greater (P<0.01) at 32% in comparison to that of the younger flock at 21%. Egg weights when oviposition occurred earlier in the day were greater (P<0.01) than when oviposition occurred in the middle and later in the clutch (later in the day). Similarly, body weight at hatch of chicks from eggs where oviposition occurred earlier in the day was heavier than when oviposition occurred in the middle and later in the clutch (later in the day).With hatching of the eggs from hens when ovipositions occurred earlier in the day, there was a female sex bias. Differences in egg weights, body weight at hatch, and sex ratio due to time of oviposition suggest that oviposition time together with incubation conditions should be considered for obtaining greater uniformity and growth of chickens.

  9. Neonatal handling affects learning, reversal learning and antioxidant enzymes activities in a sex-specific manner in rats.

    PubMed

    Noschang, Cristie; Krolow, Rachel; Arcego, Danusa Mar; Toniazzo, Ana Paula; Huffell, Ana Paula; Dalmaz, Carla

    2012-06-01

    Early life experiences have profound influences on behavior and neurochemical parameters in adult life. The aim of this study is to verify neonatal handling-induced sex specific differences on learning and reversal learning as well as oxidative stress parameters in the prefrontal cortex and striatum of adult rats. Litters of rats were non-handled or handled (10 min/day, days 1-10 after birth). In adulthood, learning and reversal learning were evaluated using a Y maze associated with palatable food in male and female rats. Morris water maze reversal learning was verified in males. Oxidative stress parameters were evaluated in both genders. Male neonatal handled animals had a worse performance in the Y maze reversal learning compared to non-handled ones and no difference was observed in the water maze reversal learning task. Regarding females, neonatal handled rats had a better performance during the Y maze learning phase compared to non-handled ones. In addition, neonatal handled female animals showed a decreased SOD/CAT ratio in the PFC compared to non-handled females. We conclude that neonatal handling effects on learning and memory in adult rats are sex and task specific. The sex specific differences are also observed in the evaluation of antioxidant enzymes activities with neonatal handling affecting only females.

  10. Ratio

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, Nathan A. S.; Pownceby, Mark I.; Madsen, Ian C.; Studer, Andrew J.; Manuel, James R.; Kimpton, Justin A.

    2014-12-01

    Effects of basicity, B (CaO:SiO2 ratio) on the thermal range, concentration, and formation mechanisms of silico-ferrite of calcium and aluminum (SFCA) and SFCA-I iron ore sinter bonding phases have been investigated using an in situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction-based methodology with subsequent Rietveld refinement-based quantitative phase analysis. SFCA and SFCA-I phases are the key bonding materials in iron ore sinter, and improved understanding of the effects of processing parameters such as basicity on their formation and decomposition may assist in improving efficiency of industrial iron ore sintering operations. Increasing basicity significantly increased the thermal range of SFCA-I, from 1363 K to 1533 K (1090 °C to 1260 °C) for a mixture with B = 2.48, to ~1339 K to 1535 K (1066 °C to 1262 °C) for a mixture with B = 3.96, and to ~1323 K to 1593 K (1050 °C to 1320 °C) at B = 4.94. Increasing basicity also increased the amount of SFCA-I formed, from 18 wt pct for the mixture with B = 2.48 to 25 wt pct for the B = 4.94 mixture. Higher basicity of the starting sinter mixture will, therefore, increase the amount of SFCA-I, considered to be more desirable of the two phases. Basicity did not appear to significantly influence the formation mechanism of SFCA-I. It did, however, affect the formation mechanism of SFCA, with the decomposition of SFCA-I coinciding with the formation of a significant amount of additional SFCA in the B = 2.48 and 3.96 mixtures but only a minor amount in the highest basicity mixture. In situ neutron diffraction enabled characterization of the behavior of magnetite after melting of SFCA produced a magnetite plus melt phase assemblage.

  11. Impact of the 2011 earthquake on marriages, births and the secondary sex ratio in Japan.

    PubMed

    Hamamatsu, Yuri; Inoue, Yosuke; Watanabe, Chiho; Umezaki, Masahiro

    2014-11-01

    On 11th March 2011 a magnitude nine earthquake struck the Tohoku region of Japan. The earthquake resulted in a large tsunami and an accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Previous studies have suggested that demographic indices relating to reproduction and marriage change after such massive disasters (e.g. large earthquakes). The present study investigated whether the number of births, number of marriages and the secondary sex ratio (SSR) changed after the East Japan Earthquake. The monthly number of births (males and females, separately) and marriages in each prefecture in Japan from January 1997 to June 2012 were obtained from the Demographic Survey of Japan. An analysis was performed for three different geographic boundary units: the disaster-stricken area, the non-disaster-stricken area and the whole of Japan. In each unit, the numbers of births and marriages in a given month during the post-disaster period were predicted based on a regression equation estimated by the numbers of births and marriages in that month during the pre-disaster period. The numbers of observed monthly births and marriages during the post-disaster period were compared with the predicted figures. Differences between the observed and predicted numbers were determined by referring to the 95% confidence limits for the predicted mean number. The observed probability of a male birth in a given month during the post-disaster period was compared with a 95% confidence interval of a binominal distribution. In all three boundary units, the number of births was significantly lower than the predicted number by about 3-8% from nine months after the disaster, while the number of marriages in October 2011 was significantly lower than the predicted number by about 25-28%. In October 2011, the SSR in the whole of Japan had decreased from 104.8 (the predicted SSR) to 102.9. The number of births and marriages and the SSR decreased in Japan after the East Japan Earthquake irrespective of locality.

  12. BPA exposure during in vitro oocyte maturation results in dose-dependent alterations to embryo development rates, apoptosis rate, sex ratio and gene expression.

    PubMed

    Ferris, Jacqueline; Mahboubi, Kiana; MacLusky, Neil; King, W Allan; Favetta, Laura A

    2016-01-01

    Alterations in the oocyte's environment can negatively affect embryo development. Oocyte quality, which can determine embryonic viability, is easily perturbed, thus factors affecting normal oocyte maturation are a concern. Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disrupting chemical that elicits a variety of reproductive effects. BPA has previously been found to disrupt meiosis, however the embryonic effects in mammals are not well documented. Here, bovine oocytes were matured in vitro with and without BPA treatment. Resulting embryos exhibited decreased embryonic development rates, increased apoptosis, and a skewed sex ratio. Gene expression in blastocysts was not altered, whereas treatment with 15ng/mL BPA resulted in increased expression of several of the genes studies, however this increase was largely due to a vehicle effect. BPA exposure during oocyte maturation in vitro can therefore, in a dose-dependent way, decrease oocyte and embryo quality and developmental potential and affect gene expression of developmentally important transcripts.

  13. IVF affects embryonic development in a sex-biased manner in mice.

    PubMed

    Tan, Kun; Wang, Zhuqing; Zhang, Zhenni; An, Lei; Tian, Jianhui

    2016-04-01

    Increasing evidence indicates that IVF (IVF includes in vitro fertilization and culture) embryos and babies are associated with a series of health complications, and some of them show sex-dimorphic patterns. Therefore, we hypothesized that IVF procedures have sex-biased or even sex-specific effects on embryonic and fetal development. Here, we demonstrate that IVF-induced side effects show significant sexual dimorphic patterns from the pre-implantation to the prenatal stage. During the pre-implantation stage, female IVF embryos appear to be more vulnerable to IVF-induced effects, including an increased percentage of apoptosis (7.22 ± 1.94 vs 0.71 ± 0.76, P<0.01), and dysregulated expression of representative sex-dimorphic genes (Xist, Hprt, Pgk1 and Hsp70). During the mid-gestation stage, IVF males had a higher survival rate than IVF females at E13.5 (male:female=1.33:1), accompanied with a female-biased pregnancy loss. In addition, while both IVF males and females had reduced placental vasculogenesis/angiogenesis, the compensatory placental overgrowth was more evident in IVF males. During the late-gestation period, IVF fetuses had a higher sex ratio (male:female=1.48:1) at E19.5, and both male and female IVF placentas showed overgrowth. After birth, IVF males grew faster than their in vivo (IVO) counterparts, while IVF females showed a similar growth pattern with IVO females. The present study provides a new insight into understanding IVF-induced health complications during embryonic and fetal development. By understanding and minimizing these sex-biased effects of the IVF process, the health of IVF-conceived babies may be improved in the future.

  14. Developmental and sex-related differences in preschoolers' affective decision making.

    PubMed

    Heilman, Renata M; Miu, Andrei C; Benga, Oana

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated developmental and sex-related differences in affective decision making, using a two-deck version of Children's Gambling Task administered to 3- and 4-year-old children. The main findings were that 4-year-old children displayed better decision-making performance than 3-year-olds. This effect was independent of developmental changes in inductive reasoning, language, and working memory. There were also sex differences in decision-making performance, which were apparent only in 3-year-old children and favored girls. Moreover, age predicted awareness of task and the correlation between the latter and decision-making performance was significant, but only in 4-year-old children. This study thus indicates that there is a remarkable developmental leap in affective decision making, whose effects are apparent around the age of 4, which according to our results, also marks the age when the correlation of declarative knowledge and decision-making performance becomes significant.

  15. Clover root exudate produces male-biased sex ratios and accelerates male metamorphic timing in wood frogs

    PubMed Central

    Lambert, Max R.

    2015-01-01

    In amphibians, abnormal metamorph sex ratios and sexual development have almost exclusively been considered in response to synthetic compounds like pesticides or pharmaceuticals. However, endocrine-active plant chemicals (i.e. phytoestrogens) are commonly found in agricultural and urban waterways hosting frog populations with deviant sexual development. Yet the effects of these compounds on amphibian development remain predominantly unexplored. Legumes, like clover, are common in agricultural fields and urban yards and exude phytoestrogen mixtures from their roots. These root exudates serve important ecological functions and may also be a source of phytoestrogens in waterways. I show that clover root exudate produces male-biased sex ratios and accelerates male metamorphosis relative to females in low and intermediate doses of root exudate. My results indicate that root exudates are a potential source of contaminants impacting vertebrate development and that humans may be cultivating sexual abnormalities in wildlife by actively managing certain plant species. PMID:27019728

  16. Germ-line origins of mutation in families with hemophilia B: the sex ratio varies with the type of mutation.

    PubMed Central

    Ketterling, R P; Vielhaber, E; Bottema, C D; Schaid, D J; Cohen, M P; Sexauer, C L; Sommer, S S

    1993-01-01

    Previous epidemiological and biochemical studies have generated conflicting estimates of the sex ratio of mutation. Direct genomic sequencing in combination with haplotype analysis extends previous analyses by allowing the precise mutation to be determined in a given family. From analysis of the factor IX gene of 260 consecutive families with hemophilia B, we report the germ-line origin of mutation in 25 families. When combined with 14 origins of mutation reported by others and with 4 origins previously reported by us, a total of 25 occur in the female germ line, and 18 occur in the male germ line. The excess of germ-line origins in females does not imply an overall excess mutation rate per base pair in the female germ line. Bayesian analysis of the data indicates that the sex ratio varies with the type of mutation. The aggregate of single-base substitutions shows a male predominance of germ-line mutations (P < .002). The maximum-likelihood estimate of the male predominance is 3.5-fold. Of the single-base substitutions, transitions at the dinucleotide CpG show the largest male predominance (11-fold). In contrast to single-base substitutions, deletions display a sex ratio of unity. Analysis of the parental age at transmission of a new mutation suggests that germ-line mutations are associated with a small increase in parental age in females but little, if any, increase in males. Although direct genomic sequencing offers a general method for defining the origin of mutation in specific families, accurate estimates of the sex ratios of different mutational classes require large sample sizes and careful correction for multiple biases of ascertainment. The biases in the present data result in an underestimate of the enhancement of mutation in males. PMID:8434583

  17. Germ-line origins of mutation in families with hemophilia B: The sex ratio varies with the type of mutation

    SciTech Connect

    Ketterling, R.P.; Vielhaber, E.; Bottema, C.D.K.; Schaid, D.J.; Sommer, S.S. ); Cohen, M.P. ); Sexauer, C.L. )

    1993-01-01

    Previous epidemiological and biochemical studies have generated conflicting estimates of the sex ratio of mutation. Direct genomic sequencing in combination with haplotype analysis extends previous analyses by allowing the precise mutation to be determined in a given family. From analysis of the factor IX gene of 260 consecutive families with hemophilia B, the authors report the germ-line origin of mutation in 25 families. When combined with 14 origins of mutation reported by others and with 4 origins previously reported by them, a total of 25 occur in the female germ line, and 18 occur in the male germ line. The excess of germ-line origins in females does not imply an overall excess mutation rate per base pair in the female germ line. Bayesian analysis of the data indicates that the sex ratio varies with the type of mutation. The aggregate of single-base substitutions shows a male predominance of germ-line mutations (P < .002). The maximum-likelihood estimate of the male predominance is 3.5-fold. Of the single-base substitutions, deletions display a sex ratio of unity. Analysis of the parental age at transmission of a new mutation suggests that germ-line mutations are associated with a small increase in parental age in females but little, if any, increase in males. Although direct genomic sequencing offers a general method for defining the origin of mutation in specific families, accurate estimates of the sex ratios of different mutational classes require large sample sizes and careful correction for multiple biases of ascertainment. The biases in the present data result in an underestimate of the enhancement of mutation in males. 62 refs., 1 fig., 5 tabs.

  18. Cognitive ability correlates positively with son birth and predicts cross-cultural variation of the offspring sex ratio

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dama, Madhukar Shivajirao

    2013-06-01

    Human populations show remarkable variation in the sex ratio at birth which is believed to be related to the parental condition. In the present study, the global variation of sex ratio at birth (SRB, proportion of male offspring born) was analyzed with respect to indirect measure of condition, the intelligence quotient (IQ). IQ correlates strongly with lifespan across nations, which makes it a good indicator of health of the large populations. Relation between three standard measures of average national IQ and SRB was studied using multiple linear regression models. Average national IQ was positively correlated with SRB ( r = 0.54 to 0.57, p < 0.001). Further, IQ emerged as a powerful predictor of SRB after controlling for the effects of all the known covariates like fertility, maternal age, polygyny prevalence, wealth, son preference, latitude, low birth weight, and neonatal mortality in the regression models. These results suggest that the striking variation of offspring sex ratio across nations could be caused in part by the difference in general condition of populations.

  19. Birth order and sibling sex ratio in homosexual transsexual South Korean men: Effects of the male-preference stopping rule.

    PubMed

    Zucker, Kenneth J; Blanchard, Ray; Kim, Tae-Suk; Pae, Chi-Un; Lee, Chul

    2007-10-01

    Two biodemographic variables - birth order and sibling sex ratio - have been examined in several Western samples of homosexual transsexual men. The results have consistently shown that homosexual transsexuals have a later birth order and come from sibships with an excess of brothers to sisters; the excess of brothers has been largely driven by the number of older brothers and hence has been termed the fraternal birth order effect. In the present study the birth order and sibling sex ratio were examined in an Asian sample of 43 homosexual transsexual men and 49 heterosexual control men from South Korea. Although the transsexual men had a significantly late birth order, so did the control men. Unlike Western samples, the Korean transsexuals had a significant excess of sisters, not brothers, as did the control men, and this was largely accounted for by older sisters. It is concluded that a male-preference stopping rule governing parental reproductive behavior had a strong impact on these two biodemographic variables. Future studies that examine birth order and sibling sex ratio in non-Western samples of transsexuals need to be vigilant for the influential role of stopping rules, including the one identified in the present study.

  20. Spatial variation in adult sex ratio across multiple scales in the invasive golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata.

    PubMed

    Xu, Meng; Fang, Miao; Yang, Yexin; Dick, Jaimie T A; Song, Hongmei; Luo, Du; Mu, Xidong; Gu, Dangen; Luo, Jianren; Hu, Yinchang

    2016-04-01

    Adult sex ratio (ASR) has critical effects on behavior and life history and has implications for population demography, including the invasiveness of introduced species. ASR exhibits immense variation in nature, yet the scale dependence of this variation is rarely analyzed. In this study, using the generalized multilevel models, we investigated the variation in ASR across multiple nested spatial scales and analyzed the underlying causes for an invasive species, the golden apple snail Pomacea canaliculata. We partitioned the variance in ASR to describe the variations at different scales and then included the explanatory variables at the individual and group levels to analyze the potential causes driving the variation in ASR. We firstly determined there is a significant female-biased ASR for this species when accounting for the spatial and temporal autocorrelations of sampling. We found that, counter to nearly equal distributed variation at plot, habitat and region levels, ASR showed little variation at the town level. Temperature and precipitation at the region level were significantly positively associated with ASR, whereas the individual weight, the density characteristic, and sampling time were not significant factors influencing ASR. Our study suggests that offspring sex ratio of this species may shape the general pattern of ASR in the population level while the environmental variables at the region level translate the unbiased offspring sex ratio to the female-biased ASR. Future research should consider the implications of climate warming on the female-biased ASR of this invasive species and thus on invasion pattern.

  1. The valence of sex:Automatic affective associations in erotophilia and erotophobia

    PubMed Central

    Macapagal, Kathryn R.; Janssen, Erick

    2011-01-01

    Sexual stimuli may elicit positive and negative emotions that can impact sexual thoughts, responses, and behavior. To date, most research on affect and sexuality has focused on conscious processes and affective states. Less is known about how automatic and trait-level affective processes influence our reactions to sexual stimuli. This study used a priming task with backward masking and a trait measure of erotophobia-erotophilia – the tendency to respond to sex on a negative-to-positive continuum – to improve our understanding of the role of automatic and affective processes in response to sexual stimuli. Erotophilic individuals demonstrated automatic associations between sexual primes and positively-valenced targets, whereas erotophobic individuals classified negatively-valenced targets faster regardless of whether primes were sexual or neutral. The findings suggest that the valence of sexual stimuli can be processed automatically and is associated with trait-level affective responses to sex. Implications for research on risky sexual behavior and sexual dysfunction are discussed. PMID:21869852

  2. Sex-Biased Ratio of Avoidant/Ambivalent Attachment in Middle Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Del Giudice, Marco

    2008-01-01

    In this study, new evidence is presented of marked sex differences in the distribution of insecure attachment patterns in middle childhood. Attachment was assessed with the Manchester Child Attachment Story Task (MCAST) in a sample of 122 Italian 7-year-olds. The four-way distribution of attachment patterns was significantly unbalanced, with…

  3. Chemosterilization of male sea lampreys (Petromyzon marinus) does not affect sex pheromone release

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Siefkes, Michael J.; Bergstedt, Roger A.; Twohey, Michael B.; Li, Weiming

    2003-01-01

    Release of males sterilized by injection with bisazir is an important experimental technique in management of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), an invasive, nuisance species in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Sea lampreys are semelparous and sterilization can theoretically eliminate a male's reproductive capacity and, if the ability to obtain mates is not affected, waste the sex products of females spawning with him. It has been demonstrated that spermiating males release a sex pheromone that attracts ovulating females. We demonstrated that sterilized, spermiating males also released the pheromone and attracted ovulating females. In a two-choice maze, ovulating females increased searching behavior and spent more time in the side of the maze containing chemical stimuli from sterilized, spermiating males. This attraction response was also observed in spawning stream experiments. Also, electro-olfactograms showed that female olfactory organs were equally sensitive to chemical stimuli from sterilized and nonsterilized, spermiating males. Finally, fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry showed that extracts from water conditioned with sterilized and nonsterilized, spermiating males contained the same pheromonal molecule at similar levels. We concluded that injection of bisazir did not affect the efficacy of sex pheromone in sterilized males.

  4. Factors affecting the anthelmintic efficacy of papaya latex in vivo: host sex and intensity of infection.

    PubMed

    Luoga, Wenceslaus; Mansur, Fadlul; Lowe, Ann; Duce, Ian R; Buttle, David J; Behnke, Jerzy M

    2015-07-01

    The development of plant-derived cysteine proteinases, such as those in papaya latex, as novel anthelmintics requires that the variables affecting efficacy be fully evaluated. Here, we conducted two experiments, the first to test for any effect of host sex and the second to determine whether the intensity of the worm burden carried by mice would influence efficacy. In both experiments, we used the standard C3H mouse reference strain in which papaya latex supernatant (PLS) consistently shows >80 % reduction in Heligmosomoides bakeri worm burdens, but to broaden the perspective, we also included for comparison mice of other strains that are known to respond more poorly to treatment with papaya latex. Our results confirmed that there is a strong genetic influence affecting efficacy of PLS in removing adult worm burdens. However, there was no effect of host sex on efficacy (C3H and NIH) and no effect of infection intensity (C3H and BALB/c). These results offer optimism that plant-derived cysteine proteinases (CPs), such as these from papaya latex, can function as effective anthelmintics, with neither host sex nor infection intensity presenting further hurdles to impede their development for future medicinal and veterinary usage.

  5. Age affects over-marking of opposite-sex scent marks in meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus

    PubMed Central

    Ferkin, Michael H.

    2010-01-01

    Models of age-related effects on behavior predict that among short-lived species younger adults are more attractive and attracted to opposite-sex conspecifics than are older adults, whereas the converse is predicted for long-lived species. Although most studies of age-related effects on behavior support these predictions, they are not supported by many studies of scent marking, a behavior used in mate attraction. Over-marking, a form of scent marking, is a tactic used by many terrestrial mammals to convey information about themselves to opposite-sex conspecifics. The present study tested the hypothesis that the age of meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus; a microtine rodent, affects their over- and scent marking behaviors when they encounter the marks of opposite-sex conspecifics. Sex differences existed in the over-marking behavior of adult voles among the three different age groups that were tested. Male voles that were 5-7 mo-old and 10-12 mo-old over-marked a higher proportion of the marks of females than did 2-3 mo-old male voles. Female voles that were 2-3 mo-old, 5-7 mo-old, and 10-12 mo-old over-marked a similar number of marks deposited by male voles. Overall, the data were not consistent with models predicting the behavior of short-lived animals such as rodents when they encounter the opposite sex. The differences in over-marking displayed by older and younger adult male voles may be associated with life history tradeoffs, the likelihood that they will encounter sexually receptive females, and being selected as mates. PMID:20607141

  6. Administration of estradiol benzoate before insemination could skew secondary sex ratio toward males in Holstein dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Emadi, S R; Rezaei, A; Bolourchi, M; Hovareshti, P; Akbarinejad, V

    2014-07-01

    The present study was conducted to investigate the effect of estradiol benzoate administration before insemination on secondary sex ratio (proportion of male calves at birth) in Holstein dairy cows. Cows (n = 1,647) were randomly assigned to 2 experimental groups by parity over a 1-yr period. Cows in the control group (n = 827; 232 primiparous and 595 multiparous cows) received 2 administrations of PGF2α (500 μg) 14 d apart, started at 30 to 35 d postpartum. Twelve d after the second PGF2α injection, cows received GnRH (100 μg), followed by administration of PGF2α 7 d later. Cows in the treatment group (n = 820; 238 primiparous and 582 multiparous cows) received the same hormonal administrations as the cows in the control group. Additionally, cows in the treatment group received estradiol benzoate (1 mg) 1 d after the third PGF2α injection. Estrus detection by visual observation was started 1 d after the third PGF2α injection and after estradiol administration in the control (for 6 d) and treatment (for 36 h) groups, respectively. Artificial insemination was carried out 12 h after observation of standing estrus. Exposure of cows to heat stress at conception was determined based on temperature-humidity index. Estrus detection rate was lower in primiparous than in multiparous cows (P < 0.05), but conception rate was higher in primiparous vs multiparous cows (P < 0.05). Estradiol administration improved estrus detection rate and fertility (P < 0.05); moreover, it increased secondary sex ratio (adjusted odds ratio: 1.645; P = 0.017). Exposure to heat stress diminished heat detection rate and fertility (P < 0.05), and altered secondary sex ratio toward males (adjusted odds ratio: 2.863; P = 0.012). In conclusion, the present study revealed that estradiol administration before insemination could improve fertility and increase the probability of calves being male in Holstein dairy cows. Moreover, the results showed that cows exposed to heat stress around

  7. Evaluation of the pair-culture effect in Ophryotrocha puerilis (Polychaeta: Dorvilleidae). I. Pair-culture effect and sex ratio

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kegel, B.; Pfannenstiel, H.-D.

    1983-06-01

    Pairs and larger groups of female Ophryotrocha puerilis puerilis were formed from formerly isolated specimens. Neither the diameter of the oocytes present in the coelomic fluid nor the number of setigerous segments (ss) of the partners of a newly formed pair allow us to predict which one of the two animals will exhibit sex reversal. Amputation of the palps showed that these ventrolateral appendages of the prostomium are not responsible for the transmission of the mutual influence which is exerted during the pair-culture effect. Isolated females do not produce egg masses but keep their oocytes in the body cavity until they are eventually resorbed. The shedding of oocytes in one of the females of a newly formed pair was formerly considered to be the first step in the pair-culture effect. The present results demonstrate that egg laying in these cases is unspecific and due rather to the end of isolation than to specific interactions with the partner. In groups consisting of up to 50 animals the sex ratio oscillates around 1:1. The presence of primary males does not influence the sex ratio of adult specimens, although these males are capable of fertilizing egg masses produced by adult females. As a result, a high percentage of both young and old males are found in densely populated bowls. The significance of the pair-culture effect in natural populations is discussed in the light of these findings.

  8. Cortisol Stress Response Variability in Early Adolescence: Attachment, Affect and Sex.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Catherine Ann; McKay, Stacey; Susman, Elizabeth J; Wynne-Edwards, Katherine; Wright, Joan M; Weinberg, Joanne

    2017-01-01

    Attachment, affect, and sex shape responsivity to psychosocial stress. Concurrent social contexts influence cortisol secretion, a stress hormone and biological marker of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. Patterns of attachment, emotion status, and sex were hypothesized to relate to bifurcated, that is, accentuated and attenuated, cortisol reactivity. The theoretical framework for this study posits that multiple individual differences mediate a cortisol stress response. The effects of two psychosocial stress interventions, a modified Trier Social Stress Test for Teens and the Frustration Social Stressor for Adolescents were developed and investigated with early adolescents. Both of these protocols induced a significant stress reaction and evoked predicted bifurcation in cortisol responses; an increase or decrease from baseline to reactivity. In Study I, 120 predominantly middle-class, Euro-Canadian early adolescents with a mean age of 13.43 years were studied. The girls' attenuated cortisol reactivity to the public performance stressor related significantly to their self-reported lower maternal-attachment and higher trait-anger. In Study II, a community sample of 146 predominantly Euro-Canadian middle-class youth, with an average age of 14.5 years participated. Their self-reports of higher trait-anger and trait-anxiety, and lower parental attachment by both sexes related differentially to accentuated and attenuated cortisol reactivity to the frustration stressor. Thus, attachment, affect, sex, and the stressor contextual factors were associated with the adrenal-cortical responses of these adolescents through complex interactions. Further studies of individual differences in physiological responses to stress are called for in order to clarify the identities of concurrent protective and risk factors in the psychosocial stress and physiological stress responses of early adolescents.

  9. Effect of Female-Biased Sex Ratios on Female Homosexual Behavior in Japanese Macaques: Evidence for the "Bisexual Preference Hypothesis".

    PubMed

    Leca, Jean-Baptiste; Gunst, Noëlle; Huffman, Michael A; Vasey, Paul L

    2015-11-01

    We aimed to explain the frequent and prevalent female homosexual behavior in the context of female-biased operational sex ratios (OSR) and qualified sex ratios (Q) in a free-ranging group of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) living at Arashiyama-Kyoto, Japan. Our data included the average availability of sexually mature males during females' putative fertile period (OSR), the ratio of sexually mature males to sexually mature females (Q), as well as heterosexual and female homosexual solicitations and consortships collected during 13 mating seasons from 136 females. Our results did not support the "heterosexual deprivation hypothesis," which holds that female homosexual behavior is attributable to a shortage of male mates. Likewise, our results did not support the "lack of opposite-sex sexual competitor hypothesis," which holds that females have more access to female mates when male sexual rivals are scarce. Of the 11 predictions tested, only one yielded statistically significant results: we found that higher ratios of availability of preferred female partners to preferred male partners were associated with female homosexual consortships rather than female heterosexual consortships. This result supported the "bisexual preference hypothesis," which holds that female homosexual behavior is attributable to female preference for certain female mates relative to certain male mates. We conclude that when a female targets another female as a mate, it is an active choice for a female sexual partner over available male alternatives, rather than a by-default situation that occurs because males are not available as sexual partners, or because females are better able to access female sexual partners due to a scarcity of male sexual competitors.

  10. Live birth sex ratio after in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer in China--an analysis of 121,247 babies from 18 centers.

    PubMed

    Bu, Zhiqin; Chen, Zi-Jiang; Huang, Guoning; Zhang, Hanwang; Wu, Qiongfang; Ma, Yanping; Shi, Juanzi; Xu, Yanwen; Zhang, Songying; Zhang, Cuilian; Zhao, Xiaoming; Zhang, Bo; Huang, Yuanhua; Sun, Zhengyi; Kang, Yuefan; Wu, Riran; Wu, Xueqing; Sun, Haixiang; Sun, Yingpu

    2014-01-01

    In order to study the impact of procedures of IVF/ICSI technology on sex ratio in China, we conducted this multi-center retrospective study including 121,247 babies born to 93,895 women in China. There were 62,700 male babies and 58,477 female babies, making the sex ratio being 51.8% (Male: Female  = 107:100). In univariate logistic regression analysis, sex ratio was imbalance toward females of 50.3% when ICSI was preformed compared to 47.7% when IVF was used (P<0.01). The sex ratio in IVF/ICSI babies was significantly higher toward males in transfers of blastocyst (54.9%) and thawed embryo (52.4%) when compared with transfers of cleavage stage embryo (51.4%) and fresh embryo (51.5%), respectively. Multiple delivery was not associated with sex ratio. However, in multivariable logistic regression analysis after controlling for related factors, only ICSI (adjusted OR =  .90, 95%CI: 0.88-0.93; P<0.01) and blastocyst transfer (adjusted OR = 1.14, 95% CI: 1.09-1.20; P<0.01) were associated with sex ratio in IVF/ICSI babies. In conclusion, the live birth sex ratio in IVF/ICSI babies was influenced by the use of ICSI, which may decrease the percentage of male offspring, or the use of blastocyst transfer, which may increase the percentage of male offspring.

  11. Second to fourth digit ratio (2D:4D) and concentrations of circulating sex hormones in adulthood

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The second to fourth digit ratio (2D:4D) is used as a marker of prenatal sex hormone exposure. The objective of this study was to examine whether circulating concentrations of sex hormones and SHBG measured in adulthood was associated with 2D:4D. Methods This analysis was based on a random sample from the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study. The sample consisted of of 1036 men and 620 post-menopausal women aged between 39 and 70 at the time of blood draw. Concentrations of circulating sex hormones were measured from plasma collected at baseline (1990-1994), while digit length was measured from hand photocopies taken during a recent follow-up (2003-2009). The outcome measures were circulating concentrations of testosterone, oestradiol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, androstenedione, Sex Hormone Binding Globulin, androstenediol glucoronide for men only and oestrone sulphate for women only. Free testosterone and oestradiol were estimated using standard formulae derived empirically. Predicted geometric mean hormone concentrations (for tertiles of 2D:4D) and conditional correlation coefficients (for continuous 2D:4D) were obtained using mixed effects linear regression models. Results No strong associations were observed between 2D:4D measures and circulating concentrations of hormones for men or women. For males, right 2D:4D was weakly inversely associated with circulating testosterone (predicted geometric mean testosterone was 15.9 and 15.0 nmol/L for the lowest and highest tertiles of male right 2D:4D respectively (P-trend = 0.04). There was a similar weak association between male right 2D:4D and the ratio of testosterone to oestradiol. These associations were not evident in analyses of continuous 2D:4D. Conclusions There were no strong associations between any adult circulating concentration of sex hormone or SHGB and 2D:4D. These results contribute to the growing body of evidence indicating that 2D:4D is unrelated to adult sex hormone concentrations

  12. Popularity among same-sex and cross-sex peers: A process-oriented examination of links to aggressive behaviors and depressive affect

    PubMed Central

    Troop-Gordon, Wendy; Ranney, John D.

    2014-01-01

    Popularity has been linked to heightened aggression and fewer depressive symptoms. The current study extends this literature by examining the unique contributions of same-sex and cross-sex popularity to children’s development, as well as potential mediating processes. Third-and fourth-graders (212 boys, 250 girls) provided data at three time points over two school years. Data included peer-reported popularity, social exclusion, friendships, peer victimization, and aggression, and self-reported social self-esteem and depressive affect. Same-sex and cross-sex popularity independently contributed to the prediction of aggression and depressive affect. Popularity was associated with heightened aggression through reduced social exclusion and was indirectly related to lower levels of depressive affect through increased friendships. For boys only, same-sex popularity was further associated with dampened depressive affect through reduced social exclusion and peer victimization and increased social self-esteem. Findings are discussed in light of the potential tradeoffs associated with popularity in preadolescence. PMID:24684714

  13. Sesame ingestion affects sex hormones, antioxidant status, and blood lipids in postmenopausal women.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wen-Huey; Kang, Yu-Ping; Wang, Nai-Hung; Jou, Hei-Jen; Wang, Tzong-An

    2006-05-01

    Sesame ingestion has been shown to improve blood lipids in humans and antioxidative ability in animals. Sesamin, a sesame lignan, was recently reported to be converted by intestinal microflora to enterolactone, a compound with estrogenic activity and also an enterometabolite of flaxseed lignans, which are known to be phytoestrogens. Whether sesame can be a source of phytoestrogens is unknown. This study was designed to investigate the effect of sesame ingestion on blood sex hormones, lipids, tocopherol, and ex vivo LDL oxidation in postmenopausal women. Twenty-six healthy subjects attended, and 24 completed, this randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Half of them consumed 50 g sesame seed powder daily for 5 wk, followed by a 3-wk washout period, then a 5-wk 50-g rice powder placebo period. The other half received the 2 supplements in reverse order. After sesame treatment, plasma total cholesterol (TC), LDL-C, the ratio of LDL-C to HDL-C, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances in oxidized LDL, and serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate decreased significantly by 5, 10, 6, 23, and 18%, respectively. The ratio of alpha- and gamma-tocopherol to TC increased significantly by 18 and 73%, respectively. All of these variables differed significantly between the 2 treatments. Serum sex hormone-binding globulin and urinary 2-hydroxyestrone (n = 8) increased significantly by 15 and 72%, respectively, after sesame treatment, and these concentrations tended to differ (P = 0.065 and P = 0.090, respectively) from those after the placebo treatment. These results suggest that sesame ingestion benefits postmenopausal women by improving blood lipids, antioxidant status, and possibly sex hormone status.

  14. Anogenital distance and condition as predictors of litter sex ratio in two mouse species: a study of the house mouse (Mus musculus) and mound-building mouse (Mus spicilegus).

    PubMed

    Szenczi, Péter; Bánszegi, Oxána; Groó, Zita; Altbäcker, Vilmos

    2013-01-01

    The Trivers - Willard hypothesis (1973) suggests that the maternal condition may affect the female's litter size and sex ratio. Since then other factors had been found. Previous findings revealed in the case of some mammalian species, that females with larger anogenital distance have smaller litters, while the sex ratio is male-biased. That has only been demonstrated in laboratory animals, while the genetic diversity of a wild population could mask the phenomenon seen in laboratory colonies. We examined the connection between morphological traits (weight and anogenital distance) and the reproductive capacity of two wild mice species, the house mouse and the mound-building mice. We showed in both species that anogenital distance and body weight correlated positively in pre-pubertal females, but not in adults. Neither the house mouse nor the mound-building mouse mothers' weight had effect on their litter's size and sex ratio. Otherwise connection was found between the mothers' anogenital distance and their litters' sex ratio in both species. The results revealed that females with larger anogenital distance delivered male biased litter in both species. The bias occurred as while the number of female pups remained the same; mothers with large anogenital distance delivered more male pups compared to the mothers with small anogenital distance. We concluded that a female's prenatal life affects her reproductive success more than previously anticipated.

  15. Early postnatal genistein administration permanently affects nitrergic and vasopressinergic systems in a sex-specific way.

    PubMed

    Ponti, G; Rodriguez-Gomez, A; Farinetti, A; Marraudino, M; Filice, F; Foglio, B; Sciacca, G; Panzica, G C; Gotti, S

    2017-03-27

    Genistein (GEN) is a natural xenoestrogen (isoflavonoid) that may interfere with the development of estrogen-sensitive neural circuits. Due to the large and increasing use of soy-based formulas for babies (characterized by a high content of GEN), there are some concerns that this could result in an impairment of some estrogen-sensitive neural circuits and behaviors. In a previous study, we demonstrated that its oral administration to female mice during late pregnancy and early lactation induced a significant decrease of nitric oxide synthase-positive cells in the amygdala of their male offspring. In the present study, we have used a different experimental protocol mimicking, in mice, the direct precocious exposure to GEN. Mice pups of both sexes were fed either with oil, estradiol or GEN from birth to postnatal day 8. Nitric oxide synthase and vasopressin neural systems were analyzed in adult mice. Interestingly, we observed that GEN effect was time specific (when compared to our previous study), sex specific, and not always comparable to the effects of estradiol. This last observation suggests that GEN may act through different intracellular pathways. Present results indicate that the effect of natural xenoestrogens on the development of the brain may be highly variable: a plethora of neuronal circuits may be affected depending on sex, time of exposure, intracellular pathway involved, and target cells. This raises concern on the possible long-term effects of the use of soy-based formulas for babies, which may be currently underestimated.

  16. Introducing and validation of SYBR Green Real-Time PCR method to determinate sex ratio in bovine semen.

    PubMed

    Maleki, Adham Fani; Moussavi, AliReza Heravi; Nassiri, Mohammad Reza; Tahmoorespur, Mojtaba; Vakili, Seyed Alireza

    2013-07-01

    Flow cytometry is a widely used application for validating the accuracy of sperm sexing. However, this method is relatively expensive and requires considerable technical support. An alternative method employing simpler technology at low cost could be suitable for the evaluation of bovine semen in laboratories with low budgets. We used a SYBR Green Real-Time PCR assay to determinate sex ratio in bovine semen. The PLP and SRY genes were amplified to isolate the specific fragments of X- and Y-chromosome sequences, respectively. Two certified standard curves were obtained using two plasmids containing PLP and SRY amplicons. Our results show no significant difference in semen sex ratio in unsorted semen (54.7±0.52% X and 47.6±0.60% Y). However, significant difference was observed in X/Y-sorted semen (93.3±0.08% X and 91.4±0.06% Y-sperm), as compared to the expected ratio in unsorted semen or the post-sorting reanalysis data. The evolution of X-chromosome bearing sperm content in unsorted samples showed an average of 52.6 for ejaculates and 51.8 for the commercial semen. In order to confirm our results, the accuracy, repeatability and reproducibility of the method were tested resulting in 98.2% accuracy, repeatability of CV=5.59% and reproducibility of CV=5.40%. Thus, this method is demonstrated to be a reliable and inexpensive way to test sexual chromosome content in semen samples.

  17. An X-Linked Sex Ratio Distorter in Drosophila simulans That Kills or Incapacitates Both Noncarrier Sperm and Sons

    PubMed Central

    Rice, William R.

    2014-01-01

    Genomic conflict occurs when a genomic component gains a reproductive advantage at the expense of the organism as a whole. X-linked segregation distorters kill or incapacitate Y-bearing sperm, thereby gaining a transmission advantage but also reducing male fertility and generating a female-biased sex ratio. When some damaged, Y-bearing sperm survive and fertilize eggs, then the segregation distortion phenotype could be expanded by harming or killing sons in the next generation. X-linked son-killers are predicted by theory to be favored by natural selection and evolve when brothers and sisters compete for shared limiting resources and/or when brothers reduce the inclusive fitness of their sisters via sib-mating—a phenomenon called SA-zygotic drive. Here I develop and use a process-of-elimination screen to show that an unclassified X-linked sex ratio distorter (skew) in Drosophila simulans kills or incapacitates noncarrier sperm and also kills a substantial proportion of sons, i.e., it has both a segregation distortion and a SA-zygotic drive phenotype. There are three unique X-linked segregation distorters known to occur in D. simulans named Winters, Durham, and Paris. Autosomal-dominant suppressors of Winters (Nmy) and Durham (Tmy) failed to suppress skew. A Y-linked suppressor of Paris, however, did suppress skew, and a recombination test failed to detect recombinants between these two sex ratio distorters, indicating that they are tightly linked and plausibly identical or allelic. Son-killing may be an important yet unrecognized component of other X-linked segregation distorters. PMID:25081980

  18. Reanalysis of Bell, Weinberg, and Hammersmith's data on birth order, sibling sex ratio, and parental age in homosexual men.

    PubMed

    Blanchard, R; Zucker, K J

    1994-09-01

    The authors compared parental age, birth order, and sex ratio of siblings for 575 homosexual men and 284 heterosexual men, matched on age and education. They were originally part of Bell, Weinberg, and Hammersmith's large-scale study of male and female homosexuality. The results confirmed the previous findings that homosexual men have older fathers and later births than do heterosexual men but not the finding that homosexual men have larger proportions of brothers. The collective findings suggest that birth order is perhaps the single most reliable demographic difference between homosexual and heterosexual men.

  19. Blueberry Consumption Affects Serum Uric Acid Concentrations in Older Adults in a Sex-Specific Manner

    PubMed Central

    Cheatham, Carol L.; Vazquez-Vidal, Itzel; Medlin, Amanda; Voruganti, V. Saroja

    2016-01-01

    Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and may protect against disease. Uric acid accounts for about 50% of the antioxidant properties in humans. Elevated levels of serum uric acid (SUA) or hyperuricemia is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim was to determine the effect of blueberries on SUA in older adults. Participants (n = 133, 65–80 years) experiencing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) were randomized in a double-blind 6-month clinical trial to either blueberry or placebo. A reference group with no MCI received no treatment. The mean (SD) SUA at baseline were 5.45 (0.9), 6.4 (1.3) and 5.8 (1.4) mg/dL in reference, placebo, and treatment groups, respectively. Baseline SUA was different in men and women (6.25 (1.1) vs. 5.35 (1.1), p = 0.001). During the first three months, SUA decreased in the blueberry group and was significantly different from the placebo group in both men and women (p < 0.0003). Sex-specific differences became apparent after 3 months, when only men showed an increase in SUA in the blueberry group and not in the placebo (p = 0.0006) between 3 and 6 months. At 6 months SUA had rebounded in both men and women and returned to baseline levels. Baseline SUA was correlated with CVD risk factors, waist circumference and triglycerides (p < 0.05), but differed by sex. Overall, 6 m SUA changes were negatively associated with triglycerides in men, but not in women. Group-wise association between 6 m SUA changes and CVD risk factors showed associations with diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in women of the Blueberry group but not in men or any sex in the placebo group. In summary, blueberries may affect SUA and its relationship with CVD risk in a sex-specific manner. PMID:27916816

  20. Sex differences in the brain response to affective scenes with or without humans.

    PubMed

    Proverbio, Alice Mado; Adorni, Roberta; Zani, Alberto; Trestianu, Laura

    2009-10-01

    Recent findings have demonstrated that women might be more reactive than men to viewing painful stimuli (vicarious response to pain), and therefore more empathic [Han, S., Fan, Y., & Mao, L. (2008). Gender difference in empathy for pain: An electrophysiological investigation. Brain Research, 1196, 85-93]. We investigated whether the two sexes differed in their cerebral responses to affective pictures portraying humans in different positive or negative contexts compared to natural or urban scenarios. 440 IAPS slides were presented to 24 Italian students (12 women and 12 men). Half the pictures displayed humans while the remaining scenes lacked visible persons. ERPs were recorded from 128 electrodes and swLORETA (standardized weighted Low-Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography) source reconstruction was performed. Occipital P115 was greater in response to persons than to scenes and was affected by the emotional valence of the human pictures. This suggests that processing of biologically relevant stimuli is prioritized. Orbitofrontal N2 was greater in response to positive than negative human pictures in women but not in men, and not to scenes. A late positivity (LP) to suffering humans far exceeded the response to negative scenes in women but not in men. In both sexes, the contrast suffering-minus-happy humans revealed a difference in the activation of the occipito/temporal, right occipital (BA19), bilateral parahippocampal, left dorsal prefrontal cortex (DPFC) and left amygdala. However, increased right amygdala and right frontal area activities were observed only in women. The humans-minus-scenes contrast revealed a difference in the activation of the middle occipital gyrus (MOG) in men, and of the left inferior parietal (BA40), left superior temporal gyrus (STG, BA38) and right cingulate (BA31) in women (270-290 ms). These data indicate a sex-related difference in the brain response to humans, possibly supporting human empathy.

  1. First Assessment of the Sex Ratio for an East Pacific Green Sea Turtle Foraging Aggregation: Validation and Application of a Testosterone ELISA

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Camryn D.; Robbins, Michelle N.; Eguchi, Tomoharu; Owens, David W.; Meylan, Anne B.; Meylan, Peter A.; Kellar, Nicholas M.; Schwenter, Jeffrey A.; Nollens, Hendrik H.; LeRoux, Robin A.; Dutton, Peter H.; Seminoff, Jeffrey A.

    2015-01-01

    Determining sex ratios of endangered populations is important for wildlife management, particularly species subject to sex-specific threats or that exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination. Sea turtle sex is determined by incubation temperature and individuals lack external sex-based traits until sexual maturity. Previous research utilized serum/plasma testosterone radioimmunoassays (RIA) to determine sex in immature/juvenile sea turtles. However, there has been a growing application of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for wildlife endocrinology studies, but no study on sea turtles has compared the results of ELISA and RIA. This study provides the first sex ratio for a threatened East Pacific green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) foraging aggregation, a critical step for future management of this species. Here, we validate a testosterone ELISA and compare results between RIA and ELISA of duplicate samples. The ELISA demonstrated excellent correspondence with the RIA for providing testosterone concentrations for sex determination. Neither assay proved reliable for predicting the sex of reproductively active females with increased testosterone production. We then applied ELISA to examine the sex ratio of 69 green turtles foraging in San Diego Bay, California. Of 45 immature turtles sampled, sex could not be determined for three turtles because testosterone concentrations fell between the ranges for either sex (females: 4.1–113.1 pg/mL, males: 198.4–2,613.0 pg/mL) and these turtles were not subsequently recaptured to enable sex determination; using a Bayesian model to predict probabilities of turtle sex we predicted all three ‘unknowns’ were female (> 0.86). Additionally, the model assigned all turtles with their correct sex (if determined at recapture) with 100% accuracy. Results indicated a female bias (2.83F:1M) among all turtles in the aggregation; when focusing only on putative immature turtles the sex ratio was 3.5F:1M. With appropriate

  2. First Assessment of the Sex Ratio for an East Pacific Green Sea Turtle Foraging Aggregation: Validation and Application of a Testosterone ELISA.

    PubMed

    Allen, Camryn D; Robbins, Michelle N; Eguchi, Tomoharu; Owens, David W; Meylan, Anne B; Meylan, Peter A; Kellar, Nicholas M; Schwenter, Jeffrey A; Nollens, Hendrik H; LeRoux, Robin A; Dutton, Peter H; Seminoff, Jeffrey A

    2015-01-01

    Determining sex ratios of endangered populations is important for wildlife management, particularly species subject to sex-specific threats or that exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination. Sea turtle sex is determined by incubation temperature and individuals lack external sex-based traits until sexual maturity. Previous research utilized serum/plasma testosterone radioimmunoassays (RIA) to determine sex in immature/juvenile sea turtles. However, there has been a growing application of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for wildlife endocrinology studies, but no study on sea turtles has compared the results of ELISA and RIA. This study provides the first sex ratio for a threatened East Pacific green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) foraging aggregation, a critical step for future management of this species. Here, we validate a testosterone ELISA and compare results between RIA and ELISA of duplicate samples. The ELISA demonstrated excellent correspondence with the RIA for providing testosterone concentrations for sex determination. Neither assay proved reliable for predicting the sex of reproductively active females with increased testosterone production. We then applied ELISA to examine the sex ratio of 69 green turtles foraging in San Diego Bay, California. Of 45 immature turtles sampled, sex could not be determined for three turtles because testosterone concentrations fell between the ranges for either sex (females: 4.1-113.1 pg/mL, males: 198.4-2,613.0 pg/mL) and these turtles were not subsequently recaptured to enable sex determination; using a Bayesian model to predict probabilities of turtle sex we predicted all three 'unknowns' were female (> 0.86). Additionally, the model assigned all turtles with their correct sex (if determined at recapture) with 100% accuracy. Results indicated a female bias (2.83F:1M) among all turtles in the aggregation; when focusing only on putative immature turtles the sex ratio was 3.5F:1M. With appropriate validation

  3. Cryptic sex-ratio bias provides indirect genetic benefits despite sexual conflict.

    PubMed

    Cox, Robert M; Calsbeek, Ryan

    2010-04-02

    When selection favors sexual dimorphism, high-fitness parents often produce low-fitness progeny of the opposite sex. This sexual conflict is thought to overwhelm the genetic benefits of mate choice because preferred males incur a cost through the production of low-fitness daughters. We provide a counterpoint in a lizard (Anolis sagrei) that exhibits sexual conflict over body size. By using mate-choice experiments, we show that female brown anoles produce more sons than daughters via large sires but more daughters than sons via small sires. Measures of progeny fitness in the wild suggest that maximal fitness payoffs can be achieved by shifting offspring production from daughters to sons as sire size increases. These results illustrate how the resolution of sexual conflict can restore the genetic benefits of mate choice.

  4. A rapid evolution mechanism may contribute to changes in sex ratio, multiple birth incidence, frequency of auto-immune disease and frequency of birth defects in Clomid conceptions.

    PubMed

    Fischer, K

    1990-01-01

    Under conditions favourable to the horizontal transmission of genetic material, a clomiphene isomer is hypothesized to encourage an alternate ovulatory route, with consequence for the sex ratio, multiple birth incidence, incidence of auto-immune disease, and frequency of malformations.

  5. Sex ratio and phoretic mites of fleas (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae and Hystrichopsyllidae) on the Nile grass rat (Arvicanthis niloticus) in Kenya.

    PubMed

    Schwan, T G

    1993-01-01

    The sex ratio of fleas and their phoretic mites associated with the Nile grass rat, Arvicanthis niloticus (Desmarest), were studied during 14 mo in a grassland community of Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya. Females of the fleas Dinopsyllus lypusus Jordan & Rothschild, Ctenophthalmus calceatus cabirus Jordan & Rothschild, and Xenopsylla cheopis bantorum Jordan infested more grass rats and in greater numbers than did males. Phoretic hypopi (hetermorphic deutonymphs) of two species of mites, Psylloglyphus uilenbergi Fain and Paraceroglyphus xenopsylla Fain & Schwan, varied seasonally in their abundance on fleas and utilized female fleas over male fleas for their major source of transport. Additionally, the mites were very host specific with nearly 100% of those identified on D. lypusus and C. calceatus cabirus being P. uilenbergi and 89% of the mites identified on X. cheopis bantorum being P. xenopsylla. This level of specificity suggests that these mite-flea associations are highly evolved. The importance of female fleas as hosts for transporting mites also suggests that female-biased sex ratios of fleas on their hosts may be caused, in part, by females being more important as dispersers within flea populations.

  6. Sand and nest temperatures and an estimate of hatchling sex ratio from the Heron Island green turtle ( Chelonia mydas) rookery, Southern Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Booth, David T.; Freeman, Candida

    2006-11-01

    Sand and nest temperatures were monitored during the 2002-2003 nesting season of the green turtle, Chelonia mydas, at Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Sand temperatures increased from ˜ 24°C early in the season to 27-29°C in the middle, before decreasing again. Beach orientation affected sand temperature at nest depth throughout the season; the north facing beach remained 0.7°C warmer than the east, which was 0.9°C warmer than the south, but monitored nest temperatures were similar across all beaches. Sand temperature at 100 cm depth was cooler than at 40 cm early in the season, but this reversed at the end. Nest temperatures increased 2-4°C above sand temperatures during the later half of incubation due to metabolic heating. Hatchling sex ratio inferred from nest temperature profiles indicated a strong female bias.

  7. Incubation temperature and gonadal sex affect growth and physiology in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), a lizard with temperature-dependent sex determination.

    PubMed

    Tousignant, A; Crews, D

    1995-05-01

    Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), in which the temperature at which an egg incubates determines the sex of the individual, occurs in egg-laying reptiles of three separate orders. Previous studies have shown that the embryonic environment can have effects lasting beyond the period of sex determination. We investigated the relative roles of incubation temperature, exogenous estradiol, and gonadal sex (testis vs. ovary) in the differentiation of adult morphological and physiological traits of the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius. The results indicate that incubation temperature, steroid hormones, and gonads interact in the development of morphological and physiological characters with incubation temperature resulting in the greatest differences in adult phenotype. Incubation temperature did not affect reproductive success directly, but may influence offspring survival in natural situations through effects on adult female body size. Postnatal hormones seem to be more influential in the formation of adult phenotypes than prenatal hormones. These results demonstrate that TSD species can be used to investigate the effects of the physical environment on development in individuals without a predetermined genetic sex and thus provide further insight into the roles of gonadal sex and the embryonic environment in sexual differentiation.

  8. Immune function, sex ratios, and gonadal histopathology in double-crested cormorant chicks

    SciTech Connect

    Burull, E.J.; Goldberg, D.R.; Sileo, L.; Dale, T.; Allen, P.D.; Stromborg, K.L.; Larson, J.X.; Fry, D.M.

    1994-12-31

    There is evidence that environmental contaminants may be associated with endocrine and reproductive system abnormalities in colonial water birds. Little information is available on immune system response in chicks. Two double-crested cormorant (Phalocrocrozax auritus) colonies were monitored in 1993 for a comparative immune function study. Higher concentrations of organochlorines occurred in one colony. Parameters measured included: CBC, T and B-cell function, heterophil phagocytosis, lymphoid organ size and histopathology, and selected serum hormone analysis. Significant differences at the contaminated site included marked dysplasia and hypertrophy of thyroid gland, higher T3, lower cortisol, lower eosinophil counts, and increase phagocytosis at the contaminated site. Gonads of 101 deformed (cross-bill) chicks, siblings, and normal control chicks collected in 1992 and 1993 were examined microscopically because a sex-ration skewed towards females had been noted. Cross-billed chicks aged 12 to 15 days had disorganized or delayed follicular development which normalized by 20 days of age. Cross-billed or otherwise abnormal chicks aged 18 to 23 days had hypertrophic seminiferous tubules, a decreased interstitium, and decreased evidence of active Leydig cells.

  9. Gender-Specific Transfusion Affects Tumor-Associated Neutrophil: Macrophage Ratios in Murine Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Benson, Douglas D.; Kelher, Marguerite R.; Meng, Xianzhong; Fullerton, David A.; Lee, Joon H.; Silliman, Christopher C.

    2011-01-01

    cancer have greater morbidity than female mice when receiving female blood products. Furthermore, the difference in neutrophil to macrophage ratio suggests that gender-specific blood transfusion promotes aggressive tumor behavior in male mice via microenvironmental changes. These data warrant further study to delineate sex-related differences in pancreatic cancer progression. PMID:20835771

  10. Relationship Satisfaction, Affectivity, and Gay-Specific Stressors in Same-Sex Couples Joined in Civil Unions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Todosijevic, Jelica; Rothblum, Esther D.; Solomon, Sondra E.

    2005-01-01

    Relationship satisfaction, affect, and stress were examined in 313 same-sex couples who had had civil unions in Vermont during the first year of this legislation. Similarity between partners on age and on positive/negative affectivity was related to relationship satisfaction whereas there was no association with similarity in income, education,…

  11. Relevance of the Tripartite Dimensions of Affect for Anxiety and Depression in Youth: Examining Sex and Psychopathology Status

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Bolle, Marleen; Decuyper, Mieke; De Clercq, Barbara; De Fruyt, Filip

    2010-01-01

    Using a combined sample (N = 1,215) of referred children and children from the general population aged between 8 and 14 years, the present study addressed two research goals: First, latent mean differences (depending on the individual's sex or psychopathology level) in anxiety, depression, Positive Affect (PA), Negative Affect (NA) and…

  12. ACC oxidase and miRNA 159a, and their involvement in fresh fruit bunch yield (FFB) via sex ratio determination in oil palm.

    PubMed

    Somyong, Suthasinee; Poopear, Supannee; Sunner, Supreet Kaur; Wanlayaporn, Kitti; Jomchai, Nukoon; Yoocha, Thippawan; Ukoskit, Kittipat; Tangphatsornruang, Sithichoke; Tragoonrung, Somvong

    2016-06-01

    Oil palm (Elaeis guineesis Jacq.) is the most productive oil-bearing crop, yielding more oil per area than any other oil-bearing crops. However, there are still efforts to improve oil palm yield, in order to serve consumer and manufacturer demand. Oil palm produces female and male inflorescences in an alternating cycle. So, high sex ratio (SR), the ratio of female inflorescences to the total inflorescences, is a favorable trait in term of increasing yields in oil palm. This study aims to understand the genetic control for SR related traits, such as fresh fruit bunch yield (FFB), by characterizing genes at FFB quantitative trait loci (QTLs) on linkage 10 (chromosome 6) and linkage 15 (chromosome 10). Published oil palm sequences at the FFB QTLs were used to develop gene-based and simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. We used the multiple QTL analysis model (MQM) to characterize the relationship of new markers with the SR traits in the oil palm population. The RNA expression of the most linked QTL genes was also evaluated in various tissues of oil palm. We identified EgACCO1 (encoding aminocyclopropane carboxylate (ACC) oxidase) at chromosome 10 and EgmiR159a (microRNA 159a) at chromosome 6 to be the most linked QTL genes or determinants for FFB yield and/or female inflorescence number with a phenotype variance explained (PVE) from 10.4 to 15 % and suggest that these play the important roles in sex determination and differentiation in oil palm. The strongest expression of EgACCO1 and the predicted precursor of EgmiR159a was found in ovaries and, to a lesser extent, fruit development. In addition, highly normalized expression of EgmiR159a was found in female flowers. In summary, the QTL analysis and the RNA expression reveal that EgACCO1 and EgmiR159a are the potential genetic factors involved in female flower determination and hence would affect yield in oil palm. However, to clarify how these genetic factors regulate female flower determination, more investigation

  13. The case of the missing girls: sex ratios in fifteenth-century Tuscany.

    PubMed

    Bender, Tovah

    2011-01-01

    This article addresses the apparent shortage of women in the 1427 Florentine Catasto, perhaps the most complete premodern European demographic source. It argues that the shortage exists because it was only when they entered their first marriage that Tuscan women were viewed as complete, gendered beings by their families, government officials, and society. Before marriage, a woman’s place within the household, her gender, and even her existence were liminal, at least in Tuscan documents. The result is that the ratio of men to women is more balanced for that portion of the population past the age of marriage for women. Shifting the analysis from infants and men, where it has traditionally lain, to young adult women explains the gender imbalance in the documentation and provides a deeper understanding of the ways that gender, adulthood, and identity intersected in premodern Europe.

  14. International migration, sex ratios, and the socioeconomic outcomes of nonmigrant Mexican women.

    PubMed

    Raphael, Steven

    2013-06-01

    This article assesses whether international migration from Mexico affects the marital, fertility, schooling, and employment outcomes of the Mexican women who remain behind by exploiting variation over time as well as across Mexican states in the demographic imbalance between men and women. I construct a gauge of the relative supply of men for women of different age groups based on state-level male and female population counts and the empirically observed propensity of men of specific ages to marry women of specific ages. Using Mexican census data from 1960 through 2000, I estimate a series of models in which the dependent variable is the intercensus change in an average outcome for Mexican women measured by state and for specific age groups, and the key explanatory variable is the change in the relative supply of men to women in that state/age group. I find that the declining relative supply of males positively and significantly affects the proportion of women who have never been married as well as the proportion of women who have never had a child. In addition, states experiencing the largest declines in the relative supply of men also experience relatively large increases in female educational attainment and female employment rates. However, I find little evidence that women who do marry match to men who are younger or less educated than themselves.

  15. Live Birth Sex Ratio after In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer in China - An Analysis of 121,247 Babies from 18 Centers

    PubMed Central

    Bu, Zhiqin; Chen, Zi-Jiang; Huang, Guoning; Zhang, Hanwang; Sun, Haixiang; Sun, Yingpu

    2014-01-01

    In order to study the impact of procedures of IVF/ICSI technology on sex ratio in China, we conducted this multi-center retrospective study including 121,247 babies born to 93,895 women in China. There were 62,700 male babies and 58,477 female babies, making the sex ratio being 51.8% (Male: Female  = 107∶100). In univariate logistic regression analysis, sex ratio was imbalance toward females of 50.3% when ICSI was preformed compared to 47.7% when IVF was used (P<0.01). The sex ratio in IVF/ICSI babies was significantly higher toward males in transfers of blastocyst (54.9%) and thawed embryo (52.4%) when compared with transfers of cleavage stage embryo (51.4%) and fresh embryo (51.5%), respectively. Multiple delivery was not associated with sex ratio. However, in multivariable logistic regression analysis after controlling for related factors, only ICSI (adjusted OR = 0.90, 95%CI: 0.88–0.93; P<0.01) and blastocyst transfer (adjusted OR = 1.14, 95% CI: 1.09–1.20; P<0.01) were associated with sex ratio in IVF/ICSI babies. In conclusion, the live birth sex ratio in IVF/ICSI babies was influenced by the use of ICSI, which may decrease the percentage of male offspring, or the use of blastocyst transfer, which may increase the percentage of male offspring. PMID:25412419

  16. Olfactory experience affects the response of meadow voles to the opposite-sex scent donor of mixed-sex over-marks

    PubMed Central

    Ferkin, Michael H.; Ferkin, Daniel A.; Ferkin, Benjamin D.; Vlautin, Christian T.

    2010-01-01

    Scent marking and over-marking are important forms of communication between the sexes for many terrestrial mammals. Over the course of three experiments, we determined whether the amount of time individuals investigate the scent marks of opposite-sex conspecifics is affected by four days of olfactory experience with those conspecifics. In experiment 1, female meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, spent more time investigating the scent mark of the novel male conspecific than that of the familiar male donor, whereas male voles spent similar amounts of time investigating the scent mark of the familiar female and a novel female conspecific. In experiment 2, voles were exposed to a mixed-sex over-mark in which subjects did not have four days of olfactory experience with either the top-scent donor or the bottom-scent donor. During the test phase, male and female voles spent more time investigating the scent mark of the opposite-sex conspecific that provided the top-scent mark than that of a novel, opposite-sex conspecific. Male and female voles spent similar amounts of time investigating the scent mark of the bottom-scent donor and that of a novel opposite-sex conspecific. In experiment 3, voles were exposed to a mixed-sex over-mark that contained the scent mark of an opposite-sex conspecific with which they had four days of olfactory experience. During the test phase, male voles spent more time investigating the mark of the familiar, top-scent female than the scent mark of a novel female donor but spent similar amounts of time investigating the mark of the familiar, bottom-scent female and that of a novel female donor. In contrast, female voles spent more time investigating the mark of a novel male donor than that of either the familiar, top-scent male or that of the familiar, bottom-scent male. The sex differences in the responses of voles to scent marks and mixed-sex over-marks are discussed in relation to the natural history and non-monogamous mating system of

  17. Growth, age at metamorphosis, and sex ratio of northern brook lamprey in a tributary of southern Lake Superior

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Purvis, Harold A.

    1970-01-01

    Growth was studied of five year classes of the northern brook lamprey, Ichthyomyzon fossor, collected from the Sturgeon River during intervals between treatment of the stream with a lampricide. Growth varied considerably among year classes. Larvae of the 1963 year class were slightly longer at age II and 30% longer at age III than the III-group larvae of the 1960 year class. About 6% of 558 III-group lampreys of the 1963 year class had metamorphosed by 17 August 1966. Although the sex ratio of larvae was about 1:1, 97% of the metamorphosed lampreys were males. The distribution of pigmentation on the caudal fin and upper lip in ammocoetes less than 40 mm long permitted accurate and rapid separation of northern brook lampreys from the sea lamprey, Petromyzon marinus.

  18. Gonadotropin ratio affects the in vitro growth of rhesus ovarian preantral follicles

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Yoon Young; Yun, Jun-Won; Kim, Jong Min; Park, Chung Gyu; Rosenwaks, Zev; Liu, Hung Ching; Kang, Byeong-Cheol; Ku, Seung-Yup

    2016-01-01

    In vitro follicle growth (IVFG) strategy is critical in the fertility preservation of cancer survivors; however, its optimal protocol needs to be developed using primate models since the availability of human samples is limited. Only a few previous studies have reported the successful IVFG of rhesus monkey ovaries using low-dose follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) (0.3 or 3 ng/mL) and long-term culture (up to 5 weeks) and it is still uncertain in regard to the optimal culture duration and effective dose of treated gonadotropins applicable to the IVFG of rhesus preantral follicles. Recently, we have reported that the FSH to luteinizing hormone (LH) ratio affects the in vitro growth of murine ovarian follicles. We aimed to investigate whether gonadotropin ratios affect the efficiency of rhesus follicular growth in vitro. Ovaries were collected from six necropsied rhesus macaques (4–9 years) and preantral follicles were retrieved and cultured for 14 days using 200 mIU/mL FSH. The characteristics of follicular growth were compared between the FSH:LH=1:1 (n=24) and FSH:LH=2:1 (n=24) groups. High concentration gonadotropin treatment shortened the duration required for in vitro maturation of rhesus preantral follicles. The FSH:LH=2:1 group showed a faster follicular growth and enabled the acquisition of mature oocytes, although the expression of growth differentiation factor (GDF)-9 and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) did not differ significantly between the two groups. Taken together, high dose gonadotropin treatment can shorten the duration of IVFG and the gonadotropin ratio is important in the IVFG of rhesus monkey ovaries. PMID:26980777

  19. The relationship between paternal age, sex ratios, and aneuploidy frequencies in human sperm, as assessed by multicolor FISH

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, R.H.; Spriggs, E. |; Ko, E.

    1995-12-01

    We studied the frequencies of X- and Y-chromosome bearing sperm, diploidy and disomy for chromosomes 1, 12, X, and Y in sperm from 10 normal men aged 21 - 52 years, to determine whether there was any relationship between donor age and any of these variables. Multicolor FISH was used to control for lack of probe hybridization and to distinguish diploid sperm from disomic sperm. A minimum of 10,000 sperm per donor was evaluated for each chromosome, for a total of 225,846 sperm studied. Sperm were considered disomic if two fluorescent signals were separated by a minimal distance of one signal domain. The mean frequencies of X- and Y-bearing sperm were 50.1% and 49.0%, respectively; not significantly different from 50%. There was no correlation between paternal age and {open_quotes}sex ratio {close_quotes} in sperm. Similarly, there was no association between the frequency of diploid sperm (mean, .16%; range, .06%-.42%) and donor age. For disomy frequencies, there was no relationship between donor age and disomy 12 (mean, .16%; range, .10%-.25%), XX (mean, .07%; range, .03%-.17%), and XY sperm (mean, .16%; range, .08%-.24%). There was a significant increase in the frequency of YY sperm (P = .04; mean, .18%; range, .10%-.43%) and disomy 1 sperm (P = .01; mean, .11%; range, .05%-.18%) with donor age. In summary, our results do not support a correlation between paternal age and sex ratio or diploidy. A relationship between paternal age and disomy was observed for disomy 1 and YY sperm but not for disomy 12, XX or XY sperm. 37 refs., 3 tabs.

  20. The influence of gamete co-incubation length on the in vitro fertility and sex ratio of bovine bulls with different penetration speed.

    PubMed

    Sattar, A; Rubessa, M; Di Francesco, S; Longobardi, V; Di Palo, R; Zicarelli, L; Campanile, G; Gasparrini, B

    2011-12-01

    The objectives of this work were to evaluate whether the sperm penetration speed is correlated to the in vitro fertility and whether adapting the gamete co-incubation length to the kinetics of the bull improves in vitro fertility and affects the sex ratio. In vitro matured oocytes were co-incubated with spermatozoa from four different bulls (A-D). At various post-insemination (p.i.) times (4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 h), samples of oocytes were fixed and stained with DAPI for nuclei examination, while the remaining ones were transferred into culture to evaluate embryo development. The blastocysts produced were sexed by PCR. Two bulls (A and B) had faster kinetics than the others (C and D), as shown by the higher penetration rates recorded at 4 h p.i. (43%, 30%, 11% and 6%, respectively for bulls A, B, C and D; p<0.01). The differences in the kinetics among bulls did not reflect their in vitro fertility. The incidence of polyspermy was higher for faster penetrating bulls (36%, 24%, 16% and 4%, respectively for bulls A, B, C and D; p<0.01) and at longer co-incubation times (0%, 16%, 19%, 30% and 34%, respectively at 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 h p.i.; p<0.01). The fertilizing ability of individual bulls may be improved by adapting the co-incubation length to their penetration speed. A sperm-oocyte co-incubation length of 8 h ensured the greatest blastocyst yields for the two faster penetrating bulls. On the contrary, 16 h co-incubation was required to increase (p<0.01) cleavage rate of the two slower bulls. Bulls with a faster kinetics did not alter the embryo sex ratio towards males. The female/male (F/M) ratios recorded were 2.1, 1.4, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.6, respectively at 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 h p.i.

  1. The sex ratio of full and half siblings of people diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder: a Danish Nationwide Register Study.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    In the extreme male brain theory of autism sex steroid hormones are hypothesized to influence brain development and to mediate sex differences in developmental psychopathology. Within this scope we examined the sex ratio (proportion of males) in siblings of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We did a nationwide, register based cohort study of the sex ratio in 17,380 siblings of the 10,297 patients diagnosed with ASD at age 17 years and younger and registered in the nationwide Danish Psychiatric Central Register between 1994 and 2012. Among the 17,380 siblings 8,828 were males and 8,552 females. This yields a sex ratio of 0.508, which is not different from the Danish live birth sex ratio of 0.513 during the relevant years (P = 0.18). Overall, our findings provide no support for the hypothesis that there are relatively more males among the siblings of people with ASD. Accordingly, our results do not give support to the extreme male brain theory of autism.

  2. Variation in the sex ratio of Rhabdochona fortunatowi (Spirurida: Rhabdochonidae) in Capoeta capoeta gracilis (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae), relative to levels of infection, host size and temperature.

    PubMed

    Golestaninasab, M; Malek, M; Jalali, B; Mobedi, I

    2012-03-01

    In the present study, 81 specimens of Capoeta capoeta gracilis (Keyserling, 1861) were collected from the Shiroud River, the Caspian drainage basin, Iran in June and October 2007. The fish were examined for infection with the nematode Rhabdochona fortunatowi (Dinnik, 1933). Nematodes were counted and sexed, then the sex ratio and intestinal site preference of the R. fortunatowi individuals and the intersexual interactions of the parasites were investigated. Significant differences were observed in the prevalence and intensity of infection in relation to host size and sampling season, but not host sex. Parasite burden (mean intensity) was higher in October than in June and the results revealed a decrease in female-to-male sex ratio (FMR) in the fish in October compared to the ones in June. In other words, as the mean intensity of infection of R. fortunatowi increases, the proportion of male worms increases, too. The female-biased sex ratio in June was replaced by a male-biased one in October. Nematode distribution rose to a significant peak in the mid-region of the fish intestine relative to the anterior and posterior parts. Some changes in the distribution of male and female worms in different parts of the host intestine were also observed during June and October. Density-dependent selection and intersexual competition seem to be the main factors driving such a shift in the sex ratio and its variation in different parts of the host intestine.

  3. Heterosexuals' Attitudes toward Lesbianism and Male Homosexuality: Their Affective Orientation toward Sexuality and Sex Guilt.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yarber, William L.; Yee, Bernadette

    1983-01-01

    A study sought to determine if a relationship existed between heterosexual college students' attitudes toward lesbianism and male homosexuality and their feelings about their own sexuality, including sex guilt. High sex guilt proved to be related to negative attitudes toward homosexuals of both sexes. (Authors/PP)

  4. Realigning government action with public health evidence: the legal and policy environment affecting sex work and HIV in Asia.

    PubMed

    Gruskin, Sofia; Pierce, Gretchen Williams; Ferguson, Laura

    2014-01-01

    The HIV epidemic has shed light on how government regulation of sex work directly affects the health and well-being of sex workers, their families and communities. A review of the public health evidence highlights the need for supportive legal and policy environments, yet criminalisation of sex work remains standard around the world. Emerging evidence, coupled with evolving political ideologies, is increasingly shaping legal environments that promote the rights and health of sex workers but even as new legislation is created, contradictions often exist with standing problematic legislation. As a region, Asia provides a compelling example in that progressive HIV policies often sit side by side with laws that criminalise sex work. Data from the 21 Asian countries reporting under the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV in 2010 were analysed to provide evidence of how countries' approach to sex-work regulation might affect HIV-related outcomes. Attention to the links between law and HIV-related outcomes can aid governments to meet their international obligations and ensure appropriate legal environments that cultivate the safe and healthy development and expression of sexuality, ensure access to HIV and other related services and promote and protect human rights.

  5. Selective resource allocation may promote a sex ratio in pollinator fig wasps more beneficial for the host tree

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhao-Tian; Peng, Yan-Qiong; Wen, Xiao-Lan; Jandér, K. Charlotte

    2016-01-01

    Mutualisms play a key role in most ecosystems, yet the mechanisms that prevent overexploitation of the mutualistic relationship are still poorly understood. In the mutualism between fig trees and their pollinating wasps both partners depend on each other. Fig trees benefit from female wasps that disperse their pollen, whereas wasps frequently benefit from a higher ratio of male offspring. Here we use manipulative field experiments to address whether host trees (Ficus racemosa) can influence the offspring sex ratio of the pollinator wasp. We controlled wasp matings; virgin wasps can lay only male eggs. We found that virgin foundress wasps had fewer offspring than mated foundresses. This was not caused by virgin wasps having a shorter lifespan, or laying fewer eggs. Instead, male wasp larvae were more likely to die during development. Additionally, male eggs were deposited in flowers of equal style length to those of female eggs, yet emerged from galls with shorter pedicels than those of female wasps. We suggest that male larvae are either allocated less resources by the tree, or are less able to attract resources, during development. If the tree orchestrates this difference it would promote a more female-biased wasp brood, thus increasing the tree’s fitness. PMID:27731351

  6. Selective resource allocation may promote a sex ratio in pollinator fig wasps more beneficial for the host tree.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhao-Tian; Peng, Yan-Qiong; Wen, Xiao-Lan; Jandér, K Charlotte

    2016-10-12

    Mutualisms play a key role in most ecosystems, yet the mechanisms that prevent overexploitation of the mutualistic relationship are still poorly understood. In the mutualism between fig trees and their pollinating wasps both partners depend on each other. Fig trees benefit from female wasps that disperse their pollen, whereas wasps frequently benefit from a higher ratio of male offspring. Here we use manipulative field experiments to address whether host trees (Ficus racemosa) can influence the offspring sex ratio of the pollinator wasp. We controlled wasp matings; virgin wasps can lay only male eggs. We found that virgin foundress wasps had fewer offspring than mated foundresses. This was not caused by virgin wasps having a shorter lifespan, or laying fewer eggs. Instead, male wasp larvae were more likely to die during development. Additionally, male eggs were deposited in flowers of equal style length to those of female eggs, yet emerged from galls with shorter pedicels than those of female wasps. We suggest that male larvae are either allocated less resources by the tree, or are less able to attract resources, during development. If the tree orchestrates this difference it would promote a more female-biased wasp brood, thus increasing the tree's fitness.

  7. Unexpected consequences of a drier world: evidence that delay in late summer rains biases the population sex ratio of an insect

    PubMed Central

    Bonal, Raul; Hernández, Marisa; Espelta, Josep M.; Muñoz, Alberto; Aparicio, José M.

    2015-01-01

    The complexity of animal life histories makes it difficult to predict the consequences of climate change on their populations. In this paper, we show, for the first time, that longer summer drought episodes, such as those predicted for the dry Mediterranean region under climate change, may bias insect population sex ratio. Many Mediterranean organisms, like the weevil Curculio elephas, become active again after summer drought. This insect depends on late summer rainfall to soften the soil and allow adult emergence from their underground refuges. We found that, as in many protandric species, more C. elephas females emerged later in the season. Male emergence timing was on average earlier and also more dependent on the beginning of late summer rainfall. When these rains were delayed, the observed weevil sex ratio was biased towards females. So far, the effects of global warming on animal sex ratios has been reported for temperature-dependent sex determination in reptiles. Our results show that rainfall timing can also bias the sex ratio in an insect, and highlight the need for keeping a phenological perspective to predict the consequences of climate change. We must consider not just the magnitude of the predicted changes in temperature and rainfall but also the effects of their timing. PMID:26473046

  8. Unexpected consequences of a drier world: evidence that delay in late summer rains biases the population sex ratio of an insect.

    PubMed

    Bonal, Raul; Hernández, Marisa; Espelta, Josep M; Muñoz, Alberto; Aparicio, José M

    2015-09-01

    The complexity of animal life histories makes it difficult to predict the consequences of climate change on their populations. In this paper, we show, for the first time, that longer summer drought episodes, such as those predicted for the dry Mediterranean region under climate change, may bias insect population sex ratio. Many Mediterranean organisms, like the weevil Curculio elephas, become active again after summer drought. This insect depends on late summer rainfall to soften the soil and allow adult emergence from their underground refuges. We found that, as in many protandric species, more C. elephas females emerged later in the season. Male emergence timing was on average earlier and also more dependent on the beginning of late summer rainfall. When these rains were delayed, the observed weevil sex ratio was biased towards females. So far, the effects of global warming on animal sex ratios has been reported for temperature-dependent sex determination in reptiles. Our results show that rainfall timing can also bias the sex ratio in an insect, and highlight the need for keeping a phenological perspective to predict the consequences of climate change. We must consider not just the magnitude of the predicted changes in temperature and rainfall but also the effects of their timing.

  9. Effects of salinity on egg and fecal pellet production, development and survival, adult sex ratio and total life span in the calanoid copepod, Acartia tonsa: a laboratory study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shayegan, Majid; Esmaeili Fereidouni, Abolghasem; Agh, Naser; Jani Khalili, Khosrow

    2016-07-01

    The effects of salinity on the copepod, Acartia tonsa in terms of daily egg production rate (EPR), hatching success, fecal pellet production rate (FPR), naupliar development time and survival, sex ratio, and total life span were determined in laboratory conditions through three experiments. In experiment 1, EPR, hatching success, and FPR of individual females were monitored at salinities of 13, 20, 35 and 45 during short-periods (seven consecutive days). Results show EPR was affected by salinity with the highest outputs recorded at 20 and 35, respectively, which were considerably higher than those at 13 and 45. Mean FPR was also higher in 35 and 20. In experiment 2, the same parameters were evaluated over total life span of females (long-term study). The best EPR and FPR were observed in 35, which was statistically higher than at 13 and 20. In experiment 3, survival rates of early nauplii until adult stage were lowest at a salinity of 13. The development time increased with increasing of salinity. Female percentage clearly decreased with increasing salinity. Higher female percentages (56.7% and 52.2%, respectively) were significantly observed at two salinities of 13 and 20 compared to that at 35 (25%). Total longevity of females was not affected by salinity increment. Based on our results, for mass culture we recommend that a salinity of 35 be adopted due to higher reproductive performances, better feeding, and faster development of A. tonsa.

  10. Effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on survival, development, growth and sex ratios of wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) tadpoles. I: chronic laboratory exposures to VisionMax®.

    PubMed

    Navarro-Martín, L; Lanctôt, C; Jackman, P; Park, B J; Doe, K; Pauli, B D; Trudeau, V L

    2014-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine if chronic exposure to the glyphosate-based herbicide VisionMax(®) affects the survival, development, growth, sex ratios and expression of specific genes involved in metamorphosis of wood frog tadpoles (Lithobates sylvaticus). We hypothesized that exposure to this herbicide will affect developmental rates by disrupting hormone pathways, sex ratios and/or gonadal morphology. Tadpoles were chronically exposed in the laboratory from Gosner developmental stage 25 to 42 to four different concentrations of VisionMax(®) (ranging from 0.021 to 2.9 mg acid equivalents/L). Chronic exposures to VisionMax(®) had direct effects on the metamorphosis of L. sylvaticus tadpoles by decreasing development rates, however, there was a decrease in survival only in the group exposed to the highest dose of VisionMax(®) (2.9 mg a.e./L; from approximately 96% in the control group to 77% in the treatment group). There was a decrease in the number of tadpoles reaching metamorphic climax, from 78% in the control group to 42% in the VisionMax(®) (2.9 mg a.e./L) group, and a 7-day delay to reach metamorphic climax in the same treatment group. No effects of exposure on sex ratios or gonadal morphology were detected in tadpoles exposed to any of the concentrations of VisionMax(®) tested. Gene expression analyses in brain and tail tissues demonstrated that exposure to VisionMax(®) alters the expression of key genes involved in development. Results showed significant interaction (two-way ANOVA, P<0.05) between developmental Gosner stage and treatment in brain corticotropin-releasing factor, deiodinase type II (dio2) and glucocorticotiroid receptor (grII) and tail dio2 and grII. This demonstrates that mRNA levels may be differently affected by treatment depending on the developmental stage at which they are assessed. At the same time there was a clear dose-response effect for VisionMax(®) to increase thyroid hormone receptor β in tadpole brain (F(2

  11. How Does Adult Attachment Affect Human Recognition of Love-related and Sex-related Stimuli: An ERP Study

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Juan; Chen, Xin; Liu, Jinqun; Yao, Fangshu; Huang, Jiani; Ndasauka, Yamikani; Ma, Ru; Zhang, Yuting; Lan, Jing; Liu, Lu; Fang, Xiaoyi

    2016-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated the relationship among three emotion-motivation systems (adult attachment, romantic love, and sex). We recorded event-related potentials in 37 healthy volunteers who had experienced romantic love while they viewed SEX, LOVE, FRIEND, SPORT, and NEUTRAL images. We also measured adult attachment styles, level of passionate love and sexual attitudes. As expected, results showed that, firstly, response to love-related image-stimuli and sex-related image-stimuli on the electrophysiological data significantly different on N1, N2, and positive slow wave (PSW) components. Secondly, the different adult attachment styles affected individuals’ recognition processing in response to love-related and sex-related images, especially, to sex-related images. Further analysis showed that voltages elicited by fearful attachment style individuals were significantly lower than voltages elicited by secure and dismissing attachment style individuals on sex-related images at frontal sites, on N1 and N2 components. Thirdly, from behavior data, we found that adult attachment styles were not significantly related to any dimension of sexual attitudes but were significantly related to passionate love scale (PLS) total points. Thus, the behavior results were not in line with the electrophysiological results. The present study proved that adult attachment styles might mediate individuals’ lust and attraction systems. PMID:27199830

  12. How Does Adult Attachment Affect Human Recognition of Love-related and Sex-related Stimuli: An ERP Study.

    PubMed

    Hou, Juan; Chen, Xin; Liu, Jinqun; Yao, Fangshu; Huang, Jiani; Ndasauka, Yamikani; Ma, Ru; Zhang, Yuting; Lan, Jing; Liu, Lu; Fang, Xiaoyi

    2016-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated the relationship among three emotion-motivation systems (adult attachment, romantic love, and sex). We recorded event-related potentials in 37 healthy volunteers who had experienced romantic love while they viewed SEX, LOVE, FRIEND, SPORT, and NEUTRAL images. We also measured adult attachment styles, level of passionate love and sexual attitudes. As expected, results showed that, firstly, response to love-related image-stimuli and sex-related image-stimuli on the electrophysiological data significantly different on N1, N2, and positive slow wave (PSW) components. Secondly, the different adult attachment styles affected individuals' recognition processing in response to love-related and sex-related images, especially, to sex-related images. Further analysis showed that voltages elicited by fearful attachment style individuals were significantly lower than voltages elicited by secure and dismissing attachment style individuals on sex-related images at frontal sites, on N1 and N2 components. Thirdly, from behavior data, we found that adult attachment styles were not significantly related to any dimension of sexual attitudes but were significantly related to passionate love scale (PLS) total points. Thus, the behavior results were not in line with the electrophysiological results. The present study proved that adult attachment styles might mediate individuals' lust and attraction systems.

  13. Quantitative measure of sexual selection with respect to the operational sex ratio: a comparison of selection indices

    PubMed Central

    Mills, Suzanne C; Grapputo, Alessandro; Koskela, Esa; Mappes, Tapio

    2006-01-01

    Despite numerous indices proposed to predict the evolution of mating systems, a unified measure of sexual selection has remained elusive. Three previous studies have compared indices of sexual selection under laboratory conditions. Here, we use a genetic study to compare the most widely used measures of sexual selection in natural populations. We explored the mating and reproductive successes of male and female bank voles, Clethrionomys glareolus, across manipulated operational sex ratios (OSRs) by genotyping all adult and pup bank voles on 13 islands using six microsatellite loci. We used Bateman's principles (Is and I and Bateman gradients) and selection coefficients (s′ and β′) to evaluate, for the first time, the genetic mating system of bank voles and compared these measures with alternative indices of sexual selection (index of monopolization and Morisita's index) across the OSRs. We found that all the sexual selection indices show significant positive intercorrelations for both males and females, suggesting that Bateman's principles are an accurate and a valid measure of the mating system. The Bateman gradient, in particular, provides information over and above that of other sexual selection indices. Male bank voles show a greater potential for sexual selection than females, and Bateman gradients indicate a polygynandrous mating system. Selection coefficients reveal strong selection gradients on male bank vole plasma testosterone level rather than body size. PMID:17134998

  14. Seasonal Variation in Female Mate Choice and Operational Sex Ratio in Wild Populations of an Annual Fish, Austrolebias reicherti

    PubMed Central

    Passos, Carlos; Tassino, Bettina; Reyes, Federico; Rosenthal, Gil G.

    2014-01-01

    The intensity of mating competition and the potential benefits for female of mating with certain males can be influenced by several extrinsic factors, such that behavioral decisions can be highly context-dependent. Short-lived species with a single reproductive season are a unique model to study context-sensitive mating decisions. Through exhaustive sampling in the field and simultaneous choice tests in the laboratory, we evaluated operational sex ratio (OSR) and female mate choice at the beginning and end of the reproductive season in the annual killifish Austrolebias reicherti. We found seasonal change in both OSR and female mate choice. At the start of the reproductive season the OSR did not deviate from parity, and females preferred larger males. Later in the reproductive season, while the proportion of males in the ponds decreased, females became unselective with respect to male size. The particular biological cycle of annual killifish, where both life expectancy and mating opportunities decline sharply over a short timescale, could account for the seasonal change in female choice. Reduction in choosiness could arise from diminished reproductive prospects due to a decline in male availability. Moreover, as the end of the season approaches, any benefits of choosiness are presumably reduced: a female’s fitness will be higher if she mates with any male than if she forgoes reproduction and dies. Future work will disentangle the mechanisms underlying seasonal changes in mating preferences, notably direct responses to demographic factors, environmental cues, or intrinsic changes during development. PMID:25029019

  15. Seasonal variation in female mate choice and operational sex ratio in wild populations of an annual fish, Austrolebias reicherti.

    PubMed

    Passos, Carlos; Tassino, Bettina; Reyes, Federico; Rosenthal, Gil G

    2014-01-01

    The intensity of mating competition and the potential benefits for female of mating with certain males can be influenced by several extrinsic factors, such that behavioral decisions can be highly context-dependent. Short-lived species with a single reproductive season are a unique model to study context-sensitive mating decisions. Through exhaustive sampling in the field and simultaneous choice tests in the laboratory, we evaluated operational sex ratio (OSR) and female mate choice at the beginning and end of the reproductive season in the annual killifish Austrolebias reicherti. We found seasonal change in both OSR and female mate choice. At the start of the reproductive season the OSR did not deviate from parity, and females preferred larger males. Later in the reproductive season, while the proportion of males in the ponds decreased, females became unselective with respect to male size. The particular biological cycle of annual killifish, where both life expectancy and mating opportunities decline sharply over a short timescale, could account for the seasonal change in female choice. Reduction in choosiness could arise from diminished reproductive prospects due to a decline in male availability. Moreover, as the end of the season approaches, any benefits of choosiness are presumably reduced: a female's fitness will be higher if she mates with any male than if she forgoes reproduction and dies. Future work will disentangle the mechanisms underlying seasonal changes in mating preferences, notably direct responses to demographic factors, environmental cues, or intrinsic changes during development.

  16. Population structure, sex ratio and growth of the seabob shrimp Xiphopenaeus kroyeri (Decapoda, Penaeidae) from coastal waters of southern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Grabowski, Raphael Cezar; Simões, Sabrina Morilhas; Castilho, Antonio Leão

    2014-01-01

    Abstract This study evaluated the growth and population structure of Xiphopenaeus kroyeri in Babitonga Bay, southern Brazil. Monthly trawls were conducted from July 2010 through June 2011, using a shrimp boat outfitted with double-rig nets, at depths from 5 to 17 m. Differences from the expected 0.5 sex ratio were determined by applying a Binomial test. A von Bertalanffy growth model was used to estimate the individual growth, and longevity was calculated using its inverted formula. A total of 4,007 individuals were measured, including 1,106 juveniles (sexually immature) and 2,901 adults. Females predominated in the larger size classes. Males and females showed asymptotic lengths of 27.7 mm and 31.4 mm, growth constants of 0.0086 and 0.0070 per day, and longevities of 538 and 661 days, respectively. The predominance of females in larger size classes is the general rule in species of Penaeidae. The paradigm of latitudinal-effect does not appear to apply to seabob shrimp on the southern Brazilian coast, perhaps because of the small proportion of larger individuals, the occurrence of cryptic species, or the intense fishing pressure in this region. The longevity values are within the general range for species of Penaeidae. The higher estimates for longevity in populations at lower latitudes may have occurred because of the growth constants observed at these locations, resulting in overestimation of this parameter. PMID:25561841

  17. Environmentally relevant concentrations of ammonium perchlorate inhibit thyroid function and alter sex ratios in developing Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Goleman, Wanda L; Carr, James A; Anderson, Todd A

    2002-03-01

    Embryos and larvae of the South African frog Xenopus laevis were exposed to ammonium perchlorate (AP) or control medium for 70 d. The dosage levels (59 ppb, 14,140 ppb) bracketed a range of perchlorate concentrations measured in surface waters at the Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant (LHAAP) in Karnack, Texas, USA. The experiment also included a 28-d nontreatment recovery period to assess the reversibility of AP effects. There were no significant effects of AP on mortality or hatching success. There were no effects of AP on developmental abnormalities such as bent/asymmetric tails or edema. Ammonium perchlorate inhibited forelimb emergence, the percentage of animals completing tail resorption, and hindlimb development during the 70-d exposure period. Only the upper AP concentration reduced whole-body thyroxine content, whereas both concentrations caused significant hypertrophy of the thyroid follicular epithelium. Both concentrations of AP caused a skewed sex ratio, significantly reducing the percentage of males at metamorphosis. The effects of AP on metamorphosis and thyroid function were reversed during the 28-d nontreatment recovery period. We conclude that AP inhibits thyroid activity and alters gonadal differentiation in developing X. laevis. These effects were observed at concentrations at or below concentrations reported in surface waters contaminated with ammonium perchlorate, suggesting that this contaminant may pose a threat to normal development and growth in natural amphibian populations.

  18. Population structure, sex ratio and growth of the seabob shrimp Xiphopenaeuskroyeri (Decapoda, Penaeidae) from coastal waters of southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Grabowski, Raphael Cezar; Simões, Sabrina Morilhas; Castilho, Antonio Leão

    2014-01-01

    This study evaluated the growth and population structure of Xiphopenaeuskroyeri in Babitonga Bay, southern Brazil. Monthly trawls were conducted from July 2010 through June 2011, using a shrimp boat outfitted with double-rig nets, at depths from 5 to 17 m. Differences from the expected 0.5 sex ratio were determined by applying a Binomial test. A von Bertalanffy growth model was used to estimate the individual growth, and longevity was calculated using its inverted formula. A total of 4,007 individuals were measured, including 1,106 juveniles (sexually immature) and 2,901 adults. Females predominated in the larger size classes. Males and females showed asymptotic lengths of 27.7 mm and 31.4 mm, growth constants of 0.0086 and 0.0070 per day, and longevities of 538 and 661 days, respectively. The predominance of females in larger size classes is the general rule in species of Penaeidae. The paradigm of latitudinal-effect does not appear to apply to seabob shrimp on the southern Brazilian coast, perhaps because of the small proportion of larger individuals, the occurrence of cryptic species, or the intense fishing pressure in this region. The longevity values are within the general range for species of Penaeidae. The higher estimates for longevity in populations at lower latitudes may have occurred because of the growth constants observed at these locations, resulting in overestimation of this parameter.

  19. Intestinal development of bovine foetuses during gestation is affected by foetal sex and maternal nutrition.

    PubMed

    Gionbelli, T R S; Rotta, P P; Veloso, C M; Valadares Filho, S C; Carvalho, B C; Marcondes, M I; Ferreira, M F L; Souza, J V F; Santos, J S A A; Lacerda, L C; Duarte, M S; Gionbelli, M P

    2016-08-03

    We aimed to evaluate the effects of maternal nutrition (MN) and foetal sex on the intestinal development of bovine foetuses throughout different days of gestation (DG). Forty-four multiparous, dry Holstein × Gyr cows with average initial body weight of 480 ± 10 kg were fed the same diet of either restricted feeding at 1.15% of body weight (CO, n = 24) or fed ad libitum (overnourished, ON, n = 20). Six cows from CO group and five cows from ON group were slaughtered at 139, 199, 241 and 268 DG, and foetuses were necropsied to evaluate the intestinal development. The mass, length and density of foetal intestines were not affected by MN (p ≥ 0.260). An interaction between MN and DG was observed for the villi length of jejunum (p = 0.006) and ileum (p < 0.001). Villi length of jejunum and ileum was higher (p < 0.10) in foetuses from ON-fed cows than in foetuses from CO-fed cows at 139 DG. However, at 199 DG, the villi length of jejunum and ileum of foetuses from CO-fed cows was higher than in foetuses from ON-fed cows. Despite these differences, MN did not affect the villi length of jejunum and ileum at 268 DG (p > 0.10). Female foetuses had greater small intestine mass (p = 0.093), large intestine mass (p = 0.022), small intestine mass in proportion to body mass (p = 0.017) and large intestine mass in proportion to body mass (p < 0.001) than male foetuses. Female foetuses had also longer small intestine (p = 0.077) and greater small intestine density (p = 0.021) and villi length of jejunum (p = 0.001) and ileum (p = 0.010) than males. We conclude that MN affects the pathway for the development of foetal villi length throughout the gestation in bovine foetuses without changing the final villi length. Female foetuses had higher intestinal mass, density and villi length than males during the foetal phase in bovines.

  20. Transposon insertions causing constitutive sex-lethal activity in Drosophila melanogaster affect Sxl sex-specific transcript splicing

    SciTech Connect

    Berstein, M.; Cline, T.W. |; Lersch, R.A.; Subrahmanyan, L.

    1995-02-01

    Sex-lethal (Sxl) gene products induce female development in Drosophila melanogaster and suppress the transcriptional hyperactivation of X-linked genes responsible for male X-chromosome dosage compensation. Control of Sxl functioning by the dose of X-chromosomes normally ensures that the female-specific functions of this developmental switch gene are only expressed in diplo-X individuals. Although the immediate effect of X-chromosome dose is on Sxl transcription, during most of the life cycle {open_quotes}on{close_quotes} vs. {open_quotes}off{close_quotes} reflects alternative Sxl RNA splicing, with the female (productive) splicing mode maintained by a positive feedback activity of SXL protein on Sxl pre-mRNA splicing. {open_quotes}Male-lethal{close_quotes} (Sxl{sup M}) gain-of-function alleles subvert Sxl control by X-chromosome dose, allowing female Sxl functions to be expressed independent of the positive regulators upstream of Sxl. As a consequence, Sxl{sup M} haplo-X animals (chromosomal males) die because of improper dosage compensation, and Sxl{sup m} chromosomal females survive the otherwise lethal effects of mutations in upstream positive regulators. Transcript analysis of double-mutant male-viable Sxl{sup M} derivatives in which the Sxl{sup M} insertion is cis to loss-of-function mutations, combined with other results reported here, indicates that the constitutive character of these Sxl{sup M} alleles is a consequence of an alteration of the structure of the pre-mRNA that allow some level of female splicing to occur even in the absence of functional SXL protein. Surprisingly, however, most of the constitutive character of Sxl{sup M} alleles appears to depend on the mutant alleles` responsiveness, perhaps greater than wild-type, to the autoregulatory splicing activity of the wild-type SXL proteins they produce. 47 refs., 10 figs., 4 tabs.

  1. Genetic Diversity of the Invasive Gall Wasp Leptocybe invasa (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) and of its Rickettsia Endosymbiont, and Associated Sex-Ratio Differences

    PubMed Central

    Nugnes, Francesco; Gebiola, Marco; Monti, Maurilia Maria; Gualtieri, Liberata; Giorgini, Massimo; Wang, Jianguo; Bernardo, Umberto

    2015-01-01

    The blue-gum chalcid Leptocybe invasa Fisher & LaSalle (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) is a gall wasp pest of Eucalyptus species, likely native to Australia. Over the past 15 years it has invaded 39 countries on all continents where eucalypts are grown. The worldwide invasion of the blue gum chalcid was attributed to a single thelytokous morphospecies formally described in 2004. Subsequently, however, males have been recorded in several countries and the sex ratio of field populations has been found to be highly variable in different areas. In order to find an explanation for such sex ratio differences, populations of L. invasa from a broad geographical area were screened for the symbionts currently known as reproductive manipulators, and both wasps and symbionts were genetically characterized using multiple genes. Molecular analyses suggested that L. invasa is in fact a complex of two cryptic species involved in the rapid and efficient spread of the wasp, the first recovered from the Mediterranean region and South America, the latter from China. All screened specimens were infected by endosymbiotic bacteria belonging to the genus Rickettsia. Two closely related Rickettsia strains were found, each infecting one of the two putative cryptic species of L. invasa and associated with different average sex ratios. Rickettsia were found to be localized in the female reproductive tissues and transovarially transmitted, suggesting a possible role of Rickettsia as the causal agent of thelytokous parthenogenesis in L. invasa. Implications for the variation of sex ratio and for the management of L. invasa are discussed. PMID:25970681

  2. Genetic Diversity of the Invasive Gall Wasp Leptocybe invasa (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) and of its Rickettsia Endosymbiont, and Associated Sex-Ratio Differences.

    PubMed

    Nugnes, Francesco; Gebiola, Marco; Monti, Maurilia Maria; Gualtieri, Liberata; Giorgini, Massimo; Wang, Jianguo; Bernardo, Umberto

    2015-01-01

    The blue-gum chalcid Leptocybe invasa Fisher & LaSalle (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) is a gall wasp pest of Eucalyptus species, likely native to Australia. Over the past 15 years it has invaded 39 countries on all continents where eucalypts are grown. The worldwide invasion of the blue gum chalcid was attributed to a single thelytokous morphospecies formally described in 2004. Subsequently, however, males have been recorded in several countries and the sex ratio of field populations has been found to be highly variable in different areas. In order to find an explanation for such sex ratio differences, populations of L. invasa from a broad geographical area were screened for the symbionts currently known as reproductive manipulators, and both wasps and symbionts were genetically characterized using multiple genes. Molecular analyses suggested that L. invasa is in fact a complex of two cryptic species involved in the rapid and efficient spread of the wasp, the first recovered from the Mediterranean region and South America, the latter from China. All screened specimens were infected by endosymbiotic bacteria belonging to the genus Rickettsia. Two closely related Rickettsia strains were found, each infecting one of the two putative cryptic species of L. invasa and associated with different average sex ratios. Rickettsia were found to be localized in the female reproductive tissues and transovarially transmitted, suggesting a possible role of Rickettsia as the causal agent of thelytokous parthenogenesis in L. invasa. Implications for the variation of sex ratio and for the management of L. invasa are discussed.

  3. Trends in Infectious Diseases and the Male to Female Ratio: Possible Clues to Changes in Behavior among Men Who Have Sex with Men

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beltrami, John F.; Shouse, R. Luke; Blake, Paul A.

    2005-01-01

    Men who have sex with men (MSM) are a priority population for HIV care and prevention programs. This report describes HIV and other sexually transmitted disease (STD) trends among MSM in metropolitan Atlanta by analyzing nine databases. We describe the use of the male-to-female (M:F) ratio, a surrogate marker for MSM in databases without…

  4. Estimating the effect of the one-child policy on the sex ratio imbalance in China: identification based on the difference-in-differences.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongbin; Yi, Junjian; Zhang, Junsen

    2011-11-01

    In China, the male-biased sex ratio has increased significantly. Because the one-child policy applies only to the Han Chinese but not to minorities, this unique affirmative policy allows us to identify the causal effect of the one-child policy on the increase in sex ratios by using a difference-in-differences (DD) estimator. Using the 1990 census, we find that the strict enforcement of the one-child policy led to 4.4 extra boys per 100 girls in the 1980s, accounting for about 94% of the total increase in sex ratios during this period. The robust tests indicate that the estimated policy effect is not likely confounded by other omitted policy shocks or socioeconomic changes. Moreover, we conduct the DD estimation using both the 2000 census and the 2005 mini-census. Our estimates suggest that the one-child policy resulted in about 7.0 extra boys per 100 girls for the 1991-2005 birth cohorts. The effect of the one-child policy accounts for about 57% and 54% of the total increases in sex ratios for the 1991-2000 and 2001-2005 birth cohorts, respectively.

  5. Effects of temperature and host stage on the parasitization rate and offspring sex ratio of Aenasius bambawalei Hayat in Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Juan; Xia, Tianfeng

    2016-01-01

    Temperature and host stage are important factors that determine the successful development of parasitoids. Aenasius bambawalei Hayat (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) is a primary parasitoid of the newly invasive mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae). The effects of temperature on the parasitic characteristics of A. bambawalei have seldom been investigated. In the study, we explored the effects of temperature, exposure time, and host stage on the parasitization rate and offspring sex ratio (female to male) of A. bambawalei under laboratory conditions. The laboratory results showed that the successful parasitization rate of A. bambawalei increased with higher temperatures and older host stages. When the parasitoids were exposed to 36 °C for 24 h, the parasitization rate of female adults (52%) was nearly two times that of 3rd instar nymphs. Additionally, heat stress duration and host stage resulted in an increase in the offspring sex ratio of A. bambawalei. When A. bambawalei was exposed to 36 °C for 24 h, the offspring sex ratio increased dramatically to 81.78% compared with those exposed for 12 h, and it increased to 45.34% compared with those exposed for 16 h. The offspring sex ratio was clearly higher when the host stage was an adult female mealybug Our findings provide important guidance for the mass rearing and field releases of A. bambawalei for the management of P. solenopsis in the future. PMID:26788437

  6. He throws like a girl (but only when he's sad): emotion affects sex-decoding of biological motion displays.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Kerri L; McKay, Lawrie S; Pollick, Frank E

    2011-05-01

    Gender stereotypes have been implicated in sex-typed perceptions of facial emotion. Such interpretations were recently called into question because facial cues of emotion are confounded with sexually dimorphic facial cues. Here we examine the role of visual cues and gender stereotypes in perceptions of biological motion displays, thus overcoming the morphological confounding inherent in facial displays. In four studies, participants' judgments revealed gender stereotyping. Observers accurately perceived emotion from biological motion displays (Study 1), and this affected sex categorizations. Angry displays were overwhelmingly judged to be men; sad displays were judged to be women (Studies 2-4). Moreover, this pattern remained strong when stimuli were equated for velocity (Study 3). We argue that these results were obtained because perceivers applied gender stereotypes of emotion to infer sex category (Study 4). Implications for both vision sciences and social psychology are discussed.

  7. The contrasting effects of ad libitum and restricted feeding of a diet very high in saturated fats on sex ratio and metabolic hormones in mice.

    PubMed

    Alexenko, Andrei P; Mao, Jiude; Ellersieck, Mark R; Davis, Angela M; Whyte, Jeffrey J; Rosenfeld, Cheryl S; Roberts, R Michael

    2007-10-01

    Skewing of the sex ratio towards males occurs among pups born to mice fed a very high saturated fat (VHF) diet. In the present study, we tested whether the fat content of the VHF diet rather than the number of calories consumed is responsible for this effect. Eight-week-old NIH Swiss mice were placed on the VHF diet either ad libitum (VHF) or in a restricted manner (VHF-R). The VHF-R mice gained weight at a similar rate to controls fed a standard chow diet. Mice were bred at 15 wk and subsequently at 26 wk and 35 wk of age. Overall, the VHF, VHF-R, and control groups delivered 244, 242, and 274 pups, respectively, with male proportions of 0.60, 0.43, and 0.48, respectively. The pup sex ratios of the VHF group (favoring males) and VHF-R group (favoring females) each differed from 0.5 (P < 0.01). The sex ratios also differed (P < 0.0001) between the VHF and control groups, and between the VHF and VHF-R groups. Within the diet groups, maternal body weight had no effect on sex ratio. Serum leptin concentrations among the dams were similar in the VHF and VHF-R groups but higher than in the control group, while the IGF1 and corticosterone levels were comparable in all three groups. Therefore, the atypical sex ratios of offspring born to dams on the VHF diet seem to be influenced by the amount of fat consumed. Since males fed the VHF diet had neither more Y-sperm nor sired more sons than daughters, the dietary effects are manifested exclusively through the female.

  8. Sex ratio and female sexual status of the coconut pest, Oryctes monoceros (Coleoptera: Dynastidae), differ in feeding galleries and pheromone-baited traps.

    PubMed

    Allou, K; Morin, J-P; Kouassi, P; Hala N'klo, F; Rochat, D

    2008-12-01

    Oryctes monoceros is a serious coconut pest, causing up to 40% damage in tropical Africa. Synthetic aggregation pheromone, ethyl 4-methyloctanoate, has been used to lure adults to traps. Traps with pheromone plus decaying palm material captured a high proportion of males. This raises the question whether individuals, which damage palms are receptive to the pheromone. We studied the sex ratio of the insects feeding on coconuts and those attracted to pheromone traps. Sixty two percent of adults from feeding galleries on living coconut palms were females. Pheromone with rotting palm material lured 43% females. To investigate the reasons for this difference, we compared the reproductive system of females lured to the odour traps or feeding in coconut galleries, or present in old rotting stems. Ninety six percent of the females trapped by pheromone had mated, and were sexually mature. In the galleries on living palms, 46% of females were immature, and 24% had not mated. In old rotting stems where eggs are laid and larvae develop, a mixture of 52% mated and 48% virgin females was found. Therefore, the pheromone together with the odour of rotting coconut stems signals a reproduction site to beetles, particularly mature females. In practice, the pheromone-baited traps will help in reducing the dissemination of gravid females, but will not affect directly the numbers of immature ones attacking palms. Our results show that when using pheromones for monitoring or controlling insects, the physiological status of the insects may have unexpected effects on the outcome.

  9. Long-term stability of allozyme frequencies in a wood lemming, Myopus schisticolor, population with a biased sex ratio and density fluctuations.

    PubMed

    Vuorinen, J A; Eskelinen, O

    2005-04-01

    Wood lemming (Myopus schisticolor) populations are characterized by female biased sex ratios and cyclic variations in population size. Both of these characteristics are assumed to reduce genetic variation and thus affect the evolutionary adaptation of the species. We addressed these questions by studying the genetic structure of a wood lemming population from eastern Finland by isozyme markers during a 21-year period, which corresponds to 40-50 generations. Contingency tests showed that genotypic proportions conformed to Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in each of the four sampling years. Among the temporal replicates, allele frequencies differed most by 0.14 and were not significant. Genetic variation was also stable and fairly high with a mean observed heterozygosity of H = 0.057. Variability in the Heinavesi population was higher than previously reported in wood lemming. The difference was mainly caused by variation at a phosphoglucomutase locus that was monomorphic in earlier studies. Significant linkage disequilibrium was observed in three of the comparisons but the disequilibrium did not appear consistently in all years. This pattern was also evidenced by the variance components, which indicated that selection favoured for specific allele pairs only in few subsamples.

  10. Beauty and the Eye of the Beholder: Gender and Attractiveness Affect Judgments in Teacher Sex Offense Cases.

    PubMed

    Mackelprang, Emily; Becker, Judith V

    2015-08-03

    The present study investigated the effects of gender and attractiveness on judgments of bail requirements, incarceration, and sex offender registration lengths, and attitudes toward offenders and victims in a teacher-student sexual perpetration scenario. Researchers presented 432 undergraduate students at a large southwestern university with one of four vignettes detailing a sexual relationship between a 35-year-old teacher and a 14-year-old student. Vignettes varied by both attractiveness and gender of the offender (using heterosexual offender-victim dyads). Results indicate that both gender and attractiveness affect judgments of sex offenders; specifically, female sexual offenders were viewed more leniently and judged less punitively than male sexual offenders. Although attractive female sexual offenders were given particularly lenient treatment, attractiveness did not affect judgments toward male sex offenders. In addition, although male and female participants tended to rate male offenders similarly, male participants were more lenient toward female offenders than were female participants. Finally, post hoc analyses revealed that, for many variables, unattractive female sexual offenders may not be viewed differently from male sexual offenders. These results have serious implications for the legal system, sex offender management, and societal views regarding male and female sexual offenders and their victims.

  11. Birth Order and Sibling Sex Ratio in a Population with High Fertility: Are Turkish Male to Female Transsexuals Different?

    PubMed

    Bozkurt, Ali; Bozkurt, Ozlem Hekim; Sonmez, Ipek

    2015-07-01

    Western studies have consistently found that androphilic (sexually attracted to men) male-to-female transsexuals have a later birth order and a relative excess of brothers compared with appropriate control participants. However, non-Western studies on birth order and sibling sex ratio in androphilic males (transsexual or non-transsexual) are rare. The objective of the study was to test the hypothesis that androphilic male-to-female transsexuals have a late birth order and a relative excess of brothers in a non-Western culture with a higher fertility rate. The participants were 60 androphilic male-to-female transsexuals and 61 male heterosexual controls. The transsexual participants had significantly more older brothers than the control participants, but the groups did not differ in their numbers of older sisters, younger brothers, or younger sisters. The foregoing pattern is usually referred to as the "fraternal birth order effect." Slater's and Berglin's Indexes both showed that the mean birth order of the control participants was very close to that expected from a random sample drawn from a demographically stable population whereas the mean birth order of the transsexual participants was later. A measure of sibship composition, brothers/all siblings, showed that the transsexual group had a higher proportion of male siblings compared with the control group. In conclusion, the present study found that Turkish androphilic male-to-female transsexuals show the same high fraternal birth order that has been found in comparable androphilic samples in Western Europe, North America, and the South Pacific, which suggests a common underlying biological causal mechanism.

  12. The Effect of Resistant Soybean on Male and Female Development and Adult Sex Ratios of Heterodera glycines

    PubMed Central

    Colgrove, A. L.; Niblack, T. L.

    2005-01-01

    To determine whether currently used sources of resistance (soybean Plant Introductions [PI] 548402, 88788, 90763, 437654, 209332, 89772, and 548316) influence sex ratios in H. glycines, four inbred lines of the nematode characterized by zero or high numbers of females on resistant soybean were used to observe the number of adult males produced. Nematodes were allowed to infect soybean roots for 5 days in pasteurized sand. Infected plants were washed and transferred to hydroponic culture tubes. Males were collected every 2 to 3 days up to 30 days after infestation (DAI), and females were collected at 30 DAI. Resistance that suppressed adult females also altered adult male numbers. On PI 548402, 90763, and 437654, male numbers were low and close to zero, whereas on PI 88788, male numbers were higher (α = 0.05). In a separate experiment, the same PIs were infected by an inbred line that tested as an HG Type 0 (i.e., the numbers of females that developed on each PI were less than 10% of the number that developed on the standard susceptible soybean cultivar Lee). In this experiment, male numbers were similar to female numbers on PI 548402, 90763, 437654, and 89772, whereas male numbers on PI 88788, 209332, and 548316 were higher than those of females (α = 0.05). In all experiments, the total number of adults that developed to maturity relative to the number of second-stage juveniles that initially penetrated the root was less on resistant than on susceptible soybean (P ≤ 0.05), indicating that resistance influenced H. glycines survival and not sexual development. PMID:19262856

  13. Do mothers prefer helpers or smaller litters? Birth sex ratio and litter size adjustment in cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus)

    PubMed Central

    Boulton, Rebecca A; Fletcher, Alison W

    2015-01-01

    Sex allocation theory has been a remarkably productive field in behavioral ecology with empirical evidence regularly supporting quantitative theoretical predictions. Across mammals in general and primates in particular, however, support for the various hypotheses has been more equivocal. Population-level sex ratio biases have often been interpreted as supportive, but evidence for small-scale facultative adjustment has rarely been found. The helper repayment (HR) also named the local resource enhancement (LRE) hypothesis predicts that, in cooperatively breeding species, mothers invest more in the sex which assists with rearing future offspring and that this bias will be more pronounced in mothers who require extra assistance (i.e., due to inexperience or a lack of available alloparents). We tested these hypotheses in captive cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) utilizing the international studbook and birth records obtained through a questionnaire from ISIS-registered institutions. Infant sex, litter size, mother's age, parity, and group composition (presence of nonreproductive subordinate males and females) were determined from these records. The HR hypothesis was supported over the entire population, which was significantly biased toward males (the “helpful” sex). We found little support for helper repayment at the individual level, as primiparous females and those in groups without alloparents did not exhibit more extreme tendencies to produce male infants. Primiparous females were, however, more likely to produce singleton litters. Singleton births were more likely to be male, which suggests that there may be an interaction between litter size adjustment and sex allocation. This may be interpreted as supportive of the HR hypothesis, but alternative explanations at both the proximate and ultimate levels are possible. These possibilities warrant further consideration when attempting to understand the ambiguous results of primate sex ratio studies so far

  14. Do mothers prefer helpers or smaller litters? Birth sex ratio