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 The effects of one source of variation superseded the other within about two generations.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. Transgenerational sex determination: the embryonic environment experienced by a male affects offspring sex ratio

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. [Factors affecting live birth sex ratio in assisted reproductive technology procedures].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lijia; Quan, Song

    2015-07-01

    To study the factors that affect the sex ratio of live births in procedures of assisted reproductive technology (ART). The clinical data were collected from 4348 IVF-ET/freeze-thawed embryo transfer cycles that led to the birth of 5606 babies of known gender between 2008 and 2014. We assessed the impact of maternal age, paternal age, insemination method, the type of embryo transferred, stage of embryo transferred, single and twin births, previous abortion following ART, and cause of infertility on the sex ratio of the live births. The total cohort included 3019 male and 2588 female babies, with a general sex ratio of 116:100. The sex ratio was 117:100 among singleton deliveries and 116:100 among twin deliveries. The sex ratio was 117:100 among the first births with ART treatment and 117:100 among the second births. For singleton deliveries, an advanced maternal age or paternal age was significantly correlated with an elevated sex ratio of births (58.4% vs 52.8%, P=0.012; 56.4% vs 52.3%, P=0.026), while ICSI was significantly correlated with a decreased sex ratio of births (45.7% vs 55.6%, P<0.001); for twin deliveries, none of the these factors was significantly correlated with the sex ratio of birth. For the first baby born after ART treatment, an advanced maternal age was significantly related to an increased sex ratio of births (57.4% vs 53.0%, P=0.009), while ICSI was significantly related to a decreased sex ratio of births (48.6% vs 55.4%, P=0.001); for the second baby born with ART treatment, none of these factors was significantly correlated with the sex ratio of birth. Univariate logistic regression analysis showed that the maternal age (OR:0.836, 95% CI 0.731-0.955, P<0.05) and insemination method (OR:1.151, 95% CI 1.027-1.289, P<0.05) were significantly related to the sex ratio of birth, but in multivariable logistic regression analysis, after controlling for compounding factors, none of these factors was identified as independent predictive factors for

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. Manipulation of the vertebrate host's testosterone does not affect gametocyte sex ratio of a malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Osgood, Sarah M; Eisen, Rebecca J; Wargo, Andrew R; Schall, Jos J

    2003-02-01

    Gametocyte sex ratio of the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum is variable in its host, the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis), both among infections and within infections over time. We sought to determine the effect of host physiological quality on the gametocyte sex ratio in experimentally induced infections of P. mexicanum. Adult male lizards were assigned to 4 treatment groups: castrated, castrated + testosterone implant, sham implant, and unmanipulated control. No significant difference in gametocyte sex ratio was found among the 4 treatment groups. Two other analyses were performed. A surgery stress analysis compared infection sex ratio of castrated, castrated + testosterone implant, and sham implant groups with the unmanipulated control group. A testosterone alteration analysis compared infection sex ratio of the castrated and castrated + testosterone implant groups with the sham implant and unmanipulated control groups. Again, no significant difference was observed for these 2 comparisons. Thus, physiological changes expected for experimentally induced variation in host testosterone and the stress of surgery were not associated with any change in the gametocyte sex ratio. Also, theex-periment suggests testosterone is not a cue for shaping the sex ratio of gametocytes in P. mexicanum. These results are related to the evolutionary theory of sex ratios as applied to malaria parasites.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-08-01

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

  16. Sex ratio evolution under probabilistic sex determination.

    PubMed

    Paixão, Tiago; Phadke, Sujal S; Azevedo, Ricardo B R; Zufall, Rebecca A

    2011-07-01

    Sex allocation theory has been remarkably successful at explaining the prevalence of even sex ratios in natural populations and at identifying specific conditions that can result in biased sex ratios. Much of this theory focuses on parental sex determination (SD) strategies. Here, we consider instead the evolutionary causes and consequences of mixed offspring SD strategies, in which the genotype of an individual determines not its sex, but the probability of developing one of multiple sexes. We find that alleles specifying mixed offspring SD strategies can generally outcompete alleles that specify pure strategies, but generate constraints that may prevent a population from reaching an even sex ratio. We use our model to analyze sex ratios in natural populations of Tetrahymena thermophila, a ciliate with seven sexes determined by mixed SD alleles. We show that probabilistic SD is sufficient to account for the occurrence of skewed sex ratios in natural populations of T. thermophila, provided that their effective population sizes are small. Our results highlight the importance of genetic drift in sex ratio evolution and suggest that mixed offspring SD strategies should be more common than currently thought. © 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Uterine crowding in the sow affects litter sex ratio, placental development and embryonic myogenin expression in early gestation.

    PubMed

    Tse, W-Y; Town, S C; Murdoch, G K; Novak, S; Dyck, M K; Putman, C T; Foxcroft, G R; Dixon, W T

    2008-01-01

    Uterine crowding in the pig results in intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), and permanently affects fetal muscle fibre development, representing production losses for the commercial pig herd. The present study sought to understand how different levels of uterine crowding in sows affects muscle fibre development in the early embryo at the time of muscle fibre differentiation and proliferation. Sows either underwent surgical, unilateral oviduct ligation (LIG; n = 10) to reduce the number of embryos in the uterus, or remained as intact, relatively-crowded controls (CTR; n = 10). Embryos and placentae were collected at Day 30 of gestation, and myogenic regulatory factor (MRF) transcript abundance was determined using real-time PCR for both myogenin (MYOG) and myoblast differentiation 1 (MYOD1). Unilateral tubal ligation resulted in lower numbers of embryos in utero, higher placental weights and a higher male : female sex ratio (P < 0.05). Relative MYOD1 expression was not different, but MYOG expression was higher (P < 0.05) in the LIG group embryos; predominantly due to effects on the male embryos. Relatively modest uterine crowding therefore affects MRF expression, even at very early stages of embryonic development, and could contribute to reported differences in fetal muscle fibre development, birthweight and thus post-natal growth performance in swine.

  1. Sex ratio of nuclear industry employees' children.

    PubMed

    Maconochie, N; Roman, E; Doyle, P; Davies, G; Smith, P G; Beral, V

    2001-05-19

    Does preconceptional exposure to ionising radiation before conception affect the health of offspring? Some studies have suggested that radiation exposure might influence the sex ratio at birth, potentially indicating genetic damage. We examined the sex ratio of over 46000 children born to UK nuclear industry workers, using information on exposure from the workers' individual employment and dosimetry records. We found no statistically significant alterations of the sex ratio, and no evidence that exposure to low-level ionising radiation at work influences the sex ratio of children conceived after exposure.

  2. Preliminary Evidence Regarding the Hypothesis That the Sex Ratio at Sexual Maturity May Affect Longevity in Men

    PubMed Central

    JIN, LEI; ELWERT, FELIX; FREESE, JEREMY; CHRISTAKIS, NICHOLAS A.

    2010-01-01

    In human populations, variation in mate availability has been linked to various biological and social outcomes, but the possible effect of mate availability on health or survival has not been studied. Unbalanced sex ratios are a concern in many parts of the world, and their implications for the health and survival of the constituent individuals warrant careful investigation. We indexed mate availability with contextual sex ratios and investigated the hypothesis that the sex ratio at sexual maturity might be associated with long-term survival for men. Using two unique data sets of 7,683,462 and 4,183 men who were followed for more than 50 years, we found that men who reached their sexual maturity in an environment with higher sex ratios (i.e., higher proportions of reproductively ready men) appeared to suffer higher long-term mortality risks than those in an environment with lower sex ratios. Mate availability at sexual maturity may be linked via several biological and social mechanisms to long-term survival in men. PMID:20879678

  3. 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

  4. The evolution of sex ratio distorter suppression affects a 25 cM genomic region in the butterfly Hypolimnas bolina.

    PubMed

    Hornett, Emily A; Moran, Bruce; Reynolds, Louise A; Charlat, Sylvain; Tazzyman, Samuel; Wedell, Nina; Jiggins, Chris D; Hurst, Greg D D

    2014-12-01

    Symbionts that distort their host's sex ratio by favouring the production and survival of females are common in arthropods. Their presence produces intense Fisherian selection to return the sex ratio to parity, typified by the rapid spread of host 'suppressor' loci that restore male survival/development. In this study, we investigated the genomic impact of a selective event of this kind in the butterfly Hypolimnas bolina. Through linkage mapping, we first identified a genomic region that was necessary for males to survive Wolbachia-induced male-killing. We then investigated the genomic impact of the rapid spread of suppression, which converted the Samoan population of this butterfly from a 100:1 female-biased sex ratio in 2001 to a 1:1 sex ratio by 2006. Models of this process revealed the potential for a chromosome-wide effect. To measure the impact of this episode of selection directly, the pattern of genetic variation before and after the spread of suppression was compared. Changes in allele frequencies were observed over a 25 cM region surrounding the suppressor locus, with a reduction in overall diversity observed at loci that co-segregate with the suppressor. These changes exceeded those expected from drift and occurred alongside the generation of linkage disequilibrium. The presence of novel allelic variants in 2006 suggests that the suppressor was likely to have been introduced via immigration rather than through de novo mutation. In addition, further sampling in 2010 indicated that many of the introduced variants were lost or had declined in frequency since 2006. We hypothesize that this loss may have resulted from a period of purifying selection, removing deleterious material that introgressed during the initial sweep. Our observations of the impact of suppression of sex ratio distorting activity reveal a very wide genomic imprint, reflecting its status as one of the strongest selective forces in nature.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Sex affects immunity.

    PubMed

    Pennell, Leesa M; Galligan, Carole L; Fish, Eleanor N

    2012-05-01

    Sex based differences in immune responses, affecting both the innate and adaptive immune responses, contribute to differences in the pathogenesis of infectious diseases in males and females, the response to viral vaccines and the prevalence of autoimmune diseases. Indeed, females have a lower burden of bacterial, viral and parasitic infections, most evident during their reproductive years. Conversely, females have a higher prevalence of a number of autoimmune diseases, including Sjogren's syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and multiple sclerosis (MS). These observations suggest that gonadal hormones may have a role in this sex differential. The fundamental differences in the immune systems of males and females are attributed not only to differences in sex hormones, but are related to X chromosome gene contributions and the effects of environmental factors. A comprehensive understanding of the role that sex plays in the immune response is required for therapeutic intervention strategies against infections and the development of appropriate and effective therapies for autoimmune diseases for both males and females. This review will focus on the differences between male and female immune responses in terms of innate and adaptive immunity, and the effects of sex hormones in SLE, MS and RA. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Do operational sex ratios influence sex allocation in viviparous lizards with temperature-dependent sex determination?

    PubMed

    Allsop, D J; Warner, D A; Langkilde, T; DU, W; Shine, R

    2006-07-01

    Under certain environmental situations, selection may favour the ability of females to adjust the sex ratio of their offspring. Two recent studies have suggested that viviparous scincid lizards can modify the sex ratio of the offspring they produce in response to the operational sex ratio (OSR). Both of the species in question belong to genera that have also recently been shown to exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). Here we test whether pregnant montane water skinks (Eulamprus tympanum) utilise TSD to select offspring sex in response to population wide imbalances in the OSR, by means of active thermoregulation. We use a combination of laboratory and field-based experiments, and conduct the first field-based test of this hypothesis by maintaining females in outdoor enclosures of varying OSR treatments throughout pregnancy. Although maternal body temperature during pregnancy was influenced by OSR, the variation in temperature was not great enough to affect litter sex ratios or any other phenotypic traits of the offspring.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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).

  19. Opposing effects of mortality factors on progeny operational sex ratio may thwart adaptive manipulation of primary sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Moreau, Gaétan; Eveleigh, Eldon S; Lucarotti, Christopher J; Morin, Benoit; Quiring, Dan T

    2017-07-01

    Despite extensive research on mechanisms generating biases in sex ratios, the capacity of natural enemies to shift or further skew operational sex ratios following sex allocation and parental care remains largely unstudied in natural populations. Male cocoons of the sawfly Neodiprion abietis (Hymenoptera: Diprionidae) are consistently smaller than those of females, with very little overlap, and thus, we were able to use cocoon size to sex cocoons. We studied three consecutive cohorts of N. abietis in six forest stands to detect cocoon volume-associated biases in the attack of predators, pathogens, and parasitoids and examine how the combined effect of natural enemies shapes the realized operational sex ratio. Neodiprion abietis mortality during the cocoon stage was sex-biased, being 1.6 times greater for males than females. Greater net mortality in males occurred because male-biased mortality caused by a pteromalid parasitic wasp and a baculovirus was greater and more skewed than female-biased mortality caused by ichneumonid parasitic wasps. Variation in the susceptibility of each sex to each family of parasitoids was associated with differences in size and life histories of male and female hosts. A simulation based on the data indicated that shifts in the nature of differential mortality have different effects on the sex ratio and fitness of survivors. Because previous work has indicated that reduced host plant foliage quality induces female-biased mortality in this species, bottom-up and top-down factors acting on populations can affect operational sex ratios in similar or opposite ways. Shifts in ecological conditions therefore have the potential to alter progeny fitness and produce extreme sex ratio skews, even in the absence of unbalanced sex allocation. This would limit the capacity of females to anticipate the operational sex ratio and reliably predict the reproductive success of each gender at sex allocation.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Temperature-dependent sex ratio in a bird

    PubMed Central

    Göth, Ann; Booth, David T

    2004-01-01

    To our knowledge, there is, so far, no evidence that incubation temperature can affect sex ratios in birds, although this is common in reptiles. Here, we show that incubation temperature does affect sex ratios in megapodes, which are exceptional among birds because they use environmental heat sources for incubation. In the Australian brush-turkey Alectura lathami, a mound-building megapode, more males hatch at low incubation temperatures and more females hatch at high temperatures, whereas the proportion is 1 : 1 at the average temperature found in natural mounds. Chicks from lower temperatures weigh less, which probably affects offspring survival, but are not smaller. Megapodes possess heteromorphic sex chromosomes like other birds, which eliminates temperature-dependent sex determination, as described for reptiles, as the mechanism behind the skewed sex ratios at high and low temperatures. Instead, our data suggest a sex-biased temperature-sensitive embryo mortality because mortality was greater at the lower and higher temperatures, and minimal at the middle temperature where the sex ratio was 1 : 1. PMID:17148121

  3. Mother's occupation and sex ratio at birth.

    PubMed

    Ruckstuhl, Kathreen E; Colijn, Grant P; Amiot, Volodymyr; Vinish, Erin

    2010-05-23

    Many women are working outside of the home, occupying a multitude of jobs with varying degrees of responsibilities and levels of psychological stress. We investigated whether different job types in women are associated with child sex at birth, with the hypothesis that women in job types, which are categorized as "high psychological stress" jobs, would be more likely to give birth to a daughter than a son, as females are less vulnerable to unfavourable conditions during conception, pregnancy and after parturition, and are less costly to carry to term. We investigated the effects of mother's age, maternal and paternal job type (and associated psychological stress levels) and paternal income on sex ratio at birth. Our analyses were based on 16,384 incidences of birth from a six-year (2000 to 2005 inclusive) childbirth dataset from Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, UK. We obtained a restricted data set from Addenbrooke's hospital with: maternal age, maternal and paternal occupations, and whether or not the child was first-born. Women in job types that were categorized as "high stress" were more likely to give birth to daughters, whereas women in job types that were categorized as "low stress" had equal sex ratios or a slight male bias in offspring. We also investigated whether maternal age, and her partner's income could be associated with reversed offspring sex ratio. We found no association between mother's age, her partner's job stress category or partner income on child sex. However, there was an important interaction between job stress category and partner income in some of the analyses. Partner income appears to attenuate the association between maternal job stress and sex ratios at moderate-income levels, and reverse it at high-income levels. To our knowledge this is the first report on the association between women's job type stress categories and offspring sex ratio in humans, and the potential mitigating effect of their partners' income.

  4. Estrogenic exposure affects metamorphosis and alters sex ratios in the northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens): identifying critically vulnerable periods of development.

    PubMed

    Hogan, Natacha S; Duarte, Paula; Wade, Michael G; Lean, David R S; Trudeau, Vance L

    2008-05-01

    During the transformation from larval tadpole to juvenile frog, there are critical periods of metamorphic development and sex differentiation that may be particularly sensitive to endocrine disruption. The aim of the present study was to identify sensitive developmental periods for estrogenic endocrine disruption in the northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) using short, targeted exposures to the synthetic estrogen, ethinylestradiol (EE2). Post-hatch tadpoles (Gosner stage 27) were exposed over five distinct periods of metamorphosis: early (stage 27-30), mid (stage 30-36), early and mid (stage 27-36), late (stage 36-42), and the entire metamorphic period (chronic; stage 27-42). For each period, animals were sampled immediately following the EE2 exposure and at metamorphic climax (stage 42). The effects of EE2 on metamorphic development and sex differentiation were assessed through measures of length, weight, developmental stage, days to metamorphosis, sex ratios and incidence of gonadal intersex. Our results show that tadpoles exposed to EE2 during mid-metamorphosis were developmentally delayed immediately following exposure and took 2 weeks longer to reach metamorphic climax. In the unexposed groups, there was low proportion (0.15) of intersex tadpoles at stage 30 and gonads appeared to be morphologically distinct (male and female) in all individuals by stage 36. Tadpoles exposed early in development displayed a strong female-biased sex ratio compared to the controls. Moreover, these effects were also seen at metamorphic climax, approximately 2-3 months after the exposure period, demonstrating that transient early life-stage exposure to estrogen can induce effects on the reproductive organs that persist into the beginning of adult life-stages.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Disproportionate sex ratios of wolf pups

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mech, L.D.

    1975-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Climate and sex ratio variation in a viviparous lizard.

    PubMed

    Cunningham, George D; While, Geoffrey M; Wapstra, Erik

    2017-05-01

    The extent to which key biological processes, such as sex determination, respond to environmental fluctuations is fundamental for assessing species' susceptibility to ongoing climate change. Few studies, however, address how climate affects offspring sex in the wild. We monitored two climatically distinct populations of the viviparous skink Niveoscincus ocellatus for 16 years, recording environmental temperatures, offspring sex and date of birth. We found strong population-specific effects of temperature on offspring sex, with female offspring more common in warm years at the lowland site but no effect at the highland site. In contrast, date of birth advanced similarly in response to temperature at both sites. These results suggest strong population-specific effects of temperature on offspring sex that are independent of climatic effects on other physiological processes. These results have significant implications for our understanding of the ecological and evolutionary consequences of variation in sex ratios under climate change. © 2017 The Author(s).

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Sex Ratios at Birth and Environmental Temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lerchl, Alexander

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Sex ratios at birth after induced abortion.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-14

    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. 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. 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. 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. © 2016 Canadian Medical Association or its licensors.

  18. 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.

  19. Consistent sex ratio bias of individual female dragon lizards

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  20. 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})

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. [[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.

  4. 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

  5. The human sex ratio from conception to birth.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-21

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

  6. 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.

  7. Sex and stochasticity affect range expansion of experimental invasions.

    PubMed

    Miller, Tom E X; Inouye, Brian D

    2013-03-01

    Understanding and predicting range expansion are key objectives in many basic and applied contexts. Among dioecious organisms, there is strong evidence for sex differences in dispersal, which could alter the sex ratio at the expansion's leading edge. However, demographic stochasticity could also affect leading-edge sex ratios, perhaps overwhelming sex-biased dispersal. We used insects in laboratory mesocosms to test the effects of sex-biased dispersal on range expansion, and a simulation model to explore interactive effects of sex-biased dispersal and demographic stochasticity. Sex-biased dispersal created spatial clines in the sex ratio, which influenced offspring production at the front and altered invasion velocity. Increasing female dispersal relative to males accelerated spread, despite the prediction that demographic stochasticity would weaken a signal of sex-biased dispersal. Our results provide the first experimental evidence for an influence of sex-biased dispersal on invasion velocity, highlighting the value of accounting for sex structure in studies of range expansion. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  8. Establishment of an RTA-Bddsx hybrid system for female-specific splicing that can affect the sex ratio of Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) after embryonic injection.

    PubMed

    Huang, Chun-Yen; Huang, Chia Chia; Dai, Shu-Mei; Chang, Cheng

    2016-02-01

    The oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), a very destructive insect pest in many areas of Asia, including Taiwan, can cause significant damage by ovipositing in and larval feeding on many kinds of fruit. A female lethal system, combining the splicing property of doublesex (dsx) with the toxicity of ricin A chain (RTA), has been developed. In this system, a modified RTA is separated by Bddsx intron 3; the expressed RNA can only be spliced in females, with toxic effects, whereas the immature RTA in males is harmless. Two RTA-Bddsx constructs, clone BE 24-7 and clone CF 26-21, containing Bddsx intron 3 and its flanking exonic sequences, with four nucleotides at the 5'-end and five nucleotides at the 3'-end, correctly spliced in a sex-specific manner. Wild-type and modified RTAs expressed in an Escherichia coli system retained their ability to suppress protein synthesis: 90.4% for Ricin-WT, 71.3% for Ricin-LERQ and 58.0% for Ricin-FEGQ. Embryonic injection of Acp-CF26-21, the RTA-Bddsx gene driven by the actin 5C promoter, resulted in a significant increase in male percentage in the eclosed adults. Our results indicate that the RTA-Bddsx hybrid system offers a novel and promising approach for oriental fruit fly control. © 2015 Society of Chemical Industry.

  9. 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.

  10. Paternal inheritance of the primary sex ratio in a copepod.

    PubMed

    Voordouw, M J; Robinson, H E; Anholt, B R

    2005-09-01

    Uniparentally inherited genetic elements are under strong selection to manipulate sex determination in their host and shift the host sex ratio towards the transmitting sex. For any sex-ratio trait, lineage analysis and quantitative genetics are important tools for characterizing the mode of inheritance (biparental vs. maternal vs. paternal) thereby narrowing the field of possible sex-determining mechanisms (e.g. polygenic, sex chromosomes with meiotic drive, cytoplasmic microorganisms). The primary sex ratio of the harpacticoid copepod, Tigriopus californicus is often male-biased and is highly variable among full sib families. We found that this extra-binomial variation for the primary sex ratio is paternally but not maternally transmitted in T. californicus. Paternal transmission of the primary sex ratio has been well documented in the haplo-diploid hymenoptera but is relatively rare in diplo-diploid organisms. If the sex-ratio trait is paternally transmitted in other closely related harpacticoid copepods it would explain why male biased primary sex ratios are so common in this group.

  11. Climate effects on offspring sex ratio in a viviparous lizard.

    PubMed

    Wapstra, Erik; Uller, Tobias; Sinn, David L; Olsson, Mats; Mazurek, Katrina; Joss, Jean; Shine, Richard

    2009-01-01

    1. Understanding individual and population responses to climate change is emerging as an important challenge. Because many phenotypic traits are sensitive to environmental conditions, directional climate change could significantly alter trait distribution within populations and may generate an evolutionary response. 2. In species with environment-dependent sex determination, climate change may lead to skewed sex ratios at hatching or birth. However, there are virtually no empirical data on the putative link between climatic parameters and sex ratios from natural populations. 3. We monitored a natural population of viviparous lizards with temperature-dependent sex determination (Niveoscincus ocellatus) over seven field seasons. Sex ratios at birth fluctuated significantly among years and closely tracked thermal conditions in the field, with the proportion of male offspring increasing in colder years. 4. This is the first study to demonstrate the effect of local climatic conditions (e.g. temperature) on offspring sex ratio fluctuations in a free-living population of a viviparous ectotherm. A succession of warmer-than-usual years (as predicted under many climate-change scenarios) likely would generate female-biased sex ratios at birth, while an increase in interannual variation (as also predicted under climate change scenarios) could lead to significant fluctuations in cohort sex ratios. If cohort sex ratio bias at birth leads to adult sex ratio bias, long-term directional changes in thermal conditions may have important effects on population dynamics in this species.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1995-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Sex-ratio drive in Drosophila simulans: variation in segregation ratio of X chromosomes from a natural population.

    PubMed

    Montchamp-Moreau, Catherine; Cazemajor, Michel

    2002-11-01

    The sex-ratio trait that exists in a dozen Drosophila species is a case of naturally occurring X chromosome drive that causes males to produce female-biased progeny. Autosomal and Y polymorphism for suppressors are known to cause variation in drive expression, but the X chromosome polymorphism has never been thoroughly investigated. We characterized 41 X chromosomes from a natural population of Drosophila simulans that had been transferred to a suppressor-free genetic background. We found two clear-cut groups of chromosomes, sex-ratio and standard. The sex-ratio X chromosomes differed in their segregation ratio (81-96% females in the progeny), the less powerful drivers being less stable in their expression. A sib analysis, using a moderate driver, indicated that within-X variation in drive expression depended on genetic (autosomal) or epigenetic factors and that the age of the males also affected the trait. The other X chromosomes produced equal or roughly equal sex ratios, but again with significant variation. The continuous pattern of variation observed within both groups suggested that, in addition to a major sex-ratio gene, many X-linked loci of small effect modify the segregation ratio of this chromosome and are maintained in a polymorphic state. This was also supported by the frequency distribution of sex ratios produced by recombinant X chromosomes.

  18. Insects perceive local sex ratio in the absence of tactile or visual sex-specific cues.

    PubMed

    Han, Chang S; Kang, Chang-Ku; Shin, Hong-Sup; Lee, Jeong-Hyun; Bae, Mi-Rye; Lee, Sang-Im; Jablonski, Piotr G

    2012-09-01

    Numerous studies have demonstrated adaptive behavioral responses of males and females to changes in operational sex ratio (the ratio of potentially receptive males to receptive females; OSR), and theory often assumes that animals have perfect instantaneous knowledge about the OSR. However, the role of sensory mechanisms in monitoring the local sex ratio by animals and whether animals can perceive local sex ratio in a manner consistent with model assumptions have not been well addressed. Here, we show that mating water striders Gerris gracilicornis respond to local sex ratio even when visual and physical contact with other individuals were experimentally prohibited. Our study shows that insects are able to estimate local population's sex ratio and adjust their behavior based on nonvisual cues perceived at a distance or released to the habitat. Hence, the frequent theoretical assumption that individuals have knowledge about their local sex ratio regardless of their direct behavioral interactions may be an acceptable approximation of reality.

  19. Impact of earthquakes on sex ratio at birth: Eastern Marmara earthquakes

    PubMed Central

    Doğer, Emek; Çakıroğlu, Yiğit; Köpük, Şule Yıldırım; Ceylan, Yasin; Şimşek, Hayal Uzelli; Çalışkan, Eray

    2013-01-01

    Objective: Previous reports suggest that maternal exposure to acute stress related to earthquakes affects the sex ratio at birth. Our aim was to examine the change in sex ratio at birth after Eastern Marmara earthquake disasters. Material and Methods: This study was performed using the official birth statistics from January 1997 to December 2002 – before and after 17 August 1999, the date of the Golcuk Earthquake – supplied from the Turkey Statistics Institute. The secondary sex ratio was expressed as the male proportion at birth, and the ratio of both affected and unaffected areas were calculated and compared on a monthly basis using data from gender with using the Chi-square test. Results: We observed significant decreases in the secondary sex ratio in the 4th and 8th months following an earthquake in the affected region compared to the unaffected region (p= 0.001 and p= 0.024). In the earthquake region, the decrease observed in the secondary sex ratio during the 8th month after an earthquake was specific to the period after the earthquake. Conclusion: Our study indicated a significant reduction in the secondary sex ratio after an earthquake. With these findings, events that cause sudden intense stress such as earthquakes can have an effect on the sex ratio at birth. PMID:24592082

  20. The evolution of sex ratio differences and inflorescence architectures in Begonia (Begoniaceae).

    PubMed

    Twyford, Alex D; Ennos, Richard A; White, Chris D; Ali, Mobina Shaukat; Kidner, Catherine A

    2014-02-01

    A major benefit conferred by monoecy is the ability to alter floral sex ratio in response to selection. In monoecious species that produce flowers of a given sex at set positions on the inflorescence, floral sex ratio may be related to inflorescence architecture. We studied the loci underlying differences in inflorescence architecture between two monoecious Begonia species and related this to floral sex ratios. We performed trait comparisons and quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping in a segregating backcross population between Central American Begonia plebeja and B. conchifolia. We focused on traits related to inflorescence architecture, sex ratios, and other reproductive traits. The inflorescence branching pattern of B. conchifolia was more asymmetric than B. plebeja, which in turn affects the floral sex ratio. Colocalizing QTLs of moderate effect influenced both the number of male flowers and the fate decisions of axillary meristems, demonstrating the close link between inflorescence architecture and sex ratio. Additional QTLs were found for stamen number (30% variance explained, VE) and pollen sterility (12.3% VE). One way in which Begonia species develop different floral sex ratios is through modifications of their inflorescence architecture. The potential pleiotropic action of QTL on inflorescence branching and floral sex ratios may have major implications for trait evolution and responses to selection. The presence of a single QTL of large effect on stamen number may allow rapid divergence for this key floral trait. We propose candidate loci for stamen number and inflorescence branching for future characterization.

  1. Offspring sex ratio in mammals and the Trivers-Willard hypothesis: In pursuit of unambiguous evidence.

    PubMed

    Douhard, Mathieu

    2017-09-01

    Can mammalian mothers adaptively control the sex of their offspring? The influential Trivers-Willard hypothesis (TWH) proposes that when maternal condition increases the fitness of sons more than that of daughters, the proportion of sons produced should increase with maternal condition. Studies of mammals, however, often fail to support this hypothesis. This article highlights recent advances, including studies on the assumptions of the TWH and physiological mechanisms for sex-ratio manipulation. Particular emphasis is placed on how factors such as paternal quality, maternal reproductive costs and environmental conditions experienced by mothers early in life can mask/alter the expected relationship between maternal condition and offspring sex ratio or lead to apparent support for the TWH. While there is growing evidence that sex ratio around conception may be maternally and paternally manipulated, a challenge for future studies on sex allocation is to integrate how multiple and potentially opposite selective pressures affect offspring sex ratio. © 2017 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  2. 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.

  3. Environmental factors influencing adult sex ratio in Trinidadian guppies.

    PubMed

    McKellar, Ann E; Turcotte, Martin M; Hendry, Andrew P

    2009-04-01

    Sex ratios can influence mating behaviour, population dynamics and evolutionary trajectories; yet the causes of natural sex ratio variation are often uncertain. Although secondary (birth) sex ratios in guppies (Poecilia reticulata) are typically 1:1, we recorded female-biased tertiary (adult) sex ratios in about half of our 48 samples and male-biased sex ratios in none of them. This pattern implies that some populations experience male-biased mortality, perhaps owing to variation in predation or resource limitation. We assessed the effects of predation and/or inter-specific resource competition (intraguild predation) by measuring the local catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) of species (Rivulus killifish and Macrobrachium prawns) that may differentially prey on male guppies. We assessed the effects of resource levels by measuring canopy openness and algal biomass (chlorophyll a concentration). We found that guppy sex ratios were increasingly female-biased with increasing CPUE of Macrobrachium, and perhaps also Rivulus, and with decreasing canopy openness. We also found an interaction between predators and resource levels in that the effect of canopy openness was greatest when Macrobrachium CPUE was highest. Our study thus also reveals the value of simultaneously testing multiple environmental factors that may drive tertiary sex ratio variation.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. Sex ratio at birth, polygyny, and fertility: a cross-national study.

    PubMed

    Barber, Nigel

    2004-01-01

    The sex ratio at birth may reflect frequency of intercourse that affects the timing of conception. If so, cross-national variation in polygyny and fertility might account for country differences in secondary sex ratios. Consistent with the timing of intercourse hypothesis, the birth sex ratios of 148 countries declined with total fertility rates and polygyny intensity, and increased with contraception use in correlational analysis. Regression analysis confirmed that polygyny was a negative predictor of the sex ratio (and contraception was a positive predictor), with level of economic development and mother's age controlled, but the effects disappeared with total fertility added to the equation. The sex ratio evidently declines with increases in fertility because more children are born at a later birth order when frequency of intercourse is lower.

  11. 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.

  12. Should sex-ratio distorting parasites abandon horizontal transmission?

    PubMed

    Ironside, Joseph E; Smith, Judith E; Hatcher, Melanie J; Dunn, Alison M

    2011-12-21

    Sex-ratio distorting parasites are of interest due to their effects upon host population dynamics and their potential to influence the evolution of host sex determination systems. In theory, the ability to distort host sex-ratios allows a parasite with efficient vertical (hereditary) transmission to dispense completely with horizontal (infectious) transmission. However, recent empirical studies indicate that some sex-ratio distorting parasites have retained the capability for horizontal transmission. Numerical simulations using biologically realistic parameters suggest that a feminising parasite is only likely to lose the capability for horizontal transmission if its host occurs at low density and/or has a male-biased primary sex ratio. It is also demonstrated that even a small amount of horizontal transmission can allow multiple feminising parasites to coexist within a single host population. Finally it is shown that, by boosting its host's rate of population growth, a feminising parasite can increase its own horizontal transmission and allow the invasion of other, more virulent parasites. The prediction that sex-ratio distorting parasites are likely to retain a degree of horizontal transmission has important implications for the epidemiology and host-parasite interactions of these organisms. It may also explain the frequent co-occurrence of several sex-ratio distorting parasite species in nature.

  13. 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.

  14. Should sex-ratio distorting parasites abandon horizontal transmission?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Sex-ratio distorting parasites are of interest due to their effects upon host population dynamics and their potential to influence the evolution of host sex determination systems. In theory, the ability to distort host sex-ratios allows a parasite with efficient vertical (hereditary) transmission to dispense completely with horizontal (infectious) transmission. However, recent empirical studies indicate that some sex-ratio distorting parasites have retained the capability for horizontal transmission. Results Numerical simulations using biologically realistic parameters suggest that a feminising parasite is only likely to lose the capability for horizontal transmission if its host occurs at low density and/or has a male-biased primary sex ratio. It is also demonstrated that even a small amount of horizontal transmission can allow multiple feminising parasites to coexist within a single host population. Finally it is shown that, by boosting its host's rate of population growth, a feminising parasite can increase its own horizontal transmission and allow the invasion of other, more virulent parasites. Conclusions The prediction that sex-ratio distorting parasites are likely to retain a degree of horizontal transmission has important implications for the epidemiology and host-parasite interactions of these organisms. It may also explain the frequent co-occurrence of several sex-ratio distorting parasite species in nature. PMID:22188680

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Sex and gender affect the social brain: Beyond simplicity.

    PubMed

    Pavlova, Marina A

    2017-01-02

    As the most fascinating, complex, and dynamic part of our organism, the human brain is shaped by many interacting factors that not only are of neurobiological (including sex hormones) and environmental origin but are also sociocultural in their very nature (such as social roles). Gender is one of these factors. Most neurological, neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric, and psychosomatic disorders are characterized by impairments in visual social cognition (primarily body language reading and face perception) and a skewed sex ratio: females and males are affected differently in terms of clinical picture, prevalence, and severity. Is the social brain sex specific? This is still an open question. For a long time and for many reasons, sex differences have been overlooked or entirely ignored in neuroscience and biomedical research: there is a paucity of neuroimaging work examining sex differences in the social brain. However, the pattern of experimental behavioral data in both healthy, typically developing individuals and patients with deficient social cognition is beyond simple interpretation: contrary to popular wisdom, females are not always more proficient in understanding social signals, and their social abilities may be particularly affected by disease. Clarification of how neurobiological sex and sociocultural gender affect the social brain would provide novel insights into understanding gender-specific vulnerability to neuropsychiatric disorders. This interaction is far beyond simplicity. Although sex differences represent a rather delicate topic, underestimation or exaggeration of possible effects retards progress in the field. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. The sex ratios of monozygotic and dizygotic twins.

    PubMed

    James, William H

    2010-08-01

    Fellman and Eriksson (2010) cited my suggestion that the sex ratio (proportion male) of monozygotic (MZ) twins is lower than that of dizygotic (DZ) twins (James 1975). Here I offer elaborations on and potential explanations for this.

  19. 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.

  20. Reproducing lizards modify sex allocation in response to operational sex ratios.

    PubMed

    Warner, Daniel A; Shine, Richard

    2007-02-22

    Sex-allocation theory suggests that selection may favour maternal skewing of offspring sex ratios if the fitness return from producing a son differs from that for producing a daughter. The operational sex ratio (OSR) may provide information about this potential fitness differential. Previous studies have reached conflicting conclusions about whether or not OSR influences sex allocation in viviparous lizards. Our experimental trials with oviparous lizards (Amphibolurus muricatus) showed that OSR influenced offspring sex ratios, but in a direction opposite to that predicted by theory: females kept in male-biased enclosures overproduced sons rather than daughters (i.e. overproduced the more abundant sex). This response may enhance fitness if local OSRs predict survival probabilities of offspring of each sex, rather than the intensity of sexual competition.

  1. Replicated origin of female-biased adult sex ratio in introduced populations of the trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Arendt, Jeffrey D; Reznick, David N; López-Sepulcre, Andres

    2014-08-01

    There are many theoretical and empirical studies explaining variation in offspring sex ratio but relatively few that explain variation in adult sex ratio. Adult sex ratios are important because biased sex ratios can be a driver of sexual selection and will reduce effective population size, affecting population persistence and shapes how populations respond to natural selection. Previous work on guppies (Poecilia reticulata) gives mixed results, usually showing a female-biased adult sex ratio. However, a detailed analysis showed that this bias varied dramatically throughout a year and with no consistent sex bias. We used a mark-recapture approach to examine the origin and consistency of female-biased sex ratio in four replicated introductions. We show that female-biased sex ratio arises predictably and is a consequence of higher male mortality and longer female life spans with little effect of offspring sex ratio. Inconsistencies with previous studies are likely due to sampling methods and sampling design, which should be less of an issue with mark-recapture techniques. Together with other long-term mark-recapture studies, our study suggests that bias in offspring sex ratio rarely contributes to adult sex ratio in vertebrates. Rather, sex differences in adult survival rates and longevity determine vertebrate adult sex ratio.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Maternal control of sex ratio in Rana rugosa: evidence from DNA sexing.

    PubMed

    Sakisaka, Y; Yahara, T; Miura, I; Kasuya, E

    2000-11-01

    Parental control of primary sex ratio has been reported in a mammal (red deer), some birds, and a snake. However, it remains uncertain whether other vertebrates including Amphibia can control sex ratio. In this paper, we examined the possibility in a wild population of the Japanese frog Rana rugosa which has female heterogamety. Sex ratios of their eggs were determined using DNA markers. The eggs were sampled in the field from May to August in 1998. Each egg was then sexed by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) using a sex-specific DNA marker. The result showed a male bias early in the season which changed to a female bias later, suggesting that females of R. rugosa can control the primary sex ratio.

  6. 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

  7. Behavioural and biological determinants of human sex ratio at birth.

    PubMed

    James, William H

    2010-09-01

    The human sex ratio SR (proportion male) at birth has been reported to vary with many variables. The explanation of this variation is not established, but I have hypothesized that it is partially caused by the hormonal concentrations of both parents around the time of conception. The present note suggests how this hypothesis might accommodate recent sex ratio findings relating to 'psychosexual restriction', female genital cutting, sexes of prior sibs, finger length ratios, the autism spectrum disorder, parental occupation and maternal eating disorders. Tests of such suggestions are offered, and it is hypothesized that: (a) in women, Manning's R (the ratio of the lengths of the 2nd and 4th digits) is positively correlated with offspring sex ratio (proportion male); (b) women who have undergone female genital cutting (FGC) have high androgen levels; (c) offspring sex ratio correlates positively with 'masculinity' of parental occupation, the correlation being mediated by testosterone levels. It is noted that the lines of evidence for three hypotheses (James', Manning's and Baron-Cohen's) are mutually supportive.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Sex reversal and primary sex ratios in the common frog (Rana temporaria).

    PubMed

    Alho, Jussi S; Matsuba, Chikako; Merilä, Juha

    2010-05-01

    Sex reversal has been suggested to have profound implications for the evolution of sex chromosomes and population dynamics in ectotherms. Occasional sex reversal of genetic males has been hypothesized to prevent the evolutionary decay of nonrecombining Y chromosomes caused by the accumulation of deleterious mutations. At the same time, sex reversals can have a negative effect on population growth rate. Here, we studied phenotypic and genotypic sex in the common frog (Rana temporaria) in a subarctic environment, where strongly female-biased sex ratios have raised the possibility of frequent sex reversals. We developed two novel sex-linked microsatellite markers for the species and used them with a third, existing marker and a Bayesian modelling approach to study the occurrence of sex reversal and to determine primary sex ratios in egg clutches. Our results show that a significant proportion (0.09, 95% credible interval: 0.04-0.18) of adults that were genetically female expressed the male phenotype, but there was no evidence of sex reversal of genetic males that is required for counteracting the degeneration of Y chromosome. The primary sex ratios were mostly equal, but three clutches consisted only of genetic females and three others had a significant female bias. Reproduction of the sex-reversed genetic females appears to create all-female clutches potentially skewing the population level adult sex-ratio consistent with field observations. However, based on a simulation model, such a bias is expected to be small and transient and thus does not fully explain the observed female-bias in the field.

  14. Measures to curb rising sex ratio at birth.

    PubMed

    Zhu, H

    1995-08-01

    This article describes the imbalanced sex ratio in Zhejiang province and Wenling City and government programs established to correct the imbalance. The author conducted interviews with some leading officials of the Zhejiang Provincial Family Planning Committee and of the Wenling City Family Planning Committee in the southern area of the province. The sex ratio is described as more imbalanced in areas with less efficient family planning programs. The rising sex ratio occurs unevenly geographically; northern Zhejiang has more balanced ratios. An examination by officials of the underlying causes for the high sex ratios at birth uncovered the misuse of ultrasound scanning in early pregnancy. In Wenling City the Family Planning and Public Health Department maintains strict control of its 51 scanning machines. However, in Yueqing City in Wenzhou Prefecture, which is adjacent to Wenling City, private doctors purchase their own machines. Illegal scanning of fetuses is reported by mothers from Wenling City who visit doctors in Yueqing City. An obstacle to control of misuse of ultrasound scanning to detect the sex of the fetus is the considerable wealth of families who can afford to visit a private doctor. Wenling City has conducted IEC campaigns to inform the public about the importance of valuing boys and girls equally. Information is disseminated through the news media and in county and township schools. Disciplinary sanctions based on local regulations apply to misuse of machines for sex identification. Social insurance programs for the aged are also being provided in the city. Support for social insurance comes from families based on the size of the family and from government revenues. During 1993-95 the sex ratio declined, and the downturn is attributed to the aforementioned measures taken in Wenling City.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-22

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

  19. 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

  20. Climate-driven shifts in adult sex ratios via sex reversals: the type of sex determination matters.

    PubMed

    Bókony, Veronika; Kövér, Szilvia; Nemesházi, Edina; Liker, András; Székely, Tamás

    2017-09-19

    Sex reversals whereby individuals of one genetic sex develop the phenotype of the opposite sex occur in ectothermic vertebrates with genetic sex-determination systems that are sensitive to extreme temperatures during sexual differentiation. Recent rises in global temperatures have led researchers to predict that sex reversals will become more common, resulting in the distortion of many populations' sex ratios. However, it is unclear whether susceptibility to climate-driven sex-ratio shifts depends on the type of sex determination that varies across species. First, we show here using individual-based theoretical models that XX/XY (male-heterogametic) and ZZ/ZW (female-heterogametic) sex-determination systems can respond differentially to temperature-induced sex reversals. Interestingly, the impacts of climate warming on adult sex ratio (ASR) depend on the effects of both genotypic and phenotypic sex on survival and reproduction. Second, we analyse the temporal changes of ASR in natural amphibian populations using data from the literature, and find that ASR shifted towards males in ZZ/ZW species over the past 60 years, but did not change significantly in XX/XY species. Our results highlight the fact that we need a better understanding of the interactions between genetic and environmental sex-determining mechanisms to predict the responses of ectotherms to climate change and the associated extinction risks.This article is part of the themed issue 'Adult sex ratios and reproductive decisions: a critical re-examination of sex differences in human and animal societies'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  1. Sex roles and adult sex ratios: insights from mammalian biology and consequences for primate behaviour.

    PubMed

    Kappeler, Peter M

    2017-09-19

    Theoretical models and empirical studies in various taxa have identified important links between variation in sex roles and the number of adult males and females (adult sex ratio (ASR)) in a population. In this review, I examine these relationships in non-human primates. Because most existing theoretical models of the evolution of sex roles focus on the evolutionary origins of sex-biased behaviour, they offer only a general scaffold for predicting variation in sex roles among and within species. I argue that studies examining sex role variation at these more specific levels need to take social organization into account to identify meaningful levels for the measurement of ASR and to account for the fact that ASR and sex roles mutually influence each other. Moreover, taxon-specific life-history traits can constrain sex role flexibility and impact the operational sex ratio (OSR) by specifying the minimum length of female time outs from reproduction. Using examples from the primate literature, I highlight practical problems in estimating ASR and OSR. I then argue that interspecific variation in the occurrence of indirect forms of paternal care might indeed be linked to variation in ASR. Some studies also indicate that female aggression and bonding, as well as components of inter-sexual relationships, are sensitive to variation in ASR. Thus, links between primate sex roles and sex ratios merit further study, and such studies could prompt the development of more specific theoretical models that make realistic assumptions about taxon-specific life history and social organization.This article is part of the themed issue 'Adult sex ratios and reproductive decisions: a critical re-examination of sex differences in human and animal societies'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Deforestation: risk of sex ratio distortion in hawksbill sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Kamel, Stephanie Jill; Mrosovsky, N

    2006-06-01

    Phenotypic sex in sea turtles is determined by nest incubation temperatures, with warmer temperatures producing females and cooler temperatures producing males. The common finding of highly skewed female-biased hatchling sex ratios in sea turtle populations could have serious repercussions for the long-term survival of these species and prompted us to examine the thermal profile of a relatively pristine hawksbill nesting beach in Guadeloupe, French West Indies. Data loggers placed at nest depth revealed that temperatures in the forested areas were significantly cooler than temperatures in the more open, deforested areas. Using these temperatures as a predictor of sex ratio, we were able to assess the relative contributions of the different beach zones to the primary sex ratio: significantly more males were likely to be produced in the forested areas. Coastal forests are therefore important male-producing areas for the hawksbill sea turtle, and this has urgent conservation implications. On Guadeloupe, as on many Caribbean islands, deforestation rates are high and show few signs of slowing, as there is continual pressure to develop beachfront areas. The destruction of coastal forest could have serious consequences both in terms of local nesting behavior and of regional demography through the effects on population sex ratios. Human alterations to nesting habitat in other reptile taxa have been shown to modify the thermal properties of nest sites in ways that can disrupt their ecology by allowing parasite transmission, increasing vulnerability to climate change, or rendering existing habitat unsuitable.

  6. Live birth sex ratios and father's geographic origins in Jerusalem, 1964-1976.

    PubMed

    Groeger, J; Opler, M; Kleinhaus, K; Perrin, M C; Calderon-Margalit, R; Manor, O; Paltiel, O; Conley, D; Harlap, S; Malaspina, D

    2017-05-06

    To examine whether ancestry influenced sex ratios of offspring in a birth cohort before parental antenatal sex selection influenced offspring sex. We measured the sex ratio as the percent of males according to countries of birth of paternal and maternal grandfathers in 91,459 live births from 1964 to 1976 in the Jerusalem Perinatal Study. Confidence limits (CI) were computed based on an expected sex ratio of 1.05, which is 51.4% male. Of all live births recorded, 51.4% were male. Relative to Jewish ancestry (51.4% males), significantly more males (1,761) were born to Muslim ancestry (54.5, 95% CI = 52.1-56.8, P = 0.01). Among the former, sex ratios were not significantly associated with paternal or maternal age, education, or offspring's birth order. Consistent with a preference for male offspring, the sex ratio decreased despite increasing numbers of births over the 13-year period. Sex ratios were not affected by maternal or paternal origins in North Africa or Europe. However, the offspring whose paternal grandfathers were born in Western Asia included fewer males than expected (50.7, 50.1-51.3, P = 0.02), whether the father was born abroad (50.7) or in Israel (50.8). This was observed for descendents of paternal grandfathers born in Lebanon (47.6), Turkey (49.9), Yemen & Aden (50.2), Iraq (50.5), Afghanistan (50.5), Syria (50.6), and Cyprus (50.7); but not for those from India (51.5) or Iran (51.9). The West Asian group showed the strongest decline in sex ratios with increasing paternal family size. A decreased sex ratio associated with ancestry in Western Asia is consistent with reduced ability to bear sons by a subset of Jewish men in the Jerusalem cohort. Lower sex ratios may be because of pregnancy stress, which may be higher in this subgroup. Alternatively, a degrading Y chromosome haplogroup or other genetic or epigenetic differences on male germ lines could affect birth ratios, such as differential exposure to an environmental agent, dietary

  7. 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.

  8. Anxiety, Sex-linked Behavior, and Digit Ratios

    PubMed Central

    Evardone, Milagros; Alexander, Gerianne M.

    2009-01-01

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

  9. Prenatal sex ratios influence sexual dimorphism in a reptile.

    PubMed

    Uller, Tobias; Olsson, Mats

    2003-02-01

    The prenatal environment influences offspring traits in a variety of ways and in a wide range of taxa. For example, maternal allocation of steroids to the eggs influences offspring traits in birds, and in some mammals the intrauterine position influences morphological, behavioural, and physiological traits due to sex-related steroid transfer between sibling fetuses. We show that similar phenomena occur in the common lizard (Lacerta vivipara), a viviparous reptile. Females developing in male-biased clutches had a more masculine allometry (relatively larger heads) at parturition than females developing in female-biased clutches. Males were correspondingly feminized in female-biased clutches. The effects could either be due to diffusion of steroids produced by the offspring or by a general tendency for females to allocate steroids according to the sex ratio of her clutch. Subsequent to parturition, the sexes differed in their growth trajectories depending on sex ratio environment. In males, the difference in allometry between sex ratio environments remained over time, whereas in females the corresponding effect disappeared. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  10. 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. PMID:28286369

  11. 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

  12. Maternal lead exposure and the secondary sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Jarrell, John F; Weisskopf, Marc G; Weuve, Jennifer; Téllez-Rojo, Maria Martha; Hu, Howard; Hernández-Avila, Mauricio

    2006-07-01

    A reduction in the secondary sex ratio may be associated with exposure to environmental toxicants. Little data exists relating this outcome to lead exposure, a well-known reproductive toxicant. We studied 1980 women having singleton births from 1994 to 1995 and from 1997 to 2001 who participated in a cohort study of lead exposure and infant outcomes in Mexico City. Levels of lead were measured in maternal and cord blood using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy, and levels of lead in maternal patella and tibia bone (a reflection of cumulative exposure) were measured using noninvasive K-X-ray fluorescence measurements. Using logistic regression models, we evaluated the relations of these measures to secondary sex ratio in the offspring, adjusting for maternal age, parity and year of infants' birth. We found no consistent association between any of the lead measures and secondary sex ratio. Results were unchanged when we adjusted for infants' year of birth, maternal age and parity. Despite a large sample size and the use of sensitive biomarkers, we did not find evidence that maternal and fetal lead exposure is associated with a lower secondary sex ratio among newborns.

  13. Sex Ratio Bias Leads to the Evolution of Sex Role Reversal in Honey Locust Beetles.

    PubMed

    Fritzsche, Karoline; Booksmythe, Isobel; Arnqvist, Göran

    2016-09-26

    The reversal of conventional sex roles was enigmatic to Darwin, who suggested that it may evolve when sex ratios are female biased [1]. Here we present direct evidence confirming Darwin's hypothesis. We investigated mating system evolution in a sex-role-reversed beetle (Megabruchidius dorsalis) using experimental evolution under manipulated sex ratios and food regimes. In female-biased populations, where reproductive competition among females was intensified, females evolved to be more attractive and the sex roles became more reversed. Interestingly, female-specific mating behavior evolved more rapidly than male-specific mating behavior. We show that sexual selection due to reproductive competition can be strong in females and can target much the same traits as in males of species with conventional mating systems. Our study highlights two central points: the role of ecology in directing sexual selection and the role that females play in mating system evolution. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    van Hooft, Pim; Prins, Herbert H T; Getz, Wayne M; Jolles, Anna E; van Wieren, Sipke E; Greyling, Barend J; van Helden, Paul D; Bastos, Armanda D S

    2010-04-23

    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. 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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    When faced with risky decisions, people typically choose to diversify their choices by allocating resources across a variety of options and thus avoid putting "all their eggs in one basket." The current research revealed that this tendency is reversed when people face an important cue to mating-related risk: skew in the operational sex ratio, or the ratio of men to women in the local environment. Counter to the typical strategy of choice diversification, findings from four studies demonstrated that the presence of romantically unfavorable sex ratios (those featuring more same-sex than opposite-sex individuals) led heterosexual people to diversify financial resources less and instead concentrate investment in high-risk/high-return options when making lottery, stock-pool, retirement-account, and research-funding decisions. These studies shed light on a key process by which people manage risks to mating success implied by unfavorable interpersonal environments. These choice patterns have important implications for mating behavior as well as other everyday forms of decision making. © The Author(s) 2016.

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

    PubMed

    Diamond-Smith, Nadia; Bishai, David

    2015-04-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Blank, James L.; Nolan, Val

    1983-01-01

    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. PMID:16593379

  9. 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.

  10. Declining Sex Ratio in a First Nation Community

    PubMed Central

    Mackenzie, Constanze A.; Lockridge, Ada; Keith, Margaret

    2005-01-01

    Members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation community near Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, voiced concerns that there appeared to be fewer male children in their community in recent years. In response to these concerns, we assessed the sex ratio (proportion of male births) of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation over the period 1984–2003 as part of a community-based participatory research project. The trend in the proportion of male live births of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation has been declining continuously from the early 1990s to 2003, from an apparently stable sex ratio prior to this time. The proportion of male births (m) showed a statistically significant decline over the most recent 10-year period (1994–2003) (m = 0.412, p = 0.008) with the most pronounced decrease observed during the most recent 5 years (1999–2003) (m = 0.348, p = 0.006). Numerous factors have been associated with a decrease in the proportion of male births in a population, including a number of environmental and occupational chemical exposures. This community is located within the Great Lakes St. Clair River Area of Concern and is situated immediately adjacent to several large petrochemical, polymer, and chemical industrial plants. Although there are several potential factors that could be contributing to the observed decrease in sex ratio of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, the close proximity of this community to a large aggregation of industries and potential exposures to compounds that may influence sex ratios warrants further assessment into the types of chemical exposures for this population. A community health survey is currently under way to gather more information about the health of the Aamjiwnaang community and to provide additional information about the factors that could be contributing to the observed decrease in the proportion of male births in recent years. PMID:16203237

  11. Factors affecting attitudes toward juvenile sex offenders.

    PubMed

    Sahlstrom, Kimberly J; Jeglic, Elizabeth L

    2008-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Cultural inheritance as a mechanism for population sex-ratio bias in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Freedberg, S; Wade, M J

    2001-05-01

    Although natural populations of most species exhibit a 1:1 sex ratio, biased sex ratios are known to be associated with non-Mendelian inheritance, as in sex-linked meiotic drive and cytoplasmic inheritance (Charnov 1982; Hurst 1993). We show how cultural inheritance, another type of non-Mendelian inheritance, can favor skewed primary sex ratios and propose that it may explain the female-biased sex ratios commonly observed in reptiles with environmental sex determination (ESD). Like cytoplasmic elements, cultural traits can be inherited through one sex. This, in turn, favors skewing the primary sex allocation in favor of the transmitting sex. Female nest-site philopatry is a sex-specific, culturally inherited trait in many reptiles with ESD and highly female-biased sex ratios. We propose that the association of nest-site selection with ESD facilitates the maternal manipulation of offspring sex ratios toward females.

  17. Demographic stochasticity, allee effects, and extinction: the influence of mating system and sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Lee, Aline Magdalena; Saether, Bernt-Erik; Engen, Steinar

    2011-03-01

    Demographic stochasticity has a substantial influence on the growth of small populations and consequently on their extinction risk. Mating system is one of several population characteristics that may affect this. We use a stochastic pair-formation model to investigate the combined effects of mating system, sex ratio, and population size on demographic stochasticity and thus on extinction risk. Our model is designed to accommodate a continuous range of mating systems and sex ratios as well as several levels of stochasticity. We show that it is not mating system alone but combinations of mating system and sex ratio that are important in shaping the stochastic dynamics of populations. Specifically, polygyny has the potential to give a high demographic variance and to lower the stochastic population growth rate substantially, thus also shortening the time to extinction, but the outcome is highly dependent on the sex ratio. In addition, population size is shown to be important. We find a stochastic Allee effect that is amplified by polygyny. Our results demonstrate that both mating system and sex ratio must be considered in conservation planning and that appreciating the role of stochasticity is key to understanding their effects.

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

    PubMed

    Maness, Terri J; Anderson, David J

    2007-08-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-05

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Secondary Sex Ratio among Women Exposed to Diethylstilbestrol in Utero

    PubMed Central

    Wise, Lauren A.; Palmer, Julie R.; Hatch, Elizabeth E.; Troisi, Rebecca; Titus-Ernstoff, Linda; Herbst, Arthur L.; Kaufman, Raymond; Noller, Kenneth L.; Hoover, Robert N.

    2007-01-01

    Background Diethylstilbestrol (DES), a synthetic estrogen widely prescribed to pregnant women during the mid-1900s, is a potent endocrine disruptor. Previous studies have suggested an association between endocrine-disrupting compounds and secondary sex ratio. Methods Data were provided by women participating in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) DES Combined Cohort Study. We used generalized estimating equations to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the relation of in utero DES exposure to sex ratio (proportion of male births). Models were adjusted for maternal age, child’s birth year, parity, and cohort, and accounted for clustering among women with multiple pregnancies. Results The OR for having a male birth comparing DES-exposed to unexposed women was 1.05 (95% CI, 0.95–1.17). For exposed women with complete data on cumulative DES dose and timing (33%), those first exposed to DES earlier in gestation and to higher doses had the highest odds of having a male birth. The ORs were 0.91 (95% C, 0.65–1.27) for first exposure at ≥ 13 weeks gestation to < 5 g DES; 0.95 (95% CI, 0.71–1.27) for first exposure at ≥ 13 weeks to ≥ 5 g; 1.16 (95% CI, 0.96–1.41) for first exposure at < 13 weeks to < 5 g; and 1.24 (95% CI, 1.04–1.48) for first exposure at < 13 weeks to ≥ 5 g compared with no exposure. Results did not vary appreciably by maternal age, parity, cohort, or infertility history. Conclusions Overall, no association was observed between in utero DES exposure and secondary sex ratio, but a significant increase in the proportion of male births was found among women first exposed to DES earlier in gestation and to a higher cumulative dose. PMID:17805421

  3. Frequency-dependent selection acting on the widely fluctuating sex ratio of the aphid Prociphilus oriens.

    PubMed

    Li, Y; Akimoto, S

    2017-07-01

    Frequency-dependent selection is a fundamental principle of adaptive sex ratio evolution in all sex ratio theories but has rarely been detected in the wild. Through long-term censuses, we confirmed large fluctuations in the population sex ratio of the aphid Prociphilus oriens and detected frequency-dependent selection acting on these fluctuations. Fluctuations in the population sex ratio were partly attributable to climatic factors during the growing season. Climatic factors likely affected the growth conditions of host plants, which in turn led to yearly fluctuations in maternal conditions and sex ratios. In the process of frequency-dependent selection, female proportion higher or lower than ca. 60% was associated with a reduction or increase in female proportion, respectively, the next year. The rearing of aphid clones in the laboratory indicated that mothers of each clone produced an increasing number of females as maternal size increased. However, the mean male number was not related to maternal size, but varied largely among clones. Given genetic variance in the ability to produce males among clones, selection should favour clones that can produce more numerous males in years with a high female proportion. Population-level sex allocation to females was on average 71%-73% for three localities and more female-biased when maternal conditions were better. This tendency was accounted for by the hypothesis of competition among foundresses rather than the hypothesis of local mate competition. We conclude that despite consistent operation of frequency-dependent selection, the sex ratio continues to fluctuate because environmental conditions always push it away from equilibrium. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Does sex-ratio selection influence nest-site choice in a reptile with temperature-dependent sex determination?

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Timothy S.; Maciel, Jessica A.; Janzen, Fredric J.

    2013-01-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that dioecious species should produce a balanced primary sex ratio maintained by frequency-dependent selection. Organisms with environmental sex determination, however, are vulnerable to maladaptive sex ratios, because environmental conditions vary spatio-temporally. For reptiles with temperature-dependent sex determination, nest-site choice is a behavioural maternal effect that could respond to sex-ratio selection, as mothers could adjust offspring sex ratios by choosing nest sites that will have particular thermal properties. This theoretical prediction has generated decades of empirical research, yet convincing evidence that sex-ratio selection is influencing nesting behaviours remains absent. Here, we provide the first experimental evidence from nature that sex-ratio selection, rather than only viability selection, is probably an important component of nest-site choice in a reptile with temperature-dependent sex determination. We compare painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) neonates from maternally selected nest sites with those from randomly selected nest sites, observing no substantive difference in hatching success or survival, but finding a profound difference in offspring sex ratio in the direction expected based on historical records. Additionally, we leverage long-term data to reconstruct our sex ratio results had the experiment been repeated in multiple years. As predicted by theory, our results suggest that sex-ratio selection has shaped nesting behaviour in ways likely to enhance maternal fitness. PMID:24266033

  7. 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.

  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. Determinants of child sex ratio in West and South Districts of Tripura, India.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharjya, Himadri; Baidya, Subrata

    2017-01-01

    Indian census 2011 has detected declined child sex ratio in the West and South districts of Tripura State. To find out the sex ratio at birth and to identify the factors affecting child sex ratio in west and south districts of Tripura. This community-based cross-sectional study combined with a qualitative component was conducted among 3438 couples chosen by multistage sampling. Quantitative data were collected by a structured interview schedule. Data were analyzed by computer using SPSS version 15.0. Chi-square test was applied for testing the significance of study findings and P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Qualitative data were collected by Focus Group Discussions and analyzed by qualitative free listing and pile sorting considering Smith's S value. Sex ratio at birth in West and South Tripura districts during 2013 was found to be 972 and 829 respectively. Son preference was higher among couples irrespective of their literacy, residence, occupation, family type and religion except Christianity. Expenditure at marriage, lesser contribution to parent's family and fears of adverse situations at in law's house after marriage etc. were causes for lesser daughter preference. Very few pregnant women underwent ultrasonography for sex determination of fetus. Girls had differential or delayed medical care and higher death rate. The desire for children was found to be limited after male births. Low daughter preference was mostly due to economic reasons and prolonged contraception following male birth. Literacy, occupation and residence of study subjects did not modify prevalent higher male preference.

  10. Long-lasting fitness consequences of prenatal sex ratio in a viviparous lizard.

    PubMed

    Uller, Tobias; Massot, Manuel; Richard, Murielle; Lecomte, Jane; Clobert, Jean

    2004-11-01

    Maternal effects and early environmental conditions are important in shaping offspring developmental trajectories. For example, in laboratory mammals, the sex ratio during gestation has been shown to influence fitness-related traits via hormonal interaction between fetuses. Such effects have the potential to shape, or constrain, many important aspects of the organism's life, but their generality and importance in natural populations remain unknown. Using long-term data in a viviparous lizard, Lacerta vivipara, we investigated the relationship between prenatal sex ratio and offspring growth, survival, and reproductive traits as adults. Our results show that females from male-biased clutches grow faster, mature earlier, but have lower fecundity than females from female-biased clutches. Furthermore, male reproduction was also affected by the sex ratio during embryonic development, with males from male-biased clutches being more likely to successfully reproduce at age one than males from female-biased clutches. Thus, the sex ratio experienced during gestation can have profound and long-lasting effects on fitness in natural populations of viviparous animals, with important implications for life-history evolution and sex allocation.

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. Factors Affecting Attitudes toward Juvenile Sex Offenders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sahlstrom, Kimberly J.; Jeglic, Elizabeth L.

    2008-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    Through their influence on effective population sizes, sex ratio skew affects population dynamics. We examined spatial variation in female-biased sex ratios in the mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) outbreak in western Canada to better understand how environmental context affects sex ratio skew. Our specific objectives were to: 1) characterize spatial variation in mountain pine beetle sex ratio; 2) test previously asserted hypotheses that beetle sex ratio varies with tree diameter and year in outbreak; and 3) develop predictive models of sex ratio skew for larval and adult populations. Using logistic regression, we modeled the probability that an individual beetle (n = 2,369) was female as a function of multiple environmental variables across 34 stands in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. We identified a consistent female-biased sex ratio with significantly greater skew in adults (2:1, n = 713) than in larvae (1.76:1, n = 1,643). We found that the proportion of larval females increased with decreasing tree size and with outbreak age. However, adults did not respond to tree size and larvae did not respond to outbreak age. Predictive models differed between larvae and adults. All identified models perform well and included predictors related to weather, tree diameter, and year in outbreak. Female-biased sex ratios appear to originate from differential male mortality during development rather than from sex-biased oviposition, suggesting sex ratio skew is not the cause of outbreaks, but rather a consequence. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. The variations of human sex ratio at birth during and after wars, and their potential explanations.

    PubMed

    James, William H

    2009-03-07

    Data on wartime sex ratios (proportions male at birth) are reviewed. Two sorts of variation are empirically well supported viz. (a) rises during and just after both World Wars and (b) a fall in Iran during the Iran-Iraq War. Potential explanations are offered here for these rises and fall. The fall seems plausibly explained by psychological stress causing pregnant women disproportionately to abort male fetuses. The rises may be explained by either or both of two different forms of hypothesis viz. (i) Kanazawa's "returning soldier" hypothesis and (ii) variation in coital rates. The coital rate hypothesis potentially accounts, in slightly different ways, for the rises both during, and just after, some wars. The argument that coital rate affects sex ratio just after wars seems to be supported by evidence that in some combatant countries, dizygotic (DZ) twinning rates (which also reportedly vary with coital rate) peaked after the World Wars. The suggestion that war is associated with rises in sex ratio at birth was first made more than two centuries ago. However, I have been unable to locate direct supporting sex ratio data relating to any conflict before World War One. So it would be useful if historical demographers were to search for such data relating to these earlier wars.

  1. Density-dependent sex ratio and sex-specific preference for host traits in parasitic bat flies.

    PubMed

    Szentiványi, Tamara; Vincze, Orsolya; Estók, Péter

    2017-08-29

    Deviation of sex ratios from unity in wild animal populations has recently been demonstrated to be far more prevalent than previously thought. Ectoparasites are prominent examples of this bias, given that their sex ratios vary from strongly female- to strongly male-biased both among hosts and at the metapopulation level. To date our knowledge is very limited on how and why these biased sex ratios develop. It was suggested that sex ratio and sex-specific aggregation of ectoparasites might be shaped by the ecology, behaviour and physiology of both hosts and their parasites. Here we investigate a highly specialised, hematophagous bat fly species with strong potential to move between hosts, arguably limited inbreeding effects, off-host developmental stages and extended parental care. We collected a total of 796 Nycteribia kolenatii bat flies from 147 individual bats using fumigation and subsequently determined their sex. We report a balanced sex ratio at the metapopulation level and a highly variable sex ratio among infrapopulations ranging from 100% male to 100% female. We show that infrapopulation sex ratio is not random and is highly correlated with infrapopulation size. Sex ratio is highly male biased in small and highly female biased in large infrapopulations. We show that this pattern is most probably the result of sex-specific preference in bat flies for host traits, most likely combined with a higher mobility of males. We demonstrate that female bat flies exert a strong preference for high host body condition and female hosts, while the distribution of males is more even. Our results suggest that locally biased sex ratios can develop due to sex-specific habitat preference of parasites. Moreover, it is apparent that the sex of both hosts and parasites need to be accounted for when a better understanding of host-parasite systems is targeted.

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved

  6. 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."

  7. 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.

  8. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Biological sex affects the neurobiology of autism

    PubMed Central

    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

    2013-01-01

    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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. How Sex-Biased Dispersal Affects Sexual Conflict over Care.

    PubMed

    Kuijper, Bram; Johnstone, Rufus A

    2017-05-01

    Existing models of parental investment have mainly focused on interactions at the level of the family and have paid much less attention to the impact of population-level processes. Here we extend classical models of parental care to assess the impact of population structure and limited dispersal. We find that sex differences in dispersal substantially affect the amount of care provided by each parent, with the more philopatric sex providing the majority of care to young. This effect is most pronounced in highly viscous populations: in such cases, when classical models would predict stable biparental care, inclusion of a modest sex difference in dispersal leads to uniparental care by the philopatric sex. In addition, mating skew also affects sex differences in parental investment, with the more numerous sex providing most of the care. However, the effect of mating skew holds only when parents care for their own offspring. When individuals breed communally, we recover the previous finding that the more philopatric sex provides most of the care even when it is the rarer sex. We conclude that sex-biased dispersal is likely to be an important yet currently overlooked driver of sex differences in parental care.

  19. No seasonal sex-ratio shift despite sex-specific fitness returns of hatching date in a lizard with genotypic sex determination.

    PubMed

    Uller, Tobias; Olsson, Mats

    2006-10-01

    Sex allocation theory predicts that mothers should adjust their sex-specific reproductive investment in relation to the predicted fitness returns from sons versus daughters. Sex allocation theory has proved to be successful in some invertebrate taxa but data on vertebrates often fail to show the predicted shift in sex ratio or sex-specific resource investment. This is likely to be partly explained by simplistic assumptions of vertebrate life-history and mechanistic constraints, but also because the fundamental assumption of sex-specific fitness return on investment is rarely supported by empirical data. In short-lived species, the time of hatching or parturition can have a strong impact on the age and size at maturity. Thus, if selection favors adult sexual-size dimorphism, females can maximize their fitness by adjusting offspring sex over the reproductive season. We show that in mallee dragons, Ctenophorus fordi, date of hatching is positively related to female reproductive output but has little, if any, effect on male reproductive success, suggesting selection for a seasonal shift in offspring sex ratio. We used a combination of field and laboratory data collected over two years to test if female dragons adjust their sex allocation over the season to ensure an adaptive match between time of hatching and offspring sex. Contrary to our predictions, we found no effect of laying date on sex ratio, nor did we find any evidence for within-female between-clutch sex-ratio adjustment. Furthermore, there was no differential resource investment into male and female offspring within or between clutches and sex ratios did not correlate with female condition or any partner traits. Consequently, despite evidence for selection for a seasonal sex-ratio shift, female mallee dragons do not seem to exercise any control over sex determination. The results are discussed in relation to potential constraints on sex-ratio adjustment, alternative selection pressures, and the evolution of

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Sex-specific early survival drives adult sex ratio bias in snowy plovers and impacts mating system and population growth

    PubMed Central

    Küpper, Clemens; Miller, Tom E. X.; Cruz-López, Medardo; Maher, Kathryn H.; dos Remedios, Natalie; Stoffel, Martin A.; Hoffman, Joseph I.; Krüger, Oliver; Székely, Tamás

    2017-01-01

    Adult sex ratio (ASR) is a central concept in population biology and a key factor in sexual selection, but why do most demographic models ignore sex biases? Vital rates often vary between the sexes and across life history, but their relative contributions to ASR variation remain poorly understood—an essential step to evaluate sex ratio theories in the wild and inform conservation. Here, we combine structured two-sex population models with individual-based mark–recapture data from an intensively monitored polygamous population of snowy plovers. We show that a strongly male-biased ASR (0.63) is primarily driven by sex-specific survival of juveniles rather than adults or dependent offspring. This finding provides empirical support for theories of unbiased sex allocation when sex differences in survival arise after the period of parental investment. Importantly, a conventional model ignoring sex biases significantly overestimated population viability. We suggest that sex-specific population models are essential to understand the population dynamics of sexual organisms: reproduction and population growth are most sensitive to perturbations in survival of the limiting sex. Overall, our study suggests that sex-biased early survival may contribute toward mating system evolution and population persistence, with implications for both sexual selection theory and biodiversity conservation. PMID:28634289

  9. Neither biased sex ratio nor spatial segregation of the sexes in the subtropical dioecious tree Eurycorymbus cavaleriei (Sapindaceae).

    PubMed

    Gao, Puxin; Kang, Ming; Wang, Jing; Ye, Qigang; Huang, Hongwen

    2009-06-01

    Knowledge of sex ratio and spatial distribution of males and females of dioecious species is both of evolutionary interest and of crucial importance for biological conservation. Eurycorymbus cavaleriei, the only species in the genus Eurycorymbus (Sapindaceae), is a dioecious tree endemic to subtropical montane forest in South China. Sex ratios were investigated in 15 natural populations for the two defined ages (young and old). Spatial distribution of males and females was further studied in six large populations occurring in different habitats (fragmented and continuous). The study revealed a slight trend of male-biased sex ratio in both ages of E. cavaleriei, but sex ratio of most populations (13 out of 15) did not display statistically significant deviation from equality. All of the four significantly male-biased populations in the young class shifted to equality or even female-biased. The Ripley's K analysis of the distribution of males with respect to females suggested that individuals of the opposite sexes were more randomly distributed rather than spatially structured. These results suggest that the male-biased sex ratio in E. cavaleriei may result from the precocity of males and habitat heterogeneity. The sex ratio and the sex spatial distribution pattern are unlikely to constitute a serious threat to the survival of the species.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Sex ratios of fledgling and recaptured subadult spotted owls in the southern Sierra Nevada

    Treesearch

    George N. Steger

    1995-01-01

    Estimates of instantaneous growth rates (A) of spotted owl (Strix occidentalis) populations have been based on demographic data that uniformly assumed an equal sex ratio among fledglings. In this study, sex ratios of subadults, banded as juveniles, and fledgling California spotted owls (S. o. occidentalis) were observed and compared to an assumed 1 : 1 ratio. The...

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lummaa, V; Merilä, J; Kause, A

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lummaa, V; Merilä, J; Kause, A

    1998-04-07

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

  19. 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

  20. Female common lizards (Lacerta vivipara) do not adjust their sex-biased investment in relation to the adult sex ratio.

    PubMed

    Le Galliard, J-F; Fitze, P S; Cote, J; Massot, M; Clobert, J

    2005-11-01

    Sex allocation theory predicts that facultative maternal investment in the rare sex should be favoured by natural selection when breeders experience predictable variation in adult sex ratios (ASRs). We found significant spatial and predictable interannual changes in local ASRs within a natural population of the common lizard where the mean ASR is female-biased, thus validating the key assumptions of adaptive sex ratio models. We tested for facultative maternal investment in the rare sex during and after an experimental perturbation of the ASR by creating populations with female-biased or male-biased ASR. Mothers did not adjust their clutch sex ratio during or after the ASR perturbation, but produced sons with a higher body condition in male-biased populations. However, this differential sex allocation did not result in growth or survival differences in offspring. Our results thus contradict the predictions of adaptive models and challenge the idea that facultative investment in the rare sex might be a mechanism regulating the population sex ratio.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sorvari, Jouni; Hakkarainen, Harri

    2007-05-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Litter sex ratios in Richardson's ground squirrels: long-term data support random sex allocation and homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Gedir, Jay V; Michener, Gail R

    2014-04-01

    When costs of producing male versus female offspring differ, parents may vary allocation of resources between sons and daughters. We tested leading sex-allocation theories using an information-theoretic approach and Bayesian hierarchical models to analyse litter sex ratios (proportion males) at weaning for 1,049 litters over 24 years from a population of Richardson's ground squirrels (Urocitellus richardsonii), a polygynandrous, annually reproducing mammal in which litter size averages from six to seven offspring and sons are significantly heavier than daughters at birth and weaning. The model representing random Mendelian sex-chromosome assortment fit the data best; a homeostatic model received similar support but other models performed poorly. Embryo resorption was rare, and 5 years of litter data in a second population revealed no differences in litter size or litter sex ratio between birth and weaning, suggesting that litter size and sex ratio are determined in early pregnancy. Sex ratio did not vary with litter size at weaning in any of 29 years, and the observed distribution of sex ratios did not differ significantly from the binomial distribution for any litter size. For 1,580 weaned litters in the two populations, average sex ratio deviated from parity in only 3 of 29 years. Heavier females made a greater reproductive investment than lighter females, weaning larger and heavier litters composed of smaller sons and daughters, but litter sex ratio was positively related to maternal mass in only 2 of 29 years. Such occasional significant patterns emphasize the importance of multi-season studies in distinguishing infrequent events from normal patterns.

  6. Spatial and temporal complexities of reproductive behavior and sex ratios: a case from parasitic insects.

    PubMed

    Dittmar, Katharina; Morse, Solon; Gruwell, Matthew; Mayberry, Jason; DiBlasi, Emily

    2011-05-10

    Sex ratios are important empirical data in predicting sex allocation strategy and selection in populations. Therefore, they should be sampled at crucial developmental steps before and after parental investment. In parasites with free-living (off-host) developmental stages the timing and method of sampling is not trivial, because ecological niches are frequently poorly known. Consequently, information is scarce for sex ratios of these parasites between conception and sexual maturity. Often, only data from adult parasites are available, which usually were collected from the parasite's hosts. Generally, these ratios are assumed to represent operational sex ratios. We here report three years of empirical data on population sex differentials from a bat ectoparasite (Trichobius frequens) with off-host developmental stages. At emergence these parasites exhibit a significant and seasonally stable female biased sex ratio. This bias is lost in the adult population on the roosting host, which shows sex ratios at equality. This is best explained by a behaviorally driven, sex-dependent mortality differential. Because consistently only subsets of females are available to mate, the operational sex ratio in the population is likely male biased. Host capture experiments throughout the day show a statistically significant, but temporary male excess in bat flies on foraging bats. This phenomenon is partly driven by the diurnal rhythms of female larviposition, and partly due to parasites remaining in the bat roost during foraging. Because most previous research in bat flies is based only on foraging bats, female contributions to physical sex ratios have been underestimated. Our results highlight the importance of detailed natural history observations, and emphasize that ignoring the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of reproduction in any organism will lead to significant empirical sampling errors of sex ratios, and may obscure operational sex ratios.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Mice Lacking Alkbh1 Display Sex-Ratio Distortion and Unilateral Eye Defects

    PubMed Central

    Nordstrand, Line M.; Lien, Guro F.; Rognes, Torbjørn; Namekawa, Satoshi H.; Lee, Jeannie T.; Klungland, Arne

    2010-01-01

    Background Eschericia coli AlkB is a 2-oxoglutarate- and iron-dependent dioxygenase that reverses alkylated DNA damage by oxidative demethylation. Mouse AlkB homolog 1 (Alkbh1) is one of eight members of the newly discovered family of mammalian dioxygenases. Methods and Findings In the present study we show non-Mendelian inheritance of the Alkbh1 targeted allele in mice. Both Alkbh1−/− and heterozygous Alkbh1+/− offspring are born at a greatly reduced frequency. Additionally, the sex-ratio is considerably skewed against female offspring, with one female born for every three to four males. Most mechanisms that cause segregation distortion, act in the male gametes and affect male fertility. The skewing of the sexes appears to be of paternal origin, and might be set in the pachythene stage of meiosis during spermatogenesis, in which Alkbh1 is upregulated more than 10-fold. In testes, apoptotic spermatids were revealed in 5–10% of the tubules in Alkbh1−/− adults. The deficiency of Alkbh1 also causes misexpression of Bmp2, 4 and 7 at E11.5 during embryonic development. This is consistent with the incompletely penetrant phenotypes observed, particularly recurrent unilateral eye defects and craniofacial malformations. Conclusions Genetic and phenotypic assessment suggests that Alkbh1 mediates gene regulation in spermatogenesis, and that Alkbh1 is essential for normal sex-ratio distribution and embryonic development in mice. PMID:21072209

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Evidence for an altered sex ratio in clinic-referred adolescents with gender dysphoria.

    PubMed

    Aitken, Madison; Steensma, Thomas D; Blanchard, Ray; VanderLaan, Doug P; Wood, Hayley; Fuentes, Amanda; Spegg, Cathy; Wasserman, Lori; Ames, Megan; Fitzsimmons, C Lindsay; Leef, Jonathan H; Lishak, Victoria; Reim, Elyse; Takagi, Anna; Vinik, Julia; Wreford, Julia; Cohen-Kettenis, Peggy T; de Vries, Annelou L C; Kreukels, Baudewijntje P C; Zucker, Kenneth J

    2015-03-01

    The number of adolescents referred to specialized gender identity clinics for gender dysphoria appears to be increasing and there also appears to be a corresponding shift in the sex ratio, from one favoring natal males to one favoring natal females. We conducted two quantitative studies to ascertain whether there has been a recent inversion of the sex ratio of adolescents referred for gender dysphoria. The sex ratio of adolescents from two specialized gender identity clinics was examined as a function of two cohort periods (2006-2013 vs. prior years). Study 1 was conducted on patients from a clinic in Toronto, and Study 2 was conducted on patients from a clinic in Amsterdam. Across both clinics, the total sample size was 748. In both clinics, there was a significant change in the sex ratio of referred adolescents between the two cohort periods: between 2006 and 2013, the sex ratio favored natal females, but in the prior years, the sex ratio favored natal males. In Study 1 from Toronto, there was no corresponding change in the sex ratio of 6,592 adolescents referred for other clinical problems. Sociological and sociocultural explanations are offered to account for this recent inversion in the sex ratio of adolescents with gender dysphoria. © 2015 International Society for Sexual Medicine.

  13. 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)

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. Phenotypic sex ratios of Atriplex canescens shrubs in relation to cattle browsing

    Treesearch

    Andres F. Cibils; David M. Swift; Richard H. Hart

    2001-01-01

    Previous studies conducted at our research site on the shortgrass steppe in Colorado showed that phenotypic sex ratios of tetraploid fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens Pursh [Nutt]) shrubs were less female biased in grazed pastures than in adjacent exclosures. The potential effects of cattle browsing on shrub sex ratios were studied both in the field and in a...

  17. 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)

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  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. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Sex role identity related to the ratio of second to fourth digit length in women.

    PubMed

    Csathó, Arpád; Osváth, Anikó; Bicsák, Eva; Karádi, Kázmér; Manning, John; Kállai, János

    2003-02-01

    Prenatal gonadal hormones have been implicated as important factors in the development of sex-role identity. The aim of the study reported here was to examine the relationship between adult sex-role preference and the second to fourth digit ratio (2D:4D ratio) in healthy women. There is evidence that the ratio of the length of second and fourth digits associates negatively with prenatal testosterone and positively with prenatal oestrogen. In this study the 2D:4D ratio was measured on a sample of 46 female university students. The subjects completed the form of the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI). It was found that the lower 2D:4D ratios associated significantly with higher, masculinized bias scores in BSRI indicating that 2D:4D ratio predicts the female or male self-reported sex-role identity in females. Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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

  20. Gametocyte sex ratio of a malaria parasite: response to experimental manipulation of parasite clonal diversity.

    PubMed

    Osgood, S M; Schall, J J

    2004-01-01

    Sex ratio theory posits that the adaptive proportion of male to female gametocytes of a malaria parasite within the vertebrate host depends on the degree of inbreeding within the vector. Gametocyte sex ratio could be phenotypically flexible, being altered based on the infection's clonal diversity, and thus likely inbreeding. This idea was tested by manipulating the clonal diversity of infections of Plasmodium mexicanum in its lizard host, Sceloporus occidentalis. Naive lizards were inoculated with infected blood from a single donor or 3 pooled donors. Donors varied in their gametocyte sex ratios (17-46%, male), and sex ratio theory allowed estimation of the clonal diversity within donor and recipient infections. Phenotypic plasticity would produce a correlation between donor and recipient infections for infections initiated from a single donor, and a less female-biased gametocyte sex ratio in recipients that received a mixed blood inoculum (with predicted higher clonal diversity) than recipients receiving blood from a single donor. Neither pattern was observed. Gametocyte sex ratio of most infections ranged from 35 to 42% male, expected if clonal diversity was high for all infections. Alternative explanations are suggested for the observed variation of gametocyte sex ratio among P. mexicanum infections.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    Males and females are ecologically distinct in many species, but whether responses to climate change are sex-specific is unknown. We document sex-specific responses to climate change in the plant Valeriana edulis (valerian) over four decades and across its 1800-meter elevation range. Increased elevation was associated with increased water availability and female frequency, likely owing to sex-specific water use efficiency and survival. Recent aridification caused male frequency to move upslope at 175 meters per decade, a rate of trait shift outpacing reported species' range shifts by an order of magnitude. This increase in male frequency reduced pollen limitation and increased seedset. Coupled with previous studies reporting sex-specific arthropod communities, these results underscore the importance of ecological differences between the sexes in mediating biological responses to climate change. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  3. What causes female bias in the secondary sex ratios of the dioecious woody shrub Salix sitchensis colonizing a primary successional landscape?

    PubMed

    Che-Castaldo, Christian; Crisafulli, Charlie M; Bishop, John G; Fagan, William F

    2015-08-01

    • Females often outnumber males in Salix populations, although the mechanisms behind female bias are not well understood and could be caused by both genetic and ecological factors. We investigated several ecological factors that could bias secondary sex ratios of Salix sitchensis colonizing Mount St. Helens after the 1980 eruption.• We determined whether S. sitchensis secondary sex ratios varied across disturbance zones created by the eruption and across mesic and hydric habitats within each zone. For one population, we tracked adult mortality, whole-plant reproductive allocation, the number of stems, and plant size for 2 years. In a field experiment, we created artificial streams to test whether vegetative reproduction via stem fragments was sex-biased.• We found a consistent 2:1 female bias in S. sitchensis secondary sex ratios across all disturbance zones and habitats. Despite female plants sometimes allocating more resources (in terms of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus) to reproduction than males, we found no evidence of sex-biased mortality. The establishment rate of S. sitchensis experimental stems did not differ between the sexes, indicating that vegetative reproduction was not distorting secondary sex ratios.• We hypothesize that S. sitchensis secondary sex ratios depend on either early-acting genetic factors affecting the seed sex ratio or sex-specific germination or survival rates before maturity, as opposed to factors associated with reproduction in adult plants. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  4. Climate change and temperature-dependent sex determination: can individual plasticity in nesting phenology prevent extreme sex ratios?

    PubMed

    Schwanz, Lisa E; Janzen, Fredric J

    2008-01-01

    Under temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), temperatures experienced by embryos during development determine the sex of the offspring. Consequently, populations of organisms with TSD have the potential to be strongly impacted by climatic warming that could bias offspring sex ratio, a fundamental demographic parameter involved in population dynamics. Moreover, many taxa with TSD are imperiled, so research on this phenomenon, particularly long-term field study, has assumed great urgency. Recently, turtles with TSD have joined the diverse list of taxa that have demonstrated population-level changes in breeding phenology in response to recent climate change. This raises the possibility that any adverse impacts of climate change on populations may be alleviated by individual plasticity in nesting phenology. Here, we examine data from a long-term study on a population of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) to determine whether changes in phenology are due to individual plasticity and whether individual plasticity in the timing of nesting has the capacity to offset the sex ratio effects of a rise in climatic temperature. We find that individual females show plasticity in the date of first nesting each year, and that this plasticity depends on the climate from the previous winter. First nesting date is not repeatable within individuals, suggesting that it would not respond to selection. Sex ratios of hatchlings within a nest declined nonsignificantly over the nesting season. However, small increases in summer temperature had a much stronger effect on nest sex ratios than did laying nests earlier in the season. For this and other reasons, it seems unlikely that individual plasticity in the timing of nesting will offset the effects of climate change on sex ratios in this population, and we hypothesize that this conclusion applies to other populations with TSD.

  5. 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

  6. 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. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. 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+)…

  16. Paternal condition drives progeny sex-ratio bias in a lizard that lacks parental care.

    PubMed

    Cox, Robert M; Duryea, M Catherine; Najarro, Michael; Calsbeek, Ryan

    2011-01-01

    Sex-allocation theory predicts that females in good condition should preferentially produce offspring of the sex that benefits the most from an increase in maternal investment. However, it is generally assumed that the condition of the sire has little effect on progeny sex ratio, particularly in species that lack parental care. We used a controlled breeding experiment and molecular paternity analyses to examine the effects of both maternal and paternal condition on progeny sex ratio and progeny fitness in the brown anole (Anolis sagrei), a polygynous lizard that lacks parental care. Contrary to the predictions of sex-allocation theory, we found no relationship between maternal condition and progeny sex ratio. By contrast, progeny sex ratio shifted dramatically from female-biased to male-biased as paternal condition increased. This pattern was driven entirely by an increase in the production of sons as paternal condition improved. Despite strong natural selection favoring large size and high condition in both sons and daughters, we found no evidence that progeny survival was related to paternal condition. Our results emphasize the importance of considering the paternal phenotype in studies of sex allocation and highlight the need for further research into the pathways that link paternal condition to progeny fitness. © 2010 The Author(s). Evolution© 2010 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  17. 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).

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Male-biased sex ratios in laboratory rearings of gypsy moth parasitoids

    Treesearch

    Roger W. Fuester; Kenneth S. Swan; Philip B. Taylor; Keith R. Hopper; Paul Ode

    2003-01-01

    Male-biased sex ratios in laboratory colonies of parasitic wasps used in biological control are harmful because they can prevent the establishment of introduced species or hinder commercial production of species used for augmentative control.

  1. RELATIONSHIP FORMATION AND STABILITY IN EMERGING ADULTHOOD: DO SEX RATIOS MATTER?

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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 (TARS) and the 2000 census, this study assesses whether sex ratios influence the formation and stability of emerging adults’ romantic relationships. Findings show that relationship formation is unaffected by partner availability, yet the presence of partners increases women’s odds of cohabiting, decreases men’s odds of cohabiting, and increases number of dating partners and cheating among men. It appears that sex ratios influence not only transitions in and out of marriage, but also the process through which individuals search for and evaluate partners prior to marriage. PMID:24265510

  2. Adult sex ratios and reproductive strategies: a critical re-examination of sex differences in human and animal societies

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    It is increasingly recognized that the relative proportion of potential mates to competitors in a population impacts a range of sex-specific behaviours and in particular mating and reproduction. However, while the adult sex ratio (ASR) has long been recognized as an important link between demography and behaviour, this relationship remains understudied. Here, we introduce the first inter-disciplinary collection of research on the causes and consequences of variation in the ASR in human and animal societies. This important topic is relevant to a wide audience of both social and biological scientists due to the central role that the relative number of males to females in a population plays for the evolution of, and contemporary variation in, sex roles across groups, species and higher taxa. The articles in this theme issue cover research on ASR across a variety of taxa and topics. They offer critical re-evaluations of theoretical foundations within both evolutionary and non-evolutionary fields, and propose innovative methodological approaches, present new empirical examples of behavioural consequences of ASR variation and reveal that the ASR plays a major role in determining population viability, especially in small populations and species with labile sex determination. This introductory paper puts the contributions of the theme issue into a broader context, identifies general trends across the literature and formulates directions for future research. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Adult sex ratios and reproductive decisions: a critical re-examination of sex differences in human and animal societies'. PMID:28760753

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

    PubMed

    James, William H

    2015-12-01

    There is evidence that the human sex ratio (proportion males at birth) is the result of two processes. First, the sexes of zygotes (from which the primary sex ratio would be calculated) are thought to be partially controlled by the hormone levels of both parents around the time of conception. Second, this primary sex ratio is apparently modified downwards by male-sex-selective spontaneous abortion caused by high levels of maternal stress-induced adrenal androgens, thus yielding the sex ratio at birth (the secondary sex ratio). Since maternal stress is one cause of spontaneous abortion (and of other forms of reproductive sub-optimality), and since some forms of pharmacological treatment of maternal stress are deleterious to the foetus, best practice would suggest non-pharmacological treatment (e.g. psychotherapy, hypnosis or massage) for pregnant women who have a previous history of spontaneous abortion, preterm birth or low-birth-weight infants. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Revised evidence for facultative sex ratio adjustment in birds: a correction

    PubMed Central

    Cassey, Phillip; Ewen, John G; Møller, Anders P

    2006-01-01

    We provide a revision to the calculation of effect sizes and heterogeneity statistics in our original article, ‘Facultative primary sex ratio variation: a lack of evidence in birds’ (Ewen et al. 2004). Our revision shows that significant heterogeneity in sex ratio study effect sizes does indeed exist and that for a series of key traits the average effect sizes (while still weak) are in fact significantly different from zero. PMID:17015370

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2012 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  12. 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.

  13. Prenatal stress, gestational age and secondary sex ratio: the sex-specific effects of exposure to a natural disaster in early pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Torche, Florencia; Kleinhaus, Karine

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND Previous research suggests that maternal exposure to acute stress has a negative impact on the duration of pregnancy, and that this effect may vary by the time of exposure. It has also been proposed that stress exposure reduces the ratio of male-to-female births. To date, no study has jointly examined both outcomes, although they may be strongly related. Using population-level data with no selectivity, we jointly study the sex-specific effect of stress on the duration of pregnancy and the observed sex ratio among pregnant women exposed to a major earthquake in Chile. METHODS In a quasi-experimental design, women exposed to the earthquake in different months of gestation were compared with women pregnant 1 year earlier. Estimates from a comparison group of pregnant women living in areas not affected by the earthquake were also examined to rule out confounding trends. Regression models were used to measure the impact of earthquake exposure on gestational age and preterm birth by sex across month of gestation. A counterfactual simulation was implemented to assess the effect of the earthquake on the secondary sex ratio accounting for the differential impact of stress on gestational age by sex. RESULTS Earthquake exposure in Months 2 and 3 of gestation resulted in a significant decline in gestational age and increase in preterm delivery. Effects varied by sex, and were much larger for female than male pregnancies. Among females, the probability of preterm birth increased by 0.038 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.005, 0.072] in Month 2 and by 0.039 (95% CI: 0.002, 0.075) in Month 3. Comparable increases for males were insignificant at the conventional P < 0.05 level. After accounting for the sex-specific impact on gestational age, a decline in the male-to-female ratio in Month 3 of exposure was detected [−0.058 (95% CI: −0.113, −0.003)]. CONCLUSIONS Maternal exposure to an exogenous stressor early but not late in the pregnancy affects gestational age and

  14. Prenatal stress, gestational age and secondary sex ratio: the sex-specific effects of exposure to a natural disaster in early pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Torche, Florencia; Kleinhaus, Karine

    2012-02-01

    Previous research suggests that maternal exposure to acute stress has a negative impact on the duration of pregnancy, and that this effect may vary by the time of exposure. It has also been proposed that stress exposure reduces the ratio of male-to-female births. To date, no study has jointly examined both outcomes, although they may be strongly related. Using population-level data with no selectivity, we jointly study the sex-specific effect of stress on the duration of pregnancy and the observed sex ratio among pregnant women exposed to a major earthquake in Chile. In a quasi-experimental design, women exposed to the earthquake in different months of gestation were compared with women pregnant 1 year earlier. Estimates from a comparison group of pregnant women living in areas not affected by the earthquake were also examined to rule out confounding trends. Regression models were used to measure the impact of earthquake exposure on gestational age and preterm birth by sex across month of gestation. A counterfactual simulation was implemented to assess the effect of the earthquake on the secondary sex ratio accounting for the differential impact of stress on gestational age by sex. Earthquake exposure in Months 2 and 3 of gestation resulted in a significant decline in gestational age and increase in preterm delivery. Effects varied by sex, and were much larger for female than male pregnancies. Among females, the probability of preterm birth increased by 0.038 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.005, 0.072] in Month 2 and by 0.039 (95% CI: 0.002, 0.075) in Month 3. Comparable increases for males were insignificant at the conventional P < 0.05 level. After accounting for the sex-specific impact on gestational age, a decline in the male-to-female ratio in Month 3 of exposure was detected [-0.058 (95% CI: -0.113, -0.003)]. Maternal exposure to an exogenous stressor early but not late in the pregnancy affects gestational age and the probability of preterm birth. This

  15. Sex ratio and parental investment in Trypoxylon (Trypargilum) agamemnon Richards (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae).

    PubMed

    Buschini, M L T; Bergamaschi, A C B

    2014-02-01

    The life history and sex ratio data of the solitary wasp Trypoxylon agamemnon nesting in trap-nests in southern Brazil was recorded from January 2002 to December 2007. Its sex ratio is strongly female-biased, being bivoltine or multivoltine with until three generations per year. It has two alternative life histories (diapause and direct development) and overlapping generations. In addition to the conflict of interest between the sexes, it is possible that local mate competition occurs between males and may cause a greater investment in the production of females.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Pike, Thomas W; Petrie, Marion

    2005-01-01

    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, 17β-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 17β-estradiol did not vary consistently with sex ratio biases. These findings add to the small number of studies providing experimental evidence that female birds can control the primary sex ratio of their offspring in response to paternal attractiveness, and highlight the possibility that corticosterone and perhaps testosterone are involved in the sex manipulation process in birds. PMID:17148167

  18. 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.

  19. Does gestational temperature or prenatal sex ratio influence development of sexual dimorphism in a viviparous skink?

    PubMed

    Hare, Kelly M; Yeong, Charlene; Cree, Alison

    2011-04-01

    Prenatal sex ratio (through exposure to hormones from siblings in utero) can influence sexually dimorphic traits of many mammals; but research on viviparous reptiles has contrasting outcomes, which have yet to be resolved. The thermal environment experienced during gestation has a strong effect on the phenotype of reptiles, but whether this thermal effect overrides that of prenatal sex ratio has yet to be explored. We experimentally investigated whether the gestation temperature, or litter sex ratio, influences sexually dimorphic traits (head width and axilla-groin length) in a viviparous skink (Oligosoma maccanni). We found that gestation temperature had a significant influence on sexually dimorphic traits of neonates, and at 3 months of age still influenced head width. We found no evidence that traits in either sex were masculinized or feminized in response to litter sex ratio. The development of external sexual dimorphisms increased gradually (all thermal regimes pooled), with neonates showing no sexual dimorphism, 3-month-old juveniles showing some sexual dimorphism in head width, and adults having stronger, but incompletely separated, sexual dimorphism for both traits. We suggest that the overlap in sexually dimorphic traits of adult O. maccanni (and perhaps other reptiles) may be better explained by natural variation in temperatures experienced during embryonic development, rather than hormonal effects arising from litter sex ratio. The interaction of hormones and temperature during gestation and the effect of these factors on sexual dimorphism within reptiles deserve further exploration. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company.

  20. Variation in offspring sex ratio of a long-lived sexually dimorphic raptor, the eastern imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca)

    Treesearch

    Todd E. Katzner; Daniel S. Jackson; Jamie Ivy; Evgeny A. Bragin; Andrew. Dewoody

    2014-01-01

    Sex ratio theory attempts to explain observed variation in offspring sex ratio at both the population and the brood levels. In the context of low-fecundity organisms producing high-investment offspring, the drivers of adaptive variation in sex ratio are incompletely understood. For raptors that display reverse sexual dimorphism (RSD), preferential allocation of...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Adult sex ratios and partner scarcity among hunter-gatherers: implications for dispersal patterns and the evolution of human sociality.

    PubMed

    Kramer, Karen L; Schacht, Ryan; Bell, Adrian

    2017-09-19

    Small populations are susceptible to high genetic loads and random fluctuations in birth and death rates. While these selective forces can adversely affect their viability, small populations persist across taxa. Here, we investigate the resilience of small groups to demographic uncertainty, and specifically to fluctuations in adult sex ratio (ASR), partner availability and dispersal patterns. Using 25 years of demographic data for two Savannah Pumé groups of South American hunter-gatherers, we show that in small human populations: (i) ASRs fluctuate substantially from year to year, but do not consistently trend in a sex-biased direction; (ii) the primary driver of local variation in partner availability is stochasticity in the sex ratio at maturity; and (iii) dispersal outside of the group is an important behavioural means to mediate locally constrained mating options. To then simulate conditions under which dispersal outside of the local group may have evolved, we develop two mathematical models. Model results predict that if the ASR is biased, the globally rarer sex should disperse. The model's utility is then evaluated by applying our empirical data to this central prediction. The results are consistent with the observed hunter-gatherer pattern of variation in the sex that disperses. Together, these findings offer an alternative explanation to resource provisioning for the evolution of traits central to human sociality (e.g. flexible dispersal, bilocal post-marital residence and cooperation across local groups). We argue that in small populations, looking outside of one's local group is necessary to find a mate and that, motivated by ASR imbalance, the alliances formed to facilitate the movement of partners are an important foundation for the human-typical pattern of network formation across local groups.This article is part of the themed issue 'Adult sex ratios and reproductive decisions: a critical re-examination of sex differences in human and animal

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Sex bias in ultrasound measures of gestational age: assessment by sex ratio in post-term births.

    PubMed

    Koch, Sarah; Lynggaard, Michelle; Jensen, Morten Søndergaard; Henriksen, Tine Brink; Uldbjerg, Niels

    2014-07-01

    Estimation of fetal age by ultrasound assumes identical biometries for both sexes at identical gestational ages. However, late in the first trimester male fetuses become larger overall than female fetuses, which may introduce a sex bias with clinical consequences. A recent study showed that using due-date estimates based on biparietal diameter from the second trimester increased the post-term male-to-female ratio and the risk of stillbirth among female fetuses born at 43 gestational weeks. We aimed to evaluate whether this increased male-to-female ratio was also present when the due date was based on crown-rump length from the first trimester. The study population included 3987 women with a certain last menstrual period (LMP), as well as a crown-rump length measured in the first trimester and a biparietal diameter measured in the second trimester. We defined birth after 42 completed weeks estimated by LMP as post-term. Labor was not routinely induced until after 42 weeks. Male-to-female ratios were estimated using logistic regression. When gestational age was estimated by biparietal diameter, the sex ratio steadily increased from 0.98 (95% confidence interval = 0.87-1.11) in week 40 to 1.54 (1.09-2.17) in week 42. A similar increase did not occur when using certain LMP or crown-rump length. The use of crown-rump length for the estimation of gestational age is not associated with an increased post-term male-to-female ratio. It can therefore be used for the estimation of due date without risk of the sex bias that occurs when using biparietal diameter in second trimester of pregnancy.

  13. Sex ratio at birth is associated with first-trimester maternal thyrotropin in women receiving levothyroxine.

    PubMed

    Miñambres, Donaire Inka; Ovejero Crespo, Diana; García-Paterson, Apolonia; Adelantado, Juan María; Corcoy Pla, Rosa

    2013-12-01

    The sex ratio at birth (male out of total alive newborns) is historically established at 0.515 and is influenced by numerous factors. It is not known, however, whether it is influenced by maternal thyroid conditions. Our aim was to analyze its association with maternal thyroid autoimmunity and first-trimester thyrotropin (TSH). We performed a retrospective cohort study at a tertiary care center. We studied 167 women who had received pregestational treatment with levothyroxine for hypothyroidism or differentiated thyroid carcinoma and gave birth to live infants. Women with secondary/tertiary hypothyroidism, pregestational diabetes mellitus, or multiple pregnancies were excluded. Autoimmunity was defined as present/absent, and mean first-trimester TSH was tested both as a quantitative variable and using six predefined categories. The outcome measure was sex ratio at birth. The sex ratio at birth was 0.485, not significantly different from expected. Maternal characteristics were similar in mothers of female and male newborns with the exception of mean first-trimester TSH, which was higher in pregnancies of female fetuses (3.27 vs. 2.52 mUI/L, p<0.025). Newborn sex differed across predefined TSH categories (p<0.021, with a sex ratio of 0.200 [95% confidence interval 0.00-0.402] for TSH ≥10 mUI/L). A multiple logistic regression analysis to predict newborn male sex confirmed maternal mean first-trimester TSH as the single predictor (odds ratio 0.900 [95% confidence interval 0.823-0.984], p<0.020). In women under pregestational treatment with levothyroxine, mean maternal first-trimester TSH is negatively associated with sex ratio at birth. This association has not been previously described.

  14. 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.

  15. Adult sex ratios and reproductive strategies: a critical re-examination of sex differences in human and animal societies.

    PubMed

    Schacht, Ryan; Kramer, Karen L; Székely, Tamás; Kappeler, Peter M

    2017-09-19

    It is increasingly recognized that the relative proportion of potential mates to competitors in a population impacts a range of sex-specific behaviours and in particular mating and reproduction. However, while the adult sex ratio (ASR) has long been recognized as an important link between demography and behaviour, this relationship remains understudied. Here, we introduce the first inter-disciplinary collection of research on the causes and consequences of variation in the ASR in human and animal societies. This important topic is relevant to a wide audience of both social and biological scientists due to the central role that the relative number of males to females in a population plays for the evolution of, and contemporary variation in, sex roles across groups, species and higher taxa. The articles in this theme issue cover research on ASR across a variety of taxa and topics. They offer critical re-evaluations of theoretical foundations within both evolutionary and non-evolutionary fields, and propose innovative methodological approaches, present new empirical examples of behavioural consequences of ASR variation and reveal that the ASR plays a major role in determining population viability, especially in small populations and species with labile sex determination. This introductory paper puts the contributions of the theme issue into a broader context, identifies general trends across the literature and formulates directions for future research.This article is part of the themed issue 'Adult sex ratios and reproductive decisions: a critical re-examination of sex differences in human and animal societies'. © 2017 The Author(s).

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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. 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. 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. 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.

  17. Sons are made from old stores: sperm storage effects on sex ratio in a lizard.

    PubMed

    Olsson, Mats; Schwartz, Tonia; Uller, Tobias; Healey, Mo

    2007-10-22

    Sperm storage is a widespread phenomenon across taxa and mating systems but its consequences for central fitness parameters, such as sex ratios, has rarely been investigated. In Australian painted dragon lizards (Ctenophorus pictus), we describe elsewhere that male reproductive success via sperm competition is largely an effect of sperm storage. That is, sperm being stored in the female reproductive tract out-compete more recently inseminated sperm in subsequent ovarian cycles. Here we look at the consequences of such sperm storage for sex allocation in the same species, which has genetic sex determination. We show that stored sperm have a 23% higher probability of producing sons than daughters. Thus, shifts in sex ratio, for example over the reproductive season, can partly be explained by different survival of son-producing sperm or some unidentified female mechanism taking effect during prolonged storage.

  18. Digit Ratio (2D:4D): A Biomarker for Prenatal Sex Steroids and Adult Sex Steroids in Challenge Situations

    PubMed Central

    Manning, John; Kilduff, Liam; Cook, Christian; Crewther, Blair; Fink, Bernhard

    2013-01-01

    Digit ratio (2D:4D) denotes the relative length of the second and fourth digits. This ratio is considered to be a biomarker of the balance between fetal testosterone (T) and estrogen (E) in a narrow window of early ontogeny. Evidence for this assertion is derived from direct and indirect measures of prenatal hormonal exposure (in experimental animals, via amniotic fluid samples and in the study of sex-typical traits) in relation to 2D:4D. In contrast, the relationships between 2D:4D and levels of sex steroids in adults are less clear, as many correlational studies of 2D:4D and adult sex steroids have concluded that this association is statistically non-significant. Here, we suggest that in order to understand the link between 2D:4D and sex hormones, one must consider both fetal organizing and adult activating effects of T and E. In particular, we hypothesize that 2D:4D correlates with organizing effects on the endocrine system that moderate activating effects in adulthood. We argue that this is particularly evident in “challenging” conditions such as aggressive and sexual encounters, in which individuals show increased levels of T. We discuss this refinement of the 2D:4D paradigm in relation to the links between 2D:4D and sports performance, and aggression. PMID:24523714

  19. Digit Ratio (2D:4D): A Biomarker for Prenatal Sex Steroids and Adult Sex Steroids in Challenge Situations.

    PubMed

    Manning, John; Kilduff, Liam; Cook, Christian; Crewther, Blair; Fink, Bernhard

    2014-01-01

    Digit ratio (2D:4D) denotes the relative length of the second and fourth digits. This ratio is considered to be a biomarker of the balance between fetal testosterone (T) and estrogen (E) in a narrow window of early ontogeny. Evidence for this assertion is derived from direct and indirect measures of prenatal hormonal exposure (in experimental animals, via amniotic fluid samples and in the study of sex-typical traits) in relation to 2D:4D. In contrast, the relationships between 2D:4D and levels of sex steroids in adults are less clear, as many correlational studies of 2D:4D and adult sex steroids have concluded that this association is statistically non-significant. Here, we suggest that in order to understand the link between 2D:4D and sex hormones, one must consider both fetal organizing and adult activating effects of T and E. In particular, we hypothesize that 2D:4D correlates with organizing effects on the endocrine system that moderate activating effects in adulthood. We argue that this is particularly evident in "challenging" conditions such as aggressive and sexual encounters, in which individuals show increased levels of T. We discuss this refinement of the 2D:4D paradigm in relation to the links between 2D:4D and sports performance, and aggression.

  20. Different sex ratios of children born to Indian and Pakistani immigrants in Norway

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background A low female-to-male ratio has been observed in different Asian countries, but this phenomenon has not been well studied among immigrants living in Western societies. In this study, we investigated whether a low female-to-male ratio exists among Indian and Pakistani immigrants living in Norway. In particular, we investigated whether the determination of sex via ultrasound examination, a common obstetric procedure that has been used in Norway since the early 1980 s, has influenced the female-to-male ratio among children born to parents of Indian or Pakistani origin. Methods We performed a retrospective cohort study of live births in mothers of Indian (n = 1597) and Pakistani (n = 5617) origin. Data were obtained from "Statistics Norway" and the female-to-male (F/M) sex ratio was evaluated among 21,325 children born, in increasing birth order, during three stratified periods (i.e., 1969-1986, 1987-1996, and 1997-2005). Results A significant low female-to-male sex ratio was observed among children in the third and fourth birth order (sex ratio 65; 95% CI 51-80) from mothers of Indian origin who gave birth after 1987. Sex ratios did not deviate from the expected natural variation in the Indian cohort from 1969 to 1986, and remained stable in the Pakistani cohort during the entire study period. However, the female-to-male sex ratio seemed less skewed in recent years (i.e., 1997-2005). Conclusion Significant differences were observed in the sex ratio of children born to mothers of Indian origin compared with children born to mothers of Pakistani origin. A skewed number of female births among higher birth orders (i.e., third or later) may partly reflect an increase in sex-selective abortion among mothers of Indian origin, although the numbers are too small to draw firm conclusions. Further research is needed to explain the observed differences in the female-to-male ratio among members of these ethnic groups who reside in Norway. PMID:20682027

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    Scherb, Hagen; Kusmierz, Ralf; Voigt, Kristina

    2013-08-15

    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. 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. 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. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Elevated mortality among birds in Chernobyl as judged from skewed age and sex ratios.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    Radiation has negative effects on survival of animals including humans, although the generality of this claim is poorly documented under low-dose field conditions. Because females may suffer disproportionately from the effects of radiation on survival due to differences in sex roles during reproduction, radiation-induced mortality may result in male-skewed adult sex ratios. We estimated the effects of low-dose radiation on adult survival rates in birds by determining age ratios of adults captured in mist nets during the breeding season in relation to background radiation levels around Chernobyl and in nearby uncontaminated control areas. Age ratios were skewed towards yearlings, especially in the most contaminated areas, implying that adult survival rates were reduced in contaminated areas, and that populations in such areas could only be maintained through immigration from nearby uncontaminated areas. Differential mortality in females resulted in a strongly male-skewed sex ratio in the most contaminated areas. In addition, males sang disproportionately commonly in the most contaminated areas where the sex ratio was male skewed presumably because males had difficulty finding and acquiring mates when females were rare. The results were not caused by permanent emigration by females from the most contaminated areas because none of the recaptured birds had changed breeding site, and the proportion of individuals with morphological abnormalities did not differ significantly between the sexes for areas with normal and higher levels of contamination. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the adult survival rate of female birds is particularly susceptible to the effects of low-dose radiation, resulting in male skewed sex ratios at high levels of radiation. Such skewed age ratios towards yearlings in contaminated areas are consistent with the hypothesis that an area exceeding 30,000 km(2) in Chernobyl's surroundings constitutes an ecological trap that

  5. Sex affects the infection frequencies of symbionts in Bemisia tabaci

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Huipeng; Li, Xianchun; Zhang, Youjun

    2012-01-01

    While biotype, host plant and geographical location are known to affect the infection dynamics of the six secondary symbionts (S-symbionts) including Hamiltonella, Arsenophonus, Cardinium, Wolbachia, Rickettsia and Fritschea in Bemisia tabaci, it remains unclear whether sex of B. tabaci has an impact on the infection frequencies of the six S-symbionts. To address this issue, gene-specific PCR were conducted to screen for the presence of the six S-symbionts in five host plant-adapted laboratory sub-populations with the same genetic background. Significant variations were exhibited in the infection rates of Rickettsia, Cardinium, Rickettsia + Hamiltonella (RH), Rickettsia + Cardinium (RC), Hamiltonella + Cardinium (HC) and Rickettsia + Hamiltonella + Cardinium (RHC) among the five host plant-adapted sub-populations. Moreover, Rickettsia, Hamiltonella, Cardinium, RH, RC, HC and RHC were present at a significantly higher frequency in the females than in the males of the five host plant-adapted sub-populations. This indicates that sex is another important factor affecting the population dynamics of S-symbionts in B. tabaci. PMID:23060956

  6. 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

  7. Adult sex ratios and their implications for cooperative breeding in birds.

    PubMed

    Komdeur, Jan; Székely, Tamás; Long, Xiaoyan; Kingma, Sjouke A

    2017-09-19

    Cooperative breeding is a form of breeding system where in addition to a core breeding pair, one or more usually non-breeding individuals provide offspring care. Cooperative breeding is widespread in birds, but its origin and maintenance in contemporary populations are debated. Although deviations in adult sex ratio (ASR, the proportion of males in the adult population) have been hypothesized to influence the occurrence of cooperative breeding because of the resulting surplus of one sex and limited availability of breeding partners, this hypothesis has not been tested across a wide range of taxa. By using data from 188 bird species and phylogenetically controlled analyses, we show that cooperatively breeding species have more male-biased ASRs than non-cooperative species. Importantly, ASR predicts helper sex ratio: in species with more male-biased ASR, helper sex ratio is also more male biased. We also show that offspring sex ratios do not predict ASRs, so that the skewed ASRs emerge during the period when individuals aim to obtain a breeding position or later during adulthood. In line with this result, we found that ASR (among both cooperatively and non-cooperatively breeding species) is inversely related to sex bias in dispersal distance, suggesting that the cost of dispersal is more severe for the further-dispersing sex. As females usually disperse further in birds, this explains the generally male-biased ASR, and in combination with benefits of philopatry for males, this probably explains why ASR is more biased in cooperatively breeding species. Taken together, our results suggest that a sex bias in helping in cooperatively breeding species relates to biased ASRs. We propose that this relationship is driven by sex-specific costs and benefits of dispersal and helping, as well as other demographic factors. Future phylogenetic comparative and experimental work is needed to establish how this relationship emerges.This article is part of the themed issue 'Adult sex

  8. Rationale for the study of the human sex ratio in population studies of polluted environments.

    PubMed

    Jarrell, John

    2002-01-01

    The human secondary sex ratio remains a subject of substantial interest. The possibility has been raised that environmental chemical exposures have played a role in the changes associated with the sex ratio in a number of countries. The possibility that such an effect may be present is supported at least theoretically by the observation that clomiphene citrate, a drug used in the treatment of infertility with powerful estrogenic and anti-estrogenic properties, has profound effects on the sex ratio resulting in significantly fewer males at birth. Using a model of causality based on the clinical identification of adverse drug effect methodology one may improve the objectivity of the assessment of significant environmental exposures on this human reproductive outcome.

  9. Association of polyandry and sex-ratio drive prevalence in natural populations of Drosophila neotestacea.

    PubMed

    Pinzone, Cheryl A; Dyer, Kelly A

    2013-10-22

    Selfish genetic elements bias their own transmission to the next generation, even at the expense of the fitness of their carrier. Sex-ratio (SR) meiotic drive occurs when an X-chromosome causes Y-bearing sperm to die during male spermatogenesis, so that it is passed on to all of the male's offspring, which are all daughters. How SR is maintained as a stable polymorphism in the absence of genetic suppressors of drive is unknown. Here, we investigate the potential for the female remating rate to affect SR dynamics in natural populations, using the fly Drosophila neotestacea. In controlled laboratory conditions, females from populations where SR is rare mate more often than females from populations where SR is common. Furthermore, only when males mate multiply does the average fertility of SR males relative to wild-type males decrease to a level that can prevent SR from spreading. Our results suggest that differences in the female mating rate among populations may contribute to SR dynamics in the wild, and thus also affect the outcome of this intragenomic conflict. In line with this, we also present evidence of a localized population crash due to SR that may have resulted from habitat fragmentation along with a reduced mating rate.

  10. Association of polyandry and sex-ratio drive prevalence in natural populations of Drosophila neotestacea

    PubMed Central

    Pinzone, Cheryl A.; Dyer, Kelly A.

    2013-01-01

    Selfish genetic elements bias their own transmission to the next generation, even at the expense of the fitness of their carrier. Sex-ratio (SR) meiotic drive occurs when an X-chromosome causes Y-bearing sperm to die during male spermatogenesis, so that it is passed on to all of the male's offspring, which are all daughters. How SR is maintained as a stable polymorphism in the absence of genetic suppressors of drive is unknown. Here, we investigate the potential for the female remating rate to affect SR dynamics in natural populations, using the fly Drosophila neotestacea. In controlled laboratory conditions, females from populations where SR is rare mate more often than females from populations where SR is common. Furthermore, only when males mate multiply does the average fertility of SR males relative to wild-type males decrease to a level that can prevent SR from spreading. Our results suggest that differences in the female mating rate among populations may contribute to SR dynamics in the wild, and thus also affect the outcome of this intragenomic conflict. In line with this, we also present evidence of a localized population crash due to SR that may have resulted from habitat fragmentation along with a reduced mating rate. PMID:24004936

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    James, William H

    2012-10-07

    Human sex ratios at birth simultaneously show both significant variation with a number of variables, and striking stability across time. Hypotheses on these features are discussed here. A) The causes of the stability are not established. B) There are several hypotheses which purport to explain sex ratio variation. 1. The Trivers–Willard hypothesis has had only limited success. This may be because (from a methodological standpoint) it has an unusual provenance in that it is not a response to a perceived need for explanation of an observed phenomenon. At present there seems too much evidence in its favour for this hypothesis to be rejected, and too much against it, for it to be accepted. 2. My hypothesis proposes that hormone concentrations (of both parents) around the time of conception partially control the sex of the zygote. A substantial quantity of data has been adduced in favour of this hypothesis. But it cannot explain all types of variation of sex ratios at birth. 3. It has been proposed by Catalano that other variation in sex ratios at birth is associated with maternal stress during pregnancy. He and his co-workers have adduced substantial quantities of data to support this hypothesis too. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. Correcting for unequal catchability in sex ratio and population size estimates

    PubMed Central

    Ligon, Day B.

    2017-01-01

    Wildlife populations often exhibit unequal catchability between subgroups such as males and females. This heterogeneity of capture probabilities can bias both population size and sex ratio estimates. Several authors have suggested that this problem can be overcome by treating males and females as separate populations and calculating a population estimate for each of them. However, this suggestion has received little testing, and many researchers do not implement it. Therefore, we used two simulations to test the utility of this method. One simulated a closed population, while the other simulated an open population and used the robust design to calculate population sizes. We tested both simulations with multiple levels of heterogeneity, and we used a third simulation to test several methods for detecting heterogeneity of capture probabilities. We found that treating males and females as separate populations produced more accurate population and sex ratio estimates. The benefits of this method were particularly pronounced for sex ratio estimates. When males and females were included as a single population, the sex ratio estimates became inaccurate when even slight heterogeneity was present, but when males and females were treated separately, the estimates were accurate even when large biases were present. Nevertheless, treating males and females separately reduced precision, and this method may not be appropriate when capture and recapture rates are low. None of the methods for detecting heterogeneity were robust, and we do not recommend that researchers rely on them. Rather, we suggest separating populations by sex, age, or other subgroups whenever sample sizes permit. PMID:28850601

  15. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1994-01-01

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

  17. Parallel distribution of sexes within left and right uterine horns in Holstein dairy cows: evidence that the effect of side of pregnancy on sex ratio could be breed-specific in cattle.

    PubMed

    Gharagozlou, F; Vojgani, M; Akbarinejad, V; Niasari-Naslaji, A; Hemmati, M; Youssefi, R

    2013-11-30

    Dissimilar distribution of male and female calves within left and right uterine horns has been observed in beef cows. A retrospective study was conducted to investigate the effect of side of pregnancy on secondary sex ratio in Holstein dairy cows. Data associated with sex of calves, side of pregnancy, sire, dam, parity number of dam, AI technician, season and year were retrieved from the database of a Holstein dairy farm. In total, data consisted of 6515 birth records from 3155 dams and 244 sires across years 2001-2010. Data were analyzed using logistic regression. There was no difference in proportion of male and female calves between left (52.9% and 47.1%, respectively) and right (53.2% and 46.8%, respectively) uterine horns (P>0.05). AI technician, year, season and parity of dam did not affect secondary sex ratio (P>0.05). Secondary sex ratio of left and right uterine horns, and consequently, overall secondary sex ratio (53.1%) were skewed toward males as compared with hypothetical secondary sex ratio of 50% (P<0.05). Incidence of right pregnancy (60.5%) was higher than hypothetical 50% incidence of right pregnancy. In conclusion, the present study revealed similar secondary sex ratio of calves between left and right uterine horns in Holstein dairy cows.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Change in body mass can overrule the effects of maternal testosterone on primary offspring sex ratio of first eggs in homing pigeons.

    PubMed

    Goerlich, V C; Dijkstra, C; Boonekamp, J J; Groothuis, T G G

    2010-01-01

    The phenomenon of primary offspring sex ratio adjustment is being extensively studied, yet knowledge of the underlying proximate mechanism is still mainly hypothetical. Female birds are the heterogametic sex, thus potentially controlling the sex of the gamete to be fertilized. In several bird species, independent studies showed effects of maternal plasma testosterone, corticosterone, or condition on primary offspring sex ratio. Our objective was to investigate the causal relation between these two maternal hormones, body condition, and offspring sex ratio in homing pigeons (Columba livia domestica). Following our earlier study, we again implanted females with testosterone and determined embryo sex of first eggs. To identify the pathway of sex ratio adjustment, we repeatedly measured not only maternal plasma testosterone and mass but also plasma corticosterone, cholesterol, and glucose, all indicators of body condition. We also calculated the temporal change in these parameters, which has been proposed to be a more accurate predictor of offspring sex ratio compared with the absolute values. Furthermore, we analyzed testosterone concentrations in outer yolk layers, which potentially influence the first meiotic division of the gamete. We found no relation between plasma parameter and embryo sex of first eggs; testosterone treatment did not affect any of the measured parameters. However, females that increased in mass produced more male embryos, irrespective of treatment group. Outer yolk layer testosterone concentrations did not differ between treatment groups or between male and female eggs. We propose that not only the absolute values but also the complex interactions between maternal hormones and body condition ultimately affect the mechanism of primary offspring sex manipulation.

  2. 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

  3. Sex ratio bias and extinction risk in an isolated population of Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus).

    PubMed

    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.

  4. Count ratio model reveals bias affecting NGS fold changes

    PubMed Central

    Erhard, Florian; Zimmer, Ralf

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, António M M; Gardner, Andy

    2015-07-07

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. [Paternal exposure to occupational electromagnetic radiation and sex ratio of the offspring: a meta-analysis].

    PubMed

    Tong, Shu-Hui; Liu, Yi-Ting; Liu, Yang

    2013-02-01

    To investigate the association between paternal exposure to occupational electromagnetic radiation and the sex ratio of the offspring. We searched various databases, including PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, OVID, Bioscience Information Service (BIOSIS), China National Knowledge Infrastructure, VIP Database for Chinese Technical Periodicals and Wanfang Database, for the literature relevant to the association of paternal exposure to occupational electromagnetic radiation with the sex ratio of the offspring. We conducted a meta-analysis on their correlation using Stata 11.0. There was no statistically significant difference in the sex ratio between the offspring with paternal exposure to occupational electromagnetic radiation and those without (pooled OR = 1.00 [95% CI: 0.95 -1.05], P = 0.875). Subgroup analysis of both case-control and cohort studies revealed no significant difference (pooled OR = 1.03 [95% CI: 0.99 -1.08], P = 0.104 and pooled OR = 0.98 [95% CI: 0.99 -1.08], P = 0.186, respectively). Paternal exposure to occupational electromagnetic radiation is not correlated with the sex ratio of the offspring.

  17. 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…

  18. Temporal patterns in capture rate and sex ratio of forest bats in Arkansas

    Treesearch

    Roger W. Perry; S. Andrew Carter; Ronald E. Thill

    2010-01-01

    We quantified changes in capture rates and sex ratios from May to Sept. for eight species of bats, derived from 8 y of extensive mist netting in forests of the Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas. Our primary goal was to determine patterns of relative abundance for each species of bat captured over forest streams and to determine if these patterns were similar to patterns of...

  19. Evaluation of traps used to monitor southern pine beetle aerial populations and sex ratios

    Treesearch

    James T. Cronin; Jane L. Hayes; Peter. Turchin

    2000-01-01

    Various kinds of traps have been employed to monitor and forecast population trends of the southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann; Coleoptera: Scolytidae), but their accuracy in assessing pine-beetle abundance and sex ratio in the field has not been evaluated directly.In trus study, we...

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-22

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1985-07-01

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  9. Alate production and sex ratio in colonies of the Neotropical termite Nasutitermes corniger (Isoptera; Termitidae).

    PubMed

    Thorne, Barbara L

    1983-04-01

    1. Dissections of 49 entire Nasutitermes corniger (Motschulsky) colonies collected in Panama immediately prior to the nuptial flights give data on numbers, biomass and sex ratio of alates produced by individual colonies. 2) Twenty-six other colonies were collected and dissected in the early period of alate nymph development. Alate nymphs proceed through five instars, spending 5-8 months within the parental colony. 3) Even when comparing colonies of similar size, variation in reproductive output among N. corniger colonies in a population is marked. Mature colonies (neuter population size 50,000-400,000) generally produce 5,000-25,000 alates, although some large colonies had no fertile brood, at least during the year they were censused. 4) On average, colonies which produce alates have 35% of the colony biomass invested in alates (or late instar nymphs) shortly before the nuptial flight. 5) Female N. corniger alates are 1.2-1.4 times heavier (dry weight) than male nestmates. Numerical sex ratio among colonies is skewed toward males, while biomass "investment" sex ratio is not significantly different from 1:1. These data conform to Fisher's amended theory of expected sex ratio.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Livestock grazing has been demonstrated to affect the population abundance of small rodents in grasslands, but the causative mechanism of grazing on demographic parameters, particularly the age structure and sex ratio, is rarely investigated. In this study, we examined the effects of sheep grazing on the cohort structure and sex ratio of Brandt's vole (Lasiopodomys brandtii) in Inner Mongolia of China by using large manipulative experimental enclosures during 2010-2013. Our results indicated that sheep grazing significantly decreased the proportion of the spring-born cohort, but increased the proportion of the summer-born cohort. Grazing increased the proportion of males in both spring and summer cohorts. In addition, we found a negative relation between population density and the proportion of the overwinter cohort. Our results suggest that a shift in the cohort structure and the sex ratio may be an important strategy for small rodents to adapt to changes in food resources resulting from livestock grazing. © 2015 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  12. Variable Variation: Annual and Seasonal Changes in Offspring Sex Ratio in a Bat

    PubMed Central

    Barclay, Robert M. R.

    2012-01-01

    Many organisms produce offspring with sex-ratios that deviate from equal numbers of males and females, and numerous adaptive explanations have been proposed. In some species, offspring sex-ratio varies across the reproductive season, again with several explanations as to why this might be adaptive. However, patterns for birds and mammals are inconsistent, and multiple factors are likely involved. Long-term studies on a variety of species may help untangle the complexity. I analyzed a long-term data set on the variation in offspring sex-ratio of the big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus, a temperate-zone, insectivorous species. Sex ratio varied seasonally, but only in some years. Births early in the season were significantly female biased in years in which parturition occurred relatively early, but not in years with late parturition. Survival of female pups increased with earlier median birth date for the colony, and early-born females were more likely to survive and reproduce as one-year olds, compared to later-born pups. I argue that, due to the unusual timing of reproductive activities in male and female bats that hibernate, producing female offspring early in the year increases their probability of reproducing as one year olds, but this is not the case for male offspring. Thus, mothers that can give birth early in the year, benefit most by producing a female pup. The relative benefit of producing female or male offspring varies depending on the length of the growing season and thus the time available for female pups to reach sexual maturity. This suggests that not only does sex-ratio vary seasonally and among years, depending on the condition of the mother and the environment, but also likely varies geographically due to differences in season length. PMID:22570704

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Use of 2D:4D digit ratios to determine sex.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Christopher K; Case, D Troy

    2014-09-01

    Second to fourth digit ratios (2D:4D) are sexually dimorphic in human hands and established by the 13th gestational week. Application of 2D:4D for determining sex in living individuals by Kanchan et al. (Forensic Sci Int, 181, 2008, 53.e1) produced classification rates of 80% for males and 74-78% for females. Few studies have explored the use of 2D:4D for sexing skeletal remains. We test estimated finger lengths, phalanx lengths, and 2D:4D derived from hand bones for determining sex. Maximum phalanx length was collected using a mini-osteometric board from 451 individuals of known age, sex, and ancestry in four skeletal collections. Logistic regression of 2nd and 4th digit finger and phalanx lengths produced classification rates greater than 80%. Digit ratios, however, failed to reach classification rates greater than 59%. Our results support those of Voracek (Forensic Sci Int, 185, 2009, e29) and suggest that 2D:4D may be population-specific and thus inappropriate for universal application as a means of determining sex. © 2014 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  18. A study on sex ratio at birth in suburban slums of Mumbai.

    PubMed

    Tragler, Ancilla

    2011-01-01

    A cross sectional study was conducted in four selected suburban slums of Mumbai to determine the sex ratio at birth and to assess the various factors related to it. Information were collected on the sex of new born babies and other socio demographic characteristics of selected couples, including number of births, history of spontaneous and induced abortions and the preferred sex of siblings. Data were collected from a total of 302 families using a pre-tested interview schedule. There were 698 births of which 351(50.3%) were males and 347 females. The sex ratio at birth was 988 females for 1000 males. There were 84 abortions of which 60(71.4%) were induced and 24 (28.6%) were spontaneous. The reason stated for induced abortions was related to sex of the child in 31(51.7%) of the cases and in 26(83.9%) of these, the abortions were induced to prevent the birth of a female child. There was a preference for male children in the study families. Gender bias and its implications are discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. National, regional, and global sex ratios of infant, child, and under-5 mortality and identification of countries with outlying ratios: a systematic assessment.

    PubMed

    Alkema, Leontine; Chao, Fengqing; You, Danzhen; Pedersen, Jon; Sawyer, Cheryl C

    2014-09-01

    Under natural circumstances, the sex ratio of male to female mortality up to the age of 5 years is greater than one but sex discrimination can change sex ratios. The estimation of mortality by sex and identification of countries with outlying levels is challenging because of issues with data availability and quality, and because sex ratios might vary naturally based on differences in mortality levels and associated cause of death distributions. For this systematic analysis, we estimated country-specific mortality sex ratios for infants, children aged 1-4 years, and children under the age of 5 years (under 5s) for all countries from 1990 (or the earliest year of data collection) to 2012 using a Bayesian hierarchical time series model, accounting for various data quality issues and assessing the uncertainty in sex ratios. We simultaneously estimated the global relation between sex ratios and mortality levels and constructed estimates of expected and excess female mortality rates to identify countries with outlying sex ratios. Global sex ratios in 2012 were 1·13 (90% uncertainty interval 1·12-1·15) for infants, 0·95 (0·93-0·97) for children aged 1-5 years, and 1·08 (1·07-1·09) for under 5s, an increase since 1990 of 0·01 (-0·01 to 0·02) for infants, 0·04 (0·02 to 0·06) for children aged 1-4 years, and 0·02 (0·01 to 0·04) for under 5s. Levels and trends varied across regions and countries. Sex ratios were lowest in southern Asia for 1990 and 2012 for all age groups. Highest sex ratios were seen in developed regions and the Caucasus and central Asia region. Decreasing mortality was associated with increasing sex ratios, except at very low infant mortality, where sex ratios decreased with total mortality. For 2012, we identified 15 countries with outlying under-5 sex ratios, of which ten countries had female mortality higher than expected (Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Jordan, Nepal, and Pakistan). Although excess female

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    McKellar, A E; Hendry, A P

    2011-10-01

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

  9. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. SEX RATIOS OF MOSQUITOES FROM LONG-TERM CENSUSES OF FLORIDA TREE HOLES

    PubMed Central

    Lounibos, L. Philip; Escher, Richard L.

    2008-01-01

    Pupal sexes of the most common mosquito species were determined in the course of biweekly censuses (with replacement) of the contents of 3–7 tree holes from 1980–2003 in Vero Beach, FL. A significant (P < 0.001) male bias was detected over this period for the most abundant species, Aedes triseriatus. No significant deviation from a 1:1 sex ratio was detected among pupae of Toxorhynchites rutilus or Ae. albopictus, the latter species occurring in this community only since 1991. Although pupae of Ae. triseriatus were recorded during every month of the year, significant male biases were detected only in February–May, August, and December. These results are interpreted in the context of multivoltinism and the previously documented differential sensitivity of male and female eggs of this species to hatching stimuli. Sex-specific responses to hatching stimuli are judged to be present but less pronounced in eggs of Ae. albopictus. Male biases in container Aedes are likely associated with sexual selection, which may also explain seasonal changes in sex ratios, whereby early males compete to mate with high-fecundity females. The overproduction of Ae. triseriatus males may be counterbalanced by increased fitness of females, which are known to predominate in delayed hatches. PMID:18437808

  11. 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. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ferguson, Edgar L.; Jorde, Dennis G.; Sease, John L.

    1981-01-01

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

  14. Parasitism rates and sex ratios of a parasitoid wasp: effects of herbivore and plant quality.

    PubMed

    Fox, Laurel R; Letourneau, Deborah K; Eisenbach, Jamin; Van Nouhuys, Saskya

    1990-06-01

    We studied interactions among collards, Brassica oleracea var. acephala, the diamondback moth (DBM), Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae) and its parasitoid Diadegma insulare (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) by manipulating plant nitrogen (N) concentrations in field and laboratory experiments. Parasitoid abundance strongly reflected DBM abundance and was related to total leaf N. Parasitism rates were high (70.7%) and density-independent. Wasp sex ratios varied markedly (3-93% female) in response to the herbivores, the plants, or both. Higher proportions of female wasps emerged from DBM larvae on plants with high leaf N than on unfertilized plants. More female wasps also emerged from larvae parasitized as larger instars. We suggest that wasps have the potential to control DBM populations through long-term numerical responses mediated by variable sex ratios.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  2. 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. © 2016 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  3. [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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Further Mathematical Modelling of Mating Sex Ratios & Male Strategies with Special Relevance to Human Life History.

    PubMed

    Loo, Sara L; Chan, Matthew H; Hawkes, Kristen; Kim, Peter S

    2017-08-01

    Influential models of male reproductive strategies have often ignored the importance of mate guarding, focusing instead on trade-offs between fitness gained through care for dependants in a pair bond versus fitness from continued competition for additional mates. Here we follow suggestions that mate guarding is a distinct alternative strategy that plays a crucial role, with special relevance to the evolution of our own lineage. Human pair bonding may have evolved in concert with the evolution of our grandmothering life history, which entails a shift to male-biased sex ratios in the fertile ages. As that sex ratio becomes more male biased, payoffs for mate-guarding increase due to partner scarcity. We present an ordinary differential equation model of mutually exclusive strategies (dependant care, multiple mating, and mate guarding), calculate steady-state frequencies and perform bifurcation analysis on parameters of care and guarding efficiency. Mate guarding triumphs over alternate strategies when populations are male biased, and guarding is fully efficient. When guarding does not ensure complete certainty of paternity, and multiple maters are able to gain some paternity from guarders, multiple mating can coexist with guarding. At female-biased sex ratios, multiple mating takes over, unless the benefit of care to the number of surviving offspring produced by the mates of carers is large.

  8. 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

  9. WormGender - Open-Source Software for Automatic Caenorhabditis elegans Sex Ratio Measurement.

    PubMed

    Labocha, Marta K; Jung, Sang-Kyu; Aleman-Meza, Boanerges; Liu, Zheng; Zhong, Weiwei

    2015-01-01

    Fast and quantitative analysis of animal phenotypes is one of the major challenges of current biology. Here we report the WormGender open-source software, which is designed for accurate quantification of sex ratio in Caenorhabditis elegans. The software functions include, i) automatic recognition and counting of adult hermaphrodites and males, ii) a manual inspection feature that enables manual correction of errors, and iii) flexibility to use new training images to optimize the software for different imaging conditions. We evaluated the performance of our software by comparing manual and automated assessment of sex ratio. Our data showed that the WormGender software provided overall accurate sex ratio measurements. We further demonstrated the usage of WormGender by quantifying the high incidence of male (him) phenotype in 27 mutant strains. Mutants of nine genes (brc-1, C30G12.6, cep-1, coh-3, him-3, him-5, him-8, skr-1, unc-86) showed significant him phenotype. The WormGender is written in Java and can be installed and run on both Windows and Mac platforms. The source code is freely available together with a user manual and sample data at http://www.QuantWorm.org/. The source code and sample data are also available at http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1541248.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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. Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination in Fish Revisited: Prevalence, a Single Sex Ratio Response Pattern, and Possible Effects of Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Ospina-Álvarez, Natalia; Piferrer, Francesc

    2008-01-01

    Background In gonochoristic vertebrates, sex determination mechanisms can be classified as genotypic (GSD) or temperature-dependent (TSD). Some cases of TSD in fish have been questioned, but the prevalent view is that TSD is very common in this group of animals, with three different response patterns to temperature. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed field and laboratory data for the 59 fish species where TSD has been explicitly or implicitly claimed so far. For each species, we compiled data on the presence or absence of sex chromosomes and determined if the sex ratio response was obtained within temperatures that the species experiences in the wild. If so, we studied whether this response was statistically significant. We found evidence that many cases of observed sex ratio shifts in response to temperature reveal thermal alterations of an otherwise predominately GSD mechanism rather than the presence of TSD. We also show that in those fish species that actually have TSD, sex ratio response to increasing temperatures invariably results in highly male-biased sex ratios, and that even small changes of just 1–2°C can significantly alter the sex ratio from 1∶1 (males∶females) up to 3∶1 in both freshwater and marine species. Conclusions/Significance We demonstrate that TSD in fish is far less widespread than currently believed, suggesting that TSD is clearly the exception in fish sex determination. Further, species with TSD exhibit only one general sex ratio response pattern to temperature. However, the viability of some fish populations with TSD can be compromised through alterations in their sex ratios as a response to temperature fluctuations of the magnitude predicted by climate change. PMID:18665231

  14. Temperature-dependent sex determination in fish revisited: prevalence, a single sex ratio response pattern, and possible effects of climate change.

    PubMed

    Ospina-Alvarez, Natalia; Piferrer, Francesc

    2008-07-30

    In gonochoristic vertebrates, sex determination mechanisms can be classified as genotypic (GSD) or temperature-dependent (TSD). Some cases of TSD in fish have been questioned, but the prevalent view is that TSD is very common in this group of animals, with three different response patterns to temperature. We analyzed field and laboratory data for the 59 fish species where TSD has been explicitly or implicitly claimed so far. For each species, we compiled data on the presence or absence of sex chromosomes and determined if the sex ratio response was obtained within temperatures that the species experiences in the wild. If so, we studied whether this response was statistically significant. We found evidence that many cases of observed sex ratio shifts in response to temperature reveal thermal alterations of an otherwise predominately GSD mechanism rather than the presence of TSD. We also show that in those fish species that actually have TSD, sex ratio response to increasing temperatures invariably results in highly male-biased sex ratios, and that even small changes of just 1-2 degrees C can significantly alter the sex ratio from 1:1 (males:females) up to 3:1 in both freshwater and marine species. We demonstrate that TSD in fish is far less widespread than currently believed, suggesting that TSD is clearly the exception in fish sex determination. Further, species with TSD exhibit only one general sex ratio response pattern to temperature. However, the viability of some fish populations with TSD can be compromised through alterations in their sex ratios as a response to temperature fluctuations of the magnitude predicted by climate change.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  2. Density-dependent sex ratio adjustment and the allee effect: a model and a test using a sex-changing fish.

    PubMed

    Walker, Stefan P W; Thibaut, Loïc; McCormick, Mark I

    2010-09-01

    Positive density dependence (i.e., the Allee effect; AE) often has important implications for the dynamics and conservation of populations. Here, we show that density-dependent sex ratio adjustment in response to sexual selection may be a common AE mechanism. Specifically, using an analytical model we show that an AE is expected whenever one sex is more fecund than the other and sex ratio bias toward the less fecund sex increases with density. We illustrate the robustness of this pattern, using Monte Carlo simulations, against a range of body size-fecundity relationships and sex-allocation strategies. Finally, we test the model using the sex-changing polygynous reef fish Parapercis cylindrica; positive density dependence in the strength of sexual selection for male size is evidenced as the causal mechanism driving local sex ratio adjustment, hence the AE. Model application may extend to invertebrates, reptiles, birds, and mammals, in addition to over 70 reef fishes. We suggest that protected areas may often outperform harvest quotas as a conservation tool since the latter promotes population fragmentation, reduced polygyny, a balancing of the sex ratio, and hence up to a 50% decline in per capita fecundity, while the former maximizes polygyny and source-sink potential.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Do sex differences affect prefrontal cortex associated cognition in schizophrenia?

    PubMed

    Roesch-Ely, Daniela; Hornberger, Eva; Weiland, Stephan; Hornstein, Christiane; Parzer, Peter; Thomas, Christine; Weisbrod, Matthias

    2009-02-01

    Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia, especially those related to prefrontal cortex (PFC) functions, influence functional outcome. There is evidence for sex differences in cognition in schizophrenia, but the results in the literature are still controversial. This study evaluated different modalities of working memory (WM) and executive control (EC), functions that are both associated with the PFC, between sexes in schizophrenic patients and controls. We used a battery of neuropsychological tests for assessing auditory, spatial, and visual-matching WM and used a dual task for assessing EC. The study included 50 inpatients (25 female) partially remitted and taking atypical neuroleptics, as well as 40 controls (20 female) matched for age and education. Significant sex differences were found in the dual task; female patients detected fewer correct trials than male patients and controls did. Moreover, female patients performed significantly worse in the single visual subtest of the dual task. For the controls, no sex differences were found. Males showed higher positive symptoms than females, but no other differences in psychopathology, disease characteristics, or extrapyramidal symptoms were found between sexes. The present study shows an absence of sex differences in WM in healthy subjects and in patients with schizophrenia. However, in the dual task and in the single visual subtest, female patients performed worse than males. This finding suggests that in contrast to males, nonacute female inpatients show an underlying attentional deficit that may contribute to impairment in higher-order functions such as EC.

  8. 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.

  9. Calcium availability influences litter size and sex ratio in white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus).

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Christina M; Hood, Wendy R

    2012-01-01

    The production of offspring typically requires investment of resources derived from both the environment and maternal somatic reserves. As such, the availability of either of these types of resources has the potential to limit the degree to which resources are allocated to reproduction. Theory and empirical studies have argued that mothers modify reproductive performance relative to exogenous resource availability and maternal condition by adjusting size, number or sex of offspring produced. These relationships have classically been defined relative to availability of energy sources; however, in vertebrates, calcium also plays a critical role in offspring production, as a considerable amount of calcium is required to support the development of offspring skeleton(s). We tested whether the availability of calcium influences reproductive output by providing female white-footed mice with a low-calcium or standard diet from reproductive maturity to senescence. We then compared maternal skeletal condition and reproductive output, based on offspring mass, offspring number and litter sex ratio, between dietary treatments. Mothers on the low-calcium diet exhibited diminished skeletal condition at senescence and produced smaller and strongly female-biased litters. We show that skeletal condition and calcium intake can influence sex ratio and reproductive output following general theoretical models of resource partitioning during reproduction.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Sex determination in Sarotherodon (tilapia) : Part 2: the sex ratio as a tool for the determination of genotype - a model of autosomal and gonosomal influence.

    PubMed

    Hammerman, I S; Avtalion, R R

    1979-05-01

    The simplest possible model of the sex determination process adding autosomal influence to a minimal number of sex chromosomes was developed to explain matings of Tilapia (Sarotherodon) species. Eighteen different genotypes, each having two autosomes (AA, Aa, or aa) and two sex chromosomes (WX, WY, WW, XY, XX or YY) involved in sex determination, are predicted by the theory. Their sex (10 males and 8 females) were determined using a series of directed graphs, showing the relative strength of the chromosome pairs, developed on the basis of Chen's sex ratio results (Chen 1969). This theoretical model predicts eight different sex ratios (0∶1, 1∶3, 3∶5, 1∶1, 9∶7, 5∶3, 3∶1, 1∶0 ♀∶♂); three of them are not predicted by the WXYZ theory. The greatest part of these sex ratios have been obtained experimentally in extensive series of crosses between related species of Tilapia and their hybrids, carried out by several authors. The theory succeeds in explaining all of Chen's results, including those ratios 5∶3 and 0∶1 seen in certain crosses but not predicted by the WXYZ theory. The importance of the autosomes is seen in comparisons of the genotype pairs (AaWY, aaWY), (AaXY, aaXY) and (AAWW, AaWW) in which the first genotype in each case is male while the second is female as proven by the sex ratio results. The members of the pair differ only in the substitution of one autosome for the other. To test the theory, experiments consisting of hormonal sex reversion and a series of crosses are proposed. Finally, theoretical and practical implications of the theory are discussed.

  17. Evaluating g-ratio weighted changes in the corpus callosum as a function of age and sex.

    PubMed

    Berman, Shai; West, Kathryn L; Does, Mark D; Yeatman, Jason D; Mezer, Aviv A

    2017-06-30

    Recent years have seen a growing interest in relating MRI measurements to the structural-biophysical properties of white matter fibers. The fiber g-ratio, defined as the ratio between the inner and outer radii of the axon myelin sheath, is an important structural property of white matter, affecting signal conduction. Recently proposed modeling methods that use a combination of quantitative-MRI signals, enable a measurement of the fiber g-ratio in vivo. Here we use an MRI-based g-ratio estimation to observe the variance of the g-ratio within the corpus callosum, and evaluate sex and age related differences. To estimate the g-ratio we used a model (Stikov et al., 2011; Duval et al., 2017) based on two different WM microstructure parameters: the relative amounts of myelin (myelin volume fraction, MVF) and fibers (fiber volume fraction, FVF) in a voxel. We derived the FVF from the fractional anisotropy (FA), and estimated the MVF by using the lipid and macromolecular tissue volume (MTV), calculated from the proton density (Mezer et al., 2013). In comparison to other methods of estimating the MVF, MTV represents a stable parameter with a straightforward route of acquisition. To establish our model, we first compared histological MVF measurements (West et al., 2016) with the MRI derived MTV. We then implemented our model on a large database of 92 subjects (44 males), aged 7 to 81, in order to evaluate age and sex related changes within the corpus callosum. Our results show that the MTV provides a good estimation of MVF for calculating g-ratio, and produced values from the corpus callosum that correspond to those found in animals ex vivo and are close to the theoretical optimum, as well as to published in vivo data. Our results demonstrate that the MTV derived g-ratio provides a simple and reliable in vivo g-ratio-weighted (GR*) measurement in humans. In agreement with theoretical predictions, and unlike other tissue parameters measured with MRI, the g-ratio

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.