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Sample records for directional sexual selection

  1. How important are direct fitness benefits of sexual selection?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Møller, A. P.; Jennions, M. D.

    2001-10-01

    Females may choose mates based on the expression of secondary sexual characters that signal direct, material fitness benefits or indirect, genetic fitness benefits. Genetic benefits are acquired in the generation subsequent to that in which mate choice is performed, and the maintenance of genetic variation in viability has been considered a theoretical problem. Consequently, the magnitude of indirect benefits has traditionally been considered to be small. Direct fitness benefits can be maintained without consideration of mechanisms sustaining genetic variability, and they have thus been equated with the default benefits acquired by choosy females. There is, however, still debate as to whether or not males should honestly advertise direct benefits such as their willingness to invest in parental care. We use meta-analysis to estimate the magnitude of direct fitness benefits in terms of fertility, fecundity and two measures of paternal care (feeding rate in birds, hatching rate in male guarding ectotherms) based on an extensive literature survey. The mean coefficients of determination weighted by sample size were 6.3%, 2.3%, 1.3% and 23.6%, respectively. This compares to a mean weighted coefficient of determination of 1.5% for genetic viability benefits in studies of sexual selection. Thus, for several fitness components, direct benefits are only slightly more important than indirect ones arising from female choice. Hatching rate in male guarding ectotherms was by far the most important direct fitness component, explaining almost a quarter of the variance. Our analysis also shows that male sexual advertisements do not always reliably signal direct fitness benefits.

  2. Sexual dimorphism and directional sexual selection on aposematic signals in a poison frog

    PubMed Central

    Maan, Martine E.; Cummings, Molly E.

    2009-01-01

    It is commonly assumed that natural selection imposed by predators is the prevailing force driving the evolution of aposematic traits. Here, we demonstrate that aposematic signals are shaped by sexual selection as well. We evaluated sexual selection for coloration brightness in populations of the poison frog Oophaga [Dendrobates] pumilio in Panama's Bocas del Toro archipelago. We assessed female preferences for brighter males by manipulating the perceived brightness of spectrally matched males in two-way choice experiments. We found strong female preferences for bright males in two island populations and weaker or ambiguous preferences in females from mainland populations. Spectral reflectance measurements, coupled with an O. pumilio-specific visual processing model, showed that O. pumilio coloration was significantly brighter in island than in mainland morphs. In one of the island populations (Isla Solarte), males were significantly more brightly colored than females. Taken together, these results provide evidence for directional sexual selection on aposematic coloration and document sexual dimorphism in vertebrate warning coloration. Although aposematic signals have long been upheld as exemplars of natural selection, our results show that sexual selection should not be ignored in studies of aposematic evolution. PMID:19858491

  3. Sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Hosken, David J; House, Clarissa M

    2011-01-25

    Sexual selection is a concept that has probably been misunderstood and misrepresented more than any other idea in evolutionary biology, confusion that continues to the present day. We are not entirely sure why this is, but sexual politics seems to have played its role, as does a failure to understand what sexual selection is and why it was initially invoked. While in some ways less intuitive than natural selection, sexual selection is conceptually identical to it, and evolution via either mechanism will occur given sufficient genetic variation. Recent claims that sexual selection theory is fundamentally flawed are simply wrong and ignore an enormous body of evidence that provides a bedrock of support for this major mechanism of organic evolution. In fact it is partly due to this solid foundation that current research has largely shifted from documenting whether or not sexual selection occurs, to addressing more complex evolutionary questions. PMID:21256434

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  6. Direct and indirect sexual selection and quantitative genetics of male traits in guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Brooks, R; Endler, J A

    2001-05-01

    The ornamentation and displays on which sexual attractiveness and thus mating success are based may be complex and comprise several traits. Predicting the outcome of sexual selection on such complex phenotypes requires an understanding of both the direct operation of selection on each trait and the indirect consequences of selection operating directly on genetically correlated traits. Here we report the results of a quantitative genetic analysis of the ornamentation, sexual attractiveness, and mating success of male guppies (Poecilia reticulata). We analyze male ornamentation both from the point of view of single ornamental traits (e.g., the area of each color) and of composite measures of the way the entire pattern is likely to be perceived by females (e.g., the mean and contrast in chroma). We demonstrate that there is substantial additive genetic variation in almost all measures of male ornamentation and that much of this variation may be Y linked. Attractiveness and mating success are positively correlated at the phenotypic and genetic level. Orange area and chroma, the area of a male's tail, and the color contrast of his pattern overall are positively correlated with attractiveness and/or mating success at the phenotypic and genetic levels. Using attractiveness and mating success as measures of fitness, we estimate gradients of linear directional sexual selection operating on each male trait and use equations of multivariate evolutionary change to predict the response of male ornamentation to this sexual selection. From these analyses, we predict that indirect selection may have important effects on the evolution of male guppy color patterns.

  7. Direct versus indirect sexual selection: genetic basis of colour, size and recruitment in a wild bird.

    PubMed

    Hadfield, Jarrod D; Burgess, Malcolm D; Lord, Alex; Phillimore, Albert B; Clegg, Sonya M; Owens, Ian P F

    2006-06-01

    Indirect and direct models of sexual selection make different predictions regarding the quantitative genetic relationships between sexual ornaments and fitness. Indirect models predict that ornaments should have a high heritability and that strong positive genetic covariance should exist between fitness and the ornament. Direct models, on the other hand, make no such assumptions about the level of genetic variance in fitness and the ornament, and are therefore likely to be more important when environmental sources of variation are large. Here we test these predictions in a wild population of the blue tit (Parus caeruleus), a species in which plumage coloration has been shown to be under sexual selection. Using 3 years of cross-fostering data from over 250 breeding attempts, we partition the covariance between parental coloration and aspects of nestling fitness into a genetic and environmental component. Contrary to indirect models of sexual selection, but in agreement with direct models, we show that variation in coloration is only weakly heritable h2<0.11, and that two components of offspring fitness-nestling size and fledgling recruitment-are strongly dependent on parental effects, rather than genetic effects. Furthermore, there was no evidence of significant positive genetic covariation between parental colour and offspring traits. Contrary to direct benefit models, however, we find little evidence that variation in colour reliably indicates the level of parental care provided by either males or females. Taken together, these results indicate that the assumptions of indirect models of sexual selection are not supported by the genetic basis of the traits reported on here.

  8. Sexual selection and speciation.

    PubMed

    Panhuis, T M.; Butlin, R; Zuk, M; Tregenza, T

    2001-07-01

    The power of sexual selection to drive changes in mate recognition traits gives it the potential to be a potent force in speciation. Much of the evidence to support this possibility comes from comparative studies that examine differences in the number of species between clades that apparently differ in the intensity of sexual selection. We argue that more detailed studies are needed, examining extinction rates and other sources of variation in species richness. Typically, investigations of extant natural populations have been too indirect to convincingly conclude speciation by sexual selection. Recent empirical work, however, is beginning to take a more direct approach and rule out confounding variables.

  9. A selective androgen receptor modulator enhances male-directed sexual preference, proceptive behavior, and lordosis behavior in sexually experienced, but not sexually naive, female rats.

    PubMed

    Kudwa, A E; López, F J; McGivern, R F; Handa, R J

    2010-06-01

    Androgens influence many aspects of reproductive behavior, including sexual preference of females for males. In oophorectomized women with sexual desire disorder, testosterone patches improve libido, but their use is limited because of adverse side effects. Selective androgen receptor modulators offer an improved safety profile for both sexes: enhancing libido and muscle and bone growth in a manner similar to steroidal androgens but with fewer adverse effects, such as hirsutism, acne, and prostate growth. The current study investigated the action of a novel selective androgen receptor modulator (LGD-3303 [9-chloro-2-ethyl-1-methyl-3-(2,2,2-trifluoroethyl)-3H-pyrrolo-[3,2-f]quinolin-7(6H)-one]) on male-directed sexual preference, proceptivity, and lordosis behavior of female rats. LGD-3303 is a nonsteroidal, nonaromatizable, highly selective ligand for the androgen receptor and effectively crosses the blood-brain barrier. Gonadectomized female rats were treated with LGD-3303 (3-30 mg/kg) or vehicle by daily oral gavage. Results showed that LGD-3303 treatment enhanced sexual preference of females for males but only if females had previous sexual experience. This occurred after 1 or 7 d of treatment. In contrast, preference for males was inhibited by LGD-3303 treatments of sexually naive females. The LGD-3303 increase in male preference was blocked by pretreatment with the androgen receptor antagonist flutamide. LGD-3303 treatment increased lordosis and proceptivity behaviors in ovariectomized females primed with suboptimal doses of estradiol benzoate plus progesterone. These data support the concept that LGD-3303 can stimulate aspects of female sexual behavior and may serve as a potential therapeutic for women with sexual desire disorders.

  10. Sexual selection in complex environments.

    PubMed

    Miller, Christine W; Svensson, Erik I

    2014-01-01

    Sexual selection has resulted in some of the most captivating features of insects, including flashy colors, bizarre structures, and complex pheromones. These features evolve in dynamic environments, where conditions can change rapidly over space and time. However, only recently has ecological complexity been embraced by theory and practice in sexual selection. We review replicated selection studies as well as studies on variation in the agents of selection to delineate gaps in current knowledge and clarify exciting new directions for research. Existing work suggests that fluctuations in sexual selection may be extremely common, though work on the ecological factors influencing these fluctuations is scarce. We suggest that deeper ecological perspectives on sexual selection may alter some of the fundamental assumptions of sexual selection theory and rapidly lead to new discoveries.

  11. How choosy should I be? The relative searching time predicts evolution of choosiness under direct sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Etienne, Loïc; Rousset, François; Godelle, Bernard; Courtiol, Alexandre

    2014-06-22

    Most theoretical research in sexual selection has focused on indirect selection. However, empirical studies have not strongly supported indirect selection. A well-established finding is that direct benefits and costs exert a strong influence on the evolution of mate choice. We present an analytical model in which unilateral mate choice evolves solely by direct sexual selection on choosiness. We show this is sufficient to generate the evolution of all possible levels of choosiness, because of the fundamental trade-off between mating rate and mating benefits. We further identify the relative searching time (RST, i.e. the proportion of lifetime devoted to searching for mates) as a predictor of the effect of any variable affecting the mating rate on the evolution of choosiness. We show that the RST: (i) allows one to make predictions about the evolution of choosiness across a wide variety of mating systems; (ii) encompasses all alternative variables proposed thus far to explain the evolution of choosiness by direct sexual selection; and (iii) can be empirically used to infer qualitative differences in choosiness.

  12. Directional postcopulatory sexual selection is associated with female sperm storage in Trinidadian guppies.

    PubMed

    Devigili, Alessandro; Di Nisio, Andrea; Grapputo, Alessandro; Pilastro, Andrea

    2016-08-01

    Female sperm storage (FSS) is taxonomically widespread and often associated with intense sperm competition, yet its consequences on postcopulatory sexual selection (PCSS) are poorly known. Theory predicts that FSS will reduce the strength of PCSS, because sperm characteristics favored before and after FSS may be traded-off, and opportunities for nondirectional PCSS should increase. We explored these questions in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata), by allowing females to mate multiply and by comparing the paternity pattern in two successive broods. Contrary to predictions, the variance in male fertilization success increased after FSS, driven by a change in male paternity share across broods. This change was positively associated with sperm velocity (measured before FSS) but not with the duration of FSS, indirectly suggesting that faster sperm were better in entering female storage organs, rather than in persisting within them. Other male traits, such as male size and orange color, heterozygosity, and relatedness to the female, did not influence paternity after FSS. These results indicate that processes associated with FSS tend to reinforce the strength of PCSS in guppies, rather than weaken it. Further work is necessary to test whether this pattern changes in case of more prolonged FSS. PMID:27345870

  13. The social selection alternative to sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Roughgarden, Joan

    2012-08-19

    Social selection offers an alternative to sexual selection by reversing its logic. Social selection starts with offspring production and works back to mating, and starts with behavioural dynamics and works up to gene pool dynamics. In social selection, courtship can potentially be deduced as a negotiation, leading to an optimal allocation of tasks during offspring rearing. Ornaments facilitate this negotiation and also comprise 'admission tickets' to cliques. Mating pairs may form 'teams' based on the reciprocal sharing of pleasure. The parent-offspring relation can be managed by the parent considered as the owner of a 'family firm' whose product is offspring. The cooperation in reproductive social behaviour evolves as a mutual direct benefit through individual selection rather than as some form of altruism requiring kin or multi-level selection.

  14. Balancing Instrumental and Identity Goals in Relationships: The Role of Request Directness and Request Persistence in the Selection of Sexual Resistance Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Afifi, Walid A.; Lee, Josephine W.

    2000-01-01

    Applies the general frameworks of Politeness Theory and Planning Theory to explain the selection of sexual resistance strategies among undergraduates following both initial and persisting requests. Investigates contingent effects of request directness on characteristics of the resistance message. Tests influence of resister sex on strategy choice.…

  15. Operational sex ratio, sexual conflict and the intensity of sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Fitze, Patrick S; Le Galliard, Jean-François

    2008-05-01

    Modern sexual selection theory indicates that reproductive costs rather than the operational sex ratio predict the intensity of sexual selection. We investigated sexual selection in the polygynandrous common lizard Lacerta vivipara. This species shows male aggression, causing high mating costs for females when adult sex ratios (ASR) are male-biased. We manipulated ASR in 12 experimental populations and quantified the intensity of sexual selection based on the relationship between reproductive success and body size. In sharp contrast to classical sexual selection theory predictions, positive directional sexual selection on male size was stronger and positive directional selection on female size weaker in female-biased populations than in male-biased populations. Thus, consistent with modern theory, directional sexual selection on male size was weaker in populations with higher female mating costs. This suggests that the costs of breeding, but not the operational sex ratio, correctly predicted the strength of sexual selection.

  16. Sexual selection protects against extinction.

    PubMed

    Lumley, Alyson J; Michalczyk, Łukasz; Kitson, James J N; Spurgin, Lewis G; Morrison, Catriona A; Godwin, Joanne L; Dickinson, Matthew E; Martin, Oliver Y; Emerson, Brent C; Chapman, Tracey; Gage, Matthew J G

    2015-06-25

    Reproduction through sex carries substantial costs, mainly because only half of sexual adults produce offspring. It has been theorized that these costs could be countered if sex allows sexual selection to clear the universal fitness constraint of mutation load. Under sexual selection, competition between (usually) males and mate choice by (usually) females create important intraspecific filters for reproductive success, so that only a subset of males gains paternity. If reproductive success under sexual selection is dependent on individual condition, which is contingent to mutation load, then sexually selected filtering through 'genic capture' could offset the costs of sex because it provides genetic benefits to populations. Here we test this theory experimentally by comparing whether populations with histories of strong versus weak sexual selection purge mutation load and resist extinction differently. After evolving replicate populations of the flour beetle Tribolium castaneum for 6 to 7 years under conditions that differed solely in the strengths of sexual selection, we revealed mutation load using inbreeding. Lineages from populations that had previously experienced strong sexual selection were resilient to extinction and maintained fitness under inbreeding, with some families continuing to survive after 20 generations of sib × sib mating. By contrast, lineages derived from populations that experienced weak or non-existent sexual selection showed rapid fitness declines under inbreeding, and all were extinct after generation 10. Multiple mutations across the genome with individually small effects can be difficult to clear, yet sum to a significant fitness load; our findings reveal that sexual selection reduces this load, improving population viability in the face of genetic stress.

  17. Sexual selection protects against extinction.

    PubMed

    Lumley, Alyson J; Michalczyk, Łukasz; Kitson, James J N; Spurgin, Lewis G; Morrison, Catriona A; Godwin, Joanne L; Dickinson, Matthew E; Martin, Oliver Y; Emerson, Brent C; Chapman, Tracey; Gage, Matthew J G

    2015-06-25

    Reproduction through sex carries substantial costs, mainly because only half of sexual adults produce offspring. It has been theorized that these costs could be countered if sex allows sexual selection to clear the universal fitness constraint of mutation load. Under sexual selection, competition between (usually) males and mate choice by (usually) females create important intraspecific filters for reproductive success, so that only a subset of males gains paternity. If reproductive success under sexual selection is dependent on individual condition, which is contingent to mutation load, then sexually selected filtering through 'genic capture' could offset the costs of sex because it provides genetic benefits to populations. Here we test this theory experimentally by comparing whether populations with histories of strong versus weak sexual selection purge mutation load and resist extinction differently. After evolving replicate populations of the flour beetle Tribolium castaneum for 6 to 7 years under conditions that differed solely in the strengths of sexual selection, we revealed mutation load using inbreeding. Lineages from populations that had previously experienced strong sexual selection were resilient to extinction and maintained fitness under inbreeding, with some families continuing to survive after 20 generations of sib × sib mating. By contrast, lineages derived from populations that experienced weak or non-existent sexual selection showed rapid fitness declines under inbreeding, and all were extinct after generation 10. Multiple mutations across the genome with individually small effects can be difficult to clear, yet sum to a significant fitness load; our findings reveal that sexual selection reduces this load, improving population viability in the face of genetic stress. PMID:25985178

  18. Sexual selection: Another Darwinian process.

    PubMed

    Gayon, Jean

    2010-02-01

    Why was sexual selection so important to Darwin? And why was it de-emphasized by almost all of Darwin's followers until the second half of the 20th century? These two questions shed light on the complexity of the scientific tradition named "Darwinism". Darwin's interest in sexual selection was almost as old as his discovery of the principle of natural selection. From the beginning, sexual selection was just another "natural means of selection", although different from standard "natural selection" in its mechanism. But it took Darwin 30 years to fully develop his theory, from the early notebooks to the 1871 book The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. Although there is a remarkable continuity in his basic ideas about sexual selection, he emphasized increasingly the idea that sexual selection could oppose the action of natural selection and be non adaptive. In time, he also gave more weight to mate choice (especially female choice), giving explicit arguments in favor of psychological notions such as "choice" and "aesthetic sense". But he also argued that there was no strict demarcation line between natural and sexual selection, a major difficulty of the theory from the beginning. Female choice was the main reason why Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-discoverer of the principle of natural selection, engaged in a major controversy with Darwin about sexual selection. Wallace was suspicious about sexual selection in general, trying to minimize it by all sorts of arguments. And he denied entirely the existence of female choice, because he thought that it was both unnecessary and an anthropomorphic notion. This had something to do with his spiritualist convictions, but also with his conception of natural selection as a sufficient principle for the evolutionary explanation of all biological phenomena (except for the origin of mind). This is why Wallace proposed to redefine Darwinism in a way that excluded Darwin's principle of sexual selection. The main result of

  19. Sexual selection: Another Darwinian process.

    PubMed

    Gayon, Jean

    2010-02-01

    Why was sexual selection so important to Darwin? And why was it de-emphasized by almost all of Darwin's followers until the second half of the 20th century? These two questions shed light on the complexity of the scientific tradition named "Darwinism". Darwin's interest in sexual selection was almost as old as his discovery of the principle of natural selection. From the beginning, sexual selection was just another "natural means of selection", although different from standard "natural selection" in its mechanism. But it took Darwin 30 years to fully develop his theory, from the early notebooks to the 1871 book The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. Although there is a remarkable continuity in his basic ideas about sexual selection, he emphasized increasingly the idea that sexual selection could oppose the action of natural selection and be non adaptive. In time, he also gave more weight to mate choice (especially female choice), giving explicit arguments in favor of psychological notions such as "choice" and "aesthetic sense". But he also argued that there was no strict demarcation line between natural and sexual selection, a major difficulty of the theory from the beginning. Female choice was the main reason why Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-discoverer of the principle of natural selection, engaged in a major controversy with Darwin about sexual selection. Wallace was suspicious about sexual selection in general, trying to minimize it by all sorts of arguments. And he denied entirely the existence of female choice, because he thought that it was both unnecessary and an anthropomorphic notion. This had something to do with his spiritualist convictions, but also with his conception of natural selection as a sufficient principle for the evolutionary explanation of all biological phenomena (except for the origin of mind). This is why Wallace proposed to redefine Darwinism in a way that excluded Darwin's principle of sexual selection. The main result of

  20. Experimental evidence that sexual conflict influences the opportunity, form and intensity of sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Hall, Matthew D; Bussière, Luc F; Hunt, John; Brooks, Robert

    2008-09-01

    Sexual interactions are often rife with conflict. Conflict between members of the same sex over opportunities to mate has long been understood to effect evolution via sexual selection. Although conflict between males and females is now understood to be widespread, such conflict is seldom considered in the same light as a general agent of sexual selection. Any interaction between males or females that generates variation in fitness, whether due to conflict, competition or mate choice, can potentially influence sexual selection acting on a range of male traits. Here we seek to address a lack of direct experimental evidence for how sexual conflict influences sexual selection more broadly. We manipulate a major source of sexual conflict in the black field cricket, Teleogryllus commodus, and quantify the resulting changes in the nature of sexual selection using formal selection analysis to statistically compare multivariate fitness surfaces. In T. commodus, sexual conflict occurs over the attachment time of an external spermatophore. By experimentally manipulating the ability of males and females to influence spermatophore attachment, we found that sexual conflict significantly influences the opportunity, form, and intensity of sexual selection on male courtship call and body size. When males were able to harass females, the opportunity for selection was smaller, the form of selection changed, and sexual selection was weaker. We discuss the broader evolutionary implications of these findings, including the contributions of sexual conflict to fluctuating sexual selection and the maintenance of additive genetic variation.

  1. Sexual and natural selection both influence male genital evolution.

    PubMed

    House, Clarissa M; Lewis, Zenobia; Hodgson, Dave J; Wedell, Nina; Sharma, Manmohan D; Hunt, John; Hosken, David J

    2013-01-01

    Rapid and divergent evolution of male genital morphology is a conspicuous and general pattern across internally fertilizing animals. Rapid genital evolution is thought to be the result of sexual selection, and the role of natural selection in genital evolution remains controversial. However, natural and sexual selection are believed to act antagonistically on male genital form. We conducted an experimental evolution study to investigate the combined effects of natural and sexual selection on the genital-arch lobes of male Drosophila simulans. Replicate populations were forced to evolve under lifetime monogamy (relaxed sexual selection) or lifetime polyandry (elevated sexual selection) and two temperature regimes, 25°C (relaxed natural selection) or 27°C (elevated natural selection) in a fully factorial design. We found that natural and sexual selection plus their interaction caused genital evolution. Natural selection caused some aspects of genital form to evolve away from their sexually selected shape, whereas natural and sexual selection operated in the same direction for other shape components. Additionally, sexual and natural selection tended to favour larger genitals. Thus we find that the underlying selection driving genital evolution is complex, does not only involve sexual selection, and that natural selection and sexual selection do not always act antagonistically.

  2. Selective advantage for sexual reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tannenbaum, Emmanuel

    2006-03-01

    We develop a simplified model for sexual replication within the quasispecies formalism. We assume that the genomes of the replicating organisms are two-chromosomed and diploid, and that the fitness is determined by the number of chromosomes that are identical to a given master sequence. We also assume that there is a cost to sexual replication, given by a characteristic time τseek during which haploid cells seek out a mate with which to recombine. If the mating strategy is such that only viable haploids can mate, then when τseek= 0 , it is possible to show that sexual replication will always outcompete asexual replication. However, as τseek increases, sexual replication only becomes advantageous at progressively higher mutation rates. Once the time cost for sex reaches a critical threshold, the selective advantage for sexual replication disappears entirely. The results of this talk suggest that sexual replication is not advantageous in small populations per se, but rather in populations with low replication rates. In this regime, the cost for sex is sufficiently low that the selective advantage obtained through recombination leads to the dominance of the strategy. In fact, at a given replication rate and for a fixed environment volume, sexual replication is selected for in high populations because of the reduced time spent finding a reproductive partner.

  3. Selective advantage for sexual reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tannenbaum, Emmanuel

    2006-06-01

    This paper develops a simplified model for sexual reproduction within the quasispecies formalism. The model assumes a diploid genome consisting of two chromosomes, where the fitness is determined by the number of chromosomes that are identical to a given master sequence. We also assume that there is a cost to sexual reproduction, given by a characteristic time τseek during which haploid cells seek out a mate with which to recombine. If the mating strategy is such that only viable haploids can mate, then when τseek=0 , it is possible to show that sexual reproduction will always out compete asexual reproduction. However, as τseek increases, sexual reproduction only becomes advantageous at progressively higher mutation rates. Once the time cost for sex reaches a critical threshold, the selective advantage for sexual reproduction disappears entirely. The results of this paper suggest that sexual reproduction is not advantageous in small populations per se, but rather in populations with low replication rates. In this regime, the cost for sex is sufficiently low that the selective advantage obtained through recombination leads to the dominance of the strategy. In fact, at a given replication rate and for a fixed environment volume, sexual reproduction is selected for in high populations because of the reduced time spent finding a reproductive partner.

  4. Why Sexually Selected Weapons Are Not Ornaments.

    PubMed

    McCullough, Erin L; Miller, Christine W; Emlen, Douglas J

    2016-10-01

    The elaboration and diversification of sexually selected weapons remain poorly understood. We argue that progress in this topic has been hindered by a strong bias in sexual selection research, and a tendency for weapons to be conflated with ornaments used in mate choice. Here, we outline how male-male competition and female choice are distinct mechanisms of sexual selection, and why weapons and ornaments are fundamentally different types of traits. We call for research on the factors contributing to weapon divergence, the potential for male-male competition to drive speciation, and the specific use of weapons in the context of direct fights versus displays. Given that weapons are first and foremost fighting structures, biomechanical approaches are an especially promising direction for understanding weapon design.

  5. Why Sexually Selected Weapons Are Not Ornaments.

    PubMed

    McCullough, Erin L; Miller, Christine W; Emlen, Douglas J

    2016-10-01

    The elaboration and diversification of sexually selected weapons remain poorly understood. We argue that progress in this topic has been hindered by a strong bias in sexual selection research, and a tendency for weapons to be conflated with ornaments used in mate choice. Here, we outline how male-male competition and female choice are distinct mechanisms of sexual selection, and why weapons and ornaments are fundamentally different types of traits. We call for research on the factors contributing to weapon divergence, the potential for male-male competition to drive speciation, and the specific use of weapons in the context of direct fights versus displays. Given that weapons are first and foremost fighting structures, biomechanical approaches are an especially promising direction for understanding weapon design. PMID:27475833

  6. Intrasexual competition in females: evidence for sexual selection?

    PubMed

    Rosvall, Kimberly A

    2011-11-01

    In spite of recent interest in sexual selection in females, debate exists over whether traits that influence female-female competition are sexually selected. This review uses female-female aggressive behavior as a model behavioral trait for understanding the evolutionary mechanisms promoting intrasexual competition, focusing especially on sexual selection. I employ a broad definition of sexual selection, whereby traits that influence competition for mates are sexually selected, whereas those that directly influence fecundity or offspring survival are naturally selected. Drawing examples from across animal taxa, including humans, I examine 4 predictions about female intrasexual competition based on the abundance of resources, the availability of males, and the direct or indirect benefits those males provide. These patterns reveal a key sex difference in sexual selection: Although females may compete for the number of mates, they appear to compete more so for access to high-quality mates that provide direct and indirect (genetic) benefits. As is the case in males, intrasexual selection in females also includes competition for essential resources required for access to mates. If mate quality affects the magnitude of mating success, then restricting sexual selection to competition for quantity of mates may ignore important components of fitness in females and underestimate the role of sexual selection in shaping female phenotype. In the future, understanding sex differences in sexual selection will require further exploration of the extent of mutual intrasexual competition and the incorporation of quality of mating success into the study of sexual selection in both sexes.

  7. Intrasexual competition in females: evidence for sexual selection?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    In spite of recent interest in sexual selection in females, debate exists over whether traits that influence female–female competition are sexually selected. This review uses female–female aggressive behavior as a model behavioral trait for understanding the evolutionary mechanisms promoting intrasexual competition, focusing especially on sexual selection. I employ a broad definition of sexual selection, whereby traits that influence competition for mates are sexually selected, whereas those that directly influence fecundity or offspring survival are naturally selected. Drawing examples from across animal taxa, including humans, I examine 4 predictions about female intrasexual competition based on the abundance of resources, the availability of males, and the direct or indirect benefits those males provide. These patterns reveal a key sex difference in sexual selection: Although females may compete for the number of mates, they appear to compete more so for access to high-quality mates that provide direct and indirect (genetic) benefits. As is the case in males, intrasexual selection in females also includes competition for essential resources required for access to mates. If mate quality affects the magnitude of mating success, then restricting sexual selection to competition for quantity of mates may ignore important components of fitness in females and underestimate the role of sexual selection in shaping female phenotype. In the future, understanding sex differences in sexual selection will require further exploration of the extent of mutual intrasexual competition and the incorporation of quality of mating success into the study of sexual selection in both sexes. PMID:22479137

  8. Parasitism, host immune function, and sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Møller, A P; Christe, P; Lux, E

    1999-03-01

    Parasite-mediated sexual selection may arise as a consequence of 1) females avoiding mates with directly transmitted parasites, 2) females choosing less-parasitized males that provide parental care of superior quality, or 3) females choosing males with few parasites in order to obtain genes for parasite resistance in their offspring. Studies of specific host-parasite systems and comparative analyses have revealed both supportive and conflicting evidence for these hypotheses. A meta-analysis of the available evidence revealed a negative relationship between parasite load and the expression of male secondary sexual characters. Experimental studies yielded more strongly negative relationships than observations did, and the relationships were more strongly negative for ectoparasites than for endoparasites. There was no significant difference in the magnitude of the negative effect for species with and without male parental care, or between behavioral and morphological secondary sexual characters. There was a significant difference between studies based on host immune function and those based on parasite loads, with stronger effects for measures of immune function, suggesting that the many negative results from previous analyses of parasite-mediated sexual selection may be explained because relatively benign parasites were studied. The multivariate analyses demonstrating strong effect sizes of immune function in relation to the expression of secondary sexual characters, and for species with male parental care as compared to those without, suggest that parasite resistance may be a general determinant of parasite-mediated sexual selection. PMID:10081812

  9. Drift promotes speciation by sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Uyeda, Josef C; Arnold, Stevan J; Hohenlohe, Paul A; Mead, Louise S

    2009-03-01

    Quantitative genetic models of sexual selection have generally failed to provide a direct connection to speciation and to explore the consequences of finite population size. The connection to speciation has been indirect because the models have treated only the evolution of male and female traits and have stopped short of modeling the evolution of sexual isolation. In this article we extend Lande's (1981) model of sexual selection to quantify predictions about the evolution of sexual isolation and speciation. Our results, based on computer simulations, support and extend Lande's claim that drift along a line of equilibria can rapidly lead to sexual isolation and speciation. Furthermore, we show that rapid speciation can occur by drift in populations of appreciable size (N(e) >or= 1000). These results are in sharp contrast to the opinion of many researchers and textbook writers who have argued that drift does not play an important role in speciation. We argue that drift may be a powerful amplifier of speciation under a wide variety of modeling assumptions, even when selection acts directly on female mating preferences.

  10. The relationship between sexual selection and sexual conflict.

    PubMed

    Kokko, Hanna; Jennions, Michael D

    2014-07-18

    Evolutionary conflicts of interest arise whenever genetically different individuals interact and their routes to fitness maximization differ. Sexual selection favors traits that increase an individual's competitiveness to acquire mates and fertilizations. Sexual conflict occurs if an individual of sex A's relative fitness would increase if it had a "tool" that could alter what an individual of sex B does (including the parental genes transferred), at a cost to B's fitness. This definition clarifies several issues: Conflict is very common and, although it extends outside traits under sexual selection, sexual selection is a ready source of sexual conflict. Sexual conflict and sexual selection should not be presented as alternative explanations for trait evolution. Conflict is closely linked to the concept of a lag load, which is context-dependent and sex-specific. This makes it possible to ask if one sex can "win." We expect higher population fitness if females win.

  11. The relationship between sexual selection and sexual conflict.

    PubMed

    Kokko, Hanna; Jennions, Michael D

    2014-09-01

    Evolutionary conflicts of interest arise whenever genetically different individuals interact and their routes to fitness maximization differ. Sexual selection favors traits that increase an individual's competitiveness to acquire mates and fertilizations. Sexual conflict occurs if an individual of sex A's relative fitness would increase if it had a "tool" that could alter what an individual of sex B does (including the parental genes transferred), at a cost to B's fitness. This definition clarifies several issues: Conflict is very common and, although it extends outside traits under sexual selection, sexual selection is a ready source of sexual conflict. Sexual conflict and sexual selection should not be presented as alternative explanations for trait evolution. Conflict is closely linked to the concept of a lag load, which is context-dependent and sex-specific. This makes it possible to ask if one sex can "win." We expect higher population fitness if females win. PMID:25038050

  12. Sexual selection for moral virtues.

    PubMed

    Miller, Geoffrey F

    2007-06-01

    Moral evolution theories have emphasized kinship, reciprocity, group selection, and equilibrium selection. Yet, moral virtues are also sexually attractive. Darwin suggested that sexual attractiveness may explain many aspects of human morality. This paper updates his argument by integrating recent research on mate choice, person perception, individual differences, costly signaling, and virtue ethics. Many human virtues may have evolved in both sexes through mutual mate choice to advertise good genetic quality, parenting abilities, and/or partner traits. Such virtues may include kindness, fidelity, magnanimity, and heroism, as well as quasi-moral traits like conscientiousness, agreeableness, mental health, and intelligence. This theory leads to many testable predictions about the phenotypic features, genetic bases, and social-cognitive responses to human moral virtues.

  13. Sex differences, sexual selection, and ageing: an experimental evolution approach.

    PubMed

    Maklakov, Alexei A; Bonduriansky, Russell; Brooks, Robert C

    2009-10-01

    Life-history (LH) theory predicts that selection will optimize the trade-off between reproduction and somatic maintenance. Reproductive ageing and finite life span are direct consequences of such optimization. Sexual selection and conflict profoundly affect the reproductive strategies of the sexes and thus can play an important role in the evolution of life span and ageing. In theory, sexual selection can favor the evolution of either faster or slower ageing, but the evidence is equivocal. We used a novel selection experiment to investigate the potential of sexual selection to influence the adaptive evolution of age-specific LH traits. We selected replicate populations of the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus for age at reproduction ("Young" and "Old") either with or without sexual selection. We found that LH selection resulted in the evolution of age-specific reproduction and mortality but these changes were largely unaffected by sexual selection. Sexual selection depressed net reproductive performance and failed to promote adaptation. Nonetheless, the evolution of several traits differed between males and females. These data challenge the importance of current sexual selection in promoting rapid adaptation to environmental change but support the hypothesis that sex differences in LH-a historical signature of sexual selection-are key in shaping trait responses to novel selection.

  14. Sexual selection and immune function in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    McKean, Kurt A; Nunney, Leonard

    2008-02-01

    The evolution of immune function depends not only on variation in genes contributing directly to the immune response, but also on genetic variation in other traits indirectly affecting immunocompetence. In particular, sexual selection is predicted to trade-off with immunocompetence because the extra investment of resources needed to increase sexual competitiveness reduces investment in immune function. Additional possible immunological consequences of intensifying sexual selection include an exaggeration of immunological sexual dimorphism, and the reduction of condition-dependent immunological costs due to selection of 'good genes' (the immunocompetence handicap hypothesis, ICHH). We tested for these evolutionary possibilities by increasing sexual selection in laboratory populations of Drosophila melanogaster for 58 generations by reestablishing a male-biased sex ratio at the start of each generation. Sexually selected flies were larger, took longer to develop, and the males were more sexually competitive than males from control (equal sex ratio) lines. We found support for the trade-off hypothesis: sexually selected males were found to have reduced immune function compared to control males. However, we found no evidence that sexual selection promoted immunological sexual dimorphism because females showed a similar reduction in immune function. We found no evidence of evolutionary changes in the condition-dependent expression of immunocompetence contrary to the expectations of the ICHH. Lastly, we compared males from the unselected base population that were either successful (IS) or unsuccessful (IU) in a competitive mating experiment. IS males showed reduced immune function relative to IU males, suggesting that patterns of phenotypic correlation largely mirror patterns of genetic correlation revealed by the selection experiment. Our results suggest increased disease susceptibility could be an important cost limiting increases in sexual competitiveness in

  15. The costs of choice in sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Pomiankowski, A

    1987-09-21

    In Fisher's model of sexual selection female mating preferences are not subject to direct selection but evolve purely because they are genetically correlated with the favoured male trait. But when female choice is costly relative to random mating, for example in energy, time or predation risks, the evolution of female mating preference is subject also to direct selection. With costly female choice the set or line of equilibria found in models of Fisher's process no longer exists. On the line the male trait is under zero net selection, and there is no advantage for a female choosing a male with a more exaggerated character. Therefore any cost to choice causes choosiness to decline. In turn this lowers the strength of sexual selection and the male trait declines as well. So when Fisher's process is the sole force of sexual selection and female choice is costly, only transitory increases in female choice and the preferred male trait are possible. It has often been claimed that exaggerated male characters act as markers or revealers of the genetic quality of potential mates. If females choose their mates using traits that correlate with heritable viability differences then stable exaggeration of both female choice and the preferred male character is possible, even when female choice is costly. The offspring of choosy females have not only a Fisherian reproductive advantage but also greater viability. This suggests that in species with exaggerated male ornamentation, in which female choice is costly, it is likely that female mate choice will be for traits that correlate with male genetic quality. PMID:3431135

  16. Sexual networks: measuring sexual selection in structured, polyandrous populations.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Grant C; James, Richard; Krause, Jens; Pizzari, Tommaso

    2013-03-01

    Sexual selection is traditionally measured at the population level, assuming that populations lack structure. However, increasing evidence undermines this approach, indicating that intrasexual competition in natural populations often displays complex patterns of spatial and temporal structure. This complexity is due in part to the degree and mechanisms of polyandry within a population, which can influence the intensity and scale of both pre- and post-copulatory sexual competition. Attempts to measure selection at the local and global scale have been made through multi-level selection approaches. However, definitions of local scale are often based on physical proximity, providing a rather coarse measure of local competition, particularly in polyandrous populations where the local scale of pre- and post-copulatory competition may differ drastically from each other. These limitations can be solved by social network analysis, which allows us to define a unique sexual environment for each member of a population: 'local scale' competition, therefore, becomes an emergent property of a sexual network. Here, we first propose a novel quantitative approach to measure pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection, which integrates multi-level selection with information on local scale competition derived as an emergent property of networks of sexual interactions. We then use simple simulations to illustrate the ways in which polyandry can impact estimates of sexual selection. We show that for intermediate levels of polyandry, the proposed network-based approach provides substantially more accurate measures of sexual selection than the more traditional population-level approach. We argue that the increasing availability of fine-grained behavioural datasets provides exciting new opportunities to develop network approaches to study sexual selection in complex societies.

  17. Sexual networks: measuring sexual selection in structured, polyandrous populations

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Grant C.; James, Richard; Krause, Jens; Pizzari, Tommaso

    2013-01-01

    Sexual selection is traditionally measured at the population level, assuming that populations lack structure. However, increasing evidence undermines this approach, indicating that intrasexual competition in natural populations often displays complex patterns of spatial and temporal structure. This complexity is due in part to the degree and mechanisms of polyandry within a population, which can influence the intensity and scale of both pre- and post-copulatory sexual competition. Attempts to measure selection at the local and global scale have been made through multi-level selection approaches. However, definitions of local scale are often based on physical proximity, providing a rather coarse measure of local competition, particularly in polyandrous populations where the local scale of pre- and post-copulatory competition may differ drastically from each other. These limitations can be solved by social network analysis, which allows us to define a unique sexual environment for each member of a population: ‘local scale’ competition, therefore, becomes an emergent property of a sexual network. Here, we first propose a novel quantitative approach to measure pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection, which integrates multi-level selection with information on local scale competition derived as an emergent property of networks of sexual interactions. We then use simple simulations to illustrate the ways in which polyandry can impact estimates of sexual selection. We show that for intermediate levels of polyandry, the proposed network-based approach provides substantially more accurate measures of sexual selection than the more traditional population-level approach. We argue that the increasing availability of fine-grained behavioural datasets provides exciting new opportunities to develop network approaches to study sexual selection in complex societies. PMID:23339246

  18. Multivariate sexual selection in a rapidly evolving speciation phenotype.

    PubMed

    Oh, Kevin P; Shaw, Kerry L

    2013-06-22

    Estimating the fitness surface of rapidly evolving secondary sexual traits can elucidate the origins of sexual isolation and thus speciation. Evidence suggests that sexual selection is highly complex in nature, often acting on multivariate sexual characters that sometimes include non-heritable components of variation, thus presenting a challenge for predicting patterns of sexual trait evolution. Laupala crickets have undergone an explosive species radiation marked by divergence in male courtship song and associated female preferences, yet patterns of sexual selection that might explain this diversification remain unknown. We used female phonotaxis trials to estimate the fitness surface for acoustic characters within one population of Laupala cerasina, a species with marked geographical variation in male song and female preferences. Results suggested significant directional sexual selection on three major song traits, while canonical rotation of the matrix of nonlinear selection coefficients (γ) revealed the presence of significant convex (stabilizing) sexual selection along combinations of characters. Analysis of song variation within and among males indicated significantly higher repeatability along the canonical axis of greatest stabilizing selection than along the axis of greatest linear selection. These results are largely consistent with patterns of song divergence that characterize speciation and suggest that different song characters have the potential to indicate distinct information to females during courtship.

  19. Demographic drivers of age-dependent sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Martin, A M; Festa-Bianchet, M; Coltman, D W; Pelletier, F

    2016-07-01

    Sexual selection has a critical role in evolution, and it is fundamental to identify what ecological factors drive its variation. Disentangling the ecological correlates of sexual selection over the long term, however, is challenging and has rarely been done in nature. We sought to assess how demographic changes influenced the intensity, direction and form of sexual selection and whether selective pressures varied with age. We tested whether breeder sex ratio, number of competitors and age structure influenced selection differentials on horn length of wild bighorn rams (Ovis canadensis) of different age classes on Ram Mountain, Alberta. We used 21 years of data including a detailed pedigree, demographic parameters and repeated morphological measurements. Sexual selection on horn length of males of all ages was directional and positive. Selection intensity increased with the number of competitors, reflecting male-male encounter rate during the rut, but was independent of breeder sex ratio or age structure. This result can also be linked to changes in population size because the number of competitors was highly correlated to total number of sheep. This demographic effect likely arises from age-dependent mating tactics. Males aged 2-4 years are weakly competitive and experienced stronger sexual selection as they accounted for a greater proportion of all males. Selection experienced by mature males appeared independent of demography. Our study provides a rare description of the demographic determinants of sexual selection in nature.

  20. Demographic drivers of age-dependent sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Martin, A M; Festa-Bianchet, M; Coltman, D W; Pelletier, F

    2016-07-01

    Sexual selection has a critical role in evolution, and it is fundamental to identify what ecological factors drive its variation. Disentangling the ecological correlates of sexual selection over the long term, however, is challenging and has rarely been done in nature. We sought to assess how demographic changes influenced the intensity, direction and form of sexual selection and whether selective pressures varied with age. We tested whether breeder sex ratio, number of competitors and age structure influenced selection differentials on horn length of wild bighorn rams (Ovis canadensis) of different age classes on Ram Mountain, Alberta. We used 21 years of data including a detailed pedigree, demographic parameters and repeated morphological measurements. Sexual selection on horn length of males of all ages was directional and positive. Selection intensity increased with the number of competitors, reflecting male-male encounter rate during the rut, but was independent of breeder sex ratio or age structure. This result can also be linked to changes in population size because the number of competitors was highly correlated to total number of sheep. This demographic effect likely arises from age-dependent mating tactics. Males aged 2-4 years are weakly competitive and experienced stronger sexual selection as they accounted for a greater proportion of all males. Selection experienced by mature males appeared independent of demography. Our study provides a rare description of the demographic determinants of sexual selection in nature. PMID:27090379

  1. The Relationship between Sexual Selection and Sexual Conflict

    PubMed Central

    Kokko, Hanna; Jennions, Michael D.

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary conflicts of interest arise whenever genetically different individuals interact and their routes to fitness maximization differ. Sexual selection favors traits that increase an individual’s competitiveness to acquire mates and fertilizations. Sexual conflict occurs if an individual of sex A’s relative fitness would increase if it had a “tool” that could alter what an individual of sex B does (including the parental genes transferred), at a cost to B’s fitness. This definition clarifies several issues: Conflict is very common and, although it extends outside traits under sexual selection, sexual selection is a ready source of sexual conflict. Sexual conflict and sexual selection should not be presented as alternative explanations for trait evolution. Conflict is closely linked to the concept of a lag load, which is context-dependent and sex-specific. This makes it possible to ask if one sex can “win.” We expect higher population fitness if females win. PMID:25038050

  2. [Sexual dysfunctions in selected endocrinopathies].

    PubMed

    Skrzypulec, Violetta; Nowosielski, Krzysztof; Drosdzol, Agnieszka; Kowalaczyk, Robert

    2005-01-01

    According to the socio-sexological reports approximately 40-45% of women and up to 30% of males may suffer from different sexual dysfunctions. The prevalence of those disorders is gradually increasing with age. Multiply numbers of endocrinopathies may influence the human sexual life. In diabetic patients all phases of the sexual responses cycle, especially orgasm, might be affected. Women diagnosed with PCOS have decreased adaptation to the sexual life, low self-esteem and perception of self sexual attractiveness. The intimacy of infertile couples has not been well described and the characteristic of particular dysfunction in sex life has not been established yet. Interdisciplinary approach, understood as treatment of the endocrinopathy accompanied with psychological and sexological counseling, seems to be the fundamental issue in the therapy of sexual dysfunctions in patients with endocrinological disorders. PMID:16821220

  3. Teen Sexuality Today: Bibliography of Selected Resources.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., New York, NY.

    This document presents a selected bibliography of recent books and journal articles relating to adolescent sexuality and reproductive health. The compilation of annotated references is divided into sections which focus on the issues of: (1) Sexuality Education; (2) Contraception; (3) Parenthood; (4) Communication with Parents; (5) Reproductive…

  4. Sexual selection's impacts on ecological specialization: an experimental test

    PubMed Central

    Pfennig, Karin S.; Pfennig, David W.; Porter, Cody; Martin, Ryan A.

    2015-01-01

    In many species, individuals specialize on different resources, thereby reducing competition. Such ecological specialization can promote the evolution of alternative ecomorphs—distinct phenotypes adapted for particular resources. Elucidating whether and how this process is influenced by sexual selection is crucial for understanding how ecological specialization promotes the evolution of novel traits and, potentially, speciation between ecomorphs. We evaluated the population-level effects of sexual selection (as mediated by mate choice) on ecological specialization in spadefoot toad tadpoles that express alternative ecomorphs. We manipulated whether sexual selection was present or reversed by mating females to their preferred versus non-preferred males, respectively. We then exposed their tadpoles to resource competition in experimental mesocosms. The resulting distribution of ecomorphs was similar between treatments, but sexual selection generated poorer trait integration in, and lower fitness of, the more specialized carnivore morph. Moreover, disruptive and directional natural selection were weaker in the sexual selection present treatment. Nevertheless, this effect on disruptive selection was smaller than previously documented effects of ecological opportunity and competitor density. Thus, sexual selection can inhibit adaptation to resource competition and thereby hinder ecological specialization, particularly when females obtain fitness benefits from mate choice that offset the cost of producing competitively inferior offspring. PMID:25925102

  5. Male-male competition, female mate choice and their interaction: determining total sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Hunt, John; Breuker, Casper J; Sadowski, Jennifer A; Moore, Allen J

    2009-01-01

    Empirical studies of sexual selection typically focus on one of the two mechanisms of sexual selection without integrating these into a description of total sexual selection, or study total sexual selection without quantifying the contributions of all of the mechanisms of sexual selection. However, this can provide an incomplete or misleading view of how sexually selected traits evolve if the mechanisms of sexual selection are opposing or differ in form. Here, we take a two-fold approach to advocate a direction for future studies of sexual selection. We first show how a quantitative partitioning and examination of sexual selection mechanisms can inform by identifying illustrative studies that describe both male-male competition and female mate choice acting on the same trait. In our sample, the most common trait where this occurred was body size, and selection was typically linear. We found that male-male competition and female mate choice can be reinforcing or opposing, although the former is most common in the literature. The mechanisms of sexual selection can occur simultaneously or sequentially, and we found they were more likely to be opposing when the mechanisms operated sequentially. The degree and timing that these mechanisms interact have important implications for the operation of sexual selection and needs to be considered in designing studies. Our examples highlight where empirical data are needed. We especially lack standardized measures of the form and strength of selection imposed by each mechanism of sexual selection and how they combine to determine total sexual selection. Secondly, using quantitative genetic principles, we outline how the selection imposed by individual mechanisms can be measured and combined to estimate the total strength and form of sexual selection. We discuss the evolutionary consequences of combining the mechanisms of sexual selection and interpreting total sexual selection. We suggest how this approach may result in

  6. Sexual selection is a form of social selection.

    PubMed

    Lyon, Bruce E; Montgomerie, Robert

    2012-08-19

    Social selection influences the evolution of weapons, ornaments and behaviour in both males and females. Thus, social interactions in both sexual and non-sexual contexts can have a powerful influence on the evolution of traits that would otherwise appear to be detrimental to survival. Although clearly outlined by West-Eberhard in the early 1980s, the idea that social selection is a comprehensive framework for the study of ornaments and weapons has largely been ignored. In West-Eberhard's view, sexual selection is a form of social selection-a concept supported by several lines of evidence. Darwin's distinction between natural and sexual selection has been useful, but recent confusion about the limits of sexual selection suggests that some traits are not easily categorized as naturally or sexually selected. Because social selection theory has much to offer the current debates about both sexual selection and reproductive competition in females, it is sometimes viewed, narrowly, to be most useful when considering female roles. However, social selection theory encompasses much more than female reproductive competition. Our goal here was to provide that broader perspective.

  7. Evolution of divergent female mating preference in response to experimental sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Debelle, Allan; Ritchie, Michael G; Snook, Rhonda R

    2014-09-01

    Sexual selection is predicted to drive the coevolution of mating signals and preferences (mating traits) within populations, and could play a role in speciation if sexual isolation arises due to mating trait divergence between populations. However, few studies have demonstrated that differences in mating traits between populations result from sexual selection alone. Experimental evolution is a promising approach to directly examine the action of sexual selection on mating trait divergence among populations. We manipulated the opportunity for sexual selection (low vs. high) in populations of Drosophila pseudoobscura. Previous studies on these experimental populations have shown that sexual selection manipulation resulted in the divergence between sexual selection treatments of several courtship song parameters, including interpulse interval (IPI) which markedly influences male mating success. Here, we measure female preference for IPI using a playback design to test for preference divergence between the sexual selection treatments after 130 generations of experimental sexual selection. The results suggest that female preference has coevolved with male signal, in opposite directions between the sexual selection treatments, providing direct evidence of the ability of sexual selection to drive the divergent coevolution of mating traits between populations. We discuss the implications in the context sexual selection and speciation.

  8. EVOLUTION OF DIVERGENT FEMALE MATING PREFERENCE IN RESPONSE TO EXPERIMENTAL SEXUAL SELECTION

    PubMed Central

    Debelle, Allan; Ritchie, Michael G; Snook, Rhonda R

    2014-01-01

    Sexual selection is predicted to drive the coevolution of mating signals and preferences (mating traits) within populations, and could play a role in speciation if sexual isolation arises due to mating trait divergence between populations. However, few studies have demonstrated that differences in mating traits between populations result from sexual selection alone. Experimental evolution is a promising approach to directly examine the action of sexual selection on mating trait divergence among populations. We manipulated the opportunity for sexual selection (low vs. high) in populations of Drosophila pseudoobscura. Previous studies on these experimental populations have shown that sexual selection manipulation resulted in the divergence between sexual selection treatments of several courtship song parameters, including interpulse interval (IPI) which markedly influences male mating success. Here, we measure female preference for IPI using a playback design to test for preference divergence between the sexual selection treatments after 130 generations of experimental sexual selection. The results suggest that female preference has coevolved with male signal, in opposite directions between the sexual selection treatments, providing direct evidence of the ability of sexual selection to drive the divergent coevolution of mating traits between populations. We discuss the implications in the context sexual selection and speciation. PMID:24931497

  9. The diversification of mate preferences by natural and sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Rundle, H D; Chenoweth, S F; Blows, M W

    2009-08-01

    The evolution of sexual display traits or preferences for them in response to divergent natural selection will alter sexual selection within populations, yet the role of sexual selection in ecological speciation has received little empirical attention. We evolved 12 populations of Drosophila serrata in a two-way factorial design to investigate the roles of natural and sexual selection in the evolution of female mate preferences for male cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs). Mate preferences weakened in populations evolving under natural selection alone, implying a cost in the absence of their expression. Comparison of the vectors of linear sexual selection revealed that the populations diverged in the combination of male CHCs that females found most attractive, although this was not significant using a mixed modelling approach. Changes in preference direction tended to evolve when natural and sexual selection were unconstrained, suggesting that both processes may be the key to initial stages of ecological speciation. Determining the generality of this result will require data from various species across a range of novel environments.

  10. Sexual selection is a form of social selection

    PubMed Central

    Lyon, Bruce E.; Montgomerie, Robert

    2012-01-01

    Social selection influences the evolution of weapons, ornaments and behaviour in both males and females. Thus, social interactions in both sexual and non-sexual contexts can have a powerful influence on the evolution of traits that would otherwise appear to be detrimental to survival. Although clearly outlined by West-Eberhard in the early 1980s, the idea that social selection is a comprehensive framework for the study of ornaments and weapons has largely been ignored. In West-Eberhard's view, sexual selection is a form of social selection—a concept supported by several lines of evidence. Darwin's distinction between natural and sexual selection has been useful, but recent confusion about the limits of sexual selection suggests that some traits are not easily categorized as naturally or sexually selected. Because social selection theory has much to offer the current debates about both sexual selection and reproductive competition in females, it is sometimes viewed, narrowly, to be most useful when considering female roles. However, social selection theory encompasses much more than female reproductive competition. Our goal here was to provide that broader perspective. PMID:22777015

  11. Migration strategy and divergent sexual selection on bird song

    PubMed Central

    Collins, Sarah A.; de Kort, Selvino R.; Pérez-Tris, Javier; Luis Tellería, José

    2008-01-01

    Migratory birds are assumed to be under stronger sexual selection pressure than sedentary populations, and the fact that their song is more complex has been taken as confirmation of this fact. However, this assumes that sexual selection pressure due to both male competition and female choice increase together. A further issue is that, in many species, songs become less complex during competitive encounters; in contrast, female choice selects for more complex song, so the two selection pressures may drive song evolution in different directions. We analysed song in two sedentary and two migratory populations of blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla), a species in which different song parts are directed to males and females. We found that migratory populations produce longer, female-directed warbles, indicating sexual selection through female choice is the strongest in these populations. However, the part of the song directed towards males is shorter and more repetitive (as observed in individual competitive encounters between males) in non-migratory populations, indicating sedentary populations, are under stronger selection due to male competition. We show for the first time that the intensity of selection pressure from male competition and female choice varies independently between populations with different migratory behaviours. Rapid alterations in the migration patterns of species are thus likely to lead to unexpected consequences for the costs and benefits of sexual signals. PMID:18945666

  12. Sexual Selection of Protamine 1 in Mammals.

    PubMed

    Lüke, Lena; Tourmente, Maximiliano; Roldan, Eduardo R S

    2016-01-01

    Protamines have a crucial role in male fertility. They are involved in sperm chromatin packaging and influence the shape of the sperm head and, hence, are important for sperm performance. Protamine structure is basic with numerous arginine-rich DNA-binding domains. Postcopulatory sexual selection is thought to play an important role in protamine sequence evolution and expression. Here, we analyze patterns of evolution and sexual selection (in the form of sperm competition) acting on protamine 1 gene sequence in 237 mammalian species. We assessed common patterns as well as differences between the major mammalian subclasses (Eutheria, Metatheria) and clades. We found that a high arginine content in protamine 1 associates with a lower sperm head width, which may have an impact on sperm swimming velocity. Increase in arginine content in protamine 1 across mammals appears to take place in a way consistent with sexual selection. In metatherians, increase in sequence length correlates with sexual selection. Differences in selective pressures on sequences and codon sites were observed between mammalian clades. Our study revealed a complex evolutionary pattern of protamine 1, with different selective constraints, and effects of sexual selection, between mammalian groups. In contrast, the effect of arginine content on head shape, and the possible involvement of sperm competition, was identified across all mammals.

  13. Runaway sexual selection leads to good genes.

    PubMed

    Chandler, Christopher H; Ofria, Charles; Dworkin, Ian

    2013-01-01

    Mate choice and sexual displays are widespread in nature, but their evolutionary benefits remain controversial. Theory predicts these traits can be favored by runaway sexual selection, in which preference and display reinforce one another due to genetic correlation; or by good genes benefits, in which mate choice is advantageous because extreme displays indicate a well-adapted genotype. However, these hypotheses are not mutually exclusive, and the adaptive benefits underlying mate choice can themselves evolve. In particular, examining how and why sexual displays become indicators of good genes is challenging in natural systems. Here, we use experimental evolution in "digital organisms" to demonstrate the origins of condition-dependent indicator displays following their spread due to a runaway process. Surprisingly, handicap-like costs are not necessary for displays to become indicators of male viability. Instead, a pleiotropic genetic architecture underlies both displays and viability. Runaway sexual selection and good genes benefits should thus be viewed as interacting mechanisms that reinforce one another.

  14. Canine evolution in sabretoothed carnivores: natural selection or sexual selection?

    PubMed

    Randau, Marcela; Carbone, Chris; Turvey, Samuel T

    2013-01-01

    The remarkable elongated upper canines of extinct sabretoothed carnivorous mammals have been the subject of considerable speculation on their adaptive function, but the absence of living analogues prevents any direct inference about their evolution. We analysed scaling relationships of the upper canines of 20 sabretoothed feliform carnivores (Nimravidae, Barbourofelidae, Machairodontinae), representing both dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, and 33 non-sabretoothed felids in relation to body size in order to characterize and identify the evolutionary processes driving their development, using the scaling relationships of carnassial teeth in both groups as a control. Carnassials display isometric allometry in both sabretooths and non-sabretooths, supporting their close relationship with meat-slicing, whereas the upper canines of both groups display positive allometry with body size. Whereas there is no statistical difference in allometry of upper canine height between dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, the significantly stronger positive allometry of upper canine height shown by sabretooths as a whole compared to non-sabretooths reveals that different processes drove canine evolution in these groups. Although sabretoothed canines must still have been effective for prey capture and processing by hypercarnivorous predators, canine morphology in these extinct carnivores was likely to have been driven to a greater extent by sexual selection than in non-sabretooths. Scaling relationships therefore indicate the probable importance of sexual selection in the evolution of the hypertrophied sabretooth anterior dentition.

  15. Sexual dichromatism in frogs: natural selection, sexual selection and unexpected diversity.

    PubMed

    Bell, Rayna C; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2012-12-01

    Sexual dichromatism, a form of sexual dimorphism in which males and females differ in colour, is widespread in animals but has been predominantly studied in birds, fishes and butterflies. Moreover, although there are several proposed evolutionary mechanisms for sexual dichromatism in vertebrates, few studies have examined this phenomenon outside the context of sexual selection. Here, we describe unexpectedly high diversity of sexual dichromatism in frogs and create a comparative framework to guide future analyses of the evolution of these sexual colour differences. We review what is known about evolution of colour dimorphism in frogs, highlight alternative mechanisms that may contribute to the evolution of sexual colour differences, and compare them to mechanisms active in other major groups of vertebrates. In frogs, sexual dichromatism can be dynamic (temporary colour change in males) or ontogenetic (permanent colour change in males or females). The degree and the duration of sexual colour differences vary greatly across lineages, and we do not detect phylogenetic signal in the distribution of this trait, therefore frogs provide an opportunity to investigate the roles of natural and sexual selection across multiple independent derivations of sexual dichromatism.

  16. Sexual dichromatism in frogs: natural selection, sexual selection and unexpected diversity

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Rayna C.; Zamudio, Kelly R.

    2012-01-01

    Sexual dichromatism, a form of sexual dimorphism in which males and females differ in colour, is widespread in animals but has been predominantly studied in birds, fishes and butterflies. Moreover, although there are several proposed evolutionary mechanisms for sexual dichromatism in vertebrates, few studies have examined this phenomenon outside the context of sexual selection. Here, we describe unexpectedly high diversity of sexual dichromatism in frogs and create a comparative framework to guide future analyses of the evolution of these sexual colour differences. We review what is known about evolution of colour dimorphism in frogs, highlight alternative mechanisms that may contribute to the evolution of sexual colour differences, and compare them to mechanisms active in other major groups of vertebrates. In frogs, sexual dichromatism can be dynamic (temporary colour change in males) or ontogenetic (permanent colour change in males or females). The degree and the duration of sexual colour differences vary greatly across lineages, and we do not detect phylogenetic signal in the distribution of this trait, therefore frogs provide an opportunity to investigate the roles of natural and sexual selection across multiple independent derivations of sexual dichromatism. PMID:22993253

  17. Sexual selection unhandicapped by the Fisher process.

    PubMed

    Grafen, A

    1990-06-21

    A population genetic model of sexual selection is constructed in which, at equilibrium, males signal their quality by developing costly ornaments, and females pay costs to use the ornaments in mate choice. It is shown that the form of the equilibrium is uninfluenced by the Fisher process, that is, by self-reinforcement of female preferences. This is a working model of the handicap principle applied to sexual selection, and places Zahavi's handicap principle on the same logical footing as the Fisher process, in that each can support sexual selection without the presence of the other. A way of measuring the relative importance of the two processes is suggested that can be applied to both theories and facts. A style of modelling that allows simple genetics and complicated biology to be combined is recommended.

  18. Identifying signatures of sexual selection using genomewide selection components analysis

    PubMed Central

    Flanagan, Sarah P; Jones, Adam G

    2015-01-01

    Sexual selection must affect the genome for it to have an evolutionary impact, yet signatures of selection remain elusive. Here we use an individual-based model to investigate the utility of genome-wide selection components analysis, which compares allele frequencies of individuals at different life history stages within a single population to detect selection without requiring a priori knowledge of traits under selection. We modeled a diploid, sexually reproducing population and introduced strong mate choice on a quantitative trait to simulate sexual selection. Genome-wide allele frequencies in adults and offspring were compared using weighted FST values. The average number of outlier peaks (i.e., those with significantly large FST values) with a quantitative trait locus in close proximity (“real” peaks) represented correct diagnoses of loci under selection, whereas peaks above the FST significance threshold without a quantitative trait locus reflected spurious peaks. We found that, even with moderate sample sizes, signatures of strong sexual selection were detectable, but larger sample sizes improved detection rates. The model was better able to detect selection with more neutral markers, and when quantitative trait loci and neutral markers were distributed across multiple chromosomes. Although environmental variation decreased detection rates, the identification of real peaks nevertheless remained feasible. We also found that detection rates can be improved by sampling multiple populations experiencing similar selection regimes. In short, genome-wide selection components analysis is a challenging but feasible approach for the identification of regions of the genome under selection. PMID:26257884

  19. Darwinian balancing selection: predation counters sexual selection in a wild insect.

    PubMed

    Ercit, Kyla; Gwynne, Darryl T

    2015-02-01

    The potential viability costs of sexually selected traits are central to hypotheses about the evolution of exaggerated traits. Estimates of these costs in nature can come from selection analyses using multiple components of fitness during the same time frame. For a population of tree crickets (Oecanthus nigricornis: Gryllidae), we analyzed viability and sexual selection on male traits by comparing Oecanthus prey of a solitary wasp to those that survived, and comparing mating individuals to solitary males. We measured forewing width (sexually size dimorphic and used for singing), head width, pronotum length, and size of hind jumping legs as potential targets of selection. Supporting the hypothesis that sexually selected traits have viability costs, we found that significant directional sexual selection for wider heads was opposed by significant viability selection for narrower heads. Nonlinear selection revealed that individuals with wide heads and small legs were most attractive, but individuals with narrow heads, large legs, and intermediate pronotum length were most likely to survive. Successful mating may put males at greater risk of predation, especially if copulation per se is risky. Such balancing selection in tree crickets may have constrained the evolution of sexual dimorphism in head size-a condition seen in other gryllids and orthopterans.

  20. Sexual selection on wing interference patterns in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Katayama, Natsu; Abbott, Jessica K; Kjærandsen, Jostein; Takahashi, Yuma; Svensson, Erik I

    2014-10-21

    Animals with color vision use color information in intra- and interspecific communication, which in turn may drive the evolution of conspicuous colored body traits via natural and sexual selection. A recent study found that the transparent wings of small flies and wasps in lower-reflectance light environments display vivid and stable structural color patterns, called "wing interference patterns" (WIPs). Such WIPs were hypothesized to function in sexual selection among small insects with wing displays, but this has not been experimentally verified. Here, to our knowledge we present the first experimental evidence that WIPs in males of Drosophila melanogaster are targets of mate choice from females, and that two different color traits--saturation and hue--experience directional and stabilizing sexual selection, respectively. Using isogenic lines from the D. melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel, we compare attractiveness of different male WIPs against black and white visual backgrounds. We show that males with more vivid wings are more attractive to females than are males with dull wings. Wings with a large magenta area (i.e., intermediate trait values) were also preferred over those with a large blue or yellow area. These experimental results add a visual element to the Drosophila mating array, integrating sexual selection with elements of genetics and evo-devo, potentially applicable to a wide array of small insects with hyaline wings. Our results further underscore that the mode of sexual selection on such visual signals can differ profoundly between different color components, in this case hue and saturation.

  1. Sexual selection and the evolution of evolvability.

    PubMed

    Petrie, M; Roberts, G

    2007-04-01

    Here we show that sexual selection can have an effect on the rate of mutation. We simulated the fate of a genetic modifier of the mutation rate in a sexual population with and without sexual selection (modelled using a female choice mechanism). Female choice for 'good genes' should reduce variability among male subjects, leaving insufficient differences to maintain female preferences. However, female choice can actually increase genetic variability by supporting a higher mutation rate in sexually selected traits. Increasing the mutation rate will be selected against because of the resulting decline in mean fitness. However, it also increases the probability of rare beneficial mutations arising, and mating skew caused by female preferences for male subjects carrying those beneficials with few deleterious mutations ('good genes') can lead to a mutation rate above that expected under natural selection. A choice of two male subjects was sufficient for there to be a twofold increase in the mutation rate as opposed to a decrease found under random mating.

  2. Post-insemination sexual selection in birds.

    PubMed

    Pizzari, Tommaso

    2007-01-01

    In many avian species females obtain sperm from multiple males during a single reproductive event, setting the scene for post-insemination sexual selection through the competition of the ejaculates of different males over fertilisation (sperm competition) and female biased utilisation of sperm (cryptic female choice). The use of poultry techniques in combination with molecular tools is catalysing an interest in birds as vertebrate model systems to study the mechanisms of post-insemination sexual selection. This chapter: (i) outlines the main mechanisms of avian sperm competition, (ii) introduces methodological approaches to study post-insemination sexual selection in birds, (iii) reviews recent evidence of multiple mechanisms of strategic sperm allocation by males, and (iv) discusses mechanisms of cryptic female choice. Post-insemination variance in paternity in birds, appears to be determined by the interactions between complex male and female strategies of differential sperm utilisation. It is argued that a better understanding of the operation of post-insemination sexual selection in birds may be achieved through a two-pronged approach which, on the one hand, investigates behavioural and physiological mechanisms applying poultry techniques and molecular tools to domestic model species, and on the other, verifies these mechanisms and tests their adaptive significance in more natural populations.

  3. Men and Sexuality: Bibliography of Selected Resources.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., New York, NY. Education Dept.

    This selective, annotated bibliography covers a range of topics associated with male sexuality, reproductive health, and sexism. The books listed in this document are organized in five categories which are not strictly exclusive, as most of the entries overlap topic areas. Part I, Men in Society, contains 10 entries dealing with masculinity,…

  4. The locus of sexual selection: moving sexual selection studies into the post-genomics era.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, G S; Breden, F; Mank, J E; Ritchie, M G; Higginson, A D; Radwan, J; Jaquiery, J; Salzburger, W; Arriero, E; Barribeau, S M; Phillips, P C; Renn, S C P; Rowe, L

    2015-04-01

    Sexual selection drives fundamental evolutionary processes such as trait elaboration and speciation. Despite this importance, there are surprisingly few examples of genes unequivocally responsible for variation in sexually selected phenotypes. This lack of information inhibits our ability to predict phenotypic change due to universal behaviours, such as fighting over mates and mate choice. Here, we discuss reasons for this apparent gap and provide recommendations for how it can be overcome by adopting contemporary genomic methods, exploiting underutilized taxa that may be ideal for detecting the effects of sexual selection and adopting appropriate experimental paradigms. Identifying genes that determine variation in sexually selected traits has the potential to improve theoretical models and reveal whether the genetic changes underlying phenotypic novelty utilize common or unique molecular mechanisms. Such a genomic approach to sexual selection will help answer questions in the evolution of sexually selected phenotypes that were first asked by Darwin and can furthermore serve as a model for the application of genomics in all areas of evolutionary biology.

  5. Mating density and the strength of sexual selection against deleterious alleles in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Sharp, Nathaniel P; Agrawal, Aneil F

    2008-04-01

    Deleterious alleles constantly enter populations via mutation. Their presence reduces mean fitness and may threaten population persistence. It has been suggested that sexual selection may be an efficient way by which deleterious alleles are removed from populations but there is little direct experimental evidence. Because of its potential role in mutational meltdowns, there is particular interest in whether the strength of sexual selection changes with density. For each of eight visible markers in Drosophila melanogaster we have compared the strength of sexual selection at two densities. We find evidence of strong sexual selection against most but not all of these alleles. There is no evidence that sexual selection tends to be stronger (or weaker) at high density relative to low density. In addition, we also measure the effects of these mutations on two key parameters relevant to population productivity--juvenile viability and female fecundity. In most cases, sexual selection is as strong or stronger than these other forms of selection.

  6. Is sexual selection beneficial during adaptation to environmental change?

    PubMed

    Candolin, Ulrika; Heuschele, Jan

    2008-08-01

    The role of sexual selection in adaptation is disputed. A balance between sexual and viability selection can be achieved in stable environments, but environmental perturbations could change the costs and benefits arising from sexual selection and influence the rate of adaptation. Here we synthesise theoretical and empirical work on the role of sexual selection in adaptation to changed conditions. Contrasting results have been gained, but the majority of studies suggest that sexual selection has no significant effect or a negative effect on the rate of adaptation. However, once sexually selected traits start to evolve, sexual selection can accelerate adaptation. The role of sexual selection in extinction appears to be minor, but the results could be skewed.

  7. Do feather-degrading bacteria affect sexually selected plumage color?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shawkey, Matthew D.; Pillai, Shreekumar R.; Hill, Geoffrey E.

    2009-01-01

    Models of parasite-mediated sexual selection propose that males with more elaborate sexual traits will have fewer parasites. These models have generally been tested using metazoan or protozoan parasites of the blood, gut, or integument. Fewer studies have examined sexual ornaments in relation to bacterial infections. While most surface bacteria are harmless or beneficial, feather-degrading bacteria may have detrimental effects. In this study, we examined the relationships between overall bacterial load, feather-degrading bacterial load, and sexually selected carotenoid-based plumage color in a wild population of house finches ( Carpodacus mexicanus). We found that males with the redder plumage preferred by females had similar overall bacterial loads, but lower feather-degrading bacterial loads, than males with less red plumage. These data suggest that plumage color can signal abundance of feather-degrading bacteria to potential mates. It remains unclear whether feather-degrading bacteria directly or indirectly affect plumage color, but the observed correlations suggest that feather-degrading bacteria may play some role in sexual selection.

  8. Adaptations to sexual selection and sexual conflict: insights from experimental evolution and artificial selection.

    PubMed

    Edward, Dominic A; Fricke, Claudia; Chapman, Tracey

    2010-08-27

    Artificial selection and experimental evolution document natural selection under controlled conditions. Collectively, these techniques are continuing to provide fresh and important insights into the genetic basis of evolutionary change, and are now being employed to investigate mating behaviour. Here, we focus on how selection techniques can reveal the genetic basis of post-mating adaptations to sexual selection and sexual conflict. Alteration of the operational sex ratio of adult Drosophila over just a few tens of generations can lead to altered ejaculate allocation patterns and the evolution of resistance in females to the costly effects of elevated mating rates. We provide new data to show how male responses to the presence of rivals can evolve. For several traits, the way in which males responded to rivals was opposite in lines selected for male-biased, as opposed to female-biased, adult sex ratio. This shows that the manipulation of the relative intensity of intra- and inter-sexual selection can lead to replicable and repeatable effects on mating systems, and reveals the potential for significant contemporary evolutionary change. Such studies, with important safeguards, have potential utility for understanding sexual selection and sexual conflict across many taxa. We discuss how artificial selection studies combined with genomics will continue to deepen our knowledge of the evolutionary principles first laid down by Darwin 150 years ago.

  9. Genomic Evidence that Sexual Selection Impedes Adaptation to a Novel Environment.

    PubMed

    Chenoweth, Stephen F; Appleton, Nicholas C; Allen, Scott L; Rundle, Howard D

    2015-07-20

    Sexual selection is widely appreciated for generating remarkable phenotypic diversity, but its contribution to adaptation and the purging of deleterious mutations is unresolved. To provide insight into the impact of sexual selection on naturally segregating polymorphisms across the genome, we previously evolved 12 populations of Drosophila serrata in a novel environment employing a factorial manipulation of the opportunities for natural and sexual selection. Here, we genotype more than 1,400 SNPs in the evolved populations and reveal that sexual selection affected many of the same genomic regions as natural selection, aligning with it as often as opposing it. Intriguingly, more than half of the 80 SNPs showing treatment effects revealed an interaction between natural and sexual selection. For these SNPs, while sexual selection alone often caused a change in allele frequency in the same direction as natural selection alone, when natural and sexual selection occurred together, changes in allele frequency were greatly reduced or even reversed. This suggests an antagonism between natural and sexual selection arising from male-induced harm to females. Behavioral experiments showed that males preferentially courted and mated with high-fitness females, and that the harm associated with this increased male attention eliminated the female fitness advantage. During our experiment, females carrying otherwise adaptive alleles may therefore have disproportionally suffered male-induced harm due to their increased sexual attractiveness. These results suggest that a class of otherwise adaptive mutations may not contribute to adaptation when mating systems involve sexual conflict and male mate preferences.

  10. The chemistry of sexual selection.

    PubMed Central

    Eisner, T; Meinwald, J

    1995-01-01

    The moth Utetheisa ornatrix (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) is protected against predation by pyrrolizidine alkaloids that it sequesters as a larva from its foodplants. At mating, the male transfers alkaloid to the female with the spermatophore, a gift that the female supplements with alkaloid of her own and transmits to the eggs. Eggs are protected as a result. The male produces a pheromone, hydroxydanaidal, that he derives from the alkaloid and emits from a pair of extrusible brushes (coremata) during precopulatory interaction with the female. Males rendered experimentally alkaloid-free fail to produce the pheromone and are less successful in courtship. The male produces the pheromone in proportion both to his alkaloid load and to the amount of alkaloid he transfers to the female. The pheromone could thus serve as an indication of male "worth" and provide a basis for female choice. Utetheisa females are promiscuous and therefore are able to accrue multiple nuptial gifts (alkaloid and nutrient, both transmitted with the spermatophore). They use sperm selectively, favoring those of larger males. Larger males in nature are also richer in alkaloid. Females therefore reinforce after copulation the choice mechanism they already exercise during courtship. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 PMID:7816847

  11. Male cognitive performance declines in the absence of sexual selection

    PubMed Central

    Hollis, Brian; Kawecki, Tadeusz J.

    2014-01-01

    Sexual selection is responsible for the evolution of male ornaments and armaments, but its role in the evolution of cognition—the ability to process, retain and use information—is largely unexplored. Because successful courtship is likely to involve processing information in complex, competitive sexual environments, we hypothesized that sexual selection contributes to the evolution and maintenance of cognitive abilities in males. To test this, we removed mate choice and mate competition from experimental populations of Drosophila melanogaster by enforcing monogamy for over 100 generations. Males evolved under monogamy became less proficient than polygamous control males at relatively complex cognitive tasks. When faced with one receptive and several unreceptive females, polygamous males quickly focused on receptive females, whereas monogamous males continued to direct substantial courtship effort towards unreceptive females. As a result, monogamous males were less successful in this complex setting, despite being as quick to mate as their polygamous counterparts with only one receptive female. This diminished ability to use past information was not limited to the courtship context: monogamous males (but not females) also showed reduced aversive olfactory learning ability. Our results provide direct experimental evidence that the intensity of sexual selection is an important factor in the evolution of male cognitive ability. PMID:24573848

  12. Sexual selection targets cetacean pelvic bones.

    PubMed

    Dines, James P; Otárola-Castillo, Erik; Ralph, Peter; Alas, Jesse; Daley, Timothy; Smith, Andrew D; Dean, Matthew D

    2014-11-01

    Male genitalia evolve rapidly, probably as a result of sexual selection. Whether this pattern extends to the internal infrastructure that influences genital movements remains unknown. Cetaceans (whales and dolphins) offer a unique opportunity to test this hypothesis: since evolving from land-dwelling ancestors, they lost external hind limbs and evolved a highly reduced pelvis that seems to serve no other function except to anchor muscles that maneuver the penis. Here, we create a novel morphometric pipeline to analyze the size and shape evolution of pelvic bones from 130 individuals (29 species) in the context of inferred mating system. We present two main findings: (1) males from species with relatively intense sexual selection (inferred by relative testes size) tend to evolve larger penises and pelvic bones compared to their body length, and (2) pelvic bone shape has diverged more in species pairs that have diverged in inferred mating system. Neither pattern was observed in the anterior-most pair of vertebral ribs, which served as a negative control. This study provides evidence that sexual selection can affect internal anatomy that controls male genitalia. These important functions may explain why cetacean pelvic bones have not been lost through evolutionary time.

  13. Sexual selection targets cetacean pelvic bones

    PubMed Central

    Dines, J. P.; Otárola-Castillo, E.; Ralph, P.; Alas, J.; Daley, T.; Smith, A. D.; Dean, M. D.

    2014-01-01

    Male genitalia evolve rapidly, probably as a result of sexual selection. Whether this pattern extends to the internal infrastructure that influences genital movements remains unknown. Cetaceans (whales and dolphins) offer a unique opportunity to test this hypothesis: since evolving from land-dwelling ancestors, they lost external hind limbs and evolved a highly reduced pelvis which seems to serve no other function except to anchor muscles that maneuver the penis. Here we create a novel morphometric pipeline to analyze the size and shape evolution of pelvic bones from 130 individuals (29 species) in the context of inferred mating system. We present two main findings: 1) males from species with relatively intense sexual selection (inferred by relative testes size) have evolved relatively large penises and pelvic bones compared to their body size, and 2) pelvic bone shape diverges more quickly in species pairs that have diverged in inferred mating system. Neither pattern was observed in the anterior-most pair of vertebral ribs, which served as a negative control. This study provides evidence that sexual selection can affect internal anatomy that controls male genitalia. These important functions may explain why cetacean pelvic bones have not been lost through evolutionary time. PMID:25186496

  14. Sexual selection drives asymmetric introgression in wall lizards.

    PubMed

    While, Geoffrey M; Michaelides, Sozos; Heathcote, Robert J P; MacGregor, Hannah E A; Zajac, Natalia; Beninde, Joscha; Carazo, Pau; Pérez I de Lanuza, Guillem; Sacchi, Roberto; Zuffi, Marco A L; Horváthová, Terézia; Fresnillo, Belén; Schulte, Ulrich; Veith, Michael; Hochkirch, Axel; Uller, Tobias

    2015-12-01

    Hybridisation is increasingly recognised as an important cause of diversification and adaptation. Here, we show how divergence in male secondary sexual characters between two lineages of the common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) gives rise to strong asymmetries in male competitive ability and mating success, resulting in asymmetric hybridisation upon secondary contact. Combined with no negative effects of hybridisation on survival or reproductive characters in F1-hybrids, these results suggest that introgression should be asymmetric, resulting in the displacement of sexual characters of the sub-dominant lineage. This prediction was confirmed in two types of secondary contact, across a natural contact zone and in two introduced populations. Our study illustrates how divergence in sexually selected traits via male competition can determine the direction and extent of introgression, contributing to geographic patterns of genetic and phenotypic diversity.

  15. Healthy sex and sexual health: new directions for studying outcomes of sexual health.

    PubMed

    Lefkowitz, Eva S; Vasilenko, Sara A

    2014-01-01

    Sexual behavior is an important aspect of adolescent development with implications for well-being. These chapters highlight important perspectives on studying sexual health from a normative, developmental perspective, such as viewing a range of sexual behaviors as life events; considering potentially positive physical health, mental health, social health, and identity outcomes; examining both intraindividual and interindividual differences in outcomes; recognizing the romantic relationship context of sexual behavior; and understanding how sexual media may impact sexual health outcomes. We suggest new directions for studying sexual health outcomes, such as studying behaviors beyond vaginal sex and condom use, new methodologies such as latent class analysis, sophisticated longitudinal designs, and collection and analysis of dyadic data. We recommend research on populations underrepresented in sexual health research such as late adolescents who do not attend traditional universities and adolescents from ethnic/racial minorities. Finally, we consider future directions for sexuality education and prevention efforts. PMID:24962364

  16. Healthy sex and sexual health: new directions for studying outcomes of sexual health.

    PubMed

    Lefkowitz, Eva S; Vasilenko, Sara A

    2014-01-01

    Sexual behavior is an important aspect of adolescent development with implications for well-being. These chapters highlight important perspectives on studying sexual health from a normative, developmental perspective, such as viewing a range of sexual behaviors as life events; considering potentially positive physical health, mental health, social health, and identity outcomes; examining both intraindividual and interindividual differences in outcomes; recognizing the romantic relationship context of sexual behavior; and understanding how sexual media may impact sexual health outcomes. We suggest new directions for studying sexual health outcomes, such as studying behaviors beyond vaginal sex and condom use, new methodologies such as latent class analysis, sophisticated longitudinal designs, and collection and analysis of dyadic data. We recommend research on populations underrepresented in sexual health research such as late adolescents who do not attend traditional universities and adolescents from ethnic/racial minorities. Finally, we consider future directions for sexuality education and prevention efforts.

  17. Stabilizing sexual selection for female ornaments in a dance fly.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, J; Gwynne, D T; Bussière, L F

    2012-07-01

    Ornamental traits function by improving attractiveness and are generally presumed to experience directional selection for mating success. However, given the greater investment of females in offspring than males, female-specific ornaments can in theory signal fecundity yet be constrained by fecundity costs. Theoretical work predicts that such constraints can lead to stabilizing selection via male choice for intermediately ornamented females. Female dance flies Rhamphomyia longicauda (Diptera: Empididae) display two female-specific ornaments in mating swarms - inflatable abdominal sacs and pinnate tibial scales. We investigated the intensity and form of sexual selection on female traits including ornaments and found no evidence for directional sexual selection. Instead, we found marginally nonsignificant quadratic selection for all three measures of ornament expression. Canonical analysis confirmed that the strongest vectors of nonlinear selection were associated with ornamental traits, although the significance of the quadratic coefficients associated with these vectors depended on the statistical approach. Direct Mitchell-Olds and Shaw tests for the location of the maximum fitted fitness value for both raw morphological traits and canonical axes revealed only one marginally nonsignificant result for the multivariate axis loading most heavily on pinnate leg scales. Together, these results provide the first tentative support for stabilizing selection on female-specific ornaments.

  18. Sexually selected females in the monogamous Western Australian seahorse.

    PubMed

    Kvarnemo, Charlotta; Moore, Glenn I; Jones, Adam G

    2007-02-22

    Studies of sexual selection in monogamous species have hitherto focused on sexual selection among males. Here, we provide empirical documentation that sexual selection can also act strongly on females in a natural population with a monogamous mating system. In our field-based genetic study of the monogamous Western Australian seahorse, Hippocampus subelongatus, sexual selection differentials and gradients show that females are under stronger sexual selection than males: mated females are larger than unmated ones, whereas mated and unmated males do not differ in size. In addition, the opportunity for sexual selection (variance in mating success divided by its mean squared) for females is almost three times that for males. These results, which seem to be generated by a combination of a male preference for larger females and a female-biased adult sex ratio, indicate that substantial sexual selection on females is a potentially important but under-appreciated evolutionary phenomenon in monogamous species.

  19. Sexual selection hinders adaptation in experimental populations of yeast

    PubMed Central

    Reding, L. P.; Swaddle, J. P.; Murphy, H. A.

    2013-01-01

    Sexual selection, the suite of processes that lead to differential mating success among individuals, probably influences the evolutionary trajectory of populations. Because sexual selection often shifts traits away from their survival optima, strong sexual selection pressures are thought to increase potential for population extinction, especially during environmental change. Sexual selection pressures may also increase the opportunity for speciation by accelerating the generation of pre-zygotic isolation among populations. These relationships remain largely untested experimentally. Here, we allow populations of baker's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, to evolve for approximately 250 generations with altered sex ratios in order to test the effect of the strength of sexual selection on the fate of populations. We find that populations experiencing stronger sexual selection are less able to adapt to a novel environment compared with populations experiencing weaker sexual selection or no sex, and that strong sexual selection erases the benefits of sexual reproduction. This pattern persists when fitness is assayed in a closely related environment. We also identify a trend that may suggest the beginning of pre-zygotic isolation between populations experiencing stronger sexual selection, though this is not statistically significant. These results highlight the importance of sexual selection in shaping macroevolutionary patterns and biodiversity. PMID:23485874

  20. Experimental evidence for multivariate stabilizing sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Robert; Hunt, John; Blows, Mark W; Smith, Michael J; Bussière, Luc F; Jennions, Michael D

    2005-04-01

    Stabilizing selection is a fundamental concept in evolutionary biology. In the presence of a single intermediate optimum phenotype (fitness peak) on the fitness surface, stabilizing selection should cause the population to evolve toward such a peak. This prediction has seldom been tested, particularly for suites of correlated traits. The lack of tests for an evolutionary match between population means and adaptive peaks may be due, at least in part, to problems associated with empirically detecting multivariate stabilizing selection and with testing whether population means are at the peak of multivariate fitness surfaces. Here we show how canonical analysis of the fitness surface, combined with the estimation of confidence regions for stationary points on quadratic response surfaces, may be used to define multivariate stabilizing selection on a suite of traits and to establish whether natural populations reside on the multivariate peak. We manufactured artificial advertisement calls of the male cricket Teleogryllus commodus and played them back to females in laboratory phonotaxis trials to estimate the linear and nonlinear sexual selection that female phonotactic choice imposes on male call structure. Significant nonlinear selection on the major axes of the fitness surface was convex in nature and displayed an intermediate optimum, indicating multivariate stabilizing selection. The mean phenotypes of four independent samples of males, from the same population as the females used in phonotaxis trials, were within the 95% confidence region for the fitness peak. These experiments indicate that stabilizing sexual selection may play an important role in the evolution of male call properties in natural populations of T. commodus.

  1. The Sexual Cascade and the Rise of Pre-Ejaculatory (Darwinian) Sexual Selection, Sex Roles, and Sexual Conflict

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Geoff A.

    2014-01-01

    After brief historic overviews of sexual selection and sexual conflict, I argue that pre-ejaculatory sexual selection (the form of sexual selection discussed by Darwin) arose at a late stage in an inevitable succession of transitions flowing from the early evolution of syngamy to the evolution of copulation and sex roles. If certain conditions were met, this “sexual cascade” progressed inevitably, if not, sexual strategy remained fixed at a given stage. Prolonged evolutionary history of intense sperm competition/selection under external fertilization preceded the rise of advanced mobility, which generated pre-ejaculatory sexual selection, followed on land by internal fertilization and reduced sperm competition in the form of postcopulatory sexual selection. I develop a prospective model of the early evolution of mobility, which, as Darwin realized, was the catalyst for pre-ejaculatory sexual selection. Stages in the cascade should be regarded as consequential rather than separate phenomena and, as such, invalidate much current opposition to Darwin–Bateman sex roles. Potential for sexual conflict occurs throughout, greatly increasing later in the cascade, reaching its peak under precopulatory sexual selection when sex roles become highly differentiated. PMID:25147177

  2. Human skin-color sexual dimorphism: a test of the sexual selection hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Madrigal, Lorena; Kelly, William

    2007-03-01

    Applied to skin color, the sexual selection hypothesis proposes that male preference for light-skinned females explains the presence of light skin in areas of low solar radiation. According to this proposal, in areas of high solar radiation, natural selection for dark skin overrides the universal preference of males for light females. But in areas in which natural selection ceases to act, sexual selection becomes more important, and causes human populations to become light-skinned, and females to be lighter than males. The sexual selection hypothesis proposes that human sexual dimorphism of skin color should be positively correlated with distance from the equator. We tested the prediction that sexual dimorphism should increase with increasing latitude, using adult-only data sets derived from measurements with standard reflectance spectrophotometric devices. Our analysis failed to support the prediction of a positive correlation between increasing distance from the equator and increased sexual dimorphism. We found no evidence in support of the sexual selection hypothesis.

  3. Transcriptome-wide effects of sexual selection on the fate of new mutations.

    PubMed

    Collet, Julie M; Blows, Mark W; McGuigan, Katrina

    2015-11-01

    Sexual selection on males is predicted to have widespread effects on genetic variation as a consequence of the pleiotropic allelic effects on sexual and nonsexual traits. We manipulated the opportunity for sexual selection on males during 27 generations of mutation accumulation in inbred lines of Drosophila serrata, and used a microarray platform to investigate the effect of sexual selection on the expression of 2689 genes. While gene expression signal was, on average, higher in the absence of sexual selection, this difference was small (0.1%). In contrast, sexual selection impacted substantially on the mutational variance in gene expression. Over all genes, mutational variance in gene expression was, on average, 42% higher when sexual selection operated than when it was absent. Our results indicate that sexual selection on males can generate widespread effects across the genome. An increase in mutational variance without a corresponding change in mean suggested that most expression traits were unlikely to be under direct sexual selection. Instead, the mutational variance in gene expression traits is consistent with divergence generated by widespread pleiotropic associations with traits affecting male mating success.

  4. The mitonuclear compatibility hypothesis of sexual selection

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Geoffrey E.; Johnson, James D.

    2013-01-01

    Why females assess ornaments when choosing mates remains a central question in evolutionary biology. We hypothesize that the imperative for a choosing female to find a mate with nuclear oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) genes that are compatible with her mitochondrial OXPHOS genes drives the evolution of ornaments. Indicator traits are proposed to signal the efficiency of OXPHOS function thus enabling females to select mates with nuclear genes that are compatible with maternal mitochondrial genes in the formation of OXPHOS complexes. Species-typical pattern of ornamentation is proposed to serve as a marker of mitochondrial type ensuring that females assess prospective mates with a shared mitochondrial background. The mitonuclear compatibility hypothesis predicts that the production of ornaments will be closely linked to OXPHOS pathways, and that sexual selection for compatible mates will be strongest when genes for nuclear components of OXPHOS complexes are Z-linked. The implications of this hypothesis are that sexual selection may serve as a driver for the evolution of more efficient cellular respiration. PMID:23945683

  5. The mitonuclear compatibility hypothesis of sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Hill, Geoffrey E; Johnson, James D

    2013-10-01

    Why females assess ornaments when choosing mates remains a central question in evolutionary biology. We hypothesize that the imperative for a choosing female to find a mate with nuclear oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) genes that are compatible with her mitochondrial OXPHOS genes drives the evolution of ornaments. Indicator traits are proposed to signal the efficiency of OXPHOS function thus enabling females to select mates with nuclear genes that are compatible with maternal mitochondrial genes in the formation of OXPHOS complexes. Species-typical pattern of ornamentation is proposed to serve as a marker of mitochondrial type ensuring that females assess prospective mates with a shared mitochondrial background. The mitonuclear compatibility hypothesis predicts that the production of ornaments will be closely linked to OXPHOS pathways, and that sexual selection for compatible mates will be strongest when genes for nuclear components of OXPHOS complexes are Z-linked. The implications of this hypothesis are that sexual selection may serve as a driver for the evolution of more efficient cellular respiration. PMID:23945683

  6. Sexual selection in hermaphrodites, sperm and broadcast spawners, plants and fungi.

    PubMed

    Beekman, Madeleine; Nieuwenhuis, Bart; Ortiz-Barrientos, Daniel; Evans, Jonathan P

    2016-10-19

    Darwin was the first to recognize that sexual selection is a strong evolutionary force. Exaggerated traits allow same-sex individuals to compete over access to mates and provide a mechanism by which mates are selected. It is relatively easy to appreciate how inter- and intrasexual selection work in organisms with the sensory capabilities to perceive physical or behavioural traits that signal mate quality or mate compatibility, and to assess the relative quality of competitors. It is therefore not surprising that most studies of sexual selection have focused on animals with separate sexes and obvious adaptations that function in the context of reproductive competition. Yet, many sexual organisms are both male and female at the same time, often lack sexual dimorphism and never come into direct contact at mating. How does sexual selection act in such species, and what can we learn from them? Here, we address these questions by exploring the potential for sexual selection in simultaneous hermaphrodites, sperm- and broadcast spawners, plants and fungi. Our review reveals a range of mechanisms of sexual selection, operating primarily after gametes have been released, which are common in many of these groups and also quite possibly in more familiar (internally fertilizing and sexually dimorphic) organisms.This article is part of the themed issue 'Weird sex: the underappreciated diversity of sexual reproduction'.

  7. Sexual selection in hermaphrodites, sperm and broadcast spawners, plants and fungi.

    PubMed

    Beekman, Madeleine; Nieuwenhuis, Bart; Ortiz-Barrientos, Daniel; Evans, Jonathan P

    2016-10-19

    Darwin was the first to recognize that sexual selection is a strong evolutionary force. Exaggerated traits allow same-sex individuals to compete over access to mates and provide a mechanism by which mates are selected. It is relatively easy to appreciate how inter- and intrasexual selection work in organisms with the sensory capabilities to perceive physical or behavioural traits that signal mate quality or mate compatibility, and to assess the relative quality of competitors. It is therefore not surprising that most studies of sexual selection have focused on animals with separate sexes and obvious adaptations that function in the context of reproductive competition. Yet, many sexual organisms are both male and female at the same time, often lack sexual dimorphism and never come into direct contact at mating. How does sexual selection act in such species, and what can we learn from them? Here, we address these questions by exploring the potential for sexual selection in simultaneous hermaphrodites, sperm- and broadcast spawners, plants and fungi. Our review reveals a range of mechanisms of sexual selection, operating primarily after gametes have been released, which are common in many of these groups and also quite possibly in more familiar (internally fertilizing and sexually dimorphic) organisms.This article is part of the themed issue 'Weird sex: the underappreciated diversity of sexual reproduction'. PMID:27619704

  8. Beyond sex allocation: the role of mating systems in sexual selection in parasitoid wasps

    PubMed Central

    Boulton, Rebecca A; Collins, Laura A; Shuker, David M

    2015-01-01

    Despite the diverse array of mating systems and life histories which characterise the parasitic Hymenoptera, sexual selection and sexual conflict in this taxon have been somewhat overlooked. For instance, parasitoid mating systems have typically been studied in terms of how mating structure affects sex allocation. In the past decade, however, some studies have sought to address sexual selection in the parasitoid wasps more explicitly and found that, despite the lack of obvious secondary sexual traits, sexual selection has the potential to shape a range of aspects of parasitoid reproductive behaviour and ecology. Moreover, various characteristics fundamental to the parasitoid way of life may provide innovative new ways to investigate different processes of sexual selection. The overall aim of this review therefore is to re-examine parasitoid biology with sexual selection in mind, for both parasitoid biologists and also researchers interested in sexual selection and the evolution of mating systems more generally. We will consider aspects of particular relevance that have already been well studied including local mating structure, sex allocation and sperm depletion. We go on to review what we already know about sexual selection in the parasitoid wasps and highlight areas which may prove fruitful for further investigation. In particular, sperm depletion and the costs of inbreeding under chromosomal sex determination provide novel opportunities for testing the role of direct and indirect benefits for the evolution of mate choice. PMID:24981603

  9. Interaction between natural and sexual selection during the evolution of mate recognition.

    PubMed

    Blows, Mark W

    2002-06-01

    The interaction between natural and sexual selection is central to many theories of how mate choice and reproductive isolation evolve, but their joint effect on the evolution of mate recognition has not, to my knowledge, been investigated in an evolutionary experiment. Natural and sexual selection were manipulated in interspecific hybrid populations of Drosophila to determine their effects on the evolution of a mate recognition system comprised of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs). The effect of natural selection in isolation indicated that CHCs were costly for males and females to produce. The effect of sexual selection in isolation indicated that females preferred males with a particular CHC composition. However, the interaction between natural and sexual selection had a greater effect on the evolution of the mate recognition system than either process in isolation. When natural and sexual selection were permitted to operate in combination, male CHCs became exaggerated to a greater extent than in the presence of sexual selection alone, and female CHCs evolved against the direction of natural selection. This experiment demonstrated that the interaction between natural and sexual selection is critical in determining the direction and magnitude of the evolutionary response of the mate recognition system.

  10. The contagion indicator hypothesis for parasite-mediated sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Able, D J

    1996-03-01

    Hamilton and Zuk [Hamilton, W. D. & Zuk, M. (1982) Science 218, 384-387] proposed that females choosing mates based on the degree of expression of male characters obtain heritable parasite resistance for their offspring. Alternatively, the "contagion indicator" hypothesis posits that females choose mates based on the degree of expression of male characters because the latter indicate a male's degree of infestation of parasites and thus the risk that choosing females and their offspring will acquire these parasites. I examined whether parasite transmittability affects the probability that parasite intensity and male mating success are negatively correlated in intraspecific studies of parasite-mediated sexual selection. When females risk infection of themselves or their future offspring as a result of mating with a parasitized male, negative relationships between parasite intensity and male mating success are significantly more likely to occur than when females do not risk such infection. The direct benefit to females of avoiding parasitic infection is proposed to lead to the linkage between variable secondary sexual characters and the intensity of transmittable parasites. The direct benefits of avoiding associatively transmittable parasites should be considered in future studies of parasite-mediated sexual selection. PMID:8700912

  11. Sexual selection and the rodent baculum: an intraspecific study in the house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus).

    PubMed

    Ramm, Steven A; Khoo, Lin; Stockley, Paula

    2010-01-01

    The rapid divergence of genitalia is a pervasive trend in animal evolution, thought to be due to the action of sexual selection. To test predictions from the sexual selection hypothesis, we here report data on the allometry, variation, plasticity and condition dependence of baculum morphology in the house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus). We find that that baculum size: (a) exhibits no consistent pattern of allometric scaling (baculum size being in most cases unrelated to body size), (b) exhibits low to moderate levels of phenotypic variation, (c) does not exhibit phenotypic plasticity in response to differences in perceived levels of sexual competition and (d) exhibits limited evidence of condition dependence. These patterns provide only limited evidence in support of the sexual selection hypothesis, and no consistent support for any particular sexual selection mechanism; however, more direct measures of how genital morphology influences male fertilization success are required.

  12. Sexual selection on brain size in shorebirds (Charadriiformes).

    PubMed

    García-Peña, G E; Sol, D; Iwaniuk, A N; Székely, T

    2013-04-01

    Natural selection is considered a major force shaping brain size evolution in vertebrates, whereas the influence of sexual selection remains controversial. On one hand, sexual selection could promote brain enlargement by enhancing cognitive skills needed to compete for mates. On the other hand, sexual selection could favour brain size reduction due to trade-offs between investing in brain tissue and in sexually selected traits. These opposed predictions are mirrored in contradictory relationships between sexual selection proxies and brain size relative to body size. Here, we report a phylogenetic comparative analysis that highlights potential flaws in interpreting relative brain size-mating system associations as effects of sexual selection on brain size in shorebirds (Charadriiformes), a taxonomic group with an outstanding diversity in breeding systems. Considering many ecological effects, relative brain size was not significantly correlated with testis size. In polyandrous species, however, relative brain sizes of males and females were smaller than in monogamous species, and females had smaller brain size than males. Although these findings are consistent with sexual selection reducing brain size, they could also be due to females deserting parental care, which is a common feature of polyandrous species. Furthermore, our analyses suggested that body size evolved faster than brain size, and thus the evolution of body size may be confounding the effect of the mating system on relative brain size. The brain size-mating system association in shorebirds is thus not only due to sexual selection on brain size but rather, to body size evolution and other multiple simultaneous effects.

  13. Children's Disclosures of Sexual Abuse: Learning from Direct Inquiry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaeffer, Paula; Leventhal, John M.; Asnes, Andrea Gottsegen

    2011-01-01

    Objectives: Published protocols for forensic interviewing for child sexual abuse do not include specific questions about what prompted children to tell about sexual abuse or what made them wait to tell. We, therefore, aimed to: (1) add direct inquiry about the process of a child's disclosure to a forensic interview protocol; (2) determine if…

  14. Reducing mutation load through sexual selection on males.

    PubMed

    McGuigan, Katrina; Petfield, Donna; Blows, Mark W

    2011-10-01

    Mutation load is a key parameter in evolutionary theories, but relatively little empirical information exists on the mutation load of populations, or the elimination of this load through selection. We manipulated the opportunity for sexual selection within a mutation accumulation divergence experiment to determine how sexual selection on males affected the accumulation of mutations contributing to sexual and nonsexual fitness. Sexual selection prevented the accumulation of mutations affecting male mating success, the target trait, as well as reducing mutation load on productivity, a nonsexual fitness component. Mutational correlations between mating success and productivity (estimated in the absence of sexual selection) were positive. Sexual selection significantly reduced these fitness component correlations. Male mating success significantly diverged between sexual selection treatments, consistent with the fixation of genetic differences. However, the rank of the treatments was not consistent across assays, indicating that the mutational effects on mating success were conditional on biotic and abiotic context. Our experiment suggests that greater insight into the genetic targets of natural and sexual selection can be gained by focusing on mutational rather than standing genetic variation, and on the behavior of trait variances rather than means.

  15. Darwin's forgotten idea: the social essence of sexual selection.

    PubMed

    West-Eberhard, Mary Jane

    2014-10-01

    Darwinian sexual selection can now be seen in the broader context of social selection, or social competition for resources (under sexual selection, mates or fertilization success). The social-interaction aspects of sexually selected traits give them special evolutionary properties of interest for neurobiological studies of stimulus-response systems because they can account for highly complex systems with little information content other than stimulatory effectiveness per se. But these special properties have a long history of being forgotten when other factors dominate the analysis of male-female interactions, such as the mistaken belief that differential responsiveness to signals produced by competing rivals ("female choice") requires an esthetic sense; that species recognition explains all species-specific sexual signals; and, more recently, that successful signals must reflect good survival genes; or that male-female conflict involves female resistance rather than stimulus evaluation. A "conflict paradox" results when male-female conflict is seen as driven by natural selection, whose costs should often move the hypothesized "sexually antagonistic co-evolution" of sensory-response systems toward the powerful domain of sexually synergistic co-evolution under sexual selection. Special properties of sexual selection apply to other forms of social competition as well, showing the wisdom of Darwin's setting it apart from natural selection as an explanation of many otherwise puzzling and extreme traits.

  16. Sexual selection accelerates signal evolution during speciation in birds

    PubMed Central

    Seddon, Nathalie; Botero, Carlos A.; Tobias, Joseph A.; Dunn, Peter O.; MacGregor, Hannah E. A.; Rubenstein, Dustin R.; Uy, J. Albert C.; Weir, Jason T.; Whittingham, Linda A.; Safran, Rebecca J.

    2013-01-01

    Sexual selection is proposed to be an important driver of diversification in animal systems, yet previous tests of this hypothesis have produced mixed results and the mechanisms involved remain unclear. Here, we use a novel phylogenetic approach to assess the influence of sexual selection on patterns of evolutionary change during 84 recent speciation events across 23 passerine bird families. We show that elevated levels of sexual selection are associated with more rapid phenotypic divergence between related lineages, and that this effect is restricted to male plumage traits proposed to function in mate choice and species recognition. Conversely, we found no evidence that sexual selection promoted divergence in female plumage traits, or in male traits related to foraging and locomotion. These results provide strong evidence that female choice and male–male competition are dominant mechanisms driving divergence during speciation in birds, potentially linking sexual selection to the accelerated evolution of pre-mating reproductive isolation. PMID:23864596

  17. Sexual selection accelerates signal evolution during speciation in birds.

    PubMed

    Seddon, Nathalie; Botero, Carlos A; Tobias, Joseph A; Dunn, Peter O; Macgregor, Hannah E A; Rubenstein, Dustin R; Uy, J Albert C; Weir, Jason T; Whittingham, Linda A; Safran, Rebecca J

    2013-09-01

    Sexual selection is proposed to be an important driver of diversification in animal systems, yet previous tests of this hypothesis have produced mixed results and the mechanisms involved remain unclear. Here, we use a novel phylogenetic approach to assess the influence of sexual selection on patterns of evolutionary change during 84 recent speciation events across 23 passerine bird families. We show that elevated levels of sexual selection are associated with more rapid phenotypic divergence between related lineages, and that this effect is restricted to male plumage traits proposed to function in mate choice and species recognition. Conversely, we found no evidence that sexual selection promoted divergence in female plumage traits, or in male traits related to foraging and locomotion. These results provide strong evidence that female choice and male-male competition are dominant mechanisms driving divergence during speciation in birds, potentially linking sexual selection to the accelerated evolution of pre-mating reproductive isolation.

  18. Role of sexual selection in speciation in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Singh, Akanksha; Singh, Bashisth N

    2014-02-01

    The power of sexual selection to drive changes in the mate recognition system through divergence in sexually selected traits gives it the potential to be a potent force in speciation. To know how sexual selection can bring such type of divergence in the genus Drosophila, comparative studies based on intra- and inter-sexual selection are documented in this review. The studies provide evidence that both mate choice and male-male competition can cause selection of trait and preference which thereby leads to divergence among species. In the case of intrasexual selection, various kinds of signals play significant role in affecting the species mate recognition system and hence causing divergence between the species. However, intrasexual selection can bring the intraspecific divergence at the level of pre- and post-copulatory stage. This has been better explained through Hawaiian Drosophila which has been suggested a wonderful model system in explaining the events of speciation via sexual selection. This is due to their elaborate mating displays and some kind of ethological isolation persisting among them. Similarly, the genetic basis of sexually selected variations can provide yet another path in understanding the speciation genetics via sexual selection more closely.

  19. Understanding the link between sexual selection, sexual conflict and aging using crickets as a model.

    PubMed

    Archer, C Ruth; Hunt, John

    2015-11-01

    Aging evolved because the strength of natural selection declines over the lifetime of most organisms. Weak natural selection late in life allows the accumulation of deleterious mutations and may favor alleles that have positive effects on fitness early in life, but costly pleiotropic effects expressed later on. While this decline in natural selection is central to longstanding evolutionary explanations for aging, a role for sexual selection and sexual conflict in the evolution of lifespan and aging has only been identified recently. Testing how sexual selection and sexual conflict affect lifespan and aging is challenging as it requires quantifying male age-dependent reproductive success. This is difficult in the invertebrate model organisms traditionally used in aging research. Research using crickets (Orthoptera: Gryllidae), where reproductive investment can be easily measured in both sexes, has offered exciting and novel insights into how sexual selection and sexual conflict affect the evolution of aging, both in the laboratory and in the wild. Here we discuss how sexual selection and sexual conflict can be integrated alongside evolutionary and mechanistic theories of aging using crickets as a model. We then highlight the potential for research using crickets to further advance our understanding of lifespan and aging.

  20. Parasites, immunology of hosts, and host sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Møller, A P; Saino, N

    1994-12-01

    Parasite-mediated sexual selection is reviewed with special emphasis on the bird literature. Choosy females may benefit from choosing parasite-free mates if such males provide better parental care, do not transmit contagious parasites, or provide resistance genes to offspring. There is evidence in support of each of these mechanisms. The immunocompetence handicap hypothesis posits that secondary sexual characters reliably reveal the ability of males to resist parasites due to the immunosuppressive effects of testosterone and other biochemicals. Several aspects of these negative feedback mechanisms are supported by laboratory studies, but evidence from free-living animals is almost completely absent. Corticosterone rather than testosterone may potentially mediate the immunocompetence handicap mechanism. A simple version of the immunocompetence handicap is developed suggesting that body condition of male hosts is a sufficient mediator of the handicap mechanism of reliable sexual signaling. Sexual selection appears to be more intense in sexually dichromatic bird species, and comparative studies using pairwise comparisons of closely related taxa reveal that sexually dichromatic bird species have larger spleens, larger bursa of Fabricius, and higher concentrations of leukocytes than monochromatic species. Parasite-mediated sexual selection is proposed to affect parasite biology by increasing (1) the variance-to-mean ratio in parasite abundance, (2) variance in the intensity of natural selection affecting hosts, and (3) speciation rates among parasites exploiting hosts subject to intense sexual selection as compared to those subject to less intense selection. PMID:7799157

  1. Genetic versus census estimators of the opportunity for sexual selection in the wild.

    PubMed

    Dunn, Stacey J; Waits, Lisette P; Byers, John A

    2012-04-01

    Abstract The existence of a direct link between intensity of sexual selection and mating-system type is widely accepted. However, the quantification of sexual selection has proven problematic. Several measures of sexual selection have been proposed, including the operational sex ratio (OSR), the breeding sex ratio (BSR), and the opportunity for sexual selection (I(mates)). For a wild population of pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), we calculated OSR and BSR. We estimated I(mates) from census data on the spatial and temporal distribution of receptive females in rut and from a multigenerational genetic pedigree. OSR and BSR indicated weak sexual selection on males, but census and pedigree I(mates) suggested stronger sexual selection on males than on females. OSR and BSR correlated with census but not pedigree estimates of I(mates), and census I(mates) did not correlate with pedigree estimates. This suggests that the behavioral mating system, as deduced from the spatial and temporal distribution of females, does not predict the genetic mating system of pronghorn. The differences we observed between estimators were primarily due to female mate sampling and choice and to the sex ratio. For most species, behavioral data are not perfectly accurate and therefore will be an insufficient alternative to using multigenerational pedigrees to quantify sexual selection. PMID:22437175

  2. Female stickleback prefer shallow males: Sexual selection on nest microhabitat.

    PubMed

    Bolnick, Daniel I; Shim, Kum Chuan; Brock, Chad D

    2015-06-01

    Sexual selection is most often thought of as acting on organismal traits, such as size or color. However, individuals' habitat use may also affect mating success. Here, we show that, in threespine stickleback, nest depth can be a target of sexual selection. In postglacial lakes in British Columbia, male threespine stickleback nest in a narrow range of depths. Prior studies revealed heritable variation in males' preferred nest microhabitat. We surveyed four natural populations, finding that male stickleback with shallower nests were more successful at breeding. Indeed, nest depth was a much stronger predictor of male mating success than more commonly studied targets of sexual selection in stickleback (size, condition, shape, color, infection status). This selection on nest depth means that variance in fitness changed predictably across microhabitats, altering the opportunity for sexual selection to act on other traits. Accordingly, we show that sexual selection on other male traits is strongest where variance in nesting success is highest (at intermediate nest depths in some lakes). We conclude that males' choice of nesting microhabitat is an especially important target of sexual selection, resulting in fine-scale spatial variation in sexual selection on other traits. PMID:25958935

  3. Sexual selection and the evolution of secondary sexual traits: sex comb evolution in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Snook, Rhonda R; Gidaszewski, Nelly A; Chapman, Tracey; Simmons, Leigh W

    2013-04-01

    Sexual selection can drive rapid evolutionary change in reproductive behaviour, morphology and physiology. This often leads to the evolution of sexual dimorphism, and continued exaggerated expression of dimorphic sexual characteristics, although a variety of other alternative selection scenarios exist. Here, we examined the evolutionary significance of a rapidly evolving, sexually dimorphic trait, sex comb tooth number, in two Drosophila species. The presence of the sex comb in both D. melanogaster and D. pseudoobscura is known to be positively related to mating success, although little is yet known about the sexually selected benefits of sex comb structure. In this study, we used experimental evolution to test the idea that enhancing or eliminating sexual selection would lead to variation in sex comb tooth number. However, the results showed no effect of either enforced monogamy or elevated promiscuity on this trait. We discuss several hypotheses to explain the lack of divergence, focussing on sexually antagonistic coevolution, stabilizing selection via species recognition and nonlinear selection. We discuss how these are important, but relatively ignored, alternatives in understanding the evolution of rapidly evolving sexually dimorphic traits.

  4. Sexual selection is ineffectual or inhibits the purging of deleterious mutations in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Arbuthnott, Devin; Rundle, Howard D

    2012-07-01

    The effects of sexual selection on population mean fitness are unclear and a subject of debate. Recent models propose that, because reproductive success may be condition dependent, much of the genome may be a target of sexual selection. Under this scenario, mutations that reduce health, and thus nonsexual fitness, may also be deleterious with respect to reproductive success, meaning that sexual selection may contribute to the purging of deleterious alleles. We tested this hypothesis directly by subjecting replicate Drosophila melanogaster populations to two treatments that altered the opportunity for sexual selection and then tracked changes in the frequency of six separate deleterious alleles with recessive and visible phenotypic effects. While natural selection acted to decrease the frequency of all six mutations, the addition of sexual selection did not aid in the purging of any of them, and for three of them appears to have hampered it. Courtship and mating have harmful effects in this species and mate choice assays showed that males directed more courtship and mating behavior toward wild-type over mutant females, providing a likely explanation for sexual selection's cost. Whether this cost extends to other mutations (e.g., those lacking visible phenotypic effects) is an important topic for future research.

  5. Sexual selection and the differential effect of polyandry.

    PubMed

    Collet, Julie; Richardson, David S; Worley, Kirsty; Pizzari, Tommaso

    2012-05-29

    In principle, widespread polyandry (female promiscuity) creates potential for sexual selection in males both before and after copulation. However, the way polyandry affects pre- and postcopulatory episodes of sexual selection remains little understood. Resolving this fundamental question has been difficult because it requires extensive information on mating behavior as well as paternity for the whole male population. Here we show that in replicate seminatural groups of red junglefowl, Gallus gallus, polyandry eroded variance in male mating success, which simultaneously weakened the overall intensity of sexual selection but increased the relative strength of postcopulatory episodes. We further illustrate the differential effect of polyandry on pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection by considering the case of male social status, a key determinant of male reproductive success in this species. In low-polyandry groups, however, status was strongly sexually selected before copulation because dominants mated with more females. In high-polyandry groups, sexual selection for status was weakened and largely restricted after copulation because dominants defended paternity by mating repeatedly with the same female. These results reveal polyandry as a potent and dynamic modulator of sexual selection episodes. PMID:22592795

  6. The geography of sex-specific selection, local adaptation, and sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Connallon, Tim

    2015-09-01

    Local adaptation and sexual dimorphism are iconic evolutionary scenarios of intraspecific adaptive differentiation in the face of gene flow. Although theory has traditionally considered local adaptation and sexual dimorphism as conceptually distinct processes, emerging data suggest that they often act concurrently during evolutionary diversification. Here, I merge theories of local adaptation in space and sex-specific adaptation over time, and show that their confluence yields several new predictions about the roles of context-specific selection, migration, and genetic correlations, in adaptive diversification. I specifically revisit two influential predictions from classical studies of clinal adaptation and sexual dimorphism: (1) that local adaptation should decrease with distance from the species' range center and (2) that opposing directional selection between the sexes (sexual antagonism) should inevitably accompany the evolution of sexual dimorphism. I show that both predictions can break down under clinally varying selection. First, the geography of local adaptation can be sexually dimorphic, with locations of relatively high local adaptation differing profoundly between the sexes. Second, the intensity of sexual antagonism varies across the species' range, with subpopulations near the range center representing hotspots for antagonistic selection. The results highlight the context-dependent roles of migration versus sexual conflict as primary constraints to adaptive diversification.

  7. Sexual selection and experimental evolution of chemical signals in Drosophila pseudoobscura.

    PubMed

    Hunt, J; Snook, R R; Mitchell, C; Crudgington, H S; Moore, A J

    2012-11-01

    Our expectations for the evolution of chemical signals in response to sexual selection are uncertain. How are chemical signals elaborated? Does sexual selection result in complexity of the composition or in altered quantities of expression? We addressed this in Drosophila pseudoobscura by examining male and female cuticular hydrocarbons (CHs) after 82 generations of elevated (E) sexual selection or relaxed sexual selection through monogamy (M). The CH profile consisted of 18 different components. We extracted three eigenvectors using principal component analysis that explained 72% of the variation. principal component (PC)1 described the amount of CHs produced, PC2 the trade-off between short- and long-chain CHs and PC3 the trade-off between apparently arbitrary CHs. In both sexes, the amount of CHs produced was greater in flies from the E treatment. PC3 was also higher, indicating that sexual selection also influenced the evolution of CH composition. The sexes differed in all three PCs, indicating substantial sexual dimorphism in this species, although the magnitude of this dimorphism was not increased as a result of our experimental evolution. Collectively, our work provides direct evidence that sexual selection plays an important role in the evolution of CHs in D. pseudoobscura and that both increased quantity and overall composition are targeted.

  8. Sexual selection enables long-term coexistence despite ecological equivalence.

    PubMed

    M'Gonigle, Leithen K; Mazzucco, Rupert; Otto, Sarah P; Dieckmann, Ulf

    2012-04-26

    Empirical data indicate that sexual preferences are critical for maintaining species boundaries, yet theoretical work has suggested that, on their own, they can have only a minimal role in maintaining biodiversity. This is because long-term coexistence within overlapping ranges is thought to be unlikely in the absence of ecological differentiation. Here we challenge this widely held view by generalizing a standard model of sexual selection to include two ubiquitous features of populations with sexual selection: spatial variation in local carrying capacity, and mate-search costs in females. We show that, when these two features are combined, sexual preferences can single-handedly maintain coexistence, even when spatial variation in local carrying capacity is so slight that it might go unnoticed empirically. This theoretical study demonstrates that sexual selection alone can promote the long-term coexistence of ecologically equivalent species with overlapping ranges, and it thus provides a novel explanation for the maintenance of species diversity. PMID:22466286

  9. Nonlinear and correlational sexual selection on 'honest' female ornamentation.

    PubMed Central

    LeBas, Natasha R; Hockham, Leon R; Ritchie, Michael G

    2003-01-01

    Female ornamentation has long been overlooked because of the greater prevalence of elaborate displays in males. However, the circumstances under which females would benefit from honestly signalling their quality are limited. Females are not expected to invest in ornamentation unless the fitness benefits of the ornament exceed those derived from investing the resources directly into offspring. It has been proposed that when females gain direct benefits from mating, females may instead be selected for ornamentation that deceives males about their reproductive state. In the empidid dance flies, males frequently provide nuptial gifts and it is usually only the female that is ornamented. Female traits in empidids, such as abdominal sacs and enlarged pinnate leg scales, have been proposed to 'deceive' males into matings by disguising egg maturity. We quantified sexual selection in the dance fly Rhamphomyia tarsata and found escalating, quadratic selection on pinnate scales and that pinnate scales honestly reflect female fecundity. Mated females had a larger total number and more mature eggs than unmated females, highlighting a potential benefit rather than a cost of male mate choice. We also show correlational selection on female pinnate scales and fecundity. Correlational selection, equivalent investment patterns or increased nutrition from nuptial gifts may all maintain honesty in female ornamentation. PMID:14561280

  10. Swingin' in the rain: condition dependence and sexual selection in a capricious world.

    PubMed

    Cockburn, Andrew; Osmond, Helen L; Double, Michael C

    2008-03-22

    Signals used in mate attraction are predicted to be highly condition dependent, and thus should be sensitive to environmental contributions to condition. However, the effects of temporal fluctuations in the environment on sexual selection in long-lived animals have been largely ignored. Female superb fairy-wrens, Malurus cyaneus, use the time that males moult into nuptial plumage prior to the onset of the breeding season to distinguish between the extra-group sires that dominate paternity. Although moult varies predictably with age, and shows marked differences between males, the phenotypic distribution also changes radically with climate; so after dry summers few males can attempt early moult. We use the recently introduced de-lifing technique to examine sexual selection gradients over 15 years of selection. Overall, there was strong evidence of directional sexual selection for early moult. However, sexual selection was much stronger when the conditions were favourable (rainfall was high), and selection was undetectable in some years. The contribution of early moulting males to population growth increased when many males moulted early, decreased when early moulting males suffered disproportionate mortality and decreased when females lacked subordinate helpers, forcing them to cede paternity to their social partner. These data suggest that short-term and laboratory studies of mate choice and sexual selection may misrepresent or underestimate the complexity of the sexual selection landscape. PMID:18211882

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26378218

  13. 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. PMID:26378218

  14. Sexual selection in Drosophila silvestris of Hawaii.

    PubMed

    Spiess, E B; Carson, H L

    1981-05-01

    Previous discovery that Drosophila melanogaster females tend to discriminate in mating against phenotypes of earliest courting males prompted a study of the Hawaiian species D. silvestris. Tibial bristle variation in males from opposite coasts of the island of Hawaii functions in courtship, and the possibility that females can distinguish males differing in the tibial trait is explored. Mating tests, designed to give each female and male an alternative choice between two individuals of opposite sex every 30 min, consisted of intrapopulation tests with a strain derived from an eastern (Kilauea) population and interpopulation tests between that strain and one derived from a western (Kahuku) population. Males were given initial combat tests, with "winners" then used in mating (except one test with "loser" males). Matings (52-55%) were classified into categories according to the readiness of the female to mate and sequence of courtship. Low-threshold females (accepting the first male after less than four courtship bouts) occurred at 30-35%. Among intrapopulational tests, females (with higher threshold) accepted first- and second-courting males about equally (25:36, respectively), but for male success in mating, the winning of initial intermale combats and the uniformity of courtship effort tended to be important criteria. Among interpopulation tests, homogamic matings were nearly equal (25% each), but heterogamic matings contrasted in that Kilauea females were reluctant to mate with Kahuku males (14%), while reciprocal matings occurred most frequently (34%). Females favored males second to court, particularly when a Kilauea male (with extra tibial bristles) was the second male. Thus a morphological feature likely to be influential in mating is demonstrated to be so; and sexual selection is operating via male-male combat plus discrimination in favor of particular opposite-sex individuals in this species.

  15. Sexual selection and conflict as engines of ecological diversification.

    PubMed

    Bonduriansky, Russell

    2011-12-01

    Ecological diversification presents an enduring puzzle: how do novel ecological strategies evolve in organisms that are already adapted to their ecological niche? Most attempts to answer this question posit a primary role for genetic drift, which could carry populations through or around fitness "valleys" representing maladaptive intermediate phenotypes between alternative niches. Sexual selection and conflict are thought to play an ancillary role by initiating reproductive isolation and thereby facilitating divergence in ecological traits through genetic drift or local adaptation. Here, I synthesize theory and evidence suggesting that sexual selection and conflict could play a more central role in the evolution and diversification of ecological strategies through the co-optation of sexual traits for viability-related functions. This hypothesis rests on three main premises, all of which are supported by theory and consistent with the available evidence. First, sexual selection and conflict often act at cross-purposes to viability selection, thereby displacing populations from the local viability optimum. Second, sexual traits can serve as preadaptations for novel viability-related functions. Third, ancestrally sex-limited sexual traits can be transferred between sexes. Consequently, by allowing populations to explore a broad phenotypic space around the current viability optimum, sexual selection and conflict could act as powerful drivers of ecological adaptation and diversification.

  16. Male-specific genotype by environment interactions influence viability selection acting on a sexually selected inversion system in the seaweed fly, Coelopa frigida.

    PubMed

    Edward, Dominic A; Gilburn, André S

    2013-01-01

    In the seaweed fly, Coelopa frigida, a large chromosomal inversion system is affected by sexual selection and viability selection. However, our understanding of the interaction between these two selective forces is currently limited as research has focused upon a limited range of environments. We allowed C. frigida larvae to develop in two different algae, Fucus and Laminaria, and then measured viability and body size for each inversion genotype. Significant male-specific genotype-by-environment interactions influenced viability and body size. For males developing in Laminaria, the direction of viability selection acts similarly on the inversion system as the direction of sexual selection. In contrast, for males developing in Fucus, viability selection opposes sexual selection. These results demonstrate that through considering viability selection in different environments, the costs and benefits associated with sexual selection can be found to vary.

  17. Sex-ratio control erodes sexual selection, revealing evolutionary feedback from adaptive plasticity.

    PubMed

    Fawcett, Tim W; Kuijper, Bram; Weissing, Franz J; Pen, Ido

    2011-09-20

    Female choice is a powerful selective force, driving the elaboration of conspicuous male ornaments. This process of sexual selection has profound implications for many life-history decisions, including sex allocation. For example, females with attractive partners should produce more sons, because these sons will inherit their father's attractiveness and enjoy high mating success, thereby yielding greater fitness returns than daughters. However, previous research has overlooked the fact that there is a reciprocal feedback from life-history strategies to sexual selection. Here, using a simple mathematical model, we show that if mothers adaptively control offspring sex in relation to their partner's attractiveness, sexual selection is weakened and male ornamentation declines. This weakening occurs because the ability to determine offspring sex reduces the fitness difference between females with attractive and unattractive partners. We use individual-based, evolutionary simulations to show that this result holds under more biologically realistic conditions. Sexual selection and sex allocation thus interact in a dynamic fashion: The evolution of conspicuous male ornaments favors sex-ratio adjustment, but this conditional strategy then undermines the very same process that generated it, eroding sexual selection. We predict that, all else being equal, the most elaborate sexual displays should be seen in species with little or no control over offspring sex. The feedback process we have described points to a more general evolutionary principle, in which a conditional strategy weakens directional selection on another trait by reducing fitness differences.

  18. Testing for a genetic response to sexual selection in a wild Drosophila population.

    PubMed

    Gosden, T P; Thomson, J R; Blows, M W; Schaul, A; Chenoweth, S F

    2016-06-01

    In accordance with the consensus that sexual selection is responsible for the rapid evolution of display traits on macroevolutionary scales, microevolutionary studies suggest sexual selection is a widespread and often strong form of directional selection in nature. However, empirical evidence for the contemporary evolution of sexually selected traits via sexual rather than natural selection remains weak. In this study, we used a novel application of quantitative genetic breeding designs to test for a genetic response to sexual selection on eight chemical display traits from a field population of the fly, Drosophila serrata. Using our quantitative genetic approach, we were able to detect a genetically based difference in means between groups of males descended from fathers who had either successfully sired offspring or were randomly collected from the same wild population for one of these display traits, the diene (Z,Z)-5,9-C27 : 2 . Our experimental results, in combination with previous laboratory studies on this system, suggest that both natural and sexual selection may be influencing the evolutionary trajectories of these traits in nature, limiting the capacity for a contemporary evolutionary response.

  19. Sexual Selection on male cuticular hydrocarbons via male-male competition and female choice.

    PubMed

    Lane, S M; Dickinson, A W; Tregenza, T; House, C M

    2016-07-01

    Traditional views of sexual selection assumed that male-male competition and female mate choice work in harmony, selecting upon the same traits in the same direction. However, we now know that this is not always the case and that these two mechanisms often impose conflicting selection on male sexual traits. Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) have been shown to be linked to both social dominance and male attractiveness in several insect species. However, although several studies have estimated the strength and form of sexual selection imposed on male CHCs by female mate choice, none have established whether these chemical traits are also subject to sexual selection via male-male competition. Using a multivariate selection analysis, we estimate and compare sexual selection exerted by male-male competition and female mate choice on male CHC composition in the broad-horned flour beetle Gnatocerus cornutus. We show that male-male competition exerts strong linear selection on both overall CHC abundance and body size in males, while female mate choice exerts a mixture of linear and nonlinear selection, targeting not just the overall amount of CHCs expressed but the relative abundance of specific hydrocarbons as well. We discuss the potential implications of this antagonistic selection with regard to male reproductive success.

  20. Sexual Selection on male cuticular hydrocarbons via male-male competition and female choice.

    PubMed

    Lane, S M; Dickinson, A W; Tregenza, T; House, C M

    2016-07-01

    Traditional views of sexual selection assumed that male-male competition and female mate choice work in harmony, selecting upon the same traits in the same direction. However, we now know that this is not always the case and that these two mechanisms often impose conflicting selection on male sexual traits. Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) have been shown to be linked to both social dominance and male attractiveness in several insect species. However, although several studies have estimated the strength and form of sexual selection imposed on male CHCs by female mate choice, none have established whether these chemical traits are also subject to sexual selection via male-male competition. Using a multivariate selection analysis, we estimate and compare sexual selection exerted by male-male competition and female mate choice on male CHC composition in the broad-horned flour beetle Gnatocerus cornutus. We show that male-male competition exerts strong linear selection on both overall CHC abundance and body size in males, while female mate choice exerts a mixture of linear and nonlinear selection, targeting not just the overall amount of CHCs expressed but the relative abundance of specific hydrocarbons as well. We discuss the potential implications of this antagonistic selection with regard to male reproductive success. PMID:27037514

  1. Darwin's explanation of races by means of sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Millstein, Roberta L

    2012-09-01

    In Darwin's Sacred Cause, Adrian Desmond and James Moore contend that "Darwin would put his utmost into sexual selection because the subject intrigued him, no doubt, but also for a deeper reason: the theory vindicated his lifelong commitment to human brotherhood" (2009: p. 360). Without questioning Desmond and Moore's evidence, I will raise some puzzles for their view. I will show that attention to the structure of Darwin's arguments in the Descent of Man shows that they are far from straightforward. As Desmond and Moore note, Darwin seems to have intended sexual selection in non-human animals to serve as evidence for sexual selection in humans. However, Darwin's account of sexual selection in humans was different from the canonical cases that Darwin described at great length. If explaining the origin of human races was the main reason for introducing sexual selection, and if sexual selection was a key piece of Darwin's anti-slavery arguments, then it is puzzling why Darwin would have spent so much time discussing cases that did not really support his argument for the origin of human races, and it is also puzzling that his argument for the origin of human races would be so (atypically) poor.

  2. Differences in male coloration are predicted by divergent sexual selection between populations of a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Selz, O M; Thommen, R; Pierotti, M E R; Anaya-Rojas, J M; Seehausen, O

    2016-05-11

    Female mating preferences can influence both intraspecific sexual selection and interspecific reproductive isolation, and have therefore been proposed to play a central role in speciation. Here, we investigate experimentally in the African cichlid fish Pundamilia nyererei if differences in male coloration between three para-allopatric populations (i.e. island populations with gene flow) of P. nyererei are predicted by differences in sexual selection by female mate choice between populations. Second, we investigate if female mating preferences are based on the same components of male coloration and go in the same direction when females choose among males of their own population, their own and other conspecific populations and a closely related para-allopatric sister-species, P. igneopinnis Mate-choice experiments revealed that females of the three populations mated species-assortatively, that populations varied in their extent of population-assortative mating and that females chose among males of their own population based on different male colours. Females of different populations exerted directional intrapopulation sexual selection on different male colours, and these differences corresponded in two of the populations to the observed differences in male coloration between the populations. Our results suggest that differences in male coloration between populations of P. nyererei can be explained by divergent sexual selection and that population-assortative mating may directly result from intrapopulation sexual selection. PMID:27147097

  3. [Copyright, Jury Selection, and Sexual Harassment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolowiec, Jack, Ed.

    1994-01-01

    "Update on the Courts," a resource for civic education, helps teach secondary school students about today's important Supreme Court and other judicial decisions, the legal issues involved, and the impact of the decisions on the students' lives. This issue features a lesson on copyright laws, a case overview and lesson on sexual harassment, and an…

  4. Sexually Transmitted Diseases: A Selective, Annotated Bibliography.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., New York, NY. Education Dept.

    This document contains a reference sheet and an annotated bibliography concerned with sexually transmitted diseases (STD). The reference sheet provides a brief, accurate overview of STDs which includes both statistical and background information. The bibliography contains 83 entries, listed alphabetically, that deal with STDs. Books and articles…

  5. Rapid adaptation to a novel host in a seed beetle (Callosobruchus maculatus): the role of sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Fricke, Claudia; Arnqvist, Göran

    2007-02-01

    Rapid diversification is common among herbivorous insects and is often the result of host shifts, leading to the exploitation of novel food sources. This, in turn, is associated with adaptive evolution of female oviposition behavior and larval feeding biology. Although natural selection is the typical driver of such adaptation, the role of sexual selection is less clear. In theory, sexual selection can either accelerate or impede adaptation. To assess the independent effects of natural and sexual selection on the rate of adaptation, we performed a laboratory natural selection experiment in a herbivorous bruchid beetle (Callosobruchus maculatus). We established replicated selection lines where we varied natural (food type) and sexual (mating system) selection in a 2 x 2 orthogonal design, and propagated our lines for 35 generations. In half of the lines, we induced a host shift whereas the other half was kept on the ancestral host. We experimentally enforced monogamy in half of the lines, whereas the other half remained polygamous. The beetles rapidly adapted to the novel host, which primarily involved increased host acceptance by females and an accelerated rate of larval development. We also found that our mating system treatment affected the rate of adaptation, but that this effect was contingent upon food type. As beetles adapted to the novel host, sexual selection reinforced natural selection whereas populations residing close to their adaptive peak (i.e., those using their ancestral host) exhibited higher fitness in the absence of sexual selection. We discuss our findings in light of current sexual selection theory and suggest that the net evolutionary effect of reproductive competition may critically depend on natural selection. Sexual selection may commonly accelerate adaptation under directional natural selection whereas sexual selection, and the associated load brought by sexual conflict, may tend to depress population fitness under stabilizing natural

  6. Sexual selection drives speciation in an Amazonian frog

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boul, K.E.; Funk, W.C.; Darst, C.R.; Cannatella, D.C.; Ryan, M.J.

    2007-01-01

    One proposed mechanism of speciation is divergent sexual selection, whereby divergence in female preferences and male signals results in behavioural isolation. Despite the appeal of this hypothesis, evidence for it remains inconclusive. Here, we present several lines of evidence that sexual selection is driving behavioural isolation and speciation among populations of an Amazonian frog (Physalaemus petersi). First, sexual selection has promoted divergence in male mating calls and female preferences for calls between neighbouring populations, resulting in strong behavioural isolation. Second, phylogenetic analysis indicates that populations have become fixed for alternative call types several times throughout the species' range, and coalescent analysis rejects genetic drift as a cause for this pattern, suggesting that this divergence is due to selection. Finally, gene flow estimated with microsatellite loci is an average of 30 times lower between populations with different call types than between populations separated by a similar geographical distance with the same call type, demonstrating genetic divergence and incipient speciation. Taken together, these data provide strong evidence that sexual selection is driving behavioural isolation and speciation, supporting sexual selection as a cause for speciation in the wild. ?? 2006 The Royal Society.

  7. Multivariate selection drives concordant patterns of pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection in a livebearing fish.

    PubMed

    Devigili, Alessandro; Evans, Jonathan P; Di Nisio, Andrea; Pilastro, Andrea

    2015-09-15

    In many species, females mate with multiple partners, meaning that sexual selection on male traits operates across a spectrum that encompasses the competition for mates (that is, before mating) and fertilizations (after mating). Despite being inextricably linked, pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection are typically studied independently, and we know almost nothing about how sexual selection operates across this divide. Here we bridge this knowledge gap using the livebearing fish Poecilia reticulata. We show that both selective episodes, as well as their covariance, explain a significant component of variance in male reproductive fitness. Moreover, linear and nonlinear selection simultaneously act on pre- and postcopulatory traits, and interact to generate multiple phenotypes with similar fitness.

  8. Positive allometry and the prehistory of sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Tomkins, Joseph L; LeBas, Natasha R; Witton, Mark P; Martill, David M; Humphries, Stuart

    2010-08-01

    The function of the exaggerated structures that adorn many fossil vertebrates remains largely unresolved. One recurrent hypothesis is that these elaborated traits had a role in thermoregulation. This orthodoxy persists despite the observation that traits exaggerated to the point of impracticality in extant organisms are almost invariably sexually selected. We use allometric scaling to investigate the role of sexual selection and thermoregulation in the evolution of exaggerated traits of the crested pterosaur Pteranodon longiceps and the sail-backed eupelycosaurs Dimetrodon and Edaphosaurus. The extraordinarily steep positive allometry of the head crest of Pteranodon rules out all of the current hypotheses for this trait's main function other than sexual signaling. We also find interspecific patterns of allometry and sexual dimorphism in the sails of Dimetrodon and patterns of elaboration in Edaphosaurus consistent with a sexually selected function. Furthermore, small ancestral, sail-backed pelycosaurs would have been too small to need adaptations to thermoregulation. Our results question the popular view that the elaborated structures of these fossil species evolved as thermoregulatory organs and provide evidence in support of the hypothesis that Pteranodon crests and eupelycosaur sails are among the earliest and most extreme examples of elaborate sexual signals in the evolution of terrestrial vertebrates.

  9. Sexual selection affects local extinction and turnover in bird communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doherty, P.F.; Sorci, G.; Royle, J. Andrew; Hines, J.E.; Nichols, J.D.; Boulinier, T.

    2003-01-01

    Predicting extinction risks has become a central goal for conservation and evolutionary biologists interested in population and community dynamics. Several factors have been put forward to explain risks of extinction, including ecological and life history characteristics of individuals. For instance, factors that affect the balance between natality and mortality can have profound effects on population persistence. Sexual selection has been identified as one such factor. Populations under strong sexual selection experience a number of costs ranging from increased predation and parasitism to enhanced sensitivity to environmental and demographic stochasticity. These findings have led to the prediction that local extinction rates should be higher for species/populations with intense sexual selection. We tested this prediction by analyzing the dynamics of natural bird communities at a continental scale over a period of 21 years (1975-1996), using relevant statistical tools. In agreement with the theoretical prediction, we found that sexual selection increased risks of local extinction (dichromatic birds had on average a 23% higher local extinction rate than monochromatic species). However, despite higher local extinction probabilities, the number of dichromatic species did not decrease over the period considered in this study. This pattern was caused by higher local turnover rates of dichromatic species, resulting in relatively stable communities for both groups of species. Our results suggest that these communities function as metacommunities, with frequent local extinctions followed by colonization. Anthropogenic factors impeding dispersal might therefore have a significant impact on the global persistence of sexually selected species.

  10. SIGNALING EFFICACY DRIVES THE EVOLUTION OF LARGER SEXUAL ORNAMENTS BY SEXUAL SELECTION

    PubMed Central

    Tazzyman, Samuel J; Iwasa, Yoh; Pomiankowski, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Why are there so few small secondary sexual characters? Theoretical models predict that sexual selection should lead to reduction as often as exaggeration, and yet we mainly associate secondary sexual ornaments with exaggerated features such as the peacock's tail. We review the literature on mate choice experiments for evidence of reduced sexual traits. This shows that reduced ornamentation is effectively impossible in certain types of ornamental traits (behavioral, pheromonal, or color-based traits, and morphological ornaments for which the natural selection optimum is no trait), but that there are many examples of morphological traits that would permit reduction. Yet small sexual traits are very rarely seen. We analyze a simple mathematical model of Fisher's runaway process (the null model for sexual selection). Our analysis shows that the imbalance cannot be wholly explained by larger ornaments being less costly than smaller ornaments, nor by preferences for larger ornaments being less costly than preferences for smaller ornaments. Instead, we suggest that asymmetry in signaling efficacy limits runaway to trait exaggeration. PMID:24099137

  11. Sexual selection and genetic colour polymorphisms in animals.

    PubMed

    Wellenreuther, Maren; Svensson, Erik I; Hansson, Bengt

    2014-11-01

    Genetic colour polymorphisms are widespread across animals and often subjected to complex selection regimes. Traditionally, colour morphs were used as simple visual markers to measure allele frequency changes in nature, selection, population divergence and speciation. With advances in sequencing technology and analysis methods, several model systems are emerging where the molecular targets of selection are being described. Here, we discuss recent studies on the genetics of sexually selected colour polymorphisms, aiming at (i) reviewing the evidence of sexual selection on colour polymorphisms, (ii) highlighting the genetic architecture, molecular and developmental basis underlying phenotypic colour diversification and (iii) discuss how the maintenance of such polymorphisms might be facilitated or constrained by these. Studies of the genetic architecture of colour polymorphism point towards the importance of tight clustering of colour loci with other trait loci, such as in the case of inversions and supergene structures. Other interesting findings include linkage between colour loci and mate preferences or sex determination, and the role of introgression and regulatory variation in fuelling polymorphisms. We highlight that more studies are needed that explicitly integrate fitness consequences of sexual selection on colour with the underlying molecular targets of colour to gain insights into the evolutionary consequences of sexual selection on polymorphism maintenance.

  12. Environmental origins of sexually selected variation and a critique of the fluctuating asymmetry-sexual selection hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Polak, Michal; Starmer, William T

    2005-03-01

    Identifying sources of phenotypic variability in secondary sexual traits is critical for understanding their signaling properties, role in sexual selection, and for predicting their evolutionary dynamics. The present study tests for the effects of genotype, developmental temperature, and their interaction, on size and fluctuating asymmetry of the male sex comb, a secondary sexual character, in Drosophila bipectinata Duda. Both the size and symmetry of elements of the sex comb have been shown previously to be under sexual selection in a natural population in northeastern Australia. Two independent reciprocal crosses were conducted at 25 degrees and 29 degrees C between genetic lines extracted from this population that differed in the size of the first (TC1) and third (TC3) comb segments. These temperatures are within the documented range experienced by the species in nature. Additive and dominance genetic effects were detected for TC1, whereas additive genetic, and Y-chromosomal effects were detected for TC3. TC2 and TC3 decreased sharply with increasing temperature, by 10% and 22%, respectively. In contrast, positional fluctuating asymmetry (PFA) significantly increased with temperature, by up to 38%. The results (1) document an important source of environmental variance in a sexual ornament expected to reduce trait heritability in field populations, and thus act to attenuate response to sexual selection, (2) suggest that variation in ornament size reflects differences in male condition; and (3) support the general hypothesis that asymmetry in a sexual ornament is indicative of developmental instability arising from environmental stress. The "environmental heterogeneity" (EH) hypothesis is proposed, and supportive evidence for it presented, to explain negative size-FA correlations in natural populations. Data and theory challenge the use of negative size-FA correlations observed in nature to support the FA-sexual selection hypothesis, which posits that such

  13. Sexual selection, multiple male ornaments, and age- and condition-dependent signaling in the common yellowthroat.

    PubMed

    Freeman-Gallant, Corey R; Taff, Conor C; Morin, Douglas F; Dunn, Peter O; Whittingham, Linda A; Tsang, Susan M

    2010-04-01

    In many animals, sexual selection has resulted in complex signaling systems in which males advertise aspects of their phenotypic or genetic quality through elaborate ornamentation and display behaviors. Different ornaments might convey different information or be directed at different receivers, but they might also be redundant signals of quality that function reliably at different times (ages) or in different contexts. We explored sexual selection and age- and condition-dependent signaling in the common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), a sexually dichromatic warbler with two prominent plumage ornaments--a melanin-based, black facial "mask" and carotenoid-based, UV-yellow "bib." In a three-year study, variance among males in the number of social (M(w)) and extra-pair (M(e)) mates generated strong sexual selection on mask and bib attributes. Some traits (mask size, bib yellow brightness) were correlated with male age and did not experience selection beyond age-related increases in M(w) and M(e). Other traits showed age-specific (bib size) or age-reversed (ultraviolet brightness) patterns of selection that paralleled changes in the information-content of each ornament. The components of male fitness generating selection in young versus old males were distinct, reflecting different sources of variation in male fertilization success. Age- and context-dependent changes in the strength, direction, and target of selection may help explain the maintenance of multiple ornaments in this and other species.

  14. Sexual selection of male parental care in giant water bugs.

    PubMed

    Ohba, Shin-Ya; Okuda, Noboru; Kudo, Shin-Ichi

    2016-05-01

    Paternal care can be maintained under sexual selection, if it helps in attracting more mates. We tested the hypothesis in two giant water bug species, Appasus major and Appasus japonicus, that male parental care is sexually selected through female preference for caring males. Females were given an opportunity to choose between two males. In the first test of female mate choice, one male carried eggs on its back, while the other did not. The egg status was switched between these two males in the second test. The experiment revealed that females of both species preferred caring males (i.e. egg-bearing) to non-caring males. Nonetheless, the female mate preference for egg-bearing males was stronger in A. major than in A. japonicus. Our results suggest that sexual selection plays an important role in maintaining elaborate paternal care in giant water bugs, but the importance of egg-bearing by males in female mate choice varies among species.

  15. Darwin and sexual selection: One hundred years of misunderstanding.

    PubMed

    Veuille, Michel

    2010-02-01

    Darwin's book on the Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871) is often viewed as the continuation of The Origin of Species published 12 years earlier (1859), both because of the implicit parallelism between natural selection and sexual selection, and because Darwin himself presents the book as developing a subject (man) which he intentionally omitted in the Origin. But the Descent can also be viewed as the continuation of his book on Variation published three years earlier (1868). Firstly because Darwin's hypothesis of pangenesis links the selection process to the origin of variation through use and disuse, an idea underlying his speculations on the origin of moral sense in humans. Second because like the action of the horticulturist on his domestic crops, sexual selection exerted by one sex on the other sex can develop fancy traits that are not easily accounted for by their utility to the selected organism itself, such as artistic taste, pride, courage, and the morphological differences between human populations. These traits are difficult to reconcile with pangenesis. They add up to other contradictions of the book possibly resulting from Darwin's erroneous inference about the mechanism of inheritance, like those on the determination of sex-ratio, or the confusion between individual adaptation and the advantage to the species. These inconsistencies inaugurate a weakening of the Darwinian message, which will last 50 years after his death. They contributed to the neglect of sexual selection for a century. Darwin however maintained a logical distinction between evolutionary mechanisms and hereditary mechanisms, and an epistemological distinction between evolutionary theory and Pangenesis hypothesis. In the modern context of Mendelian genetics, Darwin's sexual selection retrospectively appears as luminous an idea in its pure principle as natural selection, even though the mechanisms governing the evolution of sexual choice in animals remain largely

  16. Darwin and sexual selection: One hundred years of misunderstanding.

    PubMed

    Veuille, Michel

    2010-02-01

    Darwin's book on the Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871) is often viewed as the continuation of The Origin of Species published 12 years earlier (1859), both because of the implicit parallelism between natural selection and sexual selection, and because Darwin himself presents the book as developing a subject (man) which he intentionally omitted in the Origin. But the Descent can also be viewed as the continuation of his book on Variation published three years earlier (1868). Firstly because Darwin's hypothesis of pangenesis links the selection process to the origin of variation through use and disuse, an idea underlying his speculations on the origin of moral sense in humans. Second because like the action of the horticulturist on his domestic crops, sexual selection exerted by one sex on the other sex can develop fancy traits that are not easily accounted for by their utility to the selected organism itself, such as artistic taste, pride, courage, and the morphological differences between human populations. These traits are difficult to reconcile with pangenesis. They add up to other contradictions of the book possibly resulting from Darwin's erroneous inference about the mechanism of inheritance, like those on the determination of sex-ratio, or the confusion between individual adaptation and the advantage to the species. These inconsistencies inaugurate a weakening of the Darwinian message, which will last 50 years after his death. They contributed to the neglect of sexual selection for a century. Darwin however maintained a logical distinction between evolutionary mechanisms and hereditary mechanisms, and an epistemological distinction between evolutionary theory and Pangenesis hypothesis. In the modern context of Mendelian genetics, Darwin's sexual selection retrospectively appears as luminous an idea in its pure principle as natural selection, even though the mechanisms governing the evolution of sexual choice in animals remain largely

  17. The androgen receptor and prostate cancer: a role for sexual selection and sexual conflict?

    PubMed

    Summers, Kyle; Crespi, Bernard

    2008-01-01

    We propose and evaluate the hypothesis that the CAG repeat region of the androgen receptor represents a locus of antagonistic pleiotropy in the context of sexual selection and sexual conflict. Short repeats are associated with increased transactivation of the androgen receptor at the molecular level, and increased fertility at the phenotypic level. However, short repeats are also associated with increased risk of prostate cancer, and with more aggressive forms of the disease. The somatic evolution of cancer cell lineages also shows a repeated pattern of shortening of the CAG repeat in association with cancer progression, apparently as a result of positive selection among cell lineages. We further postulate that other genes associated with prostate cancer are likely to mediate antagonistic pleiotropy in the context of sexual selection and sexual conflict. A key prediction of this hypothesis is that the genes mediating antagonistic pleiotropy will show historical evidence of positive selection, particularly in the context of sexual conflict. Previous research on the molecular evolution of specific genes associated with prostate cancer supports this prediction, and we suggest further critical tests of the role for genomic conflicts and tradeoffs in the evolution of cancer risk.

  18. Balancing sexual selection through opposing mate choice and male competition

    PubMed Central

    Moore, A. J.; Moore, P. J.

    1999-01-01

    Male–male competition and female mate choice act contemporaneously in the cockroach Nauphoeta cinerea and the social pheromone of males influences the outcome of both forms of sexual selection. We therefore examined the joint and separate effects of male–male competition and female mate choice to determine if the selective optima for the pheromone were the same or different. Dominant males in a newly established hierarchy mated more frequently, but not exclusively. Manipulations of the multi-component social pheromone produced by males of N. cinerea showed that both long- and close-range attraction of females by males were influenced by the quantity and composition of the pheromone. The most attractive composition, however, differed from that which was most likely to confer high status to males. Since the outcome of male–male competition can conflict with mating preferences exhibited by females, there is balancing sexual selection on the social pheromone of N. cinerea. Such balancing selection might act to maintain genetic variation in sexually selected traits. We suggest that the different forms of sexual selection conflict in N. cinerea because females prefer a blend different to that which is most effective in male–male competition in order to avoid mating with overly aggressive males.

  19. Post-copulatory sexual selection and sexual conflict in the evolution of male pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Paczolt, Kimberly A; Jones, Adam G

    2010-03-18

    Male pregnancy in seahorses, pipefishes and sea dragons (family Syngnathidae) represents a striking reproductive adaptation that has shaped the evolution of behaviour and morphology in this group of fishes. In many syngnathid species, males brood their offspring in a specialized pouch, which presumably evolved to facilitate male parental care. However, an unexplored possibility is that brood pouch evolution was partly shaped by parent-offspring or sexual conflict, processes that would result in trade-offs between current and future pregnancies. Here we report a controlled breeding experiment using the sexually dimorphic Gulf pipefish, Syngnathus scovelli, to test for post-copulatory sexual selection within broods and for trade-offs between successive male pregnancies as functions of female attractiveness. Offspring survivorship within a pregnancy was affected by the size of a male's mate, the number of eggs transferred and the male's sexual responsiveness. Significantly, we also found that embryo survivorship in a current pregnancy was negatively related to survivorship in the prior pregnancy, clearly demonstrating fitness trade-offs between broods. Overall, our data indicate that post-copulatory sexual selection and sexual conflict occur in Gulf pipefishes. The conflict seems to be mediated by a strategy of cryptic choice in which males increase rates of offspring abortion in pregnancies from unattractive mothers to retain resources for future reproductive opportunities. Hence, the male brood pouch of syngnathid fishes, which nurtures offspring, also seems to have an important role as an arbiter of conflict between the sexes.

  20. Selection for alternative male reproductive tactics alters intralocus sexual conflict.

    PubMed

    Plesnar Bielak, Agata; Skrzynecka, Anna M; Miler, Krzysztof; Radwan, Jacek

    2014-07-01

    Intralocus sexual conflict (IASC) arises when fitness optima for a shared trait differ between the sexes; such conflict may help maintain genetic variation within populations. Sex-limited expression of sexually antagonistic traits may help resolve the conflict, but the extent of this resolution remains a subject of debate. In species with alternative male reproductive tactics, unresolved conflict should manifest more in a more sexually dimorphic male phenotype. We tested this prediction in the bulb mite (Rhizoglyphus robini), a species in which aggressive fighters coexist with benign scramblers. To do this, we established replicated lines in which we increased the proportion of each of the alternative male morphs using artificial selection. After approximately 40 generations, the proportion of fighters and scramblers stabilized at >0.9 in fighter- and scrambler-selected lines, respectively. We then measured several female fitness components. As predicted by IASC theory, female fecundity and longevity were lower in lines selected for fighters and higher in lines selected for scramblers. This finding indicates that sexually selected phenotypes are associated with an ontogenetic conflict that is not easily resolved. Furthermore, we suggest that IASC may be an important mechanism contributing to the maintenance of genetic variation in the expression of alternative reproductive tactics.

  1. Disentangling precopulatory and postcopulatory sexual selection in polyandrous species.

    PubMed

    Pélissié, Benjamin; Jarne, Philippe; Sarda, Violette; David, Patrice

    2014-05-01

    Sexual selection operates on a sequence of events, from mating to offspring production. Which stages in this sequence undergo stronger selection, especially the relative importance of pre- versus postcopulatory processes, are intensely debated issues. Unequal siring success among mates of polyandrous females is classically taken as evidence for a large contribution of postcopulatory processes to the variance in male reproductive success (var(RSm )). However, paternity skews also depend on the timing and number of copulations, a source of variation that should be considered precopulatory rather than postcopulatory. We develop a method for decomposing var(RSm ) accounting for copulatory activity and apply it to experimental mating groups of the snail Physa acuta. In our experiment, 40% of var(RSm ) emerges at the precopulatory stage, only half of which depends on variation in mating success (number of partners). Ignoring copulation characteristics can therefore lead to severe underestimation of precopulatory sexual selection. Moreover, although only 36% of var(RSm ) arises at the postcopulatory stage, this is when sexual selection on body weight mostly occurs. Finally, trade-offs were detected between different components of precopulatory success, whereas pre- and postcopulatory success appear independent. Our study opens the way to a detailed quantitative understanding of sexual selection in polyandrous species.

  2. Student-Initiated Sexual Health Selective as a Curricular Tool

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Katie; Rullo, Jordan; Faubion, Stephanie

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Patients’ sexual health functioning is important for physicians in all fields of medicine to consider; however, this topic is lacking from almost half of U.S. medical school curricula. Aims This study aims to develop, implement, and assess the feasibility of a preliminary sexual health curriculum for medical students. Methods This Sexual Health Selective (SHS) was developed and implemented by a student and faculty champion for first year medical students. Its design incorporated a number of the guiding principles and recommendations from the 2012 Summit on Medical School Education in Sexual Health. Main Outcome Measures Feasibility was measured by limited-efficacy testing and participant acceptability of the SHS. Limited-efficacy testing was accomplished by conducting descriptive comparisons of responses to a sexual health attitudes and knowledge survey. These responses were compared between (i) participants vs. nonparticipants prior to the SHS, (ii) participants immediately after vs. participants prior to the SHS, (iii) participants 3 months after vs. participants prior to the SHS, and (iv) participants 3 months after vs. participants immediately after the SHS. Participant acceptability was assessed by asking qualitatively and quantitatively whether students enjoyed the SHS, found it beneficial to their learning, and would recommend it to their classmates. Results Immediately after the SHS and 3 months later, participants reported increased comfort and open-mindedness in their attitudes toward sexual health and demonstrated an increase in accurate knowledge about sexual health issues compared with baseline. Objective follow-up also revealed that most participants enjoyed the SHS, found it beneficial to their learning, and would recommend it to their classmates. Conclusions The 1-week SHS was successfully implemented through the teamwork of a medical student and faculty champion. It resulted in more accurate knowledge and more open attitudes toward

  3. Male Mating Success: Preference or Prowess? Investigating Sexual Selection in the Laboratory Using "Drosophila melanogaster"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coleman, Seth; Jensen, Jeffrey

    2007-01-01

    Sexual selection is the primary force affecting the evolution of the elaborate sexual displays common in animals, yet sexual selection experiments are largely absent from introductory biology laboratories. Here we describe the rationale, methodology, and results of several experiments using "Drosophila melanogaster" to demonstrate sexual selection…

  4. Experimental manipulation of sexual selection and the evolution of courtship song in Drosophila pseudoobscura.

    PubMed

    Snook, R R; Robertson, A; Crudgington, H S; Ritchie, M G

    2005-05-01

    Courtship song serves as a sexual signal and may contribute to reproductive isolation between closely related species. Using lines of Drosophila pseudoobscura experimentally selected under different sexual selection regimes, we tested whether increased promiscuity and enforced monogamy led to evolutionary changes in courtship song elements. In D. pseudoobscura, males produce both a low and high rate repetition song. We found that both song types diverged after selection and that the direction of changes was consistent with ordered hypotheses of predicted directions of change under the different mating system structures. In particular, latency to the initiation of song and duration of the interpulse interval (IPI) decreased in highly promiscuous lines and increased in monogamous lines. These results suggest that courtship song may rapidly evolve under different mating system structures, representing either functional evolution of more stimulatory song under conditions of strong sexual selection, or might result from increased courtship vigor, or represent correlated evolution. Some speciation theory predicts that increased sexual selection should result in increased variance of traits between allopatric populations, facilitating reproductive isolation. We also found that courtship song elements were not equally variable between replicate lines.

  5. A measure of sexual selection in hermaphroditic animals: parentage skew and the opportunity for selection.

    PubMed

    Lorenzi, M C; Sella, G

    2008-05-01

    The role of sexual selection in shaping the mating system of hermaphrodites is currently widely accepted. However, a quantification of the intensity of sexual selection in hermaphroditic animals has never been accomplished. We evaluated the opportunity for sexual selection for both the female and the male functions in the simultaneous outcrossing hermaphrodite Ophryotrocha diadema by measuring focal hermaphrodites' paternal and maternal offspring in experimental replicated monogamous and promiscuous populations, using genetic markers to estimate paternity. Opportunity for sexual selection for each of the two sexual functions was quantified by means of the Crow's index, i.e. the ratio of variance in progeny number to the squared mean number of progeny. In addition, the extent to which the reproductive success was shared among competing individuals was estimated by means of the Nonacs's B index. We documented that the strength of selection on the male and female function in hermaphrodites with external fertilization depends on the reproductive context. Under a promiscuous regime, hermaphrodites have higher opportunities for selection for both the male and the female function than under the monogamous regime. Moreover, the reproductive skew for the female function becomes greater than that for the male function, moving from monogamy to promiscuity. In our model system, allocation to one sexual function is opposed by any degree of allocation to the other, indicating that sex-specific patterns of selection operate in this model species.

  6. Divergent sexual selection via male competition: ecology is key.

    PubMed

    Lackey, A C R; Boughman, J W

    2013-08-01

    Sexual selection and ecological differences are important drivers of speciation. Much research has focused on female choice, yet the role of male competition in ecological speciation has been understudied. Here, we test how mating habitats impact sexual selection and speciation through male competition. Using limnetic and benthic species of threespine stickleback fish, we find that different mating habitats select differently on male traits through male competition. In mixed habitat with both vegetated and open areas, selection favours two trait combinations of male body size and nuptial colour: large with little colour and small with lots of colour. This matches what we see in reproductively isolated stickleback species, suggesting male competition could promote trait divergence and reproductive isolation. In contrast, when only open habitat exists, selection favours one trait combination, large with lots of colour, which would hinder trait divergence and reproductive isolation. Other behavioural mechanisms in male competition that might promote divergence, such as avoiding aggression with heterospecifics, are insufficient to maintain separate species. This work highlights the importance of mating habitats in male competition for both sexual selection and speciation.

  7. Condition-dependent mutation rates and sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Cotton, S

    2009-04-01

    'Good genes' models of sexual selection show that females can gain indirect benefits for their offspring if male ornaments are condition-dependent signals of genetic quality. Recurrent deleterious mutation is viewed as a major contributor to variance in genetic quality, and previous theoretical treatments of 'good genes' processes have assumed that the influx of new mutations is constant. I propose that this assumption is too simplistic, and that mutation rates vary in ways that are important for sexual selection. Recent data have shown that individuals in poor condition can have higher mutation rates, and I argue that if both male sexual ornaments and mutation rates are condition-dependent, then females can use male ornamentation to evaluate their mate's mutation rate. As most mutations are deleterious, females benefit from choosing well-ornamented mates, as they are less likely to contribute germline-derived mutations to offspring. I discuss some of the evolutionary ramifications of condition-dependent mutation rates and sexual selection. PMID:19210586

  8. Contributions of natural and sexual selection to the evolution of premating reproductive isolation: a research agenda.

    PubMed

    Safran, Rebecca J; Scordato, Elizabeth S C; Symes, Laurel B; Rodríguez, Rafael L; Mendelson, Tamra C

    2013-11-01

    Speciation by divergent natural selection is well supported. However, the role of sexual selection in speciation is less well understood due to disagreement about whether sexual selection is a mechanism of evolution separate from natural selection, as well as confusion about various models and tests of sexual selection. Here, we outline how sexual selection and natural selection are different mechanisms of evolutionary change, and suggest that this distinction is critical when analyzing the role of sexual selection in speciation. Furthermore, we clarify models of sexual selection with respect to their interaction with ecology and natural selection. In doing so, we outline a research agenda for testing hypotheses about the relative significance of divergent sexual and natural selection in the evolution of reproductive isolation.

  9. Using theories of sexual selection and sexual conflict to improve our understanding of plant ecology and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Lankinen, Åsa; Karlsson Green, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    Today it is accepted that the theories of sexual selection and sexual conflict are general and can be applied to both animals and plants. However, potentially due to a controversial history, plant studies investigating sexual selection and sexual conflict are relatively rare. Moreover, these theories and concepts are seldom implemented in research fields investigating related aspects of plant ecology and evolution. Even though these theories are complex, and can be difficult to study, we suggest that several fields in plant biology would benefit from incorporating and testing the impact of selection pressures generated by sexual selection and sexual conflict. Here we give examples of three fields where we believe such incorporation would be particularly fruitful, including (i) mechanisms of pollen–pistil interactions, (ii) mating-system evolution in hermaphrodites and (iii) plant immune responses to pests and pathogens. PMID:25613227

  10. Natural and sexual selection in a monogamous historical human population.

    PubMed

    Courtiol, Alexandre; Pettay, Jenni E; Jokela, Markus; Rotkirch, Anna; Lummaa, Virpi

    2012-05-22

    Whether and how human populations exposed to the agricultural revolution are still affected by Darwinian selection remains controversial among social scientists, biologists, and the general public. Although methods of studying selection in natural populations are well established, our understanding of selection in humans has been limited by the availability of suitable datasets. Here, we present a study comparing the maximum strengths of natural and sexual selection in humans that includes the effects of sex and wealth on different episodes of selection. Our dataset was compiled from church records of preindustrial Finnish populations characterized by socially imposed monogamy, and it contains a complete distribution of survival, mating, and reproductive success for 5,923 individuals born 1760-1849. Individual differences in early survival and fertility (natural selection) were responsible for most variation in fitness, even among wealthier individuals. Variance in mating success explained most of the higher variance in reproductive success in males compared with females, but mating success also influenced reproductive success in females, allowing for sexual selection to operate in both sexes. The detected opportunity for selection is in line with measurements for other species but higher than most previous reports for human samples. This disparity results from biological, demographic, economic, and social differences across populations as well as from failures by most previous studies to account for variation in fitness introduced by nonreproductive individuals. Our results emphasize that the demographic, cultural, and technological changes of the last 10,000 y did not preclude the potential for natural and sexual selection in our species.

  11. Nonsteroidal selective androgen receptor modulators enhance female sexual motivation.

    PubMed

    Jones, Amanda; Hwang, Dong Jin; Duke, Charles B; He, Yali; Siddam, Anjaiah; Miller, Duane D; Dalton, James T

    2010-08-01

    Women experience a decline in estrogen and androgen levels after natural or surgically induced menopause, effects that are associated with a loss of sexual desire and bone mineral density. Studies in our laboratories have shown the beneficial effects of selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) in the treatment of osteoporosis and muscle wasting in animal models. A series of S-3-(phenoxy)-2-hydroxy-2-methyl-N-(4-cyano-3-trifluoromethyl-phenyl)-propionamide analogs was synthesized to evaluate the effects of B-ring substitutions on in vitro and in vivo pharmacologic activity, especially female sexual motivation. The androgen receptor (AR) relative binding affinities ranged from 0.1 to 26.5% (relative to dihydrotestosterone) and demonstrated a range of agonist activity at 100 nM. In vivo pharmacologic activity was first assessed by using male rats. Structural modifications to the B-ring significantly affected the selectivity of the SARMs, demonstrating that single-atom substitutions can dramatically and unexpectedly influence activity in androgenic (i.e., prostate) and anabolic (i.e., muscle) tissues. (S)-N-(4-cyano-3-trifluoromethyl-phenyl)-3-(3-fluoro,4-chlorophenoxy)-2-hydroxy-2-methyl-propanamide (S-23) displayed full agonist activity in androgenic and anabolic tissues; however, the remaining SARMs were more prostate-sparing, selectively maintaining the size of the levator ani muscle in castrated rats. The partner-preference paradigm was used to evaluate the effects of SARMs on female sexual motivation. With the exception of two four-halo substituted analogs, the SARMs increased sexual motivation in ovariectomized rats, with potency and efficacy comparable with testosterone propionate. These results indicate that the AR is important in regulating female libido given the nonaromatizable nature of SARMs and it could be a superior alternative to steroidal testosterone preparations in the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

  12. How multiple mating by females affects sexual selection

    PubMed Central

    Shuster, Stephen M.; Briggs, William R.; Dennis, Patricia A.

    2013-01-01

    Multiple mating by females is widely thought to encourage post-mating sexual selection and enhance female fitness. We show that whether polyandrous mating has these effects depends on two conditions. Condition 1 is the pattern of sperm utilization by females; specifically, whether, among females, male mating number, m (i.e. the number of times a male mates with one or more females) covaries with male offspring number, o. Polyandrous mating enhances sexual selection only when males who are successful at multiple mating also sire most or all of each of their mates' offspring, i.e. only when Cov♂(m,o), is positive. Condition 2 is the pattern of female reproductive life-history; specifically, whether female mating number, m, covaries with female offspring number, o. Only semelparity does not erode sexual selection, whereas iteroparity (i.e. when Cov♀(m,o), is positive) always increases the variance in offspring numbers among females, which always decreases the intensity of sexual selection on males. To document the covariance between mating number and offspring number for each sex, it is necessary to assign progeny to all parents, as well as identify mating and non-mating individuals. To document significant fitness gains by females through iteroparity, it is necessary to determine the relative magnitudes of male as well as female contributions to the total variance in relative fitness. We show how such data can be collected, how often they are collected, and we explain the circumstances in which selection favouring multiple mating by females can be strong or weak. PMID:23339237

  13. Sexual selection is influenced by both developmental and adult environments.

    PubMed

    Gillespie, Stephanie R; Scarlett Tudor, M; Moore, Allen J; Miller, Christine W

    2014-12-01

    Sexual selection is often assumed to be strong and consistent, yet increasing research shows it can fluctuate over space and time. Few experimental studies have examined changes in sexual selection in response to natural environmental variation. Here, we use a difference in resource quality to test for the influence of past environmental conditions and current environmental conditions on male and female mate choice and resulting selection gradients for leaf-footed cactus bugs, Narnia femorata. We raised juveniles on natural high- and low-quality diets, cactus pads with and without ripe cactus fruits. New adults were again assigned a cactus pad with or without fruit, paired with a potential mate, and observed for mating behaviors. We found developmental and adult encounter environments affected mating decisions and the resulting patterns of sexual selection for both males and females. Males were not choosy in the low-quality encounter environment, cactus without fruit, but they avoided mating with small females in the high-quality encounter environment. Females were choosy in both encounter environments, avoiding mating with small males. However, they were the choosiest when they were in the low-quality encounter environment. Female mate choice was also context dependent by male developmental environment. Females were more likely to mate with males that had developed on cactus with fruit when they were currently in the cactus with fruit environment. This pattern disappeared when females were in the cactus without fruit environment. Altogether, these results experimentally demonstrate context-dependent mate choice by both males and females. Furthermore, we demonstrate that simple, seasonal changes in resources can lead to fluctuations in sexual selection.

  14. Multivariate selection drives concordant patterns of pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection in a livebearing fish

    PubMed Central

    Devigili, Alessandro; Evans, Jonathan P.; Di Nisio, Andrea; Pilastro, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    In many species, females mate with multiple partners, meaning that sexual selection on male traits operates across a spectrum that encompasses the competition for mates (that is, before mating) and fertilizations (after mating). Despite being inextricably linked, pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection are typically studied independently, and we know almost nothing about how sexual selection operates across this divide. Here we bridge this knowledge gap using the livebearing fish Poecilia reticulata. We show that both selective episodes, as well as their covariance, explain a significant component of variance in male reproductive fitness. Moreover, linear and nonlinear selection simultaneously act on pre- and postcopulatory traits, and interact to generate multiple phenotypes with similar fitness. PMID:26369735

  15. Multivariate selection drives concordant patterns of pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection in a livebearing fish.

    PubMed

    Devigili, Alessandro; Evans, Jonathan P; Di Nisio, Andrea; Pilastro, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    In many species, females mate with multiple partners, meaning that sexual selection on male traits operates across a spectrum that encompasses the competition for mates (that is, before mating) and fertilizations (after mating). Despite being inextricably linked, pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection are typically studied independently, and we know almost nothing about how sexual selection operates across this divide. Here we bridge this knowledge gap using the livebearing fish Poecilia reticulata. We show that both selective episodes, as well as their covariance, explain a significant component of variance in male reproductive fitness. Moreover, linear and nonlinear selection simultaneously act on pre- and postcopulatory traits, and interact to generate multiple phenotypes with similar fitness. PMID:26369735

  16. Good genes sexual selection in nature.

    PubMed

    Byers, John A; Waits, Lisette

    2006-10-31

    Whether the mate sampling and choice performed by females in nature influences offspring performance is a controversial issue in theory and an open empirical question. Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) females engage in an obvious and energetically expensive mate sampling process to identify vigorous males. Although individual females sample independently, their choices converge on a small proportion of males that sire most young. Offspring of attractive males were more likely to survive to weaning and to age classes as late as 5 years, resulting in a selection differential, calculated by expected differences in lifetime number of offspring weaned, of 0.32 against random mating. Enhanced survival to weaning appeared to be accomplished by faster growth rates. Females compensated for matings with a less attractive mate by elevating rates of milk delivery to their young. Because pronghorn males do not have costly ornaments, we conclude that female choice for good genes can exist in the absence of ornaments. Furthermore, female choice may be important and unrecognized as a force that can lower population genetic load. PMID:17060640

  17. Determinants of male fitness: disentangling intra- and inter-sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Fitze, P S; Cote, J; Martínez-Rica, J P; Clobert, J

    2008-01-01

    Both intra- and inter-sexual selection may crucially determine a male's fitness. Their interplay, which has rarely been experimentally investigated, determines a male's optimal reproductive strategy and thus is of fundamental importance to the understanding of a male's behaviour. Here we investigated the relative importance of intra- and inter-sexual selection for male fitness in the common lizard. We investigated which male traits predict a male's access to reproduction allowing for both selective pressures and comparing it with a staged mating experiment excluding all types of intra-sexual selection. We found that qualitatively better males were more likely to reproduce and that sexual selection was two times stronger when allowing for both selective pressures, suggesting that inter- and intra-sexual selection determines male fitness and confirming the existence of multi-factorial sexual selection. Consequently, to optimize fitness, males should trade their investment between the traits, which are important for inter- and intra-sexual selection.

  18. Computer Simulation of Sexual Selection on Age-Structured Populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martins, S. G. F.; Penna, T. J. P.

    Using computer simulations of a bit-string model for age-structured populations, we found that sexual selection of older males is advantageous, from an evolutionary point of view. These results are in opposition to a recent proposal of females choosing younger males. Our simulations are based on findings from recent studies of polygynous bird species. Since secondary sex characters are found mostly in males, we could make use of asexual populations that can be implemented in a fast and efficient way.

  19. The evolution of female ornaments and weaponry: social selection, sexual selection and ecological competition.

    PubMed

    Tobias, Joseph A; Montgomerie, Robert; Lyon, Bruce E

    2012-08-19

    Ornaments, weapons and aggressive behaviours may evolve in female animals by mate choice and intrasexual competition for mating opportunities-the standard forms of sexual selection in males. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that selection tends to operate in different ways in males and females, with female traits more often mediating competition for ecological resources, rather than mate acquisition. Two main solutions have been proposed to accommodate this disparity. One is to expand the concept of sexual selection to include all mechanisms related to fecundity; another is to adopt an alternative conceptual framework-the theory of social selection-in which sexual selection is one component of a more general form of selection resulting from all social interactions. In this study, we summarize the history of the debate about female ornaments and weapons, and discuss potential resolutions. We review the components of fitness driving ornamentation in a wide range of systems, and show that selection often falls outside the limits of traditional sexual selection theory, particularly in females. We conclude that the evolution of these traits in both sexes is best understood within the unifying framework of social selection.

  20. The effects of selection and genetic drift on the genomic distribution of sexually antagonistic alleles.

    PubMed

    Mullon, Charles; Pomiankowski, Andrew; Reuter, Max

    2012-12-01

    Sexual antagonism (SA) occurs when an allele that is beneficial to one sex, is detrimental to the other. This conflict can result in balancing, directional, or disruptive selection acting on SA alleles. A body of theory predicts the conditions under which sexually antagonistic mutants will invade and be maintained in stable polymorphism under balancing selection. There remains, however, considerable debate over the distribution of SA genetic variation across autosomes and sex chromosomes, with contradictory evidence coming from data and theory. In this article, we investigate how the interplay between selection and genetic drift will affect the genomic distribution of sexually antagonistic alleles. The effective population sizes can differ between the autosomes and the sex chromosomes due to a number of ecological factors and, consequently, the distribution of SA genetic variation in genomes. In general, we predict the interplay of SA selection and genetic drift should lead to the accumulation of SA alleles on the X in male heterogametic (XY) species and, on the autosomes in female heterogametic (ZW) species, especially when sexual competition is strong among males.

  1. Genetic similarity, breeding distribution range and sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Møller, A P; Garamszegi, L Z; Spottiswoode, C N

    2008-01-01

    Large populations with extensive breeding distributions may sustain greater genetic variability, thus producing a positive relationship between genetic variation and population size. Levels of genetic variability may also be affected by sexual selection, which could either reduce levels because a small fraction of males contribute to the following generation, or augment them by generating genetic variability through elevated rates of mutations. We investigated to what extent genetic variability, as estimated from band sharing coefficients for minisatellite markers, could be predicted by breeding distribution range, population size and intensity of sexual selection (as reflected by degree of polygyny and extra-pair paternity). Across a sample of 62 species of birds in the Western Palearctic, we found extensive interspecific variation in band sharing coefficients. High band sharing coefficients (implying low local genetic variability among individuals) were associated with restricted breeding distributions, a conclusion confirmed by analysis of statistically independent linear contrasts. Independently, species with large population sizes had small band sharing coefficients. Furthermore, bird species with a high richness of subspecies for their breeding distribution range had higher band sharing coefficients. Finally, bird species with high levels of polygyny and extra-pair paternity had small band sharing coefficients. These results suggest that breeding distribution range, population size and intensity of sexual selection are important predictors of levels of genetic variability in extant populations.

  2. Sexual selection of male parental care in giant water bugs.

    PubMed

    Ohba, Shin-Ya; Okuda, Noboru; Kudo, Shin-Ichi

    2016-05-01

    Paternal care can be maintained under sexual selection, if it helps in attracting more mates. We tested the hypothesis in two giant water bug species, Appasus major and Appasus japonicus, that male parental care is sexually selected through female preference for caring males. Females were given an opportunity to choose between two males. In the first test of female mate choice, one male carried eggs on its back, while the other did not. The egg status was switched between these two males in the second test. The experiment revealed that females of both species preferred caring males (i.e. egg-bearing) to non-caring males. Nonetheless, the female mate preference for egg-bearing males was stronger in A. major than in A. japonicus. Our results suggest that sexual selection plays an important role in maintaining elaborate paternal care in giant water bugs, but the importance of egg-bearing by males in female mate choice varies among species. PMID:27293778

  3. Sexual selection of male parental care in giant water bugs

    PubMed Central

    Ohba, Shin-ya; Okuda, Noboru; Kudo, Shin-ichi

    2016-01-01

    Paternal care can be maintained under sexual selection, if it helps in attracting more mates. We tested the hypothesis in two giant water bug species, Appasus major and Appasus japonicus, that male parental care is sexually selected through female preference for caring males. Females were given an opportunity to choose between two males. In the first test of female mate choice, one male carried eggs on its back, while the other did not. The egg status was switched between these two males in the second test. The experiment revealed that females of both species preferred caring males (i.e. egg-bearing) to non-caring males. Nonetheless, the female mate preference for egg-bearing males was stronger in A. major than in A. japonicus. Our results suggest that sexual selection plays an important role in maintaining elaborate paternal care in giant water bugs, but the importance of egg-bearing by males in female mate choice varies among species. PMID:27293778

  4. An integrative view of sexual selection in Tribolium flour beetles.

    PubMed

    Fedina, Tatyana Y; Lewis, Sara M

    2008-05-01

    Sexual selection is a major force driving the evolution of diverse reproductive traits. This evolutionary process is based on individual reproductive advantages that arise either through intrasexual competition or through intersexual choice and conflict. While classical studies of sexual selection focused mainly on differences in male mating success, more recent work has focused on the differences in paternity share that may arise through sperm competition or cryptic female choice whenever females mate with multiple males. Thus, an integrative view of sexual selection needs to encompass processes that occur not only before copulation (pre-mating), but also during copulation (peri-mating), as well as after copulation (post-mating), all of which can generate differences in reproductive success. By encompassing mechanisms of sexual selection across all of these sequential reproductive stages this review takes an integrative approach to sexual selection in Tribolium flour beetles (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), a particularly well-studied and economically important model organism. Tribolium flour beetles colonize patchily distributed grain stores, and juvenile and adult stages share the same food resources. Adults are highly promiscuous and female reproduction is distributed across an adult lifespan lasting approximately 1 year. While Tribolium males produce an aggregation pheromone that attracts both sexes, there appears to be little pre-mating discrimination among potential mates by either sex. However, recent work has revealed several peri-mating and post-mating mechanisms that determine how offspring paternity is apportioned among a female's mates. During mating, Tribolium females reject spermatophore transfer and limit sperm numbers transferred by males with low phenotypic quality. Although there is some conflicting evidence, male copulatory leg-rubbing appears to be associated with overcoming female resistance to insemination and does not influence a male

  5. Human homosexuality: a paradigmatic arena for sexually antagonistic selection?

    PubMed

    Camperio Ciani, Andrea; Battaglia, Umberto; Zanzotto, Giovanni

    2015-01-29

    Sexual conflict likely plays a crucial role in the origin and maintenance of homosexuality in our species. Although environmental factors are known to affect human homosexual (HS) preference, sibling concordances and population patterns related to HS indicate that genetic components are also influencing this trait in humans. We argue that multilocus, partially X-linked genetic factors undergoing sexually antagonistic selection that promote maternal female fecundity at the cost of occasional male offspring homosexuality are the best candidates capable of explaining the frequency, familial clustering, and pedigree asymmetries observed in HS male proband families. This establishes male HS as a paradigmatic example of sexual conflict in human biology. HS in females, on the other hand, is currently a more elusive phenomenon from both the empirical and theoretical standpoints because of its fluidity and marked environmental influence. Genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, the latter involving sexually antagonistic components, have been hypothesized for the propagation and maintenance of female HS in the population. However, further data are needed to truly clarify the evolutionary dynamics of this trait.

  6. Human homosexuality: a paradigmatic arena for sexually antagonistic selection?

    PubMed

    Camperio Ciani, Andrea; Battaglia, Umberto; Zanzotto, Giovanni

    2015-04-01

    Sexual conflict likely plays a crucial role in the origin and maintenance of homosexuality in our species. Although environmental factors are known to affect human homosexual (HS) preference, sibling concordances and population patterns related to HS indicate that genetic components are also influencing this trait in humans. We argue that multilocus, partially X-linked genetic factors undergoing sexually antagonistic selection that promote maternal female fecundity at the cost of occasional male offspring homosexuality are the best candidates capable of explaining the frequency, familial clustering, and pedigree asymmetries observed in HS male proband families. This establishes male HS as a paradigmatic example of sexual conflict in human biology. HS in females, on the other hand, is currently a more elusive phenomenon from both the empirical and theoretical standpoints because of its fluidity and marked environmental influence. Genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, the latter involving sexually antagonistic components, have been hypothesized for the propagation and maintenance of female HS in the population. However, further data are needed to truly clarify the evolutionary dynamics of this trait. PMID:25635045

  7. The evolution of female ornaments and weaponry: social selection, sexual selection and ecological competition

    PubMed Central

    Tobias, Joseph A.; Montgomerie, Robert; Lyon, Bruce E.

    2012-01-01

    Ornaments, weapons and aggressive behaviours may evolve in female animals by mate choice and intrasexual competition for mating opportunities—the standard forms of sexual selection in males. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that selection tends to operate in different ways in males and females, with female traits more often mediating competition for ecological resources, rather than mate acquisition. Two main solutions have been proposed to accommodate this disparity. One is to expand the concept of sexual selection to include all mechanisms related to fecundity; another is to adopt an alternative conceptual framework—the theory of social selection—in which sexual selection is one component of a more general form of selection resulting from all social interactions. In this study, we summarize the history of the debate about female ornaments and weapons, and discuss potential resolutions. We review the components of fitness driving ornamentation in a wide range of systems, and show that selection often falls outside the limits of traditional sexual selection theory, particularly in females. We conclude that the evolution of these traits in both sexes is best understood within the unifying framework of social selection. PMID:22777016

  8. Change in sexual size dimorphism as a correlated response to selection on fecundity.

    PubMed

    Reeve, J P; Fairbairn, D J

    1999-12-01

    Fecundity selection is often suggested as the main causal factor underlying the prevalence of female-biased sexual size dimorphism (SSD), but this assumption has not been empirically tested. We selected female Drosophila melanogaster for increased or decreased fecundity (eggs laid over a single 18-h period, between days 5 and 7 posteclosion) for 20 generations, to see what effect this would have on SSD in three morphological traits (thorax width, abdomen width and thorax length). A direct response to fecundity selection was found in the downward direction (16.6%), whereas the response to upward selection (5.7%) was not statistically significant. Significant sex by selection interaction terms in the ANOVAs for thorax width and abdomen width indicate that the two sexes responded differently. Females usually showed a greater correlated response than males. In lines selected for increased fecundity, the correlated response in females for thorax and abdomen width was greater than the direct response in standard deviation units. SSD generally increased with selection for increased fecundity, but showed no consistent trend with selection for decreased fecundity. These results support the general hypothesis that SSD can evolve rapidly in response to fecundity selection. Selection on fecundity also produced correlated responses in life history traits. Downward selection resulted in flies that had lower viability and longevity, and both directions of selection were associated with an increase in development time.

  9. Homage to Bateman: sex roles predict sex differences in sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Fritzsche, Karoline; Arnqvis, Göran

    2013-07-01

    Classic sex role theory predicts that sexual selection should be stronger in males in taxa showing conventional sex roles and stronger in females in role reversed mating systems. To test this very central prediction and to assess the utility of different measures of sexual selection, we estimated sexual selection in both sexes in four seed beetle species with divergent sex roles using a novel experimental design. We found that sexual selection was sizeable in females and the strength of sexual selection was similar in females and males in role-reversed species. Sexual selection was overall significantly stronger in males than in females and residual selection formed a substantial component of net selection in both sexes. Furthermore, sexual selection in females was stronger in role-reversed species compared to species with conventional sex roles. Variance-based measures of sexual selection (the Bateman gradient and selection opportunities) were better predictors of sexual dimorphism in reproductive behavior and morphology across species compared to trait-based measures (selection differentials). Our results highlight the importance of using assays that incorporate components of fitness manifested after mating. We suggest that the Bateman gradient is generally the most informative measure of the strength of sexual selection in comparisons across sexes and/or species.

  10. Adolescents' use of sexually explicit Internet material and their sexual attitudes and behavior: Parallel development and directional effects.

    PubMed

    Doornwaard, Suzan M; Bickham, David S; Rich, Michael; ter Bogt, Tom F M; van den Eijnden, Regina J J M

    2015-10-01

    Although research has repeatedly demonstrated that adolescents' use of sexually explicit Internet material (SEIM) is related to their endorsement of permissive sexual attitudes and their experience with sexual behavior, it is not clear how linkages between these constructs unfold over time. This study combined 2 types of longitudinal modeling, mean-level development and cross-lagged panel modeling, to examine (a) developmental patterns in adolescents' SEIM use, permissive sexual attitudes, and experience with sexual behavior, as well as whether these developments are related; and (b) longitudinal directionality of associations between SEIM use on the 1 hand and permissive sexual attitudes and sexual behavior on the other hand. We used 4-wave longitudinal data from 1,132 7th through 10th grade Dutch adolescents (M(age) T1 = 13.95; 52.7% boys) and estimated multigroup models to test for moderation by gender. Mean-level developmental trajectories showed that boys occasionally and increasingly used SEIM over the 18-month study period, which co-occurred with increases in their permissive attitudes and their experience with sexual behavior. Cross-lagged panel models revealed unidirectional effects from boys' SEIM use on their subsequent endorsement of permissive attitudes, but no consistent directional effects between their SEIM use and sexual behavior. Girls showed a similar pattern of increases in experience with sexual behavior, but their SEIM use was consistently low and their endorsement of permissive sexual attitudes decreased over the 18-month study period. In contrast to boys, girls' SEIM use was not longitudinally related to their sexual attitudes and behavior. Theoretical and practical implications of these gender-specific findings are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26376287

  11. Adolescents' use of sexually explicit Internet material and their sexual attitudes and behavior: Parallel development and directional effects.

    PubMed

    Doornwaard, Suzan M; Bickham, David S; Rich, Michael; ter Bogt, Tom F M; van den Eijnden, Regina J J M

    2015-10-01

    Although research has repeatedly demonstrated that adolescents' use of sexually explicit Internet material (SEIM) is related to their endorsement of permissive sexual attitudes and their experience with sexual behavior, it is not clear how linkages between these constructs unfold over time. This study combined 2 types of longitudinal modeling, mean-level development and cross-lagged panel modeling, to examine (a) developmental patterns in adolescents' SEIM use, permissive sexual attitudes, and experience with sexual behavior, as well as whether these developments are related; and (b) longitudinal directionality of associations between SEIM use on the 1 hand and permissive sexual attitudes and sexual behavior on the other hand. We used 4-wave longitudinal data from 1,132 7th through 10th grade Dutch adolescents (M(age) T1 = 13.95; 52.7% boys) and estimated multigroup models to test for moderation by gender. Mean-level developmental trajectories showed that boys occasionally and increasingly used SEIM over the 18-month study period, which co-occurred with increases in their permissive attitudes and their experience with sexual behavior. Cross-lagged panel models revealed unidirectional effects from boys' SEIM use on their subsequent endorsement of permissive attitudes, but no consistent directional effects between their SEIM use and sexual behavior. Girls showed a similar pattern of increases in experience with sexual behavior, but their SEIM use was consistently low and their endorsement of permissive sexual attitudes decreased over the 18-month study period. In contrast to boys, girls' SEIM use was not longitudinally related to their sexual attitudes and behavior. Theoretical and practical implications of these gender-specific findings are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record

  12. Sexual and lifetime selection on body size in a marine fish: the importance of life-history trade-offs.

    PubMed

    Johnson, D W; Hixon, M A

    2011-08-01

    Many field measurements of viability and sexual selection on body size indicate that large size is favoured. However, life-history theory predicts that body size may be optimized and that patterns of selection may often be stabilizing rather than directional. One reason for this discrepancy may be that field estimates of selection tend to focus on limited components of fitness and may not fully measure life-history trade-offs. We use an 8-year, demographic field study to examine both sexual selection and lifetime selection on body size of a coral reef fish (the bicolour damselfish, Stegastes partitus). Selection via reproductive success of adults was very strong (standardized selection differential=1.04). However, this effect was balanced by trade-offs between large adult size and reduced cumulative survival during the juvenile phase. When we measured lifetime fitness (net reproductive rate), selection was strongly stabilizing and only weakly directional, consistent with predictions from life-history theory.

  13. Sexual selection on Drosophila serrata male pheromones does not vary with female age or mating status.

    PubMed

    Gershman, S; Delcourt, M; Rundle, H D

    2014-06-01

    Mate preferences are costly and are thought to evolve due to the direct and/or indirect benefits they provide. Such costs and benefits may vary in response to intrinsic and extrinsic factors with important evolutionary consequences. Limited attention has been given to quantifying such variation and understanding its causes, most notably with respect to the direction and strength of preferences for multivariate sexual displays. In Drosophila serrata, female preferences target a pheromone blend of long-chain cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs). We used a factorial design to test whether female age and mating status generated variation in the strength and direction of sexual selection on male CHCs. Replicate choice mating trials were conducted using young and old females (4 or 10 days post-emergence) that were either virgin or previously mated. The outcome of such trials is known to capture variation in female mate preferences, although male-male interactions may also contribute. Directional sexual selection on male CHCs was highly significant within each treatment, but there was little evidence of any variation among treatments. The absence of treatment effects implies that the multivariate combination of male CHCs preferred by females was constant with respect to female age and mating status. To the extent that male-male interactions may also contribute, our results similarly imply that these did not vary among treatments groups. With respect to D. serrata mate preferences, our results suggest that either plasticity with respect to age and mating status is not beneficial to females, or preference expression is somehow constrained.

  14. The role of ecology in speciation by sexual selection: a systematic empirical review.

    PubMed

    Scordato, Elizabeth S C; Symes, Laurel B; Mendelson, Tamra C; Safran, Rebecca J

    2014-01-01

    Theoretical and empirical research indicates that sexual selection interacts with the ecological context in which mate choice occurs, suggesting that sexual and natural selection act together during the evolution of premating reproductive isolation. However, the relative importance of natural and sexual selection to speciation remains poorly understood. Here, we applied a recent conceptual framework for examining interactions between mate choice divergence and ecological context to a review of the empirical literature on speciation by sexual selection. This framework defines two types of interactions between mate choice and ecology: internal interactions, wherein natural and sexual selection jointly influence divergence in sexual signal traits and preferences, and external interactions, wherein sexual selection alone acts on traits and preferences but ecological context shapes the transmission efficacy of sexual signals. The objectives of this synthesis were 3-fold: to summarize the traits, ecological factors, taxa, and geographic contexts involved in studies of mate choice divergence; to analyze patterns of association between these variables; and to identify the most common types of interactions between mate choice and ecological factors. Our analysis revealed that certain traits are consistently associated with certain ecological factors. Moreover, among studies that examined a divergent sexually selected trait and an ecological factor, internal interactions were more common than external interactions. Trait-preference associations may thus frequently be subject to both sexual and natural selection in cases of divergent mate choice. Our results highlight the importance of interactions between sexual selection and ecology in mate choice divergence and suggest areas for future research.

  15. The interaction of sexually and naturally selected traits in the adaptive radiations of cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Salzburger, Walter

    2009-01-01

    The question of how genetic variation translates into organismal diversity has puzzled biologists for decades. Despite recent advances in evolutionary and developmental genetics, the mechanisms that underlie adaptation, diversification and evolutionary innovation remain largely unknown. The exceptionally diverse species flocks of cichlid fishes are textbook examples of adaptive radiation and explosive speciation and emerge as powerful model systems to study the genetic basis of animal diversification. East Africa's hundreds of endemic cichlid species are akin to a natural mutagenesis screen and differ greatly not only in ecologically relevant (hence naturally selected) characters such as mouth morphology and body shape, but also in sexually selected traits such as coloration. One of the most fascinating aspects of cichlid evolution is the frequent occurrence of evolutionary parallelisms, which has led to the question whether selection alone is sufficient to produce these parallel morphologies, or whether a developmental or genetic bias has influenced the direction of diversification. Here, I review fitness-relevant traits that could be responsible for the cichlids' evolutionary success and assess whether these were shaped by sexual or natural selection. I then focus on the interaction and the relative importance of sexual vs. natural selection in cichlid evolution. Finally, I discuss what is currently known about the genes underlying the morphogenesis of adaptively relevant traits and highlight the importance of the forthcoming cichlid genomes in the quest of the genetic basis of diversification in this group. PMID:18992003

  16. The interaction of sexually and naturally selected traits in the adaptive radiations of cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Salzburger, Walter

    2009-01-01

    The question of how genetic variation translates into organismal diversity has puzzled biologists for decades. Despite recent advances in evolutionary and developmental genetics, the mechanisms that underlie adaptation, diversification and evolutionary innovation remain largely unknown. The exceptionally diverse species flocks of cichlid fishes are textbook examples of adaptive radiation and explosive speciation and emerge as powerful model systems to study the genetic basis of animal diversification. East Africa's hundreds of endemic cichlid species are akin to a natural mutagenesis screen and differ greatly not only in ecologically relevant (hence naturally selected) characters such as mouth morphology and body shape, but also in sexually selected traits such as coloration. One of the most fascinating aspects of cichlid evolution is the frequent occurrence of evolutionary parallelisms, which has led to the question whether selection alone is sufficient to produce these parallel morphologies, or whether a developmental or genetic bias has influenced the direction of diversification. Here, I review fitness-relevant traits that could be responsible for the cichlids' evolutionary success and assess whether these were shaped by sexual or natural selection. I then focus on the interaction and the relative importance of sexual vs. natural selection in cichlid evolution. Finally, I discuss what is currently known about the genes underlying the morphogenesis of adaptively relevant traits and highlight the importance of the forthcoming cichlid genomes in the quest of the genetic basis of diversification in this group.

  17. Using visual modelling to study the evolution of lizard coloration: sexual selection drives the evolution of sexual dichromatism in lacertids.

    PubMed

    Pérez I de Lanuza, G; Font, E; Monterde, J L

    2013-08-01

    Sexual selection has been invoked as a major force in the evolution of secondary sexual traits, including sexually dimorphic colourations. For example, previous studies have shown that display complexity and elaborate ornamentation in lizards are associated with variables that reflect the intensity of intrasexual selection. However, these studies have relied on techniques of colour analysis based on human--rather than lizard--visual perception. Here, we use reflectance spectrophotometry and visual modelling to quantify sexual dichromatism considering the overall colour patterns of lacertids, a lizard clade in which visual signalling has traditionally been underrated. These objective methods of colour analysis reveal a large, previously unreported, degree of sexual dichromatism in lacertids. Using a comparative phylogenetic approach, we further demonstrate that sexual dichromatism is positively associated with body size dimorphism (an index of intrasexual selection), suggesting that conspicuous coloration in male lacertids has evolved to improve opponent assessment under conditions of intense male-male competition. Our findings provide the first evidence for the covariation of sexual dichromatism and sexual size dimorphism in lacertids and suggest that the prevalent role of intrasexual selection in the evolution of ornamental coloration is not restricted to the iguanian lineage, but rather may be a general trend common to many diurnal lizards.

  18. Comment on "Bateman in nature: predation on offspring reduces the potential for sexual selection".

    PubMed

    Bergeron, P; Martin, A M; Garant, D; Pelletier, F

    2013-05-01

    Byers and Dunn (Reports, 9 November 2012, p. 802) claimed that predation on offspring reduced the potential for sexual selection in pronghorn. We argue that the potential for sexual selection is not affected by random offspring mortality when relative reproductive success is considered and increases when measured with the opportunity for selection, a metric that describes the potential for selection. PMID:23641093

  19. Nutrition-dependent phenotypes affect sexual selection in a ladybird

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Jiaqin; De Clercq, Patrick; Zhang, Yuhong; Wu, Hongsheng; Pan, Chang; Pang, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Environmental factors play a crucial role in influencing sexual selection in insects and the evolution of their mating systems. Although it has been reported that sexual selection in insects may change in response to varying environments, the reason for these changes remains poorly understood. Here, we focus on the mate selection process of a ladybird, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, when experiencing low- and high-nutrition diet regimes both in its larval and adult stages. We found that female ladybirds preferred to mate with males reared under high-nutrition diet regimes, regardless of the nutritional conditions they experienced during their own larval stages, indicating that mate choice of female C. montrouzieri is non-random and phenotype-dependent. Such mate choice may depend on visual cues (body or genitalia size) and/or chemical cues (pheromones). Further, females from high-nutrition larval diet regimes produced more eggs than those from low-nutrition larval diet regimes. In addition, diet regimes during adulthood also exerted strong effects on egg production. In summary, our study provides new insight into the mate choice of C. montrouzieri as affected by seasonal changes in resources, and suggests that food availability may be a driving force in mate choice. PMID:26269214

  20. Nutrition-dependent phenotypes affect sexual selection in a ladybird.

    PubMed

    Xie, Jiaqin; De Clercq, Patrick; Zhang, Yuhong; Wu, Hongsheng; Pan, Chang; Pang, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Environmental factors play a crucial role in influencing sexual selection in insects and the evolution of their mating systems. Although it has been reported that sexual selection in insects may change in response to varying environments, the reason for these changes remains poorly understood. Here, we focus on the mate selection process of a ladybird, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, when experiencing low- and high-nutrition diet regimes both in its larval and adult stages. We found that female ladybirds preferred to mate with males reared under high-nutrition diet regimes, regardless of the nutritional conditions they experienced during their own larval stages, indicating that mate choice of female C. montrouzieri is non-random and phenotype-dependent. Such mate choice may depend on visual cues (body or genitalia size) and/or chemical cues (pheromones). Further, females from high-nutrition larval diet regimes produced more eggs than those from low-nutrition larval diet regimes. In addition, diet regimes during adulthood also exerted strong effects on egg production. In summary, our study provides new insight into the mate choice of C. montrouzieri as affected by seasonal changes in resources, and suggests that food availability may be a driving force in mate choice. PMID:26269214

  1. Nutrition-dependent phenotypes affect sexual selection in a ladybird.

    PubMed

    Xie, Jiaqin; De Clercq, Patrick; Zhang, Yuhong; Wu, Hongsheng; Pan, Chang; Pang, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Environmental factors play a crucial role in influencing sexual selection in insects and the evolution of their mating systems. Although it has been reported that sexual selection in insects may change in response to varying environments, the reason for these changes remains poorly understood. Here, we focus on the mate selection process of a ladybird, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, when experiencing low- and high-nutrition diet regimes both in its larval and adult stages. We found that female ladybirds preferred to mate with males reared under high-nutrition diet regimes, regardless of the nutritional conditions they experienced during their own larval stages, indicating that mate choice of female C. montrouzieri is non-random and phenotype-dependent. Such mate choice may depend on visual cues (body or genitalia size) and/or chemical cues (pheromones). Further, females from high-nutrition larval diet regimes produced more eggs than those from low-nutrition larval diet regimes. In addition, diet regimes during adulthood also exerted strong effects on egg production. In summary, our study provides new insight into the mate choice of C. montrouzieri as affected by seasonal changes in resources, and suggests that food availability may be a driving force in mate choice.

  2. A rigorous comparison of sexual selection indexes via simulations of diverse mating systems

    PubMed Central

    Kahn, Andrew T.; Fritzsche, Karoline

    2016-01-01

    Sexual selection is a cornerstone of evolutionary theory, but measuring it has proved surprisingly difficult and controversial. Various proxy measures—e.g., the Bateman gradient and the opportunity for sexual selection—are widely used in empirical studies. However, we do not know how reliably these measures predict the strength of sexual selection across natural systems, and most perform poorly in theoretical worst-case scenarios. Here we provide a rigorous comparison of eight commonly used indexes of sexual selection. We simulated 500 biologically plausible mating systems, based on the templates of five well-studied species that cover a diverse range of reproductive life histories. We compared putative indexes to the actual strength of premating sexual selection, measured as the strength of selection on a simulated “mating trait.” This method sidesteps a key weakness of empirical studies, which lack an appropriate yardstick against which proxy measures can be assessed. Our model predicts that, far from being useless, the best proxy measures reliably track the strength of sexual selection across biologically realistic scenarios. The maximum intensity of precopulatory sexual selection s′max (the Jones index) outperformed all other indexes and was highly correlated with the strength of sexual selection. In contrast, the Bateman gradient and the opportunity for sexual selection were poor predictors of sexual selection, despite their continuing popularity. PMID:26739567

  3. Runaway sexual selection without genetic correlations: social environments and flexible mate choice initiate and enhance the Fisher process.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Nathan W; Moore, Allen J

    2012-09-01

    Female mating preferences are often flexible, reflecting the social environment in which they are expressed. Associated indirect genetic effects (IGEs) can affect the rate and direction of evolutionary change, but sexual selection models do not capture these dynamics. We incorporate IGEs into quantitative genetic models to explore how variation in social environments and mate choice flexibility influence Fisherian sexual selection. The importance of IGEs is that runaway sexual selection can occur in the absence of a genetic correlation between male traits and female preferences. Social influences can facilitate the initiation of the runaway process and increase the rate of trait elaboration. Incorporating costs to choice do not alter the main findings. Our model provides testable predictions: (1) genetic covariances between male traits and female preferences may not exist, (2) social flexibility in female choice will be common in populations experiencing strong sexual selection, (3) variation in social environments should be associated with rapid sexual trait divergence, and (4) secondary sexual traits will be more elaborate than previously predicted. Allowing feedback from the social environment resolves discrepancies between theoretical predictions and empirical data, such as why indirect selection on female preferences, theoretically weak, might be sufficient for preferences to become elaborated.

  4. RUNAWAY SEXUAL SELECTION WITHOUT GENETIC CORRELATIONS: SOCIAL ENVIRONMENTS AND FLEXIBLE MATE CHOICE INITIATE AND ENHANCE THE FISHER PROCESS

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, Nathan W; Moore, Allen J

    2012-01-01

    Female mating preferences are often flexible, reflecting the social environment in which they are expressed. Associated indirect genetic effects (IGEs) can affect the rate and direction of evolutionary change, but sexual selection models do not capture these dynamics. We incorporate IGEs into quantitative genetic models to explore how variation in social environments and mate choice flexibility influence Fisherian sexual selection. The importance of IGEs is that runaway sexual selection can occur in the absence of a genetic correlation between male traits and female preferences. Social influences can facilitate the initiation of the runaway process and increase the rate of trait elaboration. Incorporating costs to choice do not alter the main findings. Our model provides testable predictions: (1) genetic covariances between male traits and female preferences may not exist, (2) social flexibility in female choice will be common in populations experiencing strong sexual selection, (3) variation in social environments should be associated with rapid sexual trait divergence, and (4) secondary sexual traits will be more elaborate than previously predicted. Allowing feedback from the social environment resolves discrepancies between theoretical predictions and empirical data, such as why indirect selection on female preferences, theoretically weak, might be sufficient for preferences to become elaborated. PMID:22946795

  5. Female homosexual behavior and inter-sexual mate competition in Japanese macaques: possible implications for sexual selection theory.

    PubMed

    Vasey, Paul L; Leca, Jean-Baptiste; Gunst, Noëlle; VanderLaan, Doug P

    2014-10-01

    In this paper, we review research related to female homosexual behavior in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata), including our 20-year program of research on this species. Multiple lines of evidence indicate that female homosexual behavior in this species is sexually motivated. In contrast, many sociosexual hypotheses have been tested in relation to female homosexual behavior in Japanese macaques, but none have been supported. Female Japanese macaques sometimes engage in same-sex sexual activity even when motivated opposite-sex alternatives are available. Within this context of mate choice, males compete inter-sexually for opportunities to copulate with females above and beyond any intra-sexual competition that is required. Anecdotal evidence suggests that inter-sexual competition for female sexual partners has been observed in a number of other species, including humans. At present it is unclear whether inter-sexual competition for sexual partners influences patterns of reproduction. Our understanding of sexual selection and the evolution of mating systems may be improved by investigating whether inter-sexual mate competition influences the acquisition and maintenance of reproductive partners in those species in which such interactions occur.

  6. Within-season variation in sexual selection in a fish with dynamic sex roles.

    PubMed

    Wacker, Sebastian; Amundsen, Trond; Forsgren, Elisabet; Mobley, Kenyon B

    2014-07-01

    The strength of sexual selection may vary between species, among populations and within populations over time. While there is growing evidence that sexual selection may vary between years, less is known about variation in sexual selection within a season. Here, we investigate within-season variation in sexual selection in male two-spotted gobies (Gobiusculus flavescens). This marine fish experiences a seasonal change in the operational sex ratio from male- to female-biased, resulting in a dramatic decrease in male mating competition over the breeding season. We therefore expected stronger sexual selection on males early in the season. We sampled nests and nest-holding males early and late in the breeding season and used microsatellite markers to determine male mating and reproductive success. We first analysed sexual selection associated with the acquisition of nests by comparing nest-holding males to population samples. Among nest-holders, we calculated the potential strength of sexual selection and selection on phenotypic traits. We found remarkable within-season variation in sexual selection. Selection on male body size related to nest acquisition changed from positive to negative over the season. The opportunity for sexual selection among nest-holders was significantly greater early in the season rather than late in the season, partly due to more unmated males. Overall, our study documents a within-season change in sexual selection that corresponds with a predictable change in the operational sex ratio. We suggest that many species may experience within-season changes in sexual selection and that such dynamics are important for understanding how sexual selection operates in the wild.

  7. Healthy Sex and Sexual Health: New Directions for Studying Outcomes of Sexual Health

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lefkowitz, Eva S.; Vasilenko, Sara A.

    2014-01-01

    Sexual behavior is an important aspect of adolescent development with implications for well-being. These chapters highlight important perspectives on studying sexual health from a normative, developmental perspective, such as viewing a range of sexual behaviors as life events; considering potentially positive physical health, mental health, social…

  8. Sexual selection drives evolution and rapid turnover of male gene expression

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, Peter W.; Wright, Alison E.; Zimmer, Fabian; Dean, Rebecca; Montgomery, Stephen H.; Pointer, Marie A.; Mank, Judith E.

    2015-01-01

    The profound and pervasive differences in gene expression observed between males and females, and the unique evolutionary properties of these genes in many species, have led to the widespread assumption that they are the product of sexual selection and sexual conflict. However, we still lack a clear understanding of the connection between sexual selection and transcriptional dimorphism, often termed sex-biased gene expression. Moreover, the relative contribution of sexual selection vs. drift in shaping broad patterns of expression, divergence, and polymorphism remains unknown. To assess the role of sexual selection in shaping these patterns, we assembled transcriptomes from an avian clade representing the full range of sexual dimorphism and sexual selection. We use these species to test the links between sexual selection and sex-biased gene expression evolution in a comparative framework. Through ancestral reconstruction of sex bias, we demonstrate a rapid turnover of sex bias across this clade driven by sexual selection and show it to be primarily the result of expression changes in males. We use phylogenetically controlled comparative methods to demonstrate that phenotypic measures of sexual selection predict the proportion of male-biased but not female-biased gene expression. Although male-biased genes show elevated rates of coding sequence evolution, consistent with previous reports in a range of taxa, there is no association between sexual selection and rates of coding sequence evolution, suggesting that expression changes may be more important than coding sequence in sexual selection. Taken together, our results highlight the power of sexual selection to act on gene expression differences and shape genome evolution. PMID:25831521

  9. The association between testosterone, sexual arousal, and selective attention for erotic stimuli in men.

    PubMed

    Alexander, G M; Sherwin, B B

    1991-09-01

    Twenty-six, eugonadal men between the ages of 18 and 27 participated in this investigation of the relationship between sexual arousal, testosterone (T) levels, and the processing of sexual information. At each of the two test sessions, subjects gave a blood sample, listened to an erotic or neutral priming audiotape, and completed a dichotic listening task designed to assess selective attention for sexual stimuli. Subjective levels of sexual arousal to the audiotape and sexual attitudes and sexual experience were assessed by self-report measures. Contrary to our hypothesis, there was no relationship between levels of free T and the strength of the selective attention bias for sexual stimuli. However, men who were more distracted by the sexual material in the task reported higher levels of sexual arousal to erotic imagery than men who were less distracted by the sexual material in the task (P less than 0.01). Moreover, men who were more sexually aroused by the erotic audiotape made significantly less shadowing errors in the erotic prime condition then they did during the neutral prime condition (P less than 0.05). There was a negative association between T and shadowing errors in the erotic prime condition (P less than 0.05). These results suggest that lower thresholds for sexual arousal are associated with a greater bias to attend to sexual information and that T may have effects on cognitive-motivational aspects of sexual behavior by enhancing attention to relevant stimuli. PMID:1937428

  10. Does kin selection moderate sexual conflict in Drosophila?

    PubMed

    Chippindale, Adam K; Berggren, Meredith; Alpern, Joshua H M; Montgomerie, Robert

    2015-08-22

    Two recent studies provide provocative experimental findings about the potential influence of kin recognition and cooperation on the level of sexual conflict in Drosophila melanogaster. In both studies, male fruit flies apparently curbed their mate-harming behaviours in the presence of a few familiar or related males, suggesting some form of cooperation mediated by kin selection. In one study, the reduction in agonistic behaviour by brothers apparently rendered them vulnerable to dramatic loss of paternity share when competing with an unrelated male. If these results are robust and generalizable, fruit flies could be a major new focus for the experimental study of kin selection and social evolution. In our opinion, however, the restrictive conditions required for male cooperation to be adaptive in this species make it unlikely to evolve. We investigated these phenomena in two different populations of D. melanogaster using protocols very similar to those in the two previous studies. Our experiments show no evidence for a reduction in mate harm based upon either relatedness or familiarity between males, and no reduction in male reproductive success when two brothers are in the presence of an unfamiliar, unrelated, 'foreign' male. Thus, the reduction of sexual conflict owing to male cooperation does not appear to be a general feature of the species, at least under domestication, and these contrasting results call for further investigation: in new populations, in the field and in the laboratory populations in which these phenomena have been reported.

  11. Does kin selection moderate sexual conflict in Drosophila?

    PubMed Central

    Chippindale, Adam K.; Berggren, Meredith; Alpern, Joshua H. M.; Montgomerie, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Two recent studies provide provocative experimental findings about the potential influence of kin recognition and cooperation on the level of sexual conflict in Drosophila melanogaster. In both studies, male fruit flies apparently curbed their mate-harming behaviours in the presence of a few familiar or related males, suggesting some form of cooperation mediated by kin selection. In one study, the reduction in agonistic behaviour by brothers apparently rendered them vulnerable to dramatic loss of paternity share when competing with an unrelated male. If these results are robust and generalizable, fruit flies could be a major new focus for the experimental study of kin selection and social evolution. In our opinion, however, the restrictive conditions required for male cooperation to be adaptive in this species make it unlikely to evolve. We investigated these phenomena in two different populations of D. melanogaster using protocols very similar to those in the two previous studies. Our experiments show no evidence for a reduction in mate harm based upon either relatedness or familiarity between males, and no reduction in male reproductive success when two brothers are in the presence of an unfamiliar, unrelated, ‘foreign’ male. Thus, the reduction of sexual conflict owing to male cooperation does not appear to be a general feature of the species, at least under domestication, and these contrasting results call for further investigation: in new populations, in the field and in the laboratory populations in which these phenomena have been reported. PMID:26269501

  12. Does kin selection moderate sexual conflict in Drosophila?

    PubMed

    Chippindale, Adam K; Berggren, Meredith; Alpern, Joshua H M; Montgomerie, Robert

    2015-08-22

    Two recent studies provide provocative experimental findings about the potential influence of kin recognition and cooperation on the level of sexual conflict in Drosophila melanogaster. In both studies, male fruit flies apparently curbed their mate-harming behaviours in the presence of a few familiar or related males, suggesting some form of cooperation mediated by kin selection. In one study, the reduction in agonistic behaviour by brothers apparently rendered them vulnerable to dramatic loss of paternity share when competing with an unrelated male. If these results are robust and generalizable, fruit flies could be a major new focus for the experimental study of kin selection and social evolution. In our opinion, however, the restrictive conditions required for male cooperation to be adaptive in this species make it unlikely to evolve. We investigated these phenomena in two different populations of D. melanogaster using protocols very similar to those in the two previous studies. Our experiments show no evidence for a reduction in mate harm based upon either relatedness or familiarity between males, and no reduction in male reproductive success when two brothers are in the presence of an unfamiliar, unrelated, 'foreign' male. Thus, the reduction of sexual conflict owing to male cooperation does not appear to be a general feature of the species, at least under domestication, and these contrasting results call for further investigation: in new populations, in the field and in the laboratory populations in which these phenomena have been reported. PMID:26269501

  13. Sexual selection explains sex-specific growth plasticity and positive allometry for sexual size dimorphism in a reef fish

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Stefan P. W.; McCormick, Mark I.

    2009-01-01

    In 1950, Rensch noted that in clades where males are the larger sex, sexual size dimorphism (SSD) tends to be more pronounced in larger species. This fundamental allometric relationship is now known as ‘Rensch's rule’. While most researchers attribute Rensch's rule to sexual selection for male size, experimental evidence is lacking. Here, we suggest that ultimate hypotheses for Rensch's rule should also apply to groups of individuals and that individual trait plasticity can be used to test those hypotheses experimentally. Specifically, we show that in the sex-changing fish Parapercis cylindrica, larger males have larger harems with larger females, and that SSD increases with harem size. Thus, sexual selection for male body size is the ultimate cause of sexual size allometry. In addition, we experimentally illustrate a positive relationship between polygyny potential and individual growth rate during sex change from female to male. Thus, sexual selection is the ultimate cause of variation in growth rate, and variation in growth rate is the proximate cause of sexual size allometry. Taken together, our results provide compelling evidence in support of the sexual selection hypothesis for Rensch's rule and highlight the potential importance of individual growth modification in the shaping of morphological patterns in Nature. PMID:19553253

  14. Selection and Maintenance of Sexual Identity in the Drosophila Germline

    PubMed Central

    Horabin, J. I.; Bopp, D.; Waterbury, J.; Schedl, P.

    1995-01-01

    Unlike sex determination in the soma, which is an autonomous process, sex determination in the germline of Drosophila has both inductive and autonomous components. In this paper, we examined how sexual identity is selected and maintained in the Drosophila germline. We show that female-specific expression of genes in the germline is dependent on a somatic signaling pathway. This signaling pathway requires the sex-non-specific transformer 2 gene but, surprisingly, does not appear to require the sex-specific genes, transformer and doublesex. Moreover, in contrast to the soma where pathway initiation and maintenance are independent processes, the somatic signaling pathway appears to function continuously from embryogenesis to the larval stages to select and sustain female germline identity. We also show that the primary target for the somatic signaling pathway in germ cells can not be the Sex-lethal gene. PMID:8601491

  15. Polyandry as a mediator of sexual selection before and after mating.

    PubMed

    Kvarnemo, Charlotta; Simmons, Leigh W

    2013-03-01

    The Darwin-Bateman paradigm recognizes competition among males for access to multiple mates as the main driver of sexual selection. Increasingly, however, females are also being found to benefit from multiple mating so that polyandry can generate competition among females for access to multiple males, and impose sexual selection on female traits that influence their mating success. Polyandry can reduce a male's ability to monopolize females, and thus weaken male focused sexual selection. Perhaps the most important effect of polyandry on males arises because of sperm competition and cryptic female choice. Polyandry favours increased male ejaculate expenditure that can affect sexual selection on males by reducing their potential reproductive rate. Moreover, sexual selection after mating can ameliorate or exaggerate sexual selection before mating. Currently, estimates of sexual selection intensity rely heavily on measures of male mating success, but polyandry now raises serious questions over the validity of such approaches. Future work must take into account both pre- and post-copulatory episodes of selection. A change in focus from the products of sexual selection expected in males, to less obvious traits in females, such as sensory perception, is likely to reveal a greater role of sexual selection in female evolution.

  16. Polyandry as a mediator of sexual selection before and after mating

    PubMed Central

    Kvarnemo, Charlotta; Simmons, Leigh W.

    2013-01-01

    The Darwin–Bateman paradigm recognizes competition among males for access to multiple mates as the main driver of sexual selection. Increasingly, however, females are also being found to benefit from multiple mating so that polyandry can generate competition among females for access to multiple males, and impose sexual selection on female traits that influence their mating success. Polyandry can reduce a male's ability to monopolize females, and thus weaken male focused sexual selection. Perhaps the most important effect of polyandry on males arises because of sperm competition and cryptic female choice. Polyandry favours increased male ejaculate expenditure that can affect sexual selection on males by reducing their potential reproductive rate. Moreover, sexual selection after mating can ameliorate or exaggerate sexual selection before mating. Currently, estimates of sexual selection intensity rely heavily on measures of male mating success, but polyandry now raises serious questions over the validity of such approaches. Future work must take into account both pre- and post-copulatory episodes of selection. A change in focus from the products of sexual selection expected in males, to less obvious traits in females, such as sensory perception, is likely to reveal a greater role of sexual selection in female evolution. PMID:23339234

  17. Direct and indirect measures of sexual maturity preferences differentiate subtypes of child sexual abusers.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Alexander F; Gykiere, Kim; Vanhoeck, Kris; Mann, Ruth E; Banse, Rainer

    2014-04-01

    To aid risk assessment, management, and treatment planning it is essential to assess child sexual abusers' deviant sexual interests (DSI) and preferences (DSP) for sex with children. However, measurement of DSI/DSP is fraught with psychometric problems. In consequence, research interest has shifted to latency-based indirect measures as a measurement approach to complement self-report and physiological assessment. Utilizing the Explicit and Implicit Sexual Interest Profile (EISIP)-a multimethod approach consisting of self-report, viewing time, and Implicit Association Test (IAT) DSI/DSP measures-we replicated phallometric DSI/DSP differences between child sexual abuser subgroups in a sample of intrafamilial, extrafamilial, and child pornography offenders. DSI/DSP was associated with recidivism risk, offense-behavioral measures of pedophilic interest, and sexual fantasizing. It also negatively correlated with antisociality. Distinguishing between child sexual abuser subtypes and being related to recidivism risk, the EISIP is a useful tool for sexual offender assessments.

  18. Direct and indirect measures of sexual maturity preferences differentiate subtypes of child sexual abusers.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Alexander F; Gykiere, Kim; Vanhoeck, Kris; Mann, Ruth E; Banse, Rainer

    2014-04-01

    To aid risk assessment, management, and treatment planning it is essential to assess child sexual abusers' deviant sexual interests (DSI) and preferences (DSP) for sex with children. However, measurement of DSI/DSP is fraught with psychometric problems. In consequence, research interest has shifted to latency-based indirect measures as a measurement approach to complement self-report and physiological assessment. Utilizing the Explicit and Implicit Sexual Interest Profile (EISIP)-a multimethod approach consisting of self-report, viewing time, and Implicit Association Test (IAT) DSI/DSP measures-we replicated phallometric DSI/DSP differences between child sexual abuser subgroups in a sample of intrafamilial, extrafamilial, and child pornography offenders. DSI/DSP was associated with recidivism risk, offense-behavioral measures of pedophilic interest, and sexual fantasizing. It also negatively correlated with antisociality. Distinguishing between child sexual abuser subtypes and being related to recidivism risk, the EISIP is a useful tool for sexual offender assessments. PMID:23524323

  19. Sexual selection and the evolution of sperm quality.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, John L; Lüpold, Stefan

    2014-12-01

    Sperm experience intense and varied selection that dramatically impacts the evolution of sperm quality. Selection acts to ensure that sperm are fertilization-competent and able to overcome the many challenges experienced on their way towards eggs. However, simply being able to fertilize an egg is not enough to ensure male fertility in most species. Owing to the prevalence of female multiple mating throughout the animal kingdom, successful fertilization requires sperm to outcompete rival sperm. In addition, females can actively influence sperm quality, storage or utilization to influence male fertility. This review provides an overview of how these selective forces influence the evolution of sperm quality. After exploring the link between sperm traits and male fertility, we examine how post-mating competition between rival ejaculates influences the evolution of sperm quality. We then describe how complex genetic, social and sexual interactions influence sperm quality, focusing on the importance of seminal fluid and interactions between sperm and the female's reproductive tract. In light of the complexities of selection on sperm traits, greater use of multivariate approaches that incorporate male-male, sperm-sperm and sperm-female interactions to study sperm quality will enhance our understanding of how selection acts on sperm traits and factors influencing male fertility. Because the metric of male reproductive success--fertilization--is the same across the animal kingdom, we argue that information about sperm evolution gained from non-human animals has enormous potential to further our understanding of the factors that impact human fertility.

  20. Direct selection of RNA beacon aptamers.

    PubMed

    Morse, Daniel P

    2007-07-20

    A method for the direct selection of RNA molecules that can be easily converted into beacon aptamers is presented. Beacon aptamers are fluorescently labeled nucleic acids that signal the presence of a specific ligand through changes in fluorescence intensity. Typically, ligand binding causes an increase in fluorescence intensity by inducing a conformational change that separates a fluorophore/quencher pair. The method presented here simultaneously selects for ligand binding and induction of an appropriate conformational change. The method was tested by selecting RNA molecules that can detect the aminoglycoside antibiotic tobramycin. After 14 rounds of selection, two sequence families emerged. Upon conversion into beacon aptamers, representatives of the two selected sequence families specifically detected tobramycin, while a negative control RNA that did not survive the selection protocol did not function as a tobramycin beacon aptamer.

  1. Kin selection versus sexual selection: why the ends do not meet.

    PubMed

    Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2007-08-21

    I redevelop the hypothesis that lifetime monogamy is a fundamental condition for the evolution of eusocial lineages with permanent non-reproductive castes, and that later elaborations--such as multiply-mated queens and multi-queen colonies--arose without the re-mating promiscuity that characterizes non-social and cooperative breeding. Sexually selected traits in eusocial lineages are therefore peculiar, and their evolution constrained. Indirect (inclusive) fitness benefits in cooperatively breeding vertebrates appear to be negatively correlated with promiscuity, corroborating that kin selection and sexual selection tend to generally exclude each other. The monogamy window required for transitions from solitary and cooperative breeding towards eusociality implies that the relatedness and benefit-cost variables of Hamilton's rule do not vary at random, but occur in distinct and only partly overlapping combinations in cooperative, eusocial, and derived eusocial breeding systems. PMID:17714661

  2. Mechanisms and Evidence of Genital Coevolution: The Roles of Natural Selection, Mate Choice, and Sexual Conflict.

    PubMed

    Brennan, Patricia L R; Prum, Richard O

    2015-07-01

    Genital coevolution between the sexes is expected to be common because of the direct interaction between male and female genitalia during copulation. Here we review the diverse mechanisms of genital coevolution that include natural selection, female mate choice, male-male competition, and how their interactions generate sexual conflict that can lead to sexually antagonistic coevolution. Natural selection on genital morphology will result in size coevolution to allow for copulation to be mechanically possible, even as other features of genitalia may reflect the action of other mechanisms of selection. Genital coevolution is explicitly predicted by at least three mechanisms of genital evolution: lock and key to prevent hybridization, female choice, and sexual conflict. Although some good examples exist in support of each of these mechanisms, more data on quantitative female genital variation and studies of functional morphology during copulation are needed to understand more general patterns. A combination of different approaches is required to continue to advance our understanding of genital coevolution. Knowledge of the ecology and behavior of the studied species combined with functional morphology, quantitative morphological tools, experimental manipulation, and experimental evolution have been provided in the best-studied species, all of which are invertebrates. Therefore, attention to vertebrates in any of these areas is badly needed.

  3. Direct effects of energy-related air pollutants on plant sexual reproduction

    SciTech Connect

    Ragsdale, H.L.; Murdy, W.H.

    1987-12-08

    Our completed research program concentrated on the direct in vivo effects of energy-related air pollutants on plant sexual reproduction. Direct air pollution effects on plant sexual reproduction have been studied for SO{sub 2} and NO{sub 2}, two of the three major air pollutants.

  4. Measuring sexual selection on females in sex-role-reversed Mormon crickets (Anabrus simplex, Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae).

    PubMed

    Robson, L J; Gwynne, D T

    2010-07-01

    Although many studies examine the form of sexual selection in males, studies characterizing this selection in females remain sparse. Sexual selection on females is predicted for sex-role-reversed Mormon crickets, Anabrus simplex, where males are choosy of mates and nutrient-deprived females compete for matings and nutritious nuptial gifts. We used selection analyses to describe the strength and form of sexual selection on female morphology. There was no positive linear sexual selection on the female body size traits predicted to be associated with male preferences and female competition. Instead, we detected selection for decreasing head width and mandible length, with stabilizing selection as the dominant form of nonlinear selection. Additionally, we tested the validity of a commonly used instantaneous measure of mating success by comparing selection results with those determined using cumulative mating rate. The two fitness measures yielded similar patterns of selection, supporting the common sampling method comparing mated and unmated fractions.

  5. Sexual selection on male size drives the evolution of male-biased sexual size dimorphism via the prolongation of male development.

    PubMed

    Rohner, Patrick T; Blanckenhorn, Wolf U; Puniamoorthy, Nalini

    2016-06-01

    Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) arises when the net effects of natural and sexual selection on body size differ between the sexes. Quantitative SSD variation between taxa is common, but directional intraspecific SSD reversals are rare. We combined micro- and macroevolutionary approaches to study geographic SSD variation in closely related black scavenger flies. Common garden experiments revealed stark intra- and interspecific variation: Sepsis biflexuosa is monomorphic across the Holarctic, while S. cynipsea (only in Europe) consistently exhibits female-biased SSD. Interestingly, S. neocynipsea displays contrasting SSD in Europe (females larger) and North America (males larger), a pattern opposite to the geographic reversal in SSD of S. punctum documented in a previous study. In accordance with the differential equilibrium model for the evolution of SSD, the intensity of sexual selection on male size varied between continents (weaker in Europe), whereas fecundity selection on female body size did not. Subsequent comparative analyses of 49 taxa documented at least six independent origins of male-biased SSD in Sepsidae, which is likely caused by sexual selection on male size and mediated by bimaturism. Therefore, reversals in SSD and the associated changes in larval development might be much more common and rapid and less constrained than currently assumed. PMID:27168489

  6. Looking for sexual selection in the female brain.

    PubMed

    Cummings, Molly E

    2012-08-19

    Female mate choice behaviour has significant evolutionary consequences, yet its mechanistic origins are not fully understood. Recent studies of female sensory systems have made great strides in identifying internal mechanisms governing female preferences. Only recently, however, have we begun to identify the dynamic genomic response associated with mate choice behaviour. Poeciliids provide a powerful comparative system to examine genomic responses governing mate choice and female preference behaviour, given the great range of mating systems: from female mate choice taxa with ornamental courting males to species lacking male ornamentation and exhibiting only male coercion. Furthermore, they exhibit laboratory-tractable preference responses without sexual contact that are decoupled from reproductive state, allowing investigators to isolate mechanisms in the brain without physiological confounds. Early investigations with poeciliid species (Xiphophorus nigrensis and Gambusia affinis) have identified putative candidate genes associated with female preference response and highlight a possible genomic pathway underlying female social interactions with males linked functionally with synaptic plasticity and learning processes. This network is positively correlated with female preference behaviour in the female mate choice species, but appears inhibited in the male coercive species. This behavioural genomics approach provides opportunity to elucidate the fundamental building blocks, and evolutionary dynamics, of sexual selection.

  7. Intrasexual competition and sexual selection in cooperative mammals.

    PubMed

    Clutton-Brock, T H; Hodge, S J; Spong, G; Russell, A F; Jordan, N R; Bennett, N C; Sharpe, L L; Manser, M B

    2006-12-21

    In most animals, the sex that invests least in its offspring competes more intensely for access to the opposite sex and shows greater development of secondary sexual characters than the sex that invests most. However, in some mammals where females are the primary care-givers, females compete more frequently or intensely with each other than males. A possible explanation is that, in these species, the resources necessary for successful female reproduction are heavily concentrated and intrasexual competition for breeding opportunities is more intense among females than among males. Intrasexual competition between females is likely to be particularly intense in cooperative breeders where a single female monopolizes reproduction in each group. Here, we use data from a twelve-year study of wild meerkats (Suricata suricatta), where females show high levels of reproductive skew, to show that females gain greater benefits from acquiring dominant status than males and traits that increase competitive ability exert a stronger influence on their breeding success. Females that acquire dominant status also develop a suite of morphological, physiological and behavioural characteristics that help them to control other group members. Our results show that sex differences in parental investment are not the only mechanism capable of generating sex differences in reproductive competition and emphasize the extent to which competition for breeding opportunities between females can affect the evolution of sex differences and the operation of sexual selection.

  8. Intrasexual competition and sexual selection in cooperative mammals.

    PubMed

    Clutton-Brock, T H; Hodge, S J; Spong, G; Russell, A F; Jordan, N R; Bennett, N C; Sharpe, L L; Manser, M B

    2006-12-21

    In most animals, the sex that invests least in its offspring competes more intensely for access to the opposite sex and shows greater development of secondary sexual characters than the sex that invests most. However, in some mammals where females are the primary care-givers, females compete more frequently or intensely with each other than males. A possible explanation is that, in these species, the resources necessary for successful female reproduction are heavily concentrated and intrasexual competition for breeding opportunities is more intense among females than among males. Intrasexual competition between females is likely to be particularly intense in cooperative breeders where a single female monopolizes reproduction in each group. Here, we use data from a twelve-year study of wild meerkats (Suricata suricatta), where females show high levels of reproductive skew, to show that females gain greater benefits from acquiring dominant status than males and traits that increase competitive ability exert a stronger influence on their breeding success. Females that acquire dominant status also develop a suite of morphological, physiological and behavioural characteristics that help them to control other group members. Our results show that sex differences in parental investment are not the only mechanism capable of generating sex differences in reproductive competition and emphasize the extent to which competition for breeding opportunities between females can affect the evolution of sex differences and the operation of sexual selection. PMID:17183322

  9. Assessing the alignment of sexual and natural selection using radiomutagenized seed beetles.

    PubMed

    Power, D J; Holman, L

    2015-05-01

    A major unsolved question in evolutionary biology concerns the relationship between natural and sexual selection. Sexual selection might augment natural selection, for example if mutations that harm female fecundity also reduce male mating success. Conversely, sexual selection might favour traits that impair naturally selected fitness components. We induced detrimental mutations in Callosobruchus maculatus beetles using X-ray irradiation and then experimentally measured the effect of precopulatory sexual selection on offspring number and survival rate. Sexual selection treatment had a negative effect on egg-to-adult survivorship, although the number of progeny reaching adulthood was unaffected, perhaps because eggs and juveniles that failed to develop lessened competition on the survivors. We hypothesize that the negative effect of sexual selection arose because sexually competitive males transmitted a smaller nuptial gift or carried alleles that conferred reduced survival. Although we found no evidence that sexual selection on males can purge alleles that are detrimental to naturally selected fitness components, such benefits might exist in other environmental or genetic contexts.

  10. Mate choice and sexual selection: what have we learned since Darwin?

    PubMed

    Jones, Adam G; Ratterman, Nicholas L

    2009-06-16

    Charles Darwin laid the foundation for all modern work on sexual selection in his seminal book The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. In this work, Darwin fleshed out the mechanism of sexual selection, a hypothesis that he had proposed in The Origin of Species. He went well beyond a simple description of the phenomenon by providing extensive evidence and considering the far-reaching implications of the idea. Here we consider the contributions of Darwin to sexual selection with a particular eye on how far we have progressed in the last 150 years. We focus on 2 key questions in sexual selection. First, why does mate choice evolve at all? And second, what factors determine the strength of mate choice (or intensity of sexual selection) in each sex? Darwin provided partial answers to these questions, and the progress that has been made on both of these topics since his time should be seen as one of the great triumphs of modern evolutionary biology. However, a review of the literature shows that key aspects of sexual selection are still plagued by confusion and disagreement. Many of these areas are complex and will require new theory and empirical data for complete resolution. Overall, Darwin's contributions are still surprisingly relevant to the modern study of sexual selection, so students of evolutionary biology would be well advised to revisit his works. Although we have made significant progress in some areas of sexual selection research, we still have much to accomplish. PMID:19528643

  11. Mate choice and sexual selection: what have we learned since Darwin?

    PubMed

    Jones, Adam G; Ratterman, Nicholas L

    2009-06-16

    Charles Darwin laid the foundation for all modern work on sexual selection in his seminal book The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. In this work, Darwin fleshed out the mechanism of sexual selection, a hypothesis that he had proposed in The Origin of Species. He went well beyond a simple description of the phenomenon by providing extensive evidence and considering the far-reaching implications of the idea. Here we consider the contributions of Darwin to sexual selection with a particular eye on how far we have progressed in the last 150 years. We focus on 2 key questions in sexual selection. First, why does mate choice evolve at all? And second, what factors determine the strength of mate choice (or intensity of sexual selection) in each sex? Darwin provided partial answers to these questions, and the progress that has been made on both of these topics since his time should be seen as one of the great triumphs of modern evolutionary biology. However, a review of the literature shows that key aspects of sexual selection are still plagued by confusion and disagreement. Many of these areas are complex and will require new theory and empirical data for complete resolution. Overall, Darwin's contributions are still surprisingly relevant to the modern study of sexual selection, so students of evolutionary biology would be well advised to revisit his works. Although we have made significant progress in some areas of sexual selection research, we still have much to accomplish.

  12. Mate choice and sexual selection: What have we learned since Darwin?

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Adam G.; Ratterman, Nicholas L.

    2009-01-01

    Charles Darwin laid the foundation for all modern work on sexual selection in his seminal book The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. In this work, Darwin fleshed out the mechanism of sexual selection, a hypothesis that he had proposed in The Origin of Species. He went well beyond a simple description of the phenomenon by providing extensive evidence and considering the far-reaching implications of the idea. Here we consider the contributions of Darwin to sexual selection with a particular eye on how far we have progressed in the last 150 years. We focus on 2 key questions in sexual selection. First, why does mate choice evolve at all? And second, what factors determine the strength of mate choice (or intensity of sexual selection) in each sex? Darwin provided partial answers to these questions, and the progress that has been made on both of these topics since his time should be seen as one of the great triumphs of modern evolutionary biology. However, a review of the literature shows that key aspects of sexual selection are still plagued by confusion and disagreement. Many of these areas are complex and will require new theory and empirical data for complete resolution. Overall, Darwin's contributions are still surprisingly relevant to the modern study of sexual selection, so students of evolutionary biology would be well advised to revisit his works. Although we have made significant progress in some areas of sexual selection research, we still have much to accomplish. PMID:19528643

  13. Variable environmental effects on a multicomponent sexually selected trait.

    PubMed

    Cole, Gemma L; Endler, John A

    2015-04-01

    Multicomponent signals are made up of interacting elements that generate a functional signaling unit. The interactions between signal components and their effects on individual fitness are not well understood, and the effect of environment is even less so. It is usually assumed that color patterns appear the same in all light environments and that the effects of each color are additive. Using guppies, Poecilia reticulata, we investigated the effect of water color on the interactions between components of sexually selected male coloration. Through behavioral mate choice trials in four different water colors, we estimated the attractiveness of male color patterns, using multivariate fitness estimates and overall signal contrast. Our results show that females exhibit preferences that favor groups of colors rather than individual colors independently and that each environment favors different color combinations. We found that these effects are consistent with female guppies selecting entire color patterns on the basis of overall visual contrast. This suggests that both individuals and populations inhabiting different light environments will be subject to divergent, multivariate selection. Although the appearance of color patterns changes with light environment, achromatic components change little, suggesting that these could function in species recognition or other aspects of communication that must work across environments. Consequently, we predict different phylogenetic patterns between chromatic and achromatic signals within the same clades. PMID:25811082

  14. Mating portfolios: bet-hedging, sexual selection and female multiple mating

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Gonzalez, Francisco; Yasui, Yukio; Evans, Jonathan P.

    2015-01-01

    Polyandry (female multiple mating) has profound evolutionary and ecological implications. Despite considerable work devoted to understanding why females mate multiply, we currently lack convincing empirical evidence to explain the adaptive value of polyandry. Here, we provide a direct test of the controversial idea that bet-hedging functions as a risk-spreading strategy that yields multi-generational fitness benefits to polyandrous females. Unfortunately, testing this hypothesis is far from trivial, and the empirical comparison of the across-generations fitness payoffs of a polyandrous (bet hedger) versus a monandrous (non-bet hedger) strategy has never been accomplished because of numerous experimental constraints presented by most ‘model’ species. In this study, we take advantage of the extraordinary tractability and versatility of a marine broadcast spawning invertebrate to overcome these challenges. We are able to simulate multi-generational (geometric mean) fitness among individual females assigned simultaneously to a polyandrous and monandrous mating strategy. Our approaches, which separate and account for the effects of sexual selection and pure bet-hedging scenarios, reveal that bet-hedging, in addition to sexual selection, can enhance evolutionary fitness in multiply mated females. In addition to offering a tractable experimental approach for addressing bet-hedging theory, our study provides key insights into the evolutionary ecology of sexual interactions. PMID:25411448

  15. Sexual selection on Drosophila serrata male pheromones does not vary with female age or mating status.

    PubMed

    Gershman, S; Delcourt, M; Rundle, H D

    2014-06-01

    Mate preferences are costly and are thought to evolve due to the direct and/or indirect benefits they provide. Such costs and benefits may vary in response to intrinsic and extrinsic factors with important evolutionary consequences. Limited attention has been given to quantifying such variation and understanding its causes, most notably with respect to the direction and strength of preferences for multivariate sexual displays. In Drosophila serrata, female preferences target a pheromone blend of long-chain cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs). We used a factorial design to test whether female age and mating status generated variation in the strength and direction of sexual selection on male CHCs. Replicate choice mating trials were conducted using young and old females (4 or 10 days post-emergence) that were either virgin or previously mated. The outcome of such trials is known to capture variation in female mate preferences, although male-male interactions may also contribute. Directional sexual selection on male CHCs was highly significant within each treatment, but there was little evidence of any variation among treatments. The absence of treatment effects implies that the multivariate combination of male CHCs preferred by females was constant with respect to female age and mating status. To the extent that male-male interactions may also contribute, our results similarly imply that these did not vary among treatments groups. With respect to D. serrata mate preferences, our results suggest that either plasticity with respect to age and mating status is not beneficial to females, or preference expression is somehow constrained. PMID:24828752

  16. The roles of life-history selection and sexual selection in the adaptive evolution of mating behavior in a beetle.

    PubMed

    Maklakov, Alexei A; Cayetano, Luis; Brooks, Robert C; Bonduriansky, Russell

    2010-05-01

    Although there is continuing debate about whether sexual selection promotes or impedes adaptation to novel environments, the role of mating behavior in such adaptation remains largely unexplored. We investigated the evolution of mating behavior (latency to mating, mating probability and duration) in replicate populations of seed beetles Callosobruchus maculatus subjected to selection on life-history ("Young" vs. "Old" reproduction) under contrasting regimes of sexual selection ("Monogamy" vs. "Polygamy"). Life-history selection is predicted to favor delayed mating in "Old" females, but sexual conflict under polygamy can potentially retard adaptive life-history evolution. We found that life-history selection yielded the predicted changes in mating behavior, but sexual selection regime had no net effect. In within-line crosses, populations selected for late reproduction showed equally reduced early-life mating probability regardless of mating system. In between-line crosses, however, the effect of life-history selection on early-life mating probability was stronger in polygamous lines than in monogamous ones. Thus, although mating system influenced male-female coevolution, removal of sexual selection did not affect the adaptive evolution of mating behavior. Importantly, our study shows that the interaction between sexual selection and life-history selection can result in either increased or decreased reproductive divergence depending on the ecological context.

  17. The pathogen transmission avoidance theory of sexual selection

    SciTech Connect

    Loehle, C.

    1997-08-01

    The current theory that sexual selection results from female preference for males with good genes suffers from several problems. An alternative explanation, the pathogen transmission avoidance hypothesis, argues that the primary function of showy traits is to provide a reliable signal of current disease status, so that sick individuals can be avoided during mating. This study shows that a significant risk of pathogen transmission occurs during mating and that showy traits are reliable indicators of current disease status. The origin of female choosiness is argued to lie in a general tendency to avoid sick individuals, even in the absence of showy traits, which originate as exaggerations of normal traits that are indicative of good health (bright feathers, vigorous movement, large size). Thus, in this new model the origins of both showy traits and female choosiness are not problematic and there is no threshold effect. This model predicts that when the possession of male showy traits does not help to reduce disease in the female, showy traits are unlikely to occur. This case corresponds to thorough exposure of every animal to all group pathogens, on average, in large groups. Such species are shown with a large data set on birds to be less likely to exhibit showy traits. The good-genes model does not make this prediction. The pathogen transmission avoidance model can also lead to the evolution of showy traits even when selection is not effective against a given pathogen (e.g., when there is no heritable variation for resistance), but can result in selection for resistance if such genes are present. Monogamy is argued to reduce selection pressures for showy traits; data show monogamous species to be both less parasitized and less showy. In the context of reduction of pathogen transmission rates in showy populations, selection pressure becomes inversely frequency-dependent, which makes showy traits likely to be self-limiting rather than runaway.

  18. Robust quantification of orientation selectivity and direction selectivity

    PubMed Central

    Mazurek, Mark; Kager, Marisa; Van Hooser, Stephen D.

    2014-01-01

    Neurons in the visual cortex of all examined mammals exhibit orientation or direction tuning. New imaging techniques are allowing the circuit mechanisms underlying orientation and direction selectivity to be studied with clarity that was not possible a decade ago. However, these new techniques bring new challenges: robust quantitative measurements are needed to evaluate the findings from these studies, which can involve thousands of cells of varying response strength. Here we show that traditional measures of selectivity such as the orientation index (OI) and direction index (DI) are poorly suited for quantitative evaluation of orientation and direction tuning. We explore several alternative methods for quantifying tuning and for addressing a variety of questions that arise in studies on orientation- and direction-tuned cells and cell populations. We provide recommendations for which methods are best suited to which applications and we offer tips for avoiding potential pitfalls in applying these methods. Our goal is to supply a solid quantitative foundation for studies involving orientation and direction tuning. PMID:25147504

  19. Multi-level sexual selection: individual and family-level selection for mating success in a historical human population.

    PubMed

    Moorad, Jacob A

    2013-06-01

    Precopulatory sexual selection is the association between fitness and traits associated with mate acquisition. Although sexual selection is generally recognized to be a powerful evolutionary force, most investigations are limited to characters belonging to individuals. A broader multilevel perspective acknowledges that individual fitness can be affected by aspects of mating success that are characters of groups, such as families. Parental mating success in polygynous or polyandrous human societies may exemplify traits under group-level sexual selection. Using fitness measures that account for age-structure, I measure multilevel selection for mate number over 55 years in a human population with declining rates of polygyny. Sexual selection had three components: individual-level selection for ever-mating (whether an individual mated) and individual- and family-level selection for polyandry and polygyny. Family- and individual-level selection for polygyny was equally strong, three times stronger than family-level selection for polyandry and more than an order of magnitude stronger than individual-level selection for polyandry. However, individual-level selection for polyandry and polygyny was more effective at explaining relative fitness variance than family-level selection. Selection for ever-mating was the most important source of sexual selection for fitness; variation for ever-mating explained 23% of relative fitness variance.

  20. Genital morphology and fertilization success in the dung beetle Onthophagus taurus: an example of sexually selected male genitalia.

    PubMed

    House, Clarissa M; Simmons, Leigh W

    2003-03-01

    In animals with internal fertilization and promiscuous mating, male genitalia show rapid and divergent evolution. Three hypotheses have been suggested to explain the evolutionary processes responsible for genital evolution: the lock-and-key hypothesis, the pleiotropy hypothesis and the sexual-selection hypothesis. Here, we determine whether variation in male genital morphology influences fertilization success in the dung beetle Onthophagus taurus, as predicted by the sexual-selection hypothesis. Variation in four out of five genital sclerites of the endophallus influenced a male's fertilization success, supporting the general hypothesis that male genitalia can evolve under sexual selection. Furthermore, different genital sclerites were found to enhance first versus second male paternity, indicating that different sclerites serve offensive and defensive roles. Genital-trait variability was comparable to that in other species but was less variable than a non-genital sexually selected trait (head horns). We suggest that directional selection for genital elaboration may be countered by natural selection, which should favour genitalia of a size and shape necessary for efficient coupling and sperm transfer.

  1. Sex steroids, sexual behavior, and selection attention for erotic stimuli in women using oral contraceptives.

    PubMed

    Alexander, G M; Sherwin, B B

    1993-01-01

    The relationship between sex steroids and sexual behavior was examined in 19 oral contraceptive users. Retrospective assessment of sexual attitudes were obtained and women completed daily ratings of sexual behavior and well-being for 28 days. Plasma levels of free testosterone (T), estradiol, and progesterone were measured at weekly intervals. In addition, women performed a novel selective attention task designed to measure the strength of the tendency to be distracted by sexual stimuli. Multiple regression analyses using average sexual behavior variables as dependent variables, and hormone levels sexual attitudes and well-being as predictor variables, showed that free T was strongly and positively associated with sexual desire, sexual thoughts, and anticipation of sexual activity. A role for T in attention to sexual stimuli was also supported by the positive correlation between free T and the bias for sexual stimuli in a subgroup of women. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that T may enhance cognitive aspects of women's sexual behavior. PMID:8493300

  2. Sexual selection as a consequence of pathogen avoidance behaviors

    SciTech Connect

    Loehle, C.; Logofet, D.O.

    1997-08-01

    The current theory that sexual selection results from female choice for good genes suffers from several problems. An alternative explanation is proposed. The pathogen avoidance hypothesis argues that the primary function of showy traits is to provide a reliable signal of current disease status so that sick individuals may be avoided during mating. Our studies shown that a significant risk of pathogen transmission occurs during mating and that showy traits are reliable indicators of current disease status. The origin of female choosiness is argued to lie in a general tendency to avoid sick individuals, even in the absence of showy traits. The showy traits are argued to originate as simple exaggerations of normal traits that are indicative of good health (bright feathers; vigorous movement; large size). Thus the origins of both showy traits and female choosiness are not problematic in this theory. A game theory analysis is employed to formalize the theory. Results of the game theory model support the theory. In particular, when the possession of male showy traits does not help reduce disease in the female, then showy traits are unlikely to occur. This case corresponds to the situation in large flocks or herds in which every animal is thoroughly exposed to all group pathogens on average. Such species do not exhibit showy traits. The good genes model does not make this prediction. The pathogen avoidance model can also lead to the evolution of showy traits even when selection is not effective against a given pathogen (e.g., when there is no heritable variation for resistance) but will lead to selection for resistance if such genes are present. Overall, the pathogen avoidance hypothesis provides a complete alternative to the good genes theory.

  3. Sexuality after stroke: an exploration of current professional approaches, barriers to providing support and future directions.

    PubMed

    Richards, Alexandra; Dean, Rachel; Burgess, Gerald H; Caird, Helen

    2016-07-01

    Purpose Sexual difficulties post-stroke are common, yet frequently neglected within rehabilitation. This study aimed to explore the process by which healthcare professionals approach and work with the topic of sexuality within stroke rehabilitation. Method Ten participants were recruited from 5 community and inpatient multi-disciplinary stroke rehabilitation teams. Semi-structured interviews were carried out and data were analysed using grounded theory methodology. Results The authors developed a theoretical model of how professionals engage with sexual concerns. Professionals' own personal level of comfort with the topic of sexuality interacted with a series of barriers to limit opportunities for engagement. These barriers included factors relating to the context and workplace environment of stroke rehabilitation, professionals' perceptions that they did not have adequate skills in this area and unhelpful attitudes towards stroke survivors and sexuality. Although the majority of participants rarely engaged with sexual issues, they adopted both direct and indirect strategies for engaging with their service users' sexual concerns. Concerns were usually addressed through the provision of information and supportive conversations. Conclusions The findings suggest that sexuality is not a legitimised topic within stroke rehabilitation, and current work practises limit professionals' abilities to address service-users' concerns. Implications for developing effective training and staff support are discussed. Implications for rehabilitation Professionals working within stroke rehabilitation rarely directly bring up sexuality with patients, but an indirect method of approaching the topic is more common. Addressing sexual concerns often does not require expertise. Training should show professionals how to use transferable knowledge to address sexual issues and also enhance communication skills. Sexuality should be incorporated within local stroke policy and procedures, to

  4. Sexuality after stroke: an exploration of current professional approaches, barriers to providing support and future directions.

    PubMed

    Richards, Alexandra; Dean, Rachel; Burgess, Gerald H; Caird, Helen

    2016-07-01

    Purpose Sexual difficulties post-stroke are common, yet frequently neglected within rehabilitation. This study aimed to explore the process by which healthcare professionals approach and work with the topic of sexuality within stroke rehabilitation. Method Ten participants were recruited from 5 community and inpatient multi-disciplinary stroke rehabilitation teams. Semi-structured interviews were carried out and data were analysed using grounded theory methodology. Results The authors developed a theoretical model of how professionals engage with sexual concerns. Professionals' own personal level of comfort with the topic of sexuality interacted with a series of barriers to limit opportunities for engagement. These barriers included factors relating to the context and workplace environment of stroke rehabilitation, professionals' perceptions that they did not have adequate skills in this area and unhelpful attitudes towards stroke survivors and sexuality. Although the majority of participants rarely engaged with sexual issues, they adopted both direct and indirect strategies for engaging with their service users' sexual concerns. Concerns were usually addressed through the provision of information and supportive conversations. Conclusions The findings suggest that sexuality is not a legitimised topic within stroke rehabilitation, and current work practises limit professionals' abilities to address service-users' concerns. Implications for developing effective training and staff support are discussed. Implications for rehabilitation Professionals working within stroke rehabilitation rarely directly bring up sexuality with patients, but an indirect method of approaching the topic is more common. Addressing sexual concerns often does not require expertise. Training should show professionals how to use transferable knowledge to address sexual issues and also enhance communication skills. Sexuality should be incorporated within local stroke policy and procedures, to

  5. Behavioural interactions selecting for symmetry and asymmetry in sexual reproductive systems of eusocial species.

    PubMed

    Witting, Lars

    2007-05-01

    Understanding the life-history complex of eusociality has remained an enduring problem in evolutionary ecology, partially because natural selection models have considered traits in relative isolation. I aim for a more inclusive model that uses ecological interactions to predict the evolutionary existence of sexual reproduction, sexual reproduction asymmetry, and sex ratios in eusocial species. Using a two-level selection process, with within-population selection on the sex ratio of the sexual caste and between-population selection on the worker sex ratio and the degree of sexual reproduction asymmetry, it is found that a male-haploid genome and a worker caste of pure females is the evolutionary optimum of most initial conditions when, like in eusocial hymenoptera, there is no pair bond between the sexual male and female. That a diploid genome and a worker caste with both males and females is the evolutionary optimum of most initial conditions when, like in eusocial termites, there is a pair bond. That sex-linked genomes may evolve in diploid eusocials, and that the model will not generally maintain sexual reproduction by itself. These results hold for ploidy-levels that behave as quantitative or discrete traits, over a relatively wide range of the relative investment in a sexual male versus sexual female, and for partial sexual systems where the genomic portion with diploid inheritance is either fixed or random.

  6. Interface Pattern Selection in Directional Solidification

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trivedi, Rohit; Tewari, Surendra N.

    2001-01-01

    The central focus of this research is to establish key scientific concepts that govern the selection of cellular and dendritic patterns during the directional solidification of alloys. Ground-based studies have established that the conditions under which cellular and dendritic microstructures form are precisely where convection effects are dominant in bulk samples. Thus, experimental data can not be obtained terrestrially under pure diffusive regime. Furthermore, reliable theoretical models are not yet possible which can quantitatively incorporate fluid flow in the pattern selection criterion. Consequently, microgravity experiments on cellular and dendritic growth are designed to obtain benchmark data under diffusive growth conditions that can be quantitatively analyzed and compared with the rigorous theoretical model to establish the fundamental principles that govern the selection of specific microstructure and its length scales. In the cellular structure, different cells in an array are strongly coupled so that the cellular pattern evolution is controlled by complex interactions between thermal diffusion, solute diffusion and interface effects. These interactions give infinity of solutions, and the system selects only a narrow band of solutions. The aim of this investigation is to obtain benchmark data and develop a rigorous theoretical model that will allow us to quantitatively establish the physics of this selection process.

  7. Epidemiology of Sexual Abuse of Children: Old Problems, New Directions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leventhal, John M.

    1998-01-01

    This paper describes the major findings from epidemiological studies on the sexual abuse of children, raises questions that need to be addressed by future epidemiological studies, and reviews some of the barriers to conducting these studies. Findings are organized into five categories: prevalence, reported incidence, data from children,…

  8. Sexual Selection of Human Cooperative Behaviour: An Experimental Study in Rural Senegal

    PubMed Central

    Tognetti, Arnaud; Berticat, Claire; Raymond, Michel; Faurie, Charlotte

    2012-01-01

    Human cooperation in large groups and between non-kin individuals remains a Darwinian puzzle. Investigations into whether and how sexual selection is involved in the evolution of cooperation represent a new and important research direction. Here, 69 groups of four men or four women recruited from a rural population in Senegal played a sequential public-good game in the presence of out-group observers, either of the same sex or of the opposite sex. At the end of the game, participants could donate part of their gain to the village school in the presence of the same observers. Both contributions to the public good and donations to the school, which reflect different components of cooperativeness, were influenced by the sex of the observers. The results suggest that in this non-Western population, sexual selection acts mainly on men’s cooperative behaviour with non-kin, whereas women’s cooperativeness is mainly influenced by nonsexual social selection. PMID:22984503

  9. Coevolution of parental investment and sexually selected traits drives sex-role divergence.

    PubMed

    Fromhage, Lutz; Jennions, Michael D

    2016-01-01

    Sex-role evolution theory attempts to explain the origin and direction of male-female differences. A fundamental question is why anisogamy, the difference in gamete size that defines the sexes, has repeatedly led to large differences in subsequent parental care. Here we construct models to confirm predictions that individuals benefit less from caring when they face stronger sexual selection and/or lower certainty of parentage. However, we overturn the widely cited claim that a negative feedback between the operational sex ratio and the opportunity cost of care selects for egalitarian sex roles. We further argue that our model does not predict any effect of the adult sex ratio (ASR) that is independent of the source of ASR variation. Finally, to increase realism and unify earlier models, we allow for coevolution between parental investment and investment in sexually selected traits. Our model confirms that small initial differences in parental investment tend to increase due to positive evolutionary feedback, formally supporting long-standing, but unsubstantiated, verbal arguments. PMID:27535478

  10. Coevolution of parental investment and sexually selected traits drives sex-role divergence

    PubMed Central

    Fromhage, Lutz; Jennions, Michael D.

    2016-01-01

    Sex-role evolution theory attempts to explain the origin and direction of male–female differences. A fundamental question is why anisogamy, the difference in gamete size that defines the sexes, has repeatedly led to large differences in subsequent parental care. Here we construct models to confirm predictions that individuals benefit less from caring when they face stronger sexual selection and/or lower certainty of parentage. However, we overturn the widely cited claim that a negative feedback between the operational sex ratio and the opportunity cost of care selects for egalitarian sex roles. We further argue that our model does not predict any effect of the adult sex ratio (ASR) that is independent of the source of ASR variation. Finally, to increase realism and unify earlier models, we allow for coevolution between parental investment and investment in sexually selected traits. Our model confirms that small initial differences in parental investment tend to increase due to positive evolutionary feedback, formally supporting long-standing, but unsubstantiated, verbal arguments. PMID:27535478

  11. Unifying cornerstones of sexual selection: operational sex ratio, Bateman gradient and the scope for competitive investment.

    PubMed

    Kokko, Hanna; Klug, Hope; Jennions, Michael D

    2012-11-01

    What explains variation in the strength of sexual selection across species, populations or differences between the sexes? Here, we show that unifying two well-known lines of thinking provides the necessary conceptual framework to account for variation in sexual selection. The Bateman gradient and the operational sex ratio (OSR) are incomplete in complementary ways: the former describes the fitness gain per mating and the latter the potential difficulty of achieving it. We combine this insight with an analysis of the scope for sexually selected traits to spread despite naturally selected costs. We explain why the OSR sometimes does not affect the strength of sexual selection. An explanation of sexual selection becomes more logical when a long 'dry time' ('time out', recovery after mating due to e.g. parental care) is understood to reduce the expected time to the next mating when in the mating pool (i.e. available to mate again). This implies weaker selection to shorten the wait. An integrative view of sexual selection combines an understanding of the origin of OSR biases with how they are reflected in the Bateman gradient, and how this can produce selection for mate acquisition traits despite naturally selected costs.

  12. Sex ratio and density affect sexual selection in a sex-role reversed fish.

    PubMed

    Aronsen, Tonje; Berglund, Anders; Mobley, Kenyon B; Ratikainen, Irja I; Rosenqvist, Gunilla

    2013-11-01

    Understanding how demographic processes influence mating systems is important to decode ecological influences on sexual selection in nature. We manipulated sex ratio and density in experimental populations of the sex-role reversed pipefish Syngnathus typhle. We quantified sexual selection using the Bateman gradient (βss'), the opportunity for selection (I), and sexual selection (Is), and the maximum standardized sexual selection differential (smax'). We also measured selection on body length using standardized selection differentials (s') and mating differentials (m'), and tested whether the observed I and Is differ from values obtained by simulating random mating. We found that I, Is, and s'max, but not βss', were higher for females under female than male bias and the opposite for males, but density did not affect these measures. However, higher density decreased sexual selection (m' but not s') on female length, but selection on body length was not affected by sex ratio. Finally, Is but not I was higher than expected from random mating, and only for females under female bias. This study demonstrates that both sex ratio and density affect sexual selection and that disentangling interrelated demographic processes is essential to a more complete understanding of mating behavior and the evolution of mating systems.

  13. a Genetic Algorithm Based on Sexual Selection for the Multidimensional 0/1 Knapsack Problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varnamkhasti, Mohammad Jalali; Lee, Lai Soon

    In this study, a new technique is presented for choosing mate chromosomes during sexual selection in a genetic algorithm. The population is divided into groups of males and females. During the sexual selection, the female chromosome is selected by the tournament selection while the male chromosome is selected based on the hamming distance from the selected female chromosome, fitness value or active genes. Computational experiments are conducted on the proposed technique and the results are compared with some selection mechanisms commonly used for solving multidimensional 0/1 knapsack problems published in the literature.

  14. Mating preferences, sexual selection and patterns of cladogenesis in ray-finned fishes.

    PubMed

    Mank, J E

    2007-03-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that sexual selection may increase taxonomic diversity when emergent mating preferences result in reproductive isolation and therefore speciation. This theory has been invoked to explain patterns of diversity in ray-finned fishes (most notably in the cichlids), but the theory has not been tested comparatively in fish. Additionally, several other unrelated factors have been identified as promoters of cladogenesis, so it is unclear how important sexual selection might be in diversification. Using sister-clade analysis, I tested the relationship between the presence of sexually selected traits and taxonomic diversification in actinopterygiian fishes, a large clade that shows substantial diversity in mating preferences and related sexually selected traits. In all identified sister-families that differed with regard to the proportion of species manifesting sexually selected traits, sexual selection was correlated with increased diversification, and this association was significant across all sister clades (P=0.02). This suggests that sexual selection, when present, is a substantial driver of diversification in the ray-finned fishes, and lends further empirical support to the theoretical link between mating preferences and accelerated cladogenesis.

  15. A Sexual Selection Theory Longitudinal Analysis of Sexual Segregation and Integration in Early Adolescence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pellegrini, Anthony D.; Long, Jeffrey D.

    2003-01-01

    This longitudinal study examined the ways middle school peer groups become sexually integrated and the factors that predict dating popularity. Findings indicated that although groups did not become more integrated with time, changes in peer group sexual integration co-varied with dating popularity. Findings also showed that dominance-related…

  16. Receiver discriminability drives the evolution of complex sexual signals by sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Cui, Jianguo; Song, Xiaowei; Zhu, Bicheng; Fang, Guangzhan; Tang, Yezhong; Ryan, Michael J

    2016-04-01

    A hallmark of sexual selection by mate choice is the evolution of exaggerated traits, such as longer tails in birds and more acoustic components in the calls of birds and frogs. Trait elaboration can be opposed by costs such as increased metabolism and greater predation risk, but cognitive processes of the receiver can also put a brake on trait elaboration. For example, according to Weber's Law traits of a fixed absolute difference will be more difficult to discriminate as the absolute magnitude increases. Here, we show that in the Emei music frog (Babina daunchina) increases in the fundamental frequency between successive notes in the male advertisement call, which increases the spectral complexity of the call, facilitates the female's ability to compare the number of notes between calls. These results suggest that female's discriminability provides the impetus to switch from enhancement of signaling magnitude (i.e., adding more notes into calls) to employing a new signal feature (i.e., increasing frequency among notes) to increase complexity. We suggest that increasing the spectral complexity of notes ameliorates some of the effects of Weber's Law, and highlights how perceptual and cognitive biases of choosers can have important influences on the evolution of courtship signals. PMID:26920078

  17. Sexual selection and diversification: reexamining the correlation between dichromatism and speciation rate in birds.

    PubMed

    Huang, Huateng; Rabosky, Daniel L

    2014-11-01

    Theory predicts that sexual selection can serve as an important driver of speciation, but phylogenetic comparative analyses have failed to demonstrate a consistent effect of sexual selection on species richness at macroevolutionary scales. Sexual dichromatism in birds is an example of a phenotypic trait that is hypothesized to reflect the intensity of sexual selection, yet previous studies have reached ambiguous conclusions regarding its role in promoting species diversification. Here, we revisit this problem by pairing published spectrophotometer estimates of plumage dichromatism in the bird-visible range with a newly developed method for modeling speciation rates on phylogenetic trees that explicitly accounts for diversification rate variation through time and among clades. We find little evidence linking dichromatism to speciation across birds, using several measures of dichromatism and macroevolutionary diversification. These results suggest that sexual dichromatism plays a limited role in determining speciation rates at macroevolutionary scales in birds.

  18. No evidence for pre-copulatory sexual selection on sperm length in a passerine bird.

    PubMed

    Lifjeld, Jan T; Laskemoen, Terje; Kleven, Oddmund; Pedersen, A Tiril M; Lampe, Helene M; Rudolfsen, Geir; Schmoll, Tim; Slagsvold, Tore

    2012-01-01

    There is growing evidence that post-copulatory sexual selection, mediated by sperm competition, influences the evolution of sperm phenotypes. Evidence for pre-copulatory sexual selection effects on sperm traits, on the other hand, is rather scarce. A recent paper on the pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca, reported phenotypic associations between sperm length and two sexually selected male traits, i.e. plumage colour and arrival date, thus invoking pre-copulatory sexual selection for longer sperm. We were unable to replicate these associations with a larger data set from the same and two additional study populations; sperm length was not significantly related to either male plumage colour or arrival date. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in sperm length between populations despite marked differences in male plumage colour. We also found some evidence against the previously held assumption of longer sperm being qualitatively superior; longer sperm swam at the same speed as shorter sperm, but were less able to maintain speed over time. We argue that both empirical evidence and theoretical considerations suggest that the evolution of sperm morphology is not primarily associated with pre-copulatory sexual selection on male secondary sexual traits in this or other passerine bird species. The relatively large between-male variation in sperm length in this species is probably due to relaxed post-copulatory sexual selection.

  19. Sexually selected dichromatism in the hihi Notiomystis cincta: multiple colours for multiple receivers

    PubMed Central

    Walker, L K; Ewen, J G; Brekke, P; Kilner, R M

    2014-01-01

    Why do some bird species show dramatic sexual dichromatism in their plumage? Sexual selection is the most common answer to this question. However, other competing explanations mean it is unwise to assume that all sexual dichromatism has evolved by this mechanism. Even if sexual selection is involved, further work is necessary to determine whether dichromatism results from competition amongst rival males, or by female choice for attractive traits, or both. Here, we test whether sexually dichromatic hihi (Notiomystis cincta) plumage is currently under sexual selection, with detailed behavioural and genetic analyses of a free-living island population. Bateman gradients measured for males and females reveal the potential for sexual selection, whilst selection gradients, relating reproductive success to specific colourful traits, show that there is stabilizing selection on white ear tuft length in males. By correlating colourful male plumage with different components of reproductive success, we show that properties of yellow plumage are most likely a product of male–male competition, whilst properties of the black and white plumage are an outcome of both male–male competition and female choice. Male plumage therefore potentially signals to multiple receivers (rival males and potential mates), and this may explain the multicoloured appearance of one of the most strikingly dichromatic species in New Zealand. PMID:24836349

  20. Sexual selection counteracts extinction of small populations of the bulb mites.

    PubMed

    Jarzebowska, Magdalena; Radwan, Jacek

    2010-05-01

    Genetic drift in small populations can increase frequency of deleterious recessives and consequently lead to inbreeding depression and population extinction. On the other hand, as homozygosity at deleterious recessives increases, they should be purged from populations more effectively by selection. Sexual selection has been postulated to strengthen selection against deleterious mutations, and should thus decrease extinction rate and intensify purging of inbreeding depression. We tested these predictions in the bulb mite Rhizoglyphus robini. We created 100 replicate lines of small populations (five males and five females) and in half of them experimentally removed sexual selection by enforcing monogamy. The lines were propagated for eight generations and then assayed for purging of inbreeding depression. We found that proportion of lines which went extinct was lower with sexual selection than without. We also found evidence for purging of inbreeding depression in the lines with sexual selection, but not in lines without sexual selection. Our results suggest that purging of inbreeding depression was more effective against mutations with relatively large deleterious effects. Thus, although our data clearly indicate a positive impact of sexual selection on short-term survival of bottlenecked populations, long-term consequences are less clear as they may be negatively impacted by accumulation of deleterious mutations of small effect.

  1. The evolution of female sexuality and mate selection in humans.

    PubMed

    Small, M F

    1992-06-01

    Understanding female sexuality and mate choice is central to evolutionary scenarios of human social systems. Studies of female sexuality conducted by sex researchers in the United States since 1938 indicate that human females in general are concerned with their sexual well-being and are capable of sexual response parallel to that of males. Across cultures in general and in western societies in particular, females engage in extramarital affairs regularly, regardless of punishment by males or social disapproval. Families are usually concerned with marriage arrangements only insofar as those arrangements are economically or politically advantageous, but females most often have a voice in arranged marriages. Extended families also concentrate on a couple's future reproduction rather than on sexual exclusivity. Although marriage for females is often compromised by male or family reproductive interests (which may not in fact differ from female interests), females appear to exercise their sexuality with more freedom than has previously been suggested. Notions of human females as pawns in the male reproductive game, or as traders of sex for male services, should be dispelled.

  2. Sexually selected sentinels? Evidence of a role for intrasexual competition in sentinel behavior

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Lindsay A.; York, Jenny E.

    2016-01-01

    Although the evolutionary mechanisms that favor investment in cooperative behaviors have long been a focus of research, comparatively few studies have considered the role that sexual selection may play. For example, evolutionary explanations for sentinel behavior (where 1 individual assumes an elevated position and scans the surroundings while other group members forage nearby) have traditionally focused on the inclusive fitness benefits arising from its effects on predation risk, while its potential role in defense against intrasexual competitors remains largely unexplored. Here, we provide experimental evidence of a role for sentinel behavior in intrasexual competition, in a cooperatively breeding songbird, the white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali). First, dominant males sentinel substantially more than other group members (even when controlling for variation in age and body condition), consistent with a role for sentineling in intrasexual competition for mates and/or territory. Second, experimental playback of an unfamiliar male’s solo song elicited a marked increase in sentineling by the dominant male, and the vocal response to the playback also positively predicted his sentinel effort following the simulated intrusion. A second experiment also suggests that sentineling may facilitate mounting rapid anti-intruder responses, as responses to intruder-playback occurred significantly earlier when the dominant male was sentineling rather than foraging at playback onset. Together, our findings provide rare support for the hypothesis that sentinel behavior plays a role in intrasexual competition, and so highlight the potential for sexually selected direct benefits to shape its expression in this and other social vertebrates.

  3. Can sexual selection theory inform genetic management of captive populations? A review

    PubMed Central

    Chargé, Rémi; Teplitsky, Céline; Sorci, Gabriele; Low, Matthew

    2014-01-01

    Captive breeding for conservation purposes presents a serious practical challenge because several conflicting genetic processes (i.e., inbreeding depression, random genetic drift and genetic adaptation to captivity) need to be managed in concert to maximize captive population persistence and reintroduction success probability. Because current genetic management is often only partly successful in achieving these goals, it has been suggested that management insights may be found in sexual selection theory (in particular, female mate choice). We review the theoretical and empirical literature and consider how female mate choice might influence captive breeding in the context of current genetic guidelines for different sexual selection theories (i.e., direct benefits, good genes, compatible genes, sexy sons). We show that while mate choice shows promise as a tool in captive breeding under certain conditions, for most species, there is currently too little theoretical and empirical evidence to provide any clear guidelines that would guarantee positive fitness outcomes and avoid conflicts with other genetic goals. The application of female mate choice to captive breeding is in its infancy and requires a goal-oriented framework based on the needs of captive species management, so researchers can make honest assessments of the costs and benefits of such an approach, using simulations, model species and captive animal data. PMID:25553072

  4. Sexually selected sentinels? Evidence of a role for intrasexual competition in sentinel behavior

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Lindsay A.; York, Jenny E.

    2016-01-01

    Although the evolutionary mechanisms that favor investment in cooperative behaviors have long been a focus of research, comparatively few studies have considered the role that sexual selection may play. For example, evolutionary explanations for sentinel behavior (where 1 individual assumes an elevated position and scans the surroundings while other group members forage nearby) have traditionally focused on the inclusive fitness benefits arising from its effects on predation risk, while its potential role in defense against intrasexual competitors remains largely unexplored. Here, we provide experimental evidence of a role for sentinel behavior in intrasexual competition, in a cooperatively breeding songbird, the white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali). First, dominant males sentinel substantially more than other group members (even when controlling for variation in age and body condition), consistent with a role for sentineling in intrasexual competition for mates and/or territory. Second, experimental playback of an unfamiliar male’s solo song elicited a marked increase in sentineling by the dominant male, and the vocal response to the playback also positively predicted his sentinel effort following the simulated intrusion. A second experiment also suggests that sentineling may facilitate mounting rapid anti-intruder responses, as responses to intruder-playback occurred significantly earlier when the dominant male was sentineling rather than foraging at playback onset. Together, our findings provide rare support for the hypothesis that sentinel behavior plays a role in intrasexual competition, and so highlight the potential for sexually selected direct benefits to shape its expression in this and other social vertebrates. PMID:27656086

  5. Can sexual selection theory inform genetic management of captive populations? A review.

    PubMed

    Chargé, Rémi; Teplitsky, Céline; Sorci, Gabriele; Low, Matthew

    2014-11-01

    Captive breeding for conservation purposes presents a serious practical challenge because several conflicting genetic processes (i.e., inbreeding depression, random genetic drift and genetic adaptation to captivity) need to be managed in concert to maximize captive population persistence and reintroduction success probability. Because current genetic management is often only partly successful in achieving these goals, it has been suggested that management insights may be found in sexual selection theory (in particular, female mate choice). We review the theoretical and empirical literature and consider how female mate choice might influence captive breeding in the context of current genetic guidelines for different sexual selection theories (i.e., direct benefits, good genes, compatible genes, sexy sons). We show that while mate choice shows promise as a tool in captive breeding under certain conditions, for most species, there is currently too little theoretical and empirical evidence to provide any clear guidelines that would guarantee positive fitness outcomes and avoid conflicts with other genetic goals. The application of female mate choice to captive breeding is in its infancy and requires a goal-oriented framework based on the needs of captive species management, so researchers can make honest assessments of the costs and benefits of such an approach, using simulations, model species and captive animal data. PMID:25553072

  6. Sexual Selection and the differences between the sexes in Mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx).

    PubMed

    Setchell, Joanna M

    2016-01-01

    Sexual selection has become a major focus in evolutionary and behavioral ecology. It is also a popular research topic in primatology. I use studies of mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx), a classic example of extravagant armaments and ornaments in animals, to exemplify how a long-term, multidisciplinary approach that integrates field observations with laboratory methods can contribute to on-going theoretical debates in the field of sexual selection. I begin with a brief summary of the main concepts of sexual selection theory and the differences between the sexes. I then introduce mandrills and the study population and review mandrill life history, the ontogeny of sex differences, and maternal effects. Next, I focus on male-male competition and female choice, followed by the less well-studied questions of female-female competition and male choice. This review shows how different reproductive priorities lead to very different life histories and divergent adaptations in males and females. It demonstrates how broadening traditional perspectives on sexual selection beyond the ostentatious results of intense sexual selection on males leads to an understanding of more subtle and cryptic forms of competition and choice in both sexes and opens many productive avenues in the study of primate reproductive strategies. These include the potential for studies of postcopulatory selection, female intrasexual competition, and male choice. These studies of mandrills provide comparison and, I hope, inspiration for studies of both other polygynandrous species and species with mating systems less traditionally associated with sexual selection.

  7. Ecological selection as the cause and sexual differentiation as the consequence of species divergence?

    PubMed

    Oneal, Elen; Knowles, L Lacey

    2013-01-01

    Key conceptual issues about speciation go unanswered without consideration of non-mutually exclusive factors. With tests based on speciation theory, we exploit the island distribution and habitat differences exhibited by the Caribbean cricket Amphiacusta sanctaecrucis, and with an analysis of divergent ecological selection, sexually selected differentiation and geographical isolation, address how these different factors interact. After testing for divergent selection by comparing neutral genetic and morphological divergence in one ecological (mandible shape) and one sexual (male genitalia shape) trait, we examine whether ecological or sexual selection is the primary mechanism driving population divergence. We find that all three factors--isolation, ecological and sexual selection--contribute to divergence, and that their interaction determines the stage of completeness achieved during the speciation process, as measured by patterns of genetic differentiation. Moreover, despite the striking diversity in genitalic shapes across the genus Amphiacusta, which suggests that sexual selection drives speciation, the significant differences in genitalia shape between forest habitats revealed here implies that ecological divergence may be the primary axis of divergence. Our work highlights critical unstudied aspects in speciation-differentiating the cause from the consequence of divergence-and suggests avenues for further disentangling the roles of natural and sexual selection in driving divergence in Amphiacusta.

  8. Sexual Selection and the differences between the sexes in Mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx).

    PubMed

    Setchell, Joanna M

    2016-01-01

    Sexual selection has become a major focus in evolutionary and behavioral ecology. It is also a popular research topic in primatology. I use studies of mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx), a classic example of extravagant armaments and ornaments in animals, to exemplify how a long-term, multidisciplinary approach that integrates field observations with laboratory methods can contribute to on-going theoretical debates in the field of sexual selection. I begin with a brief summary of the main concepts of sexual selection theory and the differences between the sexes. I then introduce mandrills and the study population and review mandrill life history, the ontogeny of sex differences, and maternal effects. Next, I focus on male-male competition and female choice, followed by the less well-studied questions of female-female competition and male choice. This review shows how different reproductive priorities lead to very different life histories and divergent adaptations in males and females. It demonstrates how broadening traditional perspectives on sexual selection beyond the ostentatious results of intense sexual selection on males leads to an understanding of more subtle and cryptic forms of competition and choice in both sexes and opens many productive avenues in the study of primate reproductive strategies. These include the potential for studies of postcopulatory selection, female intrasexual competition, and male choice. These studies of mandrills provide comparison and, I hope, inspiration for studies of both other polygynandrous species and species with mating systems less traditionally associated with sexual selection. PMID:26808101

  9. The effects of sexual selection on life-history traits: an experimental study on guppies.

    PubMed

    Pélabon, C; Larsen, L-K; Bolstad, G H; Viken, Å; Fleming, I A; Rosenqvist, G

    2014-02-01

    Sexual selection is often prevented during captive breeding in order to maximize effective population size and retain genetic diversity. However, enforcing monogamy and thereby preventing sexual selection may affect population fitness either negatively by preventing the purging of deleterious mutations or positively by reducing sexual conflicts. To better understand the effect of sexual selection on the fitness of small populations, we compared components of female fitness and the expression of male secondary sexual characters in 19 experimental populations of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) maintained under polygamous or monogamous mating regimes over nine generations. In order to generate treatments that solely differed by their level of sexual selection, the middle-class neighbourhood breeding design was enforced in the monogamous populations, while in the polygamous populations, all females contributed similarly to the next generation with one male and one female offspring. This experimental design allowed potential sexual conflicts to increase in the polygamous populations because selection could not operate on adult-female traits. Clutch size and offspring survival showed a weak decline from generation to generation but did not differ among treatments. Offspring size, however, declined across generations, but more in monogamous than polygamous populations. By generation eight, orange- and black-spot areas were larger in males from the polygamous treatment, but these differences were not statistically significant. Overall, these results suggest that neither sexual conflict nor the purging of deleterious mutation had important effects on the fitness of our experimental populations. However, only few generations of enforced monogamy in a benign environment were sufficient to negatively affect offspring size, a trait potentially crucial for survival in the wild. Sexual selection may therefore, under certain circumstances, be beneficial over enforced monogamy during

  10. The effects of sexual selection on life-history traits: an experimental study on guppies.

    PubMed

    Pélabon, C; Larsen, L-K; Bolstad, G H; Viken, Å; Fleming, I A; Rosenqvist, G

    2014-02-01

    Sexual selection is often prevented during captive breeding in order to maximize effective population size and retain genetic diversity. However, enforcing monogamy and thereby preventing sexual selection may affect population fitness either negatively by preventing the purging of deleterious mutations or positively by reducing sexual conflicts. To better understand the effect of sexual selection on the fitness of small populations, we compared components of female fitness and the expression of male secondary sexual characters in 19 experimental populations of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) maintained under polygamous or monogamous mating regimes over nine generations. In order to generate treatments that solely differed by their level of sexual selection, the middle-class neighbourhood breeding design was enforced in the monogamous populations, while in the polygamous populations, all females contributed similarly to the next generation with one male and one female offspring. This experimental design allowed potential sexual conflicts to increase in the polygamous populations because selection could not operate on adult-female traits. Clutch size and offspring survival showed a weak decline from generation to generation but did not differ among treatments. Offspring size, however, declined across generations, but more in monogamous than polygamous populations. By generation eight, orange- and black-spot areas were larger in males from the polygamous treatment, but these differences were not statistically significant. Overall, these results suggest that neither sexual conflict nor the purging of deleterious mutation had important effects on the fitness of our experimental populations. However, only few generations of enforced monogamy in a benign environment were sufficient to negatively affect offspring size, a trait potentially crucial for survival in the wild. Sexual selection may therefore, under certain circumstances, be beneficial over enforced monogamy during

  11. Matched Filters, Mate Choice and the Evolution of Sexually Selected Traits

    PubMed Central

    Kostarakos, Konstantinos; Hartbauer, Manfred; Römer, Heiner

    2008-01-01

    Background Fundamental for understanding the evolution of communication systems is both the variation in a signal and how this affects the behavior of receivers, as well as variation in preference functions of receivers, and how this affects the variability of the signal. However, individual differences in female preference functions and their proximate causation have rarely been studied. Methodology/Principal Findings Calling songs of male field crickets represent secondary sexual characters and are subject to sexual selection by female choice. Following predictions from the “matched filter hypothesis” we studied the tuning of an identified interneuron in a field cricket, known for its function in phonotaxis, and correlated this with the preference of the same females in two-choice trials. Females vary in their neuronal frequency tuning, which strongly predicts the preference in a choice situation between two songs differing in carrier frequency. A second “matched filter” exists in directional hearing, where reliable cues for sound localization occur only in a narrow frequency range. There is a strong correlation between the directional tuning and the behavioural preference in no-choice tests. This second “matched filter” also varies widely in females, and surprisingly, differs on average by 400 Hz from the neuronal frequency tuning. Conclusions/Significance Our findings on the mismatch of the two “matched filters” would suggest that the difference in these two filters appears to be caused by their evolutionary history, and the different trade-offs which exist between sound emission, transmission and detection, as well as directional hearing under specific ecological settings. The mismatched filter situation may ultimately explain the maintenance of considerable variation in the carrier frequency of the male signal despite stabilizing selection. PMID:18714350

  12. Disentangling the contribution of sexual selection and ecology to the evolution of size dimorphism in pinnipeds.

    PubMed

    Krüger, Oliver; Wolf, Jochen B W; Jonker, Rudy M; Hoffman, Joseph I; Trillmich, Fritz

    2014-05-01

    The positive relationship between sexual size dimorphism (SSD) and harem size across pinnipeds is often cited as a textbook example of sexual selection. It assumes that female aggregation selected for large male size via male-male competition. Yet, it is also conceivable that SSD evolved prior to polygyny due to ecological forces. We analyzed 11 life-history traits in 35 pinniped species to determine their coevolutionary dynamics and infer their most likely evolutionary trajectories contrasting these two hypotheses. We find support for SSD having evolved prior to changes in the mating system, either as a consequence of niche partitioning during aquatic foraging or in combination with sexual selection on males to enforce copulations on females. Only subsequently did polygyny evolve, leading to further coevolution as the strength of sexual selection intensified. Evolutionary sequence analyses suggest a polar origin of pinnipeds and indicate that SSD and polygyny are intrinsically linked to a suite of ecological and life-history traits. Overall, this study calls for the inclusion of ecological variables when studying sexual selection and argues for caution when assuming causality between coevolving traits. It provides novel insights into the role of sexual selection for the coevolutionary dynamics of SSD and mating system. PMID:24475921

  13. Partitioning sexual selection into its mating success and fertilization success components.

    PubMed

    Pischedda, Alison; Rice, William R

    2012-02-01

    Postcopulatory sexual selection due to sperm competition and/or cryptic female choice has been documented in a diversity of taxonomic groups and is considered a pivotal component of sexual selection. Despite this apparent importance, the relative contribution of postcopulatory fertilization success to overall sexual selection has not yet been measured in any species. Here, we used a laboratory-adapted population of the promiscuous fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to partition the variance in male reproductive success into mating success (a major component of precopulatory sexual selection) and fertilization success (a major component of postcopulatory sexual selection). We found that fertilization success contributed nearly as strongly as mating success to a male's net performance in sexual selection, but that most of this postcopulatory component was attributable to variation in male mating order (the tendency to be the last male to mate a female). After adjusting for mating order, only ≈2% of the residual variation in male reproductive success was attributable to differential fertilization success. We found no correlation between male mating success and fertilization success in this system. Unlike natural populations of Drosophila, our laboratory population is adapted to a semelparous lifecycle, so our findings will be most applicable to other promiscuous species with strong sperm precedence and one short breeding period per year or lifetime. In these species, fertilization success may have as much influence on male reproductive success as mating success, but the timing of mating (mating order) may be the predominant factor contributing to variation in fertilization success.

  14. Ecological selection as the cause and sexual differentiation as the consequence of species divergence?

    PubMed Central

    Oneal, Elen; Knowles, L. Lacey

    2013-01-01

    Key conceptual issues about speciation go unanswered without consideration of non-mutually exclusive factors. With tests based on speciation theory, we exploit the island distribution and habitat differences exhibited by the Caribbean cricket Amphiacusta sanctaecrucis, and with an analysis of divergent ecological selection, sexually selected differentiation and geographical isolation, address how these different factors interact. After testing for divergent selection by comparing neutral genetic and morphological divergence in one ecological (mandible shape) and one sexual (male genitalia shape) trait, we examine whether ecological or sexual selection is the primary mechanism driving population divergence. We find that all three factors—isolation, ecological and sexual selection—contribute to divergence, and that their interaction determines the stage of completeness achieved during the speciation process, as measured by patterns of genetic differentiation. Moreover, despite the striking diversity in genitalic shapes across the genus Amphiacusta, which suggests that sexual selection drives speciation, the significant differences in genitalia shape between forest habitats revealed here implies that ecological divergence may be the primary axis of divergence. Our work highlights critical unstudied aspects in speciation—differentiating the cause from the consequence of divergence—and suggests avenues for further disentangling the roles of natural and sexual selection in driving divergence in Amphiacusta. PMID:23173206

  15. Disentangling the contribution of sexual selection and ecology to the evolution of size dimorphism in pinnipeds.

    PubMed

    Krüger, Oliver; Wolf, Jochen B W; Jonker, Rudy M; Hoffman, Joseph I; Trillmich, Fritz

    2014-05-01

    The positive relationship between sexual size dimorphism (SSD) and harem size across pinnipeds is often cited as a textbook example of sexual selection. It assumes that female aggregation selected for large male size via male-male competition. Yet, it is also conceivable that SSD evolved prior to polygyny due to ecological forces. We analyzed 11 life-history traits in 35 pinniped species to determine their coevolutionary dynamics and infer their most likely evolutionary trajectories contrasting these two hypotheses. We find support for SSD having evolved prior to changes in the mating system, either as a consequence of niche partitioning during aquatic foraging or in combination with sexual selection on males to enforce copulations on females. Only subsequently did polygyny evolve, leading to further coevolution as the strength of sexual selection intensified. Evolutionary sequence analyses suggest a polar origin of pinnipeds and indicate that SSD and polygyny are intrinsically linked to a suite of ecological and life-history traits. Overall, this study calls for the inclusion of ecological variables when studying sexual selection and argues for caution when assuming causality between coevolving traits. It provides novel insights into the role of sexual selection for the coevolutionary dynamics of SSD and mating system.

  16. Sexual initiation of youths in selected European countries compared with their sexual and contraceptive knowledge.

    PubMed

    Krauss, Hanna; Bogdański, Paweł; Szulińska, Monika; Malewski, Marek; Buraczyńska-Andrzejewska, Beata; Sosnowski, Przemysław; Piątek, Jacek; Demont, Caroline; Kaczmarek, Chris; Kaczmarek, Elizabeth; Szpakow, Andrzej; Kleszczewska, Ewa; Maciorkowska, Elżbieta; Klimberg, Aneta J; Mikrut, Kinga

    2012-01-01

    The problem of educating youths entering adult life is as old as the history of mankind. The data shown in the introduction indicate that the methods of education depend on culture, religion, climatic zone, and a whole chain of events characteristic for the place where the young man grows up. Research data, however, show that adolescents of the former Eastern Bloc use contraceptives significantly less often and have a more traditional approach to the relationships between a man and a woman. They are, however, more likely to engage in random sexual contacts and accompanied dangerous sexual behaviours. Polish youths have a more liberal approach to the norms concerning sexual activity. The age of sexual initiation lowers gradually, but not as radically as over the western border. These changes occur at a slower rate than in other European countries. Sexual education, which is supposed to prepare the young man, responsible and fully aware of his actions, for adult life, also develops at a slower rate.

  17. Selectivity of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membranes.

    PubMed

    Aricò, Antonino S; Sebastian, David; Schuster, Michael; Bauer, Bernd; D'Urso, Claudia; Lufrano, Francesco; Baglio, Vincenzo

    2015-11-24

    Sulfonic acid-functionalized polymer electrolyte membranes alternative to Nafion(®) were developed. These were hydrocarbon systems, such as blend sulfonated polyetheretherketone (s-PEEK), new generation perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) systems, and composite zirconium phosphate-PFSA polymers. The membranes varied in terms of composition, equivalent weight, thickness, and filler and were investigated with regard to their methanol permeation characteristics and proton conductivity for application in direct methanol fuel cells. The behavior of the membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) was investigated in fuel cell with the aim to individuate a correlation between membrane characteristics and their performance in a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). The power density of the DMFC at 60 °C increased according to a square root-like function of the membrane selectivity. This was defined as the reciprocal of the product between area specific resistance and crossover. The power density achieved at 60 °C for the most promising s-PEEK-based membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) was higher than the benchmark Nafion(®) 115-based MEA (77 mW·cm(-2) vs. 64 mW·cm(-2)). This result was due to a lower methanol crossover (47 mA·cm(-2) equivalent current density for s-PEEK vs. 120 mA·cm(-2) for Nafion(®) 115 at 60 °C as recorded at OCV with 2 M methanol) and a suitable area specific resistance (0.15 Ohm cm² for s-PEEK vs. 0.22 Ohm cm² for Nafion(®) 115).

  18. Selectivity of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Aricò, Antonino S.; Sebastian, David; Schuster, Michael; Bauer, Bernd; D’Urso, Claudia; Lufrano, Francesco; Baglio, Vincenzo

    2015-01-01

    Sulfonic acid-functionalized polymer electrolyte membranes alternative to Nafion® were developed. These were hydrocarbon systems, such as blend sulfonated polyetheretherketone (s-PEEK), new generation perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) systems, and composite zirconium phosphate–PFSA polymers. The membranes varied in terms of composition, equivalent weight, thickness, and filler and were investigated with regard to their methanol permeation characteristics and proton conductivity for application in direct methanol fuel cells. The behavior of the membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) was investigated in fuel cell with the aim to individuate a correlation between membrane characteristics and their performance in a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). The power density of the DMFC at 60 °C increased according to a square root-like function of the membrane selectivity. This was defined as the reciprocal of the product between area specific resistance and crossover. The power density achieved at 60 °C for the most promising s-PEEK-based membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) was higher than the benchmark Nafion® 115-based MEA (77 mW·cm−2 vs. 64 mW·cm−2). This result was due to a lower methanol crossover (47 mA·cm−2 equivalent current density for s-PEEK vs. 120 mA·cm−2 for Nafion® 115 at 60 °C as recorded at OCV with 2 M methanol) and a suitable area specific resistance (0.15 Ohm cm2 for s-PEEK vs. 0.22 Ohm cm2 for Nafion® 115). PMID:26610582

  19. Censorship of Sexual Materials: A Selected, Annotated Basic Bibliography.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tedford, Thomas L.

    The 37 references in this annotated bibliography are compiled for researchers of information on the censorship of sexual materials from ancient times to present. The materials include case studies, histories, essays, and opinion pieces about the use and regulation of "obscenity" in literature, pictorial art, radio broadcasting, the mail, film, and…

  20. Young Male Prostitutes: Their Knowledge of Selected Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calhoun, Thomas; Pickerill, Brian

    1988-01-01

    Conducted unstructured interviews with 18 male street prostitutes between the ages of 13 and 22 to determine the extent of accurate knowledge they possessed concerning four common sexually transmitted diseases. Found that subjects possessed more factual information on gonorrhea and syphilis than on herpes and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.…

  1. Selective silicate-directed motility in diatoms

    PubMed Central

    Bondoc, Karen Grace V.; Heuschele, Jan; Gillard, Jeroen; Vyverman, Wim; Pohnert, Georg

    2016-01-01

    Diatoms are highly abundant unicellular algae that often dominate pelagic as well as benthic primary production in the oceans and inland waters. Being strictly dependent on silica to build their biomineralized cell walls, marine diatoms precipitate 240 × 1012 mol Si per year, which makes them the major sink in the global Si cycle. Dissolved silicic acid (dSi) availability frequently limits diatom productivity and influences species composition of communities. We show that benthic diatoms selectively perceive and behaviourally react to gradients of dSi. Cell speed increases under dSi-limited conditions in a chemokinetic response and, if gradients of this resource are present, increased directionality of cell movement promotes chemotaxis. The ability to exploit local and short-lived dSi hotspots using a specific search behaviour likely contributes to micro-scale patch dynamics in biofilm communities. On a global scale this behaviour might affect sediment–water dSi fluxes and biogeochemical cycling. PMID:26842428

  2. Whole-genome resequencing uncovers molecular signatures of natural and sexual selection in wild bighorn sheep.

    PubMed

    Kardos, Marty; Luikart, Gordon; Bunch, Rowan; Dewey, Sarah; Edwards, William; McWilliam, Sean; Stephenson, John; Allendorf, Fred W; Hogg, John T; Kijas, James

    2015-11-01

    The identification of genes influencing fitness is central to our understanding of the genetic basis of adaptation and how it shapes phenotypic variation in wild populations. Here, we used whole-genome resequencing of wild Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) to >50-fold coverage to identify 2.8 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and genomic regions bearing signatures of directional selection (i.e. selective sweeps). A comparison of SNP diversity between the X chromosome and the autosomes indicated that bighorn males had a dramatically reduced long-term effective population size compared to females. This probably reflects a long history of intense sexual selection mediated by male-male competition for mates. Selective sweep scans based on heterozygosity and nucleotide diversity revealed evidence for a selective sweep shared across multiple populations at RXFP2, a gene that strongly affects horn size in domestic ungulates. The massive horns carried by bighorn rams appear to have evolved in part via strong positive selection at RXFP2. We identified evidence for selection within individual populations at genes affecting early body growth and cellular response to hypoxia; however, these must be interpreted more cautiously as genetic drift is strong within local populations and may have caused false positives. These results represent a rare example of strong genomic signatures of selection identified at genes with known function in wild populations of a nonmodel species. Our results also showcase the value of reference genome assemblies from agricultural or model species for studies of the genomic basis of adaptation in closely related wild taxa.

  3. Whole-genome resequencing uncovers molecular signatures of natural and sexual selection in wild bighorn sheep.

    PubMed

    Kardos, Marty; Luikart, Gordon; Bunch, Rowan; Dewey, Sarah; Edwards, William; McWilliam, Sean; Stephenson, John; Allendorf, Fred W; Hogg, John T; Kijas, James

    2015-11-01

    The identification of genes influencing fitness is central to our understanding of the genetic basis of adaptation and how it shapes phenotypic variation in wild populations. Here, we used whole-genome resequencing of wild Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) to >50-fold coverage to identify 2.8 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and genomic regions bearing signatures of directional selection (i.e. selective sweeps). A comparison of SNP diversity between the X chromosome and the autosomes indicated that bighorn males had a dramatically reduced long-term effective population size compared to females. This probably reflects a long history of intense sexual selection mediated by male-male competition for mates. Selective sweep scans based on heterozygosity and nucleotide diversity revealed evidence for a selective sweep shared across multiple populations at RXFP2, a gene that strongly affects horn size in domestic ungulates. The massive horns carried by bighorn rams appear to have evolved in part via strong positive selection at RXFP2. We identified evidence for selection within individual populations at genes affecting early body growth and cellular response to hypoxia; however, these must be interpreted more cautiously as genetic drift is strong within local populations and may have caused false positives. These results represent a rare example of strong genomic signatures of selection identified at genes with known function in wild populations of a nonmodel species. Our results also showcase the value of reference genome assemblies from agricultural or model species for studies of the genomic basis of adaptation in closely related wild taxa. PMID:26454263

  4. Macroecology of Sexual Selection: A Predictive Conceptual Framework for Large-Scale Variation in Reproductive Traits.

    PubMed

    Machado, Glauco; Buzatto, Bruno A; García-Hernández, Solimary; Macías-Ordóñez, Rogelio

    2016-09-01

    Abiotic factors exert direct and indirect influences on behavioral, morphological, and life-history traits. Because some of these traits are related to reproduction, there is a causal link between climatic conditions and the expression of reproductive traits. This link allows us to generate predictions on how reproductive traits vary in large geographic scales. Here we formalize this macroecological framework, present some general predictions, and explore empirical examples using harvestmen as study organisms. Our results show that the length of breeding season in harvestmen is primarily influenced by the number of warm months and that precipitation plays a secondary role in modulating the period devoted to reproduction. Moreover, we show that the probability of resource defense polygyny increases with longer breeding seasons and that the presence of this type of mating system positively affects the magnitude of sexual dimorphism in harvestmen. Finally, the presence of postovipositional parental care is also influenced by the length of breeding season but not by actual evapotranspiration, which is our proxy for the intensity of biotic interactions. We argue that the macroecological framework proposed here may be a fruitful field of investigation, with important implications for our understanding of sexual selection and the evolution of reproductive traits in both animals and plants. PMID:27513913

  5. Evolution of female multiple mating: A quantitative model of the "sexually selected sperm" hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Bocedi, Greta; Reid, Jane M

    2015-01-01

    Explaining the evolution and maintenance of polyandry remains a key challenge in evolutionary ecology. One appealing explanation is the sexually selected sperm (SSS) hypothesis, which proposes that polyandry evolves due to indirect selection stemming from positive genetic covariance with male fertilization efficiency, and hence with a male's success in postcopulatory competition for paternity. However, the SSS hypothesis relies on verbal analogy with "sexy-son" models explaining coevolution of female preferences for male displays, and explicit models that validate the basic SSS principle are surprisingly lacking. We developed analogous genetically explicit individual-based models describing the SSS and "sexy-son" processes. We show that the analogy between the two is only partly valid, such that the genetic correlation arising between polyandry and fertilization efficiency is generally smaller than that arising between preference and display, resulting in less reliable coevolution. Importantly, indirect selection was too weak to cause polyandry to evolve in the presence of negative direct selection. Negatively biased mutations on fertilization efficiency did not generally rescue runaway evolution of polyandry unless realized fertilization was highly skewed toward a single male, and coevolution was even weaker given random mating order effects on fertilization. Our models suggest that the SSS process is, on its own, unlikely to generally explain the evolution of polyandry.

  6. Evolution of female multiple mating: A quantitative model of the "sexually selected sperm" hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Bocedi, Greta; Reid, Jane M

    2015-01-01

    Explaining the evolution and maintenance of polyandry remains a key challenge in evolutionary ecology. One appealing explanation is the sexually selected sperm (SSS) hypothesis, which proposes that polyandry evolves due to indirect selection stemming from positive genetic covariance with male fertilization efficiency, and hence with a male's success in postcopulatory competition for paternity. However, the SSS hypothesis relies on verbal analogy with "sexy-son" models explaining coevolution of female preferences for male displays, and explicit models that validate the basic SSS principle are surprisingly lacking. We developed analogous genetically explicit individual-based models describing the SSS and "sexy-son" processes. We show that the analogy between the two is only partly valid, such that the genetic correlation arising between polyandry and fertilization efficiency is generally smaller than that arising between preference and display, resulting in less reliable coevolution. Importantly, indirect selection was too weak to cause polyandry to evolve in the presence of negative direct selection. Negatively biased mutations on fertilization efficiency did not generally rescue runaway evolution of polyandry unless realized fertilization was highly skewed toward a single male, and coevolution was even weaker given random mating order effects on fertilization. Our models suggest that the SSS process is, on its own, unlikely to generally explain the evolution of polyandry. PMID:25330405

  7. The intricate relationship between sexually antagonistic selection and the evolution of sex chromosome fusions.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Tomotaka; Kitano, Jun

    2016-09-01

    Sex chromosomes are among the most evolutionarily labile features in some groups of animals. One of the mechanisms causing structural changes of sex chromosomes is fusion with an autosome. A recent study showed that the establishment rates of Y chromosome-autosome fusions are much higher than those of other fusions (i.e., X-autosome, W-autosome, and Z-autosome fusions) in fishes and reptiles. Although sexually antagonistic selection may be one of the most important driving forces of sex chromosome-autosome fusions, a previous theoretical analysis showed that sexually antagonistic selection alone cannot explain the excess of Y-autosome fusions in these taxa. This previous analysis, however, is based on the assumption that sexually antagonistic selection is symmetric, sexually antagonistic alleles are maintained only by selection-drift balance (i.e., no supply of mutation), and only one type of fusion arises within a population. Here, we removed these assumptions and made an individual-based model to simulate the establishment of sex chromosome-autosome fusions. Our simulations showed that the highest establishment rate of Y-autosome fusion can be achieved when the fusion captures a rare male-beneficial allele, if the recurrent mutation rates are high enough to maintain the polymorphism of alleles with asymmetric, sexually antagonistic effects. Our results demonstrate that sexually antagonistic selection can influence the dynamics of sex chromosome structural changes, but the type of fusion that becomes the most common depends on fusion rates, recurrent mutation rates, and selection regimes. Because the evolutionary fate of sex chromosome-autosome fusions is highly parameter-sensitive, further attempts to empirically measure these parameters in natural populations are essential for a better understanding of the roles of sexually antagonistic selection in sex chromosome evolution. PMID:27259387

  8. Future directions in research on sexual minority adolescent mental, behavioral, and sexual health

    PubMed Central

    Mustanski, Brian

    2015-01-01

    This article describes current knowledge on sexual, mental, and behavioral health of sexual minority (SM) youth and identifies gaps that would benefit from future research. A translational sciences framework is used to conceptualize the article, discussing findings and gaps along the spectrum from basic research on prevalence and mechanisms, to intervention development and testing, to implementation. Relative to adults, there has been much less research on adolescents and very few studies that had longitudinal follow-up beyond one year. Due to historical changes in the social acceptance of the SM community, new cohorts are needed to represent contemporary life experiences and associated health consequences. Important theoretical developments have occurred in conceptualizing mechanisms that drive SM health disparities and mechanistic research is underway, including studies that identify individual and structural risk/protective factors. Research opportunities exist in the utilization of sibling-comparison designs, inclusion of parents, and studying romantic relationships. Methodological innovation is needed in sampling SM populations. There has been less intervention research and approaches should consider natural resiliencies, life-course frameworks, prevention science, multiple levels of influence, and the importance of implementation. Regulatory obstacles are created when ethics boards elect to require parental permission and ethics research is needed. There has been inconsistent inclusion of SM populations in the definition of “health disparity population,” which impacts funding and training opportunities. There are incredible opportunities for scholars to make substantial and foundational contributions to help address the health of SM youth, and new funding opportunities to do so. PMID:25575125

  9. Postcopulatory sexual selection reduces genetic diversity in experimental populations of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    LaMunyon, Craig W; Bouban, Oussama; Cutter, Asher D

    2007-01-01

    Postcopulatory sexual selection affects the evolution of numerous features ranging from mating behavior to seminal fluid toxicity to the size of gametes. In an earlier study of the effect of sperm competition risk on sperm size evolution, experimental populations of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans were maintained either by outcrossing (sperm competition present) or by selfing (no sperm competition), and after 60 generations, significantly larger sperm had evolved in the outcrossing populations. To determine the effects of this selection on population genetic variation, we assessed genetic diversity in a large number of loci using random amplification of polymorphic DNA-PCR. Nearly 80% of the alleles present in parental strain populations persisted in the 6 experimental populations after the 60 generations and, despite a 2.2-fold difference in expected heterozygosity, the resulting levels of genetic variation were equivalent between the outcrossing and selfing experimental populations. By inference, we conclude that genetic hitchhiking due to sexual selection in the experimental populations dramatically reduced genetic diversity. We use the levels of variation in the selfing populations as a control for the effects of drift, and estimate the strength of sexual selection to be strong in obligatorily outcrossing populations. Although sequential hermaphrodites like C. elegans probably experience little sexual selection in nature, these data suggest that sexual selection can profoundly affect diversity in outcrossing taxa.

  10. Sexual selection predicts advancement of avian spring migration in response to climate change

    PubMed Central

    Spottiswoode, Claire N; Tøttrup, Anders P; Coppack, Timothy

    2006-01-01

    Global warming has led to earlier spring arrival of migratory birds, but the extent of this advancement varies greatly among species, and it remains uncertain to what degree these changes are phenotypically plastic responses or microevolutionary adaptations to changing environmental conditions. We suggest that sexual selection could help to understand this variation, since early spring arrival of males is favoured by female choice. Climate change could weaken the strength of natural selection opposing sexual selection for early migration, which would predict greatest advancement in species with stronger female choice. We test this hypothesis comparatively by investigating the degree of long-term change in spring passage at two ringing stations in northern Europe in relation to a synthetic estimate of the strength of female choice, composed of degree of extra-pair paternity, relative testes size and degree of sexually dichromatic plumage colouration. We found that species with a stronger index of sexual selection have indeed advanced their date of spring passage to a greater extent. This relationship was stronger for the changes in the median passage date of the whole population than for changes in the timing of first-arriving individuals, suggesting that selection has not only acted on protandrous males. These results suggest that sexual selection may have an impact on the responses of organisms to climate change, and knowledge of a species' mating system might help to inform attempts at predicting these. PMID:17015341

  11. Meiotic drive influences the outcome of sexually antagonistic selection at a linked locus.

    PubMed

    Patten, M M

    2014-11-01

    Most meiotic drivers, such as the t-haplotype in Mus and the segregation distorter (SD) in Drosophila, act in a sex-specific manner, gaining a transmission advantage through one sex although suffering only the fitness costs associated with the driver in the other. Their inheritance is thus more likely through one of the two sexes, a property they share with sexually antagonistic alleles. Previous theory has shown that pairs of linked loci segregating for sexually antagonistic alleles are more likely to remain polymorphic and that linkage disequilibrium accrues between them. I probe this similarity between drive and sexual antagonism and examine the evolution of chromosomes experiencing these selection pressures simultaneously. Reminiscent of previous theory, I find that: the opportunity for polymorphism increases for a sexually antagonistic locus that is physically linked to a driving locus; the opportunity for polymorphism at a driving locus also increases when linked to a sexually antagonistic locus; and stable linkage disequilibrium accompanies any polymorphic equilibrium. Additionally, I find that drive at a linked locus favours the fixation of sexually antagonistic alleles that benefit the sex in which drive occurs. Further, I show that under certain conditions reduced recombination between these two loci is selectively favoured. These theoretical results provide clear, testable predictions about the nature of sexually antagonistic variation on driving chromosomes and have implications for the evolution of genomic architecture.

  12. Selection analysis on the rapid evolution of a secondary sexual trait.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Swanne P; Reznick, David; Arendt, Jeff D; Roughton, Allen; Ontiveros Hernandez, Michelle N; Bentzen, Paul; López-Sepulcre, Andrés

    2015-08-22

    Evolutionary analyses of population translocations (experimental or accidental) have been important in demonstrating speed of evolution because they subject organisms to abrupt environmental changes that create an episode of selection. However, the strength of selection in such studies is rarely measured, limiting our understanding of the evolutionary process. This contrasts with long-term, mark-recapture studies of unmanipulated populations that measure selection directly, yet rarely reveal evolutionary change. Here, we present a study of experimental evolution of male colour in Trinidadian guppies where we tracked both evolutionary change and individual-based measures of selection. Guppies were translocated from a predator-rich to a low-predation environment within the same stream system. We used a combination of common garden experiments and monthly sampling of individuals to measure the phenotypic and genetic divergence of male coloration between ancestral and derived fish. Results show rapid evolutionary increases in orange coloration in both populations (1 year or three generations), replicating the results of previous studies. Unlike previous studies, we linked this evolution to an individual-based analysis of selection. By quantifying individual reproductive success and survival, we show, for the first time, that males with more orange and black pigment have higher reproductive success, but males with more black pigment also have higher risk of mortality. The net effect of selection is thus an advantage of orange but not black coloration, as reflected in the evolutionary response. This highlights the importance of considering all components of fitness when understanding the evolution of sexually selected traits in the wild.

  13. Selection analysis on the rapid evolution of a secondary sexual trait

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Swanne P.; Reznick, David; Arendt, Jeff D.; Roughton, Allen; Ontiveros Hernandez, Michelle N.; Bentzen, Paul; López-Sepulcre, Andrés

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary analyses of population translocations (experimental or accidental) have been important in demonstrating speed of evolution because they subject organisms to abrupt environmental changes that create an episode of selection. However, the strength of selection in such studies is rarely measured, limiting our understanding of the evolutionary process. This contrasts with long-term, mark–recapture studies of unmanipulated populations that measure selection directly, yet rarely reveal evolutionary change. Here, we present a study of experimental evolution of male colour in Trinidadian guppies where we tracked both evolutionary change and individual-based measures of selection. Guppies were translocated from a predator-rich to a low-predation environment within the same stream system. We used a combination of common garden experiments and monthly sampling of individuals to measure the phenotypic and genetic divergence of male coloration between ancestral and derived fish. Results show rapid evolutionary increases in orange coloration in both populations (1 year or three generations), replicating the results of previous studies. Unlike previous studies, we linked this evolution to an individual-based analysis of selection. By quantifying individual reproductive success and survival, we show, for the first time, that males with more orange and black pigment have higher reproductive success, but males with more black pigment also have higher risk of mortality. The net effect of selection is thus an advantage of orange but not black coloration, as reflected in the evolutionary response. This highlights the importance of considering all components of fitness when understanding the evolution of sexually selected traits in the wild. PMID:26290077

  14. Selective advantage for sexual replication with random haploid fusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tannenbaum, Emmanuel

    2008-03-01

    This talk develops a simplified set of models describing asexual and sexual replication in unicellular diploid organisms. The models assume organisms whose genomes consist of two chromosomes, where each chromosome is assumed to be functional if and only if it is equal to some master sequence. The fitness of an organism is determined by the number of functional chromosomes in its genome. For a population replicating asexually, a cell replicates both of its chromosomes, and then divides and splits its genetic material evenly between the two cells. For a population replicating sexually, a given cell first divides into two haploids, which enter a haploid pool. Within the haploid pool, haploids fuse into diploids, which then divide via the normal mitotic process. When the cost for sex is small, as measured by the ratio of the characteristic haploid fusion time to the characteristic growth time, we find that sexual replication with random haploid fusion leads to a greater mean fitness for the population than a purely asexual strategy. The results of this talk are consistent with previous studies suggesting that sex is favored at intermediate mutation rates, for slowly replicating organisms, and at high population densities.

  15. The Role of Sexual Selection in the Evolution of Chemical Signals in Insects

    PubMed Central

    Steiger, Sandra; Stökl, Johannes

    2014-01-01

    Chemical communication is the most ancient and widespread form of communication. Yet we are only beginning to grasp the complexity of chemical signals and the role they play in sexual selection. Focusing on insects, we review here the recent progress in the field of olfactory-based sexual selection. We will show that there is mounting empirical evidence that sexual selection affects the evolution of chemical traits, but form and strength of selection differ between species. Studies indicate that some chemical signals are expressed in relation to an individual’s condition and depend, for example, on age, immunocompetence, fertility, body size or degree of inbreeding. Males or females might benefit by choosing based on those traits, gaining resources or “good genes”. Other chemical traits appear to reliably reflect an individual’s underlying genotype and are suitable to choose a mating partner that matches best the own genotype. PMID:26462692

  16. Sexual reproduction selects for robustness and negative epistasis in artificial gene networks.

    PubMed

    Azevedo, Ricardo B R; Lohaus, Rolf; Srinivasan, Suraj; Dang, Kristen K; Burch, Christina L

    2006-03-01

    The mutational deterministic hypothesis for the origin and maintenance of sexual reproduction posits that sex enhances the ability of natural selection to purge deleterious mutations after recombination brings them together into single genomes. This explanation requires negative epistasis, a type of genetic interaction where mutations are more harmful in combination than expected from their separate effects. The conceptual appeal of the mutational deterministic hypothesis has been offset by our inability to identify the mechanistic and evolutionary bases of negative epistasis. Here we show that negative epistasis can evolve as a consequence of sexual reproduction itself. Using an artificial gene network model, we find that recombination between gene networks imposes selection for genetic robustness, and that negative epistasis evolves as a by-product of this selection. Our results suggest that sexual reproduction selects for conditions that favour its own maintenance, a case of evolution forging its own path.

  17. Evolution of dosage compensation under sexual selection differs between X and Z chromosomes

    PubMed Central

    Mullon, Charles; Wright, Alison E.; Reuter, Max; Pomiankowski, Andrew; Mank, Judith E.

    2015-01-01

    Complete sex chromosome dosage compensation has more often been observed in XY than ZW species. In this study, using a population genetic model and the chicken transcriptome, we assess whether sexual conflict can account for this difference. Sexual conflict over expression is inevitable when mutation effects are correlated across the sexes, as compensatory mutations in the heterogametic sex lead to hyperexpression in the homogametic sex. Coupled with stronger selection and greater reproductive variance in males, this results in slower and less complete evolution of Z compared with X dosage compensation. Using expression variance as a measure of selection strength, we find that, as predicted by the model, dosage compensation in the chicken is most pronounced in genes that are under strong selection biased towards females. Our study explains the pattern of weak dosage compensation in ZW systems, and suggests that sexual selection plays a major role in shaping sex chromosome dosage compensation. PMID:26212613

  18. Separated at birth: the interlinked origins of Darwin's unconscious selection concept and the application of sexual selection to race.

    PubMed

    Alter, Stephen G

    2007-01-01

    This essay traces the interlinked origins of two concepts found in Charles Darwin's writings: "unconscious selection," and sexual selection as applied to humanity's anatomical race distinctions. Unconscious selection constituted a significant elaboration of Darwin's artificial selection analogy. As originally conceived in his theoretical notebooks, that analogy had focused exclusively on what Darwin later would call "methodical selection," the calculated production of desired changes in domestic breeds. By contrast, unconscious selection produced its results unintentionally and at a much slower pace. Inspiration for this concept likely came from Darwin's early reading of works on both animal breeding and physical ethnology. Texts in these fields described the slow and unplanned divergence of anatomical types, whether animal or human, under the guidance of contrasting ideals of physical perfection. These readings, it is argued, also led Darwin to his theory of sexual selection as applied to race, a theme he discussed mainly in his book The Descent of Man (1871). There Darwin described how the racial version of sexual selection operated on the same principle as unconscious selection. He thereby effectively reunited these kindred concepts.

  19. The sexual selection paradigm: have we overlooked other mechanisms in the evolution of male ornaments?

    PubMed

    Candolin, Ulrika; Tukiainen, Iina

    2015-10-01

    Extravagant male ornaments expressed during reproduction are almost invariably assumed to be sexually selected and evolve through competition for mating opportunities. Yet in species where male reproductive success depends on the defence of offspring, male ornaments could also evolve through social competition for offspring survival. However, in contrast to female ornaments, this possibility has received little attention in males. We show that a male ornament that is traditionally assumed to be sexually selected--the red nuptial coloration of the three-spined stickleback--is under stronger selection for offspring survival than for mating success. Males express most coloration during parenting, when they no longer attract females, and the colour correlates with nest retention and hatching success but not with attractiveness to females. This contradicts earlier assumptions and suggests that social selection for offspring survival rather than for sexual selection for mating success is the main mechanism maintaining the ornament in the population. These results suggest that we should consider other forms of social selection beyond sexual selection when seeking to explain the function and evolution of male ornaments. An incorrect assignment of selection pressures could hamper our understanding of evolution. PMID:26446811

  20. Natural and sexual selection giveth and taketh away reproductive barriers: models of population divergence in guppies.

    PubMed

    Labonne, Jacques; Hendry, Andrew P

    2010-07-01

    The standard predictions of ecological speciation might be nuanced by the interaction between natural and sexual selection. We investigated this hypothesis with an individual-based model tailored to the biology of guppies (Poecilia reticulata). We specifically modeled the situation where a high-predation population below a waterfall colonizes a low-predation population above a waterfall. Focusing on the evolution of male color, we confirm that divergent selection causes the appreciable evolution of male color within 20 generations. The rate and magnitude of this divergence were reduced when dispersal rates were high and when female choice did not differ between environments. Adaptive divergence was always coupled to the evolution of two reproductive barriers: viability selection against immigrants and hybrids. Different types of sexual selection, however, led to contrasting results for another potential reproductive barrier: mating success of immigrants. In some cases, the effects of natural and sexual selection offset each other, leading to no overall reproductive isolation despite strong adaptive divergence. Sexual selection acting through female choice can thus strongly modify the effects of divergent natural selection and thereby alter the standard predictions of ecological speciation. We also found that under no circumstances did divergent selection cause appreciable divergence in neutral genetic markers.

  1. Bateman in nature: predation on offspring reduces the potential for sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Byers, John; Dunn, Stacey

    2012-11-01

    Sexual selection is driven by competition for mates, and the advantage of a competitor is determined by the number of offspring it produces. Early experiments by Angus Bateman characterized this interaction, and the quantitative relationship between a male's number of mates and number of offspring is known as the Bateman slope. Sexual dimorphism, one of the most obvious results of sexual selection, largely requires a positive Bateman relationship, and the slope provides an estimate of the potential for sexual selection. However, natural selection from the environment can also influence male success, as can random effects, and some have argued for inclusion of the latter in calculations of mate success. Data from pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) reveal the presence of a positive Bateman slope in each year of a 10-year study. We found no evidence that random effects skewed male mating success; however, substantial yearly variation in the Bateman slope due to predation on fawns was evident. These results support the validity of the Bateman relationship, yet they also demonstrate that environmental or extrinsic influences can limit the potential for sexual selection.

  2. Bateman in nature: predation on offspring reduces the potential for sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Byers, John; Dunn, Stacey

    2012-11-01

    Sexual selection is driven by competition for mates, and the advantage of a competitor is determined by the number of offspring it produces. Early experiments by Angus Bateman characterized this interaction, and the quantitative relationship between a male's number of mates and number of offspring is known as the Bateman slope. Sexual dimorphism, one of the most obvious results of sexual selection, largely requires a positive Bateman relationship, and the slope provides an estimate of the potential for sexual selection. However, natural selection from the environment can also influence male success, as can random effects, and some have argued for inclusion of the latter in calculations of mate success. Data from pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) reveal the presence of a positive Bateman slope in each year of a 10-year study. We found no evidence that random effects skewed male mating success; however, substantial yearly variation in the Bateman slope due to predation on fawns was evident. These results support the validity of the Bateman relationship, yet they also demonstrate that environmental or extrinsic influences can limit the potential for sexual selection. PMID:23139332

  3. Eggspot number and sexual selection in the cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni.

    PubMed

    Henning, Frederico; Meyer, Axel

    2012-01-01

    Sexual selection on male coloration is one of the main mechanisms proposed to explain the explosive speciation rates in East African cichlid fish. True eggspots are color patterns characteristic of the most species-rich lineage of cichlids, the Haplochromini, and have been suggested to be causally related to the speciation processes. Eggspots are thought to have originated by sensory exploitation and subsequently gained several roles in sexual advertisement. However, for most of these functions the evidence is equivocal. In addition, the genetic architecture of this trait still is largely unknown. We conducted bidirectional selective breeding experiments for eggspot numbers in the model cichlid, Astatotilapia burtoni. After two generations, low lines responded significantly, whereas the high lines did not. Body size was both phenotypically and genotypically correlated with eggspot number and showed correlated response to selection. Males with higher numbers of eggspots were found to sire larger offspring. Despite the potential to act as honest indicators of fitness, the behavioral experiments showed no evidence of a role in either intra- or inter-sexual selection. Visual-based female preference was instead explained by courtship intensity. The evolution of this trait has been interpreted in light of adaptive theories of sexual selection, however the present and published results suggest the influence of non-adaptive factors such as sensory exploitation, environmental constraints and sexual antagonism.

  4. Eggspot Number and Sexual Selection in the Cichlid Fish Astatotilapia burtoni

    PubMed Central

    Henning, Frederico; Meyer, Axel

    2012-01-01

    Sexual selection on male coloration is one of the main mechanisms proposed to explain the explosive speciation rates in East African cichlid fish. True eggspots are color patterns characteristic of the most species-rich lineage of cichlids, the Haplochromini, and have been suggested to be causally related to the speciation processes. Eggspots are thought to have originated by sensory exploitation and subsequently gained several roles in sexual advertisement. However, for most of these functions the evidence is equivocal. In addition, the genetic architecture of this trait still is largely unknown. We conducted bidirectional selective breeding experiments for eggspot numbers in the model cichlid, Astatotilapia burtoni. After two generations, low lines responded significantly, whereas the high lines did not. Body size was both phenotypically and genotypically correlated with eggspot number and showed correlated response to selection. Males with higher numbers of eggspots were found to sire larger offspring. Despite the potential to act as honest indicators of fitness, the behavioral experiments showed no evidence of a role in either intra- or inter-sexual selection. Visual-based female preference was instead explained by courtship intensity. The evolution of this trait has been interpreted in light of adaptive theories of sexual selection, however the present and published results suggest the influence of non-adaptive factors such as sensory exploitation, environmental constraints and sexual antagonism. PMID:22937082

  5. Germline Selection: Population Genetic Aspects of the Sexual/Asexual Life Cycle

    PubMed Central

    Hastings, I. M.

    1991-01-01

    Population geneticists make a distinction between sexual and asexual organisms depending on whether individuals inherit genes from one or two parents. When individual genes are considered, this distinction becomes less satisfactory for multicellular sexual organisms. Individual genes pass through numerous asexual mitotic cell divisions in the germline prior to meiosis and sexual recombination. The processes of mitotic mutation, mitotic crossing over, and mitotic gene conversion create genotypic diversity between diploid cells in the germline. Genes expressed in the germline whose products affect cell viability (such as many ``housekeeping'' enzymes) may be subjected to natural selection acting on this variability resulting in a non-Mendelian output of gametes. Such genes will be governed by the population genetics of the sexual/asexual life cycle rather than the conventional sexual/Mendelian life cycle. A model is developed to investigate some properties of the sexual/asexual life cycle. When appropriate parameter values were included in the model, it was found that mutation rates per locus per gamete may vary by a factor of up to 100 if selection acts in the germline. Sexual/asexual populations appear able to evolve to a genotype of higher fitness despite intervening genotypes of lower fitness, reducing the problems of underdominance and Wright's adaptive landscape encountered by purely sexual populations. As might be expected this ability is chiefly determined by the number of asexual mitotic cell divisions within the germline. The evolutionary consequences of ``housekeeping'' loci being governed by the dynamics of the sexual/asexual life cycle are considered. PMID:1783297

  6. Variation in social organization influences the opportunity for sexual selection in a social lizard.

    PubMed

    While, Geoffrey M; Uller, Tobias; Wapstra, Erik

    2011-02-01

    Social monogamy has traditionally been suggested to be maintained because of weak sexual selection on male partner acquisition. However, the ubiquitous incidence of extra-pair paternity suggests that sexual selection can be strong in monogamous systems, although studies partitioning variance in male reproductive success have come to mixed conclusions. Here, we use detailed field data to examine variance in male reproductive success and its implications for the maintenance of sociality in a population of the socially monogamous lizard Egernia whitii. We show that both within-pair and, to a lesser extent, extra-pair partner acquisition contribute to the variance in male reproductive success, resulting in considerable opportunity for sexual selection. Despite this, levels of multiple mating are lower in Egernia compared to other reptiles, suggesting that male partner acquisition is constrained. We suggest that this constraint may be a result of strong territoriality combined with sexual conflict over multiple mating generated by costs of extra-pair paternity to females as a result of facultative male care. This has the potential to limit sexual selection by reducing variance in male reproductive success and therefore contribute to the maintenance of complex social organization.

  7. A general mechanism for conditional expression of exaggerated sexually-selected traits.

    PubMed

    Warren, Ian A; Gotoh, Hiroki; Dworkin, Ian M; Emlen, Douglas J; Lavine, Laura C

    2013-10-01

    Sexually-selected exaggerated traits tend to be unusually reliable signals of individual condition, as their expression tends to be more sensitive to nutritional history and physiological circumstance than that of other phenotypes. As such, these traits are the foundation for many models of sexual selection and animal communication, such as "handicap" and "good genes" models. Exactly how expression of these traits is linked to the bearer's condition has been a central yet unresolved question, in part because the underlying physiological mechanisms regulating their development have remained largely unknown. Recent discoveries across animals as diverse as deer, beetles, and flies now implicate the widely conserved insulin-like signaling pathway, as a common physiological mechanism regulating condition-sensitive structures with extreme growth. This raises the exciting possibility that one highly conserved pathway may underlie the evolution of trait exaggeration in a multitude of sexually-selected signal traits across the animal kingdom.

  8. Select interneuron clusters determine female sexual receptivity in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Sakurai, Akira; Koganezawa, Masayuki; Yasunaga, Kei-ichiro; Emoto, Kazuo; Yamamoto, Daisuke

    2013-01-01

    Female Drosophila with the spinster mutation repel courting males and rarely mate. Here we show that the non-copulating phenotype can be recapitulated by the elimination of spinster functions from either spin-A or spin-D neuronal clusters, in the otherwise wild-type (spinster heterozygous) female brain. Spin-D corresponds to the olfactory projection neurons with dendrites in the antennal lobe VA1v glomerulus that is fruitless-positive, sexually dimorphic and responsive to fly odour. Spin-A is a novel local neuron cluster in the suboesophageal ganglion, which is known to process contact chemical pheromone information and copulation-related signals. A slight reduction in spinster expression to a level with a minimal effect is sufficient to shut off female sexual receptivity if the dominant-negative mechanistic target of rapamycin is simultaneously expressed, although the latter manipulation alone has only a marginal effect. We propose that spin-mediated mechanistic target of rapamycin signal transduction in these neurons is essential for females to accept the courting male. PMID:23652013

  9. Is sexual selection and species recognition a continuum? Mating behavior of the stalk-eyed fly Drosophila heteroneura.

    PubMed

    Boake, C R; DeAngelis, M P; Andreadis, D K

    1997-11-11

    If behavioral isolation between species can evolve as a consequence of sexual selection within a species, then traits that are both sexually selected and used as a criterion of species recognition by females should be identifiable. The broad male head of the Hawaiian picture-winged fly Drosophila heteroneura is a novel sexual dimorphism that may be sexually selected and involved in behavioral isolation from D. silvestris. We found that males with broad heads are more successful in sexual selection, both through female mate choice and through aggressive interactions. However, female D. heteroneura do not discriminate against hybrids on the basis of their head width. Thus, this novel trait is sexually selected but is not a major contributor to species recognition. Our methods should be applicable to other species in which behavioral isolation is a factor.

  10. Genetic architecture of sexual selection: QTL mapping of male song and female receiver traits in an acoustic moth.

    PubMed

    Limousin, Denis; Streiff, Réjane; Courtois, Brigitte; Dupuy, Virginie; Alem, Sylvain; Greenfield, Michael D

    2012-01-01

    Models of indirect (genetic) benefits sexual selection predict linkage disequilibria between genes that influence male traits and female preferences, owing to non-random mate choice or physical linkage. Such linkage disequilibria can accelerate the evolution of traits and preferences to exaggerated levels. Both theory and recent empirical findings on species recognition suggest that such linkage disequilibria may result from physical linkage or pleiotropy, but very little work has addressed this possibility within the context of sexual selection. We studied the genetic architecture of sexually selected traits by analyzing signals and preferences in an acoustic moth, Achroia grisella, in which males attract females with a train of ultrasound pulses and females prefer loud songs and a fast pulse rhythm. Both male signal characters and female preferences are repeatable and heritable traits. Moreover, female choice is based largely on male song, while males do not appear to provide direct benefits at mating. Thus, some genetic correlation between song and preference traits is expected. We employed a standard crossing design between inbred lines and used AFLP markers to build a linkage map for this species and locate quantitative trait loci (QTL) that influence male song and female preference. Our analyses mostly revealed QTLs of moderate strength that influence various male signal and female receiver traits, but one QTL was found that exerts a major influence on the pulse-pair rate of male song, a critical trait in female attraction. However, we found no evidence of specific co-localization of QTLs influencing male signal and female receiver traits on the same linkage groups. This finding suggests that the sexual selection process would proceed at a modest rate in A. grisella and that evolution toward exaggerated character states may be tempered. We suggest that this equilibrium state may be more the norm than the exception among animal species.

  11. Direct effects of energy-related air pollutants on plant sexual reproduction. Final report, February 1, 1979--January 31, 1982

    SciTech Connect

    Ragsdale, H.L.; Murdy, W.H.

    1987-12-08

    Our completed research program concentrated on the direct in vivo effects of energy-related air pollutants on plant sexual reproduction. Direct air pollution effects on plant sexual reproduction have been studied for SO{sub 2} and NO{sub 2}, two of the three major air pollutants.

  12. Form and nature of precopulatory sexual selection in both sexes of a moth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Jin; Wang, Qiao

    2010-07-01

    Sexual selection is a process that operates through intrasexual competition and intersexual choice for reproduction in both sexes. Here, we report our work on a polygamous moth, Ephestia kuehniella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), aiming to infer the form and nature of precopulatory sexual selection in males and females. We show that, although a number of traits measured in each sex are correlated with mating success, the primary selection trait in females appears to be abdominal thickness and that in males is aedeagus length. As the female’s abdominal thickness is a reliable signal about the number and developmental stage of eggs, males who select females with thicker abdomens for mating will gain reproductive benefit, i.e., fertilizing more mature eggs. For females, earlier maturation of their eggs makes the females more likely to achieve mating earlier in an uncertain world where there is no guarantee that they will find more males in the future. Sexual selection appears to be the important force behind the evolution of fast egg maturation in females. We show that, under a male-biased sex ratio, more than 20% of mating fails within a few minutes after the aedeagus has penetrated into the female’s genitalia, suggesting that females can assess the features of the male aedeagus before allowing insemination to occur. Dissection and examination of both sexes suggest that a longer aedeagus enhances mating and fertilization efficiency in this species, supporting the notion that sexual selection is a primary force in the evolution of genital variance.

  13. Neutral and selection-driven decay of sexual traits in asexual stick insects.

    PubMed

    Schwander, Tanja; Crespi, Bernard J; Gries, Regine; Gries, Gerhard

    2013-08-01

    Environmental shifts and lifestyle changes may result in formerly adaptive traits becoming non-functional or maladaptive. The subsequent decay of such traits highlights the importance of natural selection for adaptations, yet its causes have rarely been investigated. To study the fate of formerly adaptive traits after lifestyle changes, we evaluated sexual traits in five independently derived asexual lineages, including traits that are specific to males and therefore not exposed to selection. At least four of the asexual lineages retained the capacity to produce males that display normal courtship behaviours and are able to fertilize eggs of females from related sexual species. The maintenance of male traits may stem from pleiotropy, or from these traits only regressing via drift, which may require millions of years to generate phenotypic effects. By contrast, we found parallel decay of sexual traits in females. Asexual females produced altered airborne and contact signals, had modified sperm storage organs, and lost the ability to fertilize their eggs, impeding reversals to sexual reproduction. Female sexual traits were decayed even in recently derived asexuals, suggesting that trait changes following the evolution of asexuality, when they occur, proceed rapidly and are driven by selective processes rather than drift.

  14. Neutral and selection-driven decay of sexual traits in asexual stick insects

    PubMed Central

    Schwander, Tanja; Crespi, Bernard J.; Gries, Regine; Gries, Gerhard

    2013-01-01

    Environmental shifts and lifestyle changes may result in formerly adaptive traits becoming non-functional or maladaptive. The subsequent decay of such traits highlights the importance of natural selection for adaptations, yet its causes have rarely been investigated. To study the fate of formerly adaptive traits after lifestyle changes, we evaluated sexual traits in five independently derived asexual lineages, including traits that are specific to males and therefore not exposed to selection. At least four of the asexual lineages retained the capacity to produce males that display normal courtship behaviours and are able to fertilize eggs of females from related sexual species. The maintenance of male traits may stem from pleiotropy, or from these traits only regressing via drift, which may require millions of years to generate phenotypic effects. By contrast, we found parallel decay of sexual traits in females. Asexual females produced altered airborne and contact signals, had modified sperm storage organs, and lost the ability to fertilize their eggs, impeding reversals to sexual reproduction. Female sexual traits were decayed even in recently derived asexuals, suggesting that trait changes following the evolution of asexuality, when they occur, proceed rapidly and are driven by selective processes rather than drift. PMID:23782880

  15. Is pedophilic sexual preference continuous? A taxometric analysis based on direct and indirect measures.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Alexander F; Mokros, Andreas; Banse, Rainer

    2013-12-01

    The present study addressed the question of whether deviant sexual preferences for children can be considered a taxon, utilizing data from a multimethod assessment battery. The test battery comprised direct self-report as well as indirect latency-based measures (Implicit Association Tests, viewing time) of deviant sexual preferences for children. In a mixed sample of adult men (N = 304, including sex offenders against children, sex offenders against adults, and controls who were either nonsexual offenders or nonoffenders), 27% of the offenders convicted for child sexual abuse or child pornography charges were identified as a homogeneous and distinct latent class. Additional taxometric analyses corroborated the notion of a pedophilic subgroup. Individuals in this pedophilic group showed elevated scores on measures of deviant sexual preference for children over adults. The offense histories of the individuals from the pedophilic cluster indicated an increased likelihood of pedophilic preference as assessed by a file-based summary index. We interpret the results as evidence for pedophilic sexual preference as a distinct and taxonic clinical construct. PMID:23815115

  16. Is pedophilic sexual preference continuous? A taxometric analysis based on direct and indirect measures.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Alexander F; Mokros, Andreas; Banse, Rainer

    2013-12-01

    The present study addressed the question of whether deviant sexual preferences for children can be considered a taxon, utilizing data from a multimethod assessment battery. The test battery comprised direct self-report as well as indirect latency-based measures (Implicit Association Tests, viewing time) of deviant sexual preferences for children. In a mixed sample of adult men (N = 304, including sex offenders against children, sex offenders against adults, and controls who were either nonsexual offenders or nonoffenders), 27% of the offenders convicted for child sexual abuse or child pornography charges were identified as a homogeneous and distinct latent class. Additional taxometric analyses corroborated the notion of a pedophilic subgroup. Individuals in this pedophilic group showed elevated scores on measures of deviant sexual preference for children over adults. The offense histories of the individuals from the pedophilic cluster indicated an increased likelihood of pedophilic preference as assessed by a file-based summary index. We interpret the results as evidence for pedophilic sexual preference as a distinct and taxonic clinical construct.

  17. Major histocompatibility complex similarity and sexual selection: different does not always mean attractive.

    PubMed

    Gasparini, Clelia; Congiu, Leonardo; Pilastro, Andrea

    2015-08-01

    Females that mate multiply have the possibility to exert postcopulatory choice and select more compatible sperm to fertilize eggs. Prior work suggests that dissimilarity in major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays an important role in determining genetic compatibility between partners. Favouring a partner with dissimilar MHC alleles would result in offspring with high MHC diversity and therefore with enhanced survival thanks to increased resistance to pathogens and parasites. The high variability of MHC genes may further allow discrimination against the sperm from related males, reducing offspring homozygosity and inbreeding risk. Despite the large body of work conducted at precopulatory level, the role of MHC similarity between partners at postcopulatory level has been rarely investigated. We used an internal fertilizing fish with high level of multiple matings (Poecilia reticulata) to study whether MHC similarity plays a role in determining the outcome of fertilization when sperm from two males compete for the same set of eggs. We also controlled for genomewide similarity by determining similarity at 10 microsatellite loci. Contrary to prediction, we found that the more MHC-similar male sired more offspring while similarity at the microsatellite loci did not predict the outcome of sperm competition. Our results suggest that MHC discrimination may be involved in avoidance of hybridization or outbreeding rather than inbreeding avoidance. This, coupled with similar findings in salmon, suggests that the preference for MHC-dissimilar mates is far from being unanimous and that pre- and postcopulatory episodes of sexual selection can indeed act in opposite directions. PMID:25940673

  18. Experimental analyses of sexual and natural selection on short tails in a polygynous warbler.

    PubMed

    Balmford, A; Lewis, M J; Brooke, M L; Thomas, A L; Johnson, C N

    2000-06-01

    We believe that no experimental study has yet tested Darwin's idea that, as well as generating trait elaboration, intersexual selection might sometimes drive sex-biased trait reduction. Here we present the results of two experiments exploring the negative relationship between tail length and reproductive success in male golden-headed cisticolas (Cisticola exilis). In the first experiment, artificially shortening a male's tail produced a dramatic increase in his reproductive success, measured as either the number of females nesting or number of chicks Hedged on his territory. A second experiment, in which manipulated birds were flown through a maze, revealed that short tails also impose costs by reducing aerodynamic performance during slow-speed foraging flight. Because tail shortening yields reproductive benefits and viability costs, we conclude it has evolved via sexual selection. Disentangling exactly how short tails enhance male reproductive success is more difficult. Male-male competition appears partly responsible: aerodynamic theory predicts that tail reduction enhances high-speed flight and, in line with this, shortened-tail males spent more time engaged in high-speed aerial chases of rivals and defended higher-quality territories. However, shortened-tail males had higher reproductive success independent of territory quality and spent more time in aerial displays which may be directed at females. This suggests that tail shortening is also favoured via female choice based on male phenotype.

  19. Major histocompatibility complex similarity and sexual selection: different does not always mean attractive.

    PubMed

    Gasparini, Clelia; Congiu, Leonardo; Pilastro, Andrea

    2015-08-01

    Females that mate multiply have the possibility to exert postcopulatory choice and select more compatible sperm to fertilize eggs. Prior work suggests that dissimilarity in major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays an important role in determining genetic compatibility between partners. Favouring a partner with dissimilar MHC alleles would result in offspring with high MHC diversity and therefore with enhanced survival thanks to increased resistance to pathogens and parasites. The high variability of MHC genes may further allow discrimination against the sperm from related males, reducing offspring homozygosity and inbreeding risk. Despite the large body of work conducted at precopulatory level, the role of MHC similarity between partners at postcopulatory level has been rarely investigated. We used an internal fertilizing fish with high level of multiple matings (Poecilia reticulata) to study whether MHC similarity plays a role in determining the outcome of fertilization when sperm from two males compete for the same set of eggs. We also controlled for genomewide similarity by determining similarity at 10 microsatellite loci. Contrary to prediction, we found that the more MHC-similar male sired more offspring while similarity at the microsatellite loci did not predict the outcome of sperm competition. Our results suggest that MHC discrimination may be involved in avoidance of hybridization or outbreeding rather than inbreeding avoidance. This, coupled with similar findings in salmon, suggests that the preference for MHC-dissimilar mates is far from being unanimous and that pre- and postcopulatory episodes of sexual selection can indeed act in opposite directions.

  20. Evolution of opsin expression in birds driven by sexual selection and habitat

    PubMed Central

    Bloch, Natasha I.

    2015-01-01

    Theories of sexual and natural selection predict coevolution of visual perception with conspecific colour and/or the light environment animals occupy. One way to test these theories is to focus on the visual system, which can be achieved by studying the opsin-based visual pigments that mediate vision. Birds vary greatly in colour, but opsin gene coding sequences and associated visual pigment spectral sensitivities are known to be rather invariant across birds. Here, I studied expression of the four cone opsin genes (Lws, Rh2, Sws2 and Sws1) in 16 species of New World warblers (Parulidae). I found levels of opsin expression vary both across species and between the sexes. Across species, female, but not male Sws2 expression is associated with an index of sexual selection, plumage dichromatism. This fits predictions of classic sexual selection models, in which the sensory system changes in females, presumably impacting female preference, and co-evolves with male plumage. Expression of the opsins at the extremes of the light spectrum, Lws and Uvs, correlates with the inferred light environment occupied by the different species. Unlike opsin spectral tuning, regulation of opsin gene expression allows for fast adaptive evolution of the visual system in response to natural and sexual selection, and in particular, sex-specific selection pressures. PMID:25429020

  1. Evolution of opsin expression in birds driven by sexual selection and habitat.

    PubMed

    Bloch, Natasha I

    2015-01-01

    Theories of sexual and natural selection predict coevolution of visual perception with conspecific colour and/or the light environment animals occupy. One way to test these theories is to focus on the visual system, which can be achieved by studying the opsin-based visual pigments that mediate vision. Birds vary greatly in colour, but opsin gene coding sequences and associated visual pigment spectral sensitivities are known to be rather invariant across birds. Here, I studied expression of the four cone opsin genes (Lws, Rh2, Sws2 and Sws1) in 16 species of New World warblers (Parulidae). I found levels of opsin expression vary both across species and between the sexes. Across species, female, but not male Sws2 expression is associated with an index of sexual selection, plumage dichromatism. This fits predictions of classic sexual selection models, in which the sensory system changes in females, presumably impacting female preference, and co-evolves with male plumage. Expression of the opsins at the extremes of the light spectrum, Lws and Uvs, correlates with the inferred light environment occupied by the different species. Unlike opsin spectral tuning, regulation of opsin gene expression allows for fast adaptive evolution of the visual system in response to natural and sexual selection, and in particular, sex-specific selection pressures. PMID:25429020

  2. The evolution of obligate sex: the roles of sexual selection and recombination

    PubMed Central

    Kleiman, Maya; Hadany, Lilach

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of sex is one of the greatest mysteries in evolutionary biology. An even greater mystery is the evolution of obligate sex, particularly when competing with facultative sex and not with complete asexuality. Here, we develop a stochastic simulation of an obligate allele invading a facultative population, where males are subject to sexual selection. We identify a range of parameters where sexual selection can contribute to the evolution of obligate sex: Especially when the cost of sex is low, mutation rate is high, and the facultative individuals do not reproduce sexually very often. The advantage of obligate sex becomes larger in the absence of recombination. Surprisingly, obligate sex can take over even when the population has a lower mean fitness as a result. We show that this is due to the high success of obligate males that can compensate the cost of sex. PMID:26257871

  3. Adolescents' Use of Sexually Explicit Internet Material and Their Sexual Attitudes and Behavior: Parallel Development and Directional Effects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doornwaard, Suzan M.; Bickham, David S.; Rich, Michael; ter Bogt, Tom F. M.; van den Eijnden, Regina J. J. M.

    2015-01-01

    Although research has repeatedly demonstrated that adolescents' use of sexually explicit Internet material (SEIM) is related to their endorsement of permissive sexual attitudes and their experience with sexual behavior, it is not clear how linkages between these constructs unfold over time. This study combined 2 types of longitudinal modeling,…

  4. Speciation in birds: Genes, geography, and sexual selection

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Scott V.; Kingan, Sarah B.; Calkins, Jennifer D.; Balakrishnan, Christopher N.; Jennings, W. Bryan; Swanson, Willie J.; Sorenson, Michael D.

    2005-01-01

    Molecular studies of speciation in birds over the last three decades have been dominated by a focus on the geography, ecology, and timing of speciation, a tradition traceable to Mayr's Systematics and the Origin of Species. However, in the recent years, interest in the behavioral and molecular mechanisms of speciation in birds has increased, building in part on the older traditions and observations from domesticated species. The result is that many of the same mechanisms proffered for model lineages such as Drosophila—mechanisms such as genetic incompatibilities, reinforcement, and sexual selection—are now being seriously entertained for birds, albeit with much lower resolution. The recent completion of a draft sequence of the chicken genome, and an abundance of single-nucleotide polymorphisms on the autosomes and sex chromosomes, will dramatically accelerate research on the molecular mechanisms of avian speciation over the next few years. The challenge for ornithologists is now to inform well studied examples of speciation in nature with increased molecular resolution—to clone speciation genes if they exist—and thereby evaluate the relative roles of extrinsic, intrinsic, deterministic, and stochastic causes for avian diversification. PMID:15851678

  5. The interaction of direct and indirect risk selection.

    PubMed

    Lorenz, Normann

    2015-07-01

    This paper analyzes the interaction of direct and indirect risk selection in health insurance markets. It is shown that direct risk selection - using measures unrelated to the benefit package like selective advertising or 'losing' applications of high risk individuals - nevertheless has an influence on the distortions of the benefit package caused by indirect risk selection. Direct risk selection (DRS) may either increase or decrease these distortions, depending on the type of equilibrium (pooling or separating), the type of DRS (positive or negative) and the type of cost for DRS (individual-specific or not). Regulators who succeed in reducing DRS by, e.g., banning excessive advertising or implementing fines for 'losing' applications, may therefore (unintendedly) mitigate or exacerbate the distortions of the benefit package caused by indirect risk selection. It is shown that the interaction of direct and indirect risk selection also alters the formula for optimal risk adjustment. PMID:25935738

  6. How sexual selection can drive the evolution of costly sperm ornamentation.

    PubMed

    Lüpold, Stefan; Manier, Mollie K; Puniamoorthy, Nalini; Schoff, Christopher; Starmer, William T; Luepold, Shannon H Buckley; Belote, John M; Pitnick, Scott

    2016-05-26

    Post-copulatory sexual selection (PSS), fuelled by female promiscuity, is credited with the rapid evolution of sperm quality traits across diverse taxa. Yet, our understanding of the adaptive significance of sperm ornaments and the cryptic female preferences driving their evolution is extremely limited. Here we review the evolutionary allometry of exaggerated sexual traits (for example, antlers, horns, tail feathers, mandibles and dewlaps), show that the giant sperm of some Drosophila species are possibly the most extreme ornaments in all of nature and demonstrate how their existence challenges theories explaining the intensity of sexual selection, mating-system evolution and the fundamental nature of sex differences. We also combine quantitative genetic analyses of interacting sex-specific traits in D. melanogaster with comparative analyses of the condition dependence of male and female reproductive potential across species with varying ornament size to reveal complex dynamics that may underlie sperm-length evolution. Our results suggest that producing few gigantic sperm evolved by (1) Fisherian runaway selection mediated by genetic correlations between sperm length, the female preference for long sperm and female mating frequency, and (2) longer sperm increasing the indirect benefits to females. Our results also suggest that the developmental integration of sperm quality and quantity renders post-copulatory sexual selection on ejaculates unlikely to treat male-male competition and female choice as discrete processes. PMID:27225128

  7. Sexual selection and interacting phenotypes in experimental evolution: a study of Drosophila pseudoobscura mating behavior.

    PubMed

    Bacigalupe, Leonardo D; Crudgington, Helen S; Slate, Jon; Moore, Allen J; Snook, Rhonda R

    2008-07-01

    Sexual selection requires social interactions, particularly between the sexes. When trait expression is influenced by social interactions, such traits are called interacting phenotypes and only recently have the evolutionary consequences of interacting phenotypes been considered. Here we investigated how variation in relative fitness, or the opportunity for sexual selection, affected the evolutionary trajectories of interacting phenotypes. We used experimentally evolved populations of the naturally promiscuous Drosophila pseudoobscura, in which the numbers of potential interactions between the sexes, and therefore relative fitness, were manipulated by altering natural levels of female promiscuity. We considered two different mating interactions between the sexes: mating speed and copulation duration. We investigated the evolutionary trajectories of means and (co)variances (P) and also the influence of genetic drift on the evolutionary response of these interactions. Our sexual selection treatments did not affect the means of either mating speed or copulation duration, but they did affect P. We found that the means of both traits differed among replicates within each selection treatment whereas the Ps did not. Changes as a consequence of genetic drift were excluded. Our results show that although variable potential strengths of sexual interactions influence the evolution of interacting phenotypes, the influence may be nonlinear.

  8. How sexual selection can drive the evolution of costly sperm ornamentation.

    PubMed

    Lüpold, Stefan; Manier, Mollie K; Puniamoorthy, Nalini; Schoff, Christopher; Starmer, William T; Luepold, Shannon H Buckley; Belote, John M; Pitnick, Scott

    2016-05-25

    Post-copulatory sexual selection (PSS), fuelled by female promiscuity, is credited with the rapid evolution of sperm quality traits across diverse taxa. Yet, our understanding of the adaptive significance of sperm ornaments and the cryptic female preferences driving their evolution is extremely limited. Here we review the evolutionary allometry of exaggerated sexual traits (for example, antlers, horns, tail feathers, mandibles and dewlaps), show that the giant sperm of some Drosophila species are possibly the most extreme ornaments in all of nature and demonstrate how their existence challenges theories explaining the intensity of sexual selection, mating-system evolution and the fundamental nature of sex differences. We also combine quantitative genetic analyses of interacting sex-specific traits in D. melanogaster with comparative analyses of the condition dependence of male and female reproductive potential across species with varying ornament size to reveal complex dynamics that may underlie sperm-length evolution. Our results suggest that producing few gigantic sperm evolved by (1) Fisherian runaway selection mediated by genetic correlations between sperm length, the female preference for long sperm and female mating frequency, and (2) longer sperm increasing the indirect benefits to females. Our results also suggest that the developmental integration of sperm quality and quantity renders post-copulatory sexual selection on ejaculates unlikely to treat male-male competition and female choice as discrete processes.

  9. Evolution of egg dummies in Tanganyikan cichlid fishes: the roles of parental care and sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Amcoff, M; Gonzalez-Voyer, A; Kolm, N

    2013-11-01

    Sexual selection has been suggested to be an important driver of speciation in cichlid fishes of the Great Lakes of Africa, and the presence of male egg dummies is proposed to have played a key role. Here, we investigate how mouthbrooding and egg dummies have evolved in Tanganyikan cichlids, the lineage which seeded the other African radiations, with a special emphasis on the egg dummies. Using modern phylogenetic comparative analyses and a phylogeny including 86% of the 200 described species, we provide formal evidence demonstrating correlated evolution between mouthbrooding and egg dummies in Tanganyikan cichlids. These results concur with existing evidence, suggesting that egg dummies have evolved through sensory exploitation. We also demonstrate that there is a strong evolutionary correlation between the presence of egg dummies and both pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection. Moreover, egg dummy evolution was contingent on the intensity of pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection in Tanganyikan cichlids. In sum, our results provide evidence supporting the hypothesis of egg dummies evolving through sensory exploitation and highlight the role of sexual selection in favouring the evolution and maintenance of this trait.

  10. Rapid loss of behavioral plasticity and immunocompetence under intense sexual selection.

    PubMed

    van Lieshout, Emile; McNamara, Kathryn B; Simmons, Leigh W

    2014-09-01

    Phenotypic plasticity allows animals to maximize fitness by conditionally expressing the phenotype best adapted to their environment. Although evidence for such adjustment in reproductive tactics is common, little is known about how phenotypic plasticity evolves in response to sexual selection. We examined the effect of sexual selection intensity on phenotypic plasticity in mating behavior using the beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. Male genital spines harm females during mating and females exhibit copulatory kicking, an apparent resistance trait aimed to dislodge mating males. After exposing individuals from male- and female-biased experimental evolution lines to male- and female-biased sociosexual environments, we examined behavioral plasticity in matings with standard partners. While females from female-biased lines kicked sooner after exposure to male-biased sociosexual contexts, in male-biased lines this plasticity was lost. Ejaculate size did not diverge in response to selection history, but males from both treatments exhibited plasticity consistent with sperm competition intensity models, reducing size as the number of competitors increased. Analysis of immunocompetence revealed reduced immunity in both sexes in male-biased lines, pointing to increased reproductive costs under high sexual selection. These results highlight how male and female reproductive strategies are shaped by interactions between phenotypically plastic and genetic mechanisms of sexual trait expression.

  11. How sexual selection can drive the evolution of costly sperm ornamentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lüpold, Stefan; Manier, Mollie K.; Puniamoorthy, Nalini; Schoff, Christopher; Starmer, William T.; Luepold, Shannon H. Buckley; Belote, John M.; Pitnick, Scott

    2016-05-01

    Post-copulatory sexual selection (PSS), fuelled by female promiscuity, is credited with the rapid evolution of sperm quality traits across diverse taxa. Yet, our understanding of the adaptive significance of sperm ornaments and the cryptic female preferences driving their evolution is extremely limited. Here we review the evolutionary allometry of exaggerated sexual traits (for example, antlers, horns, tail feathers, mandibles and dewlaps), show that the giant sperm of some Drosophila species are possibly the most extreme ornaments in all of nature and demonstrate how their existence challenges theories explaining the intensity of sexual selection, mating-system evolution and the fundamental nature of sex differences. We also combine quantitative genetic analyses of interacting sex-specific traits in D. melanogaster with comparative analyses of the condition dependence of male and female reproductive potential across species with varying ornament size to reveal complex dynamics that may underlie sperm-length evolution. Our results suggest that producing few gigantic sperm evolved by (1) Fisherian runaway selection mediated by genetic correlations between sperm length, the female preference for long sperm and female mating frequency, and (2) longer sperm increasing the indirect benefits to females. Our results also suggest that the developmental integration of sperm quality and quantity renders post-copulatory sexual selection on ejaculates unlikely to treat male-male competition and female choice as discrete processes.

  12. Strong sexual selection in males against a mutation load that reduces offspring production in seed beetles.

    PubMed

    Grieshop, K; Stångberg, J; Martinossi-Allibert, I; Arnqvist, G; Berger, D

    2016-06-01

    Theory predicts that sexual reproduction can increase population viability relative to asexual reproduction by allowing sexual selection in males to remove deleterious mutations from the population without large demographic costs. This requires that selection acts more strongly in males than females and that mutations affecting male reproductive success have pleiotropic effects on population productivity, but empirical support for these assumptions is mixed. We used the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus to implement a three-generation breeding design where we induced mutations via ionizing radiation (IR) in the F0 generation and measured mutational effects (relative to nonirradiated controls) on an estimate of population productivity in the F1 and effects on sex-specific competitive lifetime reproductive success (LRS) in the F2 . Regardless of whether mutations were induced via F0 males or females, they had strong negative effects on male LRS, but a nonsignificant influence on female LRS, suggesting that selection is more efficient in removing deleterious alleles in males. Moreover, mutations had seemingly shared effects on population productivity and competitive LRS in both sexes. Thus, our results lend support to the hypothesis that strong sexual selection on males can act to remove the mutation load on population viability, thereby offering a benefit to sexual reproduction. PMID:26991346

  13. Sexual selection and trichromatic color vision in primates: statistical support for the preexisting-bias hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Fernandez, Andre A; Morris, Molly R

    2007-07-01

    The evolution of trichromatic color vision in primates may improve foraging performance as well as intraspecific communication; however, the context in which color vision initially evolved is unknown. We statistically examined the hypothesis that trichromatic color vision in primates represents a preexisting bias for the evolution of red coloration (pelage and/or skin) through sexual selection. Our analyses show that trichromatic color vision evolved before red pelage and red skin, as well as before gregarious mating systems that would promote sexual selection for visual traits and other forms of intraspecific communication via red traits. We also determined that both red pelage and red skin were more likely to evolve in the presence of color vision and mating systems that promote sexual selection. These results provide statistical support for the hypothesis that trichromatic color vision in primates evolved in a context other than intraspecific communication with red traits, most likely foraging performance, but, once evolved, represented a preexisting bias that promoted the evolution of red traits through sexual selection.

  14. How sexual selection can drive the evolution of costly sperm ornamentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lüpold, Stefan; Manier, Mollie K.; Puniamoorthy, Nalini; Schoff, Christopher; Starmer, William T.; Luepold, Shannon H. Buckley; Belote, John M.; Pitnick, Scott

    2016-05-01

    Post-copulatory sexual selection (PSS), fuelled by female promiscuity, is credited with the rapid evolution of sperm quality traits across diverse taxa. Yet, our understanding of the adaptive significance of sperm ornaments and the cryptic female preferences driving their evolution is extremely limited. Here we review the evolutionary allometry of exaggerated sexual traits (for example, antlers, horns, tail feathers, mandibles and dewlaps), show that the giant sperm of some Drosophila species are possibly the most extreme ornaments in all of nature and demonstrate how their existence challenges theories explaining the intensity of sexual selection, mating-system evolution and the fundamental nature of sex differences. We also combine quantitative genetic analyses of interacting sex-specific traits in D. melanogaster with comparative analyses of the condition dependence of male and female reproductive potential across species with varying ornament size to reveal complex dynamics that may underlie sperm-length evolution. Our results suggest that producing few gigantic sperm evolved by (1) Fisherian runaway selection mediated by genetic correlations between sperm length, the female preference for long sperm and female mating frequency, and (2) longer sperm increasing the indirect benefits to females. Our results also suggest that the developmental integration of sperm quality and quantity renders post-copulatory sexual selection on ejaculates unlikely to treat male–male competition and female choice as discrete processes.

  15. Assessing the potential for post-copulatory sexual selection in elasmobranchs

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, J. L.; Kempster, R. M.; Daly-Engel, T. S.; Collin, S. P.; Evans, J. P.

    2013-01-01

    This review highlights the potential role that post-copulatory sexual selection plays in elasmobranch reproductive systems and the utility of this group to further understanding of evolutionary responses to the post-copulatory processes of sperm competition and cryptic female choice. The growing genetic evidence for female multiple mating (polyandry) in elasmobranchs is summarized. While polyandry appears to be common in this group, rates of multiple paternity are highly variable between species suggesting that there is large variance in the strength of post-copulatory sexual selection among elasmobranchs. Possible adaptations of traits important for post-copulatory sexual selection are then considered. Particular emphasis is devoted to explore the potential for sperm competition and cryptic female choice to influence the evolution of testes size, sperm morphology, genital morphology and sperm storage organs. Finally, it is argued that future work should take advantage of the wealth of information on these reproductive traits already available in elasmobranchs to gain a better understanding of how post-copulatory sexual selection operates in this group. PMID:22497376

  16. Geography, assortative mating, and the effects of sexual selection on speciation with gene flow.

    PubMed

    Servedio, Maria R

    2016-01-01

    Theoretical and empirical research on the evolution of reproductive isolation have both indicated that the effects of sexual selection on speciation with gene flow are quite complex. As part of this special issue on the contributions of women to basic and applied evolutionary biology, I discuss my work on this question in the context of a broader assessment of the patterns of sexual selection that lead to, versus inhibit, the speciation process, as derived from theoretical research. In particular, I focus on how two factors, the geographic context of speciation and the mechanism leading to assortative mating, interact to alter the effect that sexual selection through mate choice has on speciation. I concentrate on two geographic contexts: sympatry and secondary contact between two geographically separated populations that are exchanging migrants and two mechanisms of assortative mating: phenotype matching and separate preferences and traits. I show that both of these factors must be considered for the effects of sexual selection on speciation to be inferred. PMID:27087841

  17. Sexual predator civil commitment: a comparison of selected and released offenders.

    PubMed

    Levenson, Jill S

    2004-12-01

    This study compared two groups of sex offenders who were considered for civil commitment under Florida's Jimmy Ryce Act: Two hundred twenty-nine sex offenders who were recommended by forensic evaluators to be civilly committed and 221 sex offenders who were recommended for release. It was hypothesized that selected offenders would be more likely to display risk factors for sex offense recidivism than those who did not meet criteria. Data analyses revealed that selected offenders, as a group, scored significantly higher on actuarial risk assessment instruments. There were also significant differences between the groups on other risk factors that have been empirically correlated with sexual recidivism. Selected offenders had higher frequencies of paraphilia diagnoses and antisocial personality. These findings supported the hypotheses and suggested that evaluators are correctly selecting for civil commitment those sex offenders who have a mental abnormality predisposing them to sexual violence and who are at higher risk for reoffense. PMID:15538023

  18. Sexual selection in a lekking bird: the relative opportunity for selection by female choice and male competition.

    PubMed

    DuVal, Emily H; Kempenaers, Bart

    2008-09-01

    Leks are classic models for studies of sexual selection due to extreme variance in male reproductive success, but the relative influence of intrasexual competition and female mate choice in creating this skew is debatable. In the lekking lance-tailed manakin (Chiroxiphia lanceolata), these selective episodes are temporally separated into intrasexual competition for alpha status and female mate choice among alpha males that rarely interact. Variance in reproductive success between status classes of adult males (alpha versus non-alpha) can therefore be attributed to male-male competition whereas that within status largely reflects female mate choice. This provides an excellent opportunity for quantifying the relative contribution of each of these mechanisms of sexual selection to the overall opportunity for sexual selection on males (I males). To calculate variance in actual reproductive success, we assigned genetic paternity to 92.3% of 447 chicks sampled in seven years. Reproduction by non-alphas was rare and apparently reflected status misclassifications or opportunistic copulations en route to attaining alpha status rather than alternative mating strategies. On average 31% (range 7-44%, n=6 years) of the total I males was due to variance in reproductive success between alphas and non-alphas. Similarly, in a cohort of same-aged males followed for six years, 44-58% of the total I males was attributed to variance between males of different status. Thus, both intrasexual competition for status and female mate choice among lekking alpha males contribute substantially to the potential for sexual selection in this species.

  19. Sexual selection in a lekking bird: the relative opportunity for selection by female choice and male competition.

    PubMed

    DuVal, Emily H; Kempenaers, Bart

    2008-09-01

    Leks are classic models for studies of sexual selection due to extreme variance in male reproductive success, but the relative influence of intrasexual competition and female mate choice in creating this skew is debatable. In the lekking lance-tailed manakin (Chiroxiphia lanceolata), these selective episodes are temporally separated into intrasexual competition for alpha status and female mate choice among alpha males that rarely interact. Variance in reproductive success between status classes of adult males (alpha versus non-alpha) can therefore be attributed to male-male competition whereas that within status largely reflects female mate choice. This provides an excellent opportunity for quantifying the relative contribution of each of these mechanisms of sexual selection to the overall opportunity for sexual selection on males (I males). To calculate variance in actual reproductive success, we assigned genetic paternity to 92.3% of 447 chicks sampled in seven years. Reproduction by non-alphas was rare and apparently reflected status misclassifications or opportunistic copulations en route to attaining alpha status rather than alternative mating strategies. On average 31% (range 7-44%, n=6 years) of the total I males was due to variance in reproductive success between alphas and non-alphas. Similarly, in a cohort of same-aged males followed for six years, 44-58% of the total I males was attributed to variance between males of different status. Thus, both intrasexual competition for status and female mate choice among lekking alpha males contribute substantially to the potential for sexual selection in this species. PMID:18495620

  20. Why mammalian lineages respond differently to sexual selection: metabolic rate constrains the evolution of sperm size.

    PubMed

    Gomendio, Montserrat; Tourmente, Maximiliano; Roldan, Eduardo R S

    2011-10-22

    The hypothesis that sperm competition should favour increases in sperm size, because it results in faster swimming speeds, has received support from studies on many taxa, but remains contentious for mammals. We suggest that this may be because mammalian lineages respond differently to sexual selection, owing to major differences in body size, which are associated with differences in mass-specific metabolic rate. Recent evidence suggests that cellular metabolic rate also scales with body size, so that small mammals have cells that process energy and resources from the environment at a faster rate. We develop the 'metabolic rate constraint hypothesis' which proposes that low mass-specific metabolic rate among large mammals may limit their ability to respond to sexual selection by increasing sperm size, while this constraint does not exist among small mammals. Here we show that among rodents, which have high mass-specific metabolic rates, sperm size increases under sperm competition, reaching the longest sperm sizes found in eutherian mammals. By contrast, mammalian lineages with large body sizes have small sperm, and while metabolic rate (corrected for body size) influences sperm size, sperm competition levels do not. When all eutherian mammals are analysed jointly, our results suggest that as mass-specific metabolic rate increases, so does maximum sperm size. In addition, species with low mass-specific metabolic rates produce uniformly small sperm, while species with high mass-specific metabolic rates produce a wide range of sperm sizes. These findings support the hypothesis that mass-specific metabolic rates determine the budget available for sperm production: at high levels, sperm size increases in response to sexual selection, while low levels constrain the ability to respond to sexual selection by increasing sperm size. Thus, adaptive and costly traits, such as sperm size, may only evolve under sexual selection when metabolic rate does not constrain cellular

  1. Modeling HIV-1 drug resistance as episodic directional selection.

    PubMed

    Murrell, Ben; de Oliveira, Tulio; Seebregts, Chris; Kosakovsky Pond, Sergei L; Scheffler, Konrad

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of substitutions conferring drug resistance to HIV-1 is both episodic, occurring when patients are on antiretroviral therapy, and strongly directional, with site-specific resistant residues increasing in frequency over time. While methods exist to detect episodic diversifying selection and continuous directional selection, no evolutionary model combining these two properties has been proposed. We present two models of episodic directional selection (MEDS and EDEPS) which allow the a priori specification of lineages expected to have undergone directional selection. The models infer the sites and target residues that were likely subject to directional selection, using either codon or protein sequences. Compared to its null model of episodic diversifying selection, MEDS provides a superior fit to most sites known to be involved in drug resistance, and neither one test for episodic diversifying selection nor another for constant directional selection are able to detect as many true positives as MEDS and EDEPS while maintaining acceptable levels of false positives. This suggests that episodic directional selection is a better description of the process driving the evolution of drug resistance.

  2. Sexual selection on multivariate phenotypes in Anastrepha Fraterculus (Diptera: Tephritidae) from Argentina

    SciTech Connect

    Sciurano, R.; Rodriguero, M.; Gomez Cendra, P.; Vilardi, J.; Segura, D.; Cladera, J.L.; Allinghi, Armando

    2007-03-15

    Despite the interest in applying environmentally friendly control methods such as sterile insect technique (SIT) against Anastrepha fraterculus (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae), information about its biology, taxonomy, and behavior is still insufficient. To increase this information, the present study aims to evaluate the performance of wild flies under field cage conditions through the study of sexual competitiveness among males (sexual selection). A wild population from Horco Molle, Tucuman, Argentina was sampled. Mature virgin males and females were released into outdoor field cages to compete for mating. Morphometric analyses were applied to determine the relationship between the multivariate phenotype and copulatory success. Successful and unsuccessful males were measured for 8 traits: head width (HW), face width (FW), eye length (EL), thorax length (THL), wing length (WL), wing width (WW), femur length (FL), and tibia length (TIL). Combinations of different multivariate statistical methods and graphical analyses were used to evaluate sexual selection on male phenotype. The results indicated that wing width and thorax length would be the most probable targets of sexual selection. They describe a non-linear association between expected fitness and each of these 2 traits. This non-linear relation suggests that observed selection could maintain the diversity related to body size. (author) [Spanish] A pesar del interes por la aplicacion de metodos de control de bajo impacto ambiental sobre Anastrepha fraterculus (Diptera: Tephritidae), como la Tecnica del Insecto Esteril (TIE), no existe aun informacion suficiente sobre su biologia, taxonomia y comportamiento. Este trabajo tiene como objetivo evaluar el desempeno de moscas en jaulas de campo a traves del estudio de la competitividad sexual entre machos salvajes (seleccion sexual). Para ello, se muestreo una poblacion de Horco Molle, Tucuman (Argentina). En jaulas de campo se liberaron machos y hembras adultos

  3. Sexual size dimorphism in caecilian amphibians: analysis, review and directions for future research.

    PubMed

    Kupfer, Alexander

    2009-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism, widespread in the animal kingdom, describes differences between the sexes in size, shape and many other traits. Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) plays a significant role in understanding life history evolution and mating systems. The snakelike morphology of limbless caecilian amphibians lacking obvious secondary sexual characters (in contrast to frogs and salamanders) impedes accurate intrasexual comparisons. In this study, sexual size dimorphism in the oviparous caecilian Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis, a phylogenetically basal caecilian, was analysed. Females were larger in all body and head characters tested. However, when adjusted to body size (total length), females differed only in their cloacal shape. Clutch volume was positively correlated to female body size, thus female fecundity increased with body size supporting the hypothesis of a fecundity-selected SSD in the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis. A review of the present SSD data for caecilians shows that many species are monomorphic for body size but show dimorphism in head size, while other species demonstrate female-biased SSD. Male-biased SSD has not been reported for caecilians. To understand life history evolution in caecilians, further studies on the reproductive biology of other taxa are urgently needed, in particular for rhinatrematids and uraeotyphlids. New data will allow phylogenetically controlled comparative analyses to fully explore the pattern of SSD among caecilian lineages.

  4. Sexual size dimorphism in caecilian amphibians: analysis, review and directions for future research.

    PubMed

    Kupfer, Alexander

    2009-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism, widespread in the animal kingdom, describes differences between the sexes in size, shape and many other traits. Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) plays a significant role in understanding life history evolution and mating systems. The snakelike morphology of limbless caecilian amphibians lacking obvious secondary sexual characters (in contrast to frogs and salamanders) impedes accurate intrasexual comparisons. In this study, sexual size dimorphism in the oviparous caecilian Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis, a phylogenetically basal caecilian, was analysed. Females were larger in all body and head characters tested. However, when adjusted to body size (total length), females differed only in their cloacal shape. Clutch volume was positively correlated to female body size, thus female fecundity increased with body size supporting the hypothesis of a fecundity-selected SSD in the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis. A review of the present SSD data for caecilians shows that many species are monomorphic for body size but show dimorphism in head size, while other species demonstrate female-biased SSD. Male-biased SSD has not been reported for caecilians. To understand life history evolution in caecilians, further studies on the reproductive biology of other taxa are urgently needed, in particular for rhinatrematids and uraeotyphlids. New data will allow phylogenetically controlled comparative analyses to fully explore the pattern of SSD among caecilian lineages. PMID:19433349

  5. Female discrimination thresholds frequently exceed local male display variation: implications for mate choice dynamics and sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Höbel, G

    2016-03-01

    Among the factors that can influence female mate choice decisions is the degree to which females differentiate among similar displays: as differences decrease, females are expected to eventually stop discriminating. This discrimination threshold, in conjunction with the magnitude of male trait variation females regularly encounter while making mate choice decisions, may have important consequences for sexual selection. If local display variation is above the discrimination threshold, female preferences should translate into higher mating success for the more attractive male. But if display variation is frequently below the threshold, the resulting increased pattern of random mating may obscure the existence of female mate choice. I investigated the interplay between female discrimination and male display variation in green treefrogs (Hyla cinerea) and found that call trait differences between nearest neighbour males were frequently smaller than what females are expected to discriminate. This finding has two important consequences for our understanding of sexual selection in the wild: first, low display variation should weaken the strength of selection on male display traits, but the direction of selection should mirror the one predicted from females choice trials. Second, caution is needed when interpreting data on realized mating success in the wild: a pattern of random mating with respect to male display traits does not always mean that female preferences are weak or that conditions are too challenging for females to express their preferences. Rather, insufficient display variation can generate the same pattern. PMID:26663413

  6. Phenology of Scramble Polygyny in a Wild Population of Chrysolemid Beetles: The Opportunity for and the Strength of Sexual Selection

    PubMed Central

    Baena, Martha Lucía; Macías-Ordóñez, Rogelio

    2012-01-01

    Recent debate has highlighted the importance of estimating both the strength of sexual selection on phenotypic traits, and the opportunity for sexual selection. We describe seasonal fluctuations in mating dynamics of Leptinotarsa undecimlineata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). We compared several estimates of the opportunity for, and the strength of, sexual selection and male precopulatory competition over the reproductive season. First, using a null model, we suggest that the ratio between observed values of the opportunity for sexual selections and their expected value under random mating results in unbiased estimates of the actual nonrandom mating behavior of the population. Second, we found that estimates for the whole reproductive season often misrepresent the actual value at any given time period. Third, mating differentials on male size and mobility, frequency of male fighting and three estimates of the opportunity for sexual selection provide contrasting but complementary information. More intense sexual selection associated to male mobility, but not to male size, was observed in periods with high opportunity for sexual selection and high frequency of male fights. Fourth, based on parameters of spatial and temporal aggregation of female receptivity, we describe the mating system of L. undecimlineata as a scramble mating polygyny in which the opportunity for sexual selection varies widely throughout the season, but the strength of sexual selection on male size remains fairly weak, while male mobility inversely covaries with mating success. We suggest that different estimates for the opportunity for, and intensity of, sexual selection should be applied in order to discriminate how different behavioral and demographic factors shape the reproductive dynamic of populations. PMID:22761675

  7. Sperm Bindin Divergence under Sexual Selection and Concerted Evolution in Sea Stars.

    PubMed

    Patiño, Susana; Keever, Carson C; Sunday, Jennifer M; Popovic, Iva; Byrne, Maria; Hart, Michael W

    2016-08-01

    Selection associated with competition among males or sexual conflict between mates can create positive selection for high rates of molecular evolution of gamete recognition genes and lead to reproductive isolation between species. We analyzed coding sequence and repetitive domain variation in the gene encoding the sperm acrosomal protein bindin in 13 diverse sea star species. We found that bindin has a conserved coding sequence domain structure in all 13 species, with several repeated motifs in a large central region that is similar among all sea stars in organization but highly divergent among genera in nucleotide and predicted amino acid sequence. More bindin codons and lineages showed positive selection for high relative rates of amino acid substitution in genera with gonochoric outcrossing adults (and greater expected strength of sexual selection) than in selfing hermaphrodites. That difference is consistent with the expectation that selfing (a highly derived mating system) may moderate the strength of sexual selection and limit the accumulation of bindin amino acid differences. The results implicate both positive selection on single codons and concerted evolution within the repetitive region in bindin divergence, and suggest that both single amino acid differences and repeat differences may affect sperm-egg binding and reproductive compatibility.

  8. Sexual selection explains more functional variation in the mammalian major histocompatibility complex than parasitism

    PubMed Central

    Winternitz, J. C.; Minchey, S. G.; Garamszegi, L. Z.; Huang, S.; Stephens, P. R.; Altizer, S.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding drivers of genetic diversity at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is vitally important for predicting how vertebrate immune defence might respond to future selection pressures and for preserving immunogenetic diversity in declining populations. Parasite-mediated selection is believed to be the major selective force generating MHC polymorphism, and while MHC-based mating preferences also exist for multiple species including humans, the general importance of mate choice is debated. To investigate the contributions of parasitism and sexual selection in explaining among-species variation in MHC diversity, we applied comparative methods and meta-analysis across 112 mammal species, including carnivores, bats, primates, rodents and ungulates. We tested whether MHC diversity increased with parasite richness and relative testes size (as an indicator of the potential for mate choice), while controlling for phylogenetic autocorrelation, neutral mutation rate and confounding ecological variables. We found that MHC nucleotide diversity increased with parasite richness for bats and ungulates but decreased with parasite richness for carnivores. By contrast, nucleotide diversity increased with relative testes size for all taxa. This study provides support for both parasite-mediated and sexual selection in shaping functional MHC polymorphism across mammals, and importantly, suggests that sexual selection could have a more general role than previously thought. PMID:23966643

  9. Sperm Bindin Divergence under Sexual Selection and Concerted Evolution in Sea Stars.

    PubMed

    Patiño, Susana; Keever, Carson C; Sunday, Jennifer M; Popovic, Iva; Byrne, Maria; Hart, Michael W

    2016-08-01

    Selection associated with competition among males or sexual conflict between mates can create positive selection for high rates of molecular evolution of gamete recognition genes and lead to reproductive isolation between species. We analyzed coding sequence and repetitive domain variation in the gene encoding the sperm acrosomal protein bindin in 13 diverse sea star species. We found that bindin has a conserved coding sequence domain structure in all 13 species, with several repeated motifs in a large central region that is similar among all sea stars in organization but highly divergent among genera in nucleotide and predicted amino acid sequence. More bindin codons and lineages showed positive selection for high relative rates of amino acid substitution in genera with gonochoric outcrossing adults (and greater expected strength of sexual selection) than in selfing hermaphrodites. That difference is consistent with the expectation that selfing (a highly derived mating system) may moderate the strength of sexual selection and limit the accumulation of bindin amino acid differences. The results implicate both positive selection on single codons and concerted evolution within the repetitive region in bindin divergence, and suggest that both single amino acid differences and repeat differences may affect sperm-egg binding and reproductive compatibility. PMID:27189549

  10. The role of sexual selection and conflict in mediating among-population variation in mating strategies and sexually dimorphic traits in Sepsis punctum.

    PubMed

    Dmitriew, Caitlin; Blanckenhorn, Wolf U

    2012-01-01

    The black scavenger fly Sepsis punctum exhibits striking among-population variation in the direction and magnitude of sexual size dimorphism, modification to the male forelimb and pre-copulatory behaviour. In some populations, male-biased sexual size dimorphism is observed; in other, less dimorphic, populations males court prior to mating. Such variation in reproductive traits is of interest to evolutionary biologists because it has the potential to limit gene flow among populations, contributing to speciation. Here, we investigate whether large male body size and modified forefemur are associated with higher male mating success within populations, whether these traits are associated with higher mating success among populations, and if these traits carry viability costs that could constrain their response to sexual selection. Flies from five distinct populations were reared at high or low food, generating high and low quality males. The expression of body size, forelimb morphology and courtship rate were each greater at high food, but high food males experienced higher mating success or reduced latency to first copulation in only one of the populations. Among populations, overall mating success increased with the degree of male-bias in overall body size and forelimb modification, suggesting that these traits have evolved as a means of increasing male mating rate. The increased mating success observed in large-male populations raises the question of why variation in magnitude of dimorphism persists among populations. One reason may be that costs of producing a large size constrain the evolution of ever-larger males. We found no evidence that juvenile mortality under food stress was greater for large-male populations, but development time was considerably longer and may represent an important constraint in an ephemeral and competitive growth environment. PMID:23227145

  11. The Role of Sexual Selection and Conflict in Mediating Among-Population Variation in Mating Strategies and Sexually Dimorphic Traits in Sepsis punctum

    PubMed Central

    Dmitriew, Caitlin; Blanckenhorn, Wolf U.

    2012-01-01

    The black scavenger fly Sepsis punctum exhibits striking among-population variation in the direction and magnitude of sexual size dimorphism, modification to the male forelimb and pre-copulatory behaviour. In some populations, male-biased sexual size dimorphism is observed; in other, less dimorphic, populations males court prior to mating. Such variation in reproductive traits is of interest to evolutionary biologists because it has the potential to limit gene flow among populations, contributing to speciation. Here, we investigate whether large male body size and modified forefemur are associated with higher male mating success within populations, whether these traits are associated with higher mating success among populations, and if these traits carry viability costs that could constrain their response to sexual selection. Flies from five distinct populations were reared at high or low food, generating high and low quality males. The expression of body size, forelimb morphology and courtship rate were each greater at high food, but high food males experienced higher mating success or reduced latency to first copulation in only one of the populations. Among populations, overall mating success increased with the degree of male-bias in overall body size and forelimb modification, suggesting that these traits have evolved as a means of increasing male mating rate. The increased mating success observed in large-male populations raises the question of why variation in magnitude of dimorphism persists among populations. One reason may be that costs of producing a large size constrain the evolution of ever-larger males. We found no evidence that juvenile mortality under food stress was greater for large-male populations, but development time was considerably longer and may represent an important constraint in an ephemeral and competitive growth environment. PMID:23227145

  12. Diploidy and the selective advantage for sexual reproduction in unicellular organisms.

    PubMed

    Kleiman, Maya; Tannenbaum, Emmanuel

    2009-11-01

    This article develops mathematical models describing the evolutionary dynamics of both asexually and sexually reproducing populations of diploid unicellular organisms. The asexual and sexual life cycles are based on the asexual and sexual life cycles in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Baker's yeast, which normally reproduces by asexual budding, but switches to sexual reproduction when stressed. The mathematical models consider three reproduction pathways: (1) Asexual reproduction, (2) self-fertilization, and (3) sexual reproduction. We also consider two forms of genome organization. In the first case, we assume that the genome consists of two multi-gene chromosomes, whereas in the second case, we consider the opposite extreme and assume that each gene defines a separate chromosome, which we call the multi-chromosome genome. These two cases are considered to explore the role that recombination has on the mutation-selection balance and the selective advantage of the various reproduction strategies. We assume that the purpose of diploidy is to provide redundancy, so that damage to a gene may be repaired using the other, presumably undamaged copy (a process known as homologous recombination repair). As a result, we assume that the fitness of the organism only depends on the number of homologous gene pairs that contain at least one functional copy of a given gene. If the organism has at least one functional copy of every gene in the genome, we assume a fitness of 1. In general, if the organism has l homologous pairs that lack a functional copy of the given gene, then the fitness of the organism is kappa(l). The kappa(l) are assumed to be monotonically decreasing, so that kappa(0) = 1 > kappa(1) > kappa(2) > cdots, three dots, centered > kappa(infinity) = 0. For nearly all of the reproduction strategies we consider, we find, in the limit of large N, that the mean fitness at mutation-selection balance is max{2e(-mu) - 1,0} where N is the number of genes in the haploid set of

  13. Sexual and natural selection in the evolution of extended phenotypes: the use of green nesting material in starlings.

    PubMed

    Rubalcaba, J G; Polo, V; Maia, R; Rubenstein, D R; Veiga, J P

    2016-08-01

    Although sexual selection is typically considered the predominant force driving the evolution of ritualized sexual behaviours, natural selection may also play an important and often underappreciated role. The use of green aromatic plants among nesting birds has been interpreted as a component of extended phenotype that evolved either via natural selection due to potential sanitary functions or via sexual selection as a signal of male attractiveness. Here, we compared both hypotheses using comparative methods in starlings, a group where this behaviour is widespread. We found that the use of green plants was positively related to male-biased size dimorphism and that it was most likely to occur among cavity-nesting species. These results suggest that this behaviour is likely favoured by sexual selection, but also related to its sanitary use in response to higher parasite loads in cavities. We speculate that the use of green plants in starlings may be facilitated by cavity nesting and was subsequently co-opted as a sexual signal by males. Our results represent an example of how an extended phenotypic component of males becomes sexually selected by females. Thus, both natural selection and sexual selection are necessary to fully understand the evolution of ritualized behaviours involved in courtship. PMID:27168035

  14. The maintenance of phenotypic divergence through sexual selection: An experimental study in barn swallows Hirundo rustica.

    PubMed

    Safran, Rebecca J; Vortman, Yoni; Jenkins, Brittany R; Hubbard, Joanna K; Wilkins, Matthew R; Bradley, Rachel J; Lotem, Arnon

    2016-09-01

    Previous studies have shown that sexual signals can rapidly diverge among closely related species. However, we lack experimental studies to demonstrate that differences in trait-associated reproductive performance maintain sexual trait differences between closely related populations, in support for a role of sexual selection in speciation. Populations of Northern Hemisphere distributed barn swallows Hirundo rustica are closely related, yet differ in two plumage-based traits: ventral color and length of the outermost tail feathers (streamers). Here we provide experimental evidence that manipulations of these traits result in different reproductive consequences in two subspecies of barn swallow: (H. r. erythrogaster in North America and H. r. transitiva in the East Mediterranean). Experimental results in Colorado, USA, demonstrate that males with (1) darkened ventral coloration and (2) shortened streamers gained paternity between two successive reproductive bouts. In contrast, exaggeration of both traits improved reproductive performance within H. r. transitiva in Israel: males with a combination treatment of darkened ventral coloration and elongated streamers gained paternity between two successive reproductive bouts. Collectively, these experimental results fill an important gap in our understanding for how divergent sexual selection maintains phenotype differentiation in closely related populations, an important aspect of the speciation process. PMID:27436630

  15. The maintenance of phenotypic divergence through sexual selection: An experimental study in barn swallows Hirundo rustica.

    PubMed

    Safran, Rebecca J; Vortman, Yoni; Jenkins, Brittany R; Hubbard, Joanna K; Wilkins, Matthew R; Bradley, Rachel J; Lotem, Arnon

    2016-09-01

    Previous studies have shown that sexual signals can rapidly diverge among closely related species. However, we lack experimental studies to demonstrate that differences in trait-associated reproductive performance maintain sexual trait differences between closely related populations, in support for a role of sexual selection in speciation. Populations of Northern Hemisphere distributed barn swallows Hirundo rustica are closely related, yet differ in two plumage-based traits: ventral color and length of the outermost tail feathers (streamers). Here we provide experimental evidence that manipulations of these traits result in different reproductive consequences in two subspecies of barn swallow: (H. r. erythrogaster in North America and H. r. transitiva in the East Mediterranean). Experimental results in Colorado, USA, demonstrate that males with (1) darkened ventral coloration and (2) shortened streamers gained paternity between two successive reproductive bouts. In contrast, exaggeration of both traits improved reproductive performance within H. r. transitiva in Israel: males with a combination treatment of darkened ventral coloration and elongated streamers gained paternity between two successive reproductive bouts. Collectively, these experimental results fill an important gap in our understanding for how divergent sexual selection maintains phenotype differentiation in closely related populations, an important aspect of the speciation process.

  16. Stabilizing survival selection on presenescent expression of a sexual ornament followed by a terminal decline.

    PubMed

    Simons, M J P; Briga, M; Verhulst, S

    2016-07-01

    Senescence is a decrease in functional capacity, increasing mortality rate with age. Sexual signals indicate functional capacity, because costs of ornamentation ensure signal honesty, and are therefore expected to senesce, tracking physiological deterioration and mortality. For sexual traits, mixed associations with age and positive associations with life expectancy have been reported. However, whether these associations are caused by selective disappearance and/or within-individual senescence of sexual signals, respectively, is not known. We previously reported that zebra finches with redder bills had greater life expectancy, based on a single bill colour measurement per individual. We here extend this analysis using longitudinal data and show that this finding is attributable to terminal declines in bill redness in the year before death, with no detectable change in presenescent redness. Additionally, there was a quadratic relationship between presenescent bill colouration and survival: individuals with intermediate bill redness have maximum survival prospects. This may reflect that redder individuals overinvest in colouration and/or associated physiological changes, while below-average bill redness probably reflects poorer phenotypic quality. Together, this pattern suggests that bill colouration is defended against physiological deterioration, because of mate attraction benefits, or that physiological deterioration is not a gradual process, but accelerates sharply prior to death. We discuss these possibilities in the context of the reliability theory of ageing and sexual selection. PMID:27061923

  17. Conflicting preferences within females: sexual selection versus species recognition

    PubMed Central

    Rosenthal, Gil G.; Ryan, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    Preferences for mates within and between species are often harmonious, as traits that females prefer are usually more developed in conspecifics than heterospecifics. This need not be the case, however. When it is not, conflict between these arenas of mate choice can be resolved if females attend to different cues for each task. But this raises the potential for correlations among preferences to limit the opportunity for these two processes to operate independently. Here, we show that, within individual female pygmy swordtails (Xiphophorus pygmaeus), directional preferences for conspicuous ornamentation are inversely associated with discrimination against a sympatric heterospecific, Xiphophorus cortezi. Thus, mate choice among and within species need not be separate, independent processes; instead, they can be mechanistically intertwined. As a consequence, different arenas of mate choice can constrain one another, even when females assess multiple cues. PMID:21367782

  18. Developmental Environment Effects on Sexual Selection in Male and Female Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Morimoto, Juliano; Pizzari, Tommaso; Wigby, Stuart

    2016-01-01

    The developmental environment can potentially alter the adult social environment and influence traits targeted by sexual selection such as body size. In this study, we manipulated larval density in male and female Drosophila melanogaster, which results in distinct adult size phenotypes–high (low) densities for small (large) adults–and measured sexual selection in experimental groups consisting of adult males and females from high, low, or a mixture of low and high larval densities. Overall, large adult females (those reared at low larval density) had more matings, more mates and produced more offspring than small females (those reared at high larval density). The number of offspring produced by females was positively associated with their number of mates (i.e. there was a positive female Bateman gradient) in social groups where female size was experimentally varied, likely due to the covariance between female productivity and mating rate. For males, we found evidence that the larval environment affected the relative importance of sexual selection via mate number (Bateman gradients), mate productivity, paternity share, and their covariances. Mate number and mate productivity were significantly reduced for small males in social environments where males were of mixed sizes, versus social environments where all males were small, suggesting that social heterogeneity altered selection on this subset of males. Males are commonly assumed to benefit from mating with large females, but in contrast to expectations we found that in groups where both the male and female size varied, males did not gain more offspring per mating with large females. Collectively, our results indicate sex-specific effects of the developmental environment on the operation of sexual selection, via both the phenotype of individuals, and the phenotype of their competitors and mates. PMID:27167120

  19. Developmental Environment Effects on Sexual Selection in Male and Female Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Morimoto, Juliano; Pizzari, Tommaso; Wigby, Stuart

    2016-01-01

    The developmental environment can potentially alter the adult social environment and influence traits targeted by sexual selection such as body size. In this study, we manipulated larval density in male and female Drosophila melanogaster, which results in distinct adult size phenotypes-high (low) densities for small (large) adults-and measured sexual selection in experimental groups consisting of adult males and females from high, low, or a mixture of low and high larval densities. Overall, large adult females (those reared at low larval density) had more matings, more mates and produced more offspring than small females (those reared at high larval density). The number of offspring produced by females was positively associated with their number of mates (i.e. there was a positive female Bateman gradient) in social groups where female size was experimentally varied, likely due to the covariance between female productivity and mating rate. For males, we found evidence that the larval environment affected the relative importance of sexual selection via mate number (Bateman gradients), mate productivity, paternity share, and their covariances. Mate number and mate productivity were significantly reduced for small males in social environments where males were of mixed sizes, versus social environments where all males were small, suggesting that social heterogeneity altered selection on this subset of males. Males are commonly assumed to benefit from mating with large females, but in contrast to expectations we found that in groups where both the male and female size varied, males did not gain more offspring per mating with large females. Collectively, our results indicate sex-specific effects of the developmental environment on the operation of sexual selection, via both the phenotype of individuals, and the phenotype of their competitors and mates. PMID:27167120

  20. The genomic signature of sexual selection in the genetic diversity of the sex chromosomes and autosomes.

    PubMed

    Corl, Ammon; Ellegren, Hans

    2012-07-01

    Genomic levels of variation can help reveal the selective and demographic forces that have affected a species during its history. The relative amount of genetic diversity observed on the sex chromosomes as compared to the autosomes is predicted to differ among monogamous and polygynous species. Many species show departures from the expectation for monogamy, but it can be difficult to conclude that this pattern results from variation in mating system because forces other than sexual selection can act upon sex chromosome genetic diversity. As a critical test of the role of mating system, we compared levels of genetic diversity on the Z chromosome and autosomes of phylogenetically independent pairs of shorebirds that differed in their mating systems. We found general support for sexual selection shaping sex chromosome diversity because most polygynous species showed relatively reduced genetic variation on their Z chromosomes as compared to monogamous species. Differences in levels of genetic diversity between the sex chromosomes and autosomes may therefore contribute to understanding the long-term history of sexual selection experienced by a species.

  1. Determinants of reproductive success across sequential episodes of sexual selection in a firefly.

    PubMed

    South, A; Lewis, S M

    2012-08-22

    Because females often mate with multiple males, it is critical to expand our view of sexual selection to encompass pre-, peri- and post-copulatory episodes to understand how selection drives trait evolution. In Photinus fireflies, females preferentially respond to males based on their bioluminescent courtship signals, but previous work has shown that male paternity success is negatively correlated with flash attractiveness. Here, we experimentally manipulated both the attractiveness of the courtship signal visible to female Photinus greeni fireflies before mating and male nuptial gift size to determine how these traits might each influence mate acceptance and paternity share. We also measured pericopulatory behaviours to examine their influence on male reproductive success. Firefly males with larger spermatophores experienced dual benefits in terms of both higher mate acceptance and increased paternity share. We found no effect of courtship signal attractiveness or pericopulatory behaviour on male reproductive success. Taken together with previous results, this suggests a possible trade-off for males between producing an attractive courtship signal and investing in nuptial gifts. By integrating multiple episodes of sexual selection, this study extends our understanding of sexual selection in Photinus fireflies and provides insight into the evolution of male traits in other polyandrous species.

  2. Environmental change disrupts communication and sexual selection in a stickleback population.

    PubMed

    Candolin, Ulrika; Tukiainen, Iina; Bertell, Elina

    2016-04-01

    Environmental change that disrupts communication during mate choice and alters sexual selection could influence population dynamics. Yet little is known about such long-term effects. We investigated experimentally the consequences that disrupted visual communication during mate choice has for the quantity and viability of offspring produced in a threespine stickleback population (Gasterosteus aculeatus). We further related the results to long-term monitoring of population dynamics in the field to determine if changes are apparent under natural conditions. The results show that impaired visual communication because of algal blooms reduces reliability of male visual signals as indicators of offspring survival during their first weeks of life. This relaxes sexual selection but has no effect on the number of offspring hatching, as most males have a high hatching success in turbid water. Despite eutrophication and high turbidity levels that interfere with communication during mate choice, the population has grown during recent decades. Large numbers of offspring hatching, combined with high variation in juvenile fitness, has probably shifted selection to later life history stages and maintained a viable population. Together with reduced cost of sexual selection and ongoing ecosystem changes caused by human activities, this could have promoted population growth. These results point to the complexity of ecosystems and the necessity to consider all influencing factors when attempting to understand impacts of human activities on populations. PMID:27220213

  3. Comparing strengths of directional selection: how strong is strong?

    PubMed

    Hereford, Joe; Hansen, Thomas F; Houle, David

    2004-10-01

    The fundamental equation in evolutionary quantitative genetics, the Lande equation, describes the response to directional selection as a product of the additive genetic variance and the selection gradient of trait value on relative fitness. Comparisons of both genetic variances and selection gradients across traits or populations require standardization, as both are scale dependent. The Lande equation can be standardized in two ways. Standardizing by the variance of the selected trait yields the response in units of standard deviation as the product of the heritability and the variance-standardized selection gradient. This standardization conflates selection and variation because the phenotypic variance is a function of the genetic variance. Alternatively, one can standardize the Lande equation using the trait mean, yielding the proportional response to selection as the product of the squared coefficient of additive genetic variance and the mean-standardized selection gradient. Mean-standardized selection gradients are particularly useful for summarizing the strength of selection because the mean-standardized gradient for fitness itself is one, a convenient benchmark for strong selection. We review published estimates of directional selection in natural populations using mean-standardized selection gradients. Only 38 published studies provided all the necessary information for calculation of mean-standardized gradients. The median absolute value of multivariate mean-standardized gradients shows that selection is on average 54% as strong as selection on fitness. Correcting for the upward bias introduced by taking absolute values lowers the median to 31%, still very strong selection. Such large estimates clearly cannot be representative of selection on all traits. Some possible sources of overestimation of the strength of selection include confounding environmental and genotypic effects on fitness, the use of fitness components as proxies for fitness, and biases in

  4. Endocrine disruption of sexual selection by an estrogenic herbicide in the mealworm beetle (Tenebrio molitor).

    PubMed

    McCallum, Malcolm L; Matlock, Makensey; Treas, Justin; Safi, Barroq; Sanson, Wendy; McCallum, Jamie L

    2013-12-01

    The role that endocrine disruption could play in sexual selection remains relatively untested, and although estrogens occur in insects, little information exists about their biological role in insect reproduction. Atrazine is a commonly applied herbicide that mimics estrogen in vertebrates. Tenebrio molitor were raised from egg to adult under a gradation of environmentally relevant atrazine exposures and a non-treated control. Atrazine was delivered in the drinking water ad libitum. Female T. molitor were provided with a choice between unrelated males raised under three levels of atrazine exposures. Female preference for males demonstrated a non-monotonic inverted U-shaped response to atrazine exposure. There was no significant difference between the control and the high exposure to atrazine. Excluding the control, female preference increased as exposure concentration increased. These results have important repercussions for nonlethal effects of endocrine disruption on populations, their capacity to interfere with sexual selection, and the role of estrogen in pheromone communication among insects. PMID:24085605

  5. The artful mind: sexual selection and an evolutionary neurobiological approach to aesthetic appreciation.

    PubMed

    De Ridder, Dirk; Vanneste, Sven

    2013-01-01

    Based on functional imaging of beauty appreciation in art and of beautiful faces, a heuristic model is presented that proposes that beauty appreciation in art is based on a sexual selection mechanism that led to the preference of beautiful faces. Beauty is linked to sexual selection as a sign of fitness. Beautiful traits, like the peacock's tail, are costly and thereby signal superior genetic quality. Mechanistically, beauty is a construct of the brain that links positive feedback of the reward system with hedonic experience, namely pleasure, which itself might be encoded in the orbito-frontal cortex. The context determines whether a stimulus should lead to further approach or withdrawal in order to maintain a hedonic homeostasis. The fact that aesthetic appreciation of art uses the same circuitry as the aesthetic appreciation of faces suggests that there is no special art circuitry in the brain, but that available networks are used for aesthetic appreciation of art.

  6. Male infanticide and paternity analyses in a socially natural herd of Przewalski's horses: sexual selection?

    PubMed

    Feh, C; Munkhtuya, B

    2008-07-01

    The sexual selection hypothesis explains infanticide by males in many mammals. In our 11-year study, we investigated this hypothesis in a herd of Przewalski's horses where we had witnessed infanticidal attacks. Infanticide was highly conditional and not simply linked to takeovers. Attacks occurred in only five of 39 cases following a takeover, and DNA paternity revealed that, although infanticidal stallions were not the genetic fathers in four cases out of five, stallions present at birth did not significantly attempt to kill unrelated foals. Infanticide did not reduce birth intervals; only in one case out of five was the infanticidal stallion, the father of the next foal; mothers whose foals were attacked subsequently avoided associating with infanticidal stallions. Therefore, evidence for the sexual selection hypothesis was weak. The "human disturbance" hypothesis received some support, as only zoo bred stallions which grew up in unnatural social groups attacked foals of mares which were pregnant during takeovers.

  7. Endocrine disruption of sexual selection by an estrogenic herbicide in the mealworm beetle (Tenebrio molitor).

    PubMed

    McCallum, Malcolm L; Matlock, Makensey; Treas, Justin; Safi, Barroq; Sanson, Wendy; McCallum, Jamie L

    2013-12-01

    The role that endocrine disruption could play in sexual selection remains relatively untested, and although estrogens occur in insects, little information exists about their biological role in insect reproduction. Atrazine is a commonly applied herbicide that mimics estrogen in vertebrates. Tenebrio molitor were raised from egg to adult under a gradation of environmentally relevant atrazine exposures and a non-treated control. Atrazine was delivered in the drinking water ad libitum. Female T. molitor were provided with a choice between unrelated males raised under three levels of atrazine exposures. Female preference for males demonstrated a non-monotonic inverted U-shaped response to atrazine exposure. There was no significant difference between the control and the high exposure to atrazine. Excluding the control, female preference increased as exposure concentration increased. These results have important repercussions for nonlethal effects of endocrine disruption on populations, their capacity to interfere with sexual selection, and the role of estrogen in pheromone communication among insects.

  8. Competing dwarf males: sexual selection in an orb-weaving spider.

    PubMed

    Foellmer, M W; Fairbairn, D J

    2005-05-01

    Hypotheses for the adaptive significance of extreme female-biased sexual size dimorphism (SSD) generally assume that in dimorphic species males rarely interfere with each other. Here we provide the first multivariate examination of sexual selection because of male-male competition over access to females in a species with 'dwarf' males, the orb-weaving spider Argiope aurantia. Male A. aurantia typically try to mate opportunistically during the female's final moult when she is defenceless. We show that, contrary to previous hypotheses, the local operational sex ratio (males per female on the web) is male-biased most of the season. Both interference and scramble competition occur during opportunistic mating, the former leading to significant selection for large male body size. Male condition and leg length had no effect on mating success independent of size. We discuss these findings in the context of the evolution of extreme female-biased SSD in this clade.

  9. An Expression of Periodic Phenomena of Fashion on Sexual Selection Model with Conformity Genes and Memes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mutoh, Atsuko; Tokuhara, Shinya; Kanoh, Masayoshi; Oboshi, Tamon; Kato, Shohei; Itoh, Hidenori

    It is generally thought that living things have trends in their preferences. The mechanism of occurrence of another trends in successive periods is concerned in their conformity. According to social impact theory, the minority is always exists in the group. There is a possibility that the minority make the transition to the majority by conforming agents. Because of agent's promotion of their conform actions, the majority can make the transition. We proposed an evolutionary model with both genes and memes, and elucidated the interaction between genes and memes on sexual selection. In this paper, we propose an agent model for sexual selection imported the concept of conformity. Using this model we try an environment where male agents and female agents are existed, we find that periodic phenomena of fashion are expressed. And we report the influence of conformity and differentiation on the transition of their preferences.

  10. The Expression of Pre- and Postcopulatory Sexually Selected Traits Reflects Levels of Dietary Stress in Guppies

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, Md. Moshiur; Turchini, Giovanni M.; Gasparini, Clelia; Norambuena, Fernando; Evans, Jonathan P.

    2014-01-01

    Environmental and ecological conditions can shape the evolution of life history traits in many animals. Among such factors, food or nutrition availability can play an important evolutionary role in moderating an animal's life history traits, particularly sexually selected traits. Here, we test whether diet quantity and/or composition in the form of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (here termed ‘n3LC’) influence the expression of pre- and postcopulatory traits in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata), a livebearing poeciliid fish. We assigned males haphazardly to one of two experimental diets supplemented with n3LC, and each of these diet treatments was further divided into two diet ‘quantity’ treatments. Our experimental design therefore explored the main and interacting effects of two factors (n3LC content and diet quantity) on the expression of precopulatory (sexual behaviour and sexual ornamentation, including the size, number and spectral properties of colour spots) and postcopulatory (the velocity, viability, number and length of sperm) sexually selected traits. Our study revealed that diet quantity had significant effects on most of the pre- and postcopulatory traits, while n3LC manipulation had a significant effect on sperm traits and in particular on sperm viability. Our analyses also revealed interacting effects of diet quantity and n3LC levels on courtship displays, and the area of orange and iridescent colour spots in the males’ colour patterns. We also confirmed that our dietary manipulations of n3LC resulted in the differential uptake of n3LC in body and testes tissues in the different n3LC groups. This study reveals the effects of diet quantity and n3LC on behavioural, ornamental and ejaculate traits in P. reticulata and underscores the likely role that diet plays in maintaining the high variability in these condition-dependent sexual traits. PMID:25170940

  11. The expression of pre- and postcopulatory sexually selected traits reflects levels of dietary stress in guppies.

    PubMed

    Rahman, Md Moshiur; Turchini, Giovanni M; Gasparini, Clelia; Norambuena, Fernando; Evans, Jonathan P

    2014-01-01

    Environmental and ecological conditions can shape the evolution of life history traits in many animals. Among such factors, food or nutrition availability can play an important evolutionary role in moderating an animal's life history traits, particularly sexually selected traits. Here, we test whether diet quantity and/or composition in the form of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (here termed 'n3LC') influence the expression of pre- and postcopulatory traits in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata), a livebearing poeciliid fish. We assigned males haphazardly to one of two experimental diets supplemented with n3LC, and each of these diet treatments was further divided into two diet 'quantity' treatments. Our experimental design therefore explored the main and interacting effects of two factors (n3LC content and diet quantity) on the expression of precopulatory (sexual behaviour and sexual ornamentation, including the size, number and spectral properties of colour spots) and postcopulatory (the velocity, viability, number and length of sperm) sexually selected traits. Our study revealed that diet quantity had significant effects on most of the pre- and postcopulatory traits, while n3LC manipulation had a significant effect on sperm traits and in particular on sperm viability. Our analyses also revealed interacting effects of diet quantity and n3LC levels on courtship displays, and the area of orange and iridescent colour spots in the males' colour patterns. We also confirmed that our dietary manipulations of n3LC resulted in the differential uptake of n3LC in body and testes tissues in the different n3LC groups. This study reveals the effects of diet quantity and n3LC on behavioural, ornamental and ejaculate traits in P. reticulata and underscores the likely role that diet plays in maintaining the high variability in these condition-dependent sexual traits.

  12. The expression of pre- and postcopulatory sexually selected traits reflects levels of dietary stress in guppies.

    PubMed

    Rahman, Md Moshiur; Turchini, Giovanni M; Gasparini, Clelia; Norambuena, Fernando; Evans, Jonathan P

    2014-01-01

    Environmental and ecological conditions can shape the evolution of life history traits in many animals. Among such factors, food or nutrition availability can play an important evolutionary role in moderating an animal's life history traits, particularly sexually selected traits. Here, we test whether diet quantity and/or composition in the form of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (here termed 'n3LC') influence the expression of pre- and postcopulatory traits in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata), a livebearing poeciliid fish. We assigned males haphazardly to one of two experimental diets supplemented with n3LC, and each of these diet treatments was further divided into two diet 'quantity' treatments. Our experimental design therefore explored the main and interacting effects of two factors (n3LC content and diet quantity) on the expression of precopulatory (sexual behaviour and sexual ornamentation, including the size, number and spectral properties of colour spots) and postcopulatory (the velocity, viability, number and length of sperm) sexually selected traits. Our study revealed that diet quantity had significant effects on most of the pre- and postcopulatory traits, while n3LC manipulation had a significant effect on sperm traits and in particular on sperm viability. Our analyses also revealed interacting effects of diet quantity and n3LC levels on courtship displays, and the area of orange and iridescent colour spots in the males' colour patterns. We also confirmed that our dietary manipulations of n3LC resulted in the differential uptake of n3LC in body and testes tissues in the different n3LC groups. This study reveals the effects of diet quantity and n3LC on behavioural, ornamental and ejaculate traits in P. reticulata and underscores the likely role that diet plays in maintaining the high variability in these condition-dependent sexual traits. PMID:25170940

  13. Sexual selection and sex differences in the prevalence of childhood externalizing and adolescent internalizing disorders.

    PubMed

    Martel, Michelle M

    2013-11-01

    Despite the well-established sex difference in prevalence of many childhood and adolescent psychopathological conditions, no integrative metatheory of sex differences in psychopathology exists. This review attempts to provide a metatheoretical framework to guide empirical examination of sex differences in prevalence of childhood-onset "externalizing" and adolescent-onset "internalizing" disorders, based on sexual selection evolutionary theory. Sexual selection theory suggests important between-sex differences in markers, mechanisms, etiology, and developmental timing of risk and resilience relevant to psychopathology. Namely, sexual selection theory hypothesizes that disinhibition and sensation-seeking may be important proximate risk markers for childhood-onset externalizing disorders in males. The theory suggests that these male-biased markers may be a product of their higher exposure to prenatal testosterone, which makes them more susceptible to prenatal stressors with downstream effects on dopaminergic neurotransmission, especially for those with genetic alleles associated with lower dopaminergic function. In contrast, sexual selection theory hypothesizes that negative emotionality, empathy, and cognitive rumination may be important proximate risk markers for adolescent-onset internalizing disorders in females. The theory suggests that these markers are propagated by rapidly rising levels of estradiol at puberty that interact with cortisol and oxytocin. These hormones exert downstream effects on the serotonergic system in such a way as to increase females' sensitivity to interpersonal stressors particularly at puberty and especially for those with lower functional serotonergic activity. Such a metatheory can help integrate prior ideas about sex differences and can also generate new predictions of sex differences in markers, etiology, mechanisms, and developmental timing of common forms of psychopathology.

  14. Sexual selection and sex differences in the prevalence of childhood externalizing and adolescent internalizing disorders.

    PubMed

    Martel, Michelle M

    2013-11-01

    Despite the well-established sex difference in prevalence of many childhood and adolescent psychopathological conditions, no integrative metatheory of sex differences in psychopathology exists. This review attempts to provide a metatheoretical framework to guide empirical examination of sex differences in prevalence of childhood-onset "externalizing" and adolescent-onset "internalizing" disorders, based on sexual selection evolutionary theory. Sexual selection theory suggests important between-sex differences in markers, mechanisms, etiology, and developmental timing of risk and resilience relevant to psychopathology. Namely, sexual selection theory hypothesizes that disinhibition and sensation-seeking may be important proximate risk markers for childhood-onset externalizing disorders in males. The theory suggests that these male-biased markers may be a product of their higher exposure to prenatal testosterone, which makes them more susceptible to prenatal stressors with downstream effects on dopaminergic neurotransmission, especially for those with genetic alleles associated with lower dopaminergic function. In contrast, sexual selection theory hypothesizes that negative emotionality, empathy, and cognitive rumination may be important proximate risk markers for adolescent-onset internalizing disorders in females. The theory suggests that these markers are propagated by rapidly rising levels of estradiol at puberty that interact with cortisol and oxytocin. These hormones exert downstream effects on the serotonergic system in such a way as to increase females' sensitivity to interpersonal stressors particularly at puberty and especially for those with lower functional serotonergic activity. Such a metatheory can help integrate prior ideas about sex differences and can also generate new predictions of sex differences in markers, etiology, mechanisms, and developmental timing of common forms of psychopathology. PMID:23627633

  15. Fluctuating environments, sexual selection and the evolution of flexible mate choice in birds.

    PubMed

    Botero, Carlos A; Rubenstein, Dustin R

    2012-01-01

    Environmentally-induced fluctuation in the form and strength of natural selection can drive the evolution of morphology, physiology, and behavior. Here we test the idea that fluctuating climatic conditions may also influence the process of sexual selection by inducing unexpected reversals in the relative quality or sexual attractiveness of potential breeding partners. Although this phenomenon, known as 'ecological cross-over', has been documented in a variety of species, it remains unclear the extent to which it has driven the evolution of major interspecific differences in reproductive behavior. We show that after controlling for potentially influential life history and demographic variables, there are significant positive associations between the variability and predictability of annual climatic cycles and the prevalence of infidelity and divorce within populations of a taxonomically diverse array of socially monogamous birds. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that environmental factors have shaped the evolution of reproductive flexibility and suggest that in the absence of severe time constraints, secondary mate choice behaviors can help prevent, correct, or minimize the negative consequences of ecological cross-overs. Our findings also illustrate how a basic evolutionary process like sexual selection is susceptible to the increasing variability and unpredictability of climatic conditions that is resulting from climate change.

  16. Fluctuating Environments, Sexual Selection and the Evolution of Flexible Mate Choice in Birds

    PubMed Central

    Botero, Carlos A.; Rubenstein, Dustin R.

    2012-01-01

    Environmentally-induced fluctuation in the form and strength of natural selection can drive the evolution of morphology, physiology, and behavior. Here we test the idea that fluctuating climatic conditions may also influence the process of sexual selection by inducing unexpected reversals in the relative quality or sexual attractiveness of potential breeding partners. Although this phenomenon, known as ‘ecological cross-over’, has been documented in a variety of species, it remains unclear the extent to which it has driven the evolution of major interspecific differences in reproductive behavior. We show that after controlling for potentially influential life history and demographic variables, there are significant positive associations between the variability and predictability of annual climatic cycles and the prevalence of infidelity and divorce within populations of a taxonomically diverse array of socially monogamous birds. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that environmental factors have shaped the evolution of reproductive flexibility and suggest that in the absence of severe time constraints, secondary mate choice behaviors can help prevent, correct, or minimize the negative consequences of ecological cross-overs. Our findings also illustrate how a basic evolutionary process like sexual selection is susceptible to the increasing variability and unpredictability of climatic conditions that is resulting from climate change. PMID:22359681

  17. Fluctuating environments, sexual selection and the evolution of flexible mate choice in birds.

    PubMed

    Botero, Carlos A; Rubenstein, Dustin R

    2012-01-01

    Environmentally-induced fluctuation in the form and strength of natural selection can drive the evolution of morphology, physiology, and behavior. Here we test the idea that fluctuating climatic conditions may also influence the process of sexual selection by inducing unexpected reversals in the relative quality or sexual attractiveness of potential breeding partners. Although this phenomenon, known as 'ecological cross-over', has been documented in a variety of species, it remains unclear the extent to which it has driven the evolution of major interspecific differences in reproductive behavior. We show that after controlling for potentially influential life history and demographic variables, there are significant positive associations between the variability and predictability of annual climatic cycles and the prevalence of infidelity and divorce within populations of a taxonomically diverse array of socially monogamous birds. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that environmental factors have shaped the evolution of reproductive flexibility and suggest that in the absence of severe time constraints, secondary mate choice behaviors can help prevent, correct, or minimize the negative consequences of ecological cross-overs. Our findings also illustrate how a basic evolutionary process like sexual selection is susceptible to the increasing variability and unpredictability of climatic conditions that is resulting from climate change. PMID:22359681

  18. The Evolution of Autistic-Like and Schizotypal Traits: A Sexual Selection Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Del Giudice, Marco; Angeleri, Romina; Brizio, Adelina; Elena, Marco R.

    2010-01-01

    In this paper we present a new hypothesis on the evolution of autistic-like and schizotypal personality traits. We argue that autistic-like and schizotypal traits contribute in opposite ways to individual differences in reproductive and mating strategies, and have been maintained – at least in part – by sexual selection through mate choice. Whereas positive schizotypy can be seen as a psychological phenotype oriented to high-mating effort and good genes displays in both sexes, autistic-like traits in their non-pathological form contribute to a male-typical strategy geared toward high parental investment, low-mating effort, and long-term resource allocation. At the evolutionary-genetic level, this sexual selection hypothesis is consistent with Crespi and Badcock's “imprinted brain” theory of autism and psychosis; the effect of offspring mating behavior on resource flow within the family connects sexual selection with genomic imprinting in the context of human biparental care. We conclude by presenting the results of an empirical study testing one of the predictions derived from our hypothesis. In a sample of 199 college students, autistic-like traits predicted lower interest in short-term mating, higher partner-specific investment, and stronger commitment to long-term romantic relations, whereas positive schizotypy showed the opposite pattern of effects. PMID:21833210

  19. Sex-biased dispersal, kin selection and the evolution of sexual conflict.

    PubMed

    Faria, Gonçalo S; Varela, Susana A M; Gardner, Andy

    2015-10-01

    There is growing interest in resolving the curious disconnect between the fields of kin selection and sexual selection. Rankin's (2011, J. Evol. Biol. 24, 71-81) theoretical study of the impact of kin selection on the evolution of sexual conflict in viscous populations has been particularly valuable in stimulating empirical research in this area. An important goal of that study was to understand the impact of sex-specific rates of dispersal upon the coevolution of male-harm and female-resistance behaviours. But the fitness functions derived in Rankin's study do not flow from his model's assumptions and, in particular, are not consistent with sex-biased dispersal. Here, we develop new fitness functions that do logically flow from the model's assumptions, to determine the impact of sex-specific patterns of dispersal on the evolution of sexual conflict. Although Rankin's study suggested that increasing male dispersal always promotes the evolution of male harm and that increasing female dispersal always inhibits the evolution of male harm, we find that the opposite can also be true, depending upon parameter values. PMID:26190034

  20. Evidence of systematic bias in sexual over- and underperception of naturally occurring events: a direct replication of Haselton (2003) in a more gender-equal culture.

    PubMed

    Bendixen, Mons

    2014-11-17

    Error Management Theory (Haselton and Buss, 2000; Haselton and Nettle, 2006) maintains that natural selection has engineered adaptations for judgment under uncertainty to minimize the overall cost of making errors, leading to universal biases in judgments of sexual interest in men and women. This study, using a sample of het erosexual Norwegian students (n = 308), was carried out as a direct replication of Haselton's (2003) original study of naturally occurring events of sexual misperception. The results strongly supported the main hypotheses in the original study, showing that women reported being subject to opposite-sex sexual overperception far more often relative to underperception, and that this difference was small for men. In support of Error Management Theory, and in contrast to Social Role / Structure Theory expectations, the pattern of misperception for women and men was largely invariant across studies and across demographic groups within a culture. The findings suggest that cross-national differences in the level of gender inequality do not influence reports of sexual over- and underperception in women and men. Beyond sex, factors associated with more sexual overperception relative to underperception were being single, young, and having attitudes condoning casual sex.

  1. Experimental removal of sexual selection leads to decreased investment in an immune component in female Tribolium castaneum.

    PubMed

    Hangartner, Sandra; Michalczyk, Łukasz; Gage, Matthew J G; Martin, Oliver Y

    2015-07-01

    Because of divergent selection acting on males and females arising from different life-history strategies, polyandry can be expected to promote sexual dimorphism of investment into immune function. In previous work we have established the existence of such divergence within populations where males and females are exposed to varying degrees of polyandry. We here test whether the removal of sexual selection via enforced monogamy generates males and females that have similar levels of investment in immune function. To test this prediction experimentally, we measured differences between the sexes in a key immune measurement (phenoloxidase (PO) activity) and resistance to the microsporidian Paranosema whitei in Tribolium castaneum lines that evolved under monogamous (sexual selection absent) vs polyandrous (sexual selection present) mating systems. At generation 49, all selected lines were simultaneously assessed for PO activity and resistance to their natural parasite P. whitei after two generations of relaxed selection. We found that the polyandrous regime was associated with a clear dimorphism in immune function: females had significantly higher PO activities than males in these lines. In contrast, there was no such difference between the sexes in the lines evolving under the monogamous regime. Survival in the infection experiment did not differ between mating systems or sexes. Removing sexual selection via enforced monogamy thus seems to erase intersexual differences in immunity investment. We suggest that higher PO activities in females that have evolved under sexual selection might be driven by the increased risk of infections and/or injuries associated with exposure to multiple males.

  2. A qualitative analysis of partner selection, HIV serostatus disclosure, and sexual behaviors among HIV-positive urban men.

    PubMed

    Relf, Michael V; Bishop, Tammi L; Lachat, Maryanne F; Schiavone, Deborah B; Pawlowski, Lora; Bialko, Matthew F; Boozer, Diedre L; Dekker, Debra

    2009-06-01

    Using grounded theory, 18 interviews with HIV-positive urban men were conducted to understand their sexual relationships. Analysis of the verbatim transcripts revealed that regardless of age, sexual orientation or race/ethnicity, the participants were "making choices" related to their sexual relationships. Some men were "avoiding sex" whereas others were engaging in "just sex" or having sex in a relationship that was "going somewhere." However, dependent upon the type of sexual relationship, these HIV-positive urban men struggled with issues associated with "disclosure" of serostatus, the sexual "behaviors" in which they engaged, and selecting sexual "partners." Health care providers can facilitate sexual health and well-being among HIV-positive urban men by recognizing that men may be seeking sexual intimacy for different purposes, in different types of relationships, or avoiding it entirely. By exploring these decision-making processes, it is possible to facilitate sexual relationships that prevent new infections as well as manage the dissonance associated with this decision-making associated with disclosure, behaviors and their sexual partners.

  3. Spatial distribution of nests constrains the strength of sexual selection in a warbler.

    PubMed

    Taff, C C; Freeman-Gallant, C R; Dunn, P O; Whittingham, L A

    2013-07-01

    In socially monogamous species, extra-pair paternity may increase the strength of intersexual selection by allowing males with preferred phenotypes to monopolize matings. Several studies have found relationships between male signals and extra-pair mating, but many others fail to explain variation in extra-pair mating success. A greater appreciation for the role that ecological contingencies play in structuring behavioural processes may help to reconcile contradictory results. We studied extra-pair mating in a spatial context in the common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), a territorial wood warbler. Over the course of 6 years, we observed 158 breeding attempts by 99 males, resulting in a total of 369 nests and 520 sampled nestlings. The spatial distribution of territories varied greatly, with males having between 0 and 10 close neighbours and between three and 39 neighbouring nestlings close enough to represent extra-pair siring opportunities. Both within-pair and extra-pair reproductive success increased with breeding density, but the opportunity for sexual selection and strength of selection varied with density. Total variance in reproductive success was highest at low density and was mostly explained by variation in within-pair success. In contrast, at high density, both within-pair and extra-pair successes contributed substantially to variance in reproductive success. The relationships between plumage and extra-pair mating also varied by density; plumage was under strong sexual selection via extra-pair mating success at high density, but no selection was detected at low density. Thus, ecological factors that structure social interactions can drive patterns of sexual selection by facilitating or constraining the expression of mating preferences.

  4. Sexual selection and the adaptive evolution of PKDREJ protein in primates and rodents.

    PubMed

    Vicens, Alberto; Gómez Montoto, Laura; Couso-Ferrer, Francisco; Sutton, Keith A; Roldan, Eduardo R S

    2015-02-01

    PKDREJ is a testis-specific protein thought to be located on the sperm surface. Functional studies in the mouse revealed that loss of PKDREJ has effects on sperm transport and the ability to undergo an induced acrosome reaction. Thus, PKDREJ has been considered a potential target of post-copulatory sexual selection in the form of sperm competition. Proteins involved in reproductive processes often show accelerated evolution. In many cases, this rapid divergence is promoted by positive selection which may be driven, at least in part, by post-copulatory sexual selection. We analysed the evolution of the PKDREJ protein in primates and rodents and assessed whether PKDREJ divergence is associated with testes mass relative to body mass, which is a reliable proxy of sperm competition levels. Evidence of an association between the evolutionary rate of the PKDREJ gene and testes mass relative to body mass was not found in primates. Among rodents, evidence of positive selection was detected in the Pkdrej gene in the family Cricetidae but not in Muridae. We then assessed whether Pkdrej divergence is associated with episodes of sperm competition in these families. We detected a positive significant correlation between the evolutionary rates of Pkdrej and testes mass relative to body mass in cricetids. These findings constitute the first evidence of post-copulatory sexual selection influencing the evolution of a protein that participates in the mechanisms regulating sperm transport and the acrosome reaction, strongly suggesting that positive selection may act on these fertilization steps, leading to advantages in situations of sperm competition. PMID:25304980

  5. Antagonistic pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection on male body size in a water strider (Gerris lacustris).

    PubMed Central

    Danielsson, I

    2001-01-01

    A crucial question in sexual selection theory is whether post-copulatory sexual selection reinforces or counteracts conventional pre-copulatory sexual selection. Male body size is one of the traits most generally favoured by pre-copulatory sexual selection; and recent studies of sperm competition often suggest that large male size is also favoured by post-copulatory sexual selection. In contrast to this general pattern, this study shows that pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection act antagonistically on male body size in Gerris lacustris. One large and one small male were kept together with two females in this experiment. Large males had a significant mating advantage, but small males copulated longer and gained higher fertilization success from each mating. Large and small males, however, gained similar reproductive success, and there was no overall correlation between mating success and reproductive success. These results suggest that estimates of male fitness based solely on mating success should be viewed with caution, because of potentially counteracting post-copulatory selection. PMID:12123301

  6. Antagonistic pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection on male body size in a water strider (Gerris lacustris).

    PubMed

    Danielsson, I

    2001-01-01

    A crucial question in sexual selection theory is whether post-copulatory sexual selection reinforces or counteracts conventional pre-copulatory sexual selection. Male body size is one of the traits most generally favoured by pre-copulatory sexual selection; and recent studies of sperm competition often suggest that large male size is also favoured by post-copulatory sexual selection. In contrast to this general pattern, this study shows that pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection act antagonistically on male body size in Gerris lacustris. One large and one small male were kept together with two females in this experiment. Large males had a significant mating advantage, but small males copulated longer and gained higher fertilization success from each mating. Large and small males, however, gained similar reproductive success, and there was no overall correlation between mating success and reproductive success. These results suggest that estimates of male fitness based solely on mating success should be viewed with caution, because of potentially counteracting post-copulatory selection.

  7. Towards an evolutionary ecology of sexual traits.

    PubMed

    Cornwallis, Charlie K; Uller, Tobias

    2010-03-01

    Empirical studies of sexual traits continue to generate conflicting results, leading to a growing awareness that the current understanding of this topic is limited. Here we argue that this is because studies of sexual traits fail to encompass three important features of evolution. First, sexual traits evolve via natural selection of which sexual selection is just one part. Second, selection on sexual traits fluctuates in strength, direction and form due to spatial and temporal environmental heterogeneity. Third, phenotypic plasticity is ubiquitous and generates selection and responses to selection within and across generations. A move from purely gene-focused theories of sexual selection towards research that explicitly integrates development, ecology and evolution is necessary to break the stasis in research on sexual traits.

  8. Sexually antagonistic selection during parental care is not generated by a testosterone-related intralocus sexual conflict-insights from full-sib comparisons.

    PubMed

    Iserbyt, Arne; Eens, Marcel; Müller, Wendt

    2015-12-02

    The evolution of shared male and female traits can be hampered if selection favours sex-specific optima. However, such genomic conflicts can be resolved when independent male and female mechanisms evolve. The existence, extent and consequences of conflict and/or conflict resolution are currently debated. Endocrinological traits like plasma testosterone (T) are suitable test cases, given their important role in mediating correlated traits, plus their opposing sex-specific fitness effects. We compared full-sibling (brother/sister) captive canaries to test for (1) sexually antagonistic selection characterized by contrasting fitness patterns within pairs of relatives, (2) intersexual genetic correlation of plasma T (h(²) = 0.41  ±  0.31) and (3) intralocus sexual conflict over T levels featured by distinct sex-specific fitness optima. We found potential for sexually antagonistic selection, since high fledgling mass was reached by either brothers or sisters, but not by both. We report a positive intersexual correlation for T, as a requirement for intralocus sexual conflict. However, high levels of T were associated with increased female and decreased male fitness (fledgling mass), which contrasts our expectations and challenges the hypothesis of intralocus sexual conflict driven by T. We hypothesize that behavioural and physiological trade-offs differ between sexes when raising offspring, driving T levels towards a state of monomorphism.

  9. Sexually antagonistic selection during parental care is not generated by a testosterone-related intralocus sexual conflict–insights from full-sib comparisons

    PubMed Central

    Iserbyt, Arne; Eens, Marcel; Müller, Wendt

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of shared male and female traits can be hampered if selection favours sex-specific optima. However, such genomic conflicts can be resolved when independent male and female mechanisms evolve. The existence, extent and consequences of conflict and/or conflict resolution are currently debated. Endocrinological traits like plasma testosterone (T) are suitable test cases, given their important role in mediating correlated traits, plus their opposing sex-specific fitness effects. We compared full-sibling (brother/sister) captive canaries to test for (1) sexually antagonistic selection characterized by contrasting fitness patterns within pairs of relatives, (2) intersexual genetic correlation of plasma T (h² = 0.41  ±  0.31) and (3) intralocus sexual conflict over T levels featured by distinct sex-specific fitness optima. We found potential for sexually antagonistic selection, since high fledgling mass was reached by either brothers or sisters, but not by both. We report a positive intersexual correlation for T, as a requirement for intralocus sexual conflict. However, high levels of T were associated with increased female and decreased male fitness (fledgling mass), which contrasts our expectations and challenges the hypothesis of intralocus sexual conflict driven by T. We hypothesize that behavioural and physiological trade-offs differ between sexes when raising offspring, driving T levels towards a state of monomorphism. PMID:26625951

  10. Sexual selection on cuticular hydrocarbons of male sagebrush crickets in the wild

    PubMed Central

    Steiger, Sandra; Ower, Geoffrey D.; Stökl, Johannes; Mitchell, Christopher; Hunt, John; Sakaluk, Scott K.

    2013-01-01

    Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) play an essential role in mate recognition in insects but the form and intensity of sexual selection on CHCs has only been evaluated in a handful of studies, and never in a natural population. We quantified sexual selection operating on CHCs in a wild population of sagebrush crickets, a species in which nuptial feeding by females imposes an unambiguous phenotypic marker on males. Multivariate selection analysis revealed a saddle-shaped fitness surface, suggesting a complex interplay between the total abundance of CHCs and specific CHC combinations in their influence on female choice. The fitness surface resulting from two axes of disruptive selection reflected a trade-off between short- and long-chained CHCs, suggesting that males may be sacrificing some level of desiccation resistance in favour of increased attractiveness. There was a significant correlation between male body size and total CHC abundance, suggesting that male CHCs provide females with a reliable cue for maximizing benefits obtained from males. Notwithstanding the conspicuousness of males’ acoustic signals, our results suggest that selection imposed on males via female mating preferences may be far more complex than previously appreciated and operating in multiple sensory modalities. PMID:24197415

  11. Sexual selection on cuticular hydrocarbons of male sagebrush crickets in the wild.

    PubMed

    Steiger, Sandra; Ower, Geoffrey D; Stökl, Johannes; Mitchell, Christopher; Hunt, John; Sakaluk, Scott K

    2013-12-22

    Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) play an essential role in mate recognition in insects but the form and intensity of sexual selection on CHCs has only been evaluated in a handful of studies, and never in a natural population. We quantified sexual selection operating on CHCs in a wild population of sagebrush crickets, a species in which nuptial feeding by females imposes an unambiguous phenotypic marker on males. Multivariate selection analysis revealed a saddle-shaped fitness surface, suggesting a complex interplay between the total abundance of CHCs and specific CHC combinations in their influence on female choice. The fitness surface resulting from two axes of disruptive selection reflected a trade-off between short- and long-chained CHCs, suggesting that males may be sacrificing some level of desiccation resistance in favour of increased attractiveness. There was a significant correlation between male body size and total CHC abundance, suggesting that male CHCs provide females with a reliable cue for maximizing benefits obtained from males. Notwithstanding the conspicuousness of males' acoustic signals, our results suggest that selection imposed on males via female mating preferences may be far more complex than previously appreciated and operating in multiple sensory modalities.

  12. Detection of Allelic Frequency Differences between the Sexes in Humans: A Signature of Sexually Antagonistic Selection

    PubMed Central

    Lucotte, Elise A.; Laurent, Romain; Heyer, Evelyne; Ségurel, Laure; Toupance, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    Sexually antagonistic (SA) selection, a form of selection that can occur when both sexes have different fitness optima for a trait, is a major force shaping the evolution of organisms. A seminal model developed by Rice (Rice WR. 1984. Sex chromosomes and the evolution of sexual dimorphism. Evolution 38:735–742.) predicts that the X chromosome should be a hotspot for the accumulation of loci under SA selection as compared with the autosomes. Here, we propose a methodological framework designed to detect a specific signature of SA selection on viability, differences in allelic frequencies between the sexes. Applying this method on genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data in human populations where no sex-specific population stratification could be detected, we show that there are overall significantly more SNPs exhibiting differences in allelic frequencies between the sexes on the X chromosome as compared with autosomes, supporting the predictions of Rice’s model. This pattern is consistent across populations and is robust to correction for potential biases such as differences in linkage disequilibrium, sample size, and genotyping errors between chromosomes. Although SA selection is not the only factor resulting in allelic frequency differences between the sexes, we further show that at least part of the identified X-linked loci is caused by such a sex-specific processes. PMID:27189992

  13. Postcopulatory sexual selection is associated with accelerated evolution of sperm morphology.

    PubMed

    Rowe, Melissah; Albrecht, Tomáš; Cramer, Emily R A; Johnsen, Arild; Laskemoen, Terje; Weir, Jason T; Lifjeld, Jan T

    2015-04-01

    Rapid diversification of sexual traits is frequently attributed to sexual selection, though explicit tests of this hypothesis remain limited. Spermatozoa exhibit remarkable variability in size and shape, and studies report a correlation between sperm morphology (sperm length and shape) and sperm competition risk or female reproductive tract morphology. However, whether postcopulatory processes (e.g., sperm competition and cryptic female choice) influence the speed of evolutionary diversification in sperm form is unknown. Using passerine birds, we quantified evolutionary rates of sperm length divergence among lineages (i.e., species pairs) and determined whether these rates varied with the level of sperm competition (estimated as relative testes mass). We found that relative testes mass was significantly and positively associated with more rapid phenotypic divergence in sperm midpiece and flagellum lengths, as well as total sperm length. In contrast, there was no association between relative testes mass and rates of evolutionary divergence in sperm head size, and models suggested that head length is evolutionarily constrained. Our results are the first to show an association between the strength of sperm competition and the speed of sperm evolution, and suggest that postcopulatory sexual selection promotes rapid evolutionary diversification of sperm morphology.

  14. An unexpectedly long history of sexual selection in birds-of-paradise

    PubMed Central

    Irestedt, Martin; Jønsson, Knud A; Fjeldså, Jon; Christidis, Les; Ericson, Per GP

    2009-01-01

    Background The birds-of-paradise (Paradisaeidae) form one of the most prominent avian examples of sexual selection and show a complex biogeographical distribution. The family has accordingly been used as a case-study in several significant evolutionary and biogeographical syntheses. As a robust phylogeny of the birds-of-paradise has been lacking, these hypotheses have been tentative and difficult to assess. Here we present a well supported species phylogeny with divergence time estimates of the birds-of-paradise. We use this to assess if the rates of the evolution of sexually selected traits and speciation have been excessively high within the birds-of-paradise, as well as to re-interpret biogeographical patterns in the group. Results The phylogenetic results confirm some traditionally recognized relationships but also suggest novel ones. Furthermore, we find that species pairs are geographically more closely linked than previously assumed. The divergence time estimates suggest that speciation within the birds-of-paradise mainly took place during the Miocene and the Pliocene, and that several polygynous and morphologically homogeneous genera are several million years old. Diversification rates further suggest that the speciation rate within birds-of-paradise is comparable to that of the enitre core Corvoidea. Conclusion The estimated ages of morphologically homogeneous and polygynous genera within the birds-of-paradise suggest that there is no need to postulate a particularly rapid evolution of sexually selected morphological traits. The calculated divergence rates further suggest that the speciation rate in birds-of-paradise has not been excessively high. Thus the idea that sexual selection could generate high speciation rates and rapid changes in sexual ornamentations is not supported by our birds-of-paradise data. Potentially, hybridization and long generation times in polygynous male birds-of-paradise have constrained morphological diversification and

  15. Complementary mechanisms create direction selectivity in the fly.

    PubMed

    Haag, Juergen; Arenz, Alexander; Serbe, Etienne; Gabbiani, Fabrizio; Borst, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    How neurons become sensitive to the direction of visual motion represents a classic example of neural computation. Two alternative mechanisms have been discussed in the literature so far: preferred direction enhancement, by which responses are amplified when stimuli move along the preferred direction of the cell, and null direction suppression, where one signal inhibits the response to the subsequent one when stimuli move along the opposite, i.e. null direction. Along the processing chain in the Drosophila optic lobe, directional responses first appear in T4 and T5 cells. Visually stimulating sequences of individual columns in the optic lobe with a telescope while recording from single T4 neurons, we find both mechanisms at work implemented in different sub-regions of the receptive field. This finding explains the high degree of directional selectivity found already in the fly's primary motion-sensing neurons and marks an important step in our understanding of elementary motion detection. PMID:27502554

  16. Synaptic Plasticity Can Produce and Enhance Direction Selectivity

    PubMed Central

    Carver, Sean; Roth, Eatai; Cowan, Noah J; Fortune, Eric S

    2008-01-01

    The discrimination of the direction of movement of sensory images is critical to the control of many animal behaviors. We propose a parsimonious model of motion processing that generates direction selective responses using short-term synaptic depression and can reproduce salient features of direction selectivity found in a population of neurons in the midbrain of the weakly electric fish Eigenmannia virescens. The model achieves direction selectivity with an elementary Reichardt motion detector: information from spatially separated receptive fields converges onto a neuron via dynamically different pathways. In the model, these differences arise from convergence of information through distinct synapses that either exhibit or do not exhibit short-term synaptic depression—short-term depression produces phase-advances relative to nondepressing synapses. Short-term depression is modeled using two state-variables, a fast process with a time constant on the order of tens to hundreds of milliseconds, and a slow process with a time constant on the order of seconds to tens of seconds. These processes correspond to naturally occurring time constants observed at synapses that exhibit short-term depression. Inclusion of the fast process is sufficient for the generation of temporal disparities that are necessary for direction selectivity in the elementary Reichardt circuit. The addition of the slow process can enhance direction selectivity over time for stimuli that are sustained for periods of seconds or more. Transient (i.e., short-duration) stimuli do not evoke the slow process and therefore do not elicit enhanced direction selectivity. The addition of a sustained global, synchronous oscillation in the gamma frequency range can, however, drive the slow process and enhance direction selectivity to transient stimuli. This enhancement effect does not, however, occur for all combinations of model parameters. The ratio of depressing and nondepressing synapses determines the

  17. Positive genetic correlation between brain size and sexual traits in male guppies artificially selected for brain size.

    PubMed

    Kotrschal, A; Corral-Lopez, A; Zajitschek, S; Immler, S; Maklakov, A A; Kolm, N

    2015-04-01

    Brain size is an energetically costly trait to develop and maintain. Investments into other costly aspects of an organism's biology may therefore place important constraints on brain size evolution. Sexual traits are often costly and could therefore be traded off against neural investment. However, brain size may itself be under sexual selection through mate choice on cognitive ability. Here, we use guppy (Poecilia reticulata) lines selected for large and small brain size relative to body size to investigate the relationship between brain size, a large suite of male primary and secondary sexual traits, and body condition index. We found no evidence for trade-offs between brain size and sexual traits. Instead, larger-brained males had higher expression of several primary and precopulatory sexual traits--they had longer genitalia, were more colourful and developed longer tails than smaller-brained males. Larger-brained males were also in better body condition when housed in single-sex groups. There was no difference in post-copulatory sexual traits between males from the large- and small-brained lines. Our data do not support the hypothesis that investment into sexual traits is an important limiting factor to brain size evolution, but instead suggest that brain size and several sexual traits are positively genetically correlated. PMID:25705852

  18. Positive genetic correlation between brain size and sexual traits in male guppies artificially selected for brain size.

    PubMed

    Kotrschal, A; Corral-Lopez, A; Zajitschek, S; Immler, S; Maklakov, A A; Kolm, N

    2015-04-01

    Brain size is an energetically costly trait to develop and maintain. Investments into other costly aspects of an organism's biology may therefore place important constraints on brain size evolution. Sexual traits are often costly and could therefore be traded off against neural investment. However, brain size may itself be under sexual selection through mate choice on cognitive ability. Here, we use guppy (Poecilia reticulata) lines selected for large and small brain size relative to body size to investigate the relationship between brain size, a large suite of male primary and secondary sexual traits, and body condition index. We found no evidence for trade-offs between brain size and sexual traits. Instead, larger-brained males had higher expression of several primary and precopulatory sexual traits--they had longer genitalia, were more colourful and developed longer tails than smaller-brained males. Larger-brained males were also in better body condition when housed in single-sex groups. There was no difference in post-copulatory sexual traits between males from the large- and small-brained lines. Our data do not support the hypothesis that investment into sexual traits is an important limiting factor to brain size evolution, but instead suggest that brain size and several sexual traits are positively genetically correlated.

  19. Mating System and Sexual Selection in the Scorpionfly Panorpa vulgaris (Mecoptera: Panorpidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauer, Klaus Peter; Lubjuhn, Thomas; Sindern, Jörn; Kullmann, Harald; Kurtz, Joachim; Epplen, Conny; Epplen, Jörg Thomas

    1998-05-01

    has become a model insect for testing theories of sexual selection. This contribution summarizes that which has been learned in recent years and presents new data that clearly show that the mating system of P. vulgaris is not simply a resource-defense polygyny, as has previously been thought. In P. vulgaris neither the pattern in food exploitation nor the ratio of variance in the lifetime reproductive success of the two sexes is in accordance with that expected in resource defense polygynous mating systems. Lifetime mating duration is the most important proximate determinant of male fitness. Males employing alternative mating tactics obtain copulations of varying duration in relation to the following sequence: saliva secretion 1 food offering 1 no gift. The number of salivary masses which males provide to females during their lifetime is significantly correlated with the lifetime condition index. The condition index depends on the fighting prowess of males and their ability to find food items. Thus saliva secretion of Panorpa is considered a Zahavian handicap, which can serve as an honest quality indicator used by mating females. Our results confirm four main predictions of the indicator model of the theory of sexual selection: (a) the indicator signals high ecological quality of its bearer, (b) the indicator value increases with phenotypic quality, (c) the indicator value is positively correlated with the genetic quality affecting offspring fitness in a natural selection context, and (d) the quality indicator is more costly for low- than for high-quality individuals. The evolutionary consequences of the mating pattern and the sperm competition mechanism in P. vulgaris are discussed in the context the way in which sexual selection creates and maintains sperm mixing and the evolution of a promiscuous mating system.

  20. Disruption of adult expression of sexually selected traits by developmental exposure to bisphenol A.

    PubMed

    Jašarević, Eldin; Sieli, Paizlee T; Twellman, Erin E; Welsh, Thomas H; Schachtman, Todd R; Roberts, R Michael; Geary, David C; Rosenfeld, Cheryl S

    2011-07-12

    Exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), such as bisphenol A (BPA), may cause adverse health effects in wildlife and humans, but controversy remains as to what traits are most sensitive to EDCs and might serve as barometers of exposure. Expression of sexually selected traits that have evolved through intrasexual competition for mates and intersexual choice of mating partner are more dependent on developmental and physical condition of an animal than naturally selected traits and thus might be particularly vulnerable to disruption by developmental exposure to EDCs. We have used the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) as a model to test this hypothesis. Adult male-male competition for mates in this species is supported by enhanced spatial navigational and exploratory abilities, which enable males to search for prospective, widely dispersed females. Male deer mice exposed to BPA or ethinyl estradiol (EE) through maternal diet showed no changes in external phenotype, sensory development, or adult circulating concentrations of testosterone and corticosterone, but spatial learning abilities and exploratory behaviors were severely compromised compared with control males. Because these traits are not sexually selected in females, BPA exposure predictably had no effect, although EE-exposed females demonstrated enhanced spatial navigational abilities. Both BPA-exposed and control females preferred control males to BPA-exposed males. Our demonstration that developmental exposure to BPA compromises cognitive abilities and behaviors essential for males to reproduce successfully has broad implications for other species, including our own. Thus, sexually selected traits might provide useful biomarkers to assess risk of environmental contamination in animal and human populations.

  1. Disruption of adult expression of sexually selected traits by developmental exposure to bisphenol A

    PubMed Central

    Jašarević, Eldin; Sieli, Paizlee T.; Twellman, Erin E.; Welsh, Thomas H.; Schachtman, Todd R.; Roberts, R. Michael; Geary, David C.; Rosenfeld, Cheryl S.

    2011-01-01

    Exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), such as bisphenol A (BPA), may cause adverse health effects in wildlife and humans, but controversy remains as to what traits are most sensitive to EDCs and might serve as barometers of exposure. Expression of sexually selected traits that have evolved through intrasexual competition for mates and intersexual choice of mating partner are more dependent on developmental and physical condition of an animal than naturally selected traits and thus might be particularly vulnerable to disruption by developmental exposure to EDCs. We have used the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) as a model to test this hypothesis. Adult male–male competition for mates in this species is supported by enhanced spatial navigational and exploratory abilities, which enable males to search for prospective, widely dispersed females. Male deer mice exposed to BPA or ethinyl estradiol (EE) through maternal diet showed no changes in external phenotype, sensory development, or adult circulating concentrations of testosterone and corticosterone, but spatial learning abilities and exploratory behaviors were severely compromised compared with control males. Because these traits are not sexually selected in females, BPA exposure predictably had no effect, although EE-exposed females demonstrated enhanced spatial navigational abilities. Both BPA-exposed and control females preferred control males to BPA-exposed males. Our demonstration that developmental exposure to BPA compromises cognitive abilities and behaviors essential for males to reproduce successfully has broad implications for other species, including our own. Thus, sexually selected traits might provide useful biomarkers to assess risk of environmental contamination in animal and human populations. PMID:21709224

  2. Disruption of adult expression of sexually selected traits by developmental exposure to bisphenol A.

    PubMed

    Jašarević, Eldin; Sieli, Paizlee T; Twellman, Erin E; Welsh, Thomas H; Schachtman, Todd R; Roberts, R Michael; Geary, David C; Rosenfeld, Cheryl S

    2011-07-12

    Exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), such as bisphenol A (BPA), may cause adverse health effects in wildlife and humans, but controversy remains as to what traits are most sensitive to EDCs and might serve as barometers of exposure. Expression of sexually selected traits that have evolved through intrasexual competition for mates and intersexual choice of mating partner are more dependent on developmental and physical condition of an animal than naturally selected traits and thus might be particularly vulnerable to disruption by developmental exposure to EDCs. We have used the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) as a model to test this hypothesis. Adult male-male competition for mates in this species is supported by enhanced spatial navigational and exploratory abilities, which enable males to search for prospective, widely dispersed females. Male deer mice exposed to BPA or ethinyl estradiol (EE) through maternal diet showed no changes in external phenotype, sensory development, or adult circulating concentrations of testosterone and corticosterone, but spatial learning abilities and exploratory behaviors were severely compromised compared with control males. Because these traits are not sexually selected in females, BPA exposure predictably had no effect, although EE-exposed females demonstrated enhanced spatial navigational abilities. Both BPA-exposed and control females preferred control males to BPA-exposed males. Our demonstration that developmental exposure to BPA compromises cognitive abilities and behaviors essential for males to reproduce successfully has broad implications for other species, including our own. Thus, sexually selected traits might provide useful biomarkers to assess risk of environmental contamination in animal and human populations. PMID:21709224

  3. Alleles versus genotypes: Genetic interactions and the dynamics of selection in sexual populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neher, Richard

    2010-03-01

    Physical interactions between amino-acids are essential for protein structure and activity, while protein-protein interactions and regulatory interactions are central to cellular function. As a consequence of these interactions, the combined effect of two mutations can differ from the sum of the individual effects of the mutations. This phenomenon of genetic interaction is known as epistasis. However, the importance of epistasis and its effects on evolutionary dynamics are poorly understood, especially in sexual populations where recombination breaks up existing combinations of alleles to produce new ones. Here, we present a computational model of selection dynamics involving many epistatic loci in a recombining population. We demonstrate that a large number of polymorphic interacting loci can, despite frequent recombination, exhibit cooperative behavior that locks alleles into favorable genotypes leading to a population consisting of a set of competing clones. As the recombination rate exceeds a certain critical value this ``genotype selection'' phase disappears in an abrupt transition giving way to ``allele selection'' - the phase where different loci are only weakly correlated as expected in sexually reproducing populations. Clustering of interacting sets of genes on a chromosome leads to the emergence of an intermediate regime, where localized blocks of cooperating alleles lock into genetic modules. Large populations attain highest fitness at a recombination rate just below critical, suggesting that natural selection might tune recombination rates to balance the beneficial aspect of exploration of genotype space with the breaking up of synergistic allele combinations.

  4. Direct effects of energy-related air pollutants on plant sexual reproduction. Progress report, February 1, 1981-January 31, 1982

    SciTech Connect

    Ragsdale, H.L.; Murdy, W.H.

    1982-10-07

    Direct effects of SO/sub 2/ and NO/sub 2/ on plant sexual reproduction were studied including essential botanical research into modes of anthesis, pollination, pollen germination and pollen tube growth. Much of the present scientific knowledge of the direct in vivo effects of the major air pollutants, SO/sub 2/ and NO/sub 2/, on plant sexual reproduction is a direct result of studies accomplished under this DOE contract. It is our intention to carry this research forward to include similar assessment of a third major air pollutant, ozone.

  5. Interface Pattern Selection Criterion for Cellular Structures in Directional Solidification

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trivedi, R.; Tewari, S. N.; Kurtze, D.

    1999-01-01

    The aim of this investigation is to establish key scientific concepts that govern the selection of cellular and dendritic patterns during the directional solidification of alloys. We shall first address scientific concepts that are crucial in the selection of interface patterns. Next, the results of ground-based experimental studies in the Al-4.0 wt % Cu system will be described. Both experimental studies and theoretical calculations will be presented to establish the need for microgravity experiments.

  6. High Throughput Screening and Selection Methods for Directed Enzyme Evolution

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Successful evolutionary enzyme engineering requires a high throughput screening or selection method, which considerably increases the chance of obtaining desired properties and reduces the time and cost. In this review, a series of high throughput screening and selection methods are illustrated with significant and recent examples. These high throughput strategies are also discussed with an emphasis on compatibility with phenotypic analysis during directed enzyme evolution. Lastly, certain limitations of current methods, as well as future developments, are briefly summarized. PMID:26074668

  7. Directional Selection Causes Decanalization in a Group I Ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Hayden, Eric J.; Weikert, Christian; Wagner, Andreas

    2012-01-01

    A canalized genotype is robust to environmental or genetic perturbations. Canalization is expected to result from stabilizing selection on a well-adapted phenotype. Decanalization, the loss of robustness, might follow periods of directional selection toward a new optimum. The evolutionary forces causing decanalization are still unknown, in part because it is difficult to determine the fitness effects of mutations in populations of organisms with complex genotypes and phenotypes. Here, we report direct experimental measurements of robustness in a system with a simple genotype and phenotype, the catalytic activity of an RNA enzyme. We find that the robustness of a population of RNA enzymes decreases during a period of directional selection in the laboratory. The decrease in robustness is primarily caused by the selective sweep of a genotype that is decanalized relative to the wild-type, both in terms of mutational robustness and environmental robustness (thermodynamic stability). Our results experimentally demonstrate that directional selection can cause decanalization on short time scales, and demonstrate co-evolution of mutational and environmental robustness. PMID:23028955

  8. Inference of directional selection and mutation parameters assuming equilibrium.

    PubMed

    Vogl, Claus; Bergman, Juraj

    2015-12-01

    In a classical study, Wright (1931) proposed a model for the evolution of a biallelic locus under the influence of mutation, directional selection and drift. He derived the equilibrium distribution of the allelic proportion conditional on the scaled mutation rate, the mutation bias and the scaled strength of directional selection. The equilibrium distribution can be used for inference of these parameters with genome-wide datasets of "site frequency spectra" (SFS). Assuming that the scaled mutation rate is low, Wright's model can be approximated by a boundary-mutation model, where mutations are introduced into the population exclusively from sites fixed for the preferred or unpreferred allelic states. With the boundary-mutation model, inference can be partitioned: (i) the shape of the SFS distribution within the polymorphic region is determined by random drift and directional selection, but not by the mutation parameters, such that inference of the selection parameter relies exclusively on the polymorphic sites in the SFS; (ii) the mutation parameters can be inferred from the amount of polymorphic and monomorphic preferred and unpreferred alleles, conditional on the selection parameter. Herein, we derive maximum likelihood estimators for the mutation and selection parameters in equilibrium and apply the method to simulated SFS data as well as empirical data from a Madagascar population of Drosophila simulans.

  9. Sexual selection on male vocal fundamental frequency in humans and other anthropoids.

    PubMed

    Puts, David A; Hill, Alexander K; Bailey, Drew H; Walker, Robert S; Rendall, Drew; Wheatley, John R; Welling, Lisa L M; Dawood, Khytam; Cárdenas, Rodrigo; Burriss, Robert P; Jablonski, Nina G; Shriver, Mark D; Weiss, Daniel; Lameira, Adriano R; Apicella, Coren L; Owren, Michael J; Barelli, Claudia; Glenn, Mary E; Ramos-Fernandez, Gabriel

    2016-04-27

    In many primates, including humans, the vocalizations of males and females differ dramatically, with male vocalizations and vocal anatomy often seeming to exaggerate apparent body size. These traits may be favoured by sexual selection because low-frequency male vocalizations intimidate rivals and/or attract females, but this hypothesis has not been systematically tested across primates, nor is it clear why competitors and potential mates should attend to vocalization frequencies. Here we show across anthropoids that sexual dimorphism in fundamental frequency (F0) increased during evolutionary transitions towards polygyny, and decreased during transitions towards monogamy. Surprisingly, humans exhibit greater F0 sexual dimorphism than any other ape. We also show that low-F0 vocalizations predict perceptions of men's dominance and attractiveness, and predict hormone profiles (low cortisol and high testosterone) related to immune function. These results suggest that low male F0 signals condition to competitors and mates, and evolved in male anthropoids in response to the intensity of mating competition. PMID:27122553

  10. Female sticklebacks count alleles in a strategy of sexual selection explaining MHC polymorphism.

    PubMed

    Reusch, T B; Häberli, M A; Aeschlimann, P B; Milinski, M

    2001-11-15

    The origin and maintenance of polymorphism in major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes in natural populations is still unresolved. Sexual selection, frequency-dependent selection by parasites and pathogens, and heterozygote advantage have been suggested to explain the maintenance of high allele diversity at MHC genes. Here we argue that there are two (non-exclusive) strategies for MHC-related sexual selection, representing solutions to two different problems: inbreeding avoidance and parasite resistance. In species prone to inadvertent inbreeding, partners should prefer dissimilar MHC genotypes to similar ones. But if the goal is to maximize the resistance of offspring towards potential infections, the choosing sex should prefer mates with a higher diversity of MHC alleles. This latter strategy should apply when there are several MHC loci, as is the case in most vertebrates. We tested the relative importance of an 'allele counting' strategy compared to a disassortative mating strategy using wild-caught three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) from an interconnected system of lakes. Here we show that gravid female fish preferred the odour of males with a large number of MHC class-IIB alleles to that of males with fewer alleles. Females did not prefer male genotypes dissimilar to their own. PMID:11713527

  11. An introduction to genetic quality in the context of sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Pitcher, Trevor E; Mays, Herman L

    2008-09-01

    This special issue of Genetica brings together empirical researchers and theoreticians to present the latest on the evolutionary ecology of genetic quality in the context of sexual selection. The work comes from different fields of study including behavioral ecology, quantitative genetics and molecular genetics on a diversity of organisms using different approaches from comparative studies, mathematical modeling, field studies and laboratory experiments. The papers presented in this special issue primarily focus on genetic quality in relation to (1) sources of genetic variation, (2) polyandry, (3) new theoretical developments and (4) comprehensive reviews.

  12. Comprehensive for Who? Neoliberal Directives in Australian "Comprehensive" Sexuality Education and the Erasure of GLBTIQ Identity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shannon, Barrie

    2016-01-01

    At present, Australian sex(uality) education curricula aim to equip students with information which facilitates "healthy" sexual choices as they develop. However, this is not neutral information, but rather socially and culturally regulated discourse which encodes a normative binary of sexuality. The largely US-focused sexuality…

  13. Directed forgetting of trauma cues in adults reporting repressed or recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse.

    PubMed

    McNally, R J; Clancy, S A; Schacter, D L

    2001-02-01

    An item-cuing directed forgetting task was used to investigate whether women reporting repressed (n = 13) or recovered (n = 13) memories of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) exhibit an avoidant encoding style (and resultant impaired memory) for trauma cues relative to women reporting no CSA experience (n = 15). All participants viewed intermixed trauma (e.g., molested), positive (e.g., confident), and categorized neutral (e.g., mailbox) words on a computer screen and were instructed either to remember or to forget each word. The results provided no support for the hypothesis that people reporting either repressed or recovered memories of CSA are especially adept at forgetting words related to trauma. These groups recalled words they were instructed to remember more often than words they were instructed to forget regardless of whether they were trauma related.

  14. Visual coding with a population of direction-selective neurons.

    PubMed

    Fiscella, Michele; Franke, Felix; Farrow, Karl; Müller, Jan; Roska, Botond; da Silveira, Rava Azeredo; Hierlemann, Andreas

    2015-10-01

    The brain decodes the visual scene from the action potentials of ∼20 retinal ganglion cell types. Among the retinal ganglion cells, direction-selective ganglion cells (DSGCs) encode motion direction. Several studies have focused on the encoding or decoding of motion direction by recording multiunit activity, mainly in the visual cortex. In this study, we simultaneously recorded from all four types of ON-OFF DSGCs of the rabbit retina using a microelectronics-based high-density microelectrode array (HDMEA) and decoded their concerted activity using probabilistic and linear decoders. Furthermore, we investigated how the modification of stimulus parameters (velocity, size, angle of moving object) and the use of different tuning curve fits influenced decoding precision. Finally, we simulated ON-OFF DSGC activity, based on real data, in order to understand how tuning curve widths and the angular distribution of the cells' preferred directions influence decoding performance. We found that probabilistic decoding strategies outperformed, on average, linear methods and that decoding precision was robust to changes in stimulus parameters such as velocity. The removal of noise correlations among cells, by random shuffling trials, caused a drop in decoding precision. Moreover, we found that tuning curves are broad in order to minimize large errors at the expense of a higher average error, and that the retinal direction-selective system would not substantially benefit, on average, from having more than four types of ON-OFF DSGCs or from a perfect alignment of the cells' preferred directions.

  15. Length scale selects directionality of droplets on vibrating pillar ratchet

    SciTech Connect

    Agapov, Rebecca L.; Boreyko, Jonathan B.; Briggs, Dayrl P.; Srijanto, Bernadeta R.; Retterer, Scott T.; Collier, C. Patrick; Lavrik, Nickolay V.

    2014-09-22

    Directional control of droplet motion at room temperature is of interest for applications such as microfluidic devices, self-cleaning coatings, and directional adhesives. Here, arrays of tilted pillars ranging in height from the nanoscale to the microscale are used as structural ratchets to directionally transport water at room temperature. Water droplets deposited on vibrating chips with a nanostructured ratchet move preferentially in the direction of the feature tilt while the opposite directionality is observed in the case of microstructured ratchets. This remarkable switch in directionality is consistent with changes in the contact angle hysteresis. To glean further insights into the length scale dependent asymmetric contact angle hysteresis, the contact lines formed by a nonvolatile room temperature ionic liquid placed onto the tilted pillar arrays were visualized and analyzed in situ in a scanning electron microscope. As a result, the ability to tune droplet directionality by merely changing the length scale of surface features all etched at the same tilt angle would be a versatile tool for manipulating multiphase flows and for selecting droplet directionality in other lap-on-chip applications.

  16. Length scale selects directionality of droplets on vibrating pillar ratchet

    DOE PAGES

    Agapov, Rebecca L.; Boreyko, Jonathan B.; Briggs, Dayrl P.; Srijanto, Bernadeta R.; Retterer, Scott T.; Collier, C. Patrick; Lavrik, Nickolay V.

    2014-09-22

    Directional control of droplet motion at room temperature is of interest for applications such as microfluidic devices, self-cleaning coatings, and directional adhesives. Here, arrays of tilted pillars ranging in height from the nanoscale to the microscale are used as structural ratchets to directionally transport water at room temperature. Water droplets deposited on vibrating chips with a nanostructured ratchet move preferentially in the direction of the feature tilt while the opposite directionality is observed in the case of microstructured ratchets. This remarkable switch in directionality is consistent with changes in the contact angle hysteresis. To glean further insights into the lengthmore » scale dependent asymmetric contact angle hysteresis, the contact lines formed by a nonvolatile room temperature ionic liquid placed onto the tilted pillar arrays were visualized and analyzed in situ in a scanning electron microscope. As a result, the ability to tune droplet directionality by merely changing the length scale of surface features all etched at the same tilt angle would be a versatile tool for manipulating multiphase flows and for selecting droplet directionality in other lap-on-chip applications.« less

  17. Sexually Selected Traits: A Fundamental Framework for Studies on Behavioral Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Jašarević, Eldin; Geary, David C.; Rosenfeld, Cheryl S.

    2012-01-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic-based mechanisms contribute to various aspects of sex differences in brain and behavior. The major obstacle in establishing and fully understanding this linkage is identifying the traits that are most susceptible to epigenetic modification. We have proposed that sexual selection provides a conceptual framework for identifying such traits. These are traits involved in intrasexual competition for mates and intersexual choice of mating partners and generally entail a combination of male–male competition and female choice. These behaviors are programmed during early embryonic and postnatal development, particularly during the transition from the juvenile to adult periods, by exposure of the brain to steroid hormones, including estradiol and testosterone. We evaluate the evidence that endocrine-disrupting compounds, including bisphenol A, can interfere with the vital epigenetic and gene expression pathways and with the elaboration of sexually selected traits with epigenetic mechanisms presumably governing the expression of these traits. Finally, we review the evidence to suggest that these steroid hormones can induce a variety of epigenetic changes in the brain, including the extent of DNA methylation, histone protein alterations, and even alterations of noncoding RNA, and that many of the changes differ between males and females. Although much previous attention has focused on primary sex differences in reproductive behaviors, such as male mounting and female lordosis, we outline why secondary sex differences related to competition and mate choice might also trace their origins back to steroid-induced epigenetic programming in disparate regions of the brain. PMID:23744965

  18. Pervasive reinforcement and the role of sexual selection in biological speciation.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Emily J; Price, Trevor D

    2014-01-01

    Sexual selection has been widely implicated as a driver of speciation. However, allopatric forms are often defined as species based on divergence in sexually selected traits and it is unclear how much such trait differences affect reproductive isolation upon secondary contact, the defining feature of biological species. We show that in birds, divergence in song and plumage in allopatry corresponds poorly with whether species mate assortatively in hybrid zones and argue that this is because many other factors besides trait divergence affect propensity to hybridize, including rarity of conspecific mates and choice based on territory rather than male traits. We then present a general model for the establishment of sympatry that assumes a period of differentiation in allopatry followed by secondary contact and often hybridization, with hybridization subsequently reduced by reinforcement of mate preferences. We suggest that reinforcement commonly operates by a narrowing of a "window of recognition" for traits that are different between the species, rather than evolution of the traits themselves. Our arguments imply that it is important to study postmating as well as premating reproductive isolation in limiting sympatry and suggest that studies of reinforcement should focus on evolution of female preferences for diagnostic traits, rather than evolution of traits per se. PMID:25149257

  19. The evolution of XY recombination: sexually antagonistic selection versus deleterious mutation load.

    PubMed

    Grossen, Christine; Neuenschwander, Samuel; Perrin, Nicolas

    2012-10-01

    Recombination arrest between X and Y chromosomes, driven by sexually antagonistic genes, is expected to induce their progressive differentiation. However, in contrast to birds and mammals (which display the predicted pattern), most cold-blooded vertebrates have homomorphic sex chromosomes. Two main hypotheses have been proposed to account for this, namely high turnover rates of sex-determining systems and occasional XY recombination. Using individual-based simulations, we formalize the evolution of XY recombination (here mediated by sex reversal; the "fountain-of-youth" model) under the contrasting forces of sexually antagonistic selection and deleterious mutations. The shift between the domains of elimination and accumulation occurs at much lower selection coefficients for the Y than for the X. In the absence of dosage compensation, mildly deleterious mutations accumulating on the Y depress male fitness, thereby providing incentives for XY recombination. Under our settings, this occurs via "demasculinization" of the Y, allowing recombination in XY (sex-reversed) females. As we also show, this generates a conflict with the X, which coevolves to oppose sex reversal. The resulting rare events of XY sex reversal are enough to purge the Y from its load of deleterious mutations. Our results support the "fountain of youth" as a plausible mechanism to account for the maintenance of sex-chromosome homomorphy. PMID:23025605

  20. The juvenile social environment introduces variation in the choice and expression of sexually selected traits

    PubMed Central

    Kasumovic, Michael M; Hall, Matthew D; Brooks, Robert C

    2012-01-01

    The juvenile environment provides numerous cues of the intensity of competition and the availability of mates in the near environment. As research demonstrates that the developing individuals can use these cues to alter their developmental trajectories, and therefore, adult phenotypes, we examined whether social cues available during development can affect the expression and the preference of sexually selected traits. To examine this, we used the Australian black field cricket (Telogryllus commodus), a species where condition at maturity is known to affect both male calling effort and female choice. We mimicked different social environments by rearing juveniles in two different densities crossed with three different calling environments. We demonstrate that the social environment affected female response speed but not preference, and male age-specific calling effort (especially the rate of senescence in calling effort) but not the structural/temporal parameters of calls. These results demonstrate that the social environment can introduce variation in sexually selected traits by modifying the behavioral components of male production and female choice, suggesting that the social environment may be an overlooked source of phenotypic variation. We discuss the plasticity of trait expression and preference in reference to estimations of male quality and the concept of condition dependence. PMID:22837847

  1. Experimental evolution exposes female and male responses to sexual selection and conflict in Tribolium castaneum.

    PubMed

    Michalczyk, Łukasz; Millard, Anna L; Martin, Oliver Y; Lumley, Alyson J; Emerson, Brent C; Gage, Matthew J G

    2011-03-01

    Between-individual variance in potential reproductive rate theoretically creates a load in reproducing populations by driving sexual selection of male traits for winning competitions, and female traits for resisting the costs of multiple mating. Here, using replicated experimental evolution under divergent operational sex ratios (OSR, 9:1 or 1:6 ♀:♂) we empirically identified the parallel reproductive fitness consequences for females and males in the promiscuous flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. Our results revealed clear evidence that sexual conflict resides within the T. castaneum mating system. After 20 generations of selection, females from female-biased OSRs became vulnerable to multiple mating, and showed a steep decrease in reproductive fitness with an increasing number of control males. In contrast, females from male-biased OSRs showed no change in reproductive fitness, irrespective of male numbers. The divergence in reproductive output was not explained by variation in female mortality. Parallel assays revealed that males also responded to experimental evolution: individuals from male-biased OSRs obtained 27% greater reproductive success across 7-day competition for females with a control male rival, compared to males from the female-biased lines. Subsequent assays suggest that these differences were not due to postcopulatory sperm competitiveness, but to precopulatory/copulatory competitive male mating behavior. PMID:21091981

  2. The Role of Selection Effects in the Contact Hypothesis: Results from a U.S. National Survey on Sexual Prejudice.

    PubMed

    Loehr, Annalise; Doan, Long; Miller, Lisa R

    2015-11-01

    Empirical research has documented that contact with lesbians and gays is associated with more positive feelings toward and greater support for legal rights for them, but we know less about whether these effects extend to informal aspects of same-sex relationships, such as reactions to public displays of affection. Furthermore, many studies have assumed that contact influences levels of sexual prejudice; however, the possibility of selection effects, in which less sexually prejudiced people have contact, and more sexually prejudiced people do not, raises some doubts about this assumption. We used original data from a nationally representative sample of heterosexuals to determine whether those reporting contact with a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender friend or relative exhibited less sexual prejudice toward lesbian and gay couples than those without contact. This study examined the effect of contact on attitudes toward formal rights and a relatively unexplored dimension, informal privileges. We estimated the effect of having contact using traditional (ordinary least squares regression) methods before accounting for selection effects using propensity score matching. After accounting for selection effects, we found no significant differences between the attitudes of those who had contact and those who did not, for either formal or informal measures. Thus, selection effects appeared to play a pivotal role in confounding the link between contact and sexual prejudice, and future studies should exercise caution in interpreting results that do not account for such selection effects.

  3. The Role of Selection Effects in the Contact Hypothesis: Results from a U.S. National Survey on Sexual Prejudice.

    PubMed

    Loehr, Annalise; Doan, Long; Miller, Lisa R

    2015-11-01

    Empirical research has documented that contact with lesbians and gays is associated with more positive feelings toward and greater support for legal rights for them, but we know less about whether these effects extend to informal aspects of same-sex relationships, such as reactions to public displays of affection. Furthermore, many studies have assumed that contact influences levels of sexual prejudice; however, the possibility of selection effects, in which less sexually prejudiced people have contact, and more sexually prejudiced people do not, raises some doubts about this assumption. We used original data from a nationally representative sample of heterosexuals to determine whether those reporting contact with a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender friend or relative exhibited less sexual prejudice toward lesbian and gay couples than those without contact. This study examined the effect of contact on attitudes toward formal rights and a relatively unexplored dimension, informal privileges. We estimated the effect of having contact using traditional (ordinary least squares regression) methods before accounting for selection effects using propensity score matching. After accounting for selection effects, we found no significant differences between the attitudes of those who had contact and those who did not, for either formal or informal measures. Thus, selection effects appeared to play a pivotal role in confounding the link between contact and sexual prejudice, and future studies should exercise caution in interpreting results that do not account for such selection effects. PMID:25690446

  4. Symmetry breaking and coarsening in spatially distributed evolutionary processes including sexual reproduction and disruptive selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sayama, Hiroki; Kaufman, Les; Bar-Yam, Yaneer

    2000-11-01

    Sexual reproduction presents significant challenges to formal treatment of evolutionary processes. A starting point for systematic treatments of ecological and evolutionary phenomena has been provided by the gene-centered view of evolution which assigns effective fitness to each allele instead of each organism. The gene-centered view can be formalized as a dynamic mean-field approximation applied to genes in reproduction and selection dynamics. We show that the gene-centered view breaks down for symmetry breaking and pattern formation within a population and show that spatial distributions of organisms with local mating neighborhoods in the presence of disruptive selection give rise to such symmetry breaking and pattern formation in the genetic composition of local populations. Global dynamics follows conventional coarsening of systems with nonconserved order parameters. The results have significant implications for the ecology of genetic diversity and species formation.

  5. Queen Specific Exocrine Glands in Legionary Ants and Their Possible Function in Sexual Selection.

    PubMed

    Hölldobler, Bert

    2016-01-01

    The colonies of army ants and some other legionary ant species have single, permanently wingless queens with massive post petioles and large gasters. Such highly modified queens are called dichthadiigynes. This paper presents the unusually rich exocrine gland endowment of dichthadiigynes, which is not found in queens of other ant species. It has been suggested these kinds of glands produce secretions that attract and maintain worker retinues around queens, especially during migration. However, large worker retinues also occur in non-legionary species whose queens do not have such an exuberance of exocrine glands. We argue and present evidence in support of our previously proposed hypothesis that the enormous outfit of exocrine glands found in dichthadiigynes is due to sexual selection mediated by workers as the main selecting agents.

  6. Queen Specific Exocrine Glands in Legionary Ants and Their Possible Function in Sexual Selection.

    PubMed

    Hölldobler, Bert

    2016-01-01

    The colonies of army ants and some other legionary ant species have single, permanently wingless queens with massive post petioles and large gasters. Such highly modified queens are called dichthadiigynes. This paper presents the unusually rich exocrine gland endowment of dichthadiigynes, which is not found in queens of other ant species. It has been suggested these kinds of glands produce secretions that attract and maintain worker retinues around queens, especially during migration. However, large worker retinues also occur in non-legionary species whose queens do not have such an exuberance of exocrine glands. We argue and present evidence in support of our previously proposed hypothesis that the enormous outfit of exocrine glands found in dichthadiigynes is due to sexual selection mediated by workers as the main selecting agents. PMID:26986740

  7. Queen Specific Exocrine Glands in Legionary Ants and Their Possible Function in Sexual Selection

    PubMed Central

    Hölldobler, Bert

    2016-01-01

    The colonies of army ants and some other legionary ant species have single, permanently wingless queens with massive post petioles and large gasters. Such highly modified queens are called dichthadiigynes. This paper presents the unusually rich exocrine gland endowment of dichthadiigynes, which is not found in queens of other ant species. It has been suggested these kinds of glands produce secretions that attract and maintain worker retinues around queens, especially during migration. However, large worker retinues also occur in non-legionary species whose queens do not have such an exuberance of exocrine glands. We argue and present evidence in support of our previously proposed hypothesis that the enormous outfit of exocrine glands found in dichthadiigynes is due to sexual selection mediated by workers as the main selecting agents. PMID:26986740

  8. Direction selectivity in a model of the starburst amacrine cell.

    PubMed

    Tukker, John J; Taylor, W Rowland; Smith, Robert G

    2004-01-01

    The starburst amacrine cell (SBAC), found in all mammalian retinas, is thought to provide the directional inhibitory input recorded in On-Off direction-selective ganglion cells (DSGCs). While voltage recordings from the somas of SBACs have not shown robust direction selectivity (DS), the dendritic tips of these cells display direction-selective calcium signals, even when gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAa,c) channels are blocked, implying that inhibition is not necessary to generate DS. This suggested that the distinctive morphology of the SBAC could generate a DS signal at the dendritic tips, where most of its synaptic output is located. To explore this possibility, we constructed a compartmental model incorporating realistic morphological structure, passive membrane properties, and excitatory inputs. We found robust DS at the dendritic tips but not at the soma. Two-spot apparent motion and annulus radial motion produced weak DS, but thin bars produced robust DS. For these stimuli, DS was caused by the interaction of a local synaptic input signal with a temporally delayed "global" signal, that is, an excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) that spread from the activated inputs into the soma and throughout the dendritic tree. In the preferred direction the signals in the dendritic tips coincided, allowing summation, whereas in the null direction the local signal preceded the global signal, preventing summation. Sine-wave grating stimuli produced the greatest amount of DS, especially at high velocities and low spatial frequencies. The sine-wave DS responses could be accounted for by a simple mathematical model, which summed phase-shifted signals from soma and dendritic tip. By testing different artificial morphologies, we discovered DS was relatively independent of the morphological details, but depended on having a sufficient number of inputs at the distal tips and a limited electrotonic isolation. Adding voltage-gated calcium channels to the model showed that their

  9. The Opportunity for Post-Copulatory Sexual Selection in the Ectoparasitic Pea Crab, Dissodactylus primitivus (Brachyura: Pinnotheridae)

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Pea crabs, Dissodactylus primitivus, inhabit multiple echinoid (heart urchin) hosts. Male and female crabs move among hosts in search for mates, and both sexes mate multiple times, creating opportunities for post-copulatory sexual selection. For such selection to occur, only a fraction of the males who succeed in mating can also succeed in siring progeny. Jossart et al. 2014 used 4 microsatellite loci to document parentage and mating frequencies of both sexes in D. primitivus. From these data we identified the mean and variance in female offspring numbers, as well as the proportions of the female population that were gravid and not bearing offspring. We next identified the proportions of the male population who had (1) mated and sired offspring, (2) mated but failed to sire offspring, and (3) failed to mate altogether. We used these results to estimate the opportunity for selection on males and females in terms of mate numbers and offspring numbers, and estimated the sex difference in the opportunity for selection (i.e., the opportunity for sexual selection) using both forms of data. We then partitioned the total variance in male fitness into pre- and post-copulatory components and identified the fraction of the total opportunity for selection occurring in each context. Our results show that the opportunity for selection on each sex was of similar magnitude (0.69–0.98), consistent with this polyandrogynous mating system. We also found that 37% of the total opportunity for sexual selection on males occurred within the context of post-copulatory sexual selection. However, the fraction of the total opportunity for selection that was due to sexual selection, estimated using both mate numbers and offspring numbers, was 9% and 23% respectively. Thus, we further reduced our estimate of the opportunity for post-copulatory sexual selection in D. primitivus to less than 10% of the total opportunity for selection (0.37 of 0.09 and 0.23 = 0.03 and 0.09). Our results provide

  10. The Opportunity for Post-Copulatory Sexual Selection in the Ectoparasitic Pea Crab, Dissodactylus primitivus (Brachyura: Pinnotheridae).

    PubMed

    Prather, Robert B; Shuster, Stephen M

    2015-01-01

    Pea crabs, Dissodactylus primitivus, inhabit multiple echinoid (heart urchin) hosts. Male and female crabs move among hosts in search for mates, and both sexes mate multiple times, creating opportunities for post-copulatory sexual selection. For such selection to occur, only a fraction of the males who succeed in mating can also succeed in siring progeny. Jossart et al. 2014 used 4 microsatellite loci to document parentage and mating frequencies of both sexes in D. primitivus. From these data we identified the mean and variance in female offspring numbers, as well as the proportions of the female population that were gravid and not bearing offspring. We next identified the proportions of the male population who had (1) mated and sired offspring, (2) mated but failed to sire offspring, and (3) failed to mate altogether. We used these results to estimate the opportunity for selection on males and females in terms of mate numbers and offspring numbers, and estimated the sex difference in the opportunity for selection (i.e., the opportunity for sexual selection) using both forms of data. We then partitioned the total variance in male fitness into pre- and post-copulatory components and identified the fraction of the total opportunity for selection occurring in each context. Our results show that the opportunity for selection on each sex was of similar magnitude (0.69-0.98), consistent with this polyandrogynous mating system. We also found that 37% of the total opportunity for sexual selection on males occurred within the context of post-copulatory sexual selection. However, the fraction of the total opportunity for selection that was due to sexual selection, estimated using both mate numbers and offspring numbers, was 9% and 23% respectively. Thus, we further reduced our estimate of the opportunity for post-copulatory sexual selection in D. primitivus to less than 10% of the total opportunity for selection (0.37 of 0.09 and 0.23 = 0.03 and 0.09). Our results provide

  11. A frequency selective acoustic transducer for directional Lamb wave sensing.

    PubMed

    Senesi, Matteo; Ruzzene, Massimo

    2011-10-01

    A frequency selective acoustic transducer (FSAT) is proposed for directional sensing of guided waves. The considered FSAT design is characterized by a spiral configuration in wavenumber domain, which leads to a spatial arrangement of the sensing material producing output signals whose dominant frequency component is uniquely associated with the direction of incoming waves. The resulting spiral FSAT can be employed both for directional sensing and generation of guided waves, without relying on phasing and control of a large number of channels. The analytical expression of the shape of the spiral FSAT is obtained through the theoretical formulation for continuously distributed active material as part of a shaped piezoelectric device. Testing is performed by forming a discrete array through the points of the measurement grid of a scanning laser Doppler vibrometer. The discrete array approximates the continuous spiral FSAT geometry, and provides the flexibility to test several configurations. The experimental results demonstrate the strong frequency dependent directionality of the spiral FSAT and suggest its application for frequency selective acoustic sensors, to be employed for the localization of broadband acoustic events, or for the directional generation of Lamb waves for active interrogation of structural health. PMID:21973344

  12. Sexual selection by female immunity against paternal antigens can fix loss of function alleles.

    PubMed

    Ghaderi, Darius; Springer, Stevan A; Ma, Fang; Cohen, Miriam; Secrest, Patrick; Taylor, Rachel E; Varki, Ajit; Gagneux, Pascal

    2011-10-25

    Humans lack the common mammalian cell surface molecule N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) due to a CMAH gene inactivation, which occurred approximately three million years ago. Modern humans produce antibodies specific for Neu5Gc. We hypothesized that anti-Neu5Gc antibodies could enter the female reproductive tract and target Neu5Gc-positive sperm or fetal tissues, reducing reproductive compatibility. Indeed, female mice with a human-like Cmah(-/-) mutation and immunized to express anti-Neu5Gc antibodies show lower fertility with Neu5Gc-positive males, due to prezygotic incompatibilities. Human anti-Neu5Gc antibodies are also capable of targeting paternally derived antigens and mediate cytotoxicity against Neu5Gc-bearing chimpanzee sperm in vitro. Models of populations polymorphic for such antigens show that reproductive incompatibility by female immunity can drive loss-of-function alleles to fixation from moderate initial frequencies. Initially, the loss of a cell-surface antigen can occur due to drift in isolated populations or when natural selection favors the loss of a receptor exploited by pathogens, subsequently the same loss-of-function allele can come under sexual selection because it avoids being targeted by the female immune system. Thus, we provide evidence of a link between sexual selection and immune function: Antigenicity in females can select against foreign paternal antigens on sperm and rapidly fix loss-of-function alleles. Similar circumstances existed when the CMAH null allele was polymorphic in ancestral hominins, just before the divergence of Homo from australopithecines. PMID:21987817

  13. Sexual selection by female immunity against paternal antigens can fix loss of function alleles

    PubMed Central

    Ghaderi, Darius; Springer, Stevan A.; Ma, Fang; Cohen, Miriam; Secrest, Patrick; Taylor, Rachel E.; Varki, Ajit; Gagneux, Pascal

    2011-01-01

    Humans lack the common mammalian cell surface molecule N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) due to a CMAH gene inactivation, which occurred approximately three million years ago. Modern humans produce antibodies specific for Neu5Gc. We hypothesized that anti-Neu5Gc antibodies could enter the female reproductive tract and target Neu5Gc-positive sperm or fetal tissues, reducing reproductive compatibility. Indeed, female mice with a human-like Cmah(−/−) mutation and immunized to express anti-Neu5Gc antibodies show lower fertility with Neu5Gc-positive males, due to prezygotic incompatibilities. Human anti-Neu5Gc antibodies are also capable of targeting paternally derived antigens and mediate cytotoxicity against Neu5Gc-bearing chimpanzee sperm in vitro. Models of populations polymorphic for such antigens show that reproductive incompatibility by female immunity can drive loss-of-function alleles to fixation from moderate initial frequencies. Initially, the loss of a cell-surface antigen can occur due to drift in isolated populations or when natural selection favors the loss of a receptor exploited by pathogens, subsequently the same loss-of-function allele can come under sexual selection because it avoids being targeted by the female immune system. Thus, we provide evidence of a link between sexual selection and immune function: Antigenicity in females can select against foreign paternal antigens on sperm and rapidly fix loss-of-function alleles. Similar circumstances existed when the CMAH null allele was polymorphic in ancestral hominins, just before the divergence of Homo from australopithecines. PMID:21987817

  14. Sexual selection by female immunity against paternal antigens can fix loss of function alleles.

    PubMed

    Ghaderi, Darius; Springer, Stevan A; Ma, Fang; Cohen, Miriam; Secrest, Patrick; Taylor, Rachel E; Varki, Ajit; Gagneux, Pascal

    2011-10-25

    Humans lack the common mammalian cell surface molecule N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) due to a CMAH gene inactivation, which occurred approximately three million years ago. Modern humans produce antibodies specific for Neu5Gc. We hypothesized that anti-Neu5Gc antibodies could enter the female reproductive tract and target Neu5Gc-positive sperm or fetal tissues, reducing reproductive compatibility. Indeed, female mice with a human-like Cmah(-/-) mutation and immunized to express anti-Neu5Gc antibodies show lower fertility with Neu5Gc-positive males, due to prezygotic incompatibilities. Human anti-Neu5Gc antibodies are also capable of targeting paternally derived antigens and mediate cytotoxicity against Neu5Gc-bearing chimpanzee sperm in vitro. Models of populations polymorphic for such antigens show that reproductive incompatibility by female immunity can drive loss-of-function alleles to fixation from moderate initial frequencies. Initially, the loss of a cell-surface antigen can occur due to drift in isolated populations or when natural selection favors the loss of a receptor exploited by pathogens, subsequently the same loss-of-function allele can come under sexual selection because it avoids being targeted by the female immune system. Thus, we provide evidence of a link between sexual selection and immune function: Antigenicity in females can select against foreign paternal antigens on sperm and rapidly fix loss-of-function alleles. Similar circumstances existed when the CMAH null allele was polymorphic in ancestral hominins, just before the divergence of Homo from australopithecines.

  15. Complementary mechanisms create direction selectivity in the fly

    PubMed Central

    Haag, Juergen; Arenz, Alexander; Serbe, Etienne; Gabbiani, Fabrizio; Borst, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    How neurons become sensitive to the direction of visual motion represents a classic example of neural computation. Two alternative mechanisms have been discussed in the literature so far: preferred direction enhancement, by which responses are amplified when stimuli move along the preferred direction of the cell, and null direction suppression, where one signal inhibits the response to the subsequent one when stimuli move along the opposite, i.e. null direction. Along the processing chain in the Drosophila optic lobe, directional responses first appear in T4 and T5 cells. Visually stimulating sequences of individual columns in the optic lobe with a telescope while recording from single T4 neurons, we find both mechanisms at work implemented in different sub-regions of the receptive field. This finding explains the high degree of directional selectivity found already in the fly’s primary motion-sensing neurons and marks an important step in our understanding of elementary motion detection. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17421.001 PMID:27502554

  16. Structure of social networks in a passerine bird: consequences for sexual selection and the evolution of mating strategies.

    PubMed

    Oh, Kevin P; Badyaev, Alexander V

    2010-09-01

    The social environment is a critical determinant of fitness and, in many taxa, is shaped by an individual's behavioral discrimination among social contexts, suggesting that animals can actively influence the selection they experience. In competition to attract females, males may modify sexual selection by choosing social environments in which they are more attractive relative to rivals. Across the population, such behaviors should influence sexual selection patterns by altering the relationship between male mating success and sexual ornament elaboration. Here we use network analysis to examine patterns of male social behavior in relation to plumage ornamentation and mating success in a free-living population of house finches. During the nonbreeding season, less elaborate males changed associations with distinct social groups more frequently, compared to more elaborate males that showed greater fidelity to a single social group. By the onset of pair formation, socially labile males effectively increased their attractiveness relative to other males in the same flocks. Consequently, males that frequently moved between social groups had greater pairing success than less social individuals with equivalent sexual ornamentation. We discuss these results in relation to conditional mating tactics and the role of social behavior in evolutionary change by sexual selection.

  17. Quantitative genetics of sexually dimorphic traits and capture of genetic variance by a sexually-selected condition-dependent ornament in red junglefowl (Gallus gallus).

    PubMed

    Parker, T H; Garant, D

    2004-11-01

    We studied the quantitative genetics of sexually selected traits in a captive population of red junglefowl (Gallus gallus L.) using a multi-generational 'animal model' approach. We found significant heritability of mass, tarsus length (both strongly sexually dimorphic), residual mass, and male comb (a fleshy head ornament) length. Residual mass has a genetic correlation between the sexes smaller than unity and so could show partially independent responses to selection in the two sexes. In males, tarsus length and mass were not genetically correlated, and this produced a negative genetic correlation between tarsus length and residual mass. The male red junglefowl's comb, an ornament influencing female choice, is highly condition dependent. We show that expression of this ornament is heritable, however, and shows strong genetic correlation with a condition index, residual mass. Because residual mass is partly influenced by various aspects of condition, it appears that comb size has 'captured' genetic variability in condition. PMID:15525412

  18. Sexual dimorphism in directional asymmetry of the upper limb bones among Khoe-San skeletons.

    PubMed

    Waidhofer, M; Kirchengast, S

    2015-12-01

    Right side-biased directional asymmetries in upper limb bones are described for non-human primates, modern humans and also for historical populations. According to numerous studies the degree of bilateral asymmetries varies by sex, possibly due to sex-typical labor division. The present study focused on sexual dimorphism in bilateral asymmetries of the upper limb bones among a historical Khoe-San skeletal sample, the Pöch Collection housed at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Vienna. Forty metric dimensions of humeri, ulnae, radii and clavicles of 83 adult Khoe-San individuals were measured. Directional and absolute asymmetries of each measurement were calculated. With the exception of maximal clavicle length, a significant right-biased asymmetry could be documented for both sexes. Regarding sex differences, it could be shown that a markedly greater percentage of right side dominant asymmetry of humerus length and upper limb length was found among females, while male skeletons exhibited a significantly greater percentage of absolute asymmetry in breadth and circumference dimensions, indicating a greater asymmetry in traits of robustness. These sex differences can be interpreted as a result of sex-typical labor division in this traditional historical population.

  19. Paternity analyses in wild-caught and laboratory-reared Caribbean cricket females reveal the influence of mating environment on post-copulatory sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Oneal, E; Knowles, L L

    2015-12-01

    Polyandry is ubiquitous in insects and provides the conditions necessary for male- and female-driven forms of post-copulatory sexual selection to arise. Populations of Amphiacusta sanctaecrucis exhibit significant divergence in portions of the male genitalia that are inserted directly into the female reproductive tract, suggesting that males may exercise some post-copulatory control over fertilization success. We examine the potential for male-male and male-female post-copulatory interactions to influence paternity in wild-caught females of A. sanctaecrucis and contrast our findings with those obtained from females reared in a high-density laboratory environment. We find that female A. sanctaecrucis exercise control by mating multiple times (females mount males), but that male-male post-copulatory interactions may influence paternity success. Moreover, post-copulatory interactions that affect reproductive success of males are not independent of mating environment: clutches of wild-caught females exhibit higher sire diversity and lower paternity skew than clutches of laboratory-reared females. There was no strong evidence for last male precedence in either case. Most attempts at disentangling the contributions of male-male and male-female interactions towards post-copulatory sexual selection have been undertaken in a laboratory setting and may not capture the full context in which they take place--such as the relationship between premating and post-mating interactions. Our results reinforce the importance of designing studies that can capture the multifaceted nature of sexual selection for elucidating the role of post-copulatory sexual selection in driving the evolution of male and female reproductive traits, especially when different components (e.g. precopulatory and post-copulatory interactions) do not exert independent effects on reproductive outcomes.

  20. Demographic noise can reverse the direction of deterministic selection.

    PubMed

    Constable, George W A; Rogers, Tim; McKane, Alan J; Tarnita, Corina E

    2016-08-01

    Deterministic evolutionary theory robustly predicts that populations displaying altruistic behaviors will be driven to extinction by mutant cheats that absorb common benefits but do not themselves contribute. Here we show that when demographic stochasticity is accounted for, selection can in fact act in the reverse direction to that predicted deterministically, instead favoring cooperative behaviors that appreciably increase the carrying capacity of the population. Populations that exist in larger numbers experience a selective advantage by being more stochastically robust to invasions than smaller populations, and this advantage can persist even in the presence of reproductive costs. We investigate this general effect in the specific context of public goods production and find conditions for stochastic selection reversal leading to the success of public good producers. This insight, developed here analytically, is missed by the deterministic analysis as well as by standard game theoretic models that enforce a fixed population size. The effect is found to be amplified by space; in this scenario we find that selection reversal occurs within biologically reasonable parameter regimes for microbial populations. Beyond the public good problem, we formulate a general mathematical framework for models that may exhibit stochastic selection reversal. In this context, we describe a stochastic analog to [Formula: see text] theory, by which small populations can evolve to higher densities in the absence of disturbance. PMID:27450085

  1. Sexual Functioning Morbidity Among Cancer Survivors: Current Status and Future Research Directions

    PubMed Central

    ANDERSEN, BARBARA L.

    2009-01-01

    The current article reviews available data and considers methodologic issues for future research in which sexual functioning among adult cancer patients is an endpoint variable. Circumstances that may cause sexual disruption for any cancer patient are suggested, including mood disturbance, changed health status, somatization, and reprioritization of life concerns. Data on the incidence and magnitude of sexual functioning morbidity following the diagnosis and treatment of cancer at major organ sites, including breast, genital, colon, rectum, and bladder, are reviewed. Finally, strategies for continuing descriptive study of the sexual problems of cancer patients are suggested. Such data are necessary to eventually target preventive or therapeutic resources to patients in greatest need. PMID:3978569

  2. Validation of direct and indirect measures of preference for sexualized violence.

    PubMed

    Larue, Daniela; Schmidt, Alexander F; Imhoff, Roland; Eggers, Kerstin; Schönbrodt, Felix D; Banse, Rainer

    2014-12-01

    Individuals differ in the extent to which they are interested in sexualized violence, as displayed in the frequent but not ubiquitous sexual interest in consensual acts of violent sexual role play and violent pornographic media in the normal population. The present research sought to develop and validate a multi-method assessment battery to measure individual differences in the preference for sexualized violence. Three indirect measures (Implicit Association Test, Semantic Misattribution Procedure, Viewing Time) were combined in an online study with 107 men and 103 women. Participants with and without an affiliation with sadomasochistic sexual interest groups were recruited on corresponding Internet platforms. Results revealed that all 3 indirect measures converged in predicting self-reported sexual interest in non-consensual sexuality. Specifically, for men all indirect measures were related to non-consensual sadistic sexual interest, whereas for women an association with masochistic sexual interest was found. Stimulus artefacts versus genuine gender differences are discussed as potential explanations of this dissociation. An outlook on the usability of the assessment battery in applied settings is delivered. PMID:25068907

  3. Validation of direct and indirect measures of preference for sexualized violence.

    PubMed

    Larue, Daniela; Schmidt, Alexander F; Imhoff, Roland; Eggers, Kerstin; Schönbrodt, Felix D; Banse, Rainer

    2014-12-01

    Individuals differ in the extent to which they are interested in sexualized violence, as displayed in the frequent but not ubiquitous sexual interest in consensual acts of violent sexual role play and violent pornographic media in the normal population. The present research sought to develop and validate a multi-method assessment battery to measure individual differences in the preference for sexualized violence. Three indirect measures (Implicit Association Test, Semantic Misattribution Procedure, Viewing Time) were combined in an online study with 107 men and 103 women. Participants with and without an affiliation with sadomasochistic sexual interest groups were recruited on corresponding Internet platforms. Results revealed that all 3 indirect measures converged in predicting self-reported sexual interest in non-consensual sexuality. Specifically, for men all indirect measures were related to non-consensual sadistic sexual interest, whereas for women an association with masochistic sexual interest was found. Stimulus artefacts versus genuine gender differences are discussed as potential explanations of this dissociation. An outlook on the usability of the assessment battery in applied settings is delivered.

  4. Transcriptomics of Intralocus Sexual Conflict: Gene Expression Patterns in Females Change in Response to Selection on a Male Secondary Sexual Trait in the Bulb Mite

    PubMed Central

    Joag, Richa; Stuglik, Michal; Konczal, Mateusz; Plesnar-Bielak, Agata; Skrzynecka, Anna; Babik, Wieslaw; Radwan, Jacek

    2016-01-01

    Intralocus sexual conflict (IASC) prevents males and females from reaching their disparate phenotypic optima and is widespread, but little is known about its genetic underpinnings. In Rhizoglyphus robini, a mite species with alternative male morphs, elevated sexual dimorphism of the armored fighter males (compared to more feminized scramblers males) was previously reported to be associated with increased IASC. Because IASC persists if gene expression patterns are correlated between sexes, we compared gene expression patterns of males and females from the replicate lines selected for increased proportion of fighter or scrambler males (F- and S-lines, respectively). Specifically, we tested the prediction that selection for fighter morph caused correlated changes in gene expression patterns in females. We identified 532 differentially expressed genes (FDR < 0.05) between the F-line and S-line males. Consistent with the prediction, expression levels of these genes also differed between females from respective lines. Thus, significant proportion of genes differentially expressed between sexually selected male phenotypes showed correlated expression levels in females, likely contributing to elevated IASC in F-lines reported in a previous study. PMID:27401174

  5. Courtship raises male fertilization success through post-mating sexual selection in a spider.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Jutta M; Lesmono, Kristiani

    2009-09-01

    Courtship is well known for its positive effects on mating success. However, in polyandrous species, sexual selection continues to operate after copulation. Cryptic female choice is expected under unpredictable mating rates in combination with sequential mate encounters. However, there are very few accounts of the effects of courtship on cryptic female choice, and the available evidence is often correlative. Mature Argiope bruennichi females are always receptive and never attack or reject males before mating, although sexual cannibalism after mating occurs regularly. Still, males usually perform an energetic vibratory display prior to copulation. We tested the hypothesis that beneficial effects of courtship arise cryptically, during or after mating, resulting in increased paternity success under polyandry. Manipulating courtship duration experimentally, we found that males that mated without display had a reduced paternity share even though no differences in post-copulatory cannibalism or copulation duration were detected. This suggests that the paternity advantage associated with courtship arose through female-mediated processes after intromission, meeting the definition of cryptic female choice. PMID:19515667

  6. Courtship raises male fertilization success through post-mating sexual selection in a spider

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Jutta M.; Lesmono, Kristiani

    2009-01-01

    Courtship is well known for its positive effects on mating success. However, in polyandrous species, sexual selection continues to operate after copulation. Cryptic female choice is expected under unpredictable mating rates in combination with sequential mate encounters. However, there are very few accounts of the effects of courtship on cryptic female choice, and the available evidence is often correlative. Mature Argiope bruennichi females are always receptive and never attack or reject males before mating, although sexual cannibalism after mating occurs regularly. Still, males usually perform an energetic vibratory display prior to copulation. We tested the hypothesis that beneficial effects of courtship arise cryptically, during or after mating, resulting in increased paternity success under polyandry. Manipulating courtship duration experimentally, we found that males that mated without display had a reduced paternity share even though no differences in post-copulatory cannibalism or copulation duration were detected. This suggests that the paternity advantage associated with courtship arose through female-mediated processes after intromission, meeting the definition of cryptic female choice. PMID:19515667

  7. Environmentally Realistic Exposure to the Herbicide Atrazine Alters Some Sexually Selected Traits in Male Guppies

    PubMed Central

    Shenoy, Kausalya

    2012-01-01

    Male mating signals, including ornaments and courtship displays, and other sexually selected traits, like male-male aggression, are largely controlled by sex hormones. Environmental pollutants, notably endocrine disrupting compounds, can interfere with the proper functioning of hormones, thereby impacting the expression of hormonally regulated traits. Atrazine, one of the most widely used herbicides, can alter sex hormone levels in exposed animals. I tested the effects of environmentally relevant atrazine exposures on mating signals and behaviors in male guppies, a sexually dimorphic freshwater fish. Prolonged atrazine exposure reduced the expression of two honest signals: the area of orange spots (ornaments) and the number of courtship displays performed. Atrazine exposure also reduced aggression towards competing males in the context of mate competition. In the wild, exposure levels vary among individuals because of differential distribution of the pollutants across habitats; hence, differently impacted males often compete for the same mates. Disrupted mating signals can reduce reproductive success as females avoid mating with perceptibly suboptimal males. Less aggressive males are at a competitive disadvantage and lose access to females. This study highlights the effects of atrazine on ecologically relevant mating signals and behaviors in exposed wildlife. Altered reproductive traits have important implications for population dynamics, evolutionary patterns, and conservation of wildlife species. PMID:22312428

  8. Simultaneous age-dependent and age-independent sexual selection in the lekking black grouse (Lyrurus tetrix).

    PubMed

    Kervinen, Matti; Lebigre, Christophe; Soulsbury, Carl D

    2016-05-01

    Individuals' reproductive success is often strongly associated with their age, with typical patterns of early-life reproductive improvement and late-life senescence. These age-related patterns are due to the inherent trade-offs between life-history traits competing for a limited amount of resources available to the organisms. In males, such trade-offs are exacerbated by the resource requirements associated with the expression of costly sexual traits, leading to dynamic changes in trait expression throughout their life span. Due to the age dependency of male phenotypes, the relationship between the expression of male traits and mating success can also vary with male age. Hence, using longitudinal data in a lekking species with strong sexual selection - the black grouse Lyrurus tetrix - we quantified the effects of age, life span and age of first lek attendance (AFL) on male annual mating success (AMS) to separate the effects of within-individual improvement and senescence on AMS from selective (dis)appearance of certain phenotypes. Then, we used male AMS to quantify univariate and multivariate sexual selection gradients on male morphological and behavioural traits with and without accounting for age and age-related effects of other traits. Male AMS increased with age, and there was no significant reproductive senescence. Most males never copulated, and of the ones that did, the majority had only one successful year. Life span was unrelated to AMS, but early AFL tended to lead to higher AMS at ages 1-3. AMS was related to most morphological and behavioural traits when male age was ignored. Accounting for age and age-specific trait effects (i.e. the interaction between a trait and age) reduced the magnitude of the selection gradients and revealed that behavioural traits are under consistent sexual selection, while sexual selection on morphological traits is stronger in old males. Therefore, sexual selection in black grouse operates primarily on male behaviour and

  9. Simultaneous age-dependent and age-independent sexual selection in the lekking black grouse (Lyrurus tetrix).

    PubMed

    Kervinen, Matti; Lebigre, Christophe; Soulsbury, Carl D

    2016-05-01

    Individuals' reproductive success is often strongly associated with their age, with typical patterns of early-life reproductive improvement and late-life senescence. These age-related patterns are due to the inherent trade-offs between life-history traits competing for a limited amount of resources available to the organisms. In males, such trade-offs are exacerbated by the resource requirements associated with the expression of costly sexual traits, leading to dynamic changes in trait expression throughout their life span. Due to the age dependency of male phenotypes, the relationship between the expression of male traits and mating success can also vary with male age. Hence, using longitudinal data in a lekking species with strong sexual selection - the black grouse Lyrurus tetrix - we quantified the effects of age, life span and age of first lek attendance (AFL) on male annual mating success (AMS) to separate the effects of within-individual improvement and senescence on AMS from selective (dis)appearance of certain phenotypes. Then, we used male AMS to quantify univariate and multivariate sexual selection gradients on male morphological and behavioural traits with and without accounting for age and age-related effects of other traits. Male AMS increased with age, and there was no significant reproductive senescence. Most males never copulated, and of the ones that did, the majority had only one successful year. Life span was unrelated to AMS, but early AFL tended to lead to higher AMS at ages 1-3. AMS was related to most morphological and behavioural traits when male age was ignored. Accounting for age and age-specific trait effects (i.e. the interaction between a trait and age) reduced the magnitude of the selection gradients and revealed that behavioural traits are under consistent sexual selection, while sexual selection on morphological traits is stronger in old males. Therefore, sexual selection in black grouse operates primarily on male behaviour and

  10. Causes of male sexual trait divergence in introduced populations of guppies.

    PubMed

    Lindholm, A K; Head, M L; Brooks, R C; Rollins, L A; Ingleby, F C; Zajitschek, S R K

    2014-02-01

    Males from different populations of the same species often differ in their sexually selected traits. Variation in sexually selected traits can be attributed to sexual selection if phenotypic divergence matches the direction of sexual selection gradients among populations. However, phenotypic divergence of sexually selected traits may also be influenced by other factors, such as natural selection and genetic constraints. Here, we document differences in male sexual traits among six introduced Australian populations of guppies and untangle the forces driving divergence in these sexually selected traits. Using an experimental approach, we found that male size, area of orange coloration, number of sperm per ejaculate and linear sexual selection gradients for male traits differed among populations. Within populations, a large mismatch between the direction of selection and male traits suggests that constraints may be important in preventing male traits from evolving in the direction of selection. Among populations, however, variation in sexual selection explained more than half of the differences in trait variation, suggesting that, despite within-population constraints, sexual selection has contributed to population divergence of male traits. Differences in sexual traits were also associated with predation risk and neutral genetic distance. Our study highlights the importance of sexual selection in trait divergence in introduced populations, despite the presence of constraining factors such as predation risk and evolutionary history.

  11. Causes of male sexual trait divergence in introduced populations of guppies

    PubMed Central

    Lindholm, A K; Head, M L; Brooks, R C; Rollins, L A; Ingleby, F C; Zajitschek, S R K

    2014-01-01

    Males from different populations of the same species often differ in their sexually selected traits. Variation in sexually selected traits can be attributed to sexual selection if phenotypic divergence matches the direction of sexual selection gradients among populations. However, phenotypic divergence of sexually selected traits may also be influenced by other factors, such as natural selection and genetic constraints. Here, we document differences in male sexual traits among six introduced Australian populations of guppies and untangle the forces driving divergence in these sexually selected traits. Using an experimental approach, we found that male size, area of orange coloration, number of sperm per ejaculate and linear sexual selection gradients for male traits differed among populations. Within populations, a large mismatch between the direction of selection and male traits suggests that constraints may be important in preventing male traits from evolving in the direction of selection. Among populations, however, variation in sexual selection explained more than half of the differences in trait variation, suggesting that, despite within-population constraints, sexual selection has contributed to population divergence of male traits. Differences in sexual traits were also associated with predation risk and neutral genetic distance. Our study highlights the importance of sexual selection in trait divergence in introduced populations, despite the presence of constraining factors such as predation risk and evolutionary history. PMID:24456226

  12. Causes of male sexual trait divergence in introduced populations of guppies.

    PubMed

    Lindholm, A K; Head, M L; Brooks, R C; Rollins, L A; Ingleby, F C; Zajitschek, S R K

    2014-02-01

    Males from different populations of the same species often differ in their sexually selected traits. Variation in sexually selected traits can be attributed to sexual selection if phenotypic divergence matches the direction of sexual selection gradients among populations. However, phenotypic divergence of sexually selected traits may also be influenced by other factors, such as natural selection and genetic constraints. Here, we document differences in male sexual traits among six introduced Australian populations of guppies and untangle the forces driving divergence in these sexually selected traits. Using an experimental approach, we found that male size, area of orange coloration, number of sperm per ejaculate and linear sexual selection gradients for male traits differed among populations. Within populations, a large mismatch between the direction of selection and male traits suggests that constraints may be important in preventing male traits from evolving in the direction of selection. Among populations, however, variation in sexual selection explained more than half of the differences in trait variation, suggesting that, despite within-population constraints, sexual selection has contributed to population divergence of male traits. Differences in sexual traits were also associated with predation risk and neutral genetic distance. Our study highlights the importance of sexual selection in trait divergence in introduced populations, despite the presence of constraining factors such as predation risk and evolutionary history. PMID:24456226

  13. Multivariate sexual selection on male song structure in wild populations of sagebrush crickets, Cyphoderris strepitans (Orthoptera: Haglidae)

    PubMed Central

    Ower, Geoffrey D; Judge, Kevin A; Steiger, Sandra; Caron, Kyle J; Smith, Rebecca A; Hunt, John; Sakaluk, Scott K

    2013-01-01

    While a number of studies have measured multivariate sexual selection acting on sexual signals in wild populations, few have confirmed these findings with experimental manipulation. Sagebrush crickets are ideally suited to such investigations because mating imposes an unambiguous phenotypic marker on males arising from nuptial feeding by females. We quantified sexual selection operating on male song by recording songs of virgin and mated males captured from three wild populations. To determine the extent to which selection on male song is influenced by female preference, we conducted a companion study in which we synthesized male songs and broadcast them to females in choice trials. Multivariate selection analysis revealed a saddle-shaped fitness surface, the highest peak of which corresponded to longer train and pulse durations, and longer intertrain intervals. Longer trains and pulses likely promote greater mate attraction, but selection for longer intertrain durations suggests that energetic constraints may necessitate “time outs”. Playback trials confirmed the selection for longer train and pulse durations, and revealed significant stabilizing selection on dominant frequency, suggesting that the female auditory system is tightly tuned to the species-specific call frequency. Collectively, our results revealed a complex pattern of multivariate nonlinear selection characterized primarily by strong stabilizing and disruptive selection on male song traits. PMID:24223293

  14. Good genes and sexual selection in dung beetles (Onthophagus taurus): genetic variance in egg-to-adult and adult viability.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Gonzalez, Francisco; Simmons, Leigh W

    2011-01-18

    Whether species exhibit significant heritable variation in fitness is central for sexual selection. According to good genes models there must be genetic variation in males leading to variation in offspring fitness if females are to obtain genetic benefits from exercising mate preferences, or by mating multiply. However, sexual selection based on genetic benefits is controversial, and there is limited unambiguous support for the notion that choosy or polyandrous females can increase the chances of producing offspring with high viability. Here we examine the levels of additive genetic variance in two fitness components in the dung beetle Onthophagus taurus. We found significant sire effects on egg-to-adult viability and on son, but not daughter, survival to sexual maturity, as well as moderate coefficients of additive variance in these traits. Moreover, we do not find evidence for sexual antagonism influencing genetic variation for fitness. Our results are consistent with good genes sexual selection, and suggest that both pre- and postcopulatory mate choice, and male competition could provide indirect benefits to females.

  15. SEXUAL SELECTION. Irrationality in mate choice revealed by túngara frogs.

    PubMed

    Lea, Amanda M; Ryan, Michael J

    2015-08-28

    Mate choice models derive from traditional microeconomic decision theory and assume that individuals maximize their Darwinian fitness by making economically rational decisions. Rational choices exhibit regularity, whereby the relative strength of preferences between options remains stable when additional options are presented. We tested female frogs with three simulated males who differed in relative call attractiveness and call rate. In binary choice tests, females' preferences favored stimulus caller B over caller A; however, with the addition of an inferior "decoy" C, females reversed their preferences and chose A over B. These results show that the relative valuation of mates is not independent of inferior alternatives in the choice set and therefore cannot be explained with the rational choice models currently used in sexual selection theory.

  16. SEXUAL SELECTION. Irrationality in mate choice revealed by túngara frogs.

    PubMed

    Lea, Amanda M; Ryan, Michael J

    2015-08-28

    Mate choice models derive from traditional microeconomic decision theory and assume that individuals maximize their Darwinian fitness by making economically rational decisions. Rational choices exhibit regularity, whereby the relative strength of preferences between options remains stable when additional options are presented. We tested female frogs with three simulated males who differed in relative call attractiveness and call rate. In binary choice tests, females' preferences favored stimulus caller B over caller A; however, with the addition of an inferior "decoy" C, females reversed their preferences and chose A over B. These results show that the relative valuation of mates is not independent of inferior alternatives in the choice set and therefore cannot be explained with the rational choice models currently used in sexual selection theory. PMID:26315434

  17. Hierarchy-Direction Selective Approach for Locally Adaptive Sparse Grids

    SciTech Connect

    Stoyanov, Miroslav K

    2013-09-01

    We consider the problem of multidimensional adaptive hierarchical interpolation. We use sparse grids points and functions that are induced from a one dimensional hierarchical rule via tensor products. The classical locally adaptive sparse grid algorithm uses an isotropic refinement from the coarser to the denser levels of the hierarchy. However, the multidimensional hierarchy provides a more complex structure that allows for various anisotropic and hierarchy selective refinement techniques. We consider the more advanced refinement techniques and apply them to a number of simple test functions chosen to demonstrate the various advantages and disadvantages of each method. While there is no refinement scheme that is optimal for all functions, the fully adaptive family-direction-selective technique is usually more stable and requires fewer samples.

  18. Evolution of the structure of tail feathers: implications for the theory of sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Aparicio, José Miguel; Bonal, Raúl; Cordero, Pedro J

    2003-02-01

    Bird tails are extraordinarily variable in length and functionality. In some species, males have evolved exaggeratedly long tails as a result of sexual selection. Changes in tail length should be associated with changes in feather structure. The study of the evolution of feather structure in bird tails could give insight to understand the causes and means of evolution in relation to processes of sexual selection. In theory, three possible means of tail length evolution in relation to structural components might be expected: (1) a positive relationship between the increase in length and size of structural components maintaining the mechanical properties of the feather; (2) no relationship; that is, enlarging feather length without changes in the structural components; and (3) a negative relationship; that is, enlarging feather length by reducing structural components. These hypotheses were tested using phylogenetic analyses to examine changes in both degree of exaggeration in tail length and structural characteristics of tail feathers (rachis width and density of barbs) in 36 species, including those dimorphic and nondimorphic in tail length. The degree of sexual dimorphism in tail length was negatively correlated with both rachis width and density of barbs in males but not in females. Reinforcing this result, we found that dimorphism in tail length was negatively associated with dimorphism in tail feather structure (rachis width and density of barbs). These results support the third hypothesis, in which the evolution of long feathers occurs at the expense of making them simpler and therefore less costly to produce. However, we do not know the effects of enfeeblement on the costs of bearing. If the total costs increased, the enfeeblement of feathers could be explained as a reinforcement of the honesty of the signal. Alternatively, if total costs were reduced, the strategy could be explained by cheating processes. The study of female preferences for fragile tail

  19. Blood donor selection in European Union directives: room for improvement

    PubMed Central

    de Kort, Wim; Mayr, Wolfgang; Jungbauer, Christof; Vuk, Tomislav; Kullaste, Riin; Seifried, Erhard; Grazzini, Giuliano; de Wit, Jeroen; Folléa, Gilles

    2016-01-01

    Background Transfusion-transmissible infections have made both blood bankers and health authorities overly cautious. The general public expects and hence reinforces this policy. To obtain a high level of blood product safety, blood and plasma donors have to meet increasingly stringent eligibility criteria; however, it is not known whether this policy translates into improved outcomes for patients. There is a risk that the management of donors does not match the ambition of greater safety for patients. European directives related to the collection process and donor selection will probably be reconsidered in the next few years. Material and methods The development of European directives on donor selection and their basis in the literature were reviewed with an emphasis on the background and considerations for eligibility criteria to be included in the directives. Results The precautionary principle appears to be the predominant reason behind the set of eligibility criteria. However, the formal eligibility criteria, put into force in 2004, do not balance with the developments of the past decade in laboratory tests and measures that have substantially reduced actual infection risks. In no cases were the effects of eligibility criteria on the donor pool and donor well-being quantified. Regional differences in the epidemiology of transfusion-transmissible infections were not taken into consideration either. Discussion First, the Authors promote the collection of epidemiological data on the incidence and prevalence of conditions in the general population and in blood and plasma donors which could pose a risk for transfused patients, in order to use these data as a basis for decision-making in donor-selection policies. Second, the Authors suggest including allowance for differential deferral criteria throughout Europe, based on factual risk levels. There should be an accepted balance between donor and patient welfare, and also between risk to transfusion safety and risk of

  20. A model of sexual selection and female use of refuge in a coercive mating system

    PubMed Central

    Bokides, Dessa; Lou, Yuan; Hamilton, Ian M.

    2012-01-01

    In many non-monogamous systems, males invest less in progeny than do females. This leaves males with higher potential rates of reproduction, and a likelihood of sexual conflict, including, in some systems, coercive matings. If coercive matings are costly, the best female strategy may be to avoid male interaction. We present a model that demonstrates female movement in response to male harassment as a mechanism to lower the costs associated with male coercion, and the effect that female movement has on selection in males for male harassment. We found that, when females can move from a habitat patch to a refuge to which males do not have access, there may be a selection for either high, or low harassment male phenotype, or both, depending on the relationship between the harassment level of male types in the population and a threshold level of male harassment. This threshold harassment level depends on the relative number of males and females in the population, and the relative resource values of the habitat; the threshold increases as the sex ratio favours females, and decreases with the value of the refuge patch or total population. Our model predicts that selection will favour the harassment level that lies closest to this threshold level of harassment, and differing harassment levels will coexist within the population only if they lie on the opposite sides of the threshold harassment. Our model is consistent with empirical results suggesting that an intermediate harassment level provides maximum reproductive fitness to males when females are mobile. PMID:22553090

  1. Training directionally selective motion pathways can significantly improve reading efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawton, Teri

    2004-06-01

    This study examined whether perceptual learning at early levels of visual processing would facilitate learning at higher levels of processing. This was examined by determining whether training the motion pathways by practicing leftright movement discrimination, as found previously, would improve the reading skills of inefficient readers significantly more than another computer game, a word discrimination game, or the reading program offered by the school. This controlled validation study found that practicing left-right movement discrimination 5-10 minutes twice a week (rapidly) for 15 weeks doubled reading fluency, and significantly improved all reading skills by more than one grade level, whereas inefficient readers in the control groups barely improved on these reading skills. In contrast to previous studies of perceptual learning, these experiments show that perceptual learning of direction discrimination significantly improved reading skills determined at higher levels of cognitive processing, thereby being generalized to a new task. The deficits in reading performance and attentional focus experienced by the person who struggles when reading are suggested to result from an information overload, resulting from timing deficits in the direction-selectivity network proposed by Russell De Valois et al. (2000), that following practice on direction discrimination goes away. This study found that practicing direction discrimination rapidly transitions the inefficient 7-year-old reader to an efficient reader.

  2. Female reciprocal calling in the Iberian midwife toad ( Alytes cisternasii) varies with male call rate and dominant frequency: implications for sexual selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosch, Jaime

    2001-10-01

    Male midwife toads ( Alytes cisternasii) responded differently depending on the call frequency and call rate of other males. I tested female Iberian midwife toads with the same set of stimuli used earlier with males. Females responded faster to high call rates, and female vocal activity was greater in response to low-frequency male calls. Thus, in both sexes, the vocal response differs in the same direction according to signal frequency variation, but the magnitude of the response is greater in males than in females. In the light of these results, I discuss the implications for sexual selection of this reciprocal calling.

  3. The role of multilevel selection in the evolution of sexual conflict in the water strider aquarius remigis.

    PubMed

    Eldakar, Omar Tonsi; Wilson, David Sloan; Dlugos, Michael J; Pepper, John W

    2010-11-01

    In evolution, exploitative strategies often create a paradox in which the most successful individual strategy "within" the group is also the most detrimental strategy "for" the group, potentially resulting in extinction. With regard to sexual conflict, the overexploitation of females by harmful males can yield similar consequences. Despite these evolutionary implications, little research has addressed why sexual conflict does not ultimately drive populations to extinction. One possibility is that groups experiencing less sexual conflict are more productive than groups with greater conflict. However, most studies of sexual conflict are conducted in a single isolated group, disregarding the potential for selection among groups. We observed Aquarius remigis water striders in a naturalistic multigroup pool in which individuals could freely disperse among groups. The free movement of individuals generated variation in aggression and sex-ratio among groups, thereby increasing the importance of between-group selection compared to within-group selection. Females dispersed away from local aggression, creating more favorable mating environments for less-aggressive males. Furthermore, the use of contextual analysis revealed that individual male aggression positively predicted fitness whereas aggression at the group level negatively predicted fitness, empirically demonstrating the conflict between levels of selection acting on mating aggression.

  4. Intra-sexual selection in cooperative mammals and birds: why are females not bigger and better armed?

    PubMed

    Young, Andrew J; Bennett, Nigel C

    2013-01-01

    In cooperatively breeding mammals and birds, intra-sexual reproductive competition among females may often render variance in reproductive success higher among females than males, leading to the prediction that intra-sexual selection in such species may have yielded the differential exaggeration of competitive traits among females. However, evidence to date suggests that female-biased reproductive variance in such species is rarely accompanied by female-biased sexual dimorphisms. We illustrate the problem with data from wild Damaraland mole-rat, Fukomys damarensis, societies: the variance in lifetime reproductive success among females appears to be higher than that among males, yet males grow faster, are much heavier as adults and sport larger skulls and incisors (the weapons used for fighting) for their body lengths than females, suggesting that intra-sexual selection has nevertheless acted more strongly on the competitive traits of males. We then consider potentially general mechanisms that could explain these disparities by tempering the relative intensity of selection for competitive trait exaggeration among females in cooperative breeders. Key among these may be interactions with kin selection that could nevertheless render the variance in inclusive fitness lower among females than males, and fundamental aspects of the reproductive biology of females that may leave reproductive conflict among females more readily resolved without overt physical contests.

  5. Intra-sexual selection in cooperative mammals and birds: why are females not bigger and better armed?

    PubMed

    Young, Andrew J; Bennett, Nigel C

    2013-01-01

    In cooperatively breeding mammals and birds, intra-sexual reproductive competition among females may often render variance in reproductive success higher among females than males, leading to the prediction that intra-sexual selection in such species may have yielded the differential exaggeration of competitive traits among females. However, evidence to date suggests that female-biased reproductive variance in such species is rarely accompanied by female-biased sexual dimorphisms. We illustrate the problem with data from wild Damaraland mole-rat, Fukomys damarensis, societies: the variance in lifetime reproductive success among females appears to be higher than that among males, yet males grow faster, are much heavier as adults and sport larger skulls and incisors (the weapons used for fighting) for their body lengths than females, suggesting that intra-sexual selection has nevertheless acted more strongly on the competitive traits of males. We then consider potentially general mechanisms that could explain these disparities by tempering the relative intensity of selection for competitive trait exaggeration among females in cooperative breeders. Key among these may be interactions with kin selection that could nevertheless render the variance in inclusive fitness lower among females than males, and fundamental aspects of the reproductive biology of females that may leave reproductive conflict among females more readily resolved without overt physical contests. PMID:24167305

  6. Binocular rivalry waves in a directionally selective neural field model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carroll, Samuel R.; Bressloff, Paul C.

    2014-10-01

    We extend a neural field model of binocular rivalry waves in the visual cortex to incorporate direction selectivity of moving stimuli. For each eye, we consider a one-dimensional network of neurons that respond maximally to a fixed orientation and speed of a grating stimulus. Recurrent connections within each one-dimensional network are taken to be excitatory and asymmetric, where the asymmetry captures the direction and speed of the moving stimuli. Connections between the two networks are taken to be inhibitory (cross-inhibition). As per previous studies, we incorporate slow adaption as a symmetry breaking mechanism that allows waves to propagate. We derive an analytical expression for traveling wave solutions of the neural field equations, as well as an implicit equation for the wave speed as a function of neurophysiological parameters, and analyze their stability. Most importantly, we show that propagation of traveling waves is faster in the direction of stimulus motion than against it, which is in agreement with previous experimental and computational studies.

  7. Motion words selectively modulate direction discrimination sensitivity for threshold motion

    PubMed Central

    Pavan, Andrea; Skujevskis, Māris; Baggio, Giosuè

    2013-01-01

    Can speech selectively modulate the sensitivity of a sensory system so that, in the presence of a suitable linguistic context, the discrimination of certain perceptual features becomes more or less likely? In this study, participants heard upward or downward motion words followed by a single visual field of random dots moving upwards or downwards. The time interval between the onsets of the auditory and the visual stimuli was varied parametrically. Motion direction could be either discriminable (suprathreshold motion) or non-discriminable (threshold motion). Participants had to judge whether the dots were moving upward or downward. Results show a double dissociation between discrimination sensitivity (d′) and reaction times depending on whether vertical motion was above or at threshold. With suprathreshold motion, responses were faster for congruent directions of words and dots, but sensitivity was equal across conditions. With threshold motion, sensitivity was higher for congruent directions of words and dots, but responses were equally fast across conditions. The observed differences in sensitivity and response times were largest when the dots appeared 450 ms after word onset, that is, consistently with electrophysiology, at the time the up/down semantics of the word had become available. These data suggest that word meanings can alter the balance between signal and noise within the visual system and affect the perception of low-level sensory features. PMID:23596407

  8. Do pre- and post-copulatory sexually selected traits covary in large herbivores?

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In most species, males compete to gain both matings (via pre-copulatory competition) and fertilizati