Takahashi, K H; Blanckenhorn, W U
Sexual size dimorphism (SSD), a difference in body size between sexes, is common in many taxa. In insects, females are larger than males in >70% of all taxa in most orders. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster is one prominent model organism to investigate SSD since its clear and representative female-biased SSD and its growth regulation are well studied. Elucidating the number and nature of genetic elements that can potentially influence SSD would be helpful in understanding the evolutionary potential of SSD. Here, we investigated the SSD pattern caused by artificially introduced genetic variation in D. melanogaster, and examined whether variation in SSD was mediated by the sex-specific modification of developmental time. To map the genomic regions that had effects on sexual wing size and/or developmental time differences (SDtD), we reanalyzed previously published genome-wide deficiency mapping data to evaluate the effects of 376 isogenic deficiencies covering a total of ~67% of the genomic regions of the second and third chromosomes of D. melanogaster. We found genetic variation in SSD and SDtD generated by genomic deficiencies, and a negative genetic correlation between size and development time. We also found SSD and SDtD allometries that are not qualitatively congruent, which however overall at best only partly help in explaining the patterns found. We identified several genomic deficiencies with the tendency to either exaggerate or suppress SSD, in agreement with quantitative genetic null expectations of many loci with small effects. These novel findings contribute to a better understanding of the evolutionary potential of sexual dimorphism. PMID:25899012
Barrett, Spencer C H; Hough, Josh
Among dioecious flowering plants, females and males often differ in a range of morphological, physiological, and life-history traits. This is referred to as sexual dimorphism, and understanding why it occurs is a central question in evolutionary biology. Our review documents a range of sexually dimorphic traits in angiosperm species, discusses their ecological consequences, and details the genetic and evolutionary processes that drive divergence between female and male phenotypes. We consider why sexual dimorphism in plants is generally less well developed than in many animal groups, and also the importance of sexual and natural selection in contributing to differences between the sexes. Many sexually dimorphic characters, including both vegetative and flowering traits, are associated with differences in the costs of reproduction, which are usually greater in females, particularly in longer-lived species. These differences can influence the frequency and distribution of females and males across resource gradients and within heterogeneous environments, causing niche differences and the spatial segregation of the sexes. The interplay between sex-specific adaptation and the breakdown of between-sex genetic correlations allows for the independent evolution of female and male traits, and this is influenced in some species by the presence of sex chromosomes. We conclude by providing suggestions for future work on sexual dimorphism in plants, including investigations of the ecological and genetic basis of intraspecific variation, and genetic mapping and expression studies aimed at understanding the genetic architecture of sexually dimorphic trait variation.
Monnet, Jean-Matthieu; Cherry, Michael I
Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the direction and extent of sexual size dimorphism in anurans (in which males are usually smaller than females) as a result of sexual selection. Here, we present an analysis to test the hypothesis that sexual dimorphism in anurans is largely a function of differences between the sexes in life-history strategies. Morphological and demographic data for anurans were collected from the literature, and the mean size and age in each sex were calculated for 51 populations, across 30 species and eight genera. Comparisons across 14 Rana species, eight Bufo species and across the genera showed a highly significant relationship between size dimorphism, measured using the female-male size ratio, and mean female-male age difference. A comparison of a subset of 17 of these species for which phylogenetic information was available, using the method of independent contrasts, yielded a similar result. These results indicate that most of the variation in size dimorphism in the anura can be explained in terms of differences in the age structure between the sexes in breeding populations. If sexual selection has an effect on size dimorphism in anurans, it is likely to be only a secondary one. PMID:12495496
Fleagle, J G; Kay, R F; Simons, E L
Sexual dimorphism in canine/premolar tooth size and in body size is found among many species of living primates and has been shown to be correlated with social organization. Among extant higher primate species that normally live in the nuclear families consisting of a mated pair with their offspring, adult males and females are similar in body size and in the size of canine and anterior premolar teeth. In contrast, higher primate species living in more 'complex' polygynous groups (either single-male harems or multi-male groups) are characterized by sexual dimorphism in the size of canine/premolar teeth and frequently by body size dimorphism as well. We provide here the first evidence for sexual dimorphism in three species of primates from the Oligocene of Egypt--Aegyptopithecus zeuxis, Propliopithecus chirobates, and Apidium phiomense. This is the earliest record of sexual dimorphism among higher primates and suggests, by analogy with living species, that the earliest known fossil Old World anthropoids lived in polygynous (either single-male harems or multi-male groups) rather than monogamous social groups.
Allen, Cerisse E; Zwaan, Bas J; Brakefield, Paul M
Among the animals, the Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) are second only to beetles in number of described species and are known for their striking intra- and interspecific diversity. Within species, sexual dimorphism is a source of variation in life history (e.g., sexual size dimorphism and protandry), morphology (e.g., wing shape and color pattern), and behavior (e.g., chemical and visual signaling). Sexual selection and mating systems have been considered the primary forces driving the evolution of sexual dimorphism in the Lepidoptera, and alternative hypotheses have been neglected. Here, we examine opportunities for sexual selection, natural selection, and the interplay between the two forces in the evolution of sexual differences in the moths and butterflies. Our primary goal is to identify mechanisms that either facilitate or constrain the evolution of sexual dimorphism, rather than to resolve any perceived controversy between hypotheses that may not be mutually exclusive.
Garcia-Falgueras, Alicia; Pinos, Helena; Fernández, Rosa; Collado, Paloma; Pasaro, Eduardo; Segovia, Santiago; Guillamon, Antonio
Laboratory rat strains descend from Wistar rats as a consequence of artificial selection. Previously we reported that the medial posterior division of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTMP) was sexually dimorphic in Wistar and Long-Evans strains while the medial anterior division (BSTMA) and the locus coeruleus (LC) only showed sex differences in the ancestor Wistar strain. The lateral posterior division (BSTLP) was isomorphic in both strains. The present work studies the number of neurons in the BSTMP, BSTMA, BSTLP and LC of male and female Wistar and Long-Evans rats (F(0)) and their hybrid F(1) and F(2) generations. The BSTMP is sexually dimorphic in the F(0), F(1) and F(2) generations while sex differences in the LC are only seen in F(0) Wistar rats but not in the F(0) Long-Evans or the F(1) and F(2) hybrid generations. Sex differences in the BSTMA are seen in F(0) Wistar but not in F(0) Long-Evans rats and completely disappear in the F(2) generations. The number of neurons in the LC of both males and females decreased in heterozygotic individuals (F(1)) but increased in homozygotic (F(2)). However, the number of neurons in the BSTMP changes significantly over the generations, although the ratio of neurons (female/male) is stable and unaffected in homo- or heterozygosis. Thus, the mechanism that regulates the neuronal female/male ratio would be different from the one that controls the number of neurons. The facts that sex differences in the BSTMP are not affected by homo- or heterozygosis and that they are seen in several mammalian orders suggest the existence of a "fixed" type of brain sex differences in the Mammalia Class.
Robert Sparrow argues that because of women's longer life expectancy philosophers who advocate the genetic modification of human beings to enhance welfare rather than merely supply therapy are committed to favouring the selection of only female embryos, an implication he deems sufficiently implausible to discredit their position. If Sparrow's argument succeeds, then philosophers who advocate biomedical moral enhancement also seem vulnerable to a similar charge because of men's greater propensity for various forms of harmful wrongdoing. This paper argues there are various flaws in Sparrow's argument that render it unsuccessful. The paper also examines whether dimorphism reduction is a more desirable outcome than male elimination, thereby further illustrating the difficulties besetting the distinction between therapy and enhancement.
Rozhnov, V V; Abramov, A V
Analysis of morphometric variation in 26 cranial characters were studied in 85 individuals of marbled polecat Vormela peregusna from Turkmenistan demonstrated a low level of sexual dimorphism in the species. The properties of sexual dimorphism in marbled polecat are discussed in terms of available hypotheses of sexual dimorphism in carnivores.
Reinhard, Sandy; Renner, Sandra; Kupfer, Alexander
We analysed sexual size dimorphism (SSD) for two Mediterranean species of the "true" salamander clade possessing distinct life histories (Salamandra algira and Mertensiella caucasica) and equilibrated the morphometric approach to individual age by using skeletochronology. For species that have a short breeding season and live at high altitudes, such as Mediterranean amphibians, the fecundity advantage hypothesis predicts female-biased SSD to maximise reproductive success. Our results showed no SSD in either species; however, morphometric data indicated a male-biased dimorphism in limb (arm and leg) dimensions in both species when compared to body size. Limb dimorphisms are likely related to the particular mating system, which involves an amplexus during spermatophore transfer. Arm length appeared sexually dimorphic during ontogeny both in viviparous S. algira and oviparous M. caucasica. A review on SSD indicated monomorphy of body size as a common lineage-specific pattern among the "true" salamander clade, but also the common presence of other traits such as sexually dimorphic limb proportions.
Bukowski, Radek; Smith, Gordon C S; Malone, Fergal D; Ball, Robert H; Nyberg, David A; Comstock, Christine H; Hankins, Gary D V; Berkowitz, Richard L; Gross, Susan J; Dugoff, Lorraine; Craigo, Sabrina D; Timor-Tritsch, Ilan E; Carr, Stephen R; Wolfe, Honor M; D'Alton, Mary E
Sexual size dimorphism is thought to contribute to the greater mortality and morbidity of men compared with women. However, the timing of onset of sexual size dimorphism remains uncertain. The authors determined whether human fetuses exhibit sexual size dimorphism in the first trimester of pregnancy. Using a prospective cohort study, conducted in 1999-2002 in the United States, they identified 27,655 women who conceived spontaneously and 1,008 whose conception was assisted by in vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination and for whom a first-trimester measurement of fetal crown-rump length was available. First-trimester size was expressed as the difference between the observed and expected size of the fetus, expressed as equivalence to days of gestational age. The authors evaluated the association between fetal sex, first-trimester size, and birth weight. Eight to 12 weeks after conception, males were larger than females (mean difference: assisted conception = 0.4 days, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.1, 0.7, p = 0.008; spontaneous conception = 0.3 days, 95% CI: 0.2, 0.4, p < 0.00001). The size discrepancy remained significant at birth (mean birth weight difference: assisted conception = 90 g, 95% CI: 22, 159, p = 0.009; spontaneous conception = 120 g, 95% CI: 107, 132, p < 0.00001). These data demonstrate that human fetuses exhibit sexual size dimorphism in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Perrett, D I; Lee, K J; Penton-Voak, I; Rowland, D; Yoshikawa, S; Burt, D M; Henzi, S P; Castles, D L; Akamatsu, S
Testosterone-dependent secondary sexual characteristics in males may signal immunological competence and are sexually selected for in several species. In humans, oestrogen-dependent characteristics of the female body correlate with health and reproductive fitness and are found attractive. Enhancing the sexual dimorphism of human faces should raise attractiveness by enhancing sex-hormone-related cues to youth and fertility in females, and to dominance and immunocompetence in males. Here we report the results of asking subjects to choose the most attractive faces from continua that enhanced or diminished differences between the average shape of female and male faces. As predicted, subjects preferred feminized to average shapes of a female face. This preference applied across UK and Japanese populations but was stronger for within-population judgements, which indicates that attractiveness cues are learned. Subjects preferred feminized to average or masculinized shapes of a male face. Enhancing masculine facial characteristics increased both perceived dominance and negative attributions (for example, coldness or dishonesty) relevant to relationships and paternal investment. These results indicate a selection pressure that limits sexual dimorphism and encourages neoteny in humans.
Duman-Scheel, Molly; Syed, Zainulabeuddin
Sexual dimorphism, a poorly understood but crucial aspect of vector mosquito biology, encompasses sex-specific physical, physiological, and behavioral traits related to mosquito reproduction. The study of mosquito sexual dimorphism has largely focused on analysis of the differences between adult female and male mosquitoes, particularly with respect to sex-specific behaviors related to disease transmission. However, sexually dimorphic behaviors are the products of differential gene expression that initiates during development and therefore must also be studied during development. Recent technical advancements are facilitating functional genetic studies in the dengue vector Aedes aegypti, an emerging model for mosquito development. These methodologies, many of which could be extended to other non-model insect species, are facilitating analysis of the development of sexual dimorphism in neural tissues, particularly the olfactory system. These studies are providing insight into the neurodevelopmental genetic basis for sexual dimorphism in vector mosquitoes. PMID:26949699
Cullen, Thomas M; Fraser, Danielle; Rybczynski, Natalia; Schröder-Adams, Claudia
Sexual selection is one of the earliest areas of interest in evolutionary biology. And yet, the evolutionary history of sexually dimorphic traits remains poorly characterized for most vertebrate lineages. Here, we report on evidence for the early evolution of dimorphism within a model mammal group, the pinnipeds. Pinnipeds show a range of sexual dimorphism and mating systems that span the extremes of modern mammals, from monomorphic taxa with isolated and dispersed mating to extreme size dimorphism with highly ordered polygynous harem systems. In addition, the degree of dimorphism in pinnipeds is closely tied to mating system, with strongly dimorphic taxa always exhibiting a polygynous system, and more monomorphic taxa possessing weakly polygynous systems. We perform a comparative morphological description, and provide evidence of extreme sexual dimorphism (similar to sea lions), in the Miocene-aged basal pinniped taxon Enaliarctos emlongi. Using a geometric morphometric approach and combining both modern and fossil taxa we show a close correlation between mating system and sex-related cranial dimorphism, and also reconstruct the ancestral mating system of extant pinnipeds as highly polygynous. The results suggest that sexual dimorphism and extreme polygyny in pinnipeds arose by 27 Ma, in association with changing climatic conditions.
Haqq, C M; Donahoe, P K
Sexual dimorphism in humans has been the subject of wonder for centuries. In 355 BC, Aristotle postulated that sexual dimorphism arose from differences in the heat of semen at the time of copulation. In his scheme, hot semen generated males, whereas cold semen made females (Jacquart, D., and C. Thomasset. Sexuality and Medicine in the Middle Ages, 1988). In medieval times, there was great controversy about the existence of a female pope, who may have in fact had an intersex phenotype (New, M. I., and E. S. Kitzinger. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 76: 3-13, 1993.). Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in mechanisms controlling sexual differentiation in mammals. Sex differentiation relies on establishment of chromosomal sex at fertilization, followed by the differentiation of gonads, and ultimately the establishment of phenotypic sex in its final form at puberty. Each event in sex determination depends on the preceding event, and normally, chromosomal, gonadal, and somatic sex all agree. There are, however, instances where chromosomal, gonadal, or somatic sex do not agree, and sexual differentiation is ambiguous, with male and female characteristics combined in a single individual. In humans, well-characterized patients are 46, XY women who have the syndrome of pure gonadal dysgenesis, and a subset of true hermaphrodites are phenotypic men with a 46, XX karyotype. Analysis of such individuals has permitted identification of some of the molecules involved in sex determination, including SRY (sex-determining region Y gene), which is a Y chromosomal gene fulfilling the genetic and conceptual requirements of a testis-determining factor. The purpose of this review is to summarize the molecular basis for syndromes of sexual ambiguity seen in human patients and to identify areas where further research is needed. Understanding how sex-specific gene activity is orchestrated may provide insight into the molecular basis of other cell fate decisions during development
Size sexual dimorphism is one of the major components of morphological variation and has been associated with socio-ecology and behavioral variables such as mating patterns. Although several studies have addressed the magnitude and pattern of sexual dimorphism in Australopithecus afarensis, one of the earliest hominids, consensus has yet to be reached. This paper uses assigned re-sampling method, a data re-sampling method to estimate the magnitude of sexual dimorphism without relying on individual sex assessments, to examine the fossil hominid sample from Hadar. Two questions are asked: first, whether sexual dimorphism in a selected sample of skeletal elements of A. afarensis is the same as that in living humans, chimpanzees, or gorillas; and second, whether different skeletal elements reflect variation in sexual dimorphism in the same way. All possible metric variables were used as data in applying the method, including seven variables from three elements (mandibular canine, humerus, femur). Analyses show that A. afarensis is similar in size sexual dimorphism to gorillas in femoral variables, to humans in humeral variables, and to chimpanzees in canine variables. The results of this study are compatible with the hypothesis that the pattern of sexual dimorphism in A. afarensis is different from any that are observed in living humans or apes.
McGrath, P E; Hilton, E J
The present study of Lepisosteus osseus dimorphism expands upon previous work by examining a broader array of morphometric characters while removing the bias associated with overall body length. A stepwise discriminant function analyses (swDFA) found that five characters best distinguish the sexes: head width, mid-snout width, anal-fin height, anal-fin width and prepectoral-fin length. Discriminant function analyses (DFA) with the five characters yields misclassification rates of 23·5% for females and 9·7% for males. Subsequent DFA using these five characters plus standard length yields misclassification rates of only 8·8% for females and 6·2% for males. The data presented here reveal differences in head and anal-fin shape between male and female L. osseus that may have evolved to enhance predatory abilities or competitive abilities during reproduction. This study is the first to find that L. osseus exhibits sexual dimorphism in characters without the biases of overall size.
Jablonski, N G; Ruliang, P
Sexual dimorphism in the dentition and skeleton of the four extant species of snub-nosed langurs, Rhinopithecus (R.) bieti, R. (R.) brelichi, R. (R.) roxellana and R. (Presbytiscus) avunculus, was studied. The species shared a similar general pattern of sexual dimorphism, but were found to differ in respects that appear to reflect the influence of disparate socioecological and environmental factors. All the species showed marked canine dimorphism but the very high degree of canine dimorphism in R. bieti appeared to be due to the intensity of intermale competition for mates during a temporally restricted breeding season, and possibly also to the intensity of competition between males for other resources during other times of the year. Sexual dimorphism in the postcranial skeleton of Rhinopithecus species was also most pronounced in R. bieti and may be related to the relatively higher frequency of terrestrial locomotion in males of the species.
Temeles, E J; Pan, I L; Brennan, J L; Horwitt, J N
Unambiguous examples of ecological causes of animal sexual dimorphism are rare. Here we present evidence for ecological causation of sexual dimorphism in the bill morphology of a hummingbird, the purple-throated carib. This hummingbird is the sole pollinator of two Heliconia species whose flowers correspond to the bills of either males or females. Each sex feeds most quickly at the flower species approximating its bill dimensions, which supports the hypothesis that floral specialization has driven the evolution of bill dimorphism. Further evidence for ecological causation of sexual dimorphism was provided by a geographic replacement of one Heliconia species by the other and the subsequent development of a floral dimorphism, with one floral morph matching the bills of males and the other of females.
Plavcan, J M; van Schaik, C P
Numerous studies use estimates of sexual dimorphism in canine tooth size and body weight to support speculation about the behavior of australopithecines. However, the range of mating systems inferred for australopithecines encompasses virtually the entire spectrum of mating systems seen among extant anthropoid primates, from monogamy to polygyny characterized by intense male male competition. This variety of opinion can be attributed partly to the unusual combination of high body size dimorphism and reduced canine dimorphism in australopithecines. Here we provide a joint comparison of recent models for the behavioral correlates of both canine dimorphism and body size dimorphism, and apply this to published estimates of dimorphism in body size and canine tooth size in hominids. Among extant species, body weight dimorphism and canine dimorphism are strongly correlated with estimates of intrasexual competition. Canine crown height dimorphism provides the best discrimination between taxa that show high degrees of male-male competition, and those that do not. Relative male maxillary canine tooth size offers additional evidence about male-male competition. On the other hand, canine occlusal dimorphism offers little discrimination among species of different male-male competition levels. Estimates of canine dimorphism, relative canine size, and body weight dimorphism in australopithecines provide little definitive information about male-male competition or mating systems. Dimorphism of Australopithecus africanus and Australopithecus robustus can be reconciled with a mating system characterized by low-intensity male-male competition. The pattern of dimorphism and relative canine size in Australopithecus afarensis and A. robustus provides contradictory evidence about mating systems and male-male competition. We review a number of hypotheses that may explain the unusual pattern of dimorphism of A. afarensis and Australopithecus boisei, but non-satisfactorily resolves the
Deng, Hansong; Jasper, Heinrich
Sexual dimorphisms are established by sex determination pathways and are maintained during regeneration of adult tissues. Two recent studies in Drosophila elucidate the contribution of cell-autonomous and endocrine mechanisms to the establishment and maintenance of growth dimorphism in larvae and the adult intestine.
Punzalan, David; Rowe, Locke
Sexual dimorphism is a consequence of both sex-specific selection and potential constraints imposed by a shared genetic architecture underlying sexually homologous traits. However, genetic architecture is expected to evolve to mitigate these constraints, allowing the sexes to approach their respective optimal mean phenotype. In addition, sex-specific selection is expected to generate sexual dimorphism of trait covariance structure (e.g., the phenotypic covariance matrix, P), but previous empirical work has not fully addressed this prediction. We compared patterns of phenotypic divergence, for three traits in seven taxa in the insect genus Phymata (Reduviidae), to ask whether sexual dimorphism in P is common and whether its magnitude relates to the extent of sexual dimorphism in trait means. We found that sexual dimorphism in both mean and covariance structure was pervasive but also that the multivariate distance between sex-specific means was correlated with sex differences in the leading eigenvector of P, while accounting for uncertainty in phylogenetic relationships. Collectively, our findings suggest that sexual dimorphism in covariance structure may be a common but underappreciated feature of dioecious populations.
Kay, R F; Plavcan, J M; Glander, K E; Wright, P C
Social and ecological factors are important in shaping sexual dimorphism in Anthropoidea, but there is also a tendency for body-size dimorphism and canine dimorphism to increase with increased body size (Rensch's rule) (Rensch: Evolution Above the Species Level. London: Methuen, 1959.) Most ecologist interpret Rensch's rule to be a consequence of social and ecological selective factors that covary with body size, but recent claims have been advanced that dimorphism is principally a consequence of selection for increased body size alone. Here we assess the effects of body size, body-size dimorphism, and social structure on canine dimorphism among platyrrhine monkeys. Platyrrhine species examined are classified into four behavioral groups reflecting the intensity of intermale competition for access to females or to limiting resources. As canine dimorphism increases, so does the level of intermale competition. Those species with monogamous and polyandrous social structures have the lowest canine dimorphism, while those with dominance rank hierarchies of males have the most canine dimorphism. Species with fission-fusion social structures and transitory intermale breeding-season competition fall between these extremes. Among platyrrhines there is a significant positive correlation between body size and canine dimorphism However, within levels of competition, no significant correlation was found between the two. Also, with increased body size, body-size dimorphism tends to increase, and this correlation holds in some cases within competition levels. In an analysis of covariance, once the level of intermale competition is controlled for, neither molar size nor molar-size dimorphism accounts for a significant part of the variance in canine dimorphism. A similar analysis using body weight as a measure of size and dimorphism yields a less clear-cut picture: body weight contributes significantly to the model when the effects of the other factors are controlled. Finally, in a
Gamba, Thiago de Oliveira; Alves, Marcelo Corrêa; Haiter-Neto, Francisco
The aim of this study was to evaluate sexual dimorphism using anthropometric measurements on mandibular images obtained by cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). The sample consisted of 160 CT scans collected from a Brazilian population (74 males, 86 females) aged 18-60 years. The CBCT images were analyzed by five reviewers. Six measurements (ramus length, gonion-gnathion length, minimum ramus breadth, gonial angle, bicondylar breadth, and bigonial breadth) were collected for the sexual prediction analysis. For the statistical analysis, intraclass correlation was used to evaluate intra- and inter-reviewers, analysis of variance was used to compare the mean values of these measurements, binary logistic regression equations were created to predict sex. Using these four variables, the rate of correct sex classification was 95.1%. After, the discriminant function was used to validate the formula built. Accuracy of 93.33% and 94.74% was found for estimating male and females, respectively. Thus, the formula developed in this study can be used for sex estimation in forensic settings.
Székely, Tamás; Freckleton, Robert P; Reynolds, John D
Sexual size dimorphism shows a remarkably widespread relationship to body size in the animal kingdom: within lineages, it decreases with size when females are the larger sex, but it increases with size when males are the larger sex. Here we demonstrate that this pattern, termed Rensch's rule, exists in shorebirds and allies (Charadriides), and it is determined by two components of sexual selection: the intensity of sexual selection acting on males and the agility of the males' display. These effects are interactive so that the effect of sexual selection on size dimorphism depends on male agility. As a control, we also examine dimorphism in bill length, which is a functionally selected trait. As such, dimorphism in bill length neither exhibits Rensch's rule nor is associated with sexual selection and display. Our results show that variation among taxa in the direction and magnitude of sexual size dimorphism, as manifested as Rensch's rule, can be explained by the interaction between the form and strength of sexual selection acting on each sex in relation to body size.
Senst, Laura; Baimoukhametova, Dinara; Sterley, Toni-Lee; Bains, Jaideep Singh
Many species use social networks to buffer the effects of stress. The mere absence of a social network, however, may also be stressful. We examined neuroendocrine, PVN CRH neurons and report that social isolation alters the intrinsic properties of these cells in sexually dimorphic fashion. Specifically, isolating preadolescent female mice from littermates for <24 hr increased first spike latency (FSL) and decreased excitability of CRH neurons. These changes were not evident in age-matched males. By contrast, subjecting either males (isolated or grouped) or group housed females to acute physical stress (swim), increased FSL. The increase in FSL following either social isolation or acute physical stress was blocked by the glucocorticoid synthesis inhibitor, metyrapone and mimicked by exogenous corticosterone. The increase in FSL results in a decrease in the excitability of CRH neurons. Our observations demonstrate that social isolation, but not acute physical stress has sex-specific effects on PVN CRH neurons. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18726.001 PMID:27725087
Pulit, Sara L; Karaderi, Tugce; Lindgren, Cecilia M
Obesity is a chronic condition associated with increased morbidity and mortality and is a risk factor for a number of other diseases including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Obesity confers an enormous, costly burden on both individuals and public health more broadly. Body fat distribution is a heritable trait and a well-established predictor of adverse metabolic outcomes. Body fat distribution is distinct from overall obesity in measurement, but studies of body fat distribution can yield insights into the risk factors for and causes of overall obesity. Sexual dimorphism in body fat distribution is present throughout life. Though sexual dimorphism is subtle in early stages of life, it is attenuated in puberty and during menopause. This phenomenon could be, at least in part, due to the influence of sex hormones on the trait. Findings from recent large genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for various measures of body fat distribution (including waist-to-hip ratio, hip or waist circumference, trunk fat percentage and the ratio of android and gynoid fat percentage) emphasize the strong sexual dimorphism in the genetic regulation of fat distribution traits. Importantly, sexual dimorphism is not observed for overall obesity (as assessed by body mass index or total fat percentage). Notably, the genetic loci associated with body fat distribution, which show sexual dimorphism, are located near genes that are expressed in adipose tissues and/or adipose cells. Considering the epidemiological and genetic evidence, sexual dimorphism is a prominent feature of body fat distribution. Research that specifically focuses on sexual dimorphism in fat distribution can provide novel insights into human physiology and into the development of obesity and its comorbidities, as well as yield biological clues that will aid in the improvement of disease prevention and treatment.
Pulit, Sara L.; Karaderi, Tugce
Obesity is a chronic condition associated with increased morbidity and mortality and is a risk factor for a number of other diseases including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Obesity confers an enormous, costly burden on both individuals and public health more broadly. Body fat distribution is a heritable trait and a well-established predictor of adverse metabolic outcomes. Body fat distribution is distinct from overall obesity in measurement, but studies of body fat distribution can yield insights into the risk factors for and causes of overall obesity. Sexual dimorphism in body fat distribution is present throughout life. Though sexual dimorphism is subtle in early stages of life, it is attenuated in puberty and during menopause. This phenomenon could be, at least in part, due to the influence of sex hormones on the trait. Findings from recent large genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for various measures of body fat distribution (including waist-to-hip ratio, hip or waist circumference, trunk fat percentage and the ratio of android and gynoid fat percentage) emphasize the strong sexual dimorphism in the genetic regulation of fat distribution traits. Importantly, sexual dimorphism is not observed for overall obesity (as assessed by body mass index or total fat percentage). Notably, the genetic loci associated with body fat distribution, which show sexual dimorphism, are located near genes that are expressed in adipose tissues and/or adipose cells. Considering the epidemiological and genetic evidence, sexual dimorphism is a prominent feature of body fat distribution. Research that specifically focuses on sexual dimorphism in fat distribution can provide novel insights into human physiology and into the development of obesity and its comorbidities, as well as yield biological clues that will aid in the improvement of disease prevention and treatment. PMID:28073971
Fischer, Barbara; Mitteroecker, Philipp
Sexual dimorphism in the human pelvis has evolved in response to several jointly acting selection regimes that result from the pelvis' multiple roles in locomotion and childbirth, among others. Because human males are, on average, taller than females, some aspects of sexual dimorphism in pelvis shape might result from allometry, the association between stature and pelvis shape across individuals. In this study, they aimed to disentangle and quantify the two components contributing to pelvic sex differences: the allometric component, which emerges as a consequence of dimorphism in stature, and the remaining non-allometric sexual dimorphism component. A geometric morphometric analysis of a dense set of 3D landmarks, measured on 99 female and male adult individuals was conducted. While pelvis size was similar in both sexes, the average differences in pelvis shape reflected the well-documented pattern of sexual dimorphism. There was almost no overlap between females and males in shape space. Their analysis showed that pelvis size and shape were similarly associated with stature in both sexes. It was found that dimorphism in the height-to-width ratio of the pelvis and in the orientation of the iliac blades was largely allometric, whereas dimorphism in the subpubic angle and the relative size and distance of the acetabula was largely non-allometric. It was concluded that, in contrast to the overall pelvic proportions, sexual dimorphism in the birth-relevant pelvic dimensions was mainly of non-allometric origin and was presumably mediated via steroid hormone secretion during puberty. Anat Rec, 300:698-705, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Serrano-Meneses, M A; Córdoba-Aguilar, A; Azpilicueta-Amorín, M; González-Soriano, E; Székely, T
Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) exhibit a range of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) that includes species with male-biased (males > females) or female-biased SSD (males < females) and species exhibiting nonterritorial or territorial mating strategies. Here, we use phylogenetic comparative analyses to investigate the influence of sexual selection on SSD in both suborders: dragonflies (Anisoptera) and damselflies (Zygoptera). First, we show that damselflies have male-biased SSD, and exhibit an allometric relationship between body size and SSD, that is consistent with Rensch's rule. Second, SSD of dragonflies is not different from unit, and this suborder does not exhibit Rensch's rule. Third, we test the influence of sexual selection on SSD using proxy variables of territorial mating strategy and male agility. Using generalized least squares to account for phylogenetic relationships between species, we show that male-biased SSD increases with territoriality in damselflies, but not in dragonflies. Finally, we show that nonagile territorial odonates exhibit male-biased SSD, whereas male agility is not related to SSD in nonterritorial odonates. These results suggest that sexual selection acting on male sizes influences SSD in Odonata. Taken together, our results, along with avian studies (bustards and shorebirds), suggest that male agility influences SSD, although this influence is modulated by territorial mating strategy and thus the likely advantage of being large. Other evolutionary processes, such as fecundity selection and viability selection, however, need further investigation.
Schaefer, Katrin; Mitteroecker, Philipp; Gunz, Philipp; Bernhard, Markus; Bookstein, Fred L
Craniofacial sexual dimorphism in primates varies in both magnitude and pattern among species. In the past two decades, there has been an increasing emphasis in exploring the correlations of these patterns with taxonomy and the variation in patterns within and among the craniofacial regions. Scrutinising these relationships for hominids, we decompose the craniofacial morphology in five taxa: Homo sapiens, Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes, Gorilla gorilla and Pongo pygmaeus. 3D coordinates of 35 traditional landmarks and 61 semilandmarks, covering five ridge curves, are measured for each of 268 adult and sub-adult specimens and analysed using geometric morphometric methods. A multivariate analysis in size-shape space shows that ontogenetic scaling contributes to the development of sexual dimorphism in all five taxa, but to a varying extent. In absolute as well as in relative terms P. pygmaeus shows the greatest allometric component, followed by G. gorilla. Homo is intermediate, while in Pan the non-allometric constituent part contributes a large fraction to the actual sexual dimorphism, most markedly in the pygmy chimpanzee. An eigendecomposition of the five vectors of sexual dimorphism reveals two dimensions independent of allometry. One separates orang-utan sexual dimorphism from the African apes and Homo, and the other differentiates between the great apes and Homo with Pan mediating. We discuss these patterns and speculate on their use as characters for taxonomic analysis in the fossil record.
The Dilemma of Choosing a Reference Character for Measuring Sexual Size Dimorphism, Sexual Body Component Dimorphism, and Character Scaling: Cryptic Dimorphism and Allometry in the Scorpion Hadrurus arizonensis
Fox, Gerad A.; Cooper, Allen M.; Hayes, William K.
Sexual differences in morphology, ranging from subtle to extravagant, occur commonly in many animal species. These differences can encompass overall body size (sexual size dimorphism, SSD) or the size and/or shape of specific body parts (sexual body component dimorphism, SBCD). Interacting forces of natural and sexual selection shape much of the expression of dimorphism we see, though non-adaptive processes may be involved. Differential scaling of individual features can result when selection favors either exaggerated (positive allometry) or reduced (negative allometry) size during growth. Studies of sexual dimorphism and character scaling rely on multivariate models that ideally use an unbiased reference character as an overall measure of body size. We explored several candidate reference characters in a cryptically dimorphic taxon, Hadrurus arizonensis. In this scorpion, essentially every body component among the 16 we examined could be interpreted as dimorphic, but identification of SSD and SBCD depended on which character was used as the reference (prosoma length, prosoma area, total length, principal component 1, or metasoma segment 1 width). Of these characters, discriminant function analysis suggested that metasoma segment 1 width was the most appropriate. The pattern of dimorphism in H. arizonensis mirrored that seen in other more obviously dimorphic scorpions, with static allometry trending towards isometry in most characters. Our findings are consistent with the conclusions of others that fecundity selection likely favors a larger prosoma in female scorpions, whereas sexual selection may favor other body parts being larger in males, especially the metasoma, pectines, and possibly the chela. For this scorpion and probably most other organisms, the choice of reference character profoundly affects interpretations of SSD, SBCD, and allometry. Thus, researchers need to broaden their consideration of an appropriate reference and exercise caution in interpreting
The dilemma of choosing a reference character for measuring sexual size dimorphism, sexual body component dimorphism, and character scaling: cryptic dimorphism and allometry in the scorpion Hadrurus arizonensis.
Fox, Gerad A; Cooper, Allen M; Hayes, William K
Sexual differences in morphology, ranging from subtle to extravagant, occur commonly in many animal species. These differences can encompass overall body size (sexual size dimorphism, SSD) or the size and/or shape of specific body parts (sexual body component dimorphism, SBCD). Interacting forces of natural and sexual selection shape much of the expression of dimorphism we see, though non-adaptive processes may be involved. Differential scaling of individual features can result when selection favors either exaggerated (positive allometry) or reduced (negative allometry) size during growth. Studies of sexual dimorphism and character scaling rely on multivariate models that ideally use an unbiased reference character as an overall measure of body size. We explored several candidate reference characters in a cryptically dimorphic taxon, Hadrurus arizonensis. In this scorpion, essentially every body component among the 16 we examined could be interpreted as dimorphic, but identification of SSD and SBCD depended on which character was used as the reference (prosoma length, prosoma area, total length, principal component 1, or metasoma segment 1 width). Of these characters, discriminant function analysis suggested that metasoma segment 1 width was the most appropriate. The pattern of dimorphism in H. arizonensis mirrored that seen in other more obviously dimorphic scorpions, with static allometry trending towards isometry in most characters. Our findings are consistent with the conclusions of others that fecundity selection likely favors a larger prosoma in female scorpions, whereas sexual selection may favor other body parts being larger in males, especially the metasoma, pectines, and possibly the chela. For this scorpion and probably most other organisms, the choice of reference character profoundly affects interpretations of SSD, SBCD, and allometry. Thus, researchers need to broaden their consideration of an appropriate reference and exercise caution in interpreting
This study tries to determine whether a phylogenetic trend exists in the sexual dimorphism of skeletal robusticity and whether domestication has an effect on it. The problems were studied in the metatarsals of marsupials, insectivores, rodents and primates including Homo, and in various skeletal sections of wild and domesticated rats and dogs. No clear phylogenetic trend could be found and domestication cannot be shown to have an effect on diminishing skeletal robusticity. Sexual dimorphism of skeletal robusticity seems to be highly species-specific and to have a mosaic distribution in a given taxon. Conclusions on phylogenetic trends of sexual dimorphism of skeletal robusticity and the effect of culture on it seem to be premature.
Leutenegger, W; Larson, S
This study examines sexual dimorphism in 24 dimensions of the postcranial skeleton of four platyrrhine species: Callithrix jacchus, Saguinus nigricollis, Saimiri sciureus, and Cebus albifrons. The two callitrichid species show a relatively small amount of variation in the degree of sexual dimorphism among the different dimensions. Variation is considerably higher in the two cebid species as reflected by a mosaic pattern of sexual dimorphisms with males being significantly larger than females in some dimensions, and females significantly larger than males in others. In dimensions of the pectoral girdle and limb bones, males and females in each of the two cebid species are essentially scaled versions of each other, with males being peramorphic compared to females. This pattern is primarily the result of time hypermorphosis, i.e. an extension of the growth period in time in males. Rate hypermorphosis, i.e. an increase in the rate of growth in time in males, appears to play an additional role, however, in S. sciureus. By contrast, in dimensions of the true pelvis, sex differences in shape are dissociated from those in size. They are interpreted as the result of acceleration, i.e. increase in rate of shape change in females, as an adaptation to obstetrical functions. Interspecific analyses indicate positive allometry of mean degree of postcranial dimorphism with respect to body size. This coincides with previous findings by Leutenegger and Cheverud [1982, 1985] on the scaling of sexual dimorphism in body weight and canine size, and thus supports their model which posits selection on body size as the prime mover for the evolution of sexual dimorphism.
Lockwood, C A
Recently discovered crania of Australopithecus africanus from Sterkfontein Member 4 and Makapansgat enlarge the size range of the species and encourage a reappraisal of both the degree and pattern of sexual dimorphism. Resampling methodology (bootstrapping) is used here to establish that A. africanus has a greater craniofacial size range than chimpanzees or modern humans, a range which is best attributed to a moderately high degree of sexual dimorphism. Compared to other fossil hominins, this variation is similar to that of Homo habilis (sensu lato) but less than that of A. boisei. The finding of moderately high dimorphism is corroborated by a CV-based estimate and ratios between those specimens considered to be male and those considered to be female. Inferences about the pattern of craniofacial dimorphism in the A. africanus face currently rely on the relationship of morphology and size. Larger specimens, particularly Stw 505, show prominent superciliary eminences and glabellar regions, but in features related in part to canine size, such as the curvature of the infraorbital surface, large and small specimens of A. africanus are similar. In this respect, the pattern resembles that of modern humans more so than chimpanzees or lowland gorillas. A. africanus may also show novel patterns of sexual dimorphism when compared to extant hominines, such as in the form of the anterior pillar. However, males of the species do not exhibit characteristics of more derived hominins, such as A. robustus.
Krishtalka, L; Stucky, R K; Beard, K C
Recently obtained material of the early Eocene primate Notharctus venticolus, including two partial skulls from a single stratigraphic horizon, provides the geologically earliest evidence of sexual dimorphism in canine size and shape in primates and the only unequivocal evidence for such dimorphism in strepsirhines. By analogy with living platyrrhines, these data suggest that Notharctus venticolus may have lived in polygynous social groups characterized by a relatively high level of intermale competition for mates and other limited resources. The anatomy of the upper incisors and related evidence imply that Notharctus is not as closely related to extant lemuriform primates as has been recently proposed. The early Eocene evidence for canine sexual dimorphism reported here, and its occurrence in a nonanthropoid, indicates that in the order Primates such a condition is either primitive or evolved independently more than once.
Krishtalka, Leonard; Stucky, Richard K.; Beard, K. C.
Recently obtained material of the early Eocene primate Notharctus venticolus, including two partial skulls from a single stratigraphic horizon, provides the geologically earliest evidence of sexual dimorphism in canine size and shape in primates and the only unequivocal evidence for such dimorphism in strepsirhines. By analogy with living platyrrhines, these data suggest that Notharctus venticolus may have lived in polygynous social groups characterized by a relatively high level of intermale competition for mates and other limited resources. The anatomy of the upper incisors and related evidence imply that Notharctus is not as closely related to extant lemuriform primates as has been recently proposed. The early Eocene evidence for canine sexual dimorphism reported here, and its occurrence in a nonanthropoid, indicates that in the order Primates such a condition is either primitive or evolved independently more than once.
Mullen, Dennis M.; Rutledge, Michael L.; Swain, Sarah H.
Describes a scientific investigation of sexual dimorphism with regard to chela size in crayfish in which students utilize the skills, tools, and techniques associated with the formulation and testing of scientific hypotheses. Indicates that students find the investigation effective in aiding their understanding of fundamental aspects of scientific…
Wen, Fangfang; Zuo, Bin; Wu, Yang; Sun, Shan; Liu, Ke
Previous researchers have documented that the color red enhances one's sexual attraction to the opposite sex. The current study further examined the moderating role of sexual dimorphism in red effects. The results indicated that red enhanced men's sexual attraction to women with more feminine facial characteristics but had no effect on ratings of perceived general attractiveness. Red clothing also had a marginally significant effect on men's sexual attractiveness. In addition, regardless of sexual dimorphism cues, male participants rated women with red as warmer and more competent. The underlying mechanisms of the red effect, the limitations of the current study, and suggestions for future directions are discussed.
Plavcan, J Michael
Sexual size dimorphism is generally associated with sexual selection via agonistic male competition in nonhuman primates. These primate models play an important role in understanding the origins and evolution of human behavior. Human size dimorphism is often hypothesized to be associated with high rates of male violence and polygyny. This raises the question of whether human dimorphism and patterns of male violence are inherited from a common ancestor with chimpanzees or are uniquely derived. Here I review patterns of, and causal models for, dimorphism in humans and other primates. While dimorphism in primates is associated with agonistic male mate competition, a variety of factors can affect male and female size, and thereby dimorphism. The causes of human sexual size dimorphism are uncertain, and could involve several non-mutually-exclusive mechanisms, such as mate competition, resource competition, intergroup violence, and female choice. A phylogenetic reconstruction of the evolution of dimorphism, including fossil hominins, indicates that the modern human condition is derived. This suggests that at least some behavioral similarities with Pan associated with dimorphism may have arisen independently, and not directly from a common ancestor.
The goal of this study was to determine whether hepatic biotransformation of testosterone is normally sexually dimorphic in juvenile alligators and whether living in a contaminated environment affects hepatic dimorphism. Lake Woodruff served as our reference site. Moonshine Bay, ...
Tokita, Christopher K.; Oliver, Jeffrey C.; Monteiro, Antónia
Differences between sexes of the same species are widespread and are variable in nature. While it is often assumed that males are more ornamented than females, in the nymphalid butterfly genus Bicyclus, females have, on average, more eyespot wing color patterns than males. Here we extend these studies by surveying eyespot pattern sexual dimorphism across the Nymphalidae family of butterflies. Eyespot presence or absence was scored from a total of 38 wing compartments for two males and two females of each of 450 nymphalid species belonging to 399 different genera. Differences in eyespot number between sexes of each species were tallied for each wing surface (e.g., dorsal and ventral) of forewings and hindwings. In roughly 44% of the species with eyespots, females had more eyespots than males, in 34%, males had more eyespots than females, and, in the remaining 22% of the species, there was monomorphism in eyespot number. Dorsal and forewing surfaces were less patterned, but proportionally more dimorphic, than ventral and hindwing surfaces, respectively. In addition, wing compartments that frequently displayed eyespots were among the least sexually dimorphic. This survey suggests that dimorphism arises predominantly in “hidden” or “private” surfaces of a butterfly's wing, as previously demonstrated for the genus Bicyclus. PMID:24381783
Lenschow, Constanze; Copley, Sean; Gardiner, Jayne M; Talbot, Zoe N; Vitenzon, Ariel; Brecht, Michael
Mammalian external genitals show sexual dimorphism [1, 2] and can change size and shape upon sexual arousal. Genitals feature prominently in the oldest pieces of figural art  and phallic depictions of penises informed psychoanalytic thought about sexuality [4, 5]. Despite this longstanding interest, the neural representations of genitals are still poorly understood . In somatosensory cortex specifically, many studies did not detect any cortical representation of genitals [7-9]. Studies in humans debate whether genitals are represented displaced below the foot of the cortical body map [10-12] or whether they are represented somatotopically [13-15]. We wondered what a high-resolution mapping of genital representations might tell us about the sexual differentiation of the mammalian brain. We identified genital responses in rat somatosensory cortex in a region previously assigned as arm/leg cortex. Genital responses were more common in males than in females. Despite such response dimorphism, we observed a stunning anatomical monomorphism of cortical penis and clitoris input maps revealed by cytochrome-oxidase-staining of cortical layer 4. Genital representations were somatotopic and bilaterally symmetric, and their relative size increased markedly during puberty. Size, shape, and erect posture give the cortical penis representation a phallic appearance pointing to a role in sexually aroused states. Cortical genital neurons showed unusual multi-body-part responses and sexually dimorphic receptive fields. Specifically, genital neurons were co-activated by distant body regions, which are touched during mounting in the respective sex. Genital maps indicate a deep homology of penis and clitoris representations in line with a fundamentally bi-sexual layout  of the vertebrate brain.
Among primates sexual dimorphism in both body weight and canine size increases exponentially with increasing body size. This suggests that a full explanation of the variance in sexual dimorphism can only be attained if, in addition to sexual selection, parental investment, and various ecological factors, the influence of body size is taken into account. Positive allometry in both body weight dimorphism and canine size dimorphism is demonstrated to be associated with polygyny. In monogamous species the two dimorphisms not only remain constant throughout the size range but actually are minimal or lacking at any given body size.
Hopper, William J; Finklea, Kristin M; Winkielman, Piotr; Huber, David E
Faces are complex visual objects, and faces chosen to vary in 1 regard may unintentionally vary in other ways, particularly if the correlation is a property of the population of faces. Here, we present an example of a correlation that arises from differences in the degree of sexual dimorphism. In Experiment 1, paired similarity ratings were collected for a set of 40 real face images chosen to vary in terms of gender and race (Asian vs. White). Multidimensional scaling (MDS) placed these stimuli in a "face space," with different attributes corresponding to different dimensions. Gender was found to vary more for White faces, resulting in a negative or positive correlation between gender and race when only considering male or only considering female faces. This increased sexual dimorphism for White faces may provide an alternative explanation for differences in face processing between White and Asian faces (e.g., the own-race bias, face attractiveness biases, etc.). Studies of face processing that are unconfounded by this difference in the degree of sexual dimorphism require stimuli that are decorrelated in terms of race and gender. Decorrelated faces were created using a morphing technique, spacing the morphs uniformly around a ring in the 2-dimensional (2D) race-gender plane. In Experiment 2, paired similarity ratings confirmed the 2D positions of the morph faces. In Experiment 3, race and gender category judgments varied uniformly for these decorrelated stimuli. Our results and stimuli should prove useful for studying sexual dimorphism and for the study of face processing more generally.
Wyman, Minyoung J; Cutter, Asher D; Rowe, Locke
Males and females share most of the same genes, so selection in one sex will typically produce a correlated response in the other sex. Yet, the sexes have evolved to differ in a multitude of behavioral, morphological, and physiological traits. How did this sexual dimorphism evolve despite the presence of a common underlying genome? We investigated the potential role of gene duplication in the evolution of sexual dimorphism. Because duplication events provide extra genetic material, the sexes each might use this redundancy to facilitate sex-specific gene expression, permitting the evolution of dimorphism. We investigated this hypothesis at the genome-wide level in Drosophila melanogaster, using the presence of sex-biased expression as a proxy for the sex-specific specialization of gene function. We expected that if sexually antagonistic selection is a potent force acting upon individual genes, duplication will result in paralog families whose members differ in sex-biased expression. Gene members of the same duplicate family can have different expression patterns in males versus females. In particular, duplicate pairs containing a male-biased gene are found more frequently than expected, in agreement with previous studies. Furthermore, when the singleton ortholog is unbiased, duplication appears to allow one of the paralog copies to acquire male-biased expression. Conversely, female-biased expression is not common among duplicates; fewer duplicate genes are expressed in the female-soma and ovaries than in the male-soma and testes. Expression divergence exists more in older than in younger duplicates pairs, but expression divergence does not correlate with protein sequence divergence. Finally, genomic proximity may have an effect on whether paralogs differ in sex-biased expression. We conclude that the data are consistent with a role of gene duplication in fostering male-biased, but not female-biased, gene expression, thereby aiding the evolution of sexual dimorphism.
Carvalho, Olga; Gonçalves, Carlos
In this work, we evaluate the lung retinoids content to study the possible difference between male and female mice during prenatal development and to comprehend if the vitamin A metabolism is similar in both genders. The study occurred between developmental days E15 and E19, and the retinol and retinyl palmitate lung contents were determined by HPLC analysis. We established two main groups: the control, consisting of foetuses obtained from pregnant females without any manipulation, and vitamin A, composed of foetuses from pregnant females submitted to vitamin A administration on developmental day E14. Each of these groups was subdivided by gender, establishing the four final groups. In the lung of control group, retinol was undetected in both genders and retinyl palmitate levels exhibited a sexual dimorphism. In the vitamin A group, we detected retinol and retinyl palmitate in both genders, and we observed a more evident sexual dimorphism for both retinoids. Our study also indicates that, from developmental day E15 to E19, there is an increase in the retinoids content in foetal lung and a gender difference in the retinoids metabolism. In conclusion, there is a sexual dimorphism in the lung retinoids content and in its metabolism during mice development. PMID:23365730
Jaffe, C A; Ocampo-Lim, B; Guo, W; Krueger, K; Sugahara, I; DeMott-Friberg, R; Bermann, M; Barkan, A L
Sexually dimorphic growth hormone (GH) secretory pattern is important in the determination of gender-specific patterns of growth and metabolism in rats. Whether GH secretion in humans is also sexually dimorphic and the neuroendocrine mechanisms governing this potential difference are not fully established. We have compared pulsatile GH secretion profiles in young men and women in the baseline state and during a continuous intravenous infusion of recombinant human insulin-like growth factor I (rhIGF-I). During the baseline study, men had large nocturnal GH pulses and relatively small pulses during the rest of the day. In contrast, women had more continuous GH secretion and more frequent GH pulses that were of more uniform size. The infusion of rhIGF-I (10 microg/kg/h) potently suppressed both spontaneous and growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH)-induced GH secretion in men. In women, however, rhIGF-I had less effect on pulsatile GH secretion and did not suppress the GH response to GHRH. These data demonstrate the existence of sexual dimorphism in the regulatory mechanisms involved in GH secretion in humans. The persistence of GH responses to GHRH in women suggests that negative feedback by IGF-I might be expressed, in part, through suppression of hypothalamic GHRH. PMID:9649569
Banerjee, Abhishek; Kamath, Venkatesh V.; Satelur, Krishnanand; Rajkumar, Komali; Sundaram, Lavanya
Aims and Objectives: Sexual dimorphism refers to the variations in tooth size and shape between the sexes. The consistency of these variations is valuable in the identification of the sex of an individual in times of mass disaster when whole body parts get destroyed or are unavailable. There exist differences in the expression of these variables across races and regions. This study aims to tabulate and identify the variations in tooth measurements using standarized reference points in an attempt to establish parameters of sexual dimorphism. Materials and Methods: 100 individuals (50 of each sex) in the age group 19-23 years were assessed for standard morphometric parameters of the maxillary central incisor, canine, premolar and molar. Odontometric measurements of established parameters were recorded from impression casts of the maxillary jaws. The mesiodistal width (MDW), the bucco-ligual width (BLW), the crown length (CL) and the cervical angle (CA) were charted among the teeth. The consistency of the variations was statistically analyzed and a logistic regression table was prepared to identify the sex of the individual from the tooth measurements. Results and Conclusions: The BLW, MDW and CL reflected significant variations among all the teeth to be effective in establishing sexual dimorphism. CA as a parameter was inadequate across all the teeth. The permanent maxillary canine was the most important tooth to be reflective of the gender and statistically significant to be utilized for gender determination. PMID:27051219
Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier; Xue, Yi-fan; Tintori, Andrea
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.
Kissner, K J; Weatherhead, P J; Francis, C M
Sexually selected traits are limited by selection against those traits in other fitness components, such as survival. Thus, sexual selection favouring large size in males should be balanced by higher mortality of larger males. However, evidence from red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) indicates that large males survive better than small males. A survival advantage to large size could result from males migrating north in early spring, when harsh weather favours large size for energetic reasons. From this hypothesis we predicted that, among species, sex differences in body size should be correlated with sex differences in timing of spring migration. The earlier males migrate relative to females, the larger they should be relative to females. We tested this prediction using a comparative analysis of data collected from 30 species of passerine birds captured on migration. After controlling for social mating system, we found that sexual size dimorphism and difference in arrival dates of males and females were significantly positively correlated. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that selection for survival ability promotes sexual size dimorphism (SSD), rather than opposes SSD as is the conventional view. If both natural selection and sexual selection favour large adult males, then limits to male size must be imposed before males become adults.
Badyaev, A V; Martin, T E
Sexual dimorphism is thought to have evolved in response to selection pressures that differ between males and females. Our aim in this study was to determine the role of current net selection in shaping and maintaining contemporary sexual dimorphism in a recently established population of the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) in Montana. We found strong differences between sexes in direction of selection on sexually dimorphic traits, significant heritabilities of these traits, and a close congruence between current selection and observed sexual dimorphism in Montana house finches. Strong directional selection on sexually dimorphic traits and similar intensities of selection in each sex suggested that sexual dimorphism arises from adaptive responses in males and females, with both sexes being far from their local fitness optimum. This pattern is expected when a recently established population experiences continuous immigration from ecologically distinct areas of a species range or as a result of widely fluctuating selection pressures, as found in our study. Strong and sexually dimorphic selection pressures on heritable morphological traits, in combination with low phenotypic and genetic covariation among these traits during growth, may have accounted for close congruence between current selection and observed sexual dimorphism in the house finch. This conclusion is consistent with the profound adaptive population divergence in sexual dimorphism that accompanied very successful colonization of most of the North America by the house finch over the last 50 years.
Keogh, Justin W L; Hume, Patria A; Pearson, Simon N; Mellow, Peter
We examined sexual dimorphism in the anthropometry of 68 Australasian and Pacific powerlifters (14 females, 54 males) who were competing in one of two national or international powerlifting competitions held in New Zealand. All powerlifters were assessed for 37 anthropometric dimensions by ISAK (International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry) Level II and III accredited anthropometrists. While the powerlifters were highly mesomorphic and possessed large girths and bone breadths, both in absolute terms and when expressed as Z(p)-scores compared through the Phantom (Ross & Wilson, 1974), these characteristics were often more pronounced in male than female lifters. No significant inter-gender differences in any of the measures of adiposity were observed. When normalized through the Phantom, the female and male powerlifters had relatively similar segment lengths and bone breadths, indicating that regardless of gender, competitive powerlifters possess comparable skeletal proportions. These results indicate that although competitive powerlifters exhibit sexual dimorphism for many absolute anthropometric measures, little dimorphism is found for measures of adiposity and for proportional segment lengths and bone breadths. These results further support the importance of anthropometric profiling for powerlifting, and suggest that successful male and female powerlifters will possess similar proportional characteristics.
Scott, Isabel M.; Clark, Andrew P.; Josephson, Steven C.; Boyette, Adam H.; Cuthill, Innes C.; Fried, Ruby L.; Gibson, Mhairi A.; Hewlett, Barry S.; Jamieson, Mark; Jankowiak, William; Honey, P. Lynne; Huang, Zejun; Liebert, Melissa A.; Purzycki, Benjamin G.; Shaver, John H.; Snodgrass, J. Josh; Sosis, Richard; Sugiyama, Lawrence S.; Swami, Viren; Yu, Douglas W.; Zhao, Yangke; Penton-Voak, Ian S.
A large literature proposes that preferences for exaggerated sex typicality in human faces (masculinity/femininity) reflect a long evolutionary history of sexual and social selection. This proposal implies that dimorphism was important to judgments of attractiveness and personality in ancestral environments. It is difficult to evaluate, however, because most available data come from large-scale, industrialized, urban populations. Here, we report the results for 12 populations with very diverse levels of economic development. Surprisingly, preferences for exaggerated sex-specific traits are only found in the novel, highly developed environments. Similarly, perceptions that masculine males look aggressive increase strongly with development and, specifically, urbanization. These data challenge the hypothesis that facial dimorphism was an important ancestral signal of heritable mate value. One possibility is that highly developed environments provide novel opportunities to discern relationships between facial traits and behavior by exposing individuals to large numbers of unfamiliar faces, revealing patterns too subtle to detect with smaller samples. PMID:25246593
Simons, E L; Plavcan, J M; Fleagle, J G
Two very small late Eocene anthropoid primates, Catopithecus browni and Proteopithecus sylviae, from Fayum, Egypt show evidence of substantial sexual dimorphism in canine teeth. The degree of dimorphism suggests that these early anthropoids lived in social groups with a polygynous mating system and intense male-male competition. Catopithecus and Proteopithecus are smaller in estimated body size than any living primates showing canine dimorphism. The origin of canine dimorphism and polygyny in anthropoids was not associated with the evolution of large body size.
Dale, James; Dunn, Peter O; Figuerola, Jordi; Lislevand, Terje; Székely, Tamás; Whittingham, Linda A
In 1950, Rensch first described that in groups of related species, sexual size dimorphism is more pronounced in larger species. This widespread and fundamental allometric relationship is now commonly referred to as 'Rensch's rule'. However, despite numerous recent studies, we still do not have a general explanation for this allometry. Here we report that patterns of allometry in over 5300 bird species demonstrate that Rensch's rule is driven by a correlated evolutionary change in females to directional sexual selection on males. First, in detailed multivariate analysis, the strength of sexual selection was, by far, the strongest predictor of allometry. This was found to be the case even after controlling for numerous potential confounding factors, such as overall size, degree of ornamentation, phylogenetic history and the range and degree of size dimorphism. Second, in groups where sexual selection is stronger in females, allometry consistently goes in the opposite direction to Rensch's rule. Taken together, these results provide the first clear solution to the long-standing evolutionary problem of allometry for sexual size dimorphism: sexual selection causes size dimorphism to correlate with species size.
Angel, Lauren P.; Wells, Melanie R.; Rodríguez-Malagón, Marlenne A.; Tew, Emma; Speakman, John R.; Arnould, John P. Y.
Sexual size dimorphism is widespread throughout seabird taxa and several drivers leading to its evolution have been hypothesised. While the Australasian Gannet (Morus serrator) has previously been considered nominally monomorphic, recent studies have documented sexual segregation in diet and foraging areas, traits often associated with size dimorphism. The present study investigated the sex differences in body mass and structural size of this species at two colonies (Pope’s Eye, PE; Point Danger, PD) in northern Bass Strait, south-eastern Australia. Females were found to be 3.1% and 7.3% heavier (2.74 ± 0.03, n = 92; 2.67 ± 0.03 kg, n = 43) than males (2.66 ± 0.03, n = 92; 2.48 ± 0.03 kg, n = 43) at PE and PD, respectively. Females were also larger in wing ulna length (0.8% both colonies) but smaller in bill depth (PE: 2.2%; PD: 1.7%) than males. Despite this dimorphism, a discriminant function provided only mild accuracy in determining sex. A similar degree of dimorphism was also found within breeding pairs, however assortative mating was not apparent at either colony (R2 < 0.04). Using hydrogen isotope dilution, a body condition index was developed from morphometrics to estimate total body fat (TBF) stores, where TBF(%) = 24.43+1.94*(body mass/wing ulna length) – 0.58*tarsus length (r2 = 0.84, n = 15). This index was used to estimate body composition in all sampled individuals. There was no significant difference in TBF(%) between the sexes for any stage of breeding or in any year of the study at either colony suggesting that, despite a greater body mass, females were not in a better condition than males. While the driving mechanism for sexual dimorphism in this species is currently unknown, studies of other Sulids indicate segregation in foraging behaviour, habitat and diet may be a contributing factor. PMID:26637116
Most animals are sexually dimorphic, yet different taxa have different sex-specific traits. Despite major differences in the genetic control of sexual development among animal lineages, the Dmrt family of transcription factors has been shown to be involved in sex-specific differentiation in all animals studied so far. In recent years, the functions of Dmrt genes have been characterized in many animal groups, opening the way for a broad comparative perspective. In this review, I focus on the similarities and differences in the functions of Dmrt genes across the animal kingdom. I highlight a number of common themes in the sexual development of different taxa, discuss how Dmrt genes have acquired new roles during animal evolution, and show how they contributed to the origin of novel sex-specific traits. PMID:22425532
Thomas, Melissa L; Simmons, Leigh W
Sexual dimorphism is presumed to reflect adaptive divergence in response to selection favouring different optimal character states in the two sexes. Here, we analyse patterns of sexual dimorphism in the cuticular hydrocarbons of the Australian field cricket Teleogryllus oceanicus using gas chromatography. Ten of the 25 peaks found in our chromatographs, differed in their relative abundance between the sexes. The presence of sexual dimorphism in T. oceanicus is discussed in reference to a review of sexual dimorphism in cuticular hydrocarbons of other insects. We found that this trait has been examined in 103 species across seven different orders. Seventy-six of these species (73%) displayed sex specificity of cuticular hydrocarbons, the presence/absence of which does not appear to be directly linked to phylogeny. The occurrence of sexual dimorphism in cuticular hydrocarbons of some but not other species, and the extent of variation within genera, suggest that this divergence has been driven primarily by sexual selection.
De Angelis, Danilo; Gibelli, Daniele; Gaudio, Daniel; Cipriani Noce, Filippo; Guercini, Nicola; Varvara, Giuseppe; Sguazza, Emanuela; Sforza, Chiarella; Cattaneo, Cristina
Sex assessment is a crucial part of the biological profile in forensic and archaeological context, but it can be hardly performed in cases of commingled and charred human remains where DNA tests often are not applicable. With time literature have analyzed the sexual dimorphism of teeth (and especially canines), but very few articles take into consideration the teeth volume, although with time several technologies have been introduced in order to assess 3D volume (CT-scan, laser scanner, etc.). This study aims at assessing the sexual dimorphism of dental and pulp chamber volumes of a sample of canines. Cone beam computed tomography analyses were performed by 87 patients (41 males and 46 females, aged between 15 and 83 years) for clinical purposes, and were acquired in order to measure canine volumes. Results show that the dental volume amounted to 0.745 cm(3) (SD 0.126 cm(3)) in males, 0.551 cm(3) (SD 0.130 cm(3)) with a statistically significant difference (p<0.01). A diagnostic threshold of 0.619 cm(3) was stated, which provides a percentage of correct answer of 80.5% in the chosen sample. The novel method was then applied with success to 7 archaeological: where in all the cases the results were concordant with those provided by the assessment of the cranium and pelvis. The study adds a contribution to the wide analysis of dental sexual dimorphism confirming the statistically significant differences of volume between males and females and providing a method for the diagnosis of sex applicable to forensic cases.
Prado, Laura Rocha
Abstract Sexual dimorphism occurs frequently in Chrysomelidae Latreille, 1802 and is particularly variable in subfamily Galerucinae Latreille, 1802. This diversity has been early noted by authors a potential source of taxonomic characters. The section Diabroticites (Luperini Gistel, 1848) is one of the largest assemblies of chrysomelid genera with currently 823 valid species in 17 genera (12 based on dimorphic characteristics), being most diverse in the neotropical region. Apart from a revision work on the type specimens for the section, there are no general taxonomic studies for this group. The occurrence of sexually dimorphic characteristics in the section Diabroticites is revised and their practical taxonomic relevance evaluated. A total of 240 species was studied (145 species with males available), representing 15 out of the 17 genera included in Diabroticites. The analysis of characters was based on the study of specimens in south-american collections, literature and the aid of photos in online databases. Sexual dimorphism occurred in most species analyzed. Dimorphic features were divided in general (i. e., occur in higher taxa) and special characters (those that support the definition of species and genera). Special dimorphism was observed in every tagma, and most modifications occur in antennae. Characters used as diagnostic of genera often do not correspond to the modifications present in species included in them. Many modifications were considered by earlier authors as a single character, probably due to vague definitions. Most generic definitions are, therefore, inaccurate. The study of morphology and the homology assessment of characters are needed to increase understanding of the genera in Diabroticites. PMID:24163580
Why do humans live longer than other higher primates? Why do women live longer than men? What is the significance of the menopause? Answers to these questions may be sought by reference to the mechanisms by which human aging might have evolved. Here, an evolutionary hypothesis is presented that could answer all three questions, based on the following suppositions. First, that the evolution of increased human longevity was driven by increased late-life reproduction by men in polygynous primordial societies. Second, that the lack of a corresponding increase in female reproductive lifespan reflects evolutionary constraint on late-life oocyte production. Third, that antagonistic pleiotropy acting on androgen-generated secondary sexual characteristics in men increased reproductive success earlier in life, but shortened lifespan. That the gender gap in aging is attributable to androgens appears more likely given a recent report of exceptional longevity in eunuchs. Yet androgen depletion therapy, now used to treat prostatic hyperplasia, appears to accelerate other aspects of aging (e.g. cardiovascular disease). One possibility is that low levels of androgens throughout life reduces aging rate, but late-life androgen depletion does not. PMID:24566422
Cooper, Idelle A
Sexual selection, more so than natural selection, is posited as the major cause of sex differences. Here I show ecological correlations between solar radiation levels and sexual dimorphism in body color of a Hawaiian damselfly. Megalagrion calliphya exhibits sexual monomorphism at high elevations, where both sexes are red in color; sexual dimorphism at low elevations, where females are green; and female‐limited dimorphism at midelevations, where both red and green females exist. Within a midelevation population, red females are also more prevalent during high daily levels of solar radiation. I found that red pigmentation is correlated with superior antioxidant ability that may protect from UV damage and confer a benefit to damselflies in exposed habitats, including males, which defend exposed mating habitats at all elevations, and females, which are in shaded habitats except at high elevation. This study characterizes the ecology of sexual dimorphism and provides a new, ecological hypothesis for the evolution of female‐limited dimorphism.
Masterson, T J; Hartwig, W C
Sexual dimorphism in primate species expresses the effects of phylogeny, life history, behavior, and ontogeny. The causes and implications of sexual dimorphism have been studied in several different primates using a variety of morphological databases such as body weight, canine length, and coat color and ornamentation. In addition to these different patterns of dimorphism, the degree to which a species is dimorphic results from a variety of possible causes. In this study we test the general hypothesis that a species highly dimorphic for one size-based index of dimorphism will be equally dimorphic (relative to other species) for other size-based indices. Specifically, the degree and pattern of sexual dimorphism in Cebus and several other New World monkey species is measured using craniometric data as a substitute for the troublesome range of variation in body weight estimates. In general, the rank ordering of species for dimorphism ratios differs considerably across neural vs. non-neural functional domains of the cranium. The relative degree of sexual dimorphism in different functional regions of the cranium is affected by the independent action of natural selection on those regions. Regions of the cranium upon which natural selection is presumed to have acted within a species show greater degrees of dimorphism than do the same regions in closely related taxa. Within Cebus, C. apella is consistently more dimorphic than other Cebus species for facial measurements, but not for neural or body weight measurements. The pattern in C. apella indicates no single best measurement of the degree of dimorphism in a species; rather, the relative degree of dimorphism applies only to the region being measured and may be enhanced by other selective pressures on morphology.
Ho, Winnie W.; Rack, Jessie M.; Smith, G. Troy
Weakly-electric fish (Apteronotidae) produce highly diverse electrocommunication signals. Electric organ discharges (EODs) vary across species, sexes, and in the magnitude and direction of their sexual dimorphism. Gonadal steroid hormones can modulate EODs, and differences in androgen sensitivity are hypothesized to underlie variation in the degree of sexual dimorphism across species. In this study, we asked whether variation in androgen sensitivity explained variation in sexual dimorphism of EODs within species, at the population level. We examined two populations of black ghost knifefish (Apteronotus albifrons), one from the Orinoco and the other from the Amazon river basin. EOD frequency (EODf) and chirp rates were measured to characterize diversity in sexual dimorphism across populations. The magnitude of sexual dimorphism in EODf differed significantly across populations, and was more pronounced in the Orinoco population than in the Amazon population. Chirp rates were sexually monomorphic in both populations. 11-ketotestosterone (11-kT) was administered over a two-week period to assess population differences in sensitivity to androgens. 11-kT masculinized EODf significantly more in the population with the greater degree of sexual dimorphism. 11-kT had no effect on the sexually monomorphic chirping rates. We conclude that population divergence in androgen sensitivity contributes to variation in sexual dimorphism of EODf in A. albifrons. PMID:23142327
Segovia, Santiago; Garcia-Falgueras, Alicia; Carrillo, Beatriz; Collado, Paloma; Pinos, Helena; Perez-Laso, Carmen; Vinader-Caerols, Concepcion; Beyer, Carlos; Guillamon, Antonio
Studies have shown that the vomeronasal system (VNS), an olfactory neural network that participates in the control of reproductive physiology and behavior, is sexually dimorphic in the rat. These works have also shown two main characteristics of brain sexual dimorphism: (a) dimorphism appears in neural networks related to reproduction and (b) it can present two morphological patterns: one in which males present greater morphological measures than females (male > female) and another in which the opposite is true (female > male). The present work extends the hypothesis to the rabbit, as a representative species of Lagomorpha. In addition, the locus coeruleus (LC), which is known to send rich noradrenergic projections to VNS structures, was also studied. Sex differences were found in: (a) the number of mitral, and dark and light granule cells (female > male) of the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB); (b) the medial amygdala (Me) and its dorsal (Med) and ventral (Mev) subdivisions, males showing greater values than females in volume and number of neurons, while in the posteromedial cortical amygdala (PMCo or C(3)), females show greater density of neurons than males and (c) the posteromedial division of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTMP) in which males have more neurons than females. No sex differences were seen in the bed nucleus of the accessory olfactory tract (BAOT) and the LC. These results evidence that, as it was observed in rodents, sex differences are also seen in the VNS of Lagomorpha and that these sex differences present the two morphological patterns seen in Rodentia. Differences between orders are discussed with respect to the species-specific physiological and behavioral peculiarities.
Rosas, Antonio; Bastir, Markus; Martínez-Maza, Cayetana; Bermúdez de Castro, Jose María
The pattern of sexual dimorphism in 15 mandibles from the Atapuerca-SH Middle Pleistocene site, attributed to Homo heidelbergensis, is explored. Two modern human samples of known sex are used as a baseline for establishing sexing criteria. The mandible was divided for analysis into seven study regions and differential expression of sexual dimorphism in these regions is analysed. A total of 40 continuous and 32 discrete variables were scored on the mandibles. The means method given in Regh & Leigh (Am. J. phys. Anthrop.110, 95-104, 1999) was followed for evaluating the potential of correct sex attribution for each variable. On average, the mandibles from the Atapuerca-SH site present a degree of sexual dimorphism about eight points higher than in H. sapiens samples. However, mandibular anatomy of the European Middle Pleistocene hominid records sexual dimorphism differentially. Different areas of the Atapuerca-SH mandibles exhibit quite distinct degrees of sexual dimorphism. For instance, variables of the alveolar arcade present very low or practically no sexual dimorphism. Variables related to overall size of the mandible and symphysis region present a medium degree of sex differences. Finally, ramus height, and gonion and coronoid process present a high degree of sexual dimorphism (indexes of sexual dimorphism are all above 130%). Whether this marked sexual dimorphism in specific anatomical systems affects sexual differences in body size is not completely clear and further studies are needed. Sexual differences detected in the mandible of modern humans have at least two components: differences related to musculo-skeletal development and differences related to a different growth trajectory in males and females (relative development of some of the basal border features). The Atapuerca-SH mandibles display little variation in the basal border, however. The limited variation of this mandibular region may indicate that the pattern of sexual variation in H
Sueur, Jérôme; Windmill, James F C; Robert, Daniel
In cicadas, the tympanum is anatomically intricate and employs complex vibrations as a mechanism for auditory frequency analysis. Using microscanning laser Doppler vibrometry, the tympanal mechanics of Cicada orni can be characterized in controlled acoustical conditions. The tympanum of C. orni moves following a simple drum-like motion, rather than the travelling wave found in a previous study of Cicadatra atra. There is a clear sexual dimorphism in the tympanal mechanics. The large male tympanum is unexpectedly insensitive to the dominant frequency of its own calling song, possibly a reflection of its dual purpose as a sound emitter and receiver. The small female tympanum appears to be mechanically sensitive to the dominant frequency of the male calling song and to high-frequency sound, a capacity never suspected before in these insects. This sexual dimorphism probably results from a set of selective pressures acting in divergent directions, which are linked to the different role of the sexes in sound reception and production. These discoveries serve to indicate that there is far more to be learnt about the development of the cicada ear, its biomechanics and evolution, and the cicada's acoustic behaviour.
Grossi, B; Canals, M
The extreme sexual size dimorphism in spiders has motivated studies for many years. In many species the male can be very small relative to the female. There are several hypotheses trying to explain this fact, most of them emphasizing the role of energy in determining spider size. The aim of this paper is to review the role of energy in sexual size dimorphism of spiders, even for those spiders that do not necessarily live in high foliage, using physical and allometric principles. Here we propose that the cost of transport or equivalently energy expenditure and the speed are traits under selection pressure in male spiders, favoring those of smaller size to reduce travel costs. The morphology of the spiders responds to these selective forces depending upon the lifestyle of the spiders. Climbing and bridging spiders must overcome the force of gravity. If bridging allows faster dispersal, small males would have a selective advantage by enjoying more mating opportunities. In wandering spiders with low population density and as a consequence few male-male interactions, high speed and low energy expenditure or cost of transport should be favored by natural selection. Pendulum mechanics show the advantages of long legs in spiders and their relationship with high speed, even in climbing and bridging spiders. Thus small size, compensated by long legs should be the expected morphology for a fast and mobile male spider.
Bayless, Daniel W.; Shah, Nirao M.
The unique hormonal, genetic and epigenetic environments of males and females during development and adulthood shape the neural circuitry of the brain. These differences in neural circuitry result in sex-typical displays of social behaviours such as mating and aggression. Like other neural circuits, those underlying sex-typical social behaviours weave through complex brain regions that control a variety of diverse behaviours. For this reason, the functional dissection of neural circuits underlying sex-typical social behaviours has proved to be difficult. However, molecularly discrete neuronal subpopulations can be identified in the heterogeneous brain regions that control sex-typical social behaviours. In addition, the actions of oestrogens and androgens produce sex differences in gene expression within these brain regions, thereby highlighting the neuronal subpopulations most likely to control sexually dimorphic social behaviours. These conditions permit the implementation of innovative genetic approaches that, in mammals, are most highly advanced in the laboratory mouse. Such approaches have greatly advanced our understanding of the functional significance of sexually dimorphic neural circuits in the brain. In this review, we discuss the neural circuitry of sex-typical social behaviours in mice while highlighting the genetic technical innovations that have advanced the field. PMID:26833830
Sambhana, Sailaja; Sanghvi, Praveen; Mohammed, Rezwana Begum; Shanta, Prasanth Prathapan; Thetay, Anshuj Ajay Rao; Chaudhary, Varunjeet Singh
Introduction: The identification of human skeletal remains plays a crucial role in forensic investigation and its accuracy depends on the available parts of the skeleton. The mandible is the hardest and strongest bone of the skull, which exhibits a high degree of sexual dimorphism and helps to identify the sex in human remains. The aim of this study was to develop discriminant function to determine sex from the mandibular radiographs in a South Indian (Visakhapatnam) population. Materials and Methods: This retrospective study consisted of 384 (192 males and 192 females) digital orthopantomographs (OPGs) divided into five groups according to age. Ten mandibular variables were measured using Planmeca Romexis software. The data were tabulated and subjected to discriminant function analyses using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software (version 20.0) package. Results: All the parameters showed a significant sexual dimorphism (P < 0.001) except for the gonial angle. An overall accuracy of 75.8% was achieved and coronoid height (CrH) was the single best parameter providing an accuracy of 74.1%. Conclusion: All the mandibular variables except for the gonial angle (GA) were found to be reliable in determining the sex in South Indians for forensic purposes. PMID:28123286
Sun, Bao-Fa; Li, Yong-Xing; Jia, Ling-Yi; Niu, Li-Hua; Murphy, Robert W; Zhang, Peng; He, Shunmin; Huang, Da-Wei
Fig wasps exhibit extreme intraspecific morphological divergence in the wings, compound eyes, antennae, body color, and size. Corresponding to this, behaviors and lifestyles between two sexes are also different: females can emerge from fig and fly to other fig tree to oviposit and pollinate, while males live inside fig for all their lifetime. Genetic regulation may drive these extreme intraspecific morphological and behavioral divergence. Transcription factors (TFs) involved in morphological development and physiological activity may exhibit sex-specific expressions. Herein, we detect 865 TFs by using genomic and transcriptomic data of the fig wasp Ceratosolen solmsi. Analyses of transcriptomic data indicated that up-regulated TFs in females show significant enrichment in development of the wing, eye and antenna in all stages, from larva to adult. Meanwhile, TFs related to the development of a variety of organs display sex-specific patterns of expression in the adults and these may contribute significantly to their sexual dimorphism. In addition, up-regulated TFs in adult males exhibit enrichment in genitalia development and circadian rhythm, which correspond with mating and protandry. This finding is consistent with their sex-specific behaviors. In conclusion, our results strongly indicate that TFs play important roles in the sexual dimorphism of fig wasps.
Lenroot, Rhoshel K; Gogtay, Nitin; Greenstein, Deanna K; Wells, Elizabeth Molloy; Wallace, Gregory L; Clasen, Liv S; Blumenthal, Jonathan D; Lerch, Jason; Zijdenbos, Alex P; Evans, Alan C; Thompson, Paul M; Giedd, Jay N
Human total brain size is consistently reported to be approximately 8-10% larger in males, although consensus on regionally specific differences is weak. Here, in the largest longitudinal pediatric neuroimaging study reported to date (829 scans from 387 subjects, ages 3 to 27 years), we demonstrate the importance of examining size-by-age trajectories of brain development rather than group averages across broad age ranges when assessing sexual dimorphism. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) we found robust male/female differences in the shapes of trajectories with total cerebral volume peaking at age 10.5 in females and 14.5 in males. White matter increases throughout this 24-year period with males having a steeper rate of increase during adolescence. Both cortical and subcortical gray matter trajectories follow an inverted U shaped path with peak sizes 1 to 2 years earlier in females. These sexually dimorphic trajectories confirm the importance of longitudinal data in studies of brain development and underline the need to consider sex matching in studies of brain development.
Stephens, Patrick R; Wiens, John J
The origin of sexual size dimorphisms (SSD) has long been a central topic in evolutionary biology. However, there is little agreement as to which factors are most important in driving the evolution of SSD, and several hypotheses concerning SSD evolution have never been tested empirically. Emydid turtles include species with both male and female-biased SSD, and some emydids exhibit among the most extreme SSD in tetrapods. Here, we use a comparative phylogenetic approach in emydids to analyze the origins of SSD and test several hypotheses for the evolution of SSD, some for the first time. We test the Fairbairn-Preziosi hypothesis for the origin of Rensch's rule, and support it in lineages with male-biased SSD but not those with female-biased SSD. We also find support for the secondary ecological dimorphism hypothesis, which proposes that selection for ecological divergence between sexes exaggerates preexisting SSD. Finally, we find only equivocal support for the Bolnick-Doebeli hypothesis, which relates intersexual ecological divergence to interspecific ecological divergence. Our results also illustrate how global analyses of SSD may mislead in groups in which the factors that drive the evolution of SSD vary among clades.
Christiansen, Per; Harris, John M.
Sexual dimorphism is widespread among carnivorans, and has been an important evolutionary factor in social ecology. However, its presence in sabertoothed felids remains contentious. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of extant Panthera and the sabertoothed felid Smilodon fatalis. S. fatalis has been reported to show little or no sexual dimorphism but to have been intraspecifically variable in skull morphology. We found that large and small specimens of S. fatalis could be assigned to male and female sexes with similar degrees of confidence as Panthera based on craniomandibular shape. P. uncia is much less craniomandibularly variable and has low levels of sexual size-dimorphism. Shape variation in S. fatalis probably reflects sexual differences. Craniomandibular size-dimorphism is lower in S. fatalis than in Panthera except P. uncia. Sexual dimorphism in felids is related to more than overall size, and S. fatalis and the four large Panthera species show marked and similar craniomandibular and dental morphometric sexual dimorphism, whereas morphometric dimorphism in P. uncia is less. Many morphometric-sexually dimorphic characters in Panthera and Smilodon are related to bite strength and presumably to killing ecology. This suggests that morphometric sexual dimorphism is an evolutionary adaptation to intraspecific resource partitioning, since large males with thicker upper canines and stronger bite forces would be able to hunt larger prey than females, which is corroborated by feeding ecology in P. leo. Sexual dimorphism indicates that S. fatalis could have been social, but it is unlikely that it lived in fusion-fission units dominated by one or a few males, as in sub-Saharan populations of P. leo. Instead, S. fatalis could have been solitary and polygynous, as most extant felids, or it may have lived in unisexual groups, as is common in P. leo persica. PMID:23110232
Kim, Sang-In; Suzuki, Satoshi; Oh, Jinwoo; Koyabu, Daisuke; Oshida, Tatsuo; Lee, Hang; Min, Mi-Sook; Kimura, Junpei
We examined sexual dimorphism in the craniodental traits of the raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides from South Korea. Univariate comparisons of skull (cranium and mandible) and dental measurements revealed a small extent of sexual dimorphism in some measurements. The most indicative dimorphic measurements were the breadths of the upper and lower canines which were around 8% larger in male specimens on average. On the other hand, multivariate analyses using only skull traits showed slightly a clearer separation between sexes than those using only dental ones. This discrepancy may be derived from a higher variability in dental traits than in those of the skull. In conclusion, sexual dimorphism within N. procyonoides of South Korea is present, but was not so pronounced as for other local populations. However, measurements showing significant sexual dimorphism varied between different localities. This suggests that the selective forces acting upon craniodental morphology of each sex vary between populations of the species.
da Silva, Jessica M.; Herrel, Anthony; Measey, G. John; Tolley, Krystal A.
Phenotypic performance in different environments is central to understanding the evolutionary and ecological processes that drive adaptive divergence and, ultimately, speciation. Because habitat structure can affect an animal’s foraging behaviour, anti-predator defences, and communication behaviour, it can influence both natural and sexual selection pressures. These selective pressures, in turn, act upon morphological traits to maximize an animal’s performance. For performance traits involved in both social and ecological activities, such as bite force, natural and sexual selection often interact in complex ways, providing an opportunity to understand the adaptive significance of morphological variation with respect to habitat. Dwarf chameleons within the Bradypodion melanocephalum-Bradypodion thamnobates species complex have multiple phenotypic forms, each with a specific head morphology that could reflect its use of either open- or closed-canopy habitats. To determine whether these morphological differences represent adaptations to their habitats, we tested for differences in both absolute and relative bite performance. Only absolute differences were found between forms, with the closed-canopy forms biting harder than their open-canopy counterparts. In contrast, sexual dimorphism was found for both absolute and relative bite force, but the relative differences were limited to the closed-canopy forms. These results indicate that both natural and sexual selection are acting within both habitat types, but to varying degrees. Sexual selection seems to be the predominant force within the closed-canopy habitats, which are more protected from aerial predators, enabling chameleons to invest more in ornamentation for communication. In contrast, natural selection is likely to be the predominant force in the open-canopy habitats, inhibiting the development of conspicuous secondary sexual characteristics and, ultimately, enforcing their overall diminutive body size and
Breuer, Thomas; Robbins, Martha M; Boesch, Christophe
Investigating sexual dimorphism is important for our understanding of its influence on reproductive strategies including male-male competition, mate choice, and sexual conflict. Measuring physical traits in wild animals can be logistically challenging and disruptive for the animals. Therefore body size and ornament variation in wild primates have rarely been quantified. Gorillas are amongst the most sexually dimorphic and dichromatic primates. Adult males (silverbacks) possess a prominent sagittal crest, a pad of fibrous and fatty tissue on top of the head, have red crest coloration, their saddle appears silver, and they possess a silverline along their stomach. Here we measure levels of sexual dimorphism and within-male variation of body length, head size, and sexual dichromatism in a population of wild western gorillas using photogrammetry. Digital photogrammetry is a useful and precise method to measure sexual dimorphism in physical traits yielding sexual dimorphism indices (ISD), similar to those derived from traditional measurements of skeletal remains. Silverbacks were on an average 1.23 times longer in body length than adult females. Sexual dimorphism of head size was highest in measures of crest size (max ISD: 60.4) compared with measures of facial height (max ISD: 24.7). The most sexually dimorphic head size measures also showed the highest within-sex variation. We found no clear sex differences in crest coloration but there was large sexual dichromatism with high within-male variation in saddle coloration and silverline size. Further studies should examine if these sexually dimorphic traits are honest signals of competitive ability and confer an advantage in reproductive success.
Silina, Alla V.
Studies on sexual size dimorphism in Pectinidae are limited. This work deals with the mobile long-lived scallop Patinopecten yessoensis, a common (fished and cultured) species in the subtidal benthos of the Sea of Japan. A previously developed method of age determination in P. yessoensis allowed me to compare the parameters of same aged males and females in scallop populations. The shell growth rates and sizes of both sexes were similar; therefore, it was only possible to visually identify the sex of live specimens during the breeding period (May-June). Statistical analyses showed female-biased dimorphism in the gonad weight for age groups that are >4 years old. Gonad weight (in the prespawning period) increased with age, until a threshold age was attained, which varied between populations; and then gonad weight remained virtually unchanged. The fecundity advantage hypothesis for P. yessoensis with group mating and external fertilization is at least partly realized by physiological mechanisms, which cause older females to have larger gonads than those of same aged males in the population in order to produce a larger brood. Gregarious settlement of this bivalve contributes to the reproductive success of the population so that the energetically costly ovaries may all be fertilized. PMID:27293980
Segovia, S; Guillamón, A
Several years ago we hypothesized that the vomeronasal system (VNS), a complex neural network involved in the control of reproductive behavior, might be sexually dimorphic. This hypothesis sprung from several facts; (a) the existence of steroid receptors in the VNS; (b) sexual dimorphism was already described in some structures that receive vomeronasal input, such as the medial preoptic area, the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus, the ventral region of the premammillary nucleus and the medial amygdaloid nucleus; and (c) the vomeronasal organ, which is the receptor organ of the VNS, was also sexually dimorphic. After that point, the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB), the bed nucleus of the accessory olfactory tract (BAOT) and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis were found to be sexually dimorphic. The aim of the present review is to show the experimental facts that confirm our earlier hypothesis and, consequently, to present the existence of a sexually dimorphic multisynaptic pathway for the first time in mammals. Sexual dimorphism in the VNS might provide a comprehensive approach to understanding the neural bases of sexually dimorphic reproductive behavior and it is suggested here that the greater number of neurons which male rats present in relation to females in most VNS structures might contribute to the inhibition of the expression of feminine copulatory behavior (lordosis) and maternal behavior in males. In addition, the mechanisms that control the development of sexual dimorphism in the VNS are discussed. The discussion takes into account the two patterns of sexual dimorphism found in the rat brain. Estrogens seem to promote the development of sexual dimorphism in both male and female rats. However, an inhibitory role of androgens might be necessary to hypothesize when males or females present a lower number of neurons and/or volume than the opposite sex. There are experimental data supporting this hypothesis in the female, since dihydrotestosterone seems to
Collado, P; Guillamón, A; Valencia, A; Segovia, S
This work investigates the existence of sex differences in the volume and number of neurons and glial cells in the bed nucleus of the accessory olfactory tract (BAOT). Males showed larger volume and number of cells than female rats. Early postnatal (day 1 after birth) orchidectomy in males, and androgenization in females, reversed these differences. No sex differences were found in BAOT glial cells. The sexual dimorphism found in the neuron/glial cell ratio reflects sex differences in neuron number. The existence of sexual dimorphism in the BAOT supports our earlier hypothesis which states that the vomeronasal system (VNS) is sexually dimorphic.
Currently, sex differences in behavior are believed to result from sexually dimorphic neural circuits in the central nervous system (CNS). Drosophila melanogaster is a common model organism for studying the relationship between brain structure, behavior, and genes. Recent studies of sex-specific reproductive behaviors in D. melanogaster have addressed the contribution of sexual differences in the CNS to the control of sex-specific behaviors and the development of sexual dimorphism. For example, sexually dimorphic regions of the CNS are involved in the initiation of male courtship behavior, the generation of the courtship song, and the induction of male-specific muscles in D. melanogaster. In this review, I discuss recent findings about the contribution of cell death to the formation of sexually dimorphic neural circuitry and the regulation of sex-specific cell death by two sex determination factors, Fruitless and Doublesex, in Drosophila.
Høye, Toke Thomas; Hammel, Jörg U; Fuchs, Thomas; Toft, Søren
Climate change is advancing the onset of the growing season and this is happening at a particularly fast rate in the High Arctic. However, in most species the relative fitness implications for males and females remain elusive. Here, we present data on 10 successive cohorts of the wolf spider Pardosa glacialis from Zackenberg in High-Arctic, northeast Greenland. We found marked inter-annual variation in adult body size (carapace width) and this variation was greater in females than in males. Earlier snowmelt during both years of its biennial maturation resulted in larger adult body sizes and a skew towards positive sexual size dimorphism (females bigger than males). These results illustrate the pervasive influence of climate on key life-history traits and indicate that male and female responses to climate should be investigated separately whenever possible.
Mendonca, Goncalo V.; Teodósio, Carolina; Lucena, Rui; Pereira, Fernando D.
There is conflicting evidence as to whether water drinking elicits a pressor response in healthy young adults. The inclusion of a variable number of women may have contributed to the discrepancies found in past research. Thus, we aimed at exploring whether the osmopressor response follows a sexually dimorphic pattern. In a randomized fashion, 31 healthy adults (16 men; 15 women, aged 18–40 years) ingested 50 and 500 ml of water before completing a resting protocol on two separate days. Arterial blood pressure, heart rate and spectral heart rate variability were measured in the seated position at pre- and post-25 min of water ingestion. Women responded to 500 ml of water with a greater proportion of change in diastolic and mean arterial pressure (MAP) (P<0.05). Conversely, the percent change in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and heart rate was not different between sexes after 500 ml of water. Overall, women demonstrated lower blood pressure, but higher resting heart rate compared with men (P<0.05). In contrast, heart rate variability was similar between sexes before and after ingesting either volume of water. There was a bradycardic effect of water and, irrespectively of sex; this was accompanied by increased high frequency power (HF) (P<0.05). We conclude that women display a greater magnitude of pressor response than men post-water ingestion. Accordingly, we provide direct evidence of sexual dimorphism in the haemodynamic response to water intake in young healthy adults. PMID:27129286
Moss, M L; Moss-Salentijn, L
Analysis of published odontometric data on human dental sexual dimorphism indicates that this characteristic is most clearly expressed by the canine teeth. Review of the several processes involved in coronal odontogenesis suggests that such dimorphism is related to an absolutely longer period of amelogenesis for both deciduous and permanent dentitions.
Flores, David; Casinos, Adrià
Pattern of skull development and sexual dimorphism was studied in Cebus apella and Alouatta caraya using univariate, bivariate, and multivariate statistics. In both species, sexual dimorphism develops because the common growth trajectory in males extends and because of differences in growth rates between sexes. The expectation that the ontogenetic bases of adult dimorphism vary interspecifically is well substantiated by this study. A. caraya exhibits transitional dimorphism in its subadult stage, although the condylobasal length, zygomatic breadth, and rostrum length are strongly dimorphic in the final adult stage, being greater in males. Most cranial measurements in C. apella exhibit significant dimorphism in the adult stage, being strongly influenced by a faster rate of growth in males. Sexual dimorphism is also evidenced through sex differences in growth rates in several cranial measurements. These results also indicate that different ontogenetic mechanisms are acting in C. apella and A. caraya and reveal differences in the way through which neotropical primates attain adult sexual dimorphism.
Gillette, Ross; Miller-Crews, Isaac; Nilsson, Eric E.; Skinner, Michael K.; Gore, Andrea C.
How an individual responds to the environment depends upon both personal life history as well as inherited genetic and epigenetic factors from ancestors. Using a 2-hit, 3 generations apart model, we tested how F3 descendants of rats given in utero exposure to the environmental endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) vinclozolin reacted to stress during adolescence in their own lives, focusing on sexually dimorphic phenotypic outcomes. In adulthood, male and female F3 vinclozolin- or vehicle-lineage rats, stressed or nonstressed, were behaviorally characterized on a battery of tests and then euthanized. Serum was used for hormone assays, and brains were used for quantitative PCR and transcriptome analyses. Results showed that the effects of ancestral exposure to vinclozolin converged with stress experienced during adolescence in a sexually dimorphic manner. Debilitating effects were seen at all levels of the phenotype, including physiology, behavior, brain metabolism, gene expression, and genome-wide transcriptome modifications in specific brain nuclei. Additionally, females were significantly more vulnerable than males to transgenerational effects of vinclozolin on anxiety but not sociality tests. This fundamental transformation occurs in a manner not predicted by the ancestral exposure or the proximate effects of stress during adolescence, an interaction we refer to as synchronicity. PMID:25051444
Cooper, I A; Brown, J M; Getty, T
Variation in traits that are sexually dimorphic is usually attributed to sexual selection, in part because the influence of ecological differences between sexes can be difficult to identify. Sex-limited dimorphisms, however, provide an opportunity to test ecological selection disentangled from reproductive differences between the sexes. Here, we test the hypothesis that ecological differences play a role in the evolution of body colour variation within and between sexes in a radiation of endemic Hawaiian damselflies. We analysed 17 Megalagrion damselflies species in a phylogenetic linear regression, including three newly discovered cases of species with female-limited dimorphism. We find that rapid colour evolution during the radiation has resulted in no phylogenetic signal for most colour and habitat traits. However, a single ecological variable, exposure to solar radiation (as measured by canopy cover) significantly predicts body colour variation within sexes (female-limited dimorphism), between sexes (sexual dimorphism), and among populations and species. Surprisingly, the degree of sexual dimorphism in body colour is also positively correlated with the degree of habitat differences between sexes. Specifically, redder colouration is associated with more exposure to solar radiation, both within and between species. We discuss potential functions of the pigmentation, including antioxidant properties that would explain the association with light (specifically UV) exposure, and consider alternative mechanisms that may drive these patterns of sexual dimorphism and colour variation.
Maiorino, Leonardo; Farke, Andrew A.; Kotsakis, Tassos; Piras, Paolo
Background Protoceratops andrewsi (Neoceratopsia, Protoceratopsidae) is a well-known dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia. Some previous workers hypothesized sexual dimorphism in the cranial shape of this taxon, using qualitative and quantitative observations. In particular, width and height of the frill as well as the development of a nasal horn have been hypothesized as potentially sexually dimorphic. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we reassess potential sexual dimorphism in skulls of Protoceratops andrewsi by applying two-dimensional geometric morphometrics to 29 skulls in lateral and dorsal views. Principal Component Analyses and nonparametric MANOVAs recover no clear separation between hypothetical “males” and “females” within the overall morphospace. Males and females thus possess similar overall cranial morphologies. No differences in size between “males” and “females” are recovered using nonparametric ANOVAs. Conclusions/Significance Sexual dimorphism within Protoceratops andrewsi is not strongly supported by our results, as previously proposed by several authors. Anatomical traits such as height and width of the frill, and skull size thus may not be sexually dimorphic. Based on PCA for a data set focusing on the rostrum and associated ANOVA results, nasal horn height is the only feature with potential dimorphism. As a whole, most purported dimorphic variation is probably primarily the result of ontogenetic cranial shape changes as well as intraspecific cranial variation independent of sex. PMID:25951329
Wilder, Shawn M; Rypstra, Ann L
Sexual cannibalism varies widely among spiders, but no general evolutionary hypothesis has emerged to explain its distribution across taxa. Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) also varies widely among spiders and could affect the vulnerability of males to cannibalistic attacks by females. We tested for a relationship between SSD and sexual cannibalism within and among species of spiders, using a broad taxonomic data set. For most species, cannibalism was more likely when males were much smaller than females. In addition, using phylogenetically controlled and uncontrolled analyses, there was a strong positive relationship between average SSD of a species and the frequency of sexual cannibalism. This is the first evidence that the degree of size difference between males and females is related to the phylogenetic distribution of sexual cannibalism among a broad range of spiders.
Stillwell, R. Craig; Daws, Andrew; Davidowitz, Goggy
Sexual dimorphism in body size (sexual size dimorphism) is common in many species. The sources of selection that generate the independent evolution of adult male and female size have been investigated extensively by evolutionary biologists, but how and when females and males grow apart during ontogeny is poorly understood. Here we use the hawkmoth, Manduca sexta, to examine when sexual size dimorphism arises by measuring body mass every day during development. We further investigated whether environmental variables influence the ontogeny of sexual size dimorphism by raising moths on three different diet qualities (poor, medium and high). We found that size dimorphism arose during early larval development on the highest quality food treatment but it arose late in larval development when raised on the medium quality food. This female-biased dimorphism (females larger) increased substantially from the pupal-to-adult stage in both treatments, a pattern that appears to be common in Lepidopterans. Although dimorphism appeared in a few stages when individuals were raised on the poorest quality diet, it did not persist such that male and female adults were the same size. This demonstrates that the environmental conditions that insects are raised in can affect the growth trajectories of males and females differently and thus when dimorphism arises or disappears during development. We conclude that the development of sexual size dimorphism in M. sexta occurs during larval development and continues to accumulate during the pupal/adult stages, and that environmental variables such as diet quality can influence patterns of dimorphism in adults. PMID:25184664
Allen, L S; Hines, M; Shryne, J E; Gorski, R A
A quantitative analysis of the volume of 4 cell groups in the preoptic-anterior hypothalamic area (PO-AHA) and of the supraoptic nucleus (SON) of the human brain was performed in 22 age-matched male and female individuals. We suggest the term Interstitial Nuclei of the Anterior Hypothalamus (INAH 1-4) to identify these 4 previously undescribed cell groups in the PO-AHA. While 2 INAH and the SON were not sexually dimorphic, gender-related differences were found in the other 2 cell groups. One nucleus (INAH-3) was 2.8 times larger in the male brain than in the female brain irrespective of age. The other cell group (INAH-2) was twice as large in the male brain, but also appeared to be related in women to circulating steroid hormone levels. Since the PO-AHA influences gonadotropin secretion, maternal behavior, and sexual behavior in several mammalian species, these results suggest that functional sex differences in the hypothalamus may be related to sex differences in neural structure.
Stillwell, R Craig; Fox, Charles W
Sexual size dimorphism is widespread in animals but varies considerably among species and among populations within species. Much of this variation is assumed to be due to variance in selection on males versus females. However, environmental variables could affect the development of females and males differently, generating variation in dimorphism. Here we use a factorial experimental design to simultaneously examine the effects of rearing host and temperature on sexual dimorphism of the seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus. We found that the sexes differed in phenotypic plasticity of body size in response to rearing temperature but not rearing host, creating substantial temperature-induced variation in sexual dimorphism; females were larger than males at all temperatures, but the degree of this dimorphism was smallest at the lowest temperature. This change in dimorphism was due to a gender difference in the effect of temperature on growth rate and not due to sexual differences in plasticity of development time. Furthermore, the sex ratio (proportion males) decreased with decreasing temperature and became female-biased at the lowest temperature. This suggests that the temperature-induced change in dimorphism is potentially due to a change in non-random larval mortality of males versus females. This most important implication of this study is that rearing temperature can generate considerable intraspecific variation in the degree of sexual size dimorphism, though most studies assume that dimorphism varies little within species. Future studies should focus on whether sexual differences in phenotypic plasticity of body size are a consequence of adaptive canalization of one sex against environmental variation in temperature or whether they simply reflect a consequence of non-adaptive developmental differences between males and females.
Fernández-Montraveta, Carmen; González, José Miguel; Cuadrado, Mariano
Sexual cannibalism is a widespread phenomenon among a few animal taxa. Its occurrence is interpreted as female and/or male optimal reproductive decisions or as a non-adaptive side effect of selection for efficiently foraging females. In spite of the amount of research addressed at understanding its evolutionary origins, we lack accurate information about the proximate causes of sexual cannibalism. In a moderately sexually dimorphic wolf spider (Hogna radiata, Araneae, Lycosidae) we assessed the factors mediating the occurrence of sexual cannibalism and its fitness benefits to females. Sexual cannibalism was a rather common outcome of laboratory mating interactions, occurring in more than a quarter percent of courtship interactions involving virgin females. Sexual cannibalism mostly followed mating. Occurrence of sexual cannibalism depended on male vulnerability to female attacks: relatively smaller males were at higher risk of being attacked and older males were less likely to avoid female attacks. Sexual cannibalism had direct and positive effects on female fitness, as sexually cannibalistic females exhibited increased fecundity irrespective of their size, condition and foraging rate. Male consumption was almost complete and represented a relevant food intake to females. We interpret sexual cannibalism as a strategic foraging decision for H. radiata females that adjust their aggressive behaviour towards males so as to limit its potential costs.
Phillips-Conroy, J E; Jolly, C J
Sexual dimorphism in mammals has been related to such variables as absolute body size, ecology, and various aspects of social behavior. Attempts to relate dimorphism to any of these variables have necessarily used small heterogeneous samples to represent the relevant species. We are concerned by the inevitable exclusion of any measure of variability in dimorphism and the consequent impossibility of assessing the significance of observed interspecific differences. In this paper we describe aspects of sexual dimorphism in anubis, hamadryas, and hybrid baboons from Ethiopia. Samples are large enough to permit a measure of intrapopulational variability. Hamadryas baboons are more dimorphic than anubis in epigamic features, but not in postcanine dentition, nor, contrary to previous reports, in body weight or canine tooth size. Hybrid males are more hamadryas-like and hybrid females more anubis-like, as would be predicted by the proposed mechanism for the establishment of the hybrid zone, namely the capture of anubis females by hamadryas males.
Vea, Isabelle Mifom; Tanaka, Sayumi; Shiotsuki, Takahiro; Jouraku, Akiya; Tanaka, Toshiharu; Minakuchi, Chieka
Scale insects have evolved extreme sexual dimorphism, as demonstrated by sedentary juvenile-like females and ephemeral winged males. This dimorphism is established during the post-embryonic development; however, the underlying regulatory mechanisms have not yet been examined. We herein assessed the role of juvenile hormone (JH) on the diverging developmental pathways occurring in the male and female Japanese mealybug Planococcus kraunhiae (Kuwana). We provide, for the first time, detailed gene expression profiles related to JH signaling in scale insects. Prior to adult emergence, the transcript levels of JH acid O-methyltransferase, encoding a rate-limiting enzyme in JH biosynthesis, were higher in males than in females, suggesting that JH levels are higher in males. Furthermore, male quiescent pupal-like stages were associated with higher transcript levels of the JH receptor gene, Methoprene-tolerant and its co-activator taiman, as well as the JH early-response genes, Krüppel homolog 1 and broad. The exposure of male juveniles to an ectopic JH mimic prolonged the expression of Krüppel homolog 1 and broad, and delayed adult emergence by producing a supernumeral pupal stage. We propose that male wing development is first induced by up-regulated JH signaling compared to female expression pattern, but a decrease at the end of the prepupal stage is necessary for adult emergence, as evidenced by the JH mimic treatments. Furthermore, wing development seems linked to JH titers as JHM treatments on the pupal stage led to wing deformation. The female pedomorphic appearance was not reflected by the maintenance of high levels of JH. The results in this study suggest that differential variations in JH signaling may be responsible for sex-specific and radically different modes of metamorphosis.
Vea, Isabelle Mifom; Tanaka, Sayumi; Shiotsuki, Takahiro; Jouraku, Akiya; Tanaka, Toshiharu; Minakuchi, Chieka
Scale insects have evolved extreme sexual dimorphism, as demonstrated by sedentary juvenile-like females and ephemeral winged males. This dimorphism is established during the post-embryonic development; however, the underlying regulatory mechanisms have not yet been examined. We herein assessed the role of juvenile hormone (JH) on the diverging developmental pathways occurring in the male and female Japanese mealybug Planococcus kraunhiae (Kuwana). We provide, for the first time, detailed gene expression profiles related to JH signaling in scale insects. Prior to adult emergence, the transcript levels of JH acid O-methyltransferase, encoding a rate-limiting enzyme in JH biosynthesis, were higher in males than in females, suggesting that JH levels are higher in males. Furthermore, male quiescent pupal-like stages were associated with higher transcript levels of the JH receptor gene, Methoprene-tolerant and its co-activator taiman, as well as the JH early-response genes, Krüppel homolog 1 and broad. The exposure of male juveniles to an ectopic JH mimic prolonged the expression of Krüppel homolog 1 and broad, and delayed adult emergence by producing a supernumeral pupal stage. We propose that male wing development is first induced by up-regulated JH signaling compared to female expression pattern, but a decrease at the end of the prepupal stage is necessary for adult emergence, as evidenced by the JH mimic treatments. Furthermore, wing development seems linked to JH titers as JHM treatments on the pupal stage led to wing deformation. The female pedomorphic appearance was not reflected by the maintenance of high levels of JH. The results in this study suggest that differential variations in JH signaling may be responsible for sex-specific and radically different modes of metamorphosis. PMID:26894583
Wan, Zi Yi; Xia, Jun Hong; Lin, Grace; Wang, Le; Lin, Valerie C. L.; Yue, Gen Hua
Sexual dimorphism is an interesting biological phenomenon. Previous studies showed that DNA methylation might play a role in sexual dimorphism. However, the overall picture of the genome-wide methylation landscape in sexually dimorphic species remains unclear. We analyzed the DNA methylation landscape and transcriptome in hybrid tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) using whole genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) and RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq). We found 4,757 sexually dimorphic differentially methylated regions (DMRs), with significant clusters of DMRs located on chromosomal regions associated with sex determination. CpG methylation in promoter regions was negatively correlated with the gene expression level. MAPK/ERK pathway was upregulated in male tilapia. We also inferred active cis-regulatory regions (ACRs) in skeletal muscle tissues from WGBS datasets, revealing sexually dimorphic cis-regulatory regions. These results suggest that DNA methylation contribute to sex-specific phenotypes and serve as resources for further investigation to analyze the functions of these regions and their contributions towards sexual dimorphisms. PMID:27782217
Sullivan, Corwin; Reisz, Robert R; Smith, Roger M H
Dicynodonts, a highly successful group of Palaeozoic tetrapods, were herbivores with keratinous beaks, and were frequently equipped with large, neomorphic tusks. Diictodon is a particularly abundant dicynodont genus, allowing statistical investigation of its palaeobiology. Anatomical, morphometric and distributional analyses provide evidence of sexual dimorphism, based on the presence or absence of formidable tusks. Tusk occurrence is also correlated with the presence of a cranial boss on the skull roof and, possibly, with greater cranial size. This earliest well-documented example of dimorphic armament suggests that sexual dimorphism, and the complex social behaviour that accompanies it, have long been characteristic of the synapsid lineage.
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.
Background Explanations for the evolution of female-biased, extreme Sexual Size Dimorphism (SSD), which has puzzled researchers since Darwin, are still controversial. Here we propose an extension of the Gravity Hypothesis (i.e., the GH, which postulates a climbing advantage for small males) that in conjunction with the fecundity hypothesis appears to have the most general power to explain the evolution of SSD in spiders so far. In this "Bridging GH" we propose that bridging locomotion (i.e., walking upside-down under own-made silk bridges) may be behind the evolution of extreme SSD. A biomechanical model shows that there is a physical constraint for large spiders to bridge. This should lead to a trade-off between other traits and dispersal in which bridging would favor smaller sizes and other selective forces (e.g. fecundity selection in females) would favor larger sizes. If bridging allows faster dispersal, small males would have a selective advantage by enjoying more mating opportunities. We predicted that both large males and females would show a lower propensity to bridge, and that SSD would be negatively correlated with sexual dimorphism in bridging propensity. To test these hypotheses we experimentally induced bridging in males and females of 13 species of spiders belonging to the two clades in which bridging locomotion has evolved independently and in which most of the cases of extreme SSD in spiders are found. Results We found that 1) as the degree of SSD increased and females became larger, females tended to bridge less relative to males, and that 2) smaller males and females show a higher propensity to bridge. Conclusions Physical constraints make bridging inefficient for large spiders. Thus, in species where bridging is a very common mode of locomotion, small males, by being more efficient at bridging, will be competitively superior and enjoy more mating opportunities. This "Bridging GH" helps to solve the controversial question of what keeps males small
Sexual dimorphism as a function of variation in hominoid tooth metrics has been investigated for four groups of taxa: Recent great apes (two subfamilies), Dryopiths (one subfamily), Ramapiths (one subfamily) and hominids (one family). Gorilla, and to a lesser extent Pan, appear characterized by very high levels of sexual dimorphism and meet several criteria for statistical outliers. Recent great apes are the only group exhibiting consistently high levels of sexual dimorphism. Ramapiths are the only group characterized by low levels of sexual dimorphism and their relative canine length is most similar to Dryopiths. Both Dryopiths and hominids contain taxa with low and intermediate levels of sexual dimorphism. The Gingerich and Shoeninger hypothesis relating coefficients of variation to occlusal complexity is supported. Non-parametric statistics suggest that homogeneity of coefficient of variation profiles over most of the tooth row is characteristic of only the Dryopiths and a composite data set composed of the Dryopith plus Ramapith tooth measurements. Oxnard's model for the multifactorial basis of multiple sexual dimorphisms is also supported. The Dryopith and hominid patterns of sexual dimorphism are similar, an observation that suggests phylogenetic relationship. At the taxonomic level of subfamily or family, sexual dimorphism is a character of cladistic usefulness and possible phylogenetic valence. Assuming that breeding system and sexual dimorphism are functional correlates as many workers suggest, then Ramapithecus sp. China, Sivapithecus indicus and possibly Australopithecus boisei are good candidates for having possessed monogamous breeding/social structures. All Dryopith taxa, S. sivalensis, Sivapithecus sp. China, A. afarensis, Homo habilis and H. erectus emerge as the best candidates for having possessed a polygynous breeding/social structure. No biometrical affinities of Ramapiths with hominids can be demonstrated and some phylogenetic relationship with
Rodrigues, Sérgio Roberto; Gomes, Elias Soares; Bento, José Maurício Simões
The beetle, Anomala testaceipennis Blanchard (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), occurs in central-western Brazil where larvae feed on the roots of plants causing damage. This research aimed to study sexual dimorphism and mating behavior of A. testaceipennis. Adults of A. testaceipennis were collected with light traps in the experimental area of the State University of Mato Grosso do Sul, in Aquidauana. Laboratory experiments were performed to describe copulation behavior and adult morphology of males and females. In males the last abdominal segment has a pronounced constriction, which is absent in females, and the male's last segment of the first pair of legs has a ventral projection, which is poorly developed in females. The mating activities of adults begin soon after sunset, when adults leave the soil and fly. When the male encounters a female, he touches her with antennae and tarsi. If accepted, the male climbs on the female and remains on her back, and soon after the copulation begins. When the female does not accept the male for mating, she moves rapidly and can roll on the ground, and by so removing the male. In the field, adults feed and mate on bloomed trees of Oiti, Licania tomentosa Benth (Malpighiales: Chrysobalanaceae) and Louro, Cordia glabrata Martius (Boraginaceae). In trees without inflorescences no adults of this species were found.
Rosenfeld, Cheryl S.; Trainor, Brian C.
Mounting evidence suggests that environmental factors—in particular, those that we are exposed to during perinatal life—can dramatically shape the organism’s risk for later diseases, including neurobehavioral disorders. However, depending on the environmental insult, one sex may demonstrate greater vulnerability than the other sex. Herein, we focus on two well-defined extrinsic environmental factors that lead to sexually dimorphic behavioral differences in animal models and linkage in human epidemiological studies. These include maternal or psychosocial stress (such as social stress) and exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds (such as one of the most prevalent, bisphenol A [BPA]). In general, the evidence suggests that early environmental exposures, such as BPA and stress, lead to more pronounced behavioral deficits in males than in females, whereas female neurobehavioral patterns are more vulnerable to later in life stress. These findings highlight the importance of considering sex differences and developmental timing when examining the effects of environmental factors on later neurobehavioral outcomes. PMID:25705580
Frynta, Daniel; Baudyšová, Jana; Hradcová, Petra; Faltusová, Kateřina; Kratochvíl, Lukáš
Background The tendency for male-larger sexual size dimorphism (SSD) to scale with body size – a pattern termed Rensch's rule – has been empirically supported in many animal lineages. Nevertheless, its theoretical elucidation is a subject of debate. Here, we exploited the extreme morphological variability of domestic dog (Canis familiaris) to gain insights into evolutionary causes of this rule. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied SSD and its allometry among 74 breeds ranging in height from less than 19 cm in Chihuahua to about 84 cm in Irish wolfhound. In total, the dataset included 6,221 individuals. We demonstrate that most dog breeds are male-larger, and SSD in large breeds is comparable to SSD of their wolf ancestor. Among breeds, SSD becomes smaller with decreasing body size. The smallest breeds are nearly monomorphic. Conclusions/Significance SSD among dog breeds follows the pattern consistent with Rensch's rule. The variability of body size and corresponding changes in SSD among breeds of a domestic animal shaped by artificial selection can help to better understand processes leading to emergence of Rensch's rule. PMID:23049956
Porath, M.T.; Nielsen, J.L.
The high-elevation headwater streams of the Pinaleno Mountains support small populations of threatened Apache trout Oncorhynchus apache that were stocked following the chemical removal of nonnative salmonids in the 1960s. A fisheries survey to assess population composition, growth, and size structure confirmed angler reports of infrequent occurrences of Oncorhynchus spp. exhibiting the external morphological characteristics of both Apache trout and rainbow trout O. mykiss. Nonlethal tissue samples were collected from 50 individuals in the headwaters of each stream. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequencing and amplification of nuclear microsatellite loci were used to determine the levels of genetic introgression by rainbow trout in Apache trout populations at these locations. Sexually dimorphic introgression from the spawning of male rainbow trout with female Apache trout was detected using mtDNA and microsatellites. Estimates of the degree of hybridization based on three microsatellite loci were 10-88%. The use of nonlethal DNA genetic analyses can supplement information obtained from standard survey methods and be useful in assessing the relative importance of small and sensitive populations with a history of nonnative introductions.
de Campos, Deivis; Ellwanger, Joel Henrique; do Nascimento, Patrícia Severo; da Rosa, Helen Tais; Saur, Lisiani; Jotz, Geraldo Pereira; Xavier, Léder Leal
This study investigated the sexual dimorphism in the recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) and thyroarytenoid (TA) muscle, which control the vocal fold. The RLN and TA were bilaterally studied in human specimens obtained from necropsies (seven men and seven women). Analysis of the morphometric parameters showed that the RLN of the men were significantly larger, as shown by the intraperineural area (42.5%) (P=0.006), total number of fibers (38.0%) (P=0.0002), axonal area (34.3%) (P=0.0001), axonal diameter (19.0%) (P=0.0001), and the area of the nerve occupied by myelinated fibers (34.9%) (P=0.001). By contrast, in women, our results showed that the area of the RLN occupied by endoneurial connective tissue was larger (5.7%) (P=0.001). Estimation of the fiber area and shape coefficient showed that the histologic organization of TA is similar in men and women. These results may contribute toward enhancing our understanding about the voice neurobiology.
Toli, Elisavet A; Noreikiene, Kristina; DeFaveri, Jacquelin; Merilä, Juha
Evidence for phenotypic plasticity in brain size and the size of different brain parts is widespread, but experimental investigations into this effect remain scarce and are usually conducted using individuals from a single population. As the costs and benefits of plasticity may differ among populations, the extent of brain plasticity may also differ from one population to another. In a common garden experiment conducted with three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) originating from four different populations, we investigated whether environmental enrichment (aquaria provided with structural complexity) caused an increase in the brain size or size of different brain parts compared to controls (bare aquaria). We found no evidence for a positive effect of environmental enrichment on brain size or size of different brain parts in either of the sexes in any of the populations. However, in all populations, males had larger brains than females, and the degree of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in relative brain size ranged from 5.1 to 11.6% across the populations. Evidence was also found for genetically based differences in relative brain size among populations, as well as for plasticity in the size of different brain parts, as evidenced by consistent size differences among replicate blocks that differed in their temperature.
Turner syndrome is caused by loss of all or part of an X chromosome in females. A series of recent studies has characterized phenotypic differences between Turner females retaining the intact maternally inherited versus paternally inherited X chromosome, which have been interpreted as evidence for effects of X-linked imprinted genes. In this study I demonstrate that the differences between Turner females with a maternal X and a paternal X broadly parallel the differences between males and normal females for a large suite of traits, including lipid profile and visceral fat, response to growth hormone, sensorineural hearing loss, congenital heart and kidney malformations, neuroanatomy (sizes of the cerebellum, hippocampus, caudate nuclei and superior temporal gyrus), and aspects of cognition. This pattern indicates that diverse aspects of human sex differences are mediated in part by X-linked genes, via genomic imprinting of such genes, higher rates of mosaicism in Turner females with an intact X chromosome of paternal origin, karyotypic differences between Turner females with a maternal versus paternal X chromosome, or some combination of these phenomena. Determining the relative contributions of genomic imprinting, karyotype and mosaicism to variation in Turner syndrome phenotypes has important implications for both clinical treatment of individuals with this syndrome, and hypotheses for the evolution and development of human sexual dimorphism. PMID:25567727
Savadjiev, P; Whitford, T J; Hough, M E; Clemm von Hohenberg, C; Bouix, S; Westin, C-F; Shenton, M E; Crow, T J; James, A C; Kubicki, M
The normal human brain is characterized by a pattern of gross anatomical asymmetry. This pattern, known as the "torque", is associated with a sexual dimorphism: The male brain tends to be more asymmetric than that of the female. This fact, along with well-known sex differences in brain development (faster in females) and onset of psychosis (earlier with worse outcome in males), has led to the theory that schizophrenia is a disorder in which sex-dependent abnormalities in the development of brain torque, the correlate of the capacity for language, cause alterations in interhemispheric connectivity, which are causally related to psychosis (Crow TJ, Paez P, Chance SE. 2007. Callosal misconnectivity and the sex difference in psychosis. Int Rev Psychiatry. 19(4):449-457.). To provide evidence toward this theory, we analyze the geometry of interhemispheric white matter connections in adolescent-onset schizophrenia, with a particular focus on sex, using a recently introduced framework for white matter geometry computation in diffusion tensor imaging data (Savadjiev P, Kindlmann GL, Bouix S, Shenton ME, Westin CF. 2010. Local white geometry from diffusion tensor gradients. Neuroimage. 49(4):3175-3186.). Our results reveal a pattern of sex-dependent white matter geometry abnormalities that conform to the predictions of Crow's torque theory and correlate with the severity of patients' symptoms. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to associate geometrical differences in white matter connectivity with torque in schizophrenia.
Viveros, Maria-Paz; Mendrek, Adriana; Paus, Tomáš; López-Rodríguez, Ana Belén; Marco, Eva Maria; Yehuda, Rachel; Cohen, Hagit; Lehrner, Amy; Wagner, Edward J.
Women and men differ in a wide variety of behavioral traits and in their vulnerability to developing certain mental disorders. This review endeavors to explore how recent preclinical and clinical research findings have enhanced our understanding of the factors that underlie these disparities. We start with a brief overview of some of the important genetic, molecular, and hormonal determinants that contribute to the process of sexual differentiation. We then discuss the importance of animal models in studying the mechanisms responsible for sex differences in neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g., drug dependence) – with a special emphasis on experimental models based on the neurodevelopmental and “three hits” hypotheses. Next, we describe the most common brain phenotypes observed in vivo with magnetic resonance imaging. We discuss the challenges in interpreting these phenotypes vis-à-vis the underlying neurobiology and revisit the known sex differences in brain structure from birth, through adolescence, and into adulthood. This is followed by a presentation of pertinent clinical and epidemiological data that point to important sex differences in the prevalence, course, and expression of psychopathologies such as schizophrenia, and mood disorders including major depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Recent evidence implies that mood disorders and psychosis share some common genetic predispositions and neurobiological bases. Therefore, modern research is emphasizing dimensional representation of mental disorders and conceptualization of schizophrenia and major depression as a continuum of cognitive deficits and neurobiological abnormalities. Herein, we examine available evidence on cerebral sexual dimorphism to verify if sex differences vary quantitatively and/or qualitatively along the psychoses-depression continuum. Finally, sex differences in the prevalence of posttraumatic disorder and drug abuse have been described, and we consider the genomic and
Viveros, Maria-Paz; Mendrek, Adriana; Paus, Tomáš; López-Rodríguez, Ana Belén; Marco, Eva Maria; Yehuda, Rachel; Cohen, Hagit; Lehrner, Amy; Wagner, Edward J
Women and men differ in a wide variety of behavioral traits and in their vulnerability to developing certain mental disorders. This review endeavors to explore how recent preclinical and clinical research findings have enhanced our understanding of the factors that underlie these disparities. We start with a brief overview of some of the important genetic, molecular, and hormonal determinants that contribute to the process of sexual differentiation. We then discuss the importance of animal models in studying the mechanisms responsible for sex differences in neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g., drug dependence) - with a special emphasis on experimental models based on the neurodevelopmental and "three hits" hypotheses. Next, we describe the most common brain phenotypes observed in vivo with magnetic resonance imaging. We discuss the challenges in interpreting these phenotypes vis-à-vis the underlying neurobiology and revisit the known sex differences in brain structure from birth, through adolescence, and into adulthood. This is followed by a presentation of pertinent clinical and epidemiological data that point to important sex differences in the prevalence, course, and expression of psychopathologies such as schizophrenia, and mood disorders including major depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Recent evidence implies that mood disorders and psychosis share some common genetic predispositions and neurobiological bases. Therefore, modern research is emphasizing dimensional representation of mental disorders and conceptualization of schizophrenia and major depression as a continuum of cognitive deficits and neurobiological abnormalities. Herein, we examine available evidence on cerebral sexual dimorphism to verify if sex differences vary quantitatively and/or qualitatively along the psychoses-depression continuum. Finally, sex differences in the prevalence of posttraumatic disorder and drug abuse have been described, and we consider the genomic and molecular
Can sexual dimorphism evolve because of ecological differences between the sexes? Although several examples of this phenomenon are well known from studies on birds, the idea has often been dismissed as lacking general applicability. This dismissal does not stem from contradictory data so much as from the difficulties inherent in testing the hypothesis, and its apparent lack of parsimony, in comparison to the alternative explanation of sexual selection. The only unequivocal evidence for the evolution of sexual dimorphism through intersexual niche partitioning would be disproportionate dimorphism in trophic structures (e.g., mouthparts). This criterion offers a minimum estimate of the importance of ecological causes for dimorphism, because it may fail to identify most cases. A review of published literature reveals examples of sexually dimorphic trophic structures in most animal phyla. Many of these examples seem to be attributable to sexual selection, but others reflect adaptations for niche divergence between the sexes. For example, dwarf non-feeding males without functional mouthparts have evolved independently in many taxa. In other cases, males and females differ in trophic structures apparently because of differences in diets. Such divergence may often reflect specific nutritional requirements for reproduction in females, or extreme (sexually selected?) differences between males and females in habitats or body sizes. Ecological competition between the sexes may be responsible for intersexual niche divergence in some cases, but the independent evolution of foraging specializations by each sex may be of more general importance. If ecological causation for dimorphism can be demonstrated in so many cases, despite the inadequacies of the available criteria, the degree of sexual size dimorphism in many other animal species may well also have been influenced by ecological factors. Hence, it may be premature to dismiss this hypothesis, despite the difficulty of testing
Speiser, Daniel I; Lampe, Rebecca I; Lovdahl, Valerie R; Carrillo-Zazueta, Brenna; Rivera, Ajna S; Oakley, Todd H
Sexual dimorphisms have long drawn the attention of evolutionary biologists. However, we still have much to learn about the evolutionary, genetic, and developmental drivers of sexual dimorphisms. Here, we introduce ostracods of the genus Euphilomedes (Myodocopida, Ostracoda, and Crustacea) as a promising new system in which to investigate why and how sexual dimorphisms evolve. First, we ask whether male-skewed selective pressure from pelagic predators may help explain a dramatic sexual dimorphism in which male Euphilomedes have compound eyes, but females do not. Manipulative experiments demonstrate that blindfolding reduces the survival rate of male Euphilomedes when they are exposed to predatory fish. Blindfolding of the female rudimentary eyes (rudiments) does not, however, similarly influence the survival rate of brooding females. Further, numerical estimates of sighting distances, based on reasonable extrapolations from Euphilomedes's eye morphology, suggest that the eyes of male Euphilomedes are useful for detecting objects roughly the size of certain pelagic predators, but not conspecifics. We conclude that eyes do not mediate direct interactions between male and female Euphilomedes, but that differences in predation pressure-perhaps associated with different reproductive behaviors-contribute to maintaining the sexually dimorphic eyes of these ostracods. Second, through transcriptome sequencing, we examined potential gene regulatory networks that could underlie sexual dimorphism in Euphilomedes' eyes. From the transcriptome of juvenile male Euphilomedes' eyes, we identified phototransduction genes and components of eye-related developmental networks that are well characterized in Drosophila and other species. The presence of suites of eye regulatory genes in our Euphilomedes juvenile male transcriptome will allow us, in future studies, to test how ostracods regulate the development of their sexually dimorphic eyes.
Husby, Arild; Schielzeth, Holger; Forstmeier, Wolfgang; Gustafsson, Lars; Qvarnström, Anna
Theory predicts that sex chromsome linkage should reduce intersexual genetic correlations thereby allowing the evolution of sexual dimorphism. Empirical evidence for sex linkage has come largely from crosses and few studies have examined how sexual dimorphism and sex linkage are related within outbred populations. Here, we use data on an array of different traits measured on over 10,000 individuals from two pedigreed populations of birds (collared flycatcher and zebra finch) to estimate the amount of sex-linked genetic variance (h(2)z ). Of 17 traits examined, eight showed a nonzero h(2)Z estimate but only four were significantly different from zero (wing patch size and tarsus length in collared flycatchers, wing length and beak color in zebra finches). We further tested how sexual dimorphism and the mode of selection operating on the trait relate to the proportion of sex-linked genetic variance. Sexually selected traits did not show higher h(2)Z than morphological traits and there was only a weak positive relationship between h(2)Z and sexual dimorphism. However, given the relative scarcity of empirical studies, it is premature to make conclusions about the role of sex chromosome linkage in the evolution of sexual dimorphism.
Svenson, Gavin J.; Brannoch, Sydney K.; Rodrigues, Henrique M.; O’Hanlon, James C.; Wieland, Frank
Here we reconstruct the evolutionary shift towards floral simulation in orchid mantises and suggest female predatory selection as the likely driving force behind the development of extreme sexual size dimorphism. Through analysis of body size data and phylogenetic modelling of trait evolution, we recovered an ancestral shift towards sexual dimorphisms in both size and appearance in a lineage of flower-associated praying mantises. Sedentary female flower mantises dramatically increased in size prior to a transition from camouflaged, ambush predation to a floral simulation strategy, gaining access to, and visually attracting, a novel resource: large pollinating insects. Male flower mantises, however, remained small and mobile to facilitate mate-finding and reproductive success, consistent with ancestral male life strategy. Although moderate sexual size dimorphisms are common in many arthropod lineages, the predominant explanation is female size increase for increased fecundity. However, sex-dependent selective pressures acting outside of female fecundity have been suggested as mechanisms behind niche dimorphisms. Our hypothesised role of predatory selection acting on females to generate both extreme sexual size dimorphism coupled with niche dimorphism is novel among arthropods. PMID:27905469
Svenson, Gavin J; Brannoch, Sydney K; Rodrigues, Henrique M; O'Hanlon, James C; Wieland, Frank
Here we reconstruct the evolutionary shift towards floral simulation in orchid mantises and suggest female predatory selection as the likely driving force behind the development of extreme sexual size dimorphism. Through analysis of body size data and phylogenetic modelling of trait evolution, we recovered an ancestral shift towards sexual dimorphisms in both size and appearance in a lineage of flower-associated praying mantises. Sedentary female flower mantises dramatically increased in size prior to a transition from camouflaged, ambush predation to a floral simulation strategy, gaining access to, and visually attracting, a novel resource: large pollinating insects. Male flower mantises, however, remained small and mobile to facilitate mate-finding and reproductive success, consistent with ancestral male life strategy. Although moderate sexual size dimorphisms are common in many arthropod lineages, the predominant explanation is female size increase for increased fecundity. However, sex-dependent selective pressures acting outside of female fecundity have been suggested as mechanisms behind niche dimorphisms. Our hypothesised role of predatory selection acting on females to generate both extreme sexual size dimorphism coupled with niche dimorphism is novel among arthropods.
Vishwakarma, N; Guha, R
Teeth are well preserved after death and they exhibit remarkable sexual dimorphism. Hence, they provide excellent materials for forensic investigations intended for identification of sex. Present study was undertaken on permanent mandibular canines of 90 male and 90 female subjects of age group 17-23 years. The mesiodistal width for right and left mandibular canines and intercanine distance were measured. Subsequently, canine index was calculated for both sides. Significant sexual dimorphism was found in all parameters except intercanine distance. All the results were compared with previous studies and discussed in the light of genetic, evolutionary and metabolic reasons for sexual dimporhism.
Peters, Winfried S; Peters, Dieter Stefan
The life history of Confuciusornis sanctus is controversial. Recently, the species' body size spectrum was claimed to contradict osteohistological evidence for a rapid, bird-like development. Moreover, sexual size dimorphism was rejected as an explanation for the observed bimodal size distribution since the presence of elongated rectrices, an assumed 'male' trait, was uncorrelated with size. However, this interpretation (i) fails to explain the size spectrum of C. sanctus which is trimodal rather than bimodal, (ii) requires implausible neonate masses and (iii) is not supported by analogy with sexual dimorphisms in modern birds, in which elongated central rectrices are mostly sex-independent. Available information on C. sanctus is readily reconciled if we assume a bird-like life history, as well as a pronounced sexual size dimorphism and sexually isomorphic extravagant feathers as frequently observed in extant species.
Sexual dimorphism is thought to arise once sexually antagonistic genes accumulate on sex chromosomes early in their evolution. Yet because the earliest stages of sex chromosome evolution are elusive, we lack empirical evidence supporting this theory. In this study, we shed first light on the genetic...
San-Jose, Luis M; Ducrest, Anne-Lyse; Ducret, Valérie; Béziers, Paul; Simon, Céline; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Roulin, Alexandre
Variants of the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene result in abrupt, naturally selected colour morphs. These genetic variants may differentially affect sexual dimorphism if one morph is naturally selected in the two sexes but another morph is naturally or sexually selected only in one of the two sexes (e.g. to confer camouflage in reproductive females or confer mating advantage in males). Therefore, the balance between natural and sexual selections can differ between MC1R variants, as suggest studies showing interspecific correlations between sexual dimorphism and the rate of nonsynonymous vs. synonymous amino acid substitutions at the MC1R. Surprisingly, how MC1R is related to within-species sexual dimorphism, and thereby to sex-specific selection, has not yet been investigated. We tackled this issue in the barn owl (Tyto alba), a species showing pronounced variation in the degree of reddish pheomelanin-based coloration and in the number and size of black feather spots. We found that a valine (V)-to-isoleucine (I) substitution at position 126 explains up to 30% of the variation in the three melanin-based colour traits and in feather melanin content. Interestingly, MC1R genotypes also differed in the degree of sexual colour dimorphism, with individuals homozygous for the II MC1R variant being 2 times redder and 2.5 times less sexually dimorphic than homozygous individuals for the VV MC1R variant. These findings support that MC1R interacts with the expression of sexual dimorphism and suggest that a gene with major phenotypic effects and weakly influenced by variation in body condition can participate in sex-specific selection processes.
Forger, N G; Breedlove, S M
Onuf's nucleus, located in the sacral spinal cord of dogs, cats, and primates, innervates perineal muscles involved in copulatory behavior. A sexual dimorphism in Onuf's nucleus was found in humans and dogs: males have significantly more motoneurons in this nucleus than do females. Prenatal androgen treatment of female dogs eliminated the dimorphism. In the homologous nucleus in rats, a similar effect of androgen has been shown to involve sparing of motoneurons from cell death. These results establish a morphological sex difference in a human central nervous system region of known function; well-studied animal models suggest explanations of the development of this dimorphism.
El Wakil, A; Mari, B; Barhanin, J; Lalli, E
A relevant gender difference exists in adrenal physiology and propensity to disease. In mice, a remarkable sexual dimorphism is present in several components of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, with females displaying higher adrenal weight, plasma ACTH, corticosterone, and aldosterone levels than males. The molecular bases of this sexual dimorphism are little known. We have compared global gene expression profiles in males vs. female mouse adrenal glands and also studied the effect that testosterone treatment and castration have on adrenal gene expression in female vs. male mice, respectively. Our study evidenced a set of 71 genes that are coordinately modulated according to sex and hormonal treatments and represent the core sexually dimorphic expression program in the mouse adrenal gland. Moreover, we show that some genes involved in steroid metabolism have a remarkable sexual dimorphic expression and identify new potential markers for the adrenal X-zone, a transitory cellular layer in the inner adrenal cortex, which spontaneously regresses at puberty in males and during the first pregnancy in females and has an uncertain physiological role. Finally, sexually dimorphic expression of the transcriptional regulators Nr5a1 and Nr0b1 may explain at least in part the differences in adrenal steroidogenesis between sexes.
Little, Anthony C.; Jones, Benedict C.; Waitt, Corri; Tiddeman, Bernard P.; Feinberg, David R.; Perrett, David I.; Apicella, Coren L.; Marlowe, Frank W.
Background Many animals both display and assess multiple signals. Two prominently studied traits are symmetry and sexual dimorphism, which, for many animals, are proposed cues to heritable fitness benefits. These traits are associated with other potential benefits, such as fertility. In humans, the face has been extensively studied in terms of attractiveness. Faces have the potential to be advertisements of mate quality and both symmetry and sexual dimorphism have been linked to the attractiveness of human face shape. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we show that measurements of symmetry and sexual dimorphism from faces are related in humans, both in Europeans and African hunter-gatherers, and in a non-human primate. Using human judges, symmetry measurements were also related to perceived sexual dimorphism. In all samples, symmetric males had more masculine facial proportions and symmetric females had more feminine facial proportions. Conclusions/Significance Our findings support the claim that sexual dimorphism and symmetry in faces are signals advertising quality by providing evidence that there must be a biological mechanism linking the two traits during development. Such data also suggests that the signalling properties of faces are universal across human populations and are potentially phylogenetically old in primates. PMID:18461131
Morris, Jeremy S; Brandt, Ellissa K
Aggressive behaviour is important in the life history of many animals. In grey wolves (Canis lupus), territory defence through direct competition with conspecifics is severe and often lethal. Thus, performance in aggressive encounters may be under strong selection. Additionally, grey wolves frequently kill large dangerous prey species. Because both sexes actively participate in aggressive activities and prey capture, wolves are expected to exhibit a low level of musculoskeletal sexual dimorphism. However, male wolves more often lead in agonistic encounters with conspecifics and must provision the nursing female during the pup-rearing period of the breeding season. These behaviours may select for males that exhibit a higher degree of morphological adaptation associated with aggression and prey capture performance. To test this prediction, we assessed skeletal sexual dimorphism in three subspecies of grey wolves using functional indices reflecting morphological specialization for aggression. As expected, sexual dimorphism in skeletal shape was limited. However, in two of three subspecies, we found sexually dimorphic traits in the skull, forelimbs and hindlimbs that are consistent with the hypothesis that males are more specialized for aggression. These characters may also be associated with selection for improved prey capture performance by males. Thus, the sexually dimorphic functional traits identified by our analysis may be adaptive in the contexts of both natural and sexual selection. Several of these traits may conflict with locomotor economy, indicating the importance of aggression in the life history of male grey wolves. The presence of functional specialization for aggression in a generally monogamous species indicates that sexual dimorphism in specific musculoskeletal traits may be widespread among mammals.
Morris, Jeremy S; Brandt, Ellissa K
Aggressive behaviour is important in the life history of many animals. In grey wolves (Canis lupus), territory defence through direct competition with conspecifics is severe and often lethal. Thus, performance in aggressive encounters may be under strong selection. Additionally, grey wolves frequently kill large dangerous prey species. Because both sexes actively participate in aggressive activities and prey capture, wolves are expected to exhibit a low level of musculoskeletal sexual dimorphism. However, male wolves more often lead in agonistic encounters with conspecifics and must provision the nursing female during the pup-rearing period of the breeding season. These behaviours may select for males that exhibit a higher degree of morphological adaptation associated with aggression and prey capture performance. To test this prediction, we assessed skeletal sexual dimorphism in three subspecies of grey wolves using functional indices reflecting morphological specialization for aggression. As expected, sexual dimorphism in skeletal shape was limited. However, in two of three subspecies, we found sexually dimorphic traits in the skull, forelimbs and hindlimbs that are consistent with the hypothesis that males are more specialized for aggression. These characters may also be associated with selection for improved prey capture performance by males. Thus, the sexually dimorphic functional traits identified by our analysis may be adaptive in the contexts of both natural and sexual selection. Several of these traits may conflict with locomotor economy, indicating the importance of aggression in the life history of male grey wolves. The presence of functional specialization for aggression in a generally monogamous species indicates that sexual dimorphism in specific musculoskeletal traits may be widespread among mammals. PMID:24810384
Valverde, J Pablo; Eggert, Hendrik; Kurtz, Joachim; Schielzeth, Holger
Sexual ornaments contribute substantially to phenotypic diversity and it is particularly relevant to understand their evolution. Ornaments can assume the function of signals-of-quality that the choosy sex uses to evaluate potential mating partners. Often there are no obvious direct benefits and investment into mate choice is primarily rewarded by beneficial alleles that are inherited to the offspring. Inter-sexual communication via sexual ornaments requires honesty of the sexual signal, yet the question of what maintains honesty remains only partially solved. One solution is that honesty is maintained by trait expression being dependent on individual condition, since condition-dependent trait expression offers an effectively inexhaustible source of genetic variability. Here we test in the highly sexually dimorphic club-legged grasshopper Gomphocerus sibiricus if putative sexual ornaments, in particular the striking front-leg clubs, are more strongly affected by a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) immune challenge than putatively not sexually selected traits. Our results show overall little condition-dependent expression of morphological and song traits, with sexually selected traits exhibiting effects comparable to non-sexually selected traits (with the possible exception of stridulatory file length and syllable-to-pause ratio in advertisement songs). Interestingly, field observations of individuals of lethally parasitized individuals suggest that a very strong environmental challenge can specifically affect the expression of the front-leg clubs. The presence of 1% of males in natural populations with missing or heavily deformed clubs plus 5% with minor club deformations furthermore indicate that there are risks associated with club development during final ecdysis and this might act as a filter against deleterious alleles. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Schrein, Caitlin M
The fossil sample attributed to the late Miocene hominoid taxon Ouranopithecus macedoniensis is characterized by a high degree of dental metric variation. As a result, some researchers support a multiple-species taxonomy for this sample. Other researchers do not think that the sample variation is too great to be accommodated within one species. This study examines variation and sexual dimorphism in mandibular canine and postcanine dental metrics of an Ouranopithecus sample. Bootstrapping (resampling with replacement) of extant hominoid dental metric data is performed to test the hypothesis that the coefficients of variation (CV) and the indices of sexual dimorphism (ISD) of the fossil sample are not significantly different from those of modern great apes. Variation and sexual dimorphism in Ouranopithecus M(1) dimensions were statistically different from those of all extant ape samples; however, most of the dental metrics of Ouranopithecus were neither more variable nor more sexually dimorphic than those of Gorilla and Pongo. Similarly high levels of mandibular molar variation are known to characterize other fossil hominoid species. The Ouranopithecus specimens are morphologically homogeneous and it is probable that all but one specimen included in this study are from a single population. It is unlikely that the sample includes specimens of two sympatric large-bodied hominoid species. For these reasons, a single-species hypothesis is not rejected for the Ouranopithecus macedoniensis material. Correlations between mandibular first molar tooth size dimorphism and body size dimorphism indicate that O. macedoniensis and other extinct hominoids were more sexually size dimorphic than any living great apes, which suggests that social behaviors and life history profiles of these species may have been different from those of living species.
Manicom, Carryn; Alford, Ross; Schoener, Thomas W; Schwarzkopf, Lin
Sexual differences in adult body size (sexual size dimorphism, or SSD) ultimately can be favored by selection because larger males are more likely to be successful competitors for females, because larger females bear larger clutches, or because intersexual size differences reduce resource competition. Natural selection during juvenile development can influence sexual dimorphism of adults, and selection on adults and juveniles may differ. Studies that address the relative contributions of adult body shape dimorphism and sexually dimorphic patterns of growth and maturity are particularly useful in understanding the evolution of size dimorphism, yet they are rare. We investigated three sympatric, congeneric lizard species with different degrees and directions of adult sexual dimorphism and compared their growth patterns, survival probabilities, and intersexual trophic niche differences. Different mechanisms, even within these closely related, sympatric species, acted on juvenile lizards to produce species differences in adult SSD. Both degree and direction of dimorphism resulted from differences between the sexes in either the duration of growth or the rate of growth, but not from differences in rates of survival or selection on juvenile growth rate. Species- and sex-specific trade-offs in the allocation of energy to growth and reproduction, as well as differential timing of maturation, thus caused the growth patterns of the sexes to diverge, producing SSD. The differences that we observed in the direction of SSD among these species is consistent with their different social systems, suggesting that differential selection on adult body size has been responsible for the observed species-specific differences in juvenile growth rates and maturational timing.
YU, Q.; ELLEN, E. D.; WADE, M. J.; DELPH, L. F.
Genetic variation among populations in the degree of sexual dimorphism may be a consequence of selection on one or both sexes. We analysed genetic parameters from crosses involving three populations of the dioecious plant Silene latifolia, which exhibits sexual dimorphism in flower size, to determine whether population differentiation was a result of selection on one or both sexes. We took the novel approach of comparing the ratio of population differentiation of a quantitative trait (QST) to that of neutral genetic markers (FST) for males vs. females. We attributed 72.6% of calyx width variation in males to differences among populations vs. only 6.9% in females. The QST/FST ratio was 4.2 for males vs. 0.4 for females, suggesting that selection on males is responsible for differentiation among populations in calyx width and its degree of sexual dimorphism. This selection may be indirect via genetic correlations with other morphological and physiological traits. PMID:21401772
Conway, Kevin W.; Britz, Ralf; Siegel, Dustin S.
The swimbladder plays an important role in buoyancy regulation but is typically reduced or even absent in benthic freshwater fishes that inhabit fast flowing water. Here, we document, for the first time, a remarkable example of swimbladder sexual dimorphism in the highly rheophilic South Asian torrent minnows (Psilorhynchus). The male swimbladder is not only much larger than that of the female (up to five times the diameter and up to 98 times the volume in some cases), but is also structurally more complex, with multiple internal septa dividing it into smaller chambers. Males also exhibit a strange organ of unknown function or homology in association with the swimbladder that is absent in females. Extreme sexual dimorphism of non-gonadal internal organs is rare among vertebrates and the swimbladder sexual dimorphisms that we describe for Psilorhynchus are unique among fishes. PMID:25009242
Lynch, Jeffrey James; Cross, Peter; Heaton, Vivienne
This research investigated the sexual dimorphism of the first human rib using geometric morphometric and metric approaches on a sample of 285 specimens containing European Americans and African Americans from the Hamann-Todd collection. Metric measurements were investigated for sexual dimorphism and ancestral differences using univariate statistics. Four type II landmarks and 40 sliding semi-landmarks were placed outlining the dorsal and ventral curvatures of the ribs. Landmark data were processed using Generalized Procrustes Analyses with Procrustes distance sliding, and the subsequent coordinates were investigated for sexual dimorphism and ancestral differences using Procrustes ANOVAs. Both geometric morphometric and metric data were analyzed using cross-validated discriminant function analyses to test the hypothesis that variables from both approaches can be combined to increase sex classification rate. European Americans had sex correctly classified as high as 88.05% and African Americans as high as 70.86% using a combination of metric and geometric morphometric variables.
Sexually dimorphic innate immune responses have been observed in several species, but have not been studied in response to a live pathogen challenge in pigs. This study aimed to elucidate sexually dimorphic innate immune responses along with Salmonella translocation patterns in newly weaned pigs ora...
Sexually dimorphic innate immune responses have been observed in several species, but have not been studied in response to a live pathogen challenge in pigs. This study aimed to elucidate sexually dimorphic innate immune responses along with Salmonella translocation patterns in newly weaned pigs ora...
Qiao, Qin; Le Manach, Séverine; Sotton, Benoit; Huet, Hélène; Duvernois-Berthet, Evelyne; Paris, Alain; Duval, Charlotte; Ponger, Loïc; Marie, Arul; Blond, Alain; Mathéron, Lucrèce; Vinh, Joelle; Bolbach, Gérard; Djediat, Chakib; Bernard, Cécile; Edery, Marc; Marie, Benjamin
Sexual dimorphism describes the features that discriminate between the two sexes at various biological levels. Especially, during the reproductive phase, the liver is one of the most sexually dimorphic organs, because of different metabolic demands between the two sexes. The liver is a key organ that plays fundamental roles in various physiological processes, including digestion, energetic metabolism, xenobiotic detoxification, biosynthesis of serum proteins, and also in endocrine or immune response. The sex-dimorphism of the liver is particularly obvious in oviparous animals, as the female liver is the main organ for the synthesis of oocyte constituents. In this work, we are interested in identifying molecular sexual dimorphism in the liver of adult medaka fish and their sex-variation in response to hepatotoxic exposures. By developing an integrative approach combining histology and different high-throughput omic investigations (metabolomics, proteomics and transcriptomics), we were able to globally depict the strong sexual dimorphism that concerns various cellular and molecular processes of hepatocytes comprising protein synthesis, amino acid, lipid and polysaccharide metabolism, along with steroidogenesis and detoxification. The results of this work imply noticeable repercussions on the biology of oviparous organisms environmentally exposed to chemical or toxin issues. PMID:27561897
Qiao, Qin; Le Manach, Séverine; Sotton, Benoit; Huet, Hélène; Duvernois-Berthet, Evelyne; Paris, Alain; Duval, Charlotte; Ponger, Loïc; Marie, Arul; Blond, Alain; Mathéron, Lucrèce; Vinh, Joelle; Bolbach, Gérard; Djediat, Chakib; Bernard, Cécile; Edery, Marc; Marie, Benjamin
Sexual dimorphism describes the features that discriminate between the two sexes at various biological levels. Especially, during the reproductive phase, the liver is one of the most sexually dimorphic organs, because of different metabolic demands between the two sexes. The liver is a key organ that plays fundamental roles in various physiological processes, including digestion, energetic metabolism, xenobiotic detoxification, biosynthesis of serum proteins, and also in endocrine or immune response. The sex-dimorphism of the liver is particularly obvious in oviparous animals, as the female liver is the main organ for the synthesis of oocyte constituents. In this work, we are interested in identifying molecular sexual dimorphism in the liver of adult medaka fish and their sex-variation in response to hepatotoxic exposures. By developing an integrative approach combining histology and different high-throughput omic investigations (metabolomics, proteomics and transcriptomics), we were able to globally depict the strong sexual dimorphism that concerns various cellular and molecular processes of hepatocytes comprising protein synthesis, amino acid, lipid and polysaccharide metabolism, along with steroidogenesis and detoxification. The results of this work imply noticeable repercussions on the biology of oviparous organisms environmentally exposed to chemical or toxin issues.
Maan, Martine E.; Cummings, Molly E.
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
LAU, Alice Ching Ching; ASAHARA, Masakazu; HAN, Sung Yong; KIMURA, Junpei
Sexual dimorphism of the craniodental morphology of the Eurasian otter in South Korea was studied with geometric morphometrics. 29 adult skulls (15 males and 14 females) were used. Images of the dorsal and ventral view of the cranium and right lateral view of the mandible were taken and then digitized, and measurements were taken on the right side. Results showed that size difference between males and females was significant. Correlations between the size and shape variations have not been observed in this study. The bivariate plots with centroid size showed size dimorphism between males and females with some overlapping. Most relative warp (RW) scores were not significantly different between males and females. We observed only RW2 for dorsal and ventral view of the skull, and only RW1 for mandible was significantly different between the sexes. Shape dimorphisms were revealed at the postorbital constriction, temporal-mandibular joint, coronoid process, mandibular condyle and angular process of the skull. Based on our study, sexual dimorphism exists in Eurasian otter from the South Korean population in terms of both the size and shape. Furthermore, the degree of size dimorphism is greater than shape dimorphism. PMID:26983684
Hojo, Rieko; Stern, Sander; Zareba, Grazyna; Markowski, Vincent P; Cox, Christopher; Kost, James T; Weiss, Bernard
Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats received a single oral dose of 0, 20, 60, or 180 ng/kg 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin on day 8 of gestation. Each litter contributed a single male-female pair trained to press a lever to obtain food pellets under two operant behavior procedures. Initially, each lever press was reinforced. The fixed-ratio (FR) requirement was then increased every four sessions from the initial setting of 1 to values between 6 and 71. We then studied responses for 30 days under a multiple schedule combining FR 11 and another schedule requiring a pause of at least 10 sec between responses (DRL 10-sec). TCDD evoked a sexually dimorphic response pattern. Generally, TCDD-exposed males responded at lower rates than control males. In contrast, exposed females responded at higher rates than controls. Each response measure from the mult-FR DRL schedule yielded a male-female difference score. We used the differences in response rate to calculate benchmark doses based on the relative displacement from modeled zero-dose performance of the effective dose at 1% (ED(01)) and 10% (ED(10)), as determined by a second-order polynomial fit to the dose-effect function. For the male-female difference in FR rate of responding, the mean ED(10) was 2.77 ng/kg with a 95% lower bound of 1.81 ng/kg. The corresponding ED(01) was 0.27 ng/kg with a 95% lower bound of 0.18 ng/kg. For the male-female difference in DRL rate, the mean ED(10) was 2.97 ng/kg with a 95% lower bound of 2.02 ng/kg. The corresponding ED(01) was 0.30 ng/kg with a 95% lower bound of 0.20 ng/kg. These values fall close to, but below, current estimates of human body burdens of 13 ng/kg, based on TCDD toxic equivalents. PMID:11882475
Background Although there appear to be no differences in muscle protein turnover in young and middle aged men and women, we have reported significant differences in the rate of muscle protein synthesis between older adult men and women. This suggests that aging may affect muscle protein turnover differently in men and women. Methods We measured the skeletal muscle protein fractional synthesis rate (FSR) by using stable isotope-labeled tracer methods during basal postabsorptive conditions and during a hyperaminoacidemic-hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp in eight young men (25–45 y), ten young women (25–45 y), ten old men (65–85 y) and ten old women (65–85 y). Results The basal muscle protein FSR was not different in young and old men (0.040 ± 0.004 and 0.043 ± 0.005%·h-1, respectively) and combined insulin, glucose and amino acid infusion significantly increased the muscle protein FSR both in young (to 0.063 ± 0.006%·h-1) and old (to 0.051 ± 0.008%·h-1) men but the increase (0.023 ± 0.004 vs. 0.009 ± 0.004%·h-1, respectively) was ~60% less in the old men (P = 0.03). In contrast, the basal muscle protein FSR was ~30% greater in old than young women (0.060 ± 0.003 vs. 0.046 ± 0.004%·h-1, respectively; P < 0.05) and combined insulin, glucose and amino acid infusion significantly increased the muscle protein FSR in young (P < 0.01) but not in old women (P = 0.10) so that the FSR was not different between young and old women during the clamp (0.074 ± 0.006%·h-1 vs. 0.072 ± 0.006%·h-1, respectively). Conclusions There is sexual dimorphism in the age-related changes in muscle protein synthesis and thus the metabolic processes responsible for the age-related decline in muscle mass. PMID:22620287
Stillwell, R Craig; Morse, Geoffrey E; Fox, Charles W
Body size of many animals varies with latitude: body size is either larger at higher latitudes (Bergmann's rule) or smaller at higher latitudes (converse Bergmann's rule). However, the causes underlying these patterns are poorly understood. Also, studies rarely explore how sexual size dimorphism varies with latitude. Here we investigate geographic variation in body size and sexual size dimorphism of the seed-feeding beetle Stator limbatus, collected from 95 locations along a 38 degrees range in latitude. We examine 14 variables to test whether clines in environmental factors are adequate to explain geographic patterns of body size. We found that body size and sexual size dimorphism of S. limbatus varied considerably with latitude; beetles were smaller but more dimorphic at lower latitudes. Body size was not correlated with a gradient in mean temperature, contrary to the commonly accepted hypothesis that clines are produced by latitudinal gradients in temperature. Instead, we found that three factors were adequate to explain the cline in body size: clinal variation in host plant seed size, moisture (humidity), and seasonality (variance in humidity, precipitation, and temperature). We also found that the cline in sexual size dimorphism was partially explainable by a gradient in moisture, though moisture alone was not sufficient to explain the cline. Other ecological or environmental variables must necessarily contribute to differences in selection on male versus female body size. The main implications of our study are that the sexes differ in the magnitude of clinal variation in body size, creating latitudinal variation in sexual size dimorphism, and that clines in body size of seed beetles are likely influenced by variation in host seed size, water availability, and seasonality.
Svensson, Erik I; Waller, John T
Our knowledge about how the environment influences sexual selection regimes and how ecology and sexual selection interact is still limited. We performed an integrative study of wing pigmentation in calopterygid damselflies, combining phylogenetic comparative analyses, field observations and experiments. We investigated the evolutionary consequences of wing pigmentation for sexual dimorphism, speciation, and extinction and addressed the possible thermoregulatory benefits of pigmentation. First, we reconstructed ancestral states of male and female phenotypes and traced the evolutionary change of wing pigmentation. Clear wings are the ancestral state and that pigmentation dimorphism is derived, suggesting that sexual selection results in sexual dimorphism. We further demonstrate that pigmentation elevates speciation and extinction rates. We also document a significant biogeographic association with pigmented species primarily occupying northern temperate regions with cooler climates. Field observations and experiments on two temperate sympatric species suggest a link between pigmentation, thermoregulation, and sexual selection, although body temperature is also affected by other phenotypic traits such as body mass, microhabitat selection, and thermoregulatory behaviors. Taken together, our results suggest an important role for wing pigmentation in sexual selection in males and in speciation. Wing pigmentation might not increase ecological adaptation and species longevity, and its primary function is in sexual signaling and species recognition.
Monroe, Melanie J; Alonzo, Suzanne H
Sex differences in parental care are thought to arise from differential selection on the sexes. Sexual dimorphism, including sexual size dimorphism (SSD), is often used as a proxy for sexual selection on males. Some studies have found an association between male-biased SSD (i.e., males larger than females) and the loss of paternal care. While the relationship between sexual selection on males and parental care evolution has been studied extensively, the relationship between female-biased SSD (i.e., females larger than males) and the evolution of parental care has received very little attention. Thus, we have little knowledge of whether female-biased SSD coevolves with parental care. In species displaying female-biased SSD, we might expect dimorphism to be associated with the evolution of paternal care or perhaps the loss of maternal care. Here, drawing on data for 99 extant frog species, we use comparative methods to evaluate how parental care and female-biased SSD have evolved over time. Generally, we find no significant correlation between the evolution of parental care and female-biased SSD in frogs. This suggests that differential selection on body size between the sexes is unlikely to have driven the evolution of parental care in these clades and questions whether we should expect sexual dimorphism to exhibit a general relationship with the evolution of sex differences in parental care. PMID:25505526
Wormington, Jillian D.; Juliano, Steven A.
Background Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in insects often accompanies a sexual difference in development time, sexual bimaturism (SBM). Goal To determine whether three Aedes mosquito species have similar plasticity in SSD, attain sexual dimorphism through similar strategies, and whether SSD and SBM are associated. Organisms Aedes albopictus, Aedes aegypti, and Aedes triseriatus (Diptera: Culicidae). Methods In four different food availability environments, we quantified plastic responses of relative growth rate (RGR), development time, and adult body size in individually reared males and females. Results Food availability affected RGR differently for the sexes for all three species. The RGR of males and females differed significantly in the 0.1 g/L food treatment. This difference did not account for observed SSD. Food levels over which the largest changes in RGR were observed differed among the species. Male and female adult mass and development time were jointly affected by food availability in a pattern that differed among the three species, so that degree of SSD and SBM changed differentially with food availability for all three species. Development time was generally less sexually dimorphic than mass, particularly in A. albopictus. At lower food levels, A. aegypti and A. triseriatus had accentuated dimorphism in development time. These results, combined with our knowledge of mosquito life history, suggest that a direct benefit of SBM is improbable for mosquitoes and that the observed intersexual differences in development time are more likely byproducts of selection for SSD. PMID:25663826
Cameron, Elissa Z; Edwards, Amy M; Parsley, Laura M
Sex allocation theory predicts biased offspring sex ratios in relation to local conditions if they would maximize parental lifetime reproductive return. In mammals, the extent of the birth sex bias is often unpredictable and inconsistent, leading some to question its evolutionary significance. For facultative adjustment of sex ratios to occur, males and females would need to be detectably different from an early developmental stage, but classic sexual dimorphism arises from hormonal influences after gonadal development. Recent advances in our understanding of early, pregonadal sexual dimorphism, however, indicate high levels of dimorphism in gene expression, caused by chromosomal rather than hormonal differences. Here, we discuss how such dimorphism would interact with and link previously hypothesized mechanisms for sex-ratio adjustment. These differences between males and females are sufficient for offspring sex both to be detectable to parents and to provide selectable cues for biasing sex ratios from the earliest stages. We suggest ways in which future research could use the advances in our understanding of sexually dimorphic developmental physiology to test the evolutionary significance of sex allocation in mammals. Such an approach would advance our understanding of sex allocation and could be applied to other taxa.
Gorman, Kristen B.; Williams, Tony D.; Fraser, William R.
Background Sexual segregation in vertebrate foraging niche is often associated with sexual size dimorphism (SSD), i.e., ecological sexual dimorphism. Although foraging behavior of male and female seabirds can vary markedly, differences in isotopic (carbon, δ13C and nitrogen, δ15N) foraging niche are generally more pronounced within sexually dimorphic species and during phases when competition for food is greater. We examined ecological sexual dimorphism among sympatric nesting Pygoscelis penguins asking whether environmental variability is associated with differences in male and female pre-breeding foraging niche. We predicted that all Pygoscelis species would forage sex-specifically, and that higher quality winter habitat, i.e., higher or lower sea ice coverage for a given species, would be associated with a more similar foraging niche among the sexes. Results P2/P8 primers reliably amplified DNA of all species. On average, male Pygoscelis penguins are structurally larger than female conspecifics. However, chinstrap penguins were more sexually dimorphic in culmen and flipper features than Adélie and gentoo penguins. Adélies and gentoos were more sexually dimorphic in body mass than chinstraps. Only male and female chinstraps and gentoos occupied separate δ15N foraging niches. Strong year effects in δ15N signatures were documented for all three species, however, only for Adélies, did yearly variation in δ15N signatures tightly correlate with winter sea ice conditions. There was no evidence that variation in sex-specific foraging niche interacted with yearly winter habitat quality. Conclusion Chinstraps were most sexually size dimorphic followed by gentoos and Adélies. Pre-breeding sex-specific foraging niche was associated with overall SSD indices across species; male chinstrap and gentoo penguins were enriched in δ15N relative to females. Our results highlight previously unknown trophic pathways that link Pygoscelis penguins with variation in Southern
Shankar, S; Anuthama, Krishnamurthy; Kruthika, M; Kumar, V Suresh; Ramesh, K; Jaheerdeen, A; Yasin, M Mohamed
Anthropological research relies on skeletal and dental remains for the identification of species. Sexual dimorphism is the systematic difference in form between males and females of the same species. This study is designed to compute a new formula for sex determination using discriminant function analysis in the deciduous crown dimensions of a paediatric population of South Indian origin and to check its accuracy. The sample consisted of 93 females and 90 males of South Indian origin aged between 5 and 13 years. Alginate impressions of the upper dental arch were made and casts were poured immediately. A digital vernier calliper was used to obtain measurements. Teeth considered for measurement were deciduous maxillary canines and molars. Our study is a maiden attempt in considering diagonal measurements along with mesiodistal (MD) and buccolingual (BL) dimensions as predictor variables for sex determination. Statistical analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Science version 17.0 software. By using the Student t-test, the different predictor variables of teeth selected between male and females were found to be significant (p < 0.05). Highly significant sexual dimorphism was found in the mean MD dimension of maxillary right canine and right and left first molar, BL dimension of right first molar, distobuccal-mesiolingual of right and left first molar and right second molar and mesiobuccal-distolingual of right second molar. The percentage of sexual dimorphism in MD dimensions revealed that the right upper first molar was the most dimorphic tooth and the upper first molar of the left side was the least dimorphic of the six teeth studied. The present study found the level of sexual dimorphism in the deciduous crown dimensions of a selected group of South Indian population, which is sufficiently large to determine sex with an accuracy of 87.2-88% by discriminant function analysis. Hence the formula derived from the present study could be of
Agrawal, Aditi; Manjunatha, Bhari Shranesha; Dholia, Bhavik; Althomali, Yousef
Background and Objectives: Sexual dimorphism is one of important tool of forensic science. The objective of this study is to assess the dimorphic status of mesio-distal (MD) and bucco-lingual (BL) diameter of mandibular canine with mandibular first molar among the students of dental college. This study is of definite significance as sex chromosomes and hormonal production influenced tooth morphology. Materials and Methods: The descriptive study adopted the purposive sampling technique, of 50 male and 50 female aged 17-25 years, using study casts for mesio-distal and bucco-lingual dimensions of mandibular canine with mandibular first molar were taken using digital Vernier caliper. The data obtained were subjected to statistical analysis using descriptive statistics and t-test to compare MD and BL dimensions in male and female populations and P ≤ 0.05 was found statistically significant. Results: Sexual dimorphism can be predicted by measuring mesiodistal dimension of mandibular canine and mandibular first molar. The left mandibular canine showed more sexual dimorphism (12.66%) in comparison to left mandibular first molar (0.824%) only. Right mandibular canine showed greater dimorphism in MD dimensions (10.94%) in comparison to right mandibular first molar (6.96%). In bucco-lingual dimensions mandibular canine showed less variability when compared with mandibular first molar, thus our study showed more significance on mesio-distal dimensions of both teeth. Conclusion: The present study concludes statistically significant sexual dimorphism in mandibular canine over mandibular first molar on study casts. The MD dimensions in mandibular canine and mandibular first molar can help in determining sex and identification of unknown person. PMID:26816466
Tyrannosaurus rex is the iconic species of a fearsome predator and is held in fascination by virtually everyone. Like many other species, Tyrannosaurs rex displayed sexual dimorphism with the females larger than the males. The femur bones of 14 fossil specimens were examined to determine if the maximum running abilities were significantly different for the two genders. No significant difference is observed.
Crooks, Neil; Babey, Lucy; Haddon, William J; Love, Adrian C; Waring, Colin P
The dermal layers of several elasmobranch species have been shown to be sexually dimorphic. Generally, when this occurs the females have thicker dermal layers compared to those of males. This sexual dimorphism has been suggested to occur as a response to male biting during mating. Although male biting as a copulatory behaviour in Scyliorhinus canicula has been widely speculated to occur, only relatively recently has this behaviour been observed. Male S. canicula use their mouths to bite the female's pectoral and caudal fins as part of their pre-copulatory behaviour and to grasp females during copulation. Previous work has shown that female S. canicula have a thicker epidermis compared to that of males. The structure of the dermal denticles in females may also differ from that of males in order to protect against male biting or to provide a greater degree of friction in order to allow the male more purchase. This study reveals that the length, width and density of the dermal denticles of mature male and female S. canicula are sexually dimorphic across the integument in areas where males have been observed to bite and wrap themselves around females (pectoral fin, area posterior to the pectoral fin, caudal fin, and pelvic girdle). No significant differences in the dermal denticle dimensions were found in other body areas examined (head, dorsal skin and caudal peduncle). Sexually dimorphic dermal denticles in mature S. canicula could be a response to male biting/wrapping as part of the copulatory process.
Drollette, Eric S.; Scudder, Mark R.; Raine, Lauren B.; Davis Moore, R.; Pontifex, Matthew B.; Erickson, Kirk I.; Hillman, Charles H.
The present investigation examined the sexual dimorphic patterns of cardiorespiratory fitness to working memory in preadolescent children (age range: 7.7-10.9). Data were collected in three separate studies (Study 1: n = 97, 42 females; Study 2: n = 95, 45 females; Study 3: n = 84, 37 females). All participants completed a cardiorespiratory…
Blecher, S.R. )
Mutant mice in which chromosomal complement and hormonal profile were discordant were studied. It appeared that the Y-chromosomally determined male-larger sexual dimorphism of tooth size seen in humans was not present in mice. It was concluded that the finding of smaller molars in males than in females was due to hormonal rather than chromosomal factors.
Korobeĭnikov, H V; Koniaieva, L D; Rossokha, H V; Medvydchuk, K V; Petrov, H S
To determine the influence of sexual dimorphism on mental characteristics in elite athletes, 24 sportsmen (18-27 years old) (17 men and 7 women members of Ukrainian National Judo Team), 20 sedentary men and 20 sedentary women (20-29 years old) were studied. Results obtained confirmed significant difference of sexual dimorphism indices in athletes and sedentary people. It was determined that sexual dimorphism manifestations in athletes were as follows: (1) short memory capacity (62.58 +/- 3.21%) and coefficient of operational thinking (2.67 +/- 0.16 standard units) was increased in women in comparison with men (55.78 +/- 2.07% and 1.44 +/- 0.30 standard units, p < 0.05, accordingly), (2) on the contrary neurodynamic functions were decreased in women (latent time of simple (266.92 +/- 4.73 ms) and composite (494.44 +/- 6.38 ms) visual-motor reactions and power of nervous processes (18.49 +/- 8.93%) in comparison with men (239.62 +/- 5.26 ms, 440.10 +/- 6.61 ms, 5.33 +/- 0.59%, p < 0.05, respectively). Results obtained indicate influence of sexual dimorphism on psychophysiological functions.
The growth hormone (GH)-activated transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription 5b (STAT5b) is a key regulator of sexually dimorphic gene expression in the liver. Suppression of hepatic STAT5b signaling is associated with lipid metabolic dysfunction leadi...
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.
Crooks, Neil; Babey, Lucy; Haddon, William J.; Love, Adrian C.; Waring, Colin P.
The dermal layers of several elasmobranch species have been shown to be sexually dimorphic. Generally, when this occurs the females have thicker dermal layers compared to those of males. This sexual dimorphism has been suggested to occur as a response to male biting during mating. Although male biting as a copulatory behaviour in Scyliorhinus canicula has been widely speculated to occur, only relatively recently has this behaviour been observed. Male S. canicula use their mouths to bite the female’s pectoral and caudal fins as part of their pre-copulatory behaviour and to grasp females during copulation. Previous work has shown that female S. canicula have a thicker epidermis compared to that of males. The structure of the dermal denticles in females may also differ from that of males in order to protect against male biting or to provide a greater degree of friction in order to allow the male more purchase. This study reveals that the length, width and density of the dermal denticles of mature male and female S. canicula are sexually dimorphic across the integument in areas where males have been observed to bite and wrap themselves around females (pectoral fin, area posterior to the pectoral fin, caudal fin, and pelvic girdle). No significant differences in the dermal denticle dimensions were found in other body areas examined (head, dorsal skin and caudal peduncle). Sexually dimorphic dermal denticles in mature S. canicula could be a response to male biting/wrapping as part of the copulatory process. PMID:24116179
Duell, Lanora J.
This study examined the effect of hormonal fluctuations on women's performance on sexually dimorphic cognitive tasks. Thirty-six participants were recruited through introduction to psychology courses at three colleges. Participants were assessed using the Woodcock-Johnson Test of Cognitive Ability III (WJ III COG), which is a commonly-used, widely…
Temeles, Ethan J; Miller, Jill S; Rifkin, Joanna L
Unambiguous examples of ecological causation of sexual dimorphism are rare, and the best evidence involves sexual differences in trophic morphology. We show that moderate female-biased sexual dimorphism in bill curvature is the ancestral condition in hermit hummingbirds (Phaethornithinae), and that it is greatly amplified in species such as Glaucis hirsutus and Phaethornis guy, where bills of females are 60 per cent more curved than bills of males. In contrast, bill curvature dimorphism is lost or reduced in a lineage of short-billed hermit species and in specialist Eutoxeres sicklebill hermits. In the hermits, males tend to be larger than females in the majority of species, although size dimorphism is typically small. Consistent with earlier studies of hummingbird feeding performance, both raw regressions of traits and phylogenetic independent contrasts supported the prediction that dimorphism in bill curvature of hermits is associated with longer bills. Some evidence indicates that differences between sexes of hermit hummingbirds are associated with differences in the use of food plants. We suggest that some hermit hummingbirds provide model organisms for studies of ecological causation of sexual dimorphism because their sexual dimorphism in bill curvature provides a diagnostic clue for the food plants that need to be monitored for studies of sexual differences in resource use.
Temeles, Ethan J.; Miller, Jill S.; Rifkin, Joanna L.
Unambiguous examples of ecological causation of sexual dimorphism are rare, and the best evidence involves sexual differences in trophic morphology. We show that moderate female-biased sexual dimorphism in bill curvature is the ancestral condition in hermit hummingbirds (Phaethornithinae), and that it is greatly amplified in species such as Glaucis hirsutus and Phaethornis guy, where bills of females are 60 per cent more curved than bills of males. In contrast, bill curvature dimorphism is lost or reduced in a lineage of short-billed hermit species and in specialist Eutoxeres sicklebill hermits. In the hermits, males tend to be larger than females in the majority of species, although size dimorphism is typically small. Consistent with earlier studies of hummingbird feeding performance, both raw regressions of traits and phylogenetic independent contrasts supported the prediction that dimorphism in bill curvature of hermits is associated with longer bills. Some evidence indicates that differences between sexes of hermit hummingbirds are associated with differences in the use of food plants. We suggest that some hermit hummingbirds provide model organisms for studies of ecological causation of sexual dimorphism because their sexual dimorphism in bill curvature provides a diagnostic clue for the food plants that need to be monitored for studies of sexual differences in resource use. PMID:20194168
Scantlebury, M; Speakman, J.R; Bennett, N.C
Different reproductive strategies of males and females may lead to the evolution of differences in their energetic costs of reproduction, overall energetic requirements and physiological performances. Sexual dimorphism is often associated with costly behaviours (e.g. large males might have a competitive advantage in fighting, which is energetically expensive). However, few studies of mammals have directly compared the energy costs of reproductive activities between sexes. We compared the daily energy expenditure (DEE) and resting metabolic rate (RMR) of males and females of two species of mole-rat, Bathyergus janetta and Georychus capensis (the former is sexually dimorphic in body size and the latter is not) during a period of intense digging when males seek females. We hypothesized that large body size might be indicative of greater digging or fighting capabilities, and hence greater mass-independent DEE values in males of the sexually dimorphic species. In contrast to this prediction, although absolute values of DEE were greater in B. janetta males, mass-independent values were not. No differences were apparent between sexes in G. capensis. By comparison, although RMR values were greater in B. janetta than G. capensis, no differences were apparent between the sexes for either species. The energy cost of dimorphism is most likely to be the cost of maintenance of a large body size, and not the cost of behaviours performed when an individual is large. PMID:16519235
Ipiña, Santiago L; Durand, Ana I
Viewed as a biological concept, sexual dimorphism does not appear to motivate debate. However, with the aim of measuring such dimorphism, several indexes have been proposed, and not all of them have been regarded as equally reliable by the biological community. The main divergence between the indexes is that their definition is based on appraising only partial features (e.g., the mean parameter) of the set of measurements corresponding to each sex. Provided that sexual dimorphism can be satisfactorily analyzed when random variables and their distribution functions are involved, it is also likely that the conjecture that the two sexes making up a population are independent enables such indexes to be clearly distinguished. We examined and compared the following measures of sexual dimorphism: the quotient of sample means, the sample range, the sample coefficient of variation, the overlapping area between two independent normal distributions, and the overlapping area between the functions making up a mixture of two normal distributions. We especially consider their inferential structures.
Gilmore, John H.; Lin, Weili; Prastawa, Marcel W.; Looney, Christopher B.; Vetsa, Y. Sampath K.; Knickmeyer, Rebecca C.; Evans, Dianne D.; Smith, J. Keith; Hamer, Robert M.; Lieberman, Jeffrey A.; Gerig, Guido
Although there has been recent interest in the study of childhood and adolescent brain development, very little is known about normal brain development in the first few months of life. In older children, there are regional differences in cortical gray matter development, whereas cortical gray and white matter growth after birth has not been studied to a great extent. The adult human brain is also characterized by cerebral asymmetries and sexual dimorphisms, although very little is known about how these asymmetries and dimorphisms develop. We used magnetic resonance imaging and an automatic segmentation methodology to study brain structure in 74 neonates in the first few weeks after birth. We found robust cortical gray matter growth compared with white matter growth, with occipital regions growing much faster than prefrontal regions. Sexual dimorphism is present at birth, with males having larger total brain cortical gray and white matter volumes than females. In contrast to adults and older children, the left hemisphere is larger than the right hemisphere, and the normal pattern of fronto-occipital asymmetry described in older children and adults is not present. Regional differences in cortical gray matter growth are likely related to differential maturation of sensory and motor systems compared with prefrontal executive function after birth. These findings also indicate that whereas some adult patterns of sexual dimorphism and cerebral asymmetries are present at birth, others develop after birth. PMID:17287499
Gilmore, John H; Lin, Weili; Prastawa, Marcel W; Looney, Christopher B; Vetsa, Y Sampath K; Knickmeyer, Rebecca C; Evans, Dianne D; Smith, J Keith; Hamer, Robert M; Lieberman, Jeffrey A; Gerig, Guido
Although there has been recent interest in the study of childhood and adolescent brain development, very little is known about normal brain development in the first few months of life. In older children, there are regional differences in cortical gray matter development, whereas cortical gray and white matter growth after birth has not been studied to a great extent. The adult human brain is also characterized by cerebral asymmetries and sexual dimorphisms, although very little is known about how these asymmetries and dimorphisms develop. We used magnetic resonance imaging and an automatic segmentation methodology to study brain structure in 74 neonates in the first few weeks after birth. We found robust cortical gray matter growth compared with white matter growth, with occipital regions growing much faster than prefrontal regions. Sexual dimorphism is present at birth, with males having larger total brain cortical gray and white matter volumes than females. In contrast to adults and older children, the left hemisphere is larger than the right hemisphere, and the normal pattern of fronto-occipital asymmetry described in older children and adults is not present. Regional differences in cortical gray matter growth are likely related to differential maturation of sensory and motor systems compared with prefrontal executive function after birth. These findings also indicate that whereas some adult patterns of sexual dimorphism and cerebral asymmetries are present at birth, others develop after birth.
Sandel, Michael; Rohde, Fritz C; Harris, Phillip M
The genus Elassoma represents a small but unique component of the aquatic biodiversity hotspot in southeastern North America. We present the first phylogeny of the seven described species, corroborated by sequence data from mitochondrial and nuclear protein coding genes. This analysis reveals a Coastal Plain clade sister to the geographically isolated, and federally protected, Elassoma alabamae. The Coastal Plain clade contains the widespread E. zonatum, which is sister to a clade primarily restricted to lowland Neogene subprovinces. We analyzed morphometric data in a phylogenetic context to illustrate the evolution of sexual shape dimorphism within the genus. Sixteen univariate and three multivariate traits were tested for significant sexual dimorphism for each species, and relative transformation rates were inferred from the time tree. A simple index of interspecific sexual dimorphism revealed greater disparity among sympatric species comparisons than among allopatric comparisons. Results implicate geology as a primary factor influencing ecological diversification, and sexual selection as a mechanism reinforcing reproductive isolation in areas of secondary contact. We discuss putative roles of geological history and sexual selection in the generation and maintenance of the aquatic biodiversity gradient in southeastern North America.
Anzai, Wataru; Cádiz, Antonio; Endo, Hideki
In Anolis lizards, sexual dimorphism has been reported in morphological and ecological traits. Males show larger body size and longer limbs related to territorial combat and courtship display with the dewlap. Although functional-anatomical traits are closely related to locomotor behaviors, differences between sexes in musculoskeletal traits on limbs remain unclear. We explored the relationships among sexual dimorphisms in musculoskeletal morphology, habitat, and locomotor traits in Anolis lizards. Specifically, we examined appendicular musculoskeletal morphology in three species of Cuban Anolis by measuring muscle mass and lengths of moment arms. Through comparisons of crossing locomotion, we found that the runner species possessed larger extensors in hindlimbs, which are advantageous for running, whereas the masses of the humeral and femoral retractors were larger in climber species, allowing these lizards to hold up their bodies and occupy tree substrates. Comparisons between the sexes showed different trends among the three species. Males of A. porcatus, which inhabit narrow branches or leaves, had stronger elbow extensors that maintain the display posture. In contrast, males of A. sagrei, which occupy broad surfaces, did not show sexual differences that affected social display. Moreover, A. bartschi indicated sexual differences despite the absence of dewlapping behavior. Our findings suggest that both sexes show fundamentally similar relationships between muscular morphology and locomotor habits to adapt arboreal or terrestrial substrates, and yet sexual dimorphism in forelimb muscles may additionally affected by male specific display with the dewlap.
Garcia-Falgueras, Alicia; Pinos, Helena; Collado, Paloma; Pasaro, Eduardo; Fernandez, Rosa; Segovia, Santiago; Guillamon, Antonio
Central nervous system sex differences have two morphological patterns. In one pattern, males show larger measurements (volume, number of neurons) than females (male > female; m > f) and, in the other, the opposite is true (female > male; f > m). The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST) is a unique model for the study of sex differences because it has dimorphic and isomorphic subdivisions, with the former showing the two sexually differentiated morphological patterns. Meanwhile, other CNS structures, like the locus coeruleus (LC), present the f > m pattern. The philogenetic maintenance of the two patterns of sexual differentiation can help to disentangle the functional meaning of sex differences. Laboratory rat strains, whether albino or pigmented, descend from the Wistar strain through artificial selection. The present work compares the BST and LC of Wistar and Long-Evans rats. The medial posterior subdivision of the BST (BSTMP) is sexually dimorphic (m > f pattern) in the original (Wistar) and derived (Long-Evans) strains, while the lateral anterior and medial anterior subdivisions of the BST and the LC only present sex differences (f > m pattern) in the ancestor Wistar strain. Isomorphic BST regions are the same in both strains. The fact that the BSTMP, which is implicated in male copulatory behavior, is sexually dimorphic in both strains, as well as in other species, including humans, indicates the relevance of this structure in male sexual behavior in mammals.
Pap, Péter L; Osváth, Gergely; Aparicio, José Miguel; Bărbos, Lőrinc; Matyjasiak, Piotr; Rubolini, Diego; Saino, Nicola; Vágási, Csongor I; Vincze, Orsolya; Møller, Anders Pape
Sexual selection and aerodynamic forces affecting structural properties of the flight feathers of birds are poorly understood. Here, we compared the structural features of the innermost primary wing feather (P1) and the sexually dimorphic outermost (Ta6) and monomorphic second outermost (Ta5) tail feathers of barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) from a Romanian population to investigate how sexual selection and resistance to aerodynamic forces affect structural differences among these feathers. Furthermore, we compared structural properties of Ta6 of barn swallows from six European populations. Finally, we determined the relationship between feather growth bars width (GBW) and the structural properties of tail feathers. The structure of P1 indicates strong resistance against aerodynamic forces, while the narrow rachis, low vane density and low bending stiffness of tail feathers suggest reduced resistance against airflow. The highly elongated Ta6 is characterized by structural modifications such as large rachis width and increased barbule density in relation to the less elongated Ta5, which can be explained by increased length and/or high aerodynamic forces acting at the leading tail edge. However, these changes in Ta6 structure do not allow for full compensation of elongation, as reflected by the reduced bending stiffness of Ta6. Ta6 elongation in males resulted in feathers with reduced resistance, as shown by the low barb density and reduced bending stiffness compared to females. The inconsistency in sexual dimorphism and in change in quality traits of Ta6 among six European populations shows that multiple factors may contribute to shaping population differences. In general, the difference in quality traits between tail feathers cannot be explained by the GBW of feathers. Our results show that the material and structural properties of wing and tail feathers of barn swallows change as a result of aerodynamic forces and sexual selection, although the result of these
Tague, Robert G
The human sacrum is sexually dimorphic, with males being larger than females in most dimensions. Previous studies, though, suggest that females may have a longer costal process of the first sacral vertebra (S1) than males. However, these studies neither quantified nor tested statistically the costal process of S1. This study compares S1 with the five lumbar vertebrae (L1 to L5) for a number of metric dimensions, including costal process length. Four issues are addressed, the: 1) hypothesis that females have a longer costal process of S1 than males; 2)hypothesis that homologous structures (i.e., costal processes of L1 to S1) differ in their direction of sexual dimorphism; 3) importance of the costal process of S1 to the obstetrical capacity of the pelvis; and 4) evolution of sexual dimorphism in costal process length of S1. One hundred ninety-seven individuals, including males and females of American blacks and whites, from the Hamann-Todd and Terry Collections were studied. Results show that males are significantly larger than females for most vertebral measurements, except that females have a significantly longer costal process of S1 than males. Costal process length of S1 is positively correlated with the transverse diameter and circumference of the pelvic inlet. The magnitude of sexual dimorphism in costal process length of S1 ranks this measure among the most highly dimorphic of the pelvis. Compared with the humans in this study, australopithecines have a relatively long costal process of S1, but their broad sacrum was not associated with obstetrical imperatives.
Reno, Philip L; Meindl, Richard S; McCollum, Melanie A; Lovejoy, C Owen
The substantial fossil record for Australopithecus afarensis includes both an adult partial skeleton [Afar Locality (A.L.) 288-1, "Lucy"] and a large simultaneous death assemblage (A.L. 333). Here we optimize data derived from both to more accurately estimate skeletal size dimorphism. Postcranial ratios derived from A.L. 288-1 enable a significant increase in sample size compared with previous studies. Extensive simulations using modern humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas confirm that this technique is accurate and that skeletal size dimorphism in A. afarensis was most similar to that of contemporary Homo sapiens. These data eliminate some apparent discrepancies between the canine and skeletal size dimorphism in hominoids, imply that the species was not characterized by substantial sexual bimaturation, and greatly increase the probability that the reproductive strategy of A. afarensis was principally monogamy.
O’Mara, M. Teague; Bauer, Karla; Blank, Dominik; Baldwin, Justin W.; Dechmann, Dina K. N.
Within the large order of bats, sexual size dimorphism measured by forearm length and body mass is often female-biased. Several studies have explained this through the effects on load carrying during pregnancy, intrasexual competition, as well as the fecundity and thermoregulation advantages of increased female body size. We hypothesized that wing shape should differ along with size and be under variable selection pressure in a species where there are large differences in flight behaviour. We tested whether load carrying, sex differential migration, or reproductive advantages of large females affect size and wing shape dimorphism in the common noctule (Nyctalus noctula), in which females are typically larger than males and only females migrate long distances each year. We tested for univariate and multivariate size and shape dimorphism using data sets derived from wing photos and biometric data collected during pre-migratory spring captures in Switzerland. Females had forearms that are on average 1% longer than males and are 1% heavier than males after emerging from hibernation, but we found no sex differences in other size, shape, or other functional characters in any wing parameters during this pre-migratory period. Female-biased size dimorphism without wing shape differences indicates that reproductive advantages of big mothers are most likely responsible for sexual dimorphism in this species, not load compensation or shape differences favouring aerodynamic efficiency during pregnancy or migration. Despite large behavioural and ecological sex differences, morphology associated with a specialized feeding niche may limit potential dimorphism in narrow-winged bats such as common noctules and the dramatic differences in migratory behaviour may then be accomplished through plasticity in wing kinematics. PMID:27880791
Zakaria, Mahmoud S; Mohammed, Aly H; Habib, Sahar R; Hanna, Morid M; Fahiem, Ayman L
Measurements of calcaneus have been shown to be sexually dimorphic in American whites and blacks, Italians and South African whites and blacks. Since the validity of discriminant function equation in sex determination is population specific, the aim of the present study was to derive similar equations for the calcanei of Egyptians. Lateral radiographs of the ankles of 204 Egyptians aged 20-70 were analyzed with regards to sexual dimorphism, consisting of 104 males and 100 females. X-ray films were obtained from Minia Forensic Department. Six measurements were taken for every calcaneal X-ray film, three linear and three angular measurements. Data were analyzed by SPSS version 17, An independent samples t-test and discriminant function analysis were done. All linear measurements, but not angular, showed significant sexual differences. Maximum length was found to be the most sexually dimorphic (90.2%). Combination of maximum length with minimum height gave the same result of all linear measurements (92.6%) which was more than given by individual variables (81.4-90.2%).
Cheng, Ren-Chung; Kuntner, Matjaž
Sexual dimorphism describes substantial differences between male and female phenotypes. In spiders, sexual dimorphism research almost exclusively focuses on size, and recent studies have recovered steady evolutionary size increases in females, and independent evolutionary size changes in males. Their discordance is due to negative allometric size patterns caused by different selection pressures on male and female sizes (converse Rensch's rule). Here, we investigated macroevolutionary patterns of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in Argiopinae, a global lineage of orb-weaving spiders with varying degrees of SSD. We devised a Bayesian and maximum-likelihood molecular species-level phylogeny, and then used it to reconstruct sex-specific size evolution, to examine general hypotheses and different models of size evolution, to test for sexual size coevolution, and to examine allometric patterns of SSD. Our results, revealing ancestral moderate sizes and SSD, failed to reject the Brownian motion model, which suggests a nondirectional size evolution. Contrary to predictions, male and female sizes were phylogenetically correlated, and SSD evolution was isometric. We interpret these results to question the classical explanations of female-biased SSD via fecundity, gravity, and differential mortality. In argiopines, SSD evolution may be driven by these or additional selection mechanisms, but perhaps at different phylogenetic scales.
Balogová, Monika; Nelson, Emma; Uhrin, Marcel; Figurová, Mária; Ledecký, Valent; Zyśk, Bartłomiej
It has been proposed that digit ratio may be used as a biomarker of early developmental effects. Specifically, the second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D:4D) has been linked to the effects of sex hormones and their receptor genes, but other digit ratios have also been investigated. Across taxa, patterns of sexual dimorphism in digit ratios are ambiguous and a scarcity of studies in basal tetrapods makes it difficult to understand how ratios have evolved. Here, we focus on examining sex differences in digit ratios (2D:3D, 2D:4D, and 3D:4D) in a common amphibian, the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra). We used graphic software to measure soft tissue digit length and digit bone length from X-rays. We found a nonsignificant tendency in males to have a lower 2D:3D than females; however, no sexual differences were detected in the other ratios. We discuss our results in the context of other studies of digit ratios, and how sex determination systems, as well as other factors, might impact patterns of sexual dimorphism, particularly in reptiles and in amphibians. Our findings suggest that caution is needed when using digit ratios as a potential indicator of prenatal hormonal effects in amphibians and highlight the need for more comparative studies to elucidate the evolutionary and genetic mechanisms implicated in sexually dimorphic patterns across taxonomic groups.
Carrera, Patricia C; Mattoni, Camilo I; Peretti, Alfredo V
Specialised structures that enable males to grasp females during sexual interactions are highly susceptible to selection and thus diverge relatively rapidly over evolutionary time. These structures are often used to test hypotheses regarding sexual selection such as sexually antagonistic co-evolution and sexual selection by female choice. In the present study, we determine whether there is a relationship between a novel record of scorpion sexual dimorphism, the sexual dimorphism of chelicerae (CSD), and the presence of the mating behaviour termed "cheliceral grip" (CG). The presence of both traits in the order Scorpiones is also reviewed from a phylogenetic perspective. The results confirm a strong relationship between CSD and the presence of CG. The morphological and behavioural patterns associated with "CSD-CG" are opposed to the predictions postulated by the hypothesis of sexually antagonistic co-evolution. However, if the female shows resistance after the deposition of the spermatophore, the possibility that the male exerts pressure as a "cryptic form" of coercion to prevent the interruption of mating cannot be ruled out completely. Female choice by "mechanical fit" could be another explanation for some aspects of the CG's contact zone. The possibility that the "CG-CSD" complex has evolved under natural selection in order to ensure sperm transfer is also considered.
Zhou, Muchu; Smith, G Troy
Electrocommunication signals of electric fish vary across species, sexes and individuals. The diversity of these signals and the relative simplicity of the neural circuits controlling them make them a model well-suited for studying the mechanisms, evolution and sexual differentiation of behavior. In most wave-type gymnotiform knifefishes, electric organ discharge (EOD) frequency and EOD modulations known as chirps are sexually dimorphic. In the most speciose gymnotiform family, the Apteronotidae, EOD frequency is higher in males than females in some species, but lower in males than females in others. Sex differences in EOD frequency and chirping, however, have been examined in only three apteronotid species in a single genus, Apteronotus. To understand the diversity of electrocommunication signals, we characterized these behaviors in another genus, Adontosternarchus. Electrocommunication signals of Adontosternarchus devenanzii differed from those of Apteronotus in several ways. Unlike in Apteronotus, EOD frequency was not sexually dimorphic in A. devenanzii. Furthermore, although A. devenanzii chirped in response to playbacks simulating conspecific EODs, the number of chirps did not vary with different stimulus frequencies. A. devenanzii chirps also differed in structure from Apteronotus chirps. Whereas Apteronotus species produce functionally distinct chirp types differing in frequency modulation (FM), A. devenanzii produced only high-frequency chirps that had either single or multiple frequency peaks. Males produced more multi-peaked chirps than females. Thus, the temporal structure of chirps, rather than the amount of FM, delineated chirp types in A. devenanzii. Our results demonstrate that the structure, function and sexual dimorphism of electrocommunication signals are evolutionary labile in apteronotids and may be useful for understanding the diversity of sexually dimorphic behavior.
Walder, Deborah J; Holtzman, Carrie W; Addington, Jean; Cadenhead, Kristin; Tsuang, Ming; Cornblatt, Barbara; Cannon, Tyrone D; McGlashan, Thomas H; Woods, Scott W; Perkins, Diana O; Seidman, Larry J; Heinssen, Robert; Walker, Elaine F
Sex differences in age at onset, symptomatology, clinical course (see Walker et al., 2002) and functional impairment (Thorup et al., 2007) are well documented in psychosis. The general pattern of findings is that males manifest an earlier onset, more severe symptoms and poorer prognosis than females. Limited studies examining individuals at clinical high-risk (CHR) suggest a similar pattern of sexual dimorphism (Holtzman et al., in review; Corcoran et al., 2011). As part of the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS), the current study prospectively examined sexual dimorphisms in relationships among CHR symptoms, childhood (premorbid) academic and social functioning, baseline social and role functioning, and conversion to psychosis. Subjects included 276 (113F/163M) CHR NAPLS participants (ages 12-36.8years). All measures/criteria were assessed at baseline except conversion status, assessed at 6-month intervals up to 30months. Results show sex differences in baseline social and role functioning (though not in early childhood adjustment) that predate psychosis onset, with sexually dimorphic patterns in relation to prodromal symptoms. Among male (but not female) CHRs, baseline social functioning and positive prodromal symptoms predicted conversion. These findings help elucidate early course of vulnerability for, and maximally sensitive and specific etiological and prediction models of, psychosis conversion. Findings highlight the importance of considering sexually differentiated predictors of longitudinal course and outcome, in the context of emerging risk profiles. This may optimize efforts at early identification and individually tailored preventive interventions targeting different neurobiological markers/systems and/or cognitive-behavioral approaches. We speculate a contemporary, multidimensional model of psychosis risk that posits a role of sexually dimorphic, genetically linked influences that converge with a modulating role of gonadal hormones (see
Manthey, Laura; Jantz, Richard L; Bohnert, Michael; Jellinghaus, Katharina
Crania are a reliable source for sex estimation in Euro-Americans, Europeans, and most other populations. Besides morphological assessments, the application of Fordisc® has become a useful tool within the last two decades, creating discriminant functions from morphometric data. Unfortunately, until now, white populations are mostly represented by measurements of American individuals. Therefore, classification rates are lower for European skulls than for Euro-Americans. The aim of this study was to show differences in sexual dimorphism between German and Euro-American crania. Furthermore, their secular change from the nineteenth to the twentieth century has been investigated. Analyses have been performed on glabella subtense (GLS), mastoid height (MDH), and bizygomatic breadth (ZYB). Fordisc® 3.1 was used to study sexual dimorphism and secular change, whereas SAS® was used to perform a two-level ANOVA to test for variation in sex dimorphism. Euro-Americans show greater dimorphism than Germans in all three measurements tested. This larger difference is even increasing from the late nineteenth through the late twentieth century in terms of GLS and MDH, while it stays almost the same in the present Europeans. These results explain the unsatisfying classification rates of German and other European crania on Fordisc®. Data collection for European Fordisc® samples is in progress and should improve the current situation.
Gotoh, Hiroki; Zinna, Robert A; Ishikawa, Yuki; Miyakawa, Hitoshi; Ishikawa, Asano; Sugime, Yasuhiro; Emlen, Douglas J; Lavine, Laura C; Miura, Toru
One of the defining features of the evolutionary success of insects is the morphological diversification of their appendages, especially mouthparts. Although most insects share a common mouthpart ground plan, there is remarkable diversity in the relative size and shapes of these appendages among different insect lineages. One of the most prominent examples of mouthpart modification can be found in the enlargement of mandibles in stag beetles (Coleoptera, Insecta). In order to understand the proximate mechanisms of mouthpart modification, we investigated the function of appendage-patterning genes in mandibular enlargement during extreme growth of the sexually dimorphic mandibles of the stag beetle Cyclommatus metallifer. Based on knowledge from Drosophila and Tribolium studies, we focused on seven appendage patterning genes (Distal-less (Dll), aristaless (al), dachshund (dac), homothorax (hth), Epidermal growth factor receptor (Egfr), escargot (esg), and Keren (Krn). In order to characterize the developmental function of these genes, we performed functional analyses by using RNA interference (RNAi). Importantly, we found that RNAi knockdown of dac resulted in a significant mandible size reduction in males but not in female mandibles. In addition to reducing the size of mandibles, dac knockdown also resulted in a loss of the serrate teeth structures on the mandibles of males and females. We found that al and hth play a significant role during morphogenesis of the large male-specific inner mandibular tooth. On the other hand, knockdown of the distal selector gene Dll did not affect mandible development, supporting the hypothesis that mandibles likely do not contain the distal-most region of the ancestral appendage and therefore co-option of Dll expression is unlikely to be involved in mandible enlargement in stag beetles. In addition to mandible development, we explored possible roles of these genes in controlling the divergent antennal morphology of Coleoptera.
Welling, Lisa L M; Singh, Kevin; Puts, David A; Jones, Benedict C; Burriss, Robert P
Recent studies investigating the relationship between self-reported sexual desire and attraction to same- and opposite-sex individuals have found that homosexual men's sexual desire is positively correlated with their self-reported attraction to own-sex individuals only, while homosexual women's sexual desire is positively correlated with their self-reported attraction to both men and women. These data have been interpreted as evidence that sexual desire strengthens men's pre-existing (i.e., dominant) sexual behaviors and strengthens women's sexual behaviors in general. Here we show that homosexual men's (n = 106) scores on the Sexual Desire Inventory-2 (SDI-2) were positively correlated with their preferences for exaggerated sex-typical shape cues in own-sex, but not opposite-sex, faces. Contrary to the hypothesis that sexual desire strengthens women's preferences for sexual dimorphism generally, homosexual women's (n = 83) SDI-2 scores were positively correlated with their preferences for exaggerated sex-typical shape cues in opposite-sex faces only. Together with previous research in heterosexual subjects, our findings support the proposal that sexual desire increases the incidence of existing sexual behaviors in homosexual and heterosexual men, and increases the incidence of sexual responses more generally in heterosexual women, although not necessarily in homosexual women.
Frynta, Daniel; Frýdlová, Petra; Hnízdo, Jan; Simková, Olga; Cikánová, Veronika; Velenský, Petr
Monitor lizards belong to the largest and the most sexually dimorphic lizards in terms of size, making this group an ideal model for studies analyzing ontogenetic causes of sexual dimorphism. Understanding of these ontogenetic factors is essential to the current discussion concerning patterns of sexual dimorphism in animals. We examined the ontogenetic trajectories of body weight and snout-vent length to analyze the emergence of sexual size dimorphism. Experimental animals were 22 males and 13 females of mangrove-dwelling monitors (Varanus indicus) hatched at the Prague Zoo. They were regularly weighed and measured up to the age of 33-40 months, and subsequently sexed by ultrasonographic imaging. The logistic growth equation was used to describe and analyze the observed growth patterns. Our results confirm considerable sexual size dimorphism in the mangrove monitor. The mean asymptotic body weight of males was nearly three times higher than that of females. As the body size of male and female hatchlings is almost equal, and the growth rate parameter (K) of the logistic growth equation as well as the absolute growth rate up to the age of 12 months do not differ between the sexes, size differences between fully grown males and females should be attributed to timing of the postnatal growth. Males continue to grow several months after they reach the age when the growth of females is already reduced. Therefore, the sexual size dimorphism emerges and sharply increases at this period.
Roulin, A; Jensen, H
Theory states that genes on the sex chromosomes have stronger effects on sexual dimorphism than genes on the autosomes. Although empirical data are not necessarily consistent with this theory, this situation may prevail because the relative role of sex-linked and autosomally inherited genes on sexual dimorphism has rarely been evaluated. We estimated the quantitative genetics of three sexually dimorphic melanin-based traits in the barn owl (Tyto alba), in which females are on average darker reddish pheomelanic and display more and larger black eumelanic feather spots than males. The plumage traits with higher sex-linked inheritance showed lower heritability and genetic correlations, but contrary to prediction, these traits showed less pronounced sexual dimorphism. Strong offspring sexual dimorphism primarily resulted from daughters not expressing malelike melanin-based traits and from sons expressing femalelike traits to similar degrees as their sisters. We conclude that in the barn owl, polymorphism at autosomal genes rather than at sex-linked genes generate variation in sexual dimorphism in melanin-based traits.
Dorries, K M; Adkins-Regan, E; Halpern, B P
Sexually dimorphic pheromone pathways have been used successfully to study insect olfactory coding. As one of the few mammalian species with an identified sex pheromone, the domestic pig (Sus scrofa) may be an ideal vertebrate species in which to examine sex differences in olfactory processing of a specific stimulus. In this experiment, androstenone and control odor detection thresholds were measured in adult male, female, and castrated male pigs. In an operant task, pigs were tested with descending concentration series of both androstenone and geraniol. All groups were equally sensitive to geraniol, but there was a sex difference in sensitivity to the odor of androstenone. Female pigs' detection threshold was a dilution fivefold lower than the threshold for intact males. Castrated males did not differ significantly from either males or females. This is the first example of a sexual dimorphism in sensitivity to a mammalian pheromone.
Mei, Jie; Gui, Jian-Fang
Aquaculture has made an enormous contribution to the world food production, especially to the sustainable supply of animal proteins. The utility of diverse reproduction strategies in fish, such as the exploiting use of unisexual gynogenesis, has created a typical case of fish genetic breeding. A number of fish species show substantial sexual dimorphism that is closely linked to multiple economic traits including growth rate and body size, and the efficient development of sex-linked genetic markers and sex control biotechnologies has provided significant approaches to increase the production and value for commercial purposes. Along with the rapid development of genomics and molecular genetic techniques, the genetic basis of sexual dimorphism has been gradually deciphered, and great progress has been made in the mechanisms of fish sex determination and identification of sex-determining genes. This review summarizes the progress to provide some directive and objective thinking for further research in this field.
Weaker immune responses are often observed in males compared to females. Since female hormones have proinflammatory properties and androgens have potent immunomodulatory effects, this sexual dimorphism in the immune response seems to be hormone dependent. Despite our current knowledge about the effect of sex hormones on immune cells, definition of the factors driving the sex differences in immunoclinical outcomes, such as the diminished response to infection and vaccination observed in men or the higher rates of autoimmunity observed in females, remains elusive. Recently, systems approaches to immune function have started to suggest a way toward establishing this connection. Such studies promise to improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the sexual dimorphism observed in the human immune system.
Miller, C W; McDonald, G C; Moore, A J
Sexually selected traits are often highly variable in size within populations due to their close link with the physical condition of individuals. Nutrition has a large impact on physical condition, and thus, any seasonal changes in nutritional quality are predicted to alter the average size of sexually selected traits as well as the degree of sexual dimorphism in populations. However, although traits affected by mate choice are well studied, we have a surprising lack of knowledge of how natural variation in nutrition affects the expression of sexually selected weapons and sexual dimorphism. Further, few studies explicitly test for differences in the heritability and mean-scaled evolvability of sexually selected traits across conditions. We studied Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae), an insect where males use their hind legs as weapons and the femurs are enlarged, to understand the extent to which weapon expression, sexual dimorphism and evolvability change across the actual range of nutrition available in the wild. We found that insects raised on a poor diet (cactus without fruit) are nearly monomorphic, whereas those raised on a high-quality diet (cactus with ripe fruit) are distinctly sexually dimorphic via the expression of large hind leg weapons in males. Contrary to our expectations, we found little evidence of a potential for evolutionary change for any trait measured. Thus, although we show weapons are highly condition dependent, and changes in weapon expression and dimorphism could alter evolutionary dynamics, our populations are unlikely to experience further evolutionary changes under current conditions.
Rankin, Daniel J; Arnqvist, Göran
The population consequences of sexual selection remain empirically unexplored. Comparative studies, involving extinction risk, have yielded different results as to the effect of sexual selection on population densities make contrasting predictions. Here, we investigate the relationship between sexual dimorphism (SD) and population productivity in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus, using 13 populations that have evolved in isolation. Geometric morphometric methods and image analysis are employed to form integrative measures of sexual dimorphism, composed of variation in weight, size, body shape, and pigmentation. We found a positive relationship between SD and adult fitness (net adult offspring production) across our study populations, but failed to find any association between SD and juvenile fitness (egg-to-adult survival). Several mechanisms may have contributed to the pattern found, and variance in sexual selection regimes across populations, either in female choice for "good genes" or in the magnitude of direct benefits provided by their mates, would tend to produce the pattern seen. However, our results suggest that evolutionary constraints in the form of intralocus sexual conflict may have been the major generator of the relationship seen between SD and population fitness.
There have been numerous attempts to sex fossil specimens using the canine dentition. Whether focused on canine size or canine shape, most of these efforts share two deficiencies: lack of quantification of male-female differences in the adopted criteria and a failure to adequately explore among extant species the discriminatory power of these criteria. Here, canine shape indices relating to relative canine height, upper canine root/crown proportionality, and relative length of the lower canine mesial ridge were calculated for males and females of all species and subspecies of extant great apes and two species of gibbons. The accuracy of these indices for identifying the sex of the extant ape specimens was investigated through discriminant analysis and the use of bivariate plots of the two upper and two lower canine indices. The indices were found to be highly accurate in identifying the sex of great ape individuals, not only in single-species and subspecies samples but in mixed-species samples as well; assignment error rates were mostly between 0 and 4%. Accuracy was lowest in Pan (error rates as high as 15%) and highest in Pongo (one error). In most cases, error rates were lower in the upper canines. The effectiveness of these shape indices for sexing might be related to the degree of absolute canine size dimorphism; the indices did not effectively segregate males and females among minimally canine-dimorphic gibbons. The mixed-species results reveal that same-sex index values are remarkably concordant across great ape species, as are the patterns of spatial segregation of males and females in the bivariate plots. Results suggest that, while the indices can be used with some confidence to sex individual fossil specimens, their greatest utility will be for identifying the sex of groups of canines united by size and morphology.
Suárez, Rodrigo; Fernández-Aburto, Pedro; Manger, Paul R.; Mpodozis, Jorge
In mammals, social and sexual behaviours are largely mediated by the vomeronasal system (VNS). The accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) is the first synaptic locus of the VNS and ranges from very large in Caviomorph rodents, small in carnivores and ungulates, to its complete absence in apes, elephants, most bats and aquatic species. Two pathways have been described in the VNS of mammals. In mice, vomeronasal neurons expressing Gαi2 protein project to the rostral portion of the AOB and respond mostly to small volatile molecules, whereas neurons expressing Gαo project to the caudal AOB and respond mostly to large non-volatile molecules. However, the Gαo-expressing pathway is absent in several species (horses, dogs, musk shrews, goats and marmosets) but no hypotheses have been proposed to date to explain the loss of that pathway. We noted that the species that lost the Gαo pathway belong to Laurasiatheria and Primates lineages, both clades with ubiquitous sexual dimorphisms across species. To assess whether similar events of Gαo pathway loss could have occurred convergently in dimorphic species we studied G-protein expression in the AOB of two species that independently evolved sexually dimorphic traits: the California ground squirrel Spermophilus beecheyi (Rodentia; Sciurognathi) and the cape hyrax Procavia capensis (Afrotheria; Hyracoidea). We found that both species show uniform expression of Gαi2-protein throughout AOB glomeruli, while Gαo expression is restricted to main olfactory glomeruli only. Our results suggest that the degeneration of the Gαo-expressing vomeronasal pathway has occurred independently at least four times in Eutheria, possibly related to the emergence of sexual dimorphisms and the ability of detecting the gender of conspecifics at distance. PMID:22039487
del Abril, A; Segovia, S; Guillamón, A
This work investigates the possible existence of sex differences in the volume of the parastrial nucleus (PSN), a component of the preoptic area in the rat. The effects of postnatal (on day 1 after birth) male orchidectomy and female androgenization on this nucleus were studied. The volume of the PSN was greater in the control females than in the control males and postnatal treatments reversed this sexual dimorphism.
Ramirez, Maria Cecilia; Ornstein, Ana Maria; Luque, Guillermina Maria; Perez Millan, Maria Ines; Garcia-Tornadu, Isabel; Rubinstein, Marcelo
Liver sexual gene dimorphism, which depends mainly on specific patterns of GH secretion, may underlie differential susceptibility to some liver diseases. Because GH and prolactin secretion are regulated by dopaminergic pathways, we studied the participation of brain and lactotrope dopamine 2 receptors (D2Rs) on liver gene sexual dimorphism, to explore a link between the brain and liver gene expression. We used global D2R knockout mice (Drd2−/−) and conducted a functional dissection strategy based on cell-specific Drd2 inactivation in neurons (neuroDrd2KO) or pituitary lactotropes. Disruption of neuronal D2Rs (which impaired the GH axis) decreased most of male or female-predominant class I liver genes and increased female–predominant class II genes in males, consistent with the positive (class I) or negative (class II) regulation of these genes by GH. Notably, sexual dimorphism was lost for class I and II genes in neuroDrd2KO mice. Disruption of lactotrope D2Rs did not modify class I or II genes in either sex, because GH axis was preserved. But surprisingly, 1 class II gene (Prlr) and female-predominant class I genes were markedly up-regulated in lacDrd2KO females, pointing to direct or indirect effects of prolactin in the regulation of selected female-predominant liver genes. This suggestion was strengthened in the hyperprolactinemic Drd2−/− female mouse, in which increased expression of the same 4 liver genes was observed, despite a decreased GH axis. We hereby demonstrate endocrine-mediated D2R actions on sexual dimorphic liver gene expression, which may be relevant during chronic dopaminergic medications in psychiatric disease. PMID:25545383
Angadi, Punnya V; Hemani, S; Prabhu, Sudeendra; Acharya, Ashith B
Correct sex assessment of skeletonized human remains allows investigators to undertake a more focused search of missing persons' files to establish identity. Univariate and multivariate odontometric sex assessment has been explored in recent years on small sample sizes and have not used a test sample. Consequently, inconsistent results have been produced in terms of accuracy of sex allocation. This paper has derived data from a large sample of males and females, and applied logistic regression formulae on a test sample. Using a digital caliper, buccolingual and mesiodistal dimensions of all permanent teeth (except third molars) were measured on 600 dental casts (306 females, 294 males) of young adults (18-32 years), and the data subjected to univariate (independent samples' t-test) and multivariate statistics (stepwise logistic regression analysis, or LRA). The analyses revealed that canines were the most sexually dimorphic teeth followed by molars. All tooth variables were larger in males, with 51/56 (91.1%) being statistically larger (p < 0.05). When the stepwise LRA formulae were applied to a test sample of 69 subjects (40 females, 29 males) of the same age range, allocation accuracy of 68.1% for the maxillary teeth, 73.9% for the mandibular teeth, and 71% for teeth of both jaws combined, were obtained. The high univariate sexual dimorphism observed herein contrasts with some reports of low, and sometimes reverse, sexual dimorphism (the phenomenon of female tooth dimensions being larger than males'); the LRA results, too, are in contradiction to a previous report of virtually 100% sex allocation for a small heterogeneous sample. These reflect the importance of using a large sample to quantify sexual dimorphism in tooth dimensions and the application of the derived formulae on a test dataset to ascertain accuracy which, at best, is moderate in nature.
Myatt, Leslie; Muralimanoharan, Sribalasubashini; Maloyan, Alina
In pregnancy fetal growth and development occur in a sexually dimorphic manner. Male and female fetuses respond differently to the intrauterine environment with males disproportionately suffering from perinatal morbidity and mortality. We have demonstrated placental dysfunction and sexually dimorphic responses in pregnancies complicated by severe preeclampsia. Production of cytokines and apoptosis in the male placenta is heightened relative to that of the female placenta. We also find increased expression and stabilization and a sexual dimorphism in expression of the transcription factor HIF-1α, but a defect in binding to the hypoxia response element with corresponding reduced expression of HIF-1α target genes including VEGF and Glut-1. HIF-1α is involved in crosstalk with the redox sensitive transcription factor NFκB in regulation by cytokines, reactive oxygen species and expression of inflammatory genes. We find increased placental expression and DNA binding of NFκB and a sexually dimorphic response suggesting a role for NFκB in placental dysfunction with preeclampsia. Placental mitochondrial complex III activity and complex I and IV expression are reduced and alterations in mitochondrial morphology are found in preeclampsia and are linked to the hypoxamir miR-210. We propose that with severe PE placental HIF-1α is stabilized by excessive ROS, inflammation and relative hypoxia. This increases the expression of miR-210 in the placenta causing repression of mitochondria-associated target genes, potentially leading to mitochondrial and placental dysfunction. This placental dysfunction may lead to a fetal programming effect that results in disease in later life.
Wilkinson, Gerald S; Johns, Philip M; Metheny, Jackie D; Baker, Richard H
Stalk-eyed flies (family Diopsidae) are a model system for studying sexual selection due to the elongated and sexually dimorphic eye-stalks found in many species. These flies are of additional interest because their X chromosome is derived largely from an autosomal arm in other flies. To identify candidate genes required for development of dimorphic eyestalks and investigate how sex-biased expression arose on the novel X, we compared gene expression between males and females using oligonucleotide microarrays and RNA from developing eyestalk tissue or adult heads in the dimorphic diopsid, Teleopsis dalmanni. Microarray analysis revealed sex-biased expression for 26% of 3,748 genes expressed in eye-antennal imaginal discs and concordant sex-biased expression for 86 genes in adult heads. Overall, 415 female-biased and 482 male-biased genes were associated with dimorphic eyestalk development but not differential expression in the adult head. Functional analysis revealed that male-biased genes are disproportionately associated with growth and mitochondrial function while female-biased genes are associated with cell differentiation and patterning or are novel transcripts. With regard to chromosomal effects, dosage compensation occurs by elevated expression of X-linked genes in males. Genes with female-biased expression were more common on the X and less common on autosomes than expected, while male-biased genes exhibited no chromosomal pattern. Rates of protein evolution were lower for female-biased genes but higher for genes that moved on or off the novel X chromosome. These findings cannot be due to meiotic sex chromosome inactivation or by constraints associated with dosage compensation. Instead, they could be consistent with sexual conflict in which female-biased genes on the novel X act primarily to reduce eyespan in females while other genes increase eyespan in both sexes. Additional information on sex-biased gene expression in other tissues and related sexually
Dong, Hongmei; Deng, Mohong; Wang, WenPeng; Zhang, Ji; Mu, Jiao; Zhu, Guanghui
A present limitation of forensic anthropology practice in China is the lack of population-specific criteria on contemporary human skeletons. In this study, a sample of 203 maxillofacial Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images, including 96 male and 107 female cases (20-65 years old), was analyzed to explore mandible sexual dimorphism in a population of contemporary adult Han Chinese to investigate the potential use of the mandible as sex indicator. A three-dimensional image from mandible CBCT scans was reconstructed using the SimPlant Pro 11.40 software. Nine linear and two angular parameters were measured. Discriminant function analysis (DFA) and logistic regression analysis (LRA) were used to develop the mathematics models for sex determination. All of the linear measurements studied and one angular measurement were found to be sexually dimorphic, with the maximum mandibular length and bi-condylar breadth being the most dimorphic by univariate DFA and LRA respectively. The cross-validated sex allocation accuracies on multivariate were ranged from 84.2% (direct DFA), 83.5% (direct LRA), 83.3% (stepwise DFA) to 80.5% (stepwise LRA). In general, multivariate DFA yielded a higher accuracy and LRA obtained a lower sex bias, and therefore both DFA and LRA had their own advantages for sex determination by the mandible in this sample. These results suggest that the mandible expresses sexual dimorphism in the contemporary adult Han Chinese population, indicating an excellent sexual discriminatory ability. Cone beam computed tomography scanning can be used as alternative source for contemporary osteometric techniques.
Previous studies have shown that sexual dimorphism in the brain can present two morphological patterns: one in which males present greater morphological measures than females (male>female) and another in which the opposite is true (female>male). These studies have also shown that at least the part of amygdala namely the cortical and medial amygdala, an olfactory region involved in the control of reproductive physiology and behavior, is sexually dimorphic in the rat and other rodents. However, data comparing the basolateral and central amygdala between the sexes is lacking. To my knowledge, the present study is the first morphological work that systematically describes sexual dimorphism throughout the entire amygdala in the guinea pig. The results show that sex differences were found in: (a) the medial amygdala (ME) and its dorsal (MEd) and ventral (MEv) subdivisions, males showing greater values than females in volume and number of neurons, (b) the cortical amygdala (CO) and especially its posterior (COp) subdivision. In the CO, males exhibited a greater number of neurons and in the COp, males showed a greater volume and number of neurons. No differences between the sexes were observed in the basolateral and central amygdala. The results of the present study indicate that in the guinea pig sex differences are present in the large part of the amygdala and they present the male>female pattern, as it was observed in other rodents (rat and hamster), but not in the rabbit. As some previous neurochemical and functional studies have indicated that all parts of the amygdala may be sexually dimorphic, further studies are required to elucidate how much this brain region differs in both sexes.
Kumar, Sanjay; Voracek, Martin; Singh, Maharaj
Sexual dimorphism in ventrally measured digit ratios (2D:4D and other) has been related to prenatal sex-hormone levels. In the present series of three studies, we measured all digit lengths (excluding the thumb) on the dorsal, rather than the ventral, side of left and right hands and investigated the sexual dimorphism in digit ratios in three independent samples, two of them comprising adults (Study I, N = 104; Study II, N = 154), and one further, comprising kindergarten children (Study III, N = 64). Results show that men have lower digit-ratio values compared to women in digit ratios that include digit 5 as one of the constituents of the ratio (i.e., the 4D:5D, 3D:5D, and 2D:5D ratios). Boys have lower values compared to girls for the 4D:5D and 3D:5D ratios, and there is a similar trend of sexual dimorphism in the 2D:5D ratio. Thus, based on the evidence from dorsally measured digit ratios, the present findings from three samples are consistent with the idea that early sex-hormonal effects might be stronger for digit ratios involving digit 5, as compared to the classic, and frequently studied, ventrally measured 2D:4D ratio. PMID:28321205
Kikuchi, Y; Kuraoka, A
The present study focused on the sexual dimorphism of yellow baboon (Papio cynocephalus) to clarify its relationship with social behaviour. The degree of sexual dimorphism in the endocranial volume is the lowest among the investigated measurements. Among the facial measurements, the degree value of sexual dimorphism was the maximum (38.4%) for palate length and the minimum for palate breadth at the upper second molar (M2) (16.8%). Reduced major axis (RMA) regression analysis indicated that most positive allometry in relation to body mass was barely shown in the endocranial volume, palate length, palate breadth at M2 and mandibular ramal width. On the other hand, most negative allometry in relation to body mass was barely indicated in the bizygomatic breadth, skull length, humeral length and femoral length. The plate breadth at M2 in males was smaller than that in females in equivalent to body mass. The results of the present study suggest that more males have longer pointed muzzles than females, which is considered to create an impressive view of large canine teeth. This contributes to display among males and agonistic encounters rather than to necessity of increased facial size due to larger body size or dietary influences.
Samuk, Kieran; Iritani, Davis; Schluter, Dolph
Uncovering factors that shape variation in brain morphology remains a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Recently, it has been shown that brain size is positively associated with level of parental care behavior in various taxa. One explanation for this pattern is that the cognitive demands of performing complex parental care may require increased brain size. This idea is known as the parental brain hypothesis (PBH). We set out to test the predictions of this hypothesis in wild populations of threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). These fish are commonly known to exhibit (1) uniparental male care and (2) sexual dimorphism in brain size (males>females). To test the PBH, we took advantage of the existence of closely related populations of stickleback that display variation in parental care behavior: common marine threespine sticklebacks (uniparental male care) and white threespine sticklebacks (no care). To begin, we quantified genetic differentiation among two common populations and three white populations from Nova Scotia. We found overall low differentiation among populations, although FST was increased in between-type comparisons. We then measured the brain weights of males and females from all five populations along with two additional common populations from British Columbia. We found that sexual dimorphism in brain size is reversed in white stickleback populations: males have smaller brains than females. Thus, while several alternatives need to be ruled out, the PBH appears to be a reasonable explanation for sexual dimorphism in brain size in threespine sticklebacks. PMID:25473476
Fu, Xinhua; South, Adam; Lewis, Sara M
Many insect taxa show conspicuous sexual dimorphism in which females lack functional wings and are therefore incapable of flight. In fireflies, this loss of female flight is correlated with male production of spermatophore nuptial gifts, with species with flightless females also lacking gift production. In this study we further examined the relationship between sexual dimorphism and nuptial gifts by examining the reproductive ecology of two Asian fireflies, the sexually monomorphic Aquatica ficta (Luciolinae) and dimorphic Pyrocoelia pectoralis (Lampyrinae). We describe the reproductive anatomy of P. pectoralis males and females, and the time course of A. ficta spermatophore transfer. Through a series of mating experiments, we determined the effect of the number of matings on female fecundity, egg hatching success and female lifespan. The spermatophore-producing A. ficta was found to be monandrous, and female lifespan doubled as a result of that single mating. P. pectoralis was found to lack spermatophores but females were polyandrous and fecundity and egg hatching success both increased with additional matings. These results contradict patterns known from North American firefly species and provide insight into the role of male-derived substances in mating systems.
Anastasiou, Evilena; Chamberlain, Andrew T
The ability to correctly estimate the sex of skeletal remains is vital in forensic sciences. This article investigates the sexual dimorphism of the human sacro-iliac joint, using geometric morphometric techniques that assess morphological characters better than the traditional approaches for recording outline shapes, which are subject to quantification and inter-observer problems. Eight two-dimensional landmarks were recorded from digital images of 29 female and 35 male auricular surfaces of the ilium and sacrum. The specimens were analyzed using geometric morphometric methods (Generalized Procrustes analysis, relative warp analysis, Goodall's F) and multivariate statistics (ANOVA, MANCOVA, principal component analysis, discriminant function analysis [DFA]). Both the size and shape of the analyzed structures were found to be sexually dimorphic. The DFA illustrated that when the form of both the iliac and sacral articular surface is taken as a predictor variable, 94.5% of the individuals are assigned to the correct sex. The successful sex determination obtained by the DFA makes the further study of the sacro-iliac joint's sexual dimorphism promising.
Chan, Yick-Bun; Kravitz, Edward A.
A great challenge facing neuroscience is to understand how genes, molecules, cells, circuits, and systems interact to generate social behavior. Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) offer a powerful model system to address questions of this magnitude. These animals display genetically specified, sexually dimorphic patterns of fighting behavior via sex-specific splicing of the fruitless gene. Here, we show that sexually dimorphic behavioral patterns displayed during aggression are controlled by specific subgroups of neurons expressing male forms of fruitless proteins (FruM). Using the GAL4/UAS system to manipulate transformer expression, we feminized or masculinized different populations of neurons in fly nervous systems. With a panneuronal elav-GAL4 driver, male patterns of fighting behavior were transferred into females and female patterns into males. We screened 60 Gal4 lines that express the yeast transcription factor in different patterns in fly central nervous systems and found five that showed abnormal same-sex courtship behavior. The sexually dimorphic fighting patterns, however, were completely switched only in one and partially switched in a second of these lines. In the other three lines, female patterns of aggression were seen despite a switch in courtship preference. A tight correspondence was seen between FruM expression and how flies fight in several subgroups of neurons usually expressing these proteins: Expression is absent when flies fight like females and present when flies fight like males, thereby beginning a separation between courtship and aggression among these neurons. PMID:18042702
Mydlová, Miriama; Dupej, Ján; Koudelová, Jana; Velemínská, Jana
In the forensic sciences, knowledge of facial ageing is very important in searching for both dead and living individuals. Ageing estimations typically model the biological profile, which can be compared to missing persons. The main goals of this current study were to construct ageing trajectories for adult human faces of both sexes and evaluate sexual dimorphism in relation to static allometry. Our study was based on the analysis of three-dimensional facial surface models of 194 individuals 20-80 years of age. The evaluation consisted of a dense correspondence analysis of facial scans and multivariate statistics. It was shown that both age and sex have a significant influence on facial form and shape. Male features included a longer face, with more protruded foreheads, eyebrow ridges and nose, including the region under the upper lip and mandible region, but more retruded cheeks compared to females. Ageing in both sexes shared common traits, such as more pronounced roundness of the face (rectangular in males), decreased facial convexity, increased visibility of skin folds and wrinkles connected with the loss of skin elasticity, and soft tissue stretching, especially in the orbital area and lower face; however, male faces exhibited more intense ageing changes. The above-mentioned sexual dimorphic traits tended to diminish in the elderly age category, though overall sexual dimorphism was heightened with age. The static allometric relationships between size and form or shape were similar in both sexes, except that the larger faces of elderly males displayed more intensive ageing changes.
Li, Zhaoyu; Tuteja, Geetu; Schug, Jonathan; Kaestner, Klaus H.
SUMMARY Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is sexually dimorphic in both rodents and humans, with significantly higher incidence in males, an effect that is dependent on sex hormones. The molecular mechanisms by which estrogens prevent and androgens promote liver cancer remain unclear. Here, we discover that sexually-dimorphic HCC is completely reversed in Foxa1- and Foxa2-deficient mice after diethylnitrosamine-induced hepatocarcinogenesis. Co-regulation of target genes by Foxa1/a2 and either the estrogen receptor (ERα) or the androgen receptor (AR) was increased during hepatocarcinogenesis in normal female or male mice, respectively, but was lost in Foxa1/2-deficient mice. Thus, both estrogen-dependent resistance to and androgen-mediated facilitation of HCC depend on Foxa1/2. Strikingly, single nucleotide polymorphisms at FOXA2 binding sites reduce binding of both FOXA2 and ERα to their targets in human liver, and correlate with HCC development in women. Thus, Foxa factors and their targets are central for the sexual dimorphism of HCC. PMID:22265403
Wang, Hongyi; Hahn, Amanda C; Fisher, Claire I; DeBruine, Lisa M; Jones, Benedict C
The physical attractiveness of faces is positively correlated with both behavioral and neural measures of their motivational salience. Although previous work suggests that hormone levels modulate women's perceptions of others' facial attractiveness, studies have not yet investigated whether hormone levels also modulate the motivational salience of facial characteristics. To address this issue, we investigated the relationships between within-subject changes in women's salivary hormone levels (estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, and estradiol-to-progesterone ratio) and within-subject changes in the motivational salience of attractiveness and sexual dimorphism in male and female faces. The motivational salience of physically attractive faces in general and feminine female faces, but not masculine male faces, was greater in test sessions where women had high testosterone levels. Additionally, the reward value of sexually dimorphic faces in general and attractive female faces, but not attractive male faces, was greater in test sessions where women had high estradiol-to-progesterone ratios. These results provide the first evidence that the motivational salience of facial attractiveness and sexual dimorphism is modulated by within-woman changes in hormone levels.
Bermejo-Alvarez, P; Rizos, D; Lonergan, P; Gutierrez-Adan, A
Sex chromosome transcripts can lead to a broad transcriptional sexual dimorphism in the absence of concomitant or previous exposure to sex hormones, especially when X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) is not complete. XCI timing has been suggested to differ greatly among species, and in bovine, most of the X-linked transcripts are upregulated in female blastocysts. To determine the timing of XCI, we analyzed in day 14 bovine embryos the sexual dimorphic transcription of seven X-linked genes known to be upregulated in female blastocysts (X24112, brain-expressed X-linked 2 (BEX2), ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2A (UBE2A), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), brain-expressed X-linked 1 (BEX1), calpain 6 (CAPN6), and spermidine/spermine N-acetyltransferase 1 (SAT1)). The transcription of five genes whose expression differs between sexes at the blastocyst stage (DNMT3A, interferon tau (IFNT2), glutathione S-transferase mu 3 (GSTM3), progesterone receptor membrane component 1 (PGRMC1), and laminin alpha 1 (LAMA1)) and four genes related with sex determination (Wilms tumor 1 (WT1), gata binding protein 4 (GATA4), zinc finger protein multitype 2 (ZFPM2), and DMRT1) was also analyzed to determine the evolution of transcriptional sexual dimorphism. The expression level of five X-linked transcripts was effectively equalized among sexes suggesting that, in cattle, a substantial XCI occurs during the period between blastocyst hatching and initiation of elongation, although UBE2A and SAT1 displayed significant transcriptional differences. Similarly, sexual dimorphism was also reduced for autosomal genes with only DNMT3A and IFNT2 exhibiting sex-related differences. Among the genes potentially involved in sex determination, Wilms tumor 1 (WT1) was significantly upregulated in males and GATA4 in females, whereas no differences were observed for ZFPM2 and DMRT1. In conclusion, a major XCI occurred between the blastocyst and early elongation stages leading to a reduction in the
Rodríguez-Loeches, Laura; Barro, Alejandro; Pérez, Martha; Coro, Frank
Both sexes of Phoenicoprocta capistrata have functional tymbals. The scanning electron microscopy revealed differences in the morphology of these organs in males and females. Male tymbals have a well-developed striated band, constituted by 21 ± 2 regularly arranged striae whereas female tymbals lack a striated band. This type of sexual dimorphism is rare in Arctiidae. The recording of the sound produced by moths held by the wings revealed that while males produced trains of pulses organized in modulation cycles, females produced clicks at low repetition rate following very irregular patterns. Statistically, there are differences between sexes in terms of the duration of pulses, which were 355 ± 24 μs in the case of males and 289 ± 29 μs for females. The spectral characteristics of the pulses also show sexual dimorphism. Male pulses are more tuned ( Q 10 = 5.2 ± 0.5) than female pulses ( Q 10 = 2.7 ± 0.5) and have a higher best frequency (42 ± 1 kHz vs. 29 ± 2 kHz). To our knowledge, this is the first report on an arctiid moth showing sexual dimorphism in tymbal’s anatomy that leads to a best frequency dimorphism. Males produce sound at mating attempts. The sounds recorded during mating are modulation cycles with the same spectral characteristics as those recorded when males are held by the wings. The morphological and acoustic features of female tymbals could indicate a process of degeneration and adaptation to conditions under which the emission of complex patterns is not necessary.
Orlofsky, Ezra M.; Kozhoridze, Giorgi; Lyubenova, Lyudmila; Ostrozhenkova, Elena; Winkler, J. Barbro; Schröder, Peter; Bacher, Adelbert; Eisenreich, Wolfgang; Guy, Micha; Golan-Goldhirsh, Avi
The research presented stemmed from the observations that female plants of the annual dioecious Mercurialis annua outlive male plants. This led to the hypothesis that female plants of M. annua would be more tolerant to stress than male plants. This hypothesis was addressed in a comprehensive way, by comparing morphological, biochemical and metabolomics changes in female and male plants during their development and under salinity. There were practically no differences between the genders in vegetative development and physiological parameters. However, under salinity conditions, female plants produced significantly more new reproductive nodes. Gender-linked differences in peroxidase (POD) and glutathione transferases (GSTs) were involved in anti-oxidation, detoxification and developmental processes in M. annua. 1H NMR metabolite profiling of female and male M. annua plants showed that under salinity the activity of the TCA cycle increased. There was also an increase in betaine in both genders, which may be explainable by its osmo-compatible function under salinity. The concentration of ten metabolites changed in both genders, while ‘Female-only-response’ to salinity was detected for five metabolites. In conclusion, dimorphic responses of M. annua plant genders to stress may be attributed to female plants’ capacity to survive and complete the reproductive life cycle. PMID:27128954
Nishino, Hiroshi; Yoritsune, Atsushi; Mizunami, Makoto
In most insects, sex pheromone is processed by an enlarged glomerular complex (macroglomerular complex, MGC) in the male antennal lobe (first-order olfactory center). The MGC of the American cockroach consists of two closely located A- and B-glomeruli which are responsible for processing the major sex pheromone components, periplanone-A and -B, respectively. Using anterograde dye injection, we investigated sexual dimorphism in sensory afferents and interneuron. The A- and B-glomeruli exist in the first larval instar of both sexes. The female MGC homolog grows at a relatively constant rate (1.2-1.8-fold growth per molt) throughout development, whereas the male MGC shows a period of accelerated growth between the fifth and ninth instars, where volume can be more than double in a single molt. These different growth patterns resulted in a 1:30 ratio in glomerular complex volumes of adult females versus males. In the female MGC homolog, afferents originating from the dorsal and ventral antennal surfaces were biased toward anterior and posterior regions, and segregation of these afferents was less clear compared to the adult male. The staining of interneurons projecting to the protocerebrum revealed that projection patterns characteristic of sex pheromone processing appear in the late eighth instar in males, while possibly homologous projections in the female were far fewer in number. These results suggest that the glomerular complexes in pre-eighth larval males, and probably females, are not differentiated for specific detection of sex pheromone. Male-specific projections for sex pheromone detection may be formed by modification of pre-existing neural circuitry.
Timmermans, M J T N; Thompson, M J; Collins, S; Vogler, A P
Several species of swallowtail butterflies (genus Papilio) are Batesian mimics that express multiple mimetic female forms, while the males are monomorphic and nonmimetic. The evolution of such sex-limited mimicry may involve sexual dimorphism arising first and mimicry subsequently. Such a stepwise scenario through a nonmimetic, sexually dimorphic stage has been proposed for two closely related sexually dimorphic species: Papilio phorcas, a nonmimetic species with two female forms, and Papilio dardanus, a female-limited polymorphic mimetic species. Their close relationship indicates that female-limited polymorphism could be a shared derived character of the two species. Here, we present a phylogenomic analysis of the dardanus group using 3964 nuclear loci and whole mitochondrial genomes, showing that they are not sister species and thus that the sexually dimorphic state has arisen independently in the two species. Nonhomology of the female polymorphism in both species is supported by population genetic analysis of engrailed, the presumed mimicry switch locus in P. dardanus. McDonald-Kreitman tests performed on SNPs in engrailed showed the signature of balancing selection in a polymorphic population of P. dardanus, but not in monomorphic populations, nor in the nonmimetic P. phorcas. Hence, the wing polymorphism does not balance polymorphisms in engrailed in P. phorcas. Equally, unlike in P. dardanus, none of the SNPs in P. phorcas engrailed were associated with either female morph. We conclude that sexual dimorphism due to female polymorphism evolved independently in both species from monomorphic, nonmimetic states. While sexual selection may drive male-female dimorphism in nonmimetic species, in mimetic Papilios, natural selection for protection from predators in females is an alternative route to sexual dimorphism.
Gene expression changes during aging are partly conserved across species, and suggest that oxidative stress, inflammation and proteotoxicity result from mitochondrial malfunction and abnormal mitochondrial-nuclear signaling. Mitochondrial maintenance failure may result from trade-offs between mitochondrial turnover versus growth and reproduction, sexual antagonistic pleiotropy and genetic conflicts resulting from uni-parental mitochondrial transmission, as well as mitochondrial and nuclear mutations and loss of epigenetic regulation. Aging phenotypes and interventions are often sex-specific, indicating that both male and female sexual differentiation promote mitochondrial failure and aging. Studies in mammals and invertebrates implicate autophagy, apoptosis, AKT, PARP, p53 and FOXO in mediating sex-specific differences in stress resistance and aging. The data support a model where the genes Sxl in Drosophila, sdc-2 in C. elegans, and Xist in mammals regulate mitochondrial maintenance across generations and in aging. Several interventions that increase life span cause a mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt), and UPRmt is also observed during normal aging, indicating hormesis. The UPRmt may increase life span by stimulating mitochondrial turnover through autophagy, and/or by inhibiting the production of hormones and toxic metabolites. The data suggest that metazoan life span interventions may act through a common hormesis mechanism involving liver UPRmt, mitochondrial maintenance and sexual differentiation. PMID:25447815
Gene expression changes during aging are partly conserved across species, and suggest that oxidative stress, inflammation and proteotoxicity result from mitochondrial malfunction and abnormal mitochondrial-nuclear signaling. Mitochondrial maintenance failure may result from trade-offs between mitochondrial turnover versus growth and reproduction, sexual antagonistic pleiotropy and genetic conflicts resulting from uni-parental mitochondrial transmission, as well as mitochondrial and nuclear mutations and loss of epigenetic regulation. Aging phenotypes and interventions are often sex-specific, indicating that both male and female sexual differentiation promote mitochondrial failure and aging. Studies in mammals and invertebrates implicate autophagy, apoptosis, AKT, PARP, p53 and FOXO in mediating sex-specific differences in stress resistance and aging. The data support a model where the genes Sxl in Drosophila, sdc-2 in Caenorhabditis elegans, and Xist in mammals regulate mitochondrial maintenance across generations and in aging. Several interventions that increase life span cause a mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt), and UPRmt is also observed during normal aging, indicating hormesis. The UPRmt may increase life span by stimulating mitochondrial turnover through autophagy, and/or by inhibiting the production of hormones and toxic metabolites. The data suggest that metazoan life span interventions may act through a common hormesis mechanism involving liver UPRmt, mitochondrial maintenance and sexual differentiation.
Lord, Hans; Lagergren, Ragnar; Svensson, Jan-Erik; Lundqvist, Nils
Some Bosmina water flea species develop morphological antipredatory defenses, such as long antennules and a high carapace, but in Bosmina (Eubosmina) coregoni gibbera these traits are larger and more variable in females than in males. Here we propose that this sexual dimorphism derives from differential costs of hydrodynamic drag and selection for mobility in males. We tested this hypothesis by estimating drag of several Bosmina morphologies by using scale models sinking in glycerin of different concentrations and viscosities. Body forms included males, sexual and asexual females of B. c. gibbera, and males and asexual females of Bosmina (Eubosmina) longispina, a taxon with less variable body shape. For a given body length or body volume, male models had lower drag than models of sexual and asexual females, suggesting that males can swim 14-28% faster with the same energy consumption. Consistent with this conclusion, video recordings showed that males of B. c. gibbera advanced 55-73% farther than females in each swimming stroke. We conclude that hydrodynamic drag may have significant implications for swimming and evolution of sexual dimorphism in water fleas, and we suggest that males lack the defensive structures of females of B. c. gibbera (e.g., high carapaces) because competition over mates favors low drag.
Hens, Samantha M
The orangutan is widely recognized as a highly dimorphic species. An ontogenetic approach to the study of sexual dimorphism can assist researchers in understanding both where and when these differences develop. In this study, 357 orangutans from Borneo were divided into five developmental stages representing infancy to mature adulthood. Three-dimensional (3D) coordinate data from 16 landmarks representing the face and palate were analyzed by means of a Euclidean distance matrix analysis (EDMA), a quantitative method for the comparison of forms. Three separate analyses (an age-specific static comparison of forms, a sex-specific analysis of growth trajectories, and an intersex comparison of patterns of relative growth) were carried out with the intent to describe the rate, timing, magnitude, and pattern of growth in the orangutan face and palate. The results indicate that generally males and females share a similar, but not identical, pattern of growth or local form change, but differ in growth rate, timing, and magnitude of difference. Dimorphism in the face and palate can be localized in infancy and traced throughout all age intervals. Orangutan females grow slightly faster than males from infancy to adolescence, at which time male growth exceeds female growth. Female growth ceases with the advent of adulthood, while male growth continues (i.e., both the number and magnitude of the dimorphic dimensions increase). Males and females are similar in facial dimensions and growth related to the orbits, upper face, and palate width. They maintain these similarities throughout development. However, they differ in facial and nasal height, palate length, snout projection, depth of the nasopharynx, and hafting of the face onto the skull. The face broadens and the zygomatic bone flares dramatically in adult males, corresponding to the development of cheek pads. While growth patterns are similar between the two sexes, they differ in the lateral orbit, snout projection, and
Weir, Laura K; Kindsvater, Holly K; Young, Kyle A; Reynolds, John D
Large male body size is typically favored by directional sexual selection through competition for mates. However, alternative male life-history phenotypes, such as "sneakers," should decrease the strength of sexual selection acting on body size of large "fighter" males. We tested this prediction with salmon species; in southern populations, where sneakers are common, fighter males should be smaller than in northern populations, where sneakers are rare, leading to geographical clines in sexual size dimorphism (SSD). Consistent with our prediction, fighter male body size and SSD (fighter male∶female size) increase with latitude in species with sneaker males (Atlantic salmon Salmo salar and masu salmon Oncorhynchus masou) but not in species without sneakers (chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta and pink salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha). This is the first evidence that sneaker males affect SSD across populations and species, and it suggests that alternative male mating strategies may shape the evolution of body size.
Kutch, Ian C; Fedorka, Kenneth M
Sexually dimorphic phenotypes arise from the differential expression of male and female shared genes throughout the genome. Unfortunately, the underlying molecular mechanisms by which dimorphic regulation manifests and evolves are unclear. Recent work suggests that Y-chromosomes may play an important role, given that Drosophila melanogaster Ys were shown to influence the regulation of hundreds of X and autosomal genes. For Y-linked regulatory variation (YRV) to facilitate sexually dimorphic evolution, however, it must exist within populations (where selection operates) and influence male fitness. These criteria have seldom been investigated, leaving the potential for dimorphic evolution via YRV unclear. Interestingly, male and female D. melanogaster differ in immune gene regulation. Furthermore, immune gene regulation appears to be influenced by the Y-chromosome, suggesting it may contribute to dimorphic immune evolution. We address this possibility by introgressing Y-chromosomes from a single wild population into an isogenic background (to create Y-lines) and assessing immune gene regulation and bacterial defence. We found that Y-line males differed in their immune gene regulation and their ability to defend against Serratia marcescens. Moreover, gene expression and bacterial defence were positively genetically correlated. These data indicate that the Y-chromosome has the potential to shape the evolution of sexually dimorphic immunity in this system.
Kutch, Ian C.; Fedorka, Kenneth M.
Sexually dimorphic phenotypes arise from the differential expression of male and female shared genes throughout the genome. Unfortunately, the underlying molecular mechanisms by which dimorphic regulation manifests and evolves are unclear. Recent work suggests that Y-chromosomes may play an important role, given that Drosophila melanogaster Ys were shown to influence the regulation of hundreds of X and autosomal genes. For Y-linked regulatory variation (YRV) to facilitate sexually dimorphic evolution, however, it must exist within populations (where selection operates) and influence male fitness. These criteria have seldom been investigated, leaving the potential for dimorphic evolution via YRV unclear. Interestingly, male and female D. melanogaster differ in immune gene regulation. Furthermore, immune gene regulation appears to be influenced by the Y-chromosome, suggesting it may contribute to dimorphic immune evolution. We address this possibility by introgressing Y-chromosomes from a single wild population into an isogenic background (to create Y-lines) and assessing immune gene regulation and bacterial defence. We found that Y-line males differed in their immune gene regulation and their ability to defend against Serratia marcescens. Moreover, gene expression and bacterial defence were positively genetically correlated. These data indicate that the Y-chromosome has the potential to shape the evolution of sexually dimorphic immunity in this system. PMID:26631557
Pérez-Laso, C; Valencia, A; Rodríguez-Zafra, M; Calés, J M; Guillamón, A; Segovia, S
The present study examines the effects of pre and/or early postnatal administration of diazepam on the mitral cell and on the light and dark granule cell populations in the sexually dimorphic accessory olfactory bulb of the rat. Quantitative differences related to sex were observed in the numbers of the three types of neurons, with vehicle males showing greater numbers of cells than vehicle females. The number of mitral cells in males decreased to the levels shown by female rats following prenatal and pre-postnatal diazepam treatments, whereas the DZ treatments did not affect the females. In addition, the diazepam administration during the prenatal, postnatal and pre-postnatal periods decreased the numbers of both light and dark granule cells in males, while these two granule cell subpopulations were not affected in diazepam treated females. These results indicate that perinatal administration of diazepam can alter the sexual dimorphism in the accessory olfactory bulb and that the GABAA/benzodiazepine receptor complex is involved in the sexual differentiation this part of the brain.
Duijns, Sjoerd; van Gils, Jan A; Spaans, Bernard; ten Horn, Job; Brugge, Maarten; Piersma, Theunis
Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) implies correlated differences in energetic requirements and feeding opportunities, such that sexes will face different trade-offs in habitat selection. In seasonal migrants, this could result in a differential spatial distribution across the wintering range. To identify the ecological causes of sexual spatial segregation, we studied a sexually dimorphic shorebird, the bar-tailed godwit Limosa lapponica, in which females have a larger body and a longer bill than males. With respect to the trade-offs that these migratory shorebirds experience in their choice of wintering area, northern and colder wintering sites have the benefit of being closer to the Arctic breeding grounds. According to Bergmann's rule, the larger females should incur lower energetic costs per unit of body mass over males, helping them to winter in the cold. However, as the sexes have rather different bill lengths, differences in sex-specific wintering sites could also be due to the vertical distribution of their buried prey, that is, resource partitioning. Here, in a comparison between six main intertidal wintering areas across the entire winter range of the lapponica subspecies in northwest Europe, we show that the percentage of females between sites was not correlated with the cost of wintering, but was positively correlated with the biomass in the bottom layer and negatively with the biomass in the top layer. We conclude that resource partitioning, rather than relative expenditure advantages, best explains the differential spatial distribution of male and female bar-tailed godwits across northwest Europe. PMID:25505527
Zwoinska, Martyna K; Lind, Martin I; Cortazar-Chinarro, Maria; Ramsden, Mark; Maklakov, Alexei A
The evolution of learning can be constrained by trade-offs. As male and female life histories often diverge, the relationship between learning and fitness may differ between the sexes. However, because sexes share much of their genome, intersexual genetic correlations can prevent males and females from reaching their sex-specific optima resulting in intralocus sexual conflict (IaSC). To investigate if IaSC constraints sex-specific evolution of learning, we selected Caenorhabditis remanei nematode females for increased or decreased olfactory learning performance and measured learning, life span (in mated and virgin worms), reproduction, and locomotory activity in both sexes. Males from downward-selected female lines had higher locomotory activity and longer virgin life span but sired fewer progeny than males from upward-selected female lines. In contrast, we found no effect of selection on female reproduction and downward-selected females showed higher locomotory activity but lived shorter as virgins than upward-selected females. Strikingly, selection on learning performance led to the reversal of sexual dimorphism in virgin life span. We thus show sex-specific trade-offs between learning, reproduction, and life span. Our results support the hypothesis that selection on learning performance can shape the evolution of sexually dimorphic life histories via sex-specific genetic correlations.
Hathcock, Charles D.; Wright, Marjorie Alys; Gonzales, Gilbert J.; Sias, Donald S.
In 2001 and 2002, a study of many-lined skinks (Plestiodon multivirgatus) was conducted by Los Alamos National Laboratory biologists in north-central New Mexico to determine means and ranges for several morphological characters and to test for sexual dimorphism. Over both years, there were 539 new captures of many-lined skinks, which included 131 hatchlings. The earliest hatchling capture was on 19 June and the latest capture was on 31 August. Hatchling captures peaked on 1 August in 2001 and 6 August in 2002. The age class, sex, snout–vent length (SVL), tail length (TL), mass, head length (HL), and head width (HW) were recorded and individuals were released at the point of capture. Our results indicate that the SVL, mass, HL, and HW did not exhibit sexual dimorphism. The sex ratio was skewed toward females in this study. It is not known whether the many-lined skink has sexual determination based on environmental factors, but the data here suggest that more research is needed. From these observations, we supplement the limited existing knowledge on the morphology of this species.
Hathcock, Charles D.; Wright, Marjorie Alys; Gonzales, Gilbert J.; ...
In 2001 and 2002, a study of many-lined skinks (Plestiodon multivirgatus) was conducted by Los Alamos National Laboratory biologists in north-central New Mexico to determine means and ranges for several morphological characters and to test for sexual dimorphism. Over both years, there were 539 new captures of many-lined skinks, which included 131 hatchlings. The earliest hatchling capture was on 19 June and the latest capture was on 31 August. Hatchling captures peaked on 1 August in 2001 and 6 August in 2002. The age class, sex, snout–vent length (SVL), tail length (TL), mass, head length (HL), and head width (HW)more » were recorded and individuals were released at the point of capture. Our results indicate that the SVL, mass, HL, and HW did not exhibit sexual dimorphism. The sex ratio was skewed toward females in this study. It is not known whether the many-lined skink has sexual determination based on environmental factors, but the data here suggest that more research is needed. From these observations, we supplement the limited existing knowledge on the morphology of this species.« less
Underwood, Elizabeth B.; Bowers, Sarah; Guzy, Jacquelyn C.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Taylor, Carole A.; Gibbons, J. Whitfield; Dorcas, Michael E.
Natural and sexual selection are frequently invoked as causes of sexual size dimorphism in animals. Many species of turtles, including the Diamond-backed Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin), exhibit sexual dimorphism in body size, possibly enabling the sexes to exploit different resources and reduce intraspecific competition. Female terrapins not only have larger body sizes but also disproportionately larger skulls and jaws relative to males. To better understand the relationship between skull morphology and terrapin feeding ecology, we measured the in-lever to out-lever ratios of 27 male and 33 female terrapin jaws to evaluate biomechanics of the trophic apparatus. In addition, we measured prey handling times by feeding Fiddler Crabs (Uca pugnax), a natural prey item, to 24 terrapins in the laboratory. Our results indicate that although females have disproportionately larger heads, they have similar in:out lever ratios to males, suggesting that differences in adductor muscle mass are more important in determining bite force than jaw in:out lever ratios. Females also had considerably reduced prey handling times. Understanding the factors affecting terrapin feeding ecology can illuminate the potential roles male and female terrapins play as top-down predators that regulate grazing of Periwinkle Snails (Littorina irrorata) on Cord Grass (Spartina alterniflora).
Abd-elaleem, Shereen Abd-elhakim; Abd-elhameed, Mostafa; Ewis, Ashraf Abd-elazeem
Measurements of talus have been shown to be sexually dimorphic in South African blacks and whites and Prehistoric New Zealand Polynesians. Since several studies have demonstrated that discriminant function equations used to determine the sex of a skeleton are population specific, the purpose of the present study was to derive similar equation for the tali of Egyptians. The sample consisted of 110 tali (67 male & 43 female) whose age at death ranged between 20 and 60 years. The tali were obtained from Anatomy departments of Minia and Cairo Universities and also from Forensic Medicine department of Justice Office in Minia governates - Egypt. Twelve measurements were taken for every talus. Data were analyzed by SPSS version 16. All measurements showed significant sexual differences (P < 0.05) except calcaneus articular surface width and navicular articular surfaced width. Talar length was found to be the most sexual dimorphic (90.9%). Combination of talar length, talar width and neck width gave a percentage of accuracy of 85.5%. Finally, it is concluded that the talus of Egyptian population is useful for sex estimation.
Guillamón, A; Calés, J M; Rodriguez-Zafra, M; Perez-Laso, C; Caminero, A; Izquierdo, M A; Segovia, S
The effects of prenatal and/or early postnatal diazepam (DZ) administration on open field activity and continuously reinforced lever-pressing response were studied. Rat pups of both sexes were prenatally (during the last week of pregnancy) and/or postnatally (from the day of birth to day 16) daily exposed to a 2.5 mg/kg dose of DZ. At the age of 60 days all groups were tested in the open field for 5 consecutive days and thirty days later they were studied in a continuously reinforced lever-pressing situation during four consecutive days. In the open field test, females showed greater activity than males and prenatal and/or early postnatal DZ treatments did not alter this sexual dimorphism, although all treatments decreased the open field activity in both male and female 60-day-old rats. In the Skinner box, 90-day-old males presented higher rates of lever-pressing response than females, and only the early postnatal DZ treatment was effective in altering this sexual dimorphism, by decreasing the male's but not female's rates of response. These results are discussed in regard to the possible interaction between DZ and gonadal hormones during the early sexual differentiation period.
Davis, Elysia Poggi; Pfaff, Donald
During gestation, development proceeds at a pace that is unmatched by any other stage of the lifecycle. For these reason the human fetus is particularly susceptible not only to organizing influences, but also to pathogenic disorganizing influences. Growing evidence suggests that exposure to prenatal adversity leads to neurological changes that underlie lifetime risks for mental illness. Beginning early in gestation, males and females show differential developmental trajectories and responses to stress. It is likely that sex-dependent organization of neural circuits during the fetal period influences differential vulnerability to mental health problems. We consider in this review evidence that sexually dimorphic responses to early life stress are linked to two developmental disorders: affective problems (greater female prevalence) and autism spectrum disorder (greater male prevalence). Recent prospective studies illustrating the neurodevelopmental consequences of fetal exposure to stress and stress hormones for males and females are considered here. Plausible biological mechanisms including the role of the sexually differentiated placenta are discussed. We consider in this review evidence that sexually dimorphic responses to early life stress are linked to two sets of developmental disorders: affective problems (greater female prevalence) and autism spectrum disorders (greater male prevalence). PMID:25038479
Adler, C J; Donlon, D
Sex determination of juvenile skeletal remains is a problematic area affecting physical anthropology, forensic science and archaeology. Sexual dimorphism in the morphometric crown traits of the deciduous dentition may be used to help resolve this issue. Dental stone casts from a European derived Australian sample (n=151) were used to investigate variation within crown traits of the deciduous canine and molars. The metric traits investigated were crown size, trigonid size and talonid size. The morphological features included Carabelli's trait and molar cusp number. Metric crown traits were significantly larger in males (p<0.05). The morphological crown traits were not significantly different between the sexes. The largest degree of sexual dimorphism was 11.11% in the trigonid mesiodistal diameter of the first deciduous molar. This is the first recording of the measurement in a European derived sample. Two multivariate statistics, linear functional discriminant analysis and binary logistic regression, were used to determine the success rate of sex classification from the crown traits. The most suitable was linear functional discriminant analysis, however similar results were found when using binary logistic regression. When using all variables investigated in this study, sex could be classified with accuracy of 70.2% from linear functional discriminant analysis (cross validated). The mandibular teeth had greater sexual dimorphism, classifying sex correctly 74.8% of the time compared to maxillary variables that had a success rate of 55.6%. Our results have shown that morphometric crown traits in the deciduous dentition can be used to classify sex of juvenile skeletons (11 months to 12 years) of European descent from linear functional discriminant analysis with accuracy between 70.2% and 74.8%.
Higgins, Paul B; Rodriguez, Perla J; Voruganti, V Saroja; Mattern, Vicki; Bastarrachea, Raul A; Rice, Karen; Raabe, Timothy; Comuzzie, Anthony G
Baboons (Papio hamadryas sp.) exhibit significant sexual dimorphism in body size. Sexual dimorphism is also exhibited in a number of circulating factors associated with risk of cardiometabolic disease. We investigated whether sexual dimorphism in body size and composition underlie these differences. We examined data from 28 male and 24 female outdoor group-housed young adult baboons enrolled in a longitudinal observational study of cardiometabolic disease risk factors. Animals were sedated with ketamine HCl (10 mg/kg) before undergoing venous blood draws, basic body measurements, and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry body composition scans. Percentage glycated hemoglobin A1c (%HbA1c ) was measured in whole blood. Serum samples were analyzed for glucose, insulin, C-peptide, high-density lipoprotein, and triglyceride concentrations. Males were heavier and had greater body length and lean tissue mass than females. Females had a greater body fat percentage relative to males (10.8 ± 6.4 vs. 6.9 ± 4.0, P = 0.01). Although C-peptide, fasting glucose, and %HbA1c did not differ between the sexes, females had greater fasting insulin and triglyceride compared to their male counterparts. Insulin and percentage body fat were significantly correlated in males (r = 0.61, P = 0.001) and to a lesser extent in females (r = 0.43, P = 0.04). Overall, relations between adiposity and fasting insulin and fasting triglyceride were stronger in males. After accounting for differences in percentage body fat, fasting insulin and triglyceride were no longer statistically different between males and females. Despite stronger correlations between relative adiposity and insulin and triglyceride in males, the higher fasting insulin and triglyceride of female baboons may be underlain by their greater relative body fat masses.
Niu, Yang; Zhang, Zhi-Qiang; Liu, Chang-Qiu; Li, Zhi-Min; Sun, Hang
The floral traits of bisexual flowers may evolve in response to selection on both male and female functions, but the relative importance of selection associated with each of these two aspects is poorly resolved. Sexually dimorphic traits in plants with unisexual flowers may reflect gender-specific selection, providing opportunities for gaining an increased understanding of the evolution of specific floral traits. We examined sexually dimorphic patterns of floral traits in perfect and female flowers of the gynodioecious species Cyananthus delavayi. A special corolla appendage, the throat hair, was investigated experimentally to examine its influences on male and female function. We found that perfect flowers have larger corollas and much longer throat hairs than female flowers, while female ones have much exerted stigmas. The presence of throat hairs prolonged the duration of pollen presentation by restricting the amount of pollen removed by pollen-collecting bees during each visit. Floral longevity was negatively related to the rate of pollen removal. When pollen removal rate was limited in perfect flowers, the duration of the female phases diminished with the increased male phase duration. There was a weak negative correlation between throat hair length and seed number per fruit in female flowers, but this correlation was not significant in perfect flowers. These results suggest that throat hairs may enhance male function in terms of prolonged pollen presentation. However, throat hairs have no obvious effect on female function in terms of seed number per fruit. The marked sexual dimorphism of this corolla appendage in C. delavayi is likely to have evolved and been maintained by gender-specific selection. PMID:25603479
Rivera-Rivera, Nydia L.; Martinez-Rivera, Noraida; Torres-Vazquez, Irma; Serrano-Velez, Jose L.; Lauder, George V.; Rosa-Molinar, Eduardo
Here we review the literature of a male poecillid's sexually dimorphic body plan, behavior, and nervous system, including work dating from the mid 1800s to the mid 1990s as well as work in press or in preparation for publication. Rosa-Molinar described the remodeling of the sexually dimorphic anal fin appendicular support, confirmed earlier claims about the development of the male and female secondary sex characteristics in the Western Mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis and provided for the first time direct embryonic evidence suggesting that remodeling of the sexually dimorphic anal fin appendicular support is biphasic. The first process begins in embryos and proceeds similarly in immature males and females; the second process occurs only in males and results in the anterior transposition of the anal fin and its appendicular support to the level of vertebra 11 [Rosa-Molinar E, Hendricks SE, Rodriguez-Sierra JF, Fritzsch B. 1994. Development of the anal fin appendicular support in the western mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis (Baird and Girard, 1854): a reinvestigation and reinterpretation. Acta Anat 151:20–35.] and the formation of a gonopodium used for internal fertilization. Studies using high-speed video cameras confirmed and extended Peden’s and others’ observations of copulatory behavior. The cameras showed that circumduction is a complex movement combining in a very fast sequence abduction, extension and pronation, S-start-type fast-start (defined as torque–thrust), and adduction movements. Recent work on the nervous system demonstrated dye-coupling between motor neurons and interneurons via gap junctions, suggesting an attractive substrate for the rapid motions involved in poecillid copulatory reflexes. PMID:21082070
Pontier, D; Fromont, E; Courchamp, F; Artois, M; Yoccoz, N G
Hochberg and co-workers have predicted that an increase in host adult mortality due to parasites is balanced by an earlier age at first reproduction. In polygynous species we hypothesize that such a pattern would lead to diverging selection pressure on body size between sexes and increased sexual size dimorphism. In polygynous mammals, male body size is considered to be an important factor for reproductive success. Thus, under the pressure of a virulent infection, males should be selected for rapid growth and/or higher body size to be able to compete successfully as soon as possible with opponents. In contrast, under the same selection pressure, females should be selected for lighter adult body size or rapid growth to reach sexual maturity earlier. We investigated this hypothesis in the domestic cat Felis catus. Orange cats have greater body size dimorphism than non-orange cats. Orange females are lighter than non-orange females, and orange males are heavier than non-orange males. Here, we report the extent to which orange and non-orange individuals differ in infection prevelance for two retroviruses, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV). FIV is thought to be transmitted almost exclusively through aggressive contacts between individuals, whereas FeLV transmission occurs mainly through social contacts. The pattern of infection of both diseases is consistent with the higher aggressiveness of orange cats. In both sexes, orange cats are significantly more infected by FIV, and tend to be less infected by FeLV than other cats. The pattern of infection is also consistent with an earlier age at first reproduction in orange than in non-orange cats, at least for females. These results suggest that microparasitism may have played an important role in the evolution of sexual size dimorphism of domestic cats. PMID:9493404
Li, Jianqiang; Wang, Ning; Wang, Yong; Lin, Songtao; Li, Qi; Liu, Ying-Ying; Ruan, Xiangfeng; Zhu, Jiagui; Xi, Bo; Zhang, Zheng-Wang
The black-throated tit, Aegithalos concinnus, and long-tailed tit, A. caudatus, are two widely-distributed species of Aegithalidae. They are thought to be monomorphic and thus difficult to differentiate between sexes in the field. We determined the sex of 296 black-throated tits and 129 long-tailed tits using DNA analysis, evaluated their sexual size dimorphism, and developed discriminant models to identify sex based on morphometries, including bill length, bill depth, bill-head length, maximum tarsus length, tarsus width, wing length, tail length, total body length, and body mass. Both species were sexually dimorphic in size, with males having larger measurements than females, except for bill length in black-throated tits, and both bill length and body mass in long-tailed tits. Moreover, both species showed similar sexual size dimorphism (SSD) among the morphological features, with tail length having the highest SSD value. The multivariate discriminant models for sex identification had an accuracy of 82% for both species, which was slightly higher than the best univariate discriminatory model for each species. Because of the complicated nature of the multivariate model, we recommend univariate models for sex identification using D = 0.491 × tail length - 24.498 (accuracy 80%) for black-throated tits and D = 0.807 × wing length - 45.934 (accuracy 78%) for long-tailed tits. Females in both species showed generally higher morphological variation than did males, resulting in lower accuracies in all discriminate functions regardless of univariate or multivariate approach. This could be the result of a sex-biased selective pressure in which males have higher selective pressures for these morphological features.
Choleris, Elena; Cazzin, Laura; Lymer, Jennifer M; Amor, Talya R; Lu, Ray; Kavaliers, Martin; Valsecchi, Paola
In numerous species social learning is predominant and adaptive, yet, we know little of its neurobiological mechanisms. Social learning is modulated by motivations and emotions, in a manner that is often sexually dimorphic. Additionally, stress hormones acutely modulate the related social cognitive process of social recognition. Whether this is true even for social learning is currently unknown. We investigated the acute effects of the stress hormone corticosterone (CORT) on the social transmission of food preferences (STFP) in male and female mice. During a brief social interaction an observer (OBS) acquires a food preference from a same-sex demonstrator (DEM). CORT (1.0, 2.5, 5.0 mg/kg), its ethanol vehicle (0.1%), and saline solution (0.9%) were administered intraperitoneally to the OBS, 10 min before a 30-min social interaction. Levels of plasma CORT were assessed in other mice that had received the same doses of CORT and either had or had not gone through a 30 min social interaction 10 min post-treatment. Exogenous CORT elicited levels of plasma level comparable to those seen at the peak of the circadian cycle and facilitated the STFP with males responding more than females both in terms of the duration of the food preference and the minimum effective dose. CORT also sexually dimorphically inhibited feeding, with females showing a greater dose-response than males. Saline solution and ethanol vehicles also sexually dimorphically facilitated the STFP and reduced feeding, but less than CORT did. These results indicate that CORT facilitates social learning, like social recognition. Hence, CORT may generally increase social information processing.
Smith, D.R.; Mandt, M.T.; Macdonald, P.D.M.
The unresolved status of the proximate cause for sexual size dimorphism in horseshoe crabs has practical consequence, because harvest recommendations rely on assumptions about sex-specific growth and maturity. We propose and evaluate competing hypotheses for the proximate cause of sexual size dimorphism in horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) by comparing size and estimated age frequencies from spring-captured juveniles (n = 9,075) and adults (n = 36,274) to predictions from the competing hypotheses. We found that the number of identifiable juvenile size distributions was greater for females than males and the probability of remaining a juvenile was higher for females than males among older juveniles. These findings are consistent with males maturing earlier than females. Molt increments and mean sizes were similar for male and female juveniles, which is not consistent with differential growth. Among adults, one size distribution accounted for ???90% of females regardless of carapace wear. Also, size ratio of adult females to males was 1.26, and size ratio of the largest adult to largest juvenile female was 1.28. These observations are not consistent with females continuing to molt as adults. Differential-maturity is the most parsimonious explanation for sexual size dimorphism in Delaware Bay horseshoe crabs. In addition, because of a low frequency of juvenile females >195 mm relative to adult females and male-biased sex ratios starting at 105 mm, we hypothesize that females, more than males, migrate as older juveniles and mature in the ocean. Management implications include that (1) minimum size limits, as previously suggested, would not allocate harvest to older adults as intended because size does not indicate age among adult horseshoe crabs in the Delaware Bay population, and (2) the Shuster Horseshoe Crab Reserve, which has reduced harvest on the continental shelf, could be protecting older juveniles and newly mature females from harvest prior to their first
Jansson, J O; Edén, S; Isaksson, O
The secretory pattern of GH in the mature rat is sexually differentiated. In male rats GH is secreted in pulses occurring at regular 3- to 4-h intervals. In females the pulses are lower and plasma GH levels between the pulses are higher than in males. The continuous presence of testosterone appears to be necessary to maintain low basal GH levels in adult male rats. Neonatal, but not prepubertal, gonadectomy decreases GH pulse height in adult male rats to female levels. Administration of testosterone neonatally to castrated animals returns GH pulse height to normal suggesting that neonatal testicular androgen secretion is one determinant for GH pulse height in adult male rats. Administration of testosterone neonatally or during adult life to neonatally ovariectomized rats also produces higher GH pulses. In contrast to testosterone, estrogens elevate basal plasma GH levels and suppress the GH pulses under some conditions. Estrogens may stimulate basal GH secretion by acting directly on the pituitary. The physiological significance of the secretory pattern of GH has been investigated in hypophysectomized rats by simulating different plasma patterns of GH. The results suggest that high, infrequent GH pulses with low plasma GH levels in between (i.e. a masculine plasma GH pattern) promotes growth more effectively than an intermediate, rather constant level of plasma GH (i.e. a feminine plasma GH pattern). Since male sex steroids masculinize the secretory pattern of GH and have only minor growth-promoting effects in hypophysectomized animals it appears that the growth promoting effect of androgens is indirect and is due to an altered secretory pattern of GH. Presumably, neonatal androgen secretion stimulates body growth during adult life by irreversibly masculinizing the secretory pattern of GH. In contrast, estrogens appear to influence body growth by mechanisms that are mainly independent of the secretory pattern of GH. Evidence is accumulating that the secretory
MacMaster, Frank P.; Keshavan, Matcheri; Mirza, Yousha; Carrey, Normand; Upadhyaya, Ameet R.; El-Sheikh, Rhonda; Buhagiar, Christian J; Taormina, S. Preeya; Boyd, Courtney; Lynch, Michelle; Rose, Michelle; Ivey, Jennifer; Moore, Gregory J.; Rosenberg, David R.
The pituitary gland plays a central role in sexual development and brain function. Therefore, we examined the effect of age and gender on pituitary volume in a large sample of healthy children and adults. Volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was conducted in one hundred and fifty four (77 males and 77 females) healthy participants. Males were between the ages of 7 to 35 years (16.91 ± 5.89 years) and females were 7 to 35 years of age (16.75 ± 5.75 years). Subjects were divided into subgroups of age (7 to 9, 10 to 13, 14 to 17, 18 to 21, 22 and older) and sex (male/female). Pituitary gland volume differed between sexes when comparing the age groups (F = 3.55, df = 2, 143, p = 0.03). Females demonstrated larger pituitary glands than males in the age 14 to 17 year old groups (p = 0.04). Young (19 years and under) and old (20 years and older) females demonstrated a correlation between pituitary volume and age. Males did not show this relationship. These findings provide additional evidence for gender differences in the normative anatomy of the pituitary and may have relevance for the study of various childhood onset neuropsychiatric disorders in which pituitary dysfunction has been implicated. PMID:17174342
Galanopoulou, Aristea S.
GABAA receptors have an age-adapted function in the brain. During early development, they mediate depolarizing effects, which result in activation of calcium-sensitive signaling processes that are important for the differentiation of the brain. In more mature stages of development and in adults, GABAA receptors acquire their classical hyperpolarizing signaling. The switch from depolarizing to hyperpolarizing GABAA-ergic signaling is triggered through the developmental shift in the balance of chloride cotransporters that either increase (ie NKCC1) or decrease (ie KCC2) intracellular chloride. The maturation of GABAA signaling follows sex-specific patterns, which correlate with the developmental expression profiles of chloride cotransporters. This has first been demonstrated in the substantia nigra, where the switch occurs earlier in females than in males. As a result, there are sensitive periods during development when drugs or conditions that activate GABAA receptors mediate different transcriptional effects in males and females. Furthermore, neurons with depolarizing or hyperpolarizing GABAA-ergic signaling respond differently to neurotrophic factors like estrogens. Consequently, during sensitive developmental periods, GABAA receptors may act as broadcasters of sexually differentiating signals, promoting gender-appropriate brain development. This has particular implications in epilepsy, where both the pathophysiology and treatment of epileptic seizures involve GABAA receptor activation. It is important therefore to study separately the effects of these factors not only on the course of epilepsy but also design new treatments that may not necessarily disturb the gender-appropriate brain development. PMID:18524541
Since the first sex reassignment operations were performed, individual sex has come to be, to some extent at least, a technological artifact. The existence of sperm sorting technology, and of prenatal determination of fetal sex via ultrasound along with the option of termination, means that we now have the power to choose the sex of our children. An influential contemporary line of thought about medical ethics suggests that we should use technology to serve the welfare of individuals and to remove limitations on the opportunities available to them. I argue that, if these are our goals, we may do well to move towards a "post sex" humanity. Until we have the technology to produce genuine hermaphrodites, the most efficient way to do this is to use sex selection technology to ensure that only girl children are born. There are significant restrictions on the opportunities available to men, around gestation, childbirth, and breast-feeding, which will be extremely difficult to overcome via social or technological mechanisms for the foreseeable future. Women also have longer life expectancies than men. Girl babies therefore have a significantly more "open" future than boy babies. Resisting the conclusion that we should ensure that all children are born the same sex will require insisting that sexual difference is natural to human beings and that we should not use technology to reshape humanity beyond certain natural limits. The real concern of my paper, then, is the moral significance of the idea of a normal human body in modern medicine.
Ferrario, V F; Sforza, C; Pizzini, G; Vogel, G; Miani, A
The form of any object can be viewed as a combination of size and shape. A recently proposed method (euclidean distance matrix analysis) can differentiate between size and shape differences. It has been applied to analyse the sexual dimorphism in facial form in a sample of 108 healthy young adults (57 men, 51 women). The face was wider and longer in men than in women. A global shape difference was demonstrated, the male face being more rectangular and the female face more square. Gender variations involved especially the lower third of the face and, in particular, the position of the pogonion relative to the other structures. PMID:8300436
Vamvakopoulos, Nicholas V.
This review higlghts key aspects of corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) biology of potential relevance to the sexual dimorphism of the stress response and immune/inflammatory reaction, and introduces two important new concepts based on the regulatory potential of the human (h) CRH gene: (1) a proposed mechanism to account for the tissue-specific antithetical responses of hCRH gene expression to glucocorticolds, that may also explain the frequently observed antithetical effects of chronic glucocorticoid administration in clinical practice and (2) a heuristic diagram to illustrate the proposed modulation of the stress response and immune/ inflammatory reaction by steroid hormones, from the perspective of the CRH system. PMID:18475634
Karmakar, B; Yakovenko, K; Kobyliansky, E
Qualitative finger and palmar dermatoglyphics of 547 individuals (293 males, 254 females) belonging to the Chuvashian population of Russia were studied to determine sexual dimorphism. The pattern types are not uniformly distributed on 10 fingers. Sex difference is homogeneous in all fingers whereas palmar patterns reflect the better sex variations for three palmar configurational areas (II, III, and IV). This is perhaps due to embryological development, having a relatively longer growth period compared with fingers (Cummins 1929). The present results of the Chuvashian population are not similar to the results of the five Indian populations of our previous study (Karmakar et al. 2002), perhaps due to a major ethnic difference.
Hallsson, L R; Björklund, M
Temperature changes in the environment, which realistically include environmental fluctuations, can create both plastic and evolutionary responses of traits. Sexes might differ in either or both of these responses for homologous traits, which in turn has consequences for sexual dimorphism and its evolution. Here, we investigate both immediate changes in and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in response to a changing environment (with and without fluctuations) using the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. We investigate sex differences in plasticity and also the genetic architecture of body mass and developmental time dimorphism to test two existing hypotheses on sex differences in plasticity (adaptive canalization hypothesis and condition dependence hypothesis). We found a decreased sexual size dimorphism in higher temperature and that females responded more plastically than males, supporting the condition dependence hypothesis. However, selection in a fluctuating environment altered sex-specific patterns of genetic and environmental variation, indicating support for the adaptive canalization hypothesis. Genetic correlations between sexes (r(MF) ) were affected by fluctuating selection, suggesting facilitated independent evolution of the sexes. Thus, the selective past of a population is highly important for the understanding of the evolutionary dynamics of sexual dimorphism.
Krüger, Oliver; Wolf, Jochen B W; Jonker, Rudy M; Hoffman, Joseph I; Trillmich, Fritz
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.
Zemp, Niklaus; Tavares, Raquel; Widmer, Alex
Sexual dimorphism, including differences in morphology, behavior and physiology between females and males, is widespread in animals and plants and is shaped by gene expression differences between the sexes. Such expression differences may also underlie sex-specific responses of hosts to pathogen infections, most notably when pathogens induce partial sex reversal in infected hosts. The genetic changes associated with sex-specific responses to pathogen infections on the one hand, and sexual dimorphism on the other hand, remain poorly understood. The dioecious White Campion (Silene latifolia) displays sexual dimorphism in floral traits and infection with the smut fungus Micobrotryum lychnidis-dioicae induces a partial sex reversal in females. We find strong sex-specific responses to pathogen infection and reduced sexual dimorphism in infected S. latifolia. This provides a direct link between pathogen-mediated changes in sex-biased gene expression and altered sexual dimorphism in the host. Expression changes following infection affected mainly genes with male-biased expression in healthy plants. In females, these genes were up-regulated, leading to a masculinization of the transcriptome. In contrast, infection in males was associated with down-regulation of these genes, leading to a demasculinization of the transcriptome. To a lesser extent, genes with female-biased expression in healthy plants were also affected in opposite directions in the two sexes. These genes were overall down-regulated in females and up-regulated in males, causing, respectively, a defeminization in infected females and a feminization of the transcriptome in infected males. Our results reveal strong sex-specific responses to pathogen infection in a dioecious plant and provide a link between pathogen-induced changes in sex-biased gene expression and sexual dimorphism. PMID:26448481
Bastir, Markus; Higuero, Antonio; Ríos, Luís; García Martínez, Daniel
Sexual dimorphism is important for intraspecific variation and well studied in the human skeleton. In the thoracic part of the spine sexual dimorphism is expected for differences in the respiratory system related to body mass, lung capacity, and energetics, and in the reproductive system for adaptations to pregnancy (lower spine lordosis, posture). However, little is known about sexual dimorphism in this anatomical region. We use three-dimensional (3D)-geometric morphometrics to test hypotheses on sexual dimorphism in the first 10 thoracic vertebrae (T1-T10). Forty-six 3D-landmarks were measured on vertebrae of 24 adult females and males of known age and sex. Results confirm that male vertebrae are consistently larger than female ones. Males show more dorsally oriented transverse processes and relatively larger vertebral bodies in upper and lower thoracic vertebrae. Sexual dimorphism in lower thoracic vertebrae affects the orientation of the spinous processes, which is more horizontal in females but more caudal in males. Such regional pattering of sexual dimorphism emerges also from principal component analyses reflecting a complex interaction between the effects of sex and serial position on shape variation. Greater dorsal orientation of male transverse processes reorients the ribs and could lead to greater radial thorax diameters. This fits with greater male respiratory capacities, but may indicate also greater invagination of the male spine within the thorax. Horizontal orientation of the spinous processes in females could allow for a greater thoraco-lumbar lordosis during pregnancy, but more comparative research is necessary to test these hypotheses.
Day, Lainy B; Fusani, Leonida; Kim, Carol; Schlinger, Barney A
Male golden-collared manakins (Manacus vitellinus) perform a high-speed acrobatic courtship display punctuated by loud 'snaps' produced by the wings. Females join males on display courts to select individuals for copulation; females follow displaying males but do not perform acrobatics or make wing snaps. Sexually dimorphic courtship displays such as those performed by manakins are the result of intense sexual selection and suggest that differences between sexes exist at neural levels as well. We examined sex differences in the volume of brain areas that might be involved in the male manakin courtship display and in the female assessment of this display. We found that males had a larger hippocampus (HP, spatial learning) and arcopallium (AP, motor and limbic areas) than females when adjusted for the size of the telencephalon (TELE) minus the target area. Females had a larger ventrolateral mesopallium (MVL) both when adjusting for the size of the remaining TELE and by direct comparison. The entopallium (E) was not sexually dimorphic. The E is part of the avian tectofugal pathway and the MVL is linked to this pathway by reciprocal connections. The MVL likely modulates visually guided behavior via descending brainstem pathways. We found no sex differences in the volume of the cerebellum or cerebellar nuclei. We speculate that the HP is important to males for cross-season site fidelity and for local spatial memory, the AP for sexually driven motor patterns that are complex in males, and that the MVL facilitates female visual processing in selecting male display traits. These results are consistent with the idea that sexual selection has acted to select sex-specific behaviors in manakins that have neural correlates in the brain.
Sanders, G; Wright, M
With each of the tasks in the present studies we expected to find the reported sex difference between heterosexual women and heterosexual men and we predicted a sexual orientation effect with the performance of homosexual men being similar to that of heterosexual women and different from that of heterosexual men. Study 1 aimed to replicate earlier findings by recording the performance of a group of homosexual men on a visuospatial task, the Vincent Mechanical Diagrams Test (VMDT), a dot detection divided visual field measure of functional cerebral asymmetry, and on five subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). For each task the profile of scores obtained for the homosexual men was similar to that of heterosexual women in that they scored lower than heterosexual men on the VMDT, they showed less asymmetry, and they recorded a higher Verbal than Performance IQ on the WAIS. In Study 2, a male-biased targeted throwing task favored heterosexual men while, in contrast, on the female-biased Purdue Pegboard single peg condition heterosexual men were outperformed by heterosexual women and homosexual men. On neither of these two tasks did the performances of homosexual men and heterosexual women differ. One task, manual speed, yielded neither sex nor sexual orientation differences. Another, the Purdue Pegboard assemblies condition, revealed a sex difference but no sexual orientation difference. Failure to obtain a sexual orientation difference in the presence of a sex difference suggests that the sexual orientation effect may be restricted to a subset of sexually dimorphic tasks.
Pettenati-Soubayroux, Isabelle; Signoli, Michel; Dutour, Olivier
Recent studies have shown that the most dimorphic tooth is the mandibular canine. We have carried out a study on a random sample of 146 skeletons dating from the plague outbreak in Marseilles (1722). We studied 1284 maxillary and 1432 mandibular permanent teeth. Sexual dimorphism was tested on 89 individuals. We selected a set of four dental indices and calculated the dimorphism percentage by ratio expression male/female. Dimorphic ranking was made, by allotting the first rank to the tooth presenting the highest dimorphism and the last rank to the one presenting the lowest ratio. Comparisons of means were made on both sexes (sex determined by post-cranial data) through a Student's test (t-test). We noted that lower canines and lateral incisor are the most interesting teeth in the dimorphic dental determination. The lower index presented the highest relative risk with RR = 1.56 [1.04-2.32]. In 58% of the cases, the lower dental index enabled a correct sex determination (determined on the basis of the post-cranial skeleton). These results showed the existence of a relative dental dimorphism (male > female mesiodistal diameters) with humans. In conclusion, this method, using dental measurements, may be used as an additional technique to determine sex on fragmentary adult skeletons, immature material, missing pieces or ambiguities on post-cranial remains.
Duma, Danielle; Collins, Jennifer B.; Chou, Jeff W.; Cidlowski, John A.
Males and females show differences in the prevalence of many major diseases that have important inflammatory components to their etiology. These gender-specific diseases, which include autoimmune diseases, hepatocellular carcinoma, diabetes, and osteoporosis, are largely considered to reflect the actions of sex hormones on the susceptibility to inflammatory stimuli. However, inflammation reflects a balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory signals, and investigation of gender-specific responses to the latter has been neglected. Glucocorticoids are the primary physiological anti-inflammatory hormones in mammals, and synthetic derivatives of these hormones are prescribed as anti-inflammatory agents, irrespective of patient gender. We explored the possibility that sexually dimorphic actions of glucocorticoid regulation of gene expression may contribute to the dimorphic basis of inflammatory disease by evaluating the rat liver, a classic glucocorticoid-responsive organ. Surprisingly, glucocorticoid administration expanded the set of hepatic sexually dimorphic genes. Eight distinct patterns of glucocorticoid-regulated gene expression were identified, which included sex-specific genes. Our experiments also defined specific genes with altered expression in response to glucocorticoid treatment in both sexes, but in opposite directions. Pathway analysis identified sex-specific glucocorticoid-regulated gene expression in several canonical pathways involved in susceptibility to and progression of diseases with gender differences in prevalence. Moreover, a comparison of the number of genes involved in inflammatory disorders between sexes revealed 84 additional glucocorticoid-responsive genes in the male, suggesting that the anti-inflammatory actions of glucocorticoids are more effective in males. These gender-specific actions of glucocorticoids in liver were substantiated in vivo with a sepsis model of systemic inflammation. PMID:20940427
Seunarine, Kiran K; Clayden, Jonathan D; Jentschke, Sebastian; Muñoz, Monica; Cooper, Janine M; Chadwick, Martin J; Banks, Tina; Vargha-Khadem, Faraneh; Clark, Christopher A
Increasing evidence is emerging for sexual dimorphism in the trajectory of white matter development in children assessed using volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and more recently diffusion MRI. Recent studies using diffusion MRI have examined cohorts with a wide age range (typically between 5 and 30 years) showing focal regions of differential diffusivity and fractional anisotropy (FA) and have implicated puberty as a possible contributory factor. To further investigate possible dimorphic trajectories in a young cohort, presumably closer to the expected onset of puberty, we used tract-based spatial statistics to investigate diffusion metrics. The cohort consisted of 23 males and 30 females between the ages of 8 and 16 years. Differences in diffusion metrics were corrected for age, total brain volume, and full scale IQ. In contrast to previous studies showing focal differences between males and females, widespread sexually dimorphic trajectories in structural white matter development were observed. These differences were characterized by more advanced development in females compared to males indicated by lower mean diffusivity, radial and axial diffusivity, and higher FA in females. This difference appeared to be larger at lower ages (8-9 years) with diffusion measures from males and females tending to converge between 10 and 14 years of age. Males showed a steeper slope for age-diffusion metric correlations compared to females, who either did not correlate with age or correlated in fewer regions. Further studies are now warranted to determine the role of hormones on the observed differences, particularly in 8-9-year-old children.
The classic explanation that women outlive men solely due to hormonal and lifestyle differences, does not withstand a critical analysis. In developed countries, the average gap in life expectancy between the sexes is 7 years. It has widened over the last decades, despite the trend of women copying the 'unhealthy' lifestyle of men. Estrogen levels in postmenopausal women are virtually identical to estrogen levels in males and can hardly explain the discrepancy. Furthermore, testosterone got its bad reputation from one study on mentally retarded men, which has to be interpreted with caution. However, sexual size dimorphism with men being the larger sex in conjunction with the limited replication potential of human somatic cells might account for higher mortality rates in males, especially at old age. The hypothesis, as presented here, is based on the well-known concept of a cellular mitotic clock, which was discovered by Leonard Hayflick almost half a century ago. The underlying counting mechanism, namely the gradual erosion of chromosome ends (telomeres) due to the end replication problem of linear DNA molecules, was first described by Alexey Olovnikov in 1971 and with minor modifications has become a widely accepted paradigm. In a recent Lancet study, an inverse correlation between mean telomere length and mortality in people has been found. In this and two other studies, it was confirmed that males do have shorter telomeres than females at the same age. This is almost certainly a consequence of men being usually taller than women, although nobody has done an investigation yet. Clearly, a larger body requires more cell doublings, especially due to the ongoing regeneration of tissues over a lifetime. Accordingly, the replicative history of male cells might be longer than that of female cells, resulting in the exhaustion of the regeneration potential and the early onset of age-associated diseases predominantly in large-bodied males. Inherited telomere length
The, T L; Trouth, C O
Sexual dimorphism in the surface markings of the basilar part of the occipital bone of 34 male and 46 female dog's skulls were studied with the following results: 1 of the 34 male skulls showed a female type surface marking, 4 of the 46 female skulls showed surface markings of the opposite sex, while 2 of the male and 3 of the female skulls could not be classified as belonging to either type, so that 10 out of the 80 skulls could not be identified correctly, indicating that 87.5% of the skulls could be identified positively. Considering that there are hardly any sexual differences in the other surface markings or in the dentition of the dog's skull, these findings may be of some help in sexing the skull of the dog.
Conradsen, C; McGuigan, K
This study compared prolonged swimming performance (Ucrit ) between male and female Danio rerio, and characterized how body shape was associated with this performance measure in each sex. When swimming in small (n = 6) mixed-sex groups at 28 °C, males swam, on average, over 10 cm s(-1) faster than females despite being significantly smaller. Body shape was sexually dimorphic, with males and females exhibiting small, but statistically significant differences in most aspects of body shape. Body shape explained 18 and 43% of the variation in Ucrit among males and females. In general, effects of body shape on swimming performance appeared to be sex limited, whereby different aspects of body shape affected performance in each sex, although the contribution of the distance between pelvic and anal fins to swimming performance was weakly sexually antagonistic.
Persons, W Scott; Funston, Gregory F; Currie, Philip J; Norell, Mark A
The hypothesis that oviraptorosaurs used tail-feather displays in courtship behavior previously predicted that oviraptorosaurs would be found to display sexually dimorphic caudal osteology. MPC-D 100/1002 and MPC-D 100/1127 are two specimens of the oviraptorosaur Khaan mckennai. Although similar in absolute size and in virtually all other anatomical details, the anterior haemal spines of MPC-D 100/1002 exceed those of MPC-D 100/1127 in ventral depth and develop a hitherto unreported "spearhead" shape. This dissimilarity cannot be readily explained as pathologic and is too extreme to be reasonably attributed to the amount of individual variation expected among con-specifics. Instead, this discrepancy in haemal spine morphology may be attributable to sexual dimorphism. The haemal spine form of MPC-D 100/1002 offers greater surface area for caudal muscle insertions. On this basis, MPC-D 100/1002 is regarded as most probably male, and MPC-D 100/1127 is regarded as most probably female.
Rejtarová, Olga; Hejna, Petr; Soukup, Tomás; Kuchar, Michal
This study reports changes in costal cartilages that appear at the microscopic level throughout life, especially during the ossification process. The work builds on the results of our previous X-ray study, which confirmed the presence of two sexually dimorphic ossification patterns. This led to questions about the existence of additional sex-specific patterns that relate to the ossification process in costal cartilages. Samples of costal cartilages and adjacent parts of the bones were obtained from the autopsies of 17 corpses. The age range among the cadavers varied greatly, from a newborn baby to 91 years of age. Sections of costal cartilage were routinely processed and stained. Alkaline phosphatase activity was detected using histochemical methods. Collagens type II and X were detected immunohistochemically by monoclonal antibodies. The results of our study show that ossification of costal cartilages can take place in the form of two individual processes, localization and time-separate. Endochondral ossifications in the region of the costochondral zone appear in the first decade, and they correspond to ossifications detected by X-ray in the second decade. The location of sex-specific ossifications is determined by the penetration of cartilage canals into the metaphysial part of the rib. Endochondral intramembranous ossifications in the reserve zone appear after the third decade. These types of ossifications correspond to central globular ossifications detected by X-ray, and they are not sexually dimorphic. They can serve for accurate estimation of age.
Boydston, E.E.; Kapheim, K.M.; Van Horn, R. C.; Smale, L.; Holekamp, K.E.
Observational and telemetry data were used in a geographic information system database to document the ontogenetic development of sexually dimorphic patterns of space use among free-living spotted hyenas Crocuta crocuta in Kenya. No measures of space use were sexually dimorphic among den-dwelling cubs, nor were sex differences apparent among hyenas that had ceased using dens for shelter until these animals were c. 30 months of age. Significant sex differences emerged late in the third year of life, and persisted throughout the remainder of the life span; males were found farther from the geographic centre of the natal territory than were females, and the mean size of individual 95% utility distributions was larger for males than females. Most dispersal events by radio-collared males were preceded by a series of exploratory excursions outside the natal territory. All collared males dispersed, but no collared females did so. Most dispersing males moved only one or two home ranges away at dispersal, roughly 8-10 km distant from the natal territory, before settling in a new social group. ?? 2005 The Zoological Society of London.
IV, W. Scott Persons; Funston, Gregory F.; Currie, Philip J.; Norell, Mark A.
The hypothesis that oviraptorosaurs used tail-feather displays in courtship behavior previously predicted that oviraptorosaurs would be found to display sexually dimorphic caudal osteology. MPC-D 100/1002 and MPC-D 100/1127 are two specimens of the oviraptorosaur Khaan mckennai. Although similar in absolute size and in virtually all other anatomical details, the anterior haemal spines of MPC-D 100/1002 exceed those of MPC-D 100/1127 in ventral depth and develop a hitherto unreported “spearhead” shape. This dissimilarity cannot be readily explained as pathologic and is too extreme to be reasonably attributed to the amount of individual variation expected among con-specifics. Instead, this discrepancy in haemal spine morphology may be attributable to sexual dimorphism. The haemal spine form of MPC-D 100/1002 offers greater surface area for caudal muscle insertions. On this basis, MPC-D 100/1002 is regarded as most probably male, and MPC-D 100/1127 is regarded as most probably female. PMID:25824625
del Castillo, Daniela L; Flores, David A; Cappozzo, Humberto L
The aim of this work was to study the postnatal ontogenetic development of Pontoporia blainvillei skull, identifying major changes on shape, and relating them to relevant factors in the life history of the species. We analyzed a complete ontogenetic series (73♂, 83♀) with three-dimensional geometric morphometric techniques. Immature dolphins showed a very well-developed braincase and a poorly developed rostrum, and the principal postnatal changes affected the rostrum and the temporal fossa, both structures implied functionally to the feeding apparatus, thus suggesting a specialized mode for catch fast prey in P. blainvillei. Osseous elements associated with sound production were already well developed on immature dolphins, suggesting the importance of this apparatus since the beginning of postnatal life. Sexual dimorphism was detected on both shape and size variables. Females were bigger than males, in accordance with previous studies. Shape differences between sexes were found on the posterior part of premaxillaries and external bony nares (P < 0.01), suggesting that this sexual dimorphism is related to differences on vocalization capabilities.
Pap, Péter László; Adam, Costică; Vágási, Csongor István; Benkő, Zoltán; Vincze, Orsolya
Female-biased sex ratio is a common phenomenon in parasites; however, the cause and consequence of the skewed sex ratio is less well known. Here, we studied the difference in sex ratio, a possible mechanism responsible for the development of unbalanced proportion of sexes and its consequences on sexual size dimorphism, between 3 louse species parasitizing the house sparrow Passer domesticus. Philopterus fringillae was more prevalent than Sturnidoecus refractariolus and Brueelia cyclothorax. As expected, the most common species, which was probably least affected by isolation and, hence, inbreeding, was characterized by a balanced sex ratio, whereas the 2 other species with low prevalence were significantly more female biased than expected on the basis of the local mate competition hypothesis. Further, in support of this notion, we found that P. fringillae infrapopulation size significantly, and positively, correlated with the sex ratio. Finally, we found significant differences in sexual dimorphism among the 3 louse species and, as expected, the relative size of males was smallest in species with a more female-biased sex ratio.
Omura, Hisashi; Yanai, Nanako; Honda, Keiichi
Adults of Papilio protenor demetrius emit a faint odour; the male odour is notably stronger than that of the females. The extracts of whole individuals of each sex comprised 53 compounds regarded as cuticular lipid components, of which the 17 major compounds were straight-chain alkanes and alkenes with 23-31 carbon atoms, higher fatty acids, long-chain aliphatic ketones, squalene, and cholesterol. However, highly volatile compounds were not detected in the whole individual extracts. Eight of the 17 major compounds showed a significant sex difference in relative abundance per individual. Principal component analysis, using the major compounds as variables, revealed a marked sexual dimorphism in the chemical composition of cuticular lipids. From the extracts of 10 dissected individuals of each sex, 21 highly volatile compounds were identified in amounts of less than 200 ng/individual. Among them, linalool and 2,3-butanediol showed a significantly larger amount in males than in females, indicating that the adult odour is also sexually dimorphic. Moreover, both sexes shared several odoriferous compounds, such as heptanal, nonanal, methyl salicylate, benzyl alcohol, and benzoic acid. The faint odour of P. protenor adults, perceivable by the human nose, appears to originate from these volatile compounds.
Brown, Adrienne S; Levine, Jon D; Green, Paul G
It has been hypothesized that stress contributes to the severity of inflammatory diseases. However, the mechanisms underlying this effect are incompletely understood. In this study we investigated the effects of sound stress on function of the polymorphonuclear neutrophil-immune cells that play key roles in both the acute and chronic inflammatory response. Specifically, we examined the effect of stress on the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and phagocytosis by rat neutrophils, and the role of sympathoadrenal stress axis in these effects. Since many inflammatory diseases exhibit sexual dimorphism, we also investigated the contribution of sex and gonadal hormones to the effects of stress on neutrophil function. Peripheral blood neutrophils were harvested from male and female rats exposed to intermittent sound stress (over 4 days). Stress suppressed ROS production in males (but not females) an effect that was eliminated in adrenal medullectomized males. Stress also suppressed neutrophil phagocytosis in males and females. Again, this effect was absent following adrenal medullectomy. To investigate the role of sex hormones in these sexual dimorphic responses to stress, rats were gonadectomized prepubertally and exposed to stress as adults. In gonadectomized males, stress produced an even larger decrease in ROS production, but had no effect on the stress-induced inhibition of phagocytosis. Gonadectomy prevented the stress-induced inhibition of neutrophil phagocytosis in females. These data indicate that the adrenal medulla, perhaps via release of epinephrine, suppresses neutrophil ROS production in males and phagocytosis in males and females.
DeMartini, Daniel G; Ghoshal, Amitabh; Pandolfi, Erica; Weaver, Aaron T; Baum, Mary; Morse, Daniel E
Loliginid squid use tunable multilayer reflectors to modulate the optical properties of their skin for camouflage and communication. Contained inside specialized cells called iridocytes, these photonic structures have been a model for investigations into bio-inspired adaptive optics. Here, we describe two distinct sexually dimorphic tunable biophotonic features in the commercially important species Doryteuthis opalescens: bright stripes of rainbow iridescence on the mantle just beneath each fin attachment and a bright white stripe centered on the dorsal surface of the mantle between the fins. Both of these cellular features are unique to the female; positioned in the same location as the conspicuously bright white testis in the male, they are completely switchable, transitioning between transparency and high reflectivity. The sexual dimorphism, location and tunability of these features suggest that they may function in mating or reproduction. These features provide advantageous new models for investigation of adaptive biophotonics. The intensely reflective cells of the iridescent stripes provide a greater signal-to-noise ratio than the adaptive iridocytes studied thus far, while the cells constituting the white stripe are adaptive leucophores--unique biological tunable broadband scatterers containing Mie-scattering organelles activated by acetylcholine, and a unique complement of reflectin proteins.
Koehler, Nicole; Simmons, Leigh W; Rhodes, Gillian; Peters, Marianne
Previous studies have found both support and lack of support for a positive relationship between masculinity and symmetry, two putative signs of mate quality, in male faces. We re-examined this relationship using an explicit measure of facial fluctuating asymmetry, as well as other measures of asymmetry, and measures of facial masculinity/femininity. We also used ratings of these traits for faces. Further, we examined the relationship between facial sexual dimorphism and body asymmetry. We found no significant correlations between facial masculinity and any of our measures of asymmetry or ratings of symmetry in males. Facial femininity was not consistently associated with facial symmetry in females, but was associated with body symmetry. Therefore, for females, but not males, facial femininity and body symmetry may reflect similar aspects of mate quality. We also examined the relationships between trait ratings and measurements. Our results provide validation of our ability to measure aspects of asymmetry that are perceived to be symmetrical, and aspects of sexual dimorphism that are perceived as feminine in females and masculine in males.
Mundorff, Amy Z; Bartelink, Eric J; Murad, Turhon A
Previous research has demonstrated significant sexual dimorphism in friction ridge skin characteristics. This study uses a novel method for measuring sexual dimorphism in finger ridge breadths to evaluate its utility as a sex estimation method from an unknown fingerprint. Beginning and ending in a valley, the width of ten parallel ridges with no obstructions or minutia was measured in a sample of 250 males and females (N = 500). The results demonstrate statistically significant differences in ridge breadth between males and females (p < 0.001), with classification accuracy for each digit varying from 83.2% to 89.3%. Classification accuracy for the pooled finger samples was 83.9% for the right hand and 86.2% for the left hand, which is applicable for cases where the digit number cannot be determined. Weight, stature, and to a lesser degree body mass index also significantly correlate with ridge breadth and account for the degree of overlap between males and females.
Fan, Lingzhong; Tang, Yuchun; Sun, Bo; Gong, Gaolang; Chen, Zhang J; Lin, Xiangtao; Yu, Taifei; Li, Zhenping; Evans, Alan C; Liu, Shuwei
Structural sexual dimorphism and asymmetry in human cerebellum have been described in previous research, but results remain inconclusive or even conflicting. In this study, gender differences and hemispheric asymmetries in global and regional human cerebellum gray matter (GM) were estimated in an age-matched sample (n=112) of young Chinese adults. An optimized voxel-based morphometry (VBM) in spatial unbiased infratentorial template (SUIT) space together with an automated atlas-based volumetric approach were performed for mapping regional gray matter (GM) gender-related differences across the entire cerebellum. The two methods provided consistent findings on gender differences. The cerebellar GM volume was significantly larger in the anterior and middle posterior lobes of male group. In addition, a trend of greater GM volume in lateral posterior lobe of female group was observed. With the created symmetric cerebellar template, the asymmetric properties of cerebellar hemisphere were also assessed by VBM analysis, showing rightward asymmetry distributed in most cerebellar lobules and leftwards asymmetry distributed in the lobules around the medial posterior lobe. Gender differences in males showed higher leftward asymmetry sparsely within a few lobules and lower rightward asymmetry mainly within lobule Crus II, as compared with females. The acquired detailed morphologic knowledge of normal human cerebellum could establish a baseline for comparison with pathologic changes in the cerebellum. Moreover, our results might help to address controversies in thestudy of sexual dimorphisms and asymmetric patterns in human cerebellum.
Goto, Ryutaro; Okamoto, Tomoko; Ishikawa, Hiroshi; Hamamura, Yoichi; Kato, Makoto
The Echiura, or spoon worms, are a group of marine worms, most of which live in burrows in soft sediments. This annelid-like animal group was once considered as a separate phylum because of the absence of segmentation, although recent molecular analyses have placed it within the annelids. In this study, we elucidate the interfamily relationships of echiuran worms and their evolutionary pattern of feeding mode and sexual dimorphism, by performing molecular phylogenetic analyses using four genes (18S, 28S, H3, and COI) of representatives of all extant echiuran families. Our results suggest that Echiura is monophyletic and comprises two unexpected groups: [Echiuridae+Urechidae+Thalassematidae] and [Bonelliidae+Ikedidae]. This grouping agrees with the presence/absence of marked sexual dimorphism involving dwarf males and the paired/non-paired configuration of the gonoducts (genital sacs). Furthermore, the data supports the sister group relationship of Echiuridae and Urechidae. These two families share the character of having anal chaetae rings around the posterior trunk as a synapomorphy. The analyses also suggest that deposit feeding is a basal feeding mode in echiurans and that filter feeding originated once in the common ancestor of Urechidae. Overall, our results contradict the currently accepted order-level classification, especially in that Echiuroinea is polyphyletic, and provide novel insights into the evolution of echiuran worms.
Samia, Diogo S M; Møller, Anders Pape; Blumstein, Daniel T; Stankowich, Theodore; Cooper, William E
Sexual selection is a powerful evolutionary mechanism that has shaped the physiology, behaviour and morphology of the sexes to the extent that it can reduce viability while promoting traits that enhance reproductive success. Predation is one of the underlying mechanisms accounting for viability costs of sexual displays. Therefore, we should expect that individuals of the two sexes adjust their anti-predator behaviour in response to changes in predation risk. We conducted a meta-analysis of 28 studies (42 species) of sex differences in risk-taking behaviour in lizards and tested whether these differences could be explained by sexual dichromatism, by sexual size dimorphism or by latitude. Latitude was the best predictor of the interspecific heterogeneity in sex-specific behaviour. Males did not change their escape behaviour with latitude, whereas females had increasingly reduced wariness at higher latitudes. We hypothesize that this sex difference in risk-taking behaviour is linked to sex-specific environmental constraints that more strongly affect the reproductive effort of females than males. This novel latitudinal effect on sex-specific anti-predator behaviour has important implications for responses to climate change and for the relative roles of natural and sexual selection in different species.
Kampe, Aaron R.; Peters, Susan E.
Summary This study examined the effects of testosterone (T) on the contractile properties of two sexually dimorphic forelimb muscles and one non-dimorphic muscle in male bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana, Shaw 1802). The dimorphic muscles in castrated males with testosterone replacement (T+) achieved higher forces and lower fatigability than did castrated males without replaced testosterone (T0 males), but the magnitude of the differences was low and many of the pair-wise comparisons of each muscle property were not statistically significant. However, when taken as a whole, the means of seven contractile properties varied in the directions expected of masculine values in T+ animals in the sexually dimorphic muscles. Moreover, these data, compared with previous data on male and female bullfrogs, show that values for T+ males are similar to normal males and are significantly different from females. The T0 males tended to be intermediate in character between T+ males and females, generally retaining masculine values. This suggests that the exposure of young males to T in their first breeding season produces a masculinizing effect on the sexually dimorphic muscles that is not reversed between breeding seasons when T levels are low. The relatively minor differences in contractile properties between T+ and T0 males may indicate that as circulating T levels rise during breeding season in normal males, contractile properties can be enhanced rapidly to maximal functional levels for breeding success. PMID:24143280
Alencar, C. E. R. D.; Lima-Filho, P. A.; Molina, W. F.; Freire, F. A. M.
Sexual dimorphism is often observed in Crustaceans. Considering the great diversity of this subphylum, only few reports are found in the literature and most are mainly based on traditional morphometry. The present study uses geometric morphometrics analysis to identify sexual dimorphism by shape variation in the overexploited semiterrestrial crab Ucides cordatus, species with great social and economic importance in South America. Comparative morphology analyses were performed by using the outer face of the propodus of major cheliped, dorsal and anterior region of carapace shape. Significant differences in shape between sexes were detected in these body areas. The causes of dimorphism presented in this species are not clear but, analogous to other possibly associated species, it may be inferred that the causes are with adaptations to body ability of reproductive potential (females), and of reproductive behaviour and agonistics encounters (males). Additional analyses on courtship displays and other reproductive aspects should provide better comprehension of functionality of this morphological differentiation. PMID:25383362
Zieritz, Alexandra; Aldridge, David C
Intraspecific trends in freshwater mussel (unionoid) shells that are consistently associated with differences in the mussels' sex and/or parasitic infestation can potentially be used to reconstruct sex ratios or parasitic levels of modern and ancient unionoid populations. In contrast to morphological patterns within mammal species, such dimorphic trends within unionoid species are, however, poorly understood. This study investigates, for the first time, to what extent sex, trematode infection and indirect habitat effects determine shell morphology in the freshwater mussel Anodonta anatina. Three of the five study populations displayed significant sexual shell width dimorphism. Here, shells of females were significantly wider than males, probably as a result of altered shell growth to accommodate marsupial gills. In two of these populations, female shells were additionally significantly thinner than those of males, which could be a result of resource depletion by offspring production. Two other A. anatina populations showed no significant dimorphic patterns, and our results indicate that this interpopulational difference in the degree of sexual dimorphism may reflect the overarching effect of habitat on morphology. Thus, populations in the most favourable habitats exhibit faster growth rates, attain larger maximum sizes and produce more offspring, which results in more swollen gills and consequently more inflated shells of gravid females compared to less fecund populations. None of the populations showed any evidence for sexual dimorphism in overall size, growth rate, sagittal shape and density of shells. In addition to sexual dimorphisms, infestation by bucephalid trematode parasites (Rhipidocotyle sp.) significantly altered sagittal and lateral shell shape of A. anatina in one of the populations, with infected specimens growing wider and more elongated.
This study was designed to characterize potential sexually dimorphic immunological responses following endotoxin challenge. Six female (heifers) and five male (bulls) Brahman calves (267 ± 11.5 days of age) were challenged with 0.25 microgram of LPS/kg body weight. Following administration of endoto...
de Blieux, D.D.; Baumrind, M.R.; Simons, E.L.; Chatrath, P.S.; Meyer, G.E.; Attia, Y.S.
An internal mandibular fenestra and chamber are found in many fossil hyracoids. The internal mandibular fenestra is located on the lingual surface of the mandibular corpus and opens into a chamber within the mandible. The mandibular chamber is maximally developed in late Eocene Thyrohyrax meyeri and early Oligocene Thyrohyrax domorictus from the Fayum Province of Egypt. The function of this chamber is unknown as it is not found in extant hyraxes, nor is it known to occur in any other mammal. In Thyrohyrax, this feature appears to be sexually dimorphic because it is confined to roughly one half of the specimens that otherwise cannot be separated by dental characteristics or measurements. It has been suggested that the chamber is found in females based on the presumed distribution of this character in other fossil hyracoids. Fossils from Fayum Quarry L-41, preserving the sexually dimorphic anterior dentition, show that, in Thyrohyrax meyeri and Thyrohyrax domorictus, the internal mandibular chamber is found in males. In Thyrohyrax litholagus, an internal mandibular fenestra and inflated mandibular chamber occurs in males whereas females show the variable presence of an internal mandibular fossa or fenestra but lack an expanded chamber. Other genera show differing patterns of sexual variation in which some Fayum hyracoids have an internal mandibular fenestra in both sexes but with the greatest development of the mandibular chamber occurring in males. We review functions proposed for the internal mandibular chamber and suggest that it housed a laryngeal air sac that may have had a vocal function by acting as a resonating chamber. ?? 2006 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.
Arnqvist, Göran; Tuda, Midori
Although males and females share much of the same genome, selection is often distinct in the two sexes. Sexually antagonistic loci will in theory cause a gender load in populations, because sex-specific selection on a given trait in one sex will compromise the adaptive evolution of the same trait in the other sex. However, it is currently not clear whether such intralocus sexual conflict (ISC) represents a transient evolutionary state, where conflict is rapidly resolved by the evolution of sexual dimorphism (SD), or whether it is a more chronic impediment to adaptation. All else being equal, ISC should manifest itself as correlated evolution between population fitness and SD in traits expressed in both sexes. However, comparative tests of this prediction are problematic and have been unfeasible. Here, we assess the effects of ISC by comparing fitness and SD across distinct laboratory populations of seed beetles that should be well adapted to a shared environment. We show that SD in juvenile development time, a key life-history trait with a history of sexually antagonistic selection in this model system, is positively related to fitness. This effect is due to a correlated evolution between population fitness and development time that is positive in females but negative in males. Loosening the genetic bind between the sexes has evidently allowed the sexes to approach their distinct adaptive peaks. PMID:20031994
Arnqvist, Göran; Tuda, Midori
Although males and females share much of the same genome, selection is often distinct in the two sexes. Sexually antagonistic loci will in theory cause a gender load in populations, because sex-specific selection on a given trait in one sex will compromise the adaptive evolution of the same trait in the other sex. However, it is currently not clear whether such intralocus sexual conflict (ISC) represents a transient evolutionary state, where conflict is rapidly resolved by the evolution of sexual dimorphism (SD), or whether it is a more chronic impediment to adaptation. All else being equal, ISC should manifest itself as correlated evolution between population fitness and SD in traits expressed in both sexes. However, comparative tests of this prediction are problematic and have been unfeasible. Here, we assess the effects of ISC by comparing fitness and SD across distinct laboratory populations of seed beetles that should be well adapted to a shared environment. We show that SD in juvenile development time, a key life-history trait with a history of sexually antagonistic selection in this model system, is positively related to fitness. This effect is due to a correlated evolution between population fitness and development time that is positive in females but negative in males. Loosening the genetic bind between the sexes has evidently allowed the sexes to approach their distinct adaptive peaks.
Stival, Alessia; Chiappini, Elena; Montagnani, Carlotta; Orlandini, Elisa; Buzzoni, Carlotta; Galli, Luisa; de Martino, Maurizio
Background In most countries, men seem to be more susceptible to tuberculosis (TB) than women, but only few studies have investigated the reasons of this gender incidence difference. The effect of sexual hormones on immunity is possible. Methods Data from children and adults, living in Tuscany, hospitalized for TB in all the thirty-one regional hospitals from January 1st 1997 to December 31st 2011, were analyzed using the International Classification of Disease, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification. Results During the study period, 10,744 patients were hospitalized with TB diagnosis, precisely 279 (2.6%) children [0–14 years], 205 (1.9%) adolescents [15–18 years] and 10,260 (95.5%) adults [≥18 years]. The male population ranged from 249 patients (51.4%) in children and adolescents, to 6,253 (60.9%) in adults. Pulmonary TB was the most common form both in children and adults. Men were more likely than women to have pulmonary TB after puberty, while no significant differences were found between males and females in the hospitalized children. The male gender also resulted the most affected for the extra-pulmonary disease sites, excluding the lymphatic system, during the reproductive age. Conclusions Our findings suggest a possible role of sexual hormones in the development of TB. No significant male-female difference was found in TB incidence among children, while a sex ratio significantly different from 1∶1 emerged among reproductive age classes. An increased incidence difference also persisted in older men, suggesting that male-biased risk factors could influence TB progression. Some limitations of the study are the sample size, the method of discharge diagnosis which could be deficient in accuracy in some cases, the increasing number of immigrants and the lack of possible individual risk factors (smoke and alcohol). Further studies are needed to investigate the possible hormone-driven immune mechanisms determining the sexual dimorphism in TB. PMID:25255233
Barrios-Quiroz, Gabriel; Casas-Andreu, Gustavo; Escobedo-Galván, Armando H
Few studies have conducted morphological analyses of crocodilians, and little information exists on differences between size-classes and sexes in Neotropical crocodilians. In this study, we measured nine morphological traits in 121 captive Morelet's crocodiles Crocodylus moreletii (81 females and 40 males). Our results revealed that individuals < 2 m total length do not exhibit sexual dimorphism in morphometric characteristics. However, for crocodiles over 2 m in length, males were significantly larger than females in terms of dorsal-cranial length, cranial width, snout width and snout-ventral length. In general, morphological traits demonstrated a strongly significant relationship with total length at the smaller size class of 150-200 cm length. However, in the highest size class of 250-300 cm length (large adult males), morphological traits were no longer significantly related with total length. Male crocodiles demonstrated allometric growth of cranial morphology with significantly greater increase in cranial width, snout width, and mid-snout width relative to total length at higher size classes. Morphological dimorphism and allometric growth may be associated with adaptive strategies for reproductive success.
González-Gómez, Paulina L; Madrid-Lopez, Natalia; Salazar, Juan E; Suárez, Rodrigo; Razeto-Barry, Pablo; Mpodozis, Jorge; Bozinovic, Francisco; Vásquez, Rodrigo A
In scatter-hoarding species, several behavioral and neuroanatomical adaptations allow them to store and retrieve thousands of food items per year. Nectarivorous animals face a similar scenario having to remember quality, location and replenishment schedules of several nectar sources. In the green-backed firecrown hummingbird (Sephanoides sephanoides), males are territorial and have the ability to accurately keep track of nectar characteristics of their defended food sources. In contrast, females display an opportunistic strategy, performing rapid intrusions into males territories. In response, males behave aggressively during the non-reproductive season. In addition, females have higher energetic demands due to higher thermoregulatory costs and travel times. The natural scenario of this species led us to compared cognitive abilities and hippocampal size between males and females. Males were able to remember nectar location and renewal rates significantly better than females. However, the hippocampal formation was significantly larger in females than males. We discuss these findings in terms of sexually dimorphic use of spatial resources and variable patterns of brain dimorphisms in birds.
González-Gómez, Paulina L.; Madrid-Lopez, Natalia; Salazar, Juan E.; Suárez, Rodrigo; Razeto-Barry, Pablo; Mpodozis, Jorge; Bozinovic, Francisco; Vásquez, Rodrigo A.
In scatter-hoarding species, several behavioral and neuroanatomical adaptations allow them to store and retrieve thousands of food items per year. Nectarivorous animals face a similar scenario having to remember quality, location and replenishment schedules of several nectar sources. In the green-backed firecrown hummingbird (Sephanoides sephanoides), males are territorial and have the ability to accurately keep track of nectar characteristics of their defended food sources. In contrast, females display an opportunistic strategy, performing rapid intrusions into males territories. In response, males behave aggressively during the non-reproductive season. In addition, females have higher energetic demands due to higher thermoregulatory costs and travel times. The natural scenario of this species led us to compared cognitive abilities and hippocampal size between males and females. Males were able to remember nectar location and renewal rates significantly better than females. However, the hippocampal formation was significantly larger in females than males. We discuss these findings in terms of sexually dimorphic use of spatial resources and variable patterns of brain dimorphisms in birds. PMID:24599049
Horák, Zdeněk; Velemínská, Jana
In this paper we present a three-dimensional (3D) morphometrical assessment of human tibia sexual dimorphism based on whole bone digital representation. To detect shape–size and shape differences between sexes, we used geometric morphometric tools and colour-coded surface deviation maps. The surface-based methodology enabled analysis of sexually dimorphic features throughout the shaft and articular ends of the tibia. The overall study dataset consisted of 183 3D models of adult tibiae from three Czech population subsets, dating to the early medieval (9–10th century) (N = 65), early 20th century (N = 61) and 21st-century (N = 57). The time gap between the chronologically most distant and contemporary datasets was more than 1200 years. The results showed that, in all three datasets, sexual dimorphism was pronounced. There were some sex-dimorphic characteristics common to all three samples, such as tuberosity protrusion, anteriorly bowed shaft and relatively larger articular ends in males. Diachronic comparisons also revealed substantial shape variation related to the most dimorphic area. Male/female distinctions showed a consistent temporal trend regarding the location of dimorphic areas (shifting distally with time), while the maximal deviation between male and female digitized surfaces fluctuated and reached the lowest level in the 21st-century sample. Sex determination on a whole-surface basis yielded the lowest return of correct sex assignment in the 20th-century group, which represented the lowest socioeconomic status. The temporal variation could be attributed to changes in living conditions, the decreasing lower limb loading/labour division in the last 12 centuries having the greatest effect. Overall, the results showed that a surface-based approach is successful for analysing complex long bone geometry. PMID:27846265
Kava, R A; West, D B; Lukasik, V A; Greenwood, M R
Obese and lean male and female Wistar fatty rats were fed a high-sucrose (68% of calories) diet from 5 to 22 wk of age. Obese males, but not obese females, developed hyperglycemia in the fed state and were more glucose intolerant during an intragastric glucose tolerance test than obese females. Lean Wistar fatty rats did not become hyperglycemic on the sucrose diet. Obese males also showed a smaller insulin response during the glucose tolerance test than did obese females. The Wistar fatty rat is a sexually dimorphic model of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in which the male but not the female obese rats become diabetic. The diabetic condition and impaired glucose tolerance in the obese male Wistar fatty rat may be related to impaired pancreatic insulin release and peripheral insulin resistance.
Romero-López, Angel; Morón, Miguel; Valdez, Jorge
The external morphology of sensilla on the antennae of males and females of Phyllophaga ravida Blanchard is described using scanning electron microscopy. Sexual dimorphism in body and antennal dimensions and in antennal receptor types was found. The female's body is slightly larger than the male's, although male antennal lamellae are longer than in females. Sixteen types of sensilla were identified on the proximal and distal surfaces of lamellae from both sexes, most of them in males: three types of placodea sensilla, four types of auricilica sensilla, five types of basiconica sensilla, and four types of coeloconica sensilla. Also, two types of mechanoreceptor sensilla were present on the lamellae periphery. Furthermore, males had larger placodea, auricilica and some types of basiconica sensilla.
Aggarwal, Bindu; Gorea, R K; Gorea, Abhinav; Gorea, Arshdeep
The identification of gender is of significance in case of major disasters where bodies are often damaged beyond recognition Teeth are the hardest and chemically the most stable structure in the body. Moreover teeth show signs of least amount of changes in morphology and are easily accessible for examination. Therefore teeth are a first-rate material for genetic and forensic investigations. Out of all the teeth mandibular canines are considered as the "key teeth" for personal identification. Many studies have not been conducted simultaneously intra-orally and on the dental casts to establish the sexual dimorphism in the mandibular canines. The present study was undertaken in north Indian population to check the significance of intraoral measurements - mesio distal width and inter-canine distance as compared with the measurements on the dental casts. The study revealed that both the methods were equally reliable in gender determination.
Fernandes, Nathália da Silva; Willemart, Rodrigo Hirata
Sexually dimorphic glands have convergently appeared in animals and are often responsible for the production of pheromones. In the suborder Laniatores of the order Opiliones (Arachnida), glands of such type are widespread, but there is not a single paper on how they are used. Using Scanning Electron Microscopy and a behavioral approach, we describe glandular openings and how these glands are used, in the harvestmen Gryne perlata and Gryne coccinelloides (Cosmetidae). Males of these two species have glandular openings on the metatarsi of legs I and on the metatarsi IV. Males were shown rubbing the glands of the metatarsi I against their other legs, whereas glands on the metatarsi IV are gently touched on the substrate or rubbed either against other legs, or against the substrate. Not all behaviors were seen in both species.
Inozemtseva, Olga; Matute, Esmeralda; Juárez, Jorge
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia could provide a promising model for the study of the effects of hormones on cognition. The aim of this study was to assess sexual dimorphic abilities related to oral language, spatial abilities, and verbal fluency and to determine the existence of learning disabilities in 11 congenital girls with adrenal hyperplasia compared with 11 healthy girls. Both groups underwent a neuropsychological evaluation using the Child Neuropsychological Assessment battery for Spanish-speaking children. Results showed that the congenital adrenal hyperplasia group had a significantly lower performance than the control group in the repetition and expression domains, right-left comprehension task, and verbal semantic fluency task. A higher incidence of learning disabilities (predominantly reading related) in the patient group compared with their controls was also evident. Thus, the presence of weak verbal areas along with a high incidence of learning disabilities related primarily, though not exclusively, to reading was documented in these girls.
Caminero, A A; Segovia, S; Guillamón, A
The purpose of the present study was to identify the existence of sexual dimorphism in the dendritic field of accessory olfactory bulb mitral cells in rats and to investigate the effects of male orchidectomy and female androgenization on the day of birth upon this dendritic field. The rapid Golgi method was used to conduct a quantitative study of various characteristics of the dendritic field of accessory olfactory bulb mitral cells. The results indicated greater values for males than females for the following characteristics: (i) somatic area; (ii) degree of branching in the dendritic field; (iii) total dendritic length; and (iv) dendritic density around the neuronal soma. Orchidectomy of males, as well as androgenization of females, on the day of birth inverted these differences.
Delahaye, Fabien; Wijetunga, N Ari; Heo, Hye J; Tozour, Jessica N; Zhao, Yong Mei; Greally, John M; Einstein, Francine H
Extreme fetal growth is associated with increased susceptibility to a range of adult diseases through an unknown mechanism of cellular memory. We tested whether heritable epigenetic processes in long-lived CD34(+) haematopoietic stem/progenitor cells showed evidence for re-programming associated with the extremes of fetal growth. Here we show that both fetal growth restriction and over-growth are associated with global shifts towards DNA hypermethylation, targeting cis-regulatory elements in proximity to genes involved in glucose homeostasis and stem cell function. We find a sexually dimorphic response; intrauterine growth restriction is associated with substantially greater epigenetic dysregulation in males, whereas large for gestational age growth predominantly affects females. The findings are consistent with extreme fetal growth interacting with variable fetal susceptibility to influence cellular ageing and metabolic characteristics through epigenetic mechanisms, potentially generating biomarkers that could identify infants at higher risk for chronic disease later in life.
Baudat, F; Manova, K; Yuen, J P; Jasin, M; Keeney, S
Spo11, a protein first identified in yeast, is thought to generate the chromosome breaks that initiate meiotic recombination. We now report that disruption of mouse Spo11 leads to severe gonadal abnormalities from defective meiosis. Spermatocytes suffer apoptotic death during early prophase; oocytes reach the diplotene/dictyate stage in nearly normal numbers, but most die soon after birth. Consistent with a conserved function in initiating meiotic recombination, Dmc1/Rad51 focus formation is abolished. Spo11(-/-) meiocytes also display homologous chromosome synapsis defects, similar to fungi but distinct from flies and nematodes. We propose that recombination initiation precedes and is required for normal synapsis in mammals. Our results also support the view that mammalian checkpoint responses to meiotic recombination and/or synapsis defects are sexually dimorphic.
Weller, Stephen G; Sakai, Ann K; Culley, Theresa M; Campbell, Diane R; Ngo, Paul; Dunbar-Wallis, Amy K
Sexual dimorphism may be especially pronounced in wind-pollinated species because they lack the constraints of biotically pollinated species that must present their pollen and stigmas in similar positions to ensure pollen transfer. Lacking these constraints, the sexes of wind-pollinated species may diverge in response to the different demands of pollen dispersal and receipt, depending on the magnitude of genetic correlations preventing divergence between sexes. Patterns of sexual dimorphism and genetic variation were investigated for inflorescence traits in Schiedea adamantis (Caryophyllaceae), a species well adapted to wind-pollination, and compared to S. salicaria, a species with fewer adaptations to wind pollination. For S. adamantis, dimorphism was pronounced for inflorescence condensation and its components, including lateral flower number and pedicel length. Within sexes, genetic correlations between traits may constrain the relative shape of the inflorescence. Correlations detected across sexes may retard the evolution of sexual dimorphism in inflorescence structure, including features favoring enhanced dispersal and receipt of pollen. Despite genetic correlations across sexes, common principal components analysis showed that genetic variance-covariance matrices (G matrices) differed significantly between the sexes, in part because of greater genetic variation for flower number in hermaphrodites than in females. G matrices also differed between closely related S. adamantis and S. salicaria, indicating the potential for divergent evolution of inflorescence structure despite general similarities in morphology and pollination biology.
Fokidis, H.B., T.S. Risch and T.C. Glenn
Factors underlying the evolution of female-biased sexual size dimorphism in mammals are poorly understood. In an effort to better understand these factors we tested whether larger female southern flying squirrels, Glaucomys volans, gained reproductive advantages (larger litters or more male mates) and direct resource benefits, such as larger home ranges or access to more food (i.e. mast-producing trees). As dimorphism can vary with age in precocial breeding species, we compared females during their first reproduction and during a subsequent breeding attempt. Females were not significantly larger or heavier than males at first reproduction, but became about 7% heavier and 22% larger than males at subsequent breeding. Larger females produced larger litters and had home ranges containing a greater proportion of upland hardwood trees. Female body size was not associated with either multiple male mating or home range size, but females with larger home ranges had higher indexes of body condition. Females in precocial breeding flying squirrels initiate reproduction before sexual size dimorphism is evident, and thus, may be allocating resources to both reproduction and growth simultaneously, or delaying growth entirely. Larger females produce more pups and have access to more food resources. Thus, selection for increased female size may partly explain how female-biased sexual size dimorphism is maintained in this species.
Kaliontzopoulou, A; Carretero, M A; Adams, D C
Understanding how phenotypic diversity evolves is a major interest of evolutionary biology. Habitat use is an important factor in the evolution of phenotypic diversity of many animal species. Interestingly, male and female phenotypes have been frequently shown to respond differently to environmental variation. At the macroevolutionary level, this difference between the sexes is frequently analysed using phylogenetic comparative tools to assess variation in sexual dimorphism (SD) across taxa in relation to habitat. A shortcoming of such analyses is that they evaluate the degree of dimorphism itself and therefore they do not provide access to the evolutionary trajectories of each sex. As such, the relative contribution of male and female phenotypes on macroevolutionary patterns of sexual dimorphism cannot be directly assessed. Here, we investigate how habitat use shapes phenotypic diversity in wall lizards using phylogenetic comparative tools to simultaneously assess the tempo and mode of evolution in males, females and the degree of sexual dimorphism. We find that both sexes have globally diversified under similar, but not identical, processes, where habitat use seems to drive macroevolutionary variation in head shape, but not in body size or relative limb length. However, we also observe small differences in the evolutionary dynamics of male and female phenotypes that have a marked impact on macroevolutionary patterns of SD, with important implications for our interpretation of what drives phenotypic diversification within and between the sexes.
Cueva Del Castillo, R
Body size is directly or indirectly correlated with fitness. Body size, which conveys maximal fitness, often differs between sexes. Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) evolves because body size tends to be related to reproductive success through different pathways in males and females. In general, female insects are larger than males, suggesting that natural selection for high female fecundity could be stronger than sexual selection in males. I assessed the role of body size and fecundity in SSD in the Neotropical cricket Macroanaxipha macilenta (Saussure). This species shows a SSD bias toward males. Females did not present a correlation between number of eggs and body size. Nonetheless, there were fluctuations in the number of eggs carried by females during the sampling period, and the size of females that were collected carrying eggs was larger than that of females collected with no eggs. Since mating induces vitellogenesis in some cricket species, differences in female body size might suggest male mate choice. Sexual selection in the body size of males of M. macilenta may possibly be stronger than the selection of female fecundity. Even so, no mating behavior was observed during the field observations, including audible male calling or courtship songs, yet males may produce ultrasonic calls due to their size. If female body size in M. macilenta is not directly related to fecundity, the lack of a correlated response to selection on female body size could represent an alternate evolutionary pathway in the evolution of body size and SSD in insects.
Regis, Koy W.
Background The macroevolutionary pattern of Rensch’s Rule (positive allometry of sexual size dimorphism) has had mixed support in turtles. Using the largest carapace length dataset and only large-scale body mass dataset assembled for this group, we determine (a) whether turtles conform to Rensch’s Rule at the order, suborder, and family levels, and (b) whether inferences regarding allometry of sexual size dimorphism differ based on choice of body size metric used for analyses. Methods We compiled databases of mean body mass and carapace length for males and females for as many populations and species of turtles as possible. We then determined scaling relationships between males and females for average body mass and straight carapace length using traditional and phylogenetic comparative methods. We also used regression analyses to evalutate sex-specific differences in the variance explained by carapace length on body mass. Results Using traditional (non-phylogenetic) analyses, body mass supports Rensch’s Rule, whereas straight carapace length supports isometry. Using phylogenetic independent contrasts, both body mass and straight carapace length support Rensch’s Rule with strong congruence between metrics. At the family level, support for Rensch’s Rule is more frequent when mass is used and in phylogenetic comparative analyses. Turtles do not differ in slopes of sex-specific mass-to-length regressions and more variance in body size within each sex is explained by mass than by carapace length. Discussion Turtles display Rensch’s Rule overall and within families of Cryptodires, but not within Pleurodire families. Mass and length are strongly congruent with respect to Rensch’s Rule across turtles, and discrepancies are observed mostly at the family level (the level where Rensch’s Rule is most often evaluated). At macroevolutionary scales, the purported advantages of length measurements over weight are not supported in turtles. PMID:28149687
Wang, Yuyu; Liu, Xingyue; Winterton, Shaun L.; Yan, Yan; Chang, Wencheng; Yang, Ding
Rapisma McLachlan, 1866 (Neuroptera: Ithonidae) is a rarely encountered genus of lacewings found inmontane tropical or subtropical forests in Oriental Asia. In Xizang Autonomous Region (Tibet) of China there are two sympatrically distributed species of Rapisma, i.e. Rapisma xizangense Yang, 1993 and Rapisma zayuanum Yang, 1993, in which R. xizangense is only known as male and has dull brownish body and wing coloration, while R. zayuanum is only known as female and has bright green body and wing coloration. In order to clarify the relationship between these two species, we determined the complete mitochondrial (mt) genomes of R. xizangense and R. zayuanum for the first time. The mt genomes are 15,961 and 15,984 bp in size, respectively, and comprised 37 genes (13 protein coding genes, 22 tRNA genes and 2 rRNA genes). A major noncoding (control) region was 1,167 bp in R. xizangense and 1,193 bp in R. zayuanum with structural organizations simpler than that reported in other Neuropterida species, notably lacking conserved blocks or long tandem repeats. Besides similar mitogenomic structure, the genetic distance between R. xizangense and R. zayuanum based on two rRNAs and 13 protein coding genes (PCGs) as well as the genetic distance between each of these two Tibetan Rapisma species and a Thai Rapisma species (R. cryptunum) based on partial rrnL show that R. xizangense and R. zayuanum are most likely conspecific. Thus, R. zayuanum syn. nov. is herein treated as a junior synonym of R. xizangense. The present finding represents a rare example of distinct sexual dimorphism in lacewings. This comparative mitogenomic analysis sheds new light on the identification of rare species with sexual dimorphism and the biology of Neuroptera. PMID:24391859
Giesbrecht, Gerald F; Campbell, Tavis; Letourneau, Nicole
There is clear evidence of reciprocal exchange of information between the mother and fetus during pregnancy but the majority of research in this area has focussed on the fetus as a recipient of signals from the mother. Specifically, physiological signals produced by the maternal stress systems in response to the environment may carry valuable information about the state of the external world. Prenatal stress produces sex-specific adaptations within fetal physiology that have pervasive and long-lasting effects on development. Little is known, however, about the effects of sex-specific fetal signals on maternal adaptations to pregnancy. The current prospective study examined sexually dimorphic adaptations within maternal stress physiology, including the hypothalamic-adrenal-pituitary (HPA) axis and the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and associations with fetal growth. Using diurnal suites of saliva collected in early and late pregnancy, we demonstrate that basal cortisol and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) differ by fetal sex. Women carrying female fetuses displayed greater autonomic arousal and flatter (but more elevated) diurnal cortisol patterns compared to women carrying males. Women with flatter daytime cortisol trajectories and more blunted sAA awakening responses also had infants with lower birth weight. These maternal adaptations are consistent with sexually dimorphic fetal developmental/evolutionary adaptation strategies that favor growth for males and conservation of resources for females. The findings provide new evidence to suggest that the fetus contributes to maternal HPA axis and ANS regulation during pregnancy and that these systems also contribute to the regulation of fetal growth.
Nelson, Ximena J; Jackson, Robert R
Sexual dimorphism is pronounced in Myrmarachne, a large genus of ant-like jumping spiders (Salticidae) and one of the major animal groups in which Batesian mimicry of ants has evolved. Although adult females and juveniles of both sexes are distinctly ant-like in appearance, Myrmarachne males have elongated chelicerae that might appear to detract from their resemblance to ants. Experimental findings suggest that the Myrmarachne male's solution is to adopt compound mimicry (i.e. the male's model seems to be not simply an ant worker but a combination of an ant and something carried in the ant's mandibles: an "encumbered ant"). By becoming a mimic of a particular subset of worker ants, Myrmarachne males may have retained their Batesian-mimicry defence against ant-averse predators, but at the price of receiving the unwanted attention of predators for which encumbered ants are preferred prey. Two salticid species were used as predators in the experiments. Portia fimbriata is known to choose other salticids as preferred prey and to avoid unencumbered ants and their mimics (Myrmarachne females). In experiments reported here, P. fimbriata avoided encumbered ants and Myrmarachne males. Ants are the preferred prey of Chalcotropis gulosus. In our experiments, C. gulosus chose safer encumbered ants in preference to more dangerous unencumbered ants, chose Myrmarachne males more often than Myrmarachne females and showed no evidence of distinguishing between Myrmarachne males and encumbered ants. The cost of reconciling sexual dimorphism with Batesian mimicry appears to be that Myrmarachne males attract the unwanted attention of specialist predators of their compound model.
Parsons, Kevin J.; Wang, Jason; Anderson, Graeme; Albertson, R. Craig
Exemplary systems for adaptive divergence are often characterized by their large degrees of phenotypic variation. This variation represents the outcome of generations of diversifying selection. However, adaptive radiations can also contain a hierarchy of differentiation nested within them where species display only subtle phenotypic differences that still have substantial effects on ecology, function, and ultimately fitness. Sexual dimorphisms are also common in species displaying adaptive divergence and can be the result of differential selection between sexes that produce ecological differences between sexes. Understanding the genetic basis of subtle variation (between certain species or sexes) is therefore important for understanding the process of adaptive divergence. Using cichlids from the dramatic adaptive radiation of Lake Malawi, we focus on understanding the genetic basis of two aspects of relatively subtle phenotypic variation. This included a morphometric comparison of the patterns of craniofacial divergence between two ecologically similar species in relation to the larger adaptive radiation of Malawi, and male–female morphological divergence between their F2 hybrids. We then genetically map craniofacial traits within the context of sex and locate several regions of the genome that contribute to variation in craniofacial shape that is relevant to sexual dimorphism within species and subtle divergence between closely related species, and possibly to craniofacial divergence in the Malawi radiation as a whole. To enhance our search for candidate genes we take advantage of population genomic data and a genetic map that is anchored to the cichlid genome to determine which genes within our QTL regions are associated with SNPs that are alternatively fixed between species. This study provides a holistic understanding of the genetic underpinnings of adaptive divergence in craniofacial shape. PMID:26038365
Melo, A C; Ramsdell, J S
In this study we identified sex-dependent dimorphism of brain aromatase in the teleost medaka and examined its regulation by sex steriods. We first investigated differential distribution of brain aromatase activity in sexually mature male and female medaka in serial coronal sections of the brain and identified the hypothalamic nuclei contained in each section using the brain atlas of medaka. In the brain of male medaka, high levels of activity are localized in sections containing the preoptic (POA) and suprachiasmatic nuclei (SC) (63-75 fmol/hr) and low levels in the nuclei periventricular dorsalis (HD), ventralis (HV), and caudalis (Hc), nuclei diffusus of lobulus inferiores (NDIL), and nuclei tuberi anteriores (TA) and posteriores (TP) (< 25 fmol/hr). In the brain of female medaka high aromatase activity is localized in sections containing the HD, HV, Hc, NDIL, TA, and TP (85-80 fmol/hr) and highly variable levels in the POA and SC (23-70 fmol/hr). The concentration and time dependency of the exposure of male medaka to estradiol on the total brain aromatase activity and morphologic sex characteristics were determined next. Estradiol increased the activity of brain aromatase in a concentration-dependent manner at 2.5 and 25 microg/L, but the increase was lower at higher concentrations of the hormone. The effect was time dependent, gradually increasing up to the fifth day of exposure, after which it reached a plateau. Estradiol induction of brain aromatase analyzed using Lineweaver-Burke plots of saturation assays revealed a non-first-order reaction. The results indicate that a positive feedback mechanism regulates brain aromatase and imply that the sexual dimorphic distribution of aromatase may be highly sensitive to physiologic cues and environmental perturbations in fish.
Vijay, Vikrant; Han, Tao; Moland, Carrie L; Kwekel, Joshua C; Fuscoe, James C; Desai, Varsha G
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Moreover, sex and age are considered major risk factors in the development of CVDs. Mitochondria are vital for normal cardiac function, and regulation of mitochondrial structure and function may impact susceptibility to CVD. To identify potential role of mitochondria in sex-related differences in susceptibility to CVD, we analyzed the basal expression levels of mitochondria-related genes in the hearts of male and female rats. Whole genome expression profiling was performed in the hearts of young (8-week), adult (21-week), and old (78-week) male and female Fischer 344 rats and the expression of 670 unique genes related to various mitochondrial functions was analyzed. A significant (p<0.05) sexual dimorphism in expression levels of 46, 114, and 41 genes was observed in young, adult and old rats, respectively. Gene Ontology analysis revealed the influence of sex on various biological pathways related to cardiac energy metabolism at different ages. The expression of genes involved in fatty acid metabolism was significantly different between the sexes in young and adult rat hearts. Adult male rats also showed higher expression of genes associated with the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex compared to females. In young and adult hearts, sexual dimorphism was not noted in genes encoding oxidative phosphorylation. In old rats, however, a majority of genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation had higher expression in females compared to males. Such basal differences between the sexes in cardiac expression of genes associated with energy metabolism may indicate a likely involvement of mitochondria in susceptibility to CVDs. In addition, female rats showed lower expression levels of apoptotic genes in hearts compared to males at all ages, which may have implications for better preservation of cardiac mass in females than in males.
Feillet, Céline; Guérin, Sophie; Lonchampt, Michel; Dacquet, Catherine; Gustafsson, Jan-Åke; Delaunay, Franck; Teboul, Michèle
The mammalian circadian timing system coordinates key molecular, cellular and physiological processes along the 24-h cycle. Accumulating evidence suggests that many clock-controlled processes display a sexual dimorphism. In mammals this is well exemplified by the difference between the male and female circadian patterns of glucocorticoid hormone secretion and clock gene expression. Here we show that the non-circadian nuclear receptor and metabolic sensor Liver X Receptor alpha (LXRα) which is known to regulate glucocorticoid production in mice modulates the sex specific circadian pattern of plasma corticosterone. Lxrα-/- males display a blunted corticosterone profile while females show higher amplitude as compared to wild type animals. Wild type males are significantly slower than females to resynchronize their locomotor activity rhythm after an 8 h phase advance but this difference is abrogated in Lxrα-/- males which display a female-like phenotype. We also show that circadian expression patterns of liver 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) and Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (Pepck) differ between sexes and are differentially altered in Lxrα-/- animals. These changes are associated with a damped profile of plasma glucose oscillation in males but not in females. Sex specific alteration of the insulin and leptin circadian profiles were observed in Lxα-/- females and could be explained by the change in corticosterone profile. Together this data indicates that LXRα is a determinant of sexually dimorphic circadian patterns of key physiological parameters. The discovery of this unanticipated role for LXRα in circadian physiology underscores the importance of addressing sex differences in chronobiology studies and future LXRα targeted therapies. PMID:26938655
Lu, Jianguo; Zheng, Min; Zheng, Jiajia; Liu, Jian; Liu, Yongzhuang; Peng, Lina; Wang, Pingping; Zhang, Xiaofeng; Wang, Qiushi; Luan, Peixian; Mahbooband, Shahid; Sun, Xiaowen
Yellow catfish (Pelteobagrus fulvidraco) is a pivotal freshwater aquaculture species in China. It shows sexual size dimorphism favoring male in growth. Whole transcriptome approach is required to get the overview of genetic toolkit for understanding the sex determination mechanism aiming at devising its monosex production. Beside gonads, the brain is also considered as a major organ for vertebrate reproduction. Transcriptomic analyses on the brain and of different developmental stages will provide the dynamic view necessary for better understanding its sex determination. In this regard, we have performed a de novo assembly of yellow catfish brain transcriptome by high throughput Illumina sequencing. A total number of 154,507 contigs were obtained with the lengths ranging from 201 to 27,822 bp and N50 of 2,101 bp, as well as 20,699 unigenes were identified. Of these unigenes, 13 and 54 unigenes were detected to be XY-specifically expressed genes (SEGs) for one and 2-year-old yellow catfish, while the corresponding numbers of XX-SEGs for those two stages were 19 and 13, respectively. Our work identifies a set of annotated genes that are candidate factors affecting sexual dimorphism as well as simple sequence repeat (SSR) and single nucleotide variation (SNV) in yellow catfish. To validate the expression patterns of the sex-related genes, we performed quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) indicating the reliability and accuracy of our analysis. The results in our study may enhance our understanding of yellow catfish sex determination and potentially help to improve the production of all-male yellow catfish for aquaculture.
Background The evolution of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is likely constrained by life history. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we examined correlations between SSD among anurans and their life history traits, including egg size, clutch size, mating combat, and parental care behaviour. We used sexual dimorphism index (SDI = Body-sizefemale /Body-sizemale –1) as the measurement for SSD. Body size, life history and phylogenetic data were collected from published literature. Data were analysed at two levels: all anuran species and within individual families. Results Female-biased SSD is the predominant form in anurans. SSD decreases along with the body size increase, following the prediction of Rensch’s rule, but the magnitude of decrease is very small. More importantly, female body size is positively correlated with both fecundity related traits, egg size and clutch size, and SDI is also positively correlated with clutch size, suggesting fecundity advantage may have driven the evolution of female body size and consequently leads to the evolution of female-biased SSD. Furthermore, the presence of parental care, male parental care in particular, is negatively correlated with SDI, indicating that species with parental care tend to have a smaller SDI. A negative correlation between clutch size and parental care further suggests that parental care likely reduces the fecundity selection pressure on female body size. On the other hand, there is a general lack of significant correlation between SDI and the presence of male combat behaviour, which is surprising and contradictory to previous studies. Conclusions We find clear evidence to support the ‘fecundity advantage hypothesis’ and the ‘parental care hypothesis’ in shaping SSD in anurans. Nevertheless, the relationships of both parental care and combat behaviour to the evolution of SSD are complex in anurans and the extreme diversity of life history traits may have masked some potential interesting
Vijay, Vikrant; Han, Tao; Moland, Carrie L.; Kwekel, Joshua C.; Fuscoe, James C.; Desai, Varsha G.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Moreover, sex and age are considered major risk factors in the development of CVDs. Mitochondria are vital for normal cardiac function, and regulation of mitochondrial structure and function may impact susceptibility to CVD. To identify potential role of mitochondria in sex-related differences in susceptibility to CVD, we analyzed the basal expression levels of mitochondria-related genes in the hearts of male and female rats. Whole genome expression profiling was performed in the hearts of young (8-week), adult (21-week), and old (78-week) male and female Fischer 344 rats and the expression of 670 unique genes related to various mitochondrial functions was analyzed. A significant (p<0.05) sexual dimorphism in expression levels of 46, 114, and 41 genes was observed in young, adult and old rats, respectively. Gene Ontology analysis revealed the influence of sex on various biological pathways related to cardiac energy metabolism at different ages. The expression of genes involved in fatty acid metabolism was significantly different between the sexes in young and adult rat hearts. Adult male rats also showed higher expression of genes associated with the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex compared to females. In young and adult hearts, sexual dimorphism was not noted in genes encoding oxidative phosphorylation. In old rats, however, a majority of genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation had higher expression in females compared to males. Such basal differences between the sexes in cardiac expression of genes associated with energy metabolism may indicate a likely involvement of mitochondria in susceptibility to CVDs. In addition, female rats showed lower expression levels of apoptotic genes in hearts compared to males at all ages, which may have implications for better preservation of cardiac mass in females than in males. PMID:25615628
Lipinska, Agnieszka; Cormier, Alexandre; Luthringer, Rémy; Peters, Akira F; Corre, Erwan; Gachon, Claire M M; Cock, J Mark; Coelho, Susana M
Males and females often have marked phenotypic differences, and the expression of these dissimilarities invariably involves sex differences in gene expression. Sex-biased gene expression has been well characterized in animal species, where a high proportion of the genome may be differentially regulated in males and females during development. Male-biased genes tend to evolve more rapidly than female-biased genes, implying differences in the strength of the selective forces acting on the two sexes. Analyses of sex-biased gene expression have focused on organisms that exhibit separate sexes during the diploid phase of the life cycle (diploid sexual systems), but the genetic nature of the sexual system is expected to influence the evolutionary trajectories of sex-biased genes. We analyze here the patterns of sex-biased gene expression in Ectocarpus, a brown alga with haploid sex determination (dioicy) and a low level of phenotypic sexual dimorphism. In Ectocarpus, female-biased genes were found to be evolving as rapidly as male-biased genes. Moreover, genes expressed at fertility showed faster rates of evolution than genes expressed in immature gametophytes. Both male- and female-biased genes had a greater proportion of sites experiencing positive selection, suggesting that their accelerated evolution is at least partly driven by adaptive evolution. Gene duplication appears to have played a significant role in the generation of sex-biased genes in Ectocarpus, expanding previous models that propose this mechanism for the resolution of sexual antagonism in diploid systems. The patterns of sex-biased gene expression in Ectocarpus are consistent both with predicted characteristics of UV (haploid) sexual systems and with the distinctive aspects of this organism's reproductive biology.
Kelaita, Mary; Dias, Pedro Américo D; Aguilar-Cucurachi, Ma Del Socorro; Canales-Espinosa, Domingo; Cortés-Ortiz, Liliana
One of the goals of physical anthropology and primatology is to understand how primate social systems influence the evolution of sexually selected traits. Howler monkeys provide a good model for studying sexual selection due to differences in social systems between related species. Here, we examine data from the sister howler monkey species Alouatta palliata and A. pigra inhabiting southeastern Mexico and northern Guatemala. We use a resampling approach to analyze differences in sexual dimorphism of body and canine size. In addition, we compare testes size as a way of gauging the intensity of sperm competition in both species. Morphometric data were collected from wild-caught individuals, including body mass and length, and dental data were obtained from casts from wild individuals and from museum specimens. Although A. pigra individuals are larger than their A. palliata counterparts, we find that both species exhibit similar levels of sexual dimorphism for all of the variables considered. Testicular volume results indicate that A. palliata male testes are on average twice as large as those of A. pigra males, suggesting more intense sperm competition in the former species. Our study shows that A. pigra is not highly sexually dimorphic as was once thought, and testes size differences suggest the need for a clearer understanding of howler monkey social systems.
Bramble, Matthew S.; Roach, Lara; Lipson, Allen; Vashist, Neerja; Eskin, Ascia; Ngun, Tuck; Gosschalk, Jason E.; Klein, Steven; Barseghyan, Hayk; Arboleda, Valerie A.; Vilain, Eric
The mechanisms by which sex differences in the mammalian brain arise are poorly understood, but are influenced by a combination of underlying genetic differences and gonadal hormone exposure. Using a mouse embryonic neural stem cell (eNSC) model to understand early events contributing to sexually dimorphic brain development, we identified novel interactions between chromosomal sex and hormonal exposure that are instrumental to early brain sex differences. RNA-sequencing identified 103 transcripts that were differentially expressed between XX and XY eNSCs at baseline (FDR = 0.10). Treatment with testosterone-propionate (TP) reveals sex-specific gene expression changes, causing 2854 and 792 transcripts to become differentially expressed on XX and XY genetic backgrounds respectively. Within the TP responsive transcripts, there was enrichment for genes which function as epigenetic regulators that affect both histone modifications and DNA methylation patterning. We observed that TP caused a global decrease in 5-methylcytosine abundance in both sexes, a transmissible effect that was maintained in cellular progeny. Additionally, we determined that TP was associated with residue-specific alterations in acetylation of histone tails. These findings highlight an unknown component of androgen action on cells within the developmental CNS, and contribute to a novel mechanism of action by which early hormonal organization is initiated and maintained. PMID:27845378
Bramble, Matthew S; Roach, Lara; Lipson, Allen; Vashist, Neerja; Eskin, Ascia; Ngun, Tuck; Gosschalk, Jason E; Klein, Steven; Barseghyan, Hayk; Arboleda, Valerie A; Vilain, Eric
The mechanisms by which sex differences in the mammalian brain arise are poorly understood, but are influenced by a combination of underlying genetic differences and gonadal hormone exposure. Using a mouse embryonic neural stem cell (eNSC) model to understand early events contributing to sexually dimorphic brain development, we identified novel interactions between chromosomal sex and hormonal exposure that are instrumental to early brain sex differences. RNA-sequencing identified 103 transcripts that were differentially expressed between XX and XY eNSCs at baseline (FDR = 0.10). Treatment with testosterone-propionate (TP) reveals sex-specific gene expression changes, causing 2854 and 792 transcripts to become differentially expressed on XX and XY genetic backgrounds respectively. Within the TP responsive transcripts, there was enrichment for genes which function as epigenetic regulators that affect both histone modifications and DNA methylation patterning. We observed that TP caused a global decrease in 5-methylcytosine abundance in both sexes, a transmissible effect that was maintained in cellular progeny. Additionally, we determined that TP was associated with residue-specific alterations in acetylation of histone tails. These findings highlight an unknown component of androgen action on cells within the developmental CNS, and contribute to a novel mechanism of action by which early hormonal organization is initiated and maintained.
Schafer, R; Sanchez, T V
Sexual dimorphism in the distribution of antennal sense organs is common among adults of the genus Periplaneta. In three out of the four strains of Periplaneta americana examined, adult males had more contact chemoreceptros than females. In the fourth strain of P. americana and in P. australasiae, P. brunnea, P. fuliginosa, and P. japonica, no statistically supportable sexual dimorphism of contact chemoreceptors was found. However, in all strains and species of Periplaneta examined, sexual dimorphism was found in the total number and/or density of olfactory sensilla. Male adults had nearly twice as many olfactory sensilla as female adults. These observations are consistent with the behavioral observation that males within the genus Periplaneta rely on the reception of an airborne pheromone for the initiation of courtship behavior. In P. americana, where sexual dimorphism was found in the contact chemoreceptors, contact stimuli release the full wing raising display and presentation in males during courtship.
Kelly, Clint D
Sexual dimorphism in shape and size is widespread across animal taxa and arises when natural or sexual selection operates differently on the sexes. Male and female common geckos (Woodworthia maculatus; formerly Hoplodactylus maculatus) in New Zealand do not appear to experience different viability selection pressure, nor do males appear to be under intense pre-copulatory sexual selection. It was therefore predicted that this species would be sexually monomorphic with regard to body size and the size and shape of the head. In line with the prediction, there was no sexual difference in head width, depth, or length or in lateral head shape. However, contrary to prediction, males had a larger body and lateral head size than females. This study suggests that males, at least on Maud Island, NZ, might be under stronger pre-copulatory sexual selection than previously recognized and thus have evolved larger heads (i.e. lateral head size) for use in male combat for females. Allometric scaling patterns do not differ between the sexes and suggest that head width and depth are under directional selection whereas lateral head size is under stabilizing selection. Diet ecology - an agent of natural selection common to both sexes - is likely largely responsible for the observed patterns of head size and shape and the lack of sexual dimorphism in them.
Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is widespread among animals, with larger females usually attributed to an optimization of resources in reproduction and larger males to sexual selection. A general pattern in the evolution of SSD is Rensch’s rule, which states that SSD increases with body size in species with larger males but decreases when females are larger. We studied the evolution of SSD in the genus Limnebius (Coleoptera, Hydraenidae), measuring SSD and male genital size and complexity of ca. 80% of its 150 species and reconstructing its evolution in a molecular phylogeny with 71 species. We found strong support for a higher evolutionary lability of male body size, which had an overall positive allometry with respect to females and higher evolutionary rates measured over the individual branches of the phylogeny. Increases in SSD were associated to increases in body size, but there were some exceptions with an increase associated to changes in only one sex. Secondary sexual characters (SSC) in the external morphology of males appeared several times independently, generally on species that had already increased their size. There was an overall significant correlation between SSD, male body size and male genital size and complexity, although some lineages with complex genitalia had low SSD, and some small species with complex genitalia had no SSD. Our results suggest that the origin of the higher evolutionary variance of male body size may be due to lack of constraints rather than to sexual selection, that may start to act in species with already larger males due to random variation. PMID:28286715
Brzozowski, Frances; Roscoe, Jennifer; Parsons, Kevin; Albertson, Craig
East African cichlids are renowned for their propensity to radiate, and variation in color patterns accounts for much of endemic cichlid diversity. Sexual dimorphism in color among cichlid species likely represents the outcome of different selective regimes acting on each sex, and is a classic example of sexual conflict. It is generally assumed that this conflict has been mitigated through the evolution of sex-linked color polymorphisms. Here, we propose that the evolution of sex-specific differences in levels of color trait integration may represent an additional mechanism through which sexual conflict has been resolved in this group. Specifically, we predict: (1) that general patterns of integration are influenced by early developmental events and thus conserved across sexes and (2) that male color is less integrated than females, and thus more evolvable in terms of producing an elaborate palette (i.e., in response to sexual selection), whereas female color is more integrated, facilitating wholesale shifts in color for background matching (i.e., in response to natural selection for crypsis). We tested these hypotheses using an F(2) design to compare the segregation of male and female color patterns. Both exploratory methods and hypothesis-driven analyses of integration demonstrate that the covariance structure of color traits in males and females is distinct, and that males are significantly less integrated than females. We suggest that the ability of species to promote different levels, and to a lesser extent patterns, of phenotypic integration between males and females may have contributed to the evolutionary success of this group.
Dragin, Nadine; Bismuth, Jacky; Cizeron-Clairac, Géraldine; Biferi, Maria Grazia; Berthault, Claire; Serraf, Alain; Nottin, Rémi; Klatzmann, David; Cumano, Ana; Barkats, Martine; Le Panse, Rozen
Autoimmune diseases affect 5% to 8% of the population, and females are more susceptible to these diseases than males. Here, we analyzed human thymic transcriptome and revealed sex-associated differences in the expression of tissue-specific antigens that are controlled by the autoimmune regulator (AIRE), a key factor in central tolerance. We hypothesized that the level of AIRE is linked to sexual dimorphism susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. In human and mouse thymus, females expressed less AIRE (mRNA and protein) than males after puberty. These results were confirmed in purified murine thymic epithelial cells (TECs). We also demonstrated that AIRE expression is related to sexual hormones, as male castration decreased AIRE thymic expression and estrogen receptor α–deficient mice did not show a sex disparity for AIRE expression. Moreover, estrogen treatment resulted in downregulation of AIRE expression in cultured human TECs, human thymic tissue grafted to immunodeficient mice, and murine fetal thymus organ cultures. AIRE levels in human thymus grafted in immunodeficient mice depended upon the sex of the recipient. Estrogen also upregulated the number of methylated CpG sites in the AIRE promoter. Together, our results indicate that in females, estrogen induces epigenetic changes in the AIRE gene, leading to reduced AIRE expression under a threshold that increases female susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. PMID:26999605
Waxman, D J; Pampori, N A; Ram, P A; Agrawal, A K; Shapiro, B H
Plasma growth hormone (GH) profiles are sexually differentiated in many species and regulate the sex-dependence of peripubescent growth rates and liver function, including steroid hydroxylase cytochrome P450 expression, by mechanisms that are poorly understood. By use of an external pump to deliver to hypophysectomized rats pulses of rat GH of varying frequency and amplitude, a critical element for liver discrimination between male and female GH patterns was identified. Liver expression of the male-specific steroid 2 alpha (or 16 alpha)-hydroxylase P450, designated CYP2C11, was stimulated by GH at both physiological and nonphysiological pulse amplitudes, durations, and frequencies, provided that an interpulse interval of no detectable GH was maintained for at least 2.5 hr. This finding suggests that hepatocytes undergo an obligatory recovery period after stimulation by a GH pulse. This period may be required to reset a GH-activated intracellular signaling pathway or may relate to the short-term absence of GH receptors at the hepatocyte surface after a cycle of GH binding and receptor internalization. These requirements were distinguished from those necessary for the stimulation by GH of normal male growth rates in hypophysectomized rats, indicating that different GH responses and, perhaps, different GH-responsive tissues recognize distinct signaling elements in the sexually dimorphic patterns of circulating GH.
Baugh, Alexander T; Ryan, Michael J
The neuropeptide arginine vasotocin (AVT) promotes sexual advertisement and influences vocalization structure in male anuran amphibians. In the present study, we used wild túngara frogs (Physalaemus pustulosus) to investigate the effects of AVT on phonotaxis in males and females-thereby controlling for potential task differences between the sexes. Using a combined within- and between-subjects design, we showed that acoustic choice behavior in female frogs is not influenced by injection per se (vehicle) or by AVT. Latency to choice in females, however, tends to decrease after AVT injection, supporting the hypothesis that AVT promotes female sexual arousal. In contrast, male choice behavior and latencies are negatively impacted by injection (vehicle) but rescued to pre-injection levels if administered with AVT. The sexes differed in area restricted searching (ARS) following choice-a measure of locomotor perseverance-with females but not males exhibiting ARS. AVT did not influence ARS behavior but ARS frequency was positively associated with the attractiveness of the acoustic stimulus. Finally, we showed that a female's latency behavior is correlated with her partner's behavior. Collectively we show that AVT promotes phonotaxis in both sexes in a dimorphic manner-a result that is consistent with sex differences in the neural vasotocin system.
Imai, Noritaka; Sawada, Kazuhiko; Fukunishi, Katsuhiro; Sakata-Haga, Hiromi; Fukui, Yoshihiro
The present study aimed to quantitatively clarify the gross anatomical asymmetry and sexual dimorphism of the cerebral hemispheres of cynomolgus monkeys. While the fronto-occipital length of the right and left cerebral hemispheres was not different between sexes, a statistically significant rightward asymmetry was detected in the cerebral width at the perisylvian region in females, but not in males (narrower width of the left side in the females). An asymmetry quotient of the sulcal lengths revealed a rightward asymmetry in the inferior occipital sulcus and a leftward asymmetry in the central and intraparietal sulci in both sexes. However, the laterality of the lengths of other sulci was different for males and females. The arcuate sulcus was directed rightward in males but there was no rightward bias in females. Interestingly, the principle sulcus and lateral fissure were left-lateralized in the males, but right-lateralized in the females. The results suggest that lateralization patterns are regionally and sexually different in the cerebrum of cynomolgus monkeys. The present results provide a reference for quantitatively evaluating the normality of the cerebral cortical morphology in cynomolgus monkeys.
Dragin, Nadine; Bismuth, Jacky; Cizeron-Clairac, Géraldine; Biferi, Maria Grazia; Berthault, Claire; Serraf, Alain; Nottin, Rémi; Klatzmann, David; Cumano, Ana; Barkats, Martine; Le Panse, Rozen; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia
Autoimmune diseases affect 5% to 8% of the population, and females are more susceptible to these diseases than males. Here, we analyzed human thymic transcriptome and revealed sex-associated differences in the expression of tissue-specific antigens that are controlled by the autoimmune regulator (AIRE), a key factor in central tolerance. We hypothesized that the level of AIRE is linked to sexual dimorphism susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. In human and mouse thymus, females expressed less AIRE (mRNA and protein) than males after puberty. These results were confirmed in purified murine thymic epithelial cells (TECs). We also demonstrated that AIRE expression is related to sexual hormones, as male castration decreased AIRE thymic expression and estrogen receptor α-deficient mice did not show a sex disparity for AIRE expression. Moreover, estrogen treatment resulted in downregulation of AIRE expression in cultured human TECs, human thymic tissue grafted to immunodeficient mice, and murine fetal thymus organ cultures. AIRE levels in human thymus grafted in immunodeficient mice depended upon the sex of the recipient. Estrogen also upregulated the number of methylated CpG sites in the AIRE promoter. Together, our results indicate that in females, estrogen induces epigenetic changes in the AIRE gene, leading to reduced AIRE expression under a threshold that increases female susceptibility to autoimmune diseases.
Fiala, K.L.,; Congdon, J.D.
The energy budget of nestling Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) was determined using doubly labeled water (/sup 3/HH/sup 18/O) to measure field metabolic rate (FMR) and body component data to measure growth energy. Sex-specific measurements permitted the evaluation of the effects of this species' substantial sexual size dimorphism on FMR and total energetics. FMR averaged CO/sub 2/ release of 5.12 mL.g/sup -1/.h/sup -1/, or 0.129 kJ.g/sup -1/.h/sup -1/, with no significant differences between the sexes. Daytime FMRs of CO/sub 2/ production (5.34 mL.g/sup -1/.h/sup -1/) were higher, but not significantly so, than nighttime FMRs (4.45 mL.g/sup -1/.h/sup -1/). Water influx averaged 0.95 mL.g/sup -1/.d/sup -1/, with daytime rates (1.22 mL.g/sup -1/.d/sup -1/) significantly higher than nighttime (0.40 mL.g/sup -1/d/sup -1/) rates. Total assimilated energy from hatching to fledging was 1014 and 797 kJ for male and female nestlings, respectively. The sexual differences in total energetics reflected differences in body size of the nestlings and suggest that there is a greater cost to the parents in raising males than in raising females.
Mitchem, Dorian G; Purkey, Alicia M; Grebe, Nicholas M; Carey, Gregory; Garver-Apgar, Christine E; Bates, Timothy C; Arden, Rosalind; Hewitt, John K; Medland, Sarah E; Martin, Nicholas G; Zietsch, Brendan P; Keller, Matthew C
Human facial attractiveness and facial sexual dimorphism (masculinity-femininity) are important facets of mate choice and are hypothesized to honestly advertise genetic quality. However, it is unclear whether genes influencing facial attractiveness and masculinity-femininity have similar, opposing, or independent effects across sex, and the heritability of these phenotypes is poorly characterized. To investigate these issues, we assessed facial attractiveness and facial masculinity-femininity in the largest genetically informative sample (n = 1,580 same- and opposite-sex twin pairs and siblings) to assess these questions to date. The heritability was ~0.50-0.70 for attractiveness and ~0.40-0.50 for facial masculinity-femininity, indicating that, despite ostensible selection on genes influencing these traits, substantial genetic variation persists in both. Importantly, we found evidence for intralocus sexual conflict, whereby alleles that increase masculinity in males have the same effect in females. Additionally, genetic influences on attractiveness were shared across the sexes, suggesting that attractive fathers tend to have attractive daughters and attractive mothers tend to have attractive sons.
Tobias, M L; Kelley, D B
The clawed frog Xenopus laevis uses sexually dimorphic vocalizations, mate calling and ticking, to advertise reproductive state. The basic unit of vocalization is a brief click, produced by the movement of cartilagenous disks located within the larynx. The rate of click production in the male-specific mate call (71 Hz) is an order of magnitude faster than the rate of click production in female typical ticking (6 Hz). To determine if vocalization rate is constrained by the periphery, male and female larynges were isolated and response of the muscles to nerve stimulation was studied. Laryngeal muscle response is markedly dimorphic in the 2 sexes, both in the amplitude potentiation of electromyograms and in the rate at which discrete tension transients can be produced. At 6 Hz (ticking), both sexes generate discrete tension transients in response to each stimulus pulse. In response to nerve stimulation at 71 Hz (mate calling), male laryngeal muscle generates discrete tension transients while female laryngeal muscle does not. Since expression of sex-specific vocalizations is regulated by androgenic hormones, responses of laryngeal muscle to nerve stimulation in androgen-treated adult females and castrated adult males were also examined. The responses of laryngeal muscle from castrated and intact males are similar. Androgen-treated female larynx is partially masculinized but does not produce tension transients at the mate call rate. These physiological results are in close agreement with behavioral observations. Sounds produced by the isolated larynx were nearly identical in spectral properties to those produced by an intact male. We determined that the production of a discrete tension transient is prerequisite to click production. Thus, one reason females do not mate call, even when treated with androgens, is that female laryngeal muscle cannot produce discrete tension transients at a rapid rate.
Nandi, Shyam Sundar; Ghosh, Pamela; Roy, Sib Sankar
PITX2, a multifunctional Paired-like homeodomain transcription factor, plays obligatory role during development of organs like heart, brain and pituitary. It regulates differentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells and hematopoietic stem cells. Although we earlier reported the Pitx2/PITX2 expression in gonad, but the expression pattern of its different isoforms in mammalian gonads especially during development is still not known. As PITX2 participates in the development of multiple organs and different homeobox genes have been shown to control gonadal functions, we wanted to investigate the role of PITX2 in gonadal development and its function. The objective of our study was to know the expression profile of different Pitx2/PITX2 isoforms and its localization throughout the development of gonads. Here we show the temporal and spatial expression pattern of Pitx2/PITX2 and its localization throughout the embryonic and postnatal stages of rat gonads. Pitx2/PITX2 expression profile reveals the differential and dimorphic expression pattern of its two isoforms PITX2B2 and-Cβ throughout the embryonic development stages and also in the postnatal stages, where it becomes more prominent. This is the first report where PITX2 homeodomain transcription factor shows isoform-specific sexually dimorphic expression. In addition, PITX2 localization was found in the embryonic ovarian primordial germ cell clusters and germ cells inside the testicular cords and also in somatic cells. In adults, ovarian granulosa and theca cells as well as germ cells inside the seminiferous tubules in testis express PITX2. All the evidences suggest that the differential expression of PITX2 might be associated with sex-specific embryonic and postnatal gonadal development and the physiological processes.
Kuntner, Matjaž; Agnarsson, Ingi; Li, Daiqin
Under natural and sexual selection traits often evolve that secure paternity or maternity through self-sacrifice to predators, rivals, offspring, or partners. Emasculation-males removing their genitals-is an unusual example of such behaviours. Known only in insects and spiders, the phenomenon's adaptiveness is difficult to explain, yet its repeated origins and association with sexual size dimorphism (SSD) and sexual cannibalism suggest an adaptive significance. In spiders, emasculation of paired male sperm-transferring organs - secondary genitals - (hereafter, palps), results in 'eunuchs'. This behaviour has been hypothesized to be adaptive because (i) males plug female genitals with their severed palps (plugging hypothesis), (ii) males remove their palps to become better fighters in male-male contests (better-fighter hypothesis), perhaps reaching higher agility due to reduced total body mass (gloves-off hypothesis), and (iii) males achieve prolonged sperm transfer through severed genitals (remote-copulation hypothesis). Prior research has provided evidence in support of these hypotheses in some orb-weaving spiders but these explanations are far from general. Seeking broad macroevolutionary patterns of spider emasculation, we review the known occurrences, weigh the evidence in support of the hypotheses in each known case, and redefine more precisely the particular cases of emasculation depending on its timing in relation to maturation and mating: 'pre-maturation', 'mating', and 'post-mating'. We use a genus-level spider phylogeny to explore emasculation evolution and to investigate potential evolutionary linkage between emasculation, SSD, lesser genital damage (embolic breakage), and sexual cannibalism (females consuming their mates). We find a complex pattern of spider emasculation evolution, all cases confined to Araneoidea: emasculation evolved at least five and up to 11 times, was lost at least four times, and became further modified at least once. We also find
Topper, Viktoria Y; Walker, Deena M; Gore, Andrea C
This study examined developmental changes and sexual dimorphisms in hypothalamic microRNAs, and whether gestational exposures to environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) altered their expression patterns. Pregnant rat dams were treated on gestational days 16 and 18 with vehicle, estradiol benzoate, or a mixture of polychlorinated biphenyls. Male and female offspring were euthanized on postnatal days (P) 15, 30, 45, or 90, and microRNA and mRNA targets were quantified in the medial preoptic nucleus (MPN) and ventromedial nucleus (VMN) of the hypothalamus. MicroRNAs showed robust developmental changes in both regions, and were sexually dimorphic in the MPN, but not VMN. Importantly, microRNAs in females were up-regulated by EDCs at P30, and down-regulated in males at P90. Few changes in mRNAs were found. Thus, hypothalamic microRNAs are sensitive to prenatal EDC treatment in a sex-, developmental age-, and brain region-specific manner.
Background Most animal species exhibit sexually dimorphic behaviors, many of which are linked to reproduction. A number of these behaviors, including blood feeding in female mosquitoes, contribute to the global spread of vector-borne illnesses. However, knowledge concerning the genetic basis of sexually dimorphic traits is limited in any organism, including mosquitoes, especially with respect to differences in the developing nervous system. Methods Custom microarrays were used to examine global differences in female vs. male gene expression in the developing pupal head of the dengue vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti. The spatial expression patterns of a subset of differentially expressed transcripts were examined in the developing female vs. male pupal brain through in situ hybridization experiments. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown studies were used to assess the putative role of Doublesex, a terminal component of the sex determination pathway, in the regulation of sex-specific gene expression observed in the developing pupal brain. Results Transcripts (2,527), many of which were linked to proteolysis, the proteasome, metabolism, catabolic, and biosynthetic processes, ion transport, cell growth, and proliferation, were found to be differentially expressed in A. aegypti female vs. male pupal heads. Analysis of the spatial expression patterns for a subset of dimorphically expressed genes in the pupal brain validated the data set and also facilitated the identification of brain regions with dimorphic gene expression. In many cases, dimorphic gene expression localized to the optic lobe. Sex-specific differences in gene expression were also detected in the antennal lobe and mushroom body. siRNA-mediated gene targeting experiments demonstrated that Doublesex, a transcription factor with consensus binding sites located adjacent to many dimorphically expressed transcripts that function in neural development, is required for regulation of sex-specific gene
Kernaléguen, Laëtitia; Cherel, Yves; Knox, Travis C.; Baylis, Alastair M. M.; Arnould, John P. Y.
While sexual segregation is expected in highly dimorphic species, the local environment is a major factor driving the degree of resource partitioning within a population. Sexual and individual niche segregation was investigated in the Australian fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus), which is a benthic foraging species restricted to the shallow continental shelf region of south-eastern Australia. Tracking data and the isotopic values of plasma, red blood cells and whiskers were combined to document spatial and dietary niche segregation throughout the year. Tracking data indicated that, in winter, males and females overlapped in their foraging habitat. All individuals stayed within central Bass Strait, relatively close (< 220 km) to the breeding colony. Accordingly, both genders exhibited similar plasma and red cell δ13C values. However, males exhibited greater δ13C intra-individual variation along the length of their whisker than females. This suggests that males exploited a greater diversity of foraging habitats throughout the year than their female counterparts, which are restricted in their foraging grounds by the need to regularly return to the breeding colony to suckle their pup. The degree of dietary sexual segregation was also surprisingly low, both sexes exhibiting a great overlap in their δ15N values. Yet, males displayed higher δ15N values than females, suggesting they fed upon a higher proportion of higher trophic level prey. Given that males and females exploit different resources (mainly foraging habitats), the degree of individual specialisation might differ between the sexes. Higher degrees of individual specialisation would be expected in males which exploit a greater range of resources. However, comparable levels of inter-individual variation in δ15N whisker values were found in the sampled males and females, and, surprisingly, all males exhibited similar seasonal and inter-annual variation in their δ13C whisker values, suggesting they
Khericha, Mobina; Kolenchery, Jaison B.
Abstract Many of the characteristics associated with mammalian sleep are also observed in Drosophila melanogaster Meigen, making the fruit fly a powerful model organism for studying the genetics of this important process. Included among the similarities is the presence of sexual dimorphic sleep patterns, which, in flies, are manifested as increased mid‐day sleep (‘siesta’) in males compared with females. In the present study, targeted mis‐expression of the genes transformer (tra) and tra2 is used to either feminize or masculinize specific neural and non‐neural tissues in the fly. Feminization of male D. melanogaster using three different GAL4 drivers that are expressed in the mushroom bodies induces a female‐like reduced siesta, whereas the masculinization of females using these drivers triggers the male‐like increased siesta. A similar reversal of sex‐specific sleep is also observed by mis‐expressing tra in the fat body, which is a key tissue in energy metabolism and hormone secretion. In addition, the daily expression levels of takeout, an important circadian clock output gene, are sexually dimorphic. Taken together, these experiments suggest that sleep sexual dimorphism in D. melanogaster is driven by multiple neural and non‐neural circuits, within and outside the brain. PMID:27840547
Toonen, Joseph A; Solga, Anne C; Ma, Yu; Gutmann, David H
Children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) develop low-grade brain tumors throughout the optic pathway. Nearly 50% of children with optic pathway gliomas (OPGs) experience visual impairment, and few regain their vision after chemotherapy. Recent studies have revealed that girls with optic nerve gliomas are five times more likely to lose vision and require treatment than boys. To determine the mechanism underlying this sexually dimorphic difference in clinical outcome, we leveraged Nf1 optic glioma (Nf1-OPG) mice. We demonstrate that female Nf1-OPG mice exhibit greater retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss and only females have retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thinning, despite mice of both sexes harboring tumors of identical volumes and proliferation. Female gonadal sex hormones are responsible for this sexual dimorphism, as ovariectomy, but not castration, of Nf1-OPG mice normalizes RGC survival and RNFL thickness. In addition, female Nf1-OPG mice have threefold more microglia than their male counterparts, and minocycline inhibition of microglia corrects the retinal pathology. Moreover, pharmacologic inhibition of microglial estrogen receptor-β (ERβ) function corrects the retinal abnormalities in female Nf1-OPG mice. Collectively, these studies establish that female gonadal sex hormones underlie the sexual dimorphic differences in Nf1 optic glioma-induced retinal dysfunction by operating at the level of tumor-associated microglial activation.
Kranioti, E K; García-Donas, J G; Almeida Prado, P S; Kyriakou, X P; Langstaff, H C
Sex estimation is an essential step in the identification process of unknown heavily decomposed human remains as it eliminates all possible matches of the opposite sex from the missing person's database. Osteometric methods constitute a reliable approach for sex estimation and considering the variation of sexual dimorphism between and within populations; standards for specific populations are required to ensure accurate results. The current study aspires to contribute osteometric data on the tibia from contemporary Greek-Cypriots to assist the identification process. A secondary goal involves osteometric comparison with data from Crete, a Greek island with similar cultural and dietary customs and environmental conditions. Left tibiae from one hundred and thirty-two skeletons (70 males and 62 females) of Greek-Cypriots and one hundred and fifty-seven skeletons (85 males, 72 females) of Cretans were measured. Seven standard metric variables including Maximum length (ML), Upper epiphyseal breadth (UB), Nutrient foramen anteroposterior diameter (NFap), Nutrient Foramen transverse diameter (NFtrsv), Nutrient foramen circumference (NFCirc), Minimum circumference (MinCirc) and Lower epiphyseal breadth (LB) were compared between sexes and populations. Univariate and multivariate discriminant functions were developed and posterior probabilities were calculated for each sample. Results confirmed the existence of sexual dimorphism of the tibia in both samples as well as the pooled sample. Classification accuracy for univariate functions ranged from 78% to 85% for Greek-Cypriots and from 69% to 83% for Cretans. The best multivariate equations after cross-validation resulted in 87% for Greek-Cypriots and 90% accuracy for Cretans. When the samples were pooled accuracy reached 87% with over 95% confidence for about one third of the population. Estimates with over 95% of posterior probability can be considered reliable while any less than 80% should be treated with caution. This
Korablev, M P; Korablev, N P; Korablev, P N
Size sexual dimorphism was investigated on 695 skulls of four Mustelidae species. By extent of increasing of differences between sexes the species are placed in following order: European pine marten (Martes martes), European mink (Mustela lutreola), American mink (Neovison vison), and European polecat (Mustela putorius). Extent of the dimorphism characterizes ecological plasticity of the species and is population characteristic. It is shown that M. martes takes specific and relatively narrow ecological niche of forest ecosystems, entering into weak competitive relationships with smaller Mustelidae species. The level of sexual dimorphism of M. lutreola, N. vison and M. putorius reflects intensity of its interspecific relationships within study area. High level of sexual dimorphism of M. putorius is determined by further divergence of ecological niches of males and females, and also appears to be compensatory mechanism reducing consequences of hardened environmental requirements.
Mainguy, Julien; Côté, Steeve D; Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Coltman, David W
In sexually dimorphic and polygynous mammals, sexual selection often favours large males with well-developed weaponry, as these secondary sexual characters confer advantages in intrasexual competition and are often preferred by females. Little is known, however, about the effects of sexually selected paternal traits on offspring phenotype in wild mammals, especially when considering that shared phenotypic traits and selection can also differ greatly between genders. Here, we conducted molecular parentage analyses in a long-term study population of mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus), an ungulate exhibiting high sexual dimorphism in mass, to first assess the determinants of yearly reproductive success (YRS) in males. We then examined the effects of paternal characteristics on offspring mass at 1 year of age. Paternity was highly skewed, with 9 per cent of 57 males siring 51 per cent of 96 offspring assigned over 12 years. Male YRS increased with age until apparent reproductive senescence at 9 years, but mass was a stronger determinant of siring success than age, horn length or social rank. Mass of sons increased with paternal mass, but the mass of daughters was negatively related to that of their father, a finding consistent with recent theory on intralocus sexual conflict. Because early differences in mass persisted to early adulthood, sex-specific effects of paternal mass can have important fitness consequences, as adult mass is positively linked with reproduction in both sexes. Divergent father-offspring phenotypic correlations may partly explain the maintenance of sexual dimorphism in mountain goats and the large variance observed for this homologous trait within each gender in polygynous mammals.
Potapov, Mikhail; Kahrarian, Morteza; Deharveng, Louis; Shayanmehr, Masoumeh
A new genus is proposed based on a new species from Iran, Ephemerotoma skarzynskii gen. et sp. nov., and three known species: E. huadongensis (Chen, 1985) comb. nov., E. multituberculata (Martynova, 1971) comb. nov. and E. porcella (Ellis, 1976) comb. nov. The genus shares the characters of Subisotoma Stach and Proctostephanus Börner and is distributed in southern areas of Eurasia (Eastern Mediterranean, Iran, Tajikistan, China). Ephemerotoma gen. nov. belongs to the Proisotoma-complex and is characterized by a simple maxillary palp, only 4 guards on labial papilla E and 2 prelabral chaetae. Four s-chaetae on Abd.V are arranged in two rows, two anterior and two posterior chaetae. All members of Ephemerotoma gen. nov. are redescribed or discussed based on type or fresh material, and a key to species of the genus is given. Scutisotoma potapovi Xie & Chen, 2008 is considered a synonym of E. huadongensis, while Proisotoma anopolitana is moved to the genus Proctostephanus. Sexual dimorphism is described for three species.
Yamaguchi, Sachi; Høeg, Jens T; Iwasa, Yoh
The parasitic (rhizocephalan) barnacles include species of which larval sex is determined by the mother (genetic sex determination, GSD), male larvae are larger than female larvae, and a female accepts only two dwarf males who sire all the eggs laid by her. In contrast, other species of parasitic barnacles exhibit monomorphic larvae that choose to become male or female depending on the condition of the host they settle (environmental sex determination, or ESD), and a female accepts numerous dwarf males. Here, we ask why these set of traits are observed together, by examining the evolution of sex determination and the larval size. ESD has an advantage over GSD because each larva has a higher chance of encountering a suitable host. On the other hand, GSD has two advantages over ESD: the larval size can be chosen differently between sexes, and their larvae can avoid spending time for sex determination on the host. We conclude that, in species whose female accepts only two males, the male larvae engage in intense contest competition for reproductive opportunities, and male's success-size relation is very different from female's. Then, larvae with predetermined sex (GSD) with sexually dimorphic larvae is more advantageous than ESD. In contrast, in species whose females accept many dwarf males, the competition among males is less intense, and producing larvae with undetermined sex should evolve. We also discuss the condition for females to evolve receptacles to limit the number of males she accepts.
Lonely hearts advertisements (LHA) published in Japan were examined in a comparative study on sexually dimorphic mate preference. I analyzed 944 LHA written by Japanese (730 by males and 214 by females) seeking short-term relationships and 780 LHA (577 by males and 203 by females) seeking long-term relationships. Some universal patterns of mate preference were confirmed and others were not. Female advertisers in both categories sought more traits than they offered; they also sought more traits than male advertisers. Males tended to offer their financial and social status, and females tended to seek those traits. More females requested family commitment than males. While there was no sex difference in offering and seeking physical appearance and health, females tended to request photographs of their potential mates. Males were more likely than females to be willing to accept children from previous relationships, although there was no significant difference in refusing such children. More females seeking long-term mates requested family commitment than females seeking short-term mates. In both males and females, more advertisers seeking long-term mates offered family commitment than advertisers seeking short-term mates. Some predictions for contingent preference were also examined. One prediction confirmed was that females offering physical appearance and health sought more traits than those not doing so. However, males offering financial and social status did not make higher demands than those who did not, which does not support one prediction.
Mahr, S; Menard, J; Krenn, V; Muller, B
Objective: To analyse the early changes leading to OA by examining the articular cytokine expression and degenerative changes in STR/ort mice. Methods: 122 STR/ort mice of both sexes aged between 2 and 15.5 months were included. Thin sections of the knees were analysed for osteoarthritic changes by haematoxylin/eosin staining. The articular cytokine expression was investigated by immunohistochemical staining using monoclonal antibodies specific for interleukin (IL)6, tumour necrosis factor α, transforming growth factor ß1 (TGFß1), IL1ß, IL4, and IL10, respectively. Results: Both cartilage degeneration and articular cytokine expression differ between the sexes. The protection from cartilage degeneration in the female mice correlates with an increased expression of TGFß1 and IL4 at 2 months of age. Conclusion: The increased expression of TGFß1 and IL4 in young STR/ort female mice suggests that the sexual dimorphism is mediated through the articular expression of cytokines involved in cartilage metabolism. PMID:14644868
Kumudini, Nadella; Uma, Addepally; Naushad, Shaik Mohammad; Mridula, Rukmini; Borgohain, Rupam; Kutala, Vijay Kumar
The vulnerability of dopaminergic neurons to environmental exposures in sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD) has been attributed to altered detoxification by xenobiotic metabolizing genes. Hence, we investigated the influence of genetic polymorphisms in xenobiotic metabolic pathway (CYP1A1 m1, CYP1A1 m2, CYP1A1 m4, COMT p.H108L, GSTT1, and GSTM1) on the susceptibility to PD. We used PCR-RFLP for CYP1A1 and COMT genotyping; multiplex-PCR for GSTT1 and GSTM1 deletion analysis; and spectrophotometric methods to evaluate the oxidative stress markers. Results showed association of CYP1A1 m1 (OR: 2.38, 95 % CI: 1.76-3.22) and COMT p.H108L (OR: 2.08 95 % CI: 1.56-2.77) polymorphisms with risk for PD. Male patients carrying combination of COMT p.H108L and CYP1A1 m1 variant alleles showed an early onset of the disease. There was a significant increase in oxidative stress makers such as malondialdehyde and protein carbonyls; and decrease in glutathione levels in PD cases compared to controls (P < 0.05). To conclude, CYP1A1 m1, COMT p.H108L polymorphisms were associated with PD risk, and sexual dimorphism was observed in these associations.
Remeš, V; Székely, T
Sexual size dimorphism (SSD), i.e. the difference in sizes of males and females, is a key evolutionary feature that is related to ecology, behaviour and life histories of organisms. Although the basic patterns of SSD are well documented for several major taxa, the processes generating SSD are poorly understood. Domesticated animals offer excellent opportunities for testing predictions of functional explanations of SSD theory because domestic stocks were often selected by humans for particular desirable traits. Here, we analyse SSD in 139 breeds of domestic chickens Gallus gallus domesticus and compare them to their wild relatives (pheasants, partridges and grouse; Phasianidae, 53 species). SSD was male-biased in all chicken breeds, because males were 21.5 ± 0.55% (mean ± SE) heavier than females. The extent of SSD did not differ among breed categories (cock fighting, ornamental and breeds selected for egg and meat production). SSD of chicken breeds was not different from wild pheasants and allies (23.5 ± 3.43%), although the wild ancestor of chickens, the red jungle fowl G. gallus, had more extreme SSD (male 68.8% heavier) than any domesticated breed. Male mass and female mass exhibited positive allometry among pheasants and allies, consistently with the Rensch's rule reported from various taxa. However, body mass scaled isometrically across chicken breeds. The latter results suggest that sex-specific selection on males vs. females is necessary to generate positive allometry, i.e. the Rensch's rule, in wild populations.
Dean, M C; Beynon, A D
The aim of this review is to bring together data that link tooth morphology with tooth function and tooth growth: We aim to show how the microanatomy of hominoid teeth is providing evidence about rates of tooth growth that are likely to be a consequence of both masticatory strategy and social behaviour. First, we present data about incisor and molar tooth wear in wild short chimpanzees that demonstrate how crown heights are likely to be related to relative tooth use in a broad sense. Following this we review recent studies that describe the microanatomy of hominoid tooth enamel and show how these studies are providing evidence about tooth crown formation times in hominoids, as well as improving estimates for the age at death of certain juvenile fossil hominids. Next, we outline what is known about the mechanisms of tooth growth in the sexually dimorphic canine teeth of chimpanzees and compare these patterns of growth with tooth growth patterns in the canines of three fossil hominids from Laetoli, Tanzania. Finally, we discuss how selection pressures that operate to increase or reduce the size of anterior teeth interact with jaw size. We argue that the space available to grow developing teeth in the mandibles of juvenile hominoids is determined by the growth patterns of the mandibles, which in turn reflect masticatory strategy. The consequences of selection pressure to grow large or small anterior teeth are likely to be reflected in the times at which these teeth are able to emerge into occlusion.
Holman, Darryl J; Jones, Robert E
Previous studies, mostly in European populations, found sex differences in the pattern of deciduous tooth emergence. Most studies find that the anterior dentition in males is precocial relative to the female dentition, and the pattern reverses so that females lead males in the emergence of the posterior deciduous dentition. Less is known about sex differences in the dental development and emergence of non-European populations. Here we examine the pattern of sex differences in deciduous tooth emergence in Japanese, Javanese, Guatemalan, and Bangladeshi children. The data come from four longitudinal or mixed longitudinal studies using similar study protocols. Survival analysis was used to estimate parameters of a log-normal distribution of emergence for each of the 10 teeth of the left dentition, and sexual dimorphism was assessed by sex-specific differences in mean emergence times and by Bennett's index. The results support the pattern of developmental cross-over observed in other populations. We conclude that there is little evidence to support the hypothesis of Tanguay et al. ( J. Dent. Res. 63:65-68) that ethnic factors mediate sex differences in the emergence of deciduous teeth.
Marlowe, Maxwell H.; Murphy, Cheryl A.
The rove beetle Triacrus dilatus is found in the Atlantic forest of South America and lives in the refuse piles of the paper wasp Agelaia vicina. Adults of T. dilatus are among the largest rove beetles, frequently measuring over 3 cm, and exhibit remarkable variation in body size. To examine sexual dimorphism and allometric relationships we measured the length of the left mandible, ocular distance and elytra. We were interested in determining if there are quantifiable differences between sexes, if there are major and minor forms within each sex and if males exhibit mandibular allometry. For all variables, a t-test was run to determine if there were significant differences between the sexes. Linear regressions were run to examine if there were significant relationships between the different measurements. A heterogeneity of slopes test was used to determine if there were significant differences between males and females. Our results indicated that males had significantly larger mandibles and ocular distances than females, but the overall body length was not significantly different between the sexes. Unlike most insects, both sexes showed positive linear allometric relationships for mandible length and head size (as measured by the ocular distance). We found no evidence of major and minor forms in either sex. PMID:26246969
Derks, Martijn F.L.; Smit, Sandra; Salis, Lucia; Schijlen, Elio; Bossers, Alex; Mateman, Christa; Pijl, Agata S.; de Ridder, Dick; Groenen, Martien A.M.; Visser, Marcel E.; Megens, Hendrik-Jan
The winter moth (Operophtera brumata) belongs to one of the most species-rich families in Lepidoptera, the Geometridae (approximately 23,000 species). This family is of great economic importance as most species are herbivorous and capable of defoliating trees. Genome assembly of the winter moth allows the study of genes and gene families, such as the cytochrome P450 gene family, which is known to be vital in plant secondary metabolite detoxification and host-plant selection. It also enables exploration of the genomic basis for female brachyptery (wing reduction), a feature of sexual dimorphism in winter moth, and for seasonal timing, a trait extensively studied in this species. Here we present a reference genome for the winter moth, the first geometrid and largest sequenced Lepidopteran genome to date (638 Mb) including a set of 16,912 predicted protein-coding genes. This allowed us to assess the dynamics of evolution on a genome-wide scale using the P450 gene family. We also identified an expanded gene family potentially linked to female brachyptery, and annotated the genes involved in the circadian clock mechanism as main candidates for involvement in seasonal timing. The genome will contribute to Lepidopteran genomic resources and comparative genomics. In addition, the genome enhances our ability to understand the genetic and molecular basis of insect seasonal timing and thereby provides a reference for future evolutionary and population studies on the winter moth. PMID:26227816
Tomlinson, Sean; Menz, Myles H M
A typical explanation for ecologically stable strategies that apply to only a proportion of a population, is bet hedging, where increased reproductive success offsets reduced reproductive rate. One such is partial migration, where only a proportion of a population moves seasonally to avoid inclement climatic conditions. Bet hedging may overlook unseen costs to maintain broad physiological resilience, implied by encountering a breadth of environmental conditions. We investigated the physiological correlates of partial migration by measuring standard metabolic rates, and rates of evaporative water loss, and then estimating upper and lower thermal tolerance in males and females of two hoverfly species, Episyrphus balteatus and Eristalis tenax. In central Europe, females of these species may either migrate or overwinter, whereas males may migrate south to the Mediterranean, but have not been found overwintering. Both species were sexually dimorphic; female Ep. balteatus were lighter than males, but female Er. tenax were heavier than males. While allometrically- corrected metabolic rate in both species increased with temperature, the most parsimonious models included no sex-specific differences in metabolic rate for either species. Evaporative water loss of both species also increased with temperature, but was higher for females of both species than males. Assuming that resting metabolism is congruent with the activity requirements of migration, highly consistent thermal tolerance and metabolic rate suggests that any given fly could migrate, although water loss patterns suggest that females may be less well-adapted to Mediterranean climates. We infer that partial migration probably results from the imperatives of their reproductive strategies.
Sánchez-Vilas, J; Turner, A; Pannell, J R
Males and females of dioecious plant species often show different responses to competition with individuals of the same or opposite gender, but almost no data are available on the outcome of competition with members of other species. Here, we show that male and female individuals of the wind-pollinated herb Mercurialis annua are sexually dimorphic in both their intraspecific and interspecific competitive abilities. In a controlled experiment, we found that both sexes of M. annua were negatively affected by interspecific competition, but the sensitivity of males and females depended on the identity of their competitor species, with females tending to suppress the aboveground growth of competitor species more than males. Further, we found that intrasexual and intersexual competition affected the aboveground growth of males but not that of females: only males showed a significant reduction in growth when growing with conspecific competitors (male or female). We discuss our results with reference to related studies that suggest that males and females of M. annua have different resource requirements for reproduction, which in turn affect their competitive abilities.
Di Domenico, Fabio; Casalena, Gabriella; Sultana, Rukhsana; Cai, Jian; Pierce, William M; Perluigi, Marzia; Cini, Chiara; Baracca, Alessandra; Solaini, Giancarlo; Lenaz, Giorgio; Jia, Jia; Dziennis, Suzan; Murphy, Stephanie J; Alkayed, Nabil J; Butterfield, D Allan
Although the role of STAT3 in cell physiology and tissue development has been largely investigated, its involvement in the development and maintenance of nervous tissue and in the mechanisms of neuroprotection is not yet known. The potentially wide range of STAT3 activities raises the question of tissue- and gender-specificity as putative mechanisms of regulation. To explore the function of STAT3 in the brain and the hypothesis of a gender-linked modulation of STAT3, we analyzed a neuron-specific STAT3 knockout mouse model investigating the influence of STAT3 activity in brain protein expression pattern in both males and females in the absence of neurological insult. We performed a proteomic study aimed to reveal the molecular pathways directly or indirectly controlled by STAT3 underscoring its role in brain development and maintenance. We identified several proteins, belonging to different neuronal pathways such as energy metabolism or synaptic transmission, controlled by STAT3 that confirm its crucial role in brain development and maintenance. Moreover, we investigated the different processes that could contribute to the sexual dimorphic behavior observed in the incidence of neurological and mental disease. Interestingly both STAT3 KO and gender factors influence the expression of several mitochondrial proteins conferring to mitochondrial activity high importance in the regulation of brain physiology and conceivable relevance as therapeutic target.
Kvamme, Timo L.; Schmidt, Casper; Strelchuk, Daniela; Chang-Webb, Yee Chien; Baek, Kwangyeol; Voon, Valerie
Background Binge consumption of alcohol is a major societal problem associated with important cognitive, physiological and neurotoxic consequences. Converging evidence highlights the need to assess binge drinking (BD) and its effects on the developing brain while taking into account gender differences. Here, we compared the brain volumetric differences between genders in college-aged binge drinkers and healthy volunteers. Method T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images of 30 binge drinkers (18 males) and 46 matched healthy volunteers (23 males) were examined using voxel-based morphometry. The anatomical scans were covaried with Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) scores. Whole brain voxel-wise group comparisons were performed using a cluster extent threshold correction. Results Several large clusters qualified with group-by-gender interactions were observed in prefrontal, striatal and medial temporal areas, whereby BD females had more volume than non-BD females, while males showed the inverse pattern of decreased volume in BD males and increased volume in non-BD males. AUDIT scores negatively correlated with volume in the right superior frontal cortex and precentral gyrus. Conclusions These findings dovetail with previous studies reporting that a state effect of BD in college-aged drinkers and the severity of alcohol use are associated with volumetric alterations in the cortical and subcortical areas of the brain. Our study indicates that these widespread volumetric changes vary differentially by gender, suggesting either sexual dimorphic endophenotypic risk factors, or differential neurotoxic sensitivities for males and females. PMID:26900571
Raikar, Neha Ajit; Meundi, Manasa A; David, Chaya M; Rao, Mahesh Dathu; Jogigowda, Sanjay Chikkarasinakere
Purpose of the Study: Personal identification is a vital arena of forensic investigation, facilitating the search for missing persons. This process of identification is eased by the determination of age, sex, and ethnicity. In situations where there are fragmented and mutilated skeletal remains, sex determination is relatively difficult, and it becomes important to establish the accuracy of individual bones. Aim: This study aims to evaluate sexual dimorphism in foramen magnum (FM) dimensions in the South Indian population using digital submentovertex (SMV) radiograph. Materials and Methods: 150 individuals (75 males and 75 females) were subjected to digital SMV radiography. FM in the resultant image was assessed for longitudinal and transverse diameters, circumference, and area. Also, one particular shape was assigned to each image based on the classification of Chethan et al. of FM shapes. Three qualified oral radiologists performed all the measurements twice within an interval of 10 days. Results and Conclusion: The values obtained for all four parameters were statistically significant and higher in males than in females. The most common morphology of FM was an egg shape while hexagonal was the least common morphology. Circumference was the best indicator of sex followed by area, transverse diameter, and longitudinal diameter. Having achieved a high accuracy of 67.3% with digital SMV radiograph makes it a reliable and reproducible alternative to dry skulls for sex determination. PMID:28123285
Tominaga, Hideyuki; Komatsu, Miéko
We investigated Ophiodaphne formata, an exceptional sexually dimorphic ophiuroid, in situ using scuba, and in the laboratory. Solitary males, solitary females, and pairs of coupled individuals were found associated with the irregular echinoid sand dollar Astriclypeus manni. We observed that coupled females, solitary males, and solitary females always hold their aboral surface against the oral surface of the host. Coupled males and females with disk diameters > 0.63 mm and > 3.7 mm, respectively, are considered to be ripe for reproduction. In order to couple, a solitary male approaches the margin of a female's disk, quickly inverts, interdigitates its arms with the female's, and keeps its mouth pressed against that of the female. At first, solitary males and females attach to their host singly and, secondly, couple with each other in order to engage in reproductive behavior. Solitary and coupled individuals are capable of changing their positions on the host, and transferring from one host to another. Coupled individuals separate after a period of attachment on the host.
Zhang, Sufang; Zhang, Zhen; Kong, Xiangbo; Wang, Hongbin
Insects rely heavily on olfaction to locate habitat, mates, and oviposition sites, while odorant molecules and the antennal olfactory sensory cells of insects are two indispensable components of olfactory response. Our previous work identified the sex pheromones and volatile compounds derived from host plant of Dendrolimus tabulaeformis Tsai et Liu, a serious economic pest of pines in northern China. However, little is known about the olfactory system of D. tabulaeformis, especially in females. To make a better understanding of the D. tabulaeformis olfactory response, we investigated the structure, innervation, numbers, and distribution of sensilla on the antennae of male and female moth, based on scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The pinniform antennae of this moth bear five types of sensilla: trichoid (TS), basiconica (BS), styloconic (StS), and chaetica (ChS) sensilla, and belt-type structures (BTSs). The BTSs are hollow and are not chemical sensilla. The ChSs occur on the scape. StS contain dendrite sheaths and four dendrites containing microtubules in their cores. The BS contents are continuous with that in the subsegments. The TSs were sexually dimorphic and could be divided into 12 subtypes based on dendrite number and form. TS1-4 contained two, three, or four dendrites and were similar in both sexes. TS 5-8 and TS 9-12 occurred only on male and female antenna, respectively. We discussed the possible functions of these sensilla.
Cox, Robert M; Calsbeek, Ryan
Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is thought to evolve due to sex differences in selection on body size, but it is largely unknown whether intraspecific variation in SSD reflects differences in sex-specific selection among populations. We addressed this question by comparing viability selection between two island populations of the brown anole lizard (Anolis sagrei) that differ in the magnitude of male-biased SSD. On both islands, females experienced stabilizing selection favoring intermediate size whereas males experienced directional selection favoring larger size. Thus, sex-specific selection matched the overall pattern of male-biased SSD, but population differences in the magnitude of SSD were not associated with local differences in selection. Rather, population differences in SSD appear to result from underlying differences in the environmental potential for a rapid growth, coupled with sex-specific phenotypic plasticity. Males grew more slowly on the island with low SSD whereas growth of females did not differ between islands. Both sexes had substantially lower mass per unit length on the island with low SSD, suggesting that they were in a relatively poorer energetic condition. We propose that this energetic constraint disproportionately impacts growth of males due to their greater absolute energy requirements, thus driving intraspecific variation in SSD.
Lambertucci, Sergio A; Carrete, Martina; Donázar, José Antonio; Hiraldo, Fernando
Age-dependent skewed sex ratios have been observed in bird populations, with adult males generally outnumbering females. This trend is mainly driven by higher female mortality, sometimes associated with anthropogenic factors. Despite the large amount of work on bird sex ratios, research examining the spatial stability of adult sex ratios is extremely scarce. The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) is the only bird of prey with strong sexual dimorphism favouring males (males are 30% heavier than females). By examining data from most of its South-American range, we show that while the juvenile sex ratio is balanced, or even female-skewed, the sex ratio becomes increasing male-skewed with age, with adult males outnumbering females by >20%, and, in some cases by four times more. This result is consistent across regions and independent of the nature of field data. Reasons for this are unknown but it can be hypothesized that the progressive disappearance of females may be associated with mortality caused by anthropogenic factors. This idea is supported by the asymmetric habitat use by the two sexes, with females scavenging in more humanized areas. Whatever the cause, male-skewed adult sex ratios imply that populations of this endangered scavenger face higher risks of extinction than previously believed.
Lambertucci, Sergio A.; Carrete, Martina; Donázar, José Antonio; Hiraldo, Fernando
Age-dependent skewed sex ratios have been observed in bird populations, with adult males generally outnumbering females. This trend is mainly driven by higher female mortality, sometimes associated with anthropogenic factors. Despite the large amount of work on bird sex ratios, research examining the spatial stability of adult sex ratios is extremely scarce. The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) is the only bird of prey with strong sexual dimorphism favouring males (males are 30% heavier than females). By examining data from most of its South-American range, we show that while the juvenile sex ratio is balanced, or even female-skewed, the sex ratio becomes increasing male-skewed with age, with adult males outnumbering females by >20%, and, in some cases by four times more. This result is consistent across regions and independent of the nature of field data. Reasons for this are unknown but it can be hypothesized that the progressive disappearance of females may be associated with mortality caused by anthropogenic factors. This idea is supported by the asymmetric habitat use by the two sexes, with females scavenging in more humanized areas. Whatever the cause, male-skewed adult sex ratios imply that populations of this endangered scavenger face higher risks of extinction than previously believed. PMID:23029488
Darnell, M Zachary; Munguia, Pablo
Fiddler crabs are highly sexually dimorphic. Males possess one small (minor) feeding claw and one greatly enlarged (major) claw; females possess two small claws. The major claw is used to attract mates and for burrow defense, but it is costly for the male to possess. We tested the hypothesis that the major claw also functions as a thermoregulatory structure, a function that would allow males to spend a greater amount of time at the surface, foraging and attracting potential mates. Fiddler crabs Uca panacea were exposed to a source of radiant heat and body temperatures were monitored. Four groups of crabs were tested: intact males, males with the minor claw removed, males with the major claw removed, and females. The body temperatures of males without the major claw increased more rapidly and reached higher values than did those of males with the major claw intact, but the results from these animals were similar to those of females. These results support the hypothesized thermoregulatory function of the major claw. The major claw may function as a heat sink, transferring heat away from the body and dissipating it into the air. Enhanced thermoregulatory ability provided by the major claw may partially ameliorate the energetic costs of possessing such a large claw.
Emmons, Scott W
Studies of the development of the Caenorhabditis elegans male have been carried out with the aim of understanding the basis of sexual dimorphism. Postembryonic development of the two C. elegans sexes differs extensively. Development along either the hermaphrodite or male pathway is specified initially by the X to autosome ratio. The regulatory events initiated by this ratio include a male-determining paracrine intercellular signal. Expression of this signal leads to different consequences in three regions of the body: the nongonadal soma, the somatic parts of the gonad, and the germ line. In the nongonadal soma, activity of the key Zn-finger transcription factor TRA-1 determines hermaphrodite development; in its absence, the male pathway is followed. Only a few genes directly regulated by TRA-1 are currently known, including members of the evolutionarily conserved, male-determining DM domain Zn-finger transcription factors. In the somatic parts of the gonad and germ line, absence of TRA-1 activity is not sufficient for full expression of the male pathway. Several additional transcription factors involved have been identified. In the germ line, regulatory genes for sperm development that act at the level of RNA in the cytoplasm play a prominent role.
Tarrade, Anne; Panchenko, Polina; Junien, Claudine; Gabory, Anne
The recent and rapid worldwide increase in non-communicable diseases challenges the assumption that genetic factors are the primary contributors to such diseases. A new concept of the 'developmental origins of health and disease' (DOHaD) is at stake and therefore requires a paradigm shift. Maternal obesity and malnutrition predispose offspring to develop metabolic syndrome, a vicious cycle leading to transmission to subsequent generation(s), with differences in response and susceptibility according to the sex of the individual. The placenta is a programming agent of adult health and disease. Adaptations of placental phenotype in response to maternal diet and metabolic status alter fetal nutrient supply. This implies important epigenetic changes that are, however, still poorly documented in DOHaD studies, particularly concerning overnutrition. The aim of this review is to discuss the emerging knowledge on the relationships between the effect of maternal nutrition or metabolic status on placental function and the risk of diseases later in life, with a specific focus on epigenetic mechanisms and sexual dimorphism. Explaining the sex-specific causal variables and how males versus females respond and adapt to environmental perturbations should help physicians and patients to anticipate disease susceptibility.
Derks, Martijn F L; Smit, Sandra; Salis, Lucia; Schijlen, Elio; Bossers, Alex; Mateman, Christa; Pijl, Agata S; de Ridder, Dick; Groenen, Martien A M; Visser, Marcel E; Megens, Hendrik-Jan
The winter moth (Operophtera brumata) belongs to one of the most species-rich families in Lepidoptera, the Geometridae (approximately 23,000 species). This family is of great economic importance as most species are herbivorous and capable of defoliating trees. Genome assembly of the winter moth allows the study of genes and gene families, such as the cytochrome P450 gene family, which is known to be vital in plant secondary metabolite detoxification and host-plant selection. It also enables exploration of the genomic basis for female brachyptery (wing reduction), a feature of sexual dimorphism in winter moth, and for seasonal timing, a trait extensively studied in this species. Here we present a reference genome for the winter moth, the first geometrid and largest sequenced Lepidopteran genome to date (638 Mb) including a set of 16,912 predicted protein-coding genes. This allowed us to assess the dynamics of evolution on a genome-wide scale using the P450 gene family. We also identified an expanded gene family potentially linked to female brachyptery, and annotated the genes involved in the circadian clock mechanism as main candidates for involvement in seasonal timing. The genome will contribute to Lepidopteran genomic resources and comparative genomics. In addition, the genome enhances our ability to understand the genetic and molecular basis of insect seasonal timing and thereby provides a reference for future evolutionary and population studies on the winter moth.
Virdee, Kanwar; McArthur, Simon; Brischoux, Frédéric; Caprioli, Daniele; Ungless, Mark A; Robbins, Trevor W; Dalley, Jeffrey W; Gillies, Glenda E
We demonstrated previously that antenatal glucocorticoid treatment (AGT, gestational days 16–19) altered the size and organization of the adult rat midbrain dopaminergic (DA) populations. Here we investigated the consequences of these AGT-induced cytoarchitectural disturbances on indices of DA function in adult rats. We show that in adulthood, enrichment of striatal DA fiber density paralleled AGT-induced increases in the numbers of midbrain DA neurons, which retained normal basal electrophysiological properties. This was co-incident with changes in (i) striatal D2-type receptor levels (increased, both sexes); (ii) D1-type receptor levels (males decreased; females increased); (iii) DA transporter levels (males increased; females decreased) in striatal regions; and (iv) amphetamine-induced mesolimbic DA release (males increased; females decreased). However, despite these profound, sexually dimorphic changes in markers of DA neurotransmission, in-utero glucocorticoid overexposure had a modest or no effect on a range of conditioned and unconditioned appetitive behaviors known to depend on mesolimbic DA activity. These findings provide empirical evidence for enduring AGT-induced adaptive mechanisms within the midbrain DA circuitry, which preserve some, but not all, functions, thereby casting further light on the vulnerability of these systems to environmental perturbations. Furthermore, they demonstrate these effects are achieved by different, often opponent, adaptive mechanisms in males and females, with translational implications for sex biases commonly found in midbrain DA-associated disorders. PMID:23929547
Hemelrijk, Charlotte K.; Wantia, Jan; Isler, Karin
The processes that underlie the formation of the dominance hierarchy in a group are since long under debate. Models of self-organisation suggest that dominance hierarchies develop by the self-reinforcing effects of winning and losing fights (the so-called winner-loser effect), but according to ‘the prior attribute hypothesis’, dominance hierarchies develop from pre-existing individual differences, such as in body mass. In the present paper, we investigate the relevance of each of these two theories for the degree of female dominance over males. We investigate this in a correlative study in which we compare female dominance between groups of 22 species throughout the primate order. In our study female dominance may range from 0 (no female dominance) to 1 (complete female dominance). As regards ‘the prior attribute hypothesis’, we expected a negative correlation between female dominance over males and species-specific sexual dimorphism in body mass. However, to our surprise we found none (we use the method of independent contrasts). Instead, we confirm the self-organisation hypothesis: our model based on the winner-loser effect predicts that female dominance over males increases with the percentage of males in the group. We confirm this pattern at several levels in empirical data (among groups of a single species and between species of the same genus and of different ones). Since the winner-loser effect has been shown to work in many taxa including humans, these results may have broad implications. PMID:18628830
Ganten, U; Schröder, G; Witt, M; Zimmermann, F; Ganten, D; Stock, G
The mechanisms resulting in the greater predisposition of male subjects towards hypertension were investigated in different strains of rats with genetic hypertension [spontaneously hypertensive rats of the stroke-prone strain (SHRSP) and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR)] and their respective normotensive controls. Blood pressure was reduced in young (9 weeks of age) hypertensive rats by (1) surgical castration, (2) treatment with the testosterone receptor antagonist cyproterone acetate (CPA), which does not elevate testosterone, or (3) with the testosterone receptor antagonist flutamide, which leads to a feedback elevation of gonadotrophic hormones and plasma testosterone. These treatments had no effect on high blood pressure in old hypertensive rats aged 25 weeks. Both androgen receptor antagonists attenuated high blood pressure development when given for the first 10 days after birth. These data clearly relate the sexual dimorphism of hypertension to testosterone produced during male brain maturation in the early phase of hypertension development. Testosterone appears not to contribute directly to the maintenance of high blood pressure in established hypertension.
Rodríguez, Amaia; Marinelli, Raul A.; Tesse, Angela; Frühbeck, Gema; Calamita, Giuseppe
Gender differences in the relative risk of developing metabolic complications, such as insulin resistance or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), have been reported. The deregulation of glycerol metabolism partly contributes to the onset of these metabolic diseases, since glycerol constitutes a key substrate for the synthesis of triacylglycerols (TAGs) as well as for hepatic gluconeogenesis. The present mini-review covers the sex-related differences in glycerol metabolism and aquaglyceroporins (AQPs) and its impact in the control of adipose and hepatic fat accumulation as well as in whole-body glucose homeostasis. Plasma glycerol concentrations are increased in women compared to men probably due to the higher lipolytic rate and larger AQP7 amounts in visceral fat as well as the well-known sexual dimorphism in fat mass with women showing higher adiposity. AQP9 represents the primary route for glycerol uptake in hepatocytes, where glycerol is converted by the glycerol-kinase enzyme into glycerol-3-phosphate, a key substrate for de novo synthesis of glucose and TAG. In spite of showing similar hepatic AQP9 protein, women exhibit lower hepatocyte glycerol permeability than men, which might contribute to their lower prevalence of insulin resistance and NAFLD. PMID:26594198
Sairam, V.; Geethamalika, M. V.; Kumar, Praveen B.; Naresh, G.; Raju, Gareema P.
Background: Identification of sex is the first step in forensic science obtained from skeletal remains. Mandible, being a strong bone that is difficult to damage and disintegrate, is an important tool in sex determination. The present study is aimed to assess, compare, and evaluate the mandibular measurements as seen on digital panoramic radiographs to analyze their use in sexual dimorphism assessment. Materials and Methods: This retrospective study was conducted using digital panoramic images of 100 each in both genders. Mandibular measurements were carried out utilizing RadiAnt DICOM Viewer 2.2.9 (32 bit) software (Medixant Company, Poland) and subjected to statistical analysis. Results: Descriptive statistics for all the parameters on the right and left sides of mandible in both males and females were analyzed. Inferential statistics were performed using t-test to compare males and females with different variables. A statistical significance of P < 0.001 has been demonstrated for all the variables (except linear measurement of mandibular foramen). All variables showed increased measurements in males than in females. The accuracy of sex determination in mandibular ramus measurements is 79.5% on right side and 77% on left side, where as, in linear mandibular measurements it is 76% on right side and 79.5% on left side. Conclusion: Mandibular measurements on digital radiograph are useful in sex determination, and this study can be compared with other similar studies. PMID:27994407
Wang, Zhongkai; Gao, Jinning; Song, Huayu; Wu, Xiaomeng; Sun, Yan; Qi, Jie; Yu, Haiyang; Wang, Zhigang; Zhang, Quanqi
The vasa gene encodes an ATP-dependent RNA helicase of the DEAD box protein family that functions in a broad range of molecular events involving duplex RNA. In most species, the germline specific expression of vasa becomes a molecular marker widely used in the visualization and labeling of primordial germ cells (PGCs) and a tool in surrogate broodstock production through PGC transplantation. The vasa gene from tongue sole (Cynoglossus semilaevis) was characterized to promote the development of genetic breeding techniques in this species. Three C. semilaevis vasa transcripts were isolated, namely vas-l, vas-m, and vas-s. Quantitative real-time PCR results showed that C. semilaevis vasa transcripts were prevalently expressed in gonads, with very weak expression of vas-s in other tissues. Embryonic development expression profiles revealed the onset of zygotic transcription of vasa mRNAs and the maternal deposit of the three transcripts. The genetic ZW female juvenile fish was discriminated from genetic ZZ males by a pair of female specific primers. Only the expression of vas-s can be observed in both sexes during early gonadal differentiation. Before PGCs started mitosis, there was sexually dimorphic expression of vas-s with the ovary showing higher levels and downward trend. The results demonstrated the benefits of vasa as a germline specific marker for PGCs during embryonic development and gonadal differentiation. This study lays the groundwork for further application of C. semilaevis PGCs in fish breeding. PMID:24671276
Hahn, Amanda C.; Wincenciak, Joanna; Fisher, Claire I.; Pisanski, Katarzyna; Feinberg, David R.; DeBruine, Lisa M.; Jones, Benedict C.
Feminine physical characteristics in women are positively correlated with markers of their mate quality. Previous research on men’s judgments of women’s facial attractiveness suggests that men show stronger preferences for feminine characteristics in women’s faces when their own testosterone levels are relatively high. Such results could reflect stronger preferences for high quality mates when mating motivation is strong and/or following success in male-male competition. Given these findings, the current study investigated whether a similar effect of testosterone occurs for men’s preferences for feminine characteristics in women’s voices. Men’s preferences for feminized versus masculinized versions of women’s and men’s voices were assessed in five weekly test sessions and saliva samples were collected in each test session. Analyses showed no relationship between men’s voice preferences and their testosterone levels. Men’s tendency to perceive masculinized men’s and women’s voices as more dominant was also unrelated to their testosterone levels. Together, the results of the current study suggest that testosterone-linked changes in responses to sexually dimorphic characteristics previously reported for men's perceptions of faces do not occur for men's perceptions of voices. PMID:27875569
Bjelobaba, Ivana; Janjic, Marija M.; Kucka, Marek; Stojilkovic, Stanko S.
The most obvious functional differences between mammalian males and females are related to the control of reproductive physiology and include patterns of GnRH and gonadotropin release, the timing of puberty, sexual and social behavior, and the regulation of food intake and body weight. Using the rat as the best-studied mammalian model for maturation, we examined the expression of major anterior pituitary genes in five secretory cell types of developing males and females. Corticotrophs show comparable Pomc profiles in both sexes, with the highest expression occurring during the infantile period. Somatotrophs and lactotrophs also exhibit no difference in Gh1 and Prl profiles during embryonic to juvenile age but show the amplification of Prl expression in females and Gh1 expression in males during peripubertal and postpubertal ages. Gonadotrophs exhibit highly synchronized Lhb, Fshb, Cga, and Gnrhr expression in both sexes, but the peak of expression occurs during the infantile period in females and at the end of the juvenile period in males. Thyrotrophs also show different developmental Tshb profiles, which are synchronized with the expression of gonadotroph genes in males but not in females. These results indicate the lack of influence of sex on Pomc expression and the presence of two patterns of sexual dimorphism in the expression of other pituitary genes: a time shift in the peak expression during postnatal development, most likely reflecting the perinatal sex-specific brain differentiation, and modulation of the amplitude of expression during late development, which is secondary to the establishment of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal and -thyroid axes. PMID:26063874
Oliveira-Pinto, Ana V.; Santos, Raquel M.; Coutinho, Renan A.; Oliveira, Lays M.; Santos, Gláucia B.; Alho, Ana T. L.; Leite, Renata E. P.; Farfel, José M.; Suemoto, Claudia K.; Grinberg, Lea T.; Pasqualucci, Carlos A.; Jacob-Filho, Wilson; Lent, Roberto
Sex differences in the human olfactory function reportedly exist for olfactory sensitivity, odorant identification and memory, and tasks in which odors are rated based on psychological features such as familiarity, intensity, pleasantness, and others. Which might be the neural bases for these behavioral differences? The number of cells in olfactory regions, and especially the number of neurons, may represent a more accurate indicator of the neural machinery than volume or weight, but besides gross volume measures of the human olfactory bulb, no systematic study of sex differences in the absolute number of cells has yet been undertaken. In this work, we investigate a possible sexual dimorphism in the olfactory bulb, by quantifying postmortem material from 7 men and 11 women (ages 55–94 years) with the isotropic fractionator, an unbiased and accurate method to estimate absolute cell numbers in brain regions. Female bulbs weighed 0.132 g in average, while male bulbs weighed 0.137 g, a non-significant difference; however, the total number of cells was 16.2 million in females, and 9.2 million in males, a significant difference of 43.2%. The number of neurons in females reached 6.9 million, being no more than 3.5 million in males, a difference of 49.3%. The number of non-neuronal cells also proved higher in women than in men: 9.3 million and 5.7 million, respectively, a significant difference of 38.7%. The same differences remained when corrected for mass. Results demonstrate a sex-related difference in the absolute number of total, neuronal and non-neuronal cells, favoring women by 40–50%. It is conceivable that these differences in quantitative cellularity may have functional impact, albeit difficult to infer how exactly this would be, without knowing the specific circuits cells make. However, the reported advantage of women as compared to men may stimulate future work on sex dimorphism of synaptic microcircuitry in the olfactory bulb. PMID:25372872
Sawada, Kazuhiko; Horiuchi-Hirose, Miwa; Saito, Shigeyoshi; Aoki, Ichio
The present study aimed to characterize cerebral morphology in young adult ferrets and its sexual dimorphism using high-field MRI and MRI-based morphometry. Ex vivo short TR/TE (typical T1-weighted parameter setting for conventional MRI) and T2W (long TR/TE) MRI with high spatial resolution at 7-tesla could visualize major subcortical and archicortical structures, i.e., the caudate nucleus, lentiform nucleus, amygdala and hippocampus. In particular, laminar organization of the olfactory bulb was identifiable by short TR/TE-MRI. The primary and secondary sulci observable in the adult ferret were distinguishable on either short TR/TE- or T2W-MRI, and the cortical surface morphology was reproduced well by 3D-rendered images obtained by short TR/TE-MRI. The cerebrum had a significantly lower volume in females than in males, which was attributed to region-specific volume reduction in the cerebral cortex and subcortical white matter in females. A sexual difference was also detected, manifested by an overall reduction in normalized signal ratios of short TR/TE-MRI in all cerebral structures examined in females than in males. On the other hand, an alternating array of higher and lower short TR/TE-MRI intensity transverse zones throughout the cortex, which was reminiscent of the functional cortical areas, was revealed by maximum intensity projection (MIP) in 3D. The normalized signal ratio of short TR/TE-MRI, but not T2W-MRI in the cortex, was negatively correlated with the density of myelin-basic protein immunoreactive fibers (males, r=-0.440; females, r=-0.481). The present results suggest that sexual differences in the adult ferret cerebrum are characterized by reduced volumes of the cerebral cortex and subcortical white matter in females, and by overall reductions in physiochemical characteristics, as obtained by short TR/TE-MRI, in females. It should be noted that short TR/TE-MRI-based MIP delineated functional cortical areas related to myeloarchitecture in 3D. Such an
Vamosi, Jana C; Otto, Sarah P
Dioecious plants (with separate male and female individuals) more often have drab, inconspicuous flowers than related bisexual plants. Models indicate, however, that similar conditions favour the evolution of showy floral displays in dioecious and bisexual plants. One difference, however, is that dioecious plants may evolve floral displays that are sexually dimorphic. We show that males are more likely to evolve showy flowers than females in animal-pollinated plants, especially when pollinators are abundant. We demonstrate that this dimorphism places showy dioecious plants at a much higher risk of extinction during years of low pollinator abundance because pollinators may fail to visit female flowers. The higher extinction risk of showy dioecious plants provides an explanation for the fact that dioecious plants that do persist tend to have inconspicuous flowers and are more often wind pollinated. It may also help explain why dioecious plants are less species-rich than related bisexual plants. PMID:12061964
Heepe, Lars; Petersen, Dennis S.; Tölle, Lisa; Wolff, Jonas O.; Gorb, Stanislav N.
Many insects possess adhesive foot pads, which enable reliable attachment to diverse and unpredictable substrates. The function of these adhesive organs was shown to be affected by environmental conditions such as substrate roughness, chemistry, and ambient humidity. So far, the attachment ability of insects and also that of spiders and geckos has been tested on rigid substrates only. However, the natural habitats of climbing animals may provide a variety of substrate stiffness ranging from rigid rock surfaces to soft, biofilm covered substrates. In order to test the effect of different substrate stiffness on the attachment ability of insects, we have performed friction experiments with female and male ladybird beetles Coccinella septempunctata on smooth silicone elastomer substrates of different stiffness, using a centrifugal force tester. Whereas in females, the attachment ability was not affected by the substrate stiffness within the range of tested stiffness, males showed decreasing attachment ability with decreasing substrate stiffness. This sexual dimorphism in attachment ability is explained by the presence of a specialized, discoidal seta type in males, which is not present in females. It is argued that discoidal setae, when softer if compared to the substrate, may show an advantageous peak-free interfacial stress distribution when being pulled off the substrate. For such setae being stiffer if compared the substrate, they potentially show increased edge stress concentration. In this case, lower pull-off forces are expected, in agreement with the experimentally obtained results. With the present study, we demonstrate for the first time that the substrate stiffness may have an effect on the attachment ability of climbing animals, which may also be of relevance for technical and medical applications involving adhesion to soft substrates.
Kant, L; Yilmaz, O; Taskiran, D; Kulali, B; Furedy, J J; Demirgören, S; Pögün, S
Recent studies using the water maze (WM) found marked sex differences in behavioral strategy employed in place learning tasks in adult rats. When a change in the platform position is introduced following learning the place of a platform (visible or hidden) in a different position, female rats escape to the newly positioned visible platform faster than males. Nitric oxide (NO) is implicated in place learning, and there are regional sex differences in its stable metabolites, NO(2)(-)+NO(3)(-), in rat brain. Furthermore, NO(2)(-)+NO(3)(-) levels are sensitive to ovariectomy in female rats. The effect of sex hormones on brain development and function is well documented. The present study was undertaken to study the effects of ovariectomy and hormonal manipulations on cognitive performance in a WM task designed to test differences in behavioral strategy in Sprague-Dawley rats (n=48) of both sexes. Some of the females rats were ovariectomised and received either hormone replacement (estrogen or progesterone alone or in combination) or the vehicle. Cortical and hippocampal NO(2)(-)+NO(3)(-) levels were determined after behavioral testing. There were no group differences in cognitive ability or non-cognitive factors such as motivation or swim speed. Males and intact females differed in their cognitive style, but hormonal manipulations in female rats did not affect this relative use of behavioral strategy. There was a correlation between performance on the trial where sex differences were most prominent and NO(2)(-)+NO(3)(-) levels in the cortex. Our results suggest that the activational effects of circulating gonadal hormones do not play a major role in sexually dimorphic cognitive styles.
Bearoff, Frank; Case, Laure K.; Krementsov, Dimitry N.; Wall, Emma H.; Saligrama, Naresha; Blankenhorn, Elizabeth P.; Teuscher, Cory
modeling the genetic architecture of MS. Moreover, our data represent the first step towards mechanistic dissection of genetic control of sexual dimorphism in CNS autoimmunity. PMID:25671658
Lutterschmidt, Deborah I.; Wilczynski, Walter
Arginine vasotocin (AVT) and its mammalian homologue, arginine vasopressin (AVP), regulate a variety of social and reproductive behaviors, often with complex species-, sex-, and context-dependent effects. Despite extensive evidence documenting seasonal variation in brain AVT/AVP, relatively few studies have investigated the environmental and/or hormonal factors mediating these seasonal changes. In the present study, we investigated whether the pineal hormone melatonin alters brain AVT immunoreactivity in green treefrogs (Hyla cinerea). Reproductively active male and female frogs were collected during the summer breeding season and a melatonin-filled or blank silastic capsule was surgically implanted subcutaneously. The duration of hormone treatment was 4 weeks, at which time frogs were euthanized and the brains and blood collected and processed for AVT immunohistochemistry and steroid hormone assay. We quantified AVT-immunoreactive (AVT-ir) cell bodies in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), caudal striatum and amygdala (AMG), anterior preoptic area (POA), suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), and infundibular region of the ventral hypothalamus (VH). Sex differences in AVT-ir cell number were observed in all brain regions except the anterior POA and VH, with males having more AVT-ir cells than females in the NAcc, AMG, and SCN. Brain AVT was sensitive to melatonin signaling during the breeding season, and the effects of melatonin varied significantly with both region and sex. Treatment with melatonin decreased AVT immunoreactivity in both the NAcc and SCN in male H. cinerea. In contrast, brain AVT was relatively insensitive to melatonin signaling in females, indicating that the regulation of the AVT/AVP neuropeptide system by melatonin may be sexually dimorphic. Finally, melatonin did not significantly influence testosterone or estradiol concentrations of male or female frogs, respectively, suggesting that the effects of melatonin on AVT immunoreactivity are independent of
Lue, YanHe; Probst, Frank; Greenstein, Deanna; Giedd, Jay; Wang, Christina; Lerch, Jason; Swerdloff, Ronald
Murine sex chromosome aneuploidies (SCAs) provide powerful models for charting sex chromosome influences on mammalian brain development. Here, building on prior work in X-monosomic (XO) mice, we use spatially non-biased high-resolution imaging to compare and contrast neuroanatomical alterations in XXY and XO mice relative to their wild-type XX and XY littermates. First, we show that carriage of a supernumerary X chromosome in XXY males (1) does not prevent normative volumetric masculinization of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) and medial amygdala, but (2) causes distributed anatomical alterations relative to XY males, which show a statistically unexpected tendency to be colocalized with and reciprocal to XO-XX differences in anatomy. These overlaps identify the lateral septum, BNST, ventral group thalamic nuclei and periaqueductal gray matter as regions with replicable sensitivity to X chromosome dose across two SCAs. We then harness anatomical variation across all four karyotype groups in our study—XO, XX, XY and XXY—to create an agnostic data-driven segmentation of the mouse brain into five distributed clusters which (1) recover fundamental properties of brain organization with high spatial precision, (2) define two previously uncharacterized systems of relative volume excess in females vs. males (“forebrain cholinergic” and “cerebelo-pontine-thalamo-cortical”), and (3) adopt stereotyped spatial motifs which delineate ordered gradients of sex chromosome and gonadal influences on volumetric brain development. Taken together, these data provide a new framework for the study of sexually dimorphic influences on brain development in health and disrupted brain development in SCA. PMID:25146308
Brown, Alexander M; Bejder, Lars; Parra, Guido J; Cagnazzi, Daniele; Hunt, Tim; Smith, Jennifer L; Allen, Simon J
Determining the sex of free-ranging cetaceans can be challenging. Sexual dimorphism among external features may allow inferences on sex, but such patterns may be difficult to detect and are often confounded by age and geographic variation. Dorsal fin images of 107 female and 54 male Australian humpback dolphins, Sousa sahulensis, from Western Australia (WA) and Queensland (QLD) were used to investigate sex, age and geographic differences in colouration, height/length quotient and number of notches. Adult males exhibited more dorsal fin notches (p<0.001) and a significantly greater loss of pigmentation on the upper half of their dorsal fins (p<0.001) than did adult females. These differences likely reflect that males experience a higher frequency and/or intensity of intraspecific aggression than females. In QLD, heavily spotted dorsal fins were more frequent among females than males (p<0.001). Logistic regression analyses revealed that dorsal fin spotting and loss of pigmentation on the upper half of the dorsal fin provided the best model parameters for predicting the sex of sampled adults, with 97% accuracy. This technique offers a rapid, non-invasive method for predicting sex in Australian humpback dolphins, which could potentially be applied to populations throughout their range. In contrast to adults, presumed immature animals showed little or no loss of pigmentation or spotting; however, the rate of development of these features remains unknown. There were pronounced differences between QLD and WA in the intensity of spotting on dorsal fins and the extent of pigmentation loss around the posterior insertion and trailing edge of the dorsal fin. While based on a limited sample size, these geographic differences may have conservation implications in terms of population subdivision and should be investigated further.
Griffiths, Emily T; Keen, Sara C; Lanzone, Michael; Farnsworth, Andrew
Bird species often use flight calls to engage in social behavior, for instance maintain group cohesion and to signal individual identity, kin or social associations, or breeding status of the caller. Additional uses also exist, in particular among migrating songbirds for communication during nocturnal migration. However, our understanding of the information that these vocalizations convey is incomplete, especially in nocturnal scenarios. To examine whether information about signaler traits could be encoded in flight calls we quantified several acoustic characteristics from calls of a nocturnally migrating songbird, the American Redstart. We recorded calls from temporarily captured wild specimens during mist-netting at the Powdermill Avian Research Center in Rector, PA. We measured call similarity among and within individuals, genders, and age groups. Calls from the same individual were significantly more similar to one another than to the calls of other individuals, and calls were significantly more similar among individuals of the same sex than between sexes. Flight calls from hatching-year and after hatching-year individuals were not significantly different. Our results suggest that American Redstart flight calls may carry identifiers of gender and individual identity. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of individuality or sexual dimorphism in the flight calls of a migratory songbird. Furthermore, our results suggest that flight calls may have more explicit functions beyond simple group contact and cohesion. Nocturnal migration may require coordination among numerous individuals, and the use of flight calls to transmit information among intra- and conspecifics could be advantageous. Applying approaches that account for such individual and gender information may enable more advanced research using acoustic monitoring.
Bird species often use flight calls to engage in social behavior, for instance maintain group cohesion and to signal individual identity, kin or social associations, or breeding status of the caller. Additional uses also exist, in particular among migrating songbirds for communication during nocturnal migration. However, our understanding of the information that these vocalizations convey is incomplete, especially in nocturnal scenarios. To examine whether information about signaler traits could be encoded in flight calls we quantified several acoustic characteristics from calls of a nocturnally migrating songbird, the American Redstart. We recorded calls from temporarily captured wild specimens during mist-netting at the Powdermill Avian Research Center in Rector, PA. We measured call similarity among and within individuals, genders, and age groups. Calls from the same individual were significantly more similar to one another than to the calls of other individuals, and calls were significantly more similar among individuals of the same sex than between sexes. Flight calls from hatching-year and after hatching-year individuals were not significantly different. Our results suggest that American Redstart flight calls may carry identifiers of gender and individual identity. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of individuality or sexual dimorphism in the flight calls of a migratory songbird. Furthermore, our results suggest that flight calls may have more explicit functions beyond simple group contact and cohesion. Nocturnal migration may require coordination among numerous individuals, and the use of flight calls to transmit information among intra- and conspecifics could be advantageous. Applying approaches that account for such individual and gender information may enable more advanced research using acoustic monitoring. PMID:27284697
Verhovshek, Tom; Buckley, Katherine E.; Sergent, Melissa A.; Sengelaub, Dale R.
The lumbar spinal cord of rats contains the sexually dimorphic, steroid-sensitive spinal nucleus of the bulbocavernosus (SNB). Androgens are necessary for the development of the SNB neuromuscular system, and in adulthood, continue to influence the morphology and function of the motoneurons and their target musculature. However, estrogens are also involved in the development of the SNB system, and are capable of maintaining function in adulthood. In this experiment we assessed the ability of testosterone metabolites, estrogens and non-aromatizable androgens, to maintain neuromuscular morphology in adulthood. Motoneuron and muscle morphology was assessed in adult normal males, sham-castrated males, castrated males treated with testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, estradiol, or left untreated, and gonadally intact males treated with the 5α-reductase inhibitor finasteride or the aromatase inhibitor fadrozole. After 6 weeks of treatment, SNB motoneurons were retrogradely labeled with cholera toxin-HRP and reconstructed in three dimensions. Castration resulted in reductions in SNB target muscle size, soma size, and dendritic morphology. Testosterone treatment after castration maintained SNB soma size, dendritic morphology, and elevated target muscle size; dihydrotestosterone treatment also maintained SNB dendritic length, but was less effective than testosterone in maintaining both SNB soma size and target muscle weight. Treatment of intact males with finasteride or fadrozole did not alter the morphology of SNB motoneurons or their target muscles. In contrast, estradiol treatment was completely ineffective in preventing castration-induced atrophy of the SNB neuromuscular system. Together, these results suggest that the maintenance of adult motoneuron or muscle morphology is strictly mediated by androgens. PMID:20024940
Rutkowska, J; Dubiec, A; Nakagawa, S
Sex-biased resource allocation in avian eggs has gained increasing interest. The adaptive explanations of such allocation are often related to life-history strategies of the studied species. In some species, egg sexual size dimorphism (SSD) was suggested to promote future size differences between adults of each sex. In other species, egg SSD was invoked as an adaptive means by which a mother balances sex-specific nestling mortality. According to the first scenario, mothers should produce bigger eggs for the bigger sex, thus across species, adult SSD should be a significant positive predictor of egg SSD. Under the second scenario, mothers should produce bigger eggs for the smaller sex. If different species use contrasting strategies, then a universal expectation is that there should be a significant relationship between the magnitude of adult SSD and the magnitude of egg SSD, irrespective of the direction of those differences. Our aim was to examine whether the direction of egg SSD is predicted by the direction of adult SSD or whether degree of egg SSD is related to degree of adult SSD. To answer that question, we performed meta-analysis of 63 studies, which included information on egg SSD of 65 effect sizes from 51 avian species. We found that across species, adult SSD does not predict egg SSD. More importantly, the observed variation in effect sizes in our data set was largely explained by sampling error (variance). Although adult SSD is undoubtedly a prominent feature of birds, there is little evidence for egg SSD across avian species.
Pedrón, Valeria T; Taravini, Irene R E; Induni, Andrea S; Balerio, Graciela N
In previous studies, we have reported sex-related differences during morphine withdrawal. We have also shown that the GABA(B) agonist baclofen (BAC) was able to prevent the morphine withdrawal syndrome in male as well as in female mice. Considering that early gene expression is induced by drugs of abuse, we evaluated the expression of c-Fos in several brain areas, in mice of either sex during naloxone (NAL)-precipitated withdrawal, and after pretreatment with BAC. Swiss-Webster prepubertal mice were rendered dependent by i.p. injection of morphine (2 mg/kg), twice daily for 9 days. On the 10th day, dependent mice were divided into two groups: the withdrawal group received NAL (6 mg/kg, i.p.) after the last dose of morphine, while the prevention group received BAC (2 mg/kg, i.p.) before NAL. Thirty minutes after NAL, animals were sacrificed by transcardial perfusion. Brains were removed and slices were obtained to perform immunohistochemical studies. Our results show a significant decrease in c-Fos expression in hippocampal dentate gyrus, CA3, and CA1 areas of morphine withdrawn males, vs. their control group. Conversely, in females, the number of c-Fos positive nuclei was not modified in any of the areas studied. BAC pretreatment had no effect on the decreased c-Fos expression in morphine withdrawn males. The sexual dimorphism observed here confirms the greater sensitivity of males over females in their response to morphine. The preventive action of BAC on the expression of morphine withdrawal would not be related to an effect on c-Fos expression.
Liu, Zhongbo; Mohan, Subburaman; Yakar, Shoshana
The contribution of the gonadotropic axis to skeletal sexual dimorphism (SSD) was clarified in recent years. Studies with animal models of estrogen receptor (ER) or androgen receptor (AR) null mice, as well as mice with bone cell-specific ablation of ER or AR, revealed that both hormones play major roles in skeletal acquisition, and that estrogen regulates skeletal accrual in both sexes. The growth hormone (GH) and its downstream effector, the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) are also major determinants of peak bone mass during puberty and young adulthood, and play important roles in maintaining bone integrity during aging. A few studies in both humans and animal models suggest that in addition to the differences in sex steroid actions on bone, sex-specific effects of GH and IGF-1 play essential roles in SSD. However, the contributions of the somatotropic (GH/IGF-1) axis to SSD are controversial and data is difficult to interpret. GH/IGF-1 are pleotropic hormones that act in an endocrine and autocrine/paracrine fashion on multiple tissues, affecting body composition as well as metabolism. Thus, understanding the contribution of the somatotropic axis to SSD requires the use of mouse models that will differentiate between these two modes of action. Elucidation of the relative contribution of GH/IGF-1 axis to SSD is significant because GH is approved for the treatment of normal children with short stature and children with congenital growth disorders. Thus, if the GH/IGF-1 axis determines SSD, treatment with GH may be tailored according to sex. In the following review, we give an overview of the roles of sex steroids in determining SSD and how they may interact with the GH/IGF-1 axis in bone. We summarize several mouse models with impaired somatotropic axis and speculate on the possible contribution of that axis to SSD.
Shannon, Graeme; Mackey, Robin L.; Slotow, Rob
Although diet selection and the physiological adaptations of grazers and browsers have been widely studied, much less is known about mixed-feeders that target both grass and woody species. The ability to switch diet allows the individual to respond to spatial and temporal changes in forage abundance and quality, providing a key mechanism for large herbivores to exploit heterogeneous environments. We compare diet selection and timing of the seasonal dietary switch for a large-bodied, sexually dimorphic mixed-feeder, the African elephant. The study was carried out on a small population of elephants (n = 48) in the Pongola Game Reserve (PGR), South Africa. Sex-specific dietary composition evaluated from feeding behaviour correlated with composition in dung samples from individuals of known sex. Grass was strongly preferred during the wet season and browse in the winter dry season. However, adult male elephants switched from browse to grass earlier, and consumed a greater overall proportion of grass in their diet, compared with adult females and their associated family groups. Male elephants also spent more time in grassland habitats, and expanded their ranges to a greater extent than females following the end of the dry season. Our results suggest that smaller adult body size, high nutritional demands of offspring, and the constraints of sociality have contributed to female elephants in PGR resolving their diet selection strategies to target higher quality foraging opportunities, whilst males appear to be adopting a rate maximizing approach. The behavioural differences between the sexes are pronounced, which has implications for elephant management approaches that are typically focussed at the population level.
Rosell, Frank; Thomsen, Liat R
Mammalian scent marking is often associated with territorial defense. However, males and females may demonstrate different activity patterns and play different roles. Female mammals nurture the young during lactation, while males purportedly perform other tasks more frequently, such as territorial maintenance and defense. This paper investigates the contribution made by mated pairs of adult males and females to territorial scent-marking in the obligate monogamous Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber). We hypothesized that both sexes should show territorial behavior, and predicted that they deposit a higher proportion of scent marks at borders. We also hypothesized that a sexual dimorphism exists due to reproductive constraints on the females, and predicted that males should invest significantly more in scent-marking behavior than females during summer. We obtained behavioral data by radio tracking six mated pairs of Eurasian beavers during spring and summer 2000-2001 on two rivers in southeastern Norway. Our results showed that both males and females clustered their scent marks near territorial borders, but males deposited a larger number of scent marks than females and spent more time at borders. Males were also found to have a higher scent marking rate and scent marks per night than females during summer, but not during spring. Overall, scent marks per night were higher in males than females. We conclude that both males and females Eurasian beavers carry out territorial behavior by scent marking, but males carry a larger part of the territorial defense during summer when females lactate. Our results are discussed in the light of the codefense hypothesis.
Chen, Chang; Yang, Peixuan; Ye, Shu; Tan, Xuerui
There are sex differences in many inflammatory and immune diseases, and the differences tend to diminish after menopause. The underlying reasons are unclear, but sex hormone levels are likely to be an important factor. Blood leukocyte count and composition provide an indicator of the inflammatory and immune status of an individual. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of blood leukocyte data from 46,879 individuals (26,212 men and 20,667 women, aged 18 to 93 years) who underwent a routine health checkup. In women aged around 50 years, neutrophil percentage (NE%) dropped whilst lymphocyte percentage (LY%) rose. Accordingly, women before age 50 had significantly higher NE%, lower LY%, and higher neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) than women of 51–70 years of age (p = 1.35×10−82, p = 5.32×10−100, and p = 1.25×10−26, respectively). In age groups of <50 years, women had higher NE%, lower LY% and higher NLR than men (p = 1.82×10−206, p = 1.46×10−69, and p = 2.30×10−118, respectively), whereas in age groups of >51 years, it was the reverse (p = 1.92×10−15, p = 1.43×10−84, and p = 1.51×10−48, respectively). These results show that blood leukocyte composition differs between women before and after menopausal age, with distinct sexual dimorphism. PMID:27657912
Oshida, Keiyu; Waxman, David J.; Corton, J. Christopher
The growth hormone (GH)-activated transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription 5b (STAT5b) is a key regulator of sexually dimorphic gene expression in the liver. Suppression of hepatic STAT5b signaling is associated with lipid metabolic dysfunction leading to steatosis and liver cancer. In the companion publication, a STAT5b biomarker gene set was identified and used in a rank-based test to predict both increases and decreases in liver STAT5b activation status/function with high (≥ 97%) accuracy. Here, this computational approach was used to identify chemicals and hormones that activate (masculinize) or suppress (feminize) STAT5b function in a large, annotated mouse liver and primary hepatocyte gene expression compendium. Exposure to dihydrotestosterone and thyroid hormone caused liver masculinization, whereas glucocorticoids, fibroblast growth factor 15, and angiotensin II caused liver feminization. In mouse models of diabetes and obesity, liver feminization was consistently observed and was at least partially reversed by leptin or resveratrol exposure. Chemical-induced feminization of male mouse liver gene expression profiles was a relatively frequent phenomenon: of 156 gene expression biosets from chemically-treated male mice, 29% showed feminization of liver STAT5b function, while <1% showed masculinization. Most (93%) of the biosets that exhibited feminization of male liver were also associated with activation of one or more xenobiotic-responsive receptors, most commonly constitutive activated receptor (CAR) or peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα). Feminization was consistently associated with increased expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparg) but not other lipogenic transcription factors linked to steatosis. GH-activated STAT5b signaling in mouse liver is thus commonly altered by diverse chemicals, and provides a linkage between chemical exposure and dysregulated gene expression
Raznahan, Armin; Lue, YanHe; Probst, Frank; Greenstein, Deanna; Giedd, Jay; Wang, Christina; Lerch, Jason; Swerdloff, Ronald
Murine sex chromosome aneuploidies (SCAs) provide powerful models for charting sex chromosome influences on mammalian brain development. Here, building on prior work in X-monosomic (XO) mice, we use spatially non-biased high-resolution imaging to compare and contrast neuroanatomical alterations in XXY and XO mice relative to their wild-type XX and XY littermates. First, we show that carriage of a supernumerary X chromosome in XXY males (1) does not prevent normative volumetric masculinization of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) and medial amygdala, but (2) causes distributed anatomical alterations relative to XY males, which show a statistically unexpected tendency to be co-localized with and reciprocal to XO-XX differences in anatomy. These overlaps identify the lateral septum, BNST, ventral group thalamic nuclei and periaqueductal gray matter as regions with replicable sensitivity to X chromosome dose across two SCAs. We then harness anatomical variation across all four karyotype groups in our study--XO, XX, XY and XXY--to create an agnostic data-driven segmentation of the mouse brain into five distributed clusters which (1) recover fundamental properties of brain organization with high spatial precision, (2) define two previously uncharacterized systems of relative volume excess in females vs. males ("forebrain cholinergic" and "cerebelo-pontine-thalamo-cortical"), and (3) adopt stereotyped spatial motifs which delineate ordered gradients of sex chromosome and gonadal influences on volumetric brain development. Taken together, these data provide a new framework for the study of sexually dimorphic influences on brain development in health and disrupted brain development in SCA.
Starostová, Zuzana; Kubička, Lukáš; Golinski, Alison; Kratochvíl, Lukáš
Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is an extensively studied phenomenon in animals, including reptiles, but the proximate mechanism of its development is poorly understood. The most pervasive candidates are: (1) androgen-mediated control of growth, i.e. a positive effect of gonadal androgens (testosterone) on male growth in male-larger species, and a negative effect in female-larger species; and (2) sex-specific differences in energy allocation to growth, e.g. sex with larger reproductive costs should result in smaller body size. We tested these hypotheses in adults of the male-larger lizard Paroedura picta by conducting castrations with and without testosterone implants in males and manipulating reproductive status in females. Castration or testosterone replacement had no significant effect on final body length in males. High investment to reproduction had no significant effect on final body length in intact females. Interestingly, ovariectomized females and females with testosterone implants grew to larger body size than intact females. We did not find support for either of the above hypotheses and suggest that previously reported effects of gonadal androgens on growth in male lizards could be a consequence of altered behaviour or social status in manipulated individuals. Exogenous testosterone in females led to decreased size of ovaries; its effect on body size may be caused by interference with normal ovarian function. We suggest that ovarian factors, perhaps estrogens, not reproductive costs, can modify growth in female lizards and may thus contribute to the development of SSD. This hypothesis is largely supported by published results on the effect of testosterone treatment or ovariectomy on body size in female squamates.
Govindarajulu, R; Liston, A; Ashman, T-L
We studied the natural hybrid (Fragaria × ananassa subsp. cuneifolia) between two sexually dimorphic octoploid strawberry species (Fragaria virginiana and Fragaria chiloensis) to gain insight into the dynamics of sex chromosomes and the genesis of sexual dimorphism. Male sterility is dominant in both the parental species and thus will be inherited maternally, but the chromosome that houses the sex-determining region differs. Thus, we asked whether (1) the cytotypic composition of hybrid populations represents one or both maternal species, (2) the sex-determining chromosome of the hybrid reflects the location of male sterility within the maternal donor species and (3) crosses from the hybrid species show less sexual dimorphism than the parental species. We found that F. × ananassa subsp. cuneifolia populations consisted of both parental cytotypes but one predominated within each population. Genetic linkage mapping of two crosses showed dominance of male sterility similar to the parental species, however, the map location of male sterility reflected the maternal donor in one cross, but not the other. Moreover, female function mapped to a single region in the first cross, but to two regions in the second cross. Aside from components of female function (fruit set and seed set), other traits that have been found to be significantly sexually dimorphic in the pure species were either not dimorphic or were dimorphic in the opposite direction to the parental species. These results suggest that hybrids experience some disruption of dimorphism in secondary sexual traits, as well as novel location and number of quantitative trait locus (QTL) affecting sex function.
Govindarajulu, R; Liston, A; Ashman, T-L
We studied the natural hybrid (Fragaria × ananassa subsp. cuneifolia) between two sexually dimorphic octoploid strawberry species (Fragaria virginiana and Fragaria chiloensis) to gain insight into the dynamics of sex chromosomes and the genesis of sexual dimorphism. Male sterility is dominant in both the parental species and thus will be inherited maternally, but the chromosome that houses the sex-determining region differs. Thus, we asked whether (1) the cytotypic composition of hybrid populations represents one or both maternal species, (2) the sex-determining chromosome of the hybrid reflects the location of male sterility within the maternal donor species and (3) crosses from the hybrid species show less sexual dimorphism than the parental species. We found that F. × ananassa subsp. cuneifolia populations consisted of both parental cytotypes but one predominated within each population. Genetic linkage mapping of two crosses showed dominance of male sterility similar to the parental species, however, the map location of male sterility reflected the maternal donor in one cross, but not the other. Moreover, female function mapped to a single region in the first cross, but to two regions in the second cross. Aside from components of female function (fruit set and seed set), other traits that have been found to be significantly sexually dimorphic in the pure species were either not dimorphic or were dimorphic in the opposite direction to the parental species. These results suggest that hybrids experience some disruption of dimorphism in secondary sexual traits, as well as novel location and number of quantitative trait locus (QTL) affecting sex function. PMID:23169558
Kumar, Arjun; Liu, Nai-Jiang; Madia, Priyanka A.; Gintzler, Alan R.
Interactions between exogenous and endogenous opioids are not commonly investigated as a basis for sexually dimorphic opioid analgesia. We investigated the influence of spinal endomorphin 2 (EM2), an endogenous mu-opioid receptor (MOR) ligand, on the spinal antinociception produced by intrathecally administered opioids. Activation of spinal MORs facilitated spinal EM2 release. This effect was sexually dimorphic, occurring in males but not females. Although activational effects of testosterone were required for opioid facilitation of spinal EM2 release in males, the absence of this facilitation in females resulted from neither insufficient levels of testosterone nor mitigating effects of estrogens. Strikingly, in males, the contribution of spinal EM2 to the analgesia produced by intrathecally applied MOR agonists depended on their analgesic efficacy relative to that of EM2. Spinal EM2 released by the higher efficacy MOR agonist sufentanil diminished sufentanil’s analgesic effect, whereas EM2 released by the lower efficacy morphine had the opposite effect on spinal morphine antinociception. Understanding antithetical contributions of endogenous EM2 to intrathecal opioid antinociception not only enlightens the selection of opioid medications for pain management, but also helps explain variable sex-dependence of the antinociception produced by different opioids, facilitating the acceptance of sexually dimorphic antinociception as a basic tenet. Perspective The male-specific MOR-coupled enhancement of spinal EM2 release implies a parallel ability to harness endogenous EM2 antinociception. The inferred diminished ability of females to utilize the spinal EM2 antinociceptive system could contribute to their greater frequency and severity of chronic pain syndromes. PMID:26342648
Voigt, Alexandria; Esfandiary, Lida; Nguyen, Cuong Q
Sjögren's syndrome is a complex autoimmune disease with an array of diverse immunological, genetic and environmental etiologies, making identification of the precise autoimmune mechanism difficult to define. One of the most distinctive aspects of Sjögren's syndrome is the high sexual dimorphism with women affected 10-20 times more than men. It is nearly impossible to study the sexual dimorphic development of Sjögren's syndrome in human patients; therefore it is pertinent to develop an appropriate animal model which resembles human disease. The data indicated that female C57BL/6.NOD-Aec1Aec2 mice developed an earlier onset of sialadenitis with a higher composition of CD3(+) T cells and a 10-fold increase in glandular infiltration of Th17 cells at the onset of clinical disease compared to male mice. Inflammatory Th17 cells of female mice exhibited a stronger proliferation in response to disease-specific antigen than their male counterpart. At the clinical disease stage, altered autoantibody patterns can be detected in females whereas they are seldom observed in male C57BL/6.NOD-Aec1Aec2 mice. Interestingly, male C57BL/6.NOD-Aec1Aec2 mice developed an earlier loss of secretory function, despite the fact that female C57BL/6.NOD-Aec1Aec2 mice exhibited a more rapid secretory loss. This data indicates the strong sexual dimorphism in the SjS-susceptible C57BL/6.NOD-Aec1Aec2 animal model, making it an appropriate animal model to examine human disease.
Voigt, Alexandria; Esfandiary, Lida; Nguyen, Cuong Q.
ABSTRACT Sjögren's syndrome is a complex autoimmune disease with an array of diverse immunological, genetic and environmental etiologies, making identification of the precise autoimmune mechanism difficult to define. One of the most distinctive aspects of Sjögren's syndrome is the high sexual dimorphism with women affected 10-20 times more than men. It is nearly impossible to study the sexual dimorphic development of Sjögren's syndrome in human patients; therefore it is pertinent to develop an appropriate animal model which resembles human disease. The data indicated that female C57BL/6.NOD-Aec1Aec2 mice developed an earlier onset of sialadenitis with a higher composition of CD3+ T cells and a 10-fold increase in glandular infiltration of Th17 cells at the onset of clinical disease compared to male mice. Inflammatory Th17 cells of female mice exhibited a stronger proliferation in response to disease-specific antigen than their male counterpart. At the clinical disease stage, altered autoantibody patterns can be detected in females whereas they are seldom observed in male C57BL/6.NOD-Aec1Aec2 mice. Interestingly, male C57BL/6.NOD-Aec1Aec2 mice developed an earlier loss of secretory function, despite the fact that female C57BL/6.NOD-Aec1Aec2 mice exhibited a more rapid secretory loss. This data indicates the strong sexual dimorphism in the SjS-susceptible C57BL/6.NOD-Aec1Aec2 animal model, making it an appropriate animal model to examine human disease. PMID:26453623
Rose, Emily; Flanagan, Sarah P.; Jones, Adam G.
Species exhibiting sex-role reversal provide an unusual perspective on the evolution of sex roles and sex differences. However, the proximate effects of sex-role reversal are largely unknown. Endocrine disruptors provide an experimental mechanism to address hormonal regulation of sexually dimorphic gene expression in sex-role-reversed taxa. Here, we investigate gene expression patterns in the liver of the sex-role-reversed Gulf pipefish, because the liver is known to be sexually dimorphic and estrogen-regulated in species with conventional sex roles. Using next-generation RNA-sequencing technology (RNA-seq), we detected sexually dimorphic hepatic gene expression patterns, with a total of 482 differentially expressed genes between the sexes in Gulf pipefish. Two-thirds of these genes were over-expressed in females, and the sex-specific transcriptomes of this sex-role-reversed pipefish’s liver were superficially similar to those of fishes with conventional sex-roles. We exposed females, pregnant males, and non-pregnant males to 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) at ecologically relevant concentrations of 5ng/L and compared gene expression patterns in the livers of exposed fish to control fish. Several genes that were up-regulated in EE2-exposed males relative to control males were also found to be female-biased in control animals. These genes included several of the classic estrogen biomarkers, such as vitellogenin, choriogenin, and zona pellucida. Thus, estrogen exposure induced feminization of the male liver transcriptome in a sex-role-reversed pipefish. These results suggest that the ancestral state of estrogen-regulated female reproductive physiology has been retained in all sex-role-reversed vertebrates thus far studied, despite substantial evolution of the hormonal regulation of ornamentation and mating behavior in these interesting taxa. PMID:26448558
Brauth, Steven E; Liang, Wenru; Amateau, Stuart K; Roberts, Todd F; Robert, Todd F
Nissl staining and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase (NADPH-d) histochemistry were used to explore the existence of sexual dimorphism in vocal control nuclei of adult budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), a parrot species capable of lifelong vocal learning. Behavioral studies indicate that adult males possess larger vocal repertoires than adult females and learn new calls more quickly. The results of the present study show that the volumes of all vocal nuclei, as measured using both Nissl-stained and NADPH-d-stained material, as well as the total numbers of NADPH-d neurons, were 35-110% greater in males. Furthermore, all vocal nuclei exhibit conspicuous NADPH-d staining compared to surrounding fields in both adult males and females. Nevertheless, there were no significant gender differences in either the intensity of neuropil staining or the densities of NADPH-d neurons in vocal nuclei. Moreover NADPH-d neuron somal shapes were similar in males and females. Diameters of NADPH-d neurons in vocal nuclei were 8.5-32% larger in males than in females. Greater size of NADPH-d neuronal somata in males may be a general property of this cell type in budgerigars because a similar gender difference was found in a visual nucleus, the entopallium, which is not directly associated with the vocal control system and does not exhibit sexual dimorphism in total volume or total NADPH-d neuron numbers. Taken together, the results of the present study favor the hypothesis that superior lifelong vocal learning ability in male budgerigars rests largely on larger volumes of vocal control nuclei in males rather than on sexual dimorphism in the internal composition of vocal nuclei.
Teitel, Z; Pickup, M; Field, D L; Barrett, S C H
Sexual dimorphism in resource allocation is expected to change during the life cycle of dioecious plants because of temporal differences between the sexes in reproductive investment. Given the potential for sex-specific differences in reproductive costs, resource availability may contribute to variation in reproductive allocation in females and males. Here, we used Rumex hastatulus, a dioecious, wind-pollinated annual plant, to investigate whether sexual dimorphism varies with life-history stage and nutrient availability, and determine whether allocation patterns differ depending on reproductive commitment. To examine if the costs of reproduction varied between the sexes, reproduction was either allowed or prevented through bud removal, and biomass allocation was measured at maturity. In a second experiment to assess variation in sexual dimorphism across the life cycle, and whether this varied with resource availability, plants were grown in high and low nutrients and allocation to roots, aboveground vegetative growth and reproduction were measured at three developmental stages. Males prevented from reproducing compensated with increased above- and belowground allocation to a much larger degree than females, suggesting that male reproductive costs reduce vegetative growth. The proportional allocation to roots, reproductive structures and aboveground vegetative growth varied between the sexes and among life-cycle stages, but not with nutrient treatment. Females allocated proportionally more resources to roots than males at peak flowering, but this pattern was reversed at reproductive maturity under low-nutrient conditions. Our study illustrates the importance of temporal dynamics in sex-specific resource allocation and provides support for high male reproductive costs in wind-pollinated plants.
Goldschmidt, B; Mota-Marinho, A; Araújo-Lopes, C; Brück-Gonçalves, M A; Matos-Fasano, D; Ribeiro-Andrade, M C; Ferreira-Nascimento, L W; Simmer-Bravin, J; Monnerat-Nogueira, D
Causes and implications of sexual dimorphism have been studied in several different primates using a variety of morphological characters such as body weight, canine length, coat color and ornamentation. Here we describe a peculiar coat color characteristic in the squirrel monkey that is present only in adult females over five years old and which increases with age. Neither males nor young animals manifest this phenomenon, which is characterized by a spot of black hairs located anteriorly to the external ear (pinna). This characteristic could be used to discriminate adult females of Saimiri sciureus in the wild without the need of capture techniques.
Carlson, Bradley E; McGinley, Shannen; Rowe, Matthew P
Sexual dimorphism can result from sexual or ecological selective pressures, but the importance of alternative reproductive roles and trait compensation in generating phenotypic differences between the sexes is poorly understood. We evaluated morphological and behavioral sexual dimorphism in striped bark scorpions (Centruroides vittatus). We propose that reproductive roles have driven sexually dimorphic body mass in this species which produces sex differences in locomotor performance. Poor locomotor performance in the females (due to the burden of being gravid) favors compensatory aggression as part of an alternative defensive strategy, while male morphology is coadapted to support a sprinting-based defensive strategy. We tested the effects of sex and morphology on stinging and sprinting performance and characterized overall differences between the sexes in aggressiveness towards simulated threats. Greater body mass was associated with higher sting rates and slower sprinting within sexes, which explained the greater aggression of females (the heavier sex) and, along with longer legs in males, the improved sprint performance in males. These findings suggest females are aggressive to compensate for locomotor costs of reproduction while males possess longer legs to enhance sprinting for predator evasion and mate finding. Sexual dimorphism in the metasoma ("tail") was unrelated to stinging and sprinting performance and may best be explained by sexual selection.
Chen, Juan; Dong, Tingfa; Duan, Baoli; Korpelainen, Helena; Niinemets, Ülo; Li, Chunyang
Several important dioecious species show sexual spatial segregation (SSS) along environmental gradients that have significant ecological effect on terrestrial ecosystem. However, little attention has been paid to understanding of how males and females respond to environmental gradients and sexual competition. We compared eco-physiological parameters of males and females of Populus cathayana under different sexual competition patterns and nitrogen (N) supply levels. We found that males and females interacting with the same or opposite sex showed significant differences in biomass partition, photosynthetic capacity, carbon (C) and N metabolism, and leaf ultrastructure, and that the sexual differences to competition were importantly driven by N supply. The intersexual competition was enhanced under high N, while the intrasexual competition among females was amplified under low N. Under high N, the intersexual competition stimulated the growth of the females and negatively affected the males. In contrast, under low N, the males exposed to intrasexual competition had the highest tolerance, whereas females exposed to intrasexual competition showed the lowest adaptation among all competition patterns. Sexual competition patterns and N supply levels significantly affected the sexual dimorphism and competitiveness, which may play an important role in spatial segregation of P. cathayana populations.
Bautista, W.; Nagy, J. I.
Pools of motoneurons in lumbar spinal cord innervate sexually dimorphic perineal musculature and are themselves sexually dimorphic, displaying differences in numbers and size in male vs. female rodents. In two of these pools, the dorsomedial nucleus (DMN) and the dorsolateral nucleus (DLN), dimorphic motoneurons are intermixed with non-dimorphic neurons innervating anal and external urethral sphincter (EUS) muscles. As motoneurons in these nuclei are reportedly linked by gap junctions, we examined immunofluorescence labelling for the gap junction-forming protein connexin36 (Cx36) in male and female mouse and rat. Fluorescent Cx36-puncta occurred in distinctly greater abundance in the DMN and DLN of male rodents than observed in other spinal cord regions. These puncta were localized to motoneuron somata, proximal dendrites and neuronal appositions, and were distributed either as isolated or large patches of puncta. In both rat and mouse, Cx36-puncta were associated with nearly all (> 94%) DMN and DLN motoneurons. The density of Cx36-puncta increased dramatically from postnatal day 9 to 15, unlike developmental decreases of these puncta observed in other CNS regions. In females, Cx36-puncta in DLN was similar to that in males, but was sparse in the DMN. In EGFP-Cx36 transgenic mice, motoneurons in the DMN and DLN were intensely labelled for EGFP reporter in males, but less so in females. The results indicate the presence of Cx36-containing gap junctions in the sexually dimorphic DMN and DLN of male as well as female rodents, suggesting coupling of not only sexually dimorphic but also non-dimorphic motoneurons in these nuclei. PMID:24304165
Zuha, Raja Muhammad; Omar, Baharudin
Cosmopolitan scuttle fly, Megaselia scalaris (Loew) (Diptera: Phoridae) is one of the commonest forensic species recorded colonizing human corpse indoors and in concealed environment. The occurrence of this species in such environments provides a higher evidential value to assist estimation of postmortem interval (PMI) compared to other forensically important dipterans. However, developmental and size data of M. scalaris are still lacking and they are derived from a limited range of thermal values. The objective of this study is to develop the growth model of M. scalaris by emphasizing the size range of larvae and puparia at different constant temperatures. This species was reared in six replicates at eight varying constant temperatures ranging from 23 to 36 °C and cow's liver was provided as food source. Larvae and puparia were sampled at set time intervals and measured by their length and weight. Because interpretation of forensic entomological evidence is subject to application of different techniques, development of M. scalaris is expressed herein by using developmental table, length/morphological stage diagrams and linear/nonlinear estimation methods. From the findings, it is very important to highlight that sexual dimorphism of M. scalaris during post feeding larva and pupa stage could be observed based on size and developmental periods. Mean length and weight ratios of male to female puparia are approximately 0.8 and 0.3-0.5, respectively, indicating sexual dimorphism of this species. Developmental period in female are 4.0-11.4 h (post feeding larval stage), 3.7-24.0 h (pupal stage), and 3.0-20.1 h (total developmental period) longer in male. Due to this dimorphism, PMI estimation using M. scalaris post feeding larva or puparium specimens must be carried out carefully by to avoid inaccuracy and misinterpretation.
Lu, Chanyi; Wang, Yun; Zhang, Yun-Feng
Light sensory experience plays a crucial role in the regulation of mood, and light deficiency is considered as one important factor potentially leading to depression. Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from depression. However, the physiological mechanism underlying sex differences in the prevalence, incidence and morbidity risk of depression is still poorly understood. The potential causal relationship between sex dimorphic behavioral deficits and altered intrinsic electrophysiological properties of Layer V pyramidal cells (L5PCs) in the motor cortex was investigated using a mouse model with depression-like behavior that was induced by light deprivation. The depression-like behavior was characterized by increased immobility and decreased activity in the forced swimming test and tail suspension test. Compared with male depressive-like mice, light deprivation (LD) induced longer immobile behavior while shorter active behavior in female depressive-like mice, indicating that LD produces a sexual dimorphic effect on depression-like behavior with more severe depressive-like symptoms in females. LD induced lower locomotor activity in female depressive-like mice as evidenced by the significant decrease in pole-climbing and swimming during the anti-static fatigue test and exhaustive swimming test correspondingly. LD also significantly decreased the intrinsic excitability of L5PCs in female depressive-like mice, which may explain the reduced active behavior and locomotor activity of female mice. Collectively, it indicates that LD produces a sexual dimorphic effect on the depression-like behavior, locomotor activity and neural excitability in mice, and may suggest a causal relationship between the more severe depressive conditions and decreased neural excitability of L5PCs in female mice. These divergent findings from male and female depressive-like mice may provide one potential route to the physiological mechanism underlying sex differences in the prevalence of
Sex differences occur in most non-communicable diseases, including metabolic diseases, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, psychiatric and neurological disorders and cancer. In many cases, the susceptibility to these diseases begins early in development. The observed differences between the sexes may result from genetic and hormonal differences and from differences in responses to and interactions with environmental factors, including infection, diet, drugs and stress. The placenta plays a key role in fetal growth and development and, as such, affects the fetal programming underlying subsequent adult health and accounts, in part for the developmental origin of health and disease (DOHaD). There is accumulating evidence to demonstrate the sex-specific relationships between diverse environmental influences on placental functions and the risk of disease later in life. As one of the few tissues easily collectable in humans, this organ may therefore be seen as an ideal system for studying how male and female placenta sense nutritional and other stresses, such as endocrine disruptors. Sex-specific regulatory pathways controlling sexually dimorphic characteristics in the various organs and the consequences of lifelong differences in sex hormone expression largely account for such responses. However, sex-specific changes in epigenetic marks are generated early after fertilization, thus before adrenal and gonad differentiation in the absence of sex hormones and in response to environmental conditions. Given the abundance of X-linked genes involved in placentogenesis, and the early unequal gene expression by the sex chromosomes between males and females, the role of X- and Y-chromosome-linked genes, and especially those involved in the peculiar placenta-specific epigenetics processes, giving rise to the unusual placenta epigenetic landscapes deserve particular attention. However, even with recent developments in this field, we still know little about the mechanisms
van der Eerden, B C J; Oei, L; Roschger, P; Fratzl-Zelman, N; Hoenderop, J G J; van Schoor, N M; Pettersson-Kymmer, U; Schreuders-Koedam, M; Uitterlinden, A G; Hofman, A; Suzuki, M; Klaushofer, K; Ohlsson, C; Lips, P J A; Rivadeneira, F; Bindels, R J M; van Leeuwen, J P T M
We explored the role of transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) in murine bone metabolism and association of TRPV4 gene variants with fractures in humans. Urinary and histomorphometrical analyses demonstrated reduced osteoclast activity and numbers in male Trpv4(-/-) mice, which was confirmed in bone marrow-derived osteoclast cultures. Osteoblasts and bone formation as shown by serum procollagen type 1 amino-terminal propeptide and histomorphometry, including osteoid surface, osteoblast and osteocyte numbers were not affected in vivo. Nevertheless, osteoblast differentiation was enhanced in Trpv4(-/-) bone marrow cultures. Cortical and trabecular bone mass was 20% increased in male Trpv4(-/-) mice, compared to sex-matched wild type (Trpv4(+/+)) mice. However, at the same time intracortical porosity was increased and bone matrix mineralization was reduced. Together, these lead to a maximum load, stiffness and work to failure of the femoral bone, which were not different compared to Trpv4(+/+) mice, while the bone material was less resistant to stress and less elastic. The differential impacts on these determinants of bone strength were likely responsible for the lack of any changes in whole bone strength in the Trpv4(-/-) mice. None of these skeletal parameters were affected in female Trpv4(-/-) mice. The T-allele of rs1861809 SNP in the TRPV4 locus was associated with a 30% increased risk (95% CI: 1.1-1.6; p=0.013) for non-vertebral fracture risk in men, but not in women, in the Rotterdam Study. Meta-analyses with the population-based LASA study confirmed the association with non-vertebral fractures in men. This was lost when the non-population-based studies Mr. OS and UFO were included. In conclusion, TRPV4 is a male-specific regulator of bone metabolism, a determinant of bone strength, and a potential risk predictor for fractures through regulation of bone matrix mineralization and intra-cortical porosity. This identifies TRPV4 as a unique sexually
Yang, Pu; Chen, Xiao-Ming; Liu, Wei-Wei; Feng, Ying; Sun, Tao
The Chinese white wax scale insect, Ericerus pela, represents one of the most dramatic examples of sexual dimorphism in any insect species. In this study, we showed that although E. pela males display complete metamorphosis similar to holometabolous insects, the species forms the sister group to Acyrthosiphon pisum and cluster with hemimetabolous insects. The gene expression profile and Gene Ontology (GO) analyses revealed that the two sexes engaged in distinct developmental programs. In particular, female development appeared to prioritize the expression of genes related to cellular, metabolic, and developmental processes and to anatomical structure formation in nymphs. By contrast, male nymphal development is characterized by the significant down-regulation of genes involved in chitin, the respiratory system, and neurons. The wing and appendage morphogenesis, anatomical and tissue structure morphogenesis programs activated after male nymphal development. Transcription factors (that convey juvenile hormone or ecdysone signals, and Hox genes) and DNA methyltransferase were also differentially expressed between females and males. These results may indicate the roles that these differentially expressed genes play in regulating sexual dimorphism through orchestrating complex genetic programs. This differential expression was particularly prominent for processes linked to female development and wing development in males.
Zhao, Xin-Cheng; Ma, Bai-Wei; Berg, Bente G.; Xie, Gui-Ying; Tang, Qing-Bo; Guo, Xian-Ru
By using immunostaining and three-dimensional reconstruction, the anatomical organization of the antennal lobe glomeruli of the female cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera was investigated. Eighty-one glomeruli were identified, 15 of which were not previously discovered. The general anatomical organization of the AL of female is similar to that of male and all glomeruli were classified into four sub-groups, including the female-specific glomerular complex, posterior complex, labial-palp pit organ glomerulus, and ordinary glomeruli. A global-wide comparison on the complete glomerular map of female and male was performed and for the first time the quantitative difference in volume for each individual homologous glomerulus was analyzed. We found that the sexual dimorphism includes not only the sex-specific glomeruli but also some of the other glomeruli. The findings in the present study may provide a reference to examine the antennal-lobe organization more in detail and to identify new glomeruli in other moth species. In addition, the complete identification and global-wide comparison of the sexes provide an important basis for mapping the function of distinct glomeruli and for understanding neural mechanisms underlying sexually dimorphic olfactory behaviors. PMID:27725758
Contractor, Tanupriya; Kobayashi, Shinta; da Silva, Edaise; Clausen, Richard; Chan, Chang; Vosburgh, Evan; Tang, Laura H; Levine, Arnold J; Harris, Chris R
In a mouse model for neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas (PanNETs), liver metastasis occurred at a higher frequency in males. Male mice also had higher serum and intratumoral levels of the innate immunity protein complement C5. In mice that lost the ability to express complement C5, there was a lower frequency of metastasis, and males no longer had a higher frequency of metastasis than females. Treatment with PMX53, a small molecule antagonist of C5aR1/CD88, the receptor for complement C5a, also reduced metastasis. Mice lacking a functional gene for complement C5 had smaller primary tumors, which were less invasive and lacked the CD68+ macrophages that have previously been associated with metastasis in this type of tumor. This is the first report of a gene that causes sexual dimorphism of metastasis in a mouse model. In the human disease, which also shows sexual dimorphism for metastasis, clinically advanced tumors expressed more complement C5 than less advanced tumors.
Dearden, Laura; Balthasar, Nina
A wealth of animal and human studies demonstrate that early life environment significantly influences adult metabolic balance, however the etiology for offspring metabolic misprogramming remains incompletely understood. Here, we determine the effect of maternal diet per se on offspring sex-specific outcomes in metabolic health and hypothalamic transcriptome regulation in mice. Furthermore, to define developmental periods of maternal diet misprogramming aspects of offspring metabolic balance, we investigated offspring physiological and transcriptomic consequences of maternal high-fat/high-sugar diet feeding during pregnancy and/or lactation. We demonstrate that female offspring of high-fat/high-sugar diet-fed dams are particularly vulnerable to metabolic perturbation with body weight increases due to postnatal processes, whereas in utero effects of the diet ultimately lead to glucose homeostasis dysregulation. Furthermore, glucose- and maternal-diet sensitive gene expression modulation in the paraventricular hypothalamus is strikingly sexually dimorphic. In summary, we uncover female-specific, maternal diet-mediated in utero misprogramming of offspring glucose homeostasis and a striking sexual dimorphism in glucose- and maternal diet-sensitive paraventricular hypothalamus gene expression adjustment. Notably, female offspring metabolic vulnerability to maternal high-fat/high-sugar diet propagates a vicious cycle of obesity and type 2 diabetes in subsequent generations.
Cavanzón-Medrano, L; Pozo, C; Hénaut, Y; Legal, L; Salas-Suárez, N; Machkour-M'Rabet, S
The species Eunica tatila (Herrich-Schäffer) is present in the Neotropical region and comprises three subspecies. In Mexico, only one subspecies is reported: E. t. tatila (Herrich-Schäffer). The Yucatan Peninsula, in southeastern Mexico, is located in a transitional geographical position, between southern Florida, the West Indies and Central America. It is part of a transitional region, important for the dispersion of insects from southern Florida via Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula. Considering the possibility of the overlapping and delimitation of described subspecies, we sampled different populations in the Yucatan Peninsula to possibly assign a subspecies name and evaluate the magnitude of sexual dimorphism. We collected 591 individuals (♀284, ♂307) in conserved areas. The study of male genitalia led to the identification of Eunica tatila tatilista (Kaye) as a subspecies; however, hypandrium structure and wing pattern analysis suggest a mix of E. t. tatila and E. t. tatilista characteristics. The analysis of sexual dimorphism provided evidence of more complex wing morphs for females, with 12 patterns instead of four as previously described. Our results demonstrate the complexity of characterizing E. tatila and suggest that the Yucatan Peninsula is a transitional zone for subspecies of some butterflies.
Topper, Viktoria Y.; Walker, Deena M.; Gore, Andrea C.
This study examined developmental changes and sexual dimorphisms in hypothalamic microRNAs, and whether gestational exposures to environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) altered their expression patterns. Pregnant rat dams were treated on gestational days 16 and 18 with vehicle, estradiol benzoate, or a mixture of polychlorinated biphenyls. Male and female offspring were euthanized on postnatal days (P) 15, 30, 45, or 90, and microRNA and mRNA targets were quantified in the medial preoptic nucleus (MPN) and ventromedial nucleus (VMN) of the hypothalamus. MicroRNAs showed robust developmental changes in both regions, and were sexually dimorphic in the MPN, but not VMN. Importantly, microRNAs in females were up-regulated by EDCs at P30, and down-regulated in males at P90. Few changes in mRNAs were found. Thus, hypothalamic microRNAs are sensitive to prenatal EDC treatment in a sex-, developmental age-, and brain region-specific manner. PMID:26190835
Yang, Pu; Chen, Xiao-Ming; Liu, Wei-Wei; Feng, Ying; Sun, Tao
The Chinese white wax scale insect, Ericerus pela, represents one of the most dramatic examples of sexual dimorphism in any insect species. In this study, we showed that although E. pela males display complete metamorphosis similar to holometabolous insects, the species forms the sister group to Acyrthosiphon pisum and cluster with hemimetabolous insects. The gene expression profile and Gene Ontology (GO) analyses revealed that the two sexes engaged in distinct developmental programs. In particular, female development appeared to prioritize the expression of genes related to cellular, metabolic, and developmental processes and to anatomical structure formation in nymphs. By contrast, male nymphal development is characterized by the significant down-regulation of genes involved in chitin, the respiratory system, and neurons. The wing and appendage morphogenesis, anatomical and tissue structure morphogenesis programs activated after male nymphal development. Transcription factors (that convey juvenile hormone or ecdysone signals, and Hox genes) and DNA methyltransferase were also differentially expressed between females and males. These results may indicate the roles that these differentially expressed genes play in regulating sexual dimorphism through orchestrating complex genetic programs. This differential expression was particularly prominent for processes linked to female development and wing development in males. PMID:25634031
Nowak-Szczepanska, Natalia; Koziel, Slawomir
There are numerous studies concerning sexual dimorphism in body proportions, but only a few have investigated growth in the relative length of particular segments of the upper and lower limbs during adolescence. The aim of the study is an assessment of sex differences of longitudinal growth in the relative length of the forearm and knee height among adolescents. Sample involved 121 boys and 111 girls, participants of the Wroclaw Growth Study, examined annually between 8 and 18 years of age. Sexual dimorphism in six ratios: forearm length and knee height relatively to: trunk, height, and limb length were analyzed using a two-way analysis of variance with repeated measurements. The sex and age relative to an estimate of maturity timing (3 years before, and after age class at peak height velocity [PHV]) were independent variables. All of the ratios showed significant sex differences in interaction with age relative to age at PHV. The relative length of the forearm, in boys, did not change significantly with the years relative to age at PHV, whereas in girls, was the lowest in the two first age classes and afterward significantly increased just 1 year before and during the adolescent growth spurt, remaining unchanged in further age classes. For relative knee height no clear pattern for sex differences was noticed. It is proposed that relatively longer forearms, particularly in relation to the trunk in girls, could have evolved as an adaptation to more efficient infant carrying and protection during breastfeeding.
Jalilian-Tehrani, M. H.; Karakiulakis, G.; Le Blond, C. B.; Powell, R.; Thomas, P. J.
1 High affinity binding of [3H]-dopamine and [3H]-5-hydroxytryptamine ([3H]-5-HT) was measured in membrane fractions prepared from cerebral cortex, amygdala, hypothalamus, thalamus and brain stem of rats of either sex and of rats which had been either neonatally castrated or androgenized. 2 Binding was measured in rats of 8, 20 and 30 days old as well as in adults. 3 [3H]-dopamine bound with approximately 30 nM affinity ahd [3H]-5-HT with approximately 10 nM affinity to all areas of the brain tested. The relative inhibitory effects of haloperidol, apomorphine, cis-flupenthixol, unlabelled dopamine, noradrenaline, spiroperone, (+)-butaclamol, fluphenazine, pimozide and 5-HT on [3H]-dopamine binding in the cerebral cortex was consistent with receptor status for the binding components there as were the relative inhibitory effects of methysergide, dopamine, fluoxetine and ouabain on [3H]-5-HT binding in the fore brain. 4 Neither [3H]-dopamine nor [3H]-5-HT binding varied with the state of the sexual cycle in females. 5 There were no sexual differences in [3H]-5-HT binding in any of the brain areas tested nor was it affected by neonatal androgenization or neonatal castration. 6 [3H]-dopamine binding was greater in the cerebral cortex and amygdala of male than of female rats. These differences could be mimicked artificially by neonatal castration of males (female type development) or neonatal androgenization of females (male type development). Sexual dimorphism did not become overt until 20 days of age and did not extend to hypothalamus, thalamus or brain stem. 7 It is concluded that neonatal sex differences in exposure to steroid hormones has permanent effects on the number of dopamine binding sites in the cerebral cortex and is suggested that this sexual dimorphism extends to the amygdala. PMID:7074286
Bauer, Raymond T.; Okuno, Junji; Thiel, Martin
Abstract Sexual dimorphism in body size and weaponry was examined in two Cinetorhynchus shrimp species in order to formulate hypotheses on their sexual and mating systems. Collections of Cinetorhynchus sp. A and Cinetorhynchus sp. B were made in March, 2011 on Coconut Island, Hawaii, by hand dipnetting and minnow traps in coral rubble bottom in shallow water. Although there is overlap in male and female size, some males are much larger than females. The major (pereopod 1) chelipeds of males are significantly larger and longer than those of females. In these two Cinetorhynchus species, males and females have third maxillipeds of similar relative size, i.e., those of males are not hypertrophied and probably not used as spear-like weapons as in some other rhynchocinetid (Rhynchocinetes) species. Major chelae of males vary with size, changing from typical female-like chelae tipped with black corneous stout setae to subchelate or prehensile appendages in larger males. Puncture wounds or regenerating major chelipeds were observed in 26.1 % of males examined (N = 38 including both species). We interpret this evidence on sexual dimorphism as an indication of a temporary male mate guarding or “neighborhoods of dominance” mating system, in which larger dominant robustus males defend females and have greater mating success than smaller males. Fecundity of females increased with female size, as in most caridean species (500–800 in Cinetorhynchus sp. A; 300–3800 in Cinetorhynchus sp. B). Based on the sample examined, we conclude that these two species have a gonochoric sexual system (separate sexes) like most but not all other rhynchocinetid species in which the sexual system has been investigated. PMID:25561837
Peterson, Mark P.; Rosvall, Kimberly A.; Choi, Jeong-Hyeon; Ziegenfus, Charles; Tang, Haixu; Colbourne, John K.; Ketterson, Ellen D.
Despite sharing much of their genomes, males and females are often highly dimorphic, reflecting at least in part the resolution of sexual conflict in response to sexually antagonistic selection. Sexual dimorphism arises owing to sex differences in gene expression, and steroid hormones are often invoked as a proximate cause of sexual dimorphism. Experimental elevation of androgens can modify behavior, physiology, and gene expression, but knowledge of the role of hormones remains incomplete, including how the sexes differ in gene expression in response to hormones. We addressed these questions in a bird species with a long history of behavioral endocrinological and ecological study, the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis), using a custom microarray. Focusing on two brain regions involved in sexually dimorphic behavior and regulation of hormone secretion, we identified 651 genes that differed in expression by sex in medial amygdala and 611 in hypothalamus. Additionally, we treated individuals of each sex with testosterone implants and identified many genes that may be related to previously identified phenotypic effects of testosterone treatment. Some of these genes relate to previously identified effects of testosterone-treatment and suggest that the multiple effects of testosterone may be mediated by modifying the expression of a small number of genes. Notably, testosterone-treatment tended to alter expression of different genes in each sex: only 4 of the 527 genes identified as significant in one sex or the other were significantly differentially expressed in both sexes. Hormonally regulated gene expression is a key mechanism underlying sexual dimorphism, and our study identifies specific genes that may mediate some of these processes. PMID:23613935
Semaan, Sheila J.; Dhamija, Sangeeta; Kim, Joshua; Ku, Eric C.
The Kiss1 gene, which encodes kisspeptin and is critical for reproduction, is sexually differentiated in the hypothalamic anteroventral periventricular (AVPV)/rostral periventricular (PeN) nuclei. Specifically, female rodents have higher AVPV/PeN Kiss1 expression than males, but how this Kiss1 sex difference is induced in early development is poorly understood. Here, we explored the contribution of epigenetic mechanisms to the establishment of the AVPV/PeN Kiss1 sex difference, focusing on histone deacetylation and DNA methylation. First, we utilized postnatal pharmacological blockade of histone deacetylation and analyzed Kiss1 expression in the AVPV/PeN. Postnatal disruption of histone deacetylase modestly increased AVPV Kiss1 cell number in both sexes but did not alter the Kiss1 sex difference. Next, we assessed whether the level of CpG methylation, which can influence transcription factor binding and gene expression, in the murine Kiss1 gene differs between males and females. We found significant sex differences in methylation at several CpG sites in the putative promoter and first intron of the Kiss1 gene in the AVPV/PeN, but not in the arcuate (which lacks adult Kiss1 sex differences), suggesting that differential methylation of the Kiss1 gene may influence sexually-dimorphic Kiss1 expression in the AVPV/PeN. Transgenic impairment of methyl CpG-binding protein-2 function did not eliminate the Kiss1 sex difference, indicating that other methylation factors are involved. Interestingly, CpG methylation in the AVPV/PeN was lower in males than females, suggesting that transcriptional repressors may contribute to the AVPV/PeN Kiss1 sex difference, a possibility supported by in silico identification of putative repressor binding sites near some of the sexually-dimorphic CpG. PMID:22374971
Armoskus, Chris; Mota, Thomas; Moreira, Debbie; Tsai, Houng-Wei
Objective Using gene expression microarrays and reverse transcription with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), we have recently identified several novel genes that are differentially expressed in the neonatal male versus female mouse cortex/hippocampus (Armoskus et al.). Since perinatal testosterone (T) secreted by the developing testes masculinizes cortical and hippocampal structures and the behaviors regulated by these brain regions, we hypothesized that sexually dimorphic expression of specific selected genes in these areas might be regulated by T during early development. Methods To test our hypothesis, we treated timed pregnant female mice daily with vehicle or testosterone propionate (TP) starting on embryonic day 16 until the day of birth. The cortex/hippocampus was collected from vehicle- and TP-treated, male and female neonatal pups. Total RNA was extracted from these brain tissues, followed by RT-qPCR to measure relative mRNA levels of seven sex chromosome genes and three autosomal genes that have previously showed sex differences. Results The effect of prenatal TP was confirmed as it stimulated Dhcr24 expression in the neonatal mouse cortex/hippocampus and increased the anogenital distance in females. We found a significant effect of sex, but not TP, on expression of three Y-linked (Ddx3y, Eif2s3y, and Kdm5d), four X-linked (Eif2s3x, Kdm6a, Mid1, and Xist), and one autosomal (Klk8) genes in the neonatal mouse cortex/hippocampus. Conclusion Although most of the selected genes are not directly regulated by prenatal T, their sexually dimorphic expression might play an important role in the control of sexually differentiated cognitive and social behaviors as well as in the etiology of sex-biased neurological disorders and mental illnesses. PMID:25411648
Davis, Sandra L; Dudle, Dana A; Nawrocki, Jenna R; Freestone, Leah M; Konieczny, Peter; Tobin, Michael B; Britton, Michael M
The sequential separation of male and female function in flowers of dichogamous species allows for the evolution of differing morphologies that maximize fitness through seed siring and seed set. We examined staminate- and pistillate-phase flowers of protandrous Saponaria officinalis for dimorphism in floral traits and their effects on pollinator attraction and seed set. Pistillate-phase flowers have larger petals, greater mass, and are pinker in color, but due to a shape change, pistillate-phase flowers have smaller corolla diameters than staminate-phase flowers. There was no difference in nectar volume or sugar content one day after anthesis, and minimal evidence for UV nectar guide patterns in staminate- and pistillate-phase flowers. When presented with choice arrays, pollinators discriminated against pistillate-phase flowers based on their pink color. Finally, in an experimental garden, in 2012 there was a negative correlation between seed set of an open-pollinated, emasculated flower and pinkness (as measured by reflectance spectrometry) of a pistillate-phase flower on the same plant in plots covered with shade cloth. In 2013, clones of genotypes chosen from the 2012 plants that produced pinker flowers had lower seed set than those from genotypes with paler flowers. Lower seed set of pink genotypes was found in open-pollinated and hand-pollinated flowers, indicating the lower seed set might be due to other differences between pink and pale genotypes in addition to pollinator discrimination against pink flowers. In conclusion, staminate- and pistillate-phase flowers of S. officinalis are dimorphic in shape and color. Pollinators discriminate among flowers based on these differences, and individuals whose pistillate-phase flowers are most different in color from their staminate-phase flowers make fewer seeds. We suggest morphological studies of the two sex phases in dichogamous, hermaphroditic species can contribute to understanding the evolution of sexual
Koufos, George D; de Bonis, Louis; Kugiumtzis, Dimitris
New hominoid teeth from the late Miocene locality Ravin de la Pluie (RPl) of the Axios Valley (Macedonia, Greece) are studied in this article. Their morphology, dimensions and proportions are similar to the hominoid Ouranopithecus macedoniensis, allowing their attribution to this taxon. The studied material provides some new morphological characters for the female P3 (small asymmetry, small mesiobuccal crown projection, paracone higher than protocone) and the lower canine (mesial groove: large in the male and small in the female, distobuccal fovea: large in the female and small in the male). The new material enriches the collection of O. macedoniensis. The estimated degree of sexual dimorphism of the RPl O. macedoniensis, calculated by the multivariate size dimorphism method, is compared with those of extant hominoids (Gorilla, Pan, Pongo) and of the late Miocene Lufengpithecus lufengensis from China, which is considered as more dimorphic than any living hominoid. The results suggest that Ouranopithecus multivariate size dimorphism for the premolar, molar and post-canine row is similar to those of Pongo and Lufengpithecus, slightly higher than that of Gorilla and clearly higher than that of Pan. Therefore, O. macedoniensis is apparently one of the most sexually dimorphic hominoids and the RPl assemblage is monospecific.
Tsuneoka, Yousuke; Tsukahara, Shinji; Yoshida, Sachine; Takase, Kenkichi; Oda, Satoko; Kuroda, Masaru; Funato, Hiromasa
The brain shows various sex differences in its structures. Various mammalian species exhibit sex differences in the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area (SDN-POA) and parts of the extended amygdala such as the principal nucleus of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNSTpr) and posterodorsal part of the medial amygdala (MePD). The SDN-POA and BNSTpr are male-biased sexually dimorphic nuclei, and characterized by the expression of calbindin D-28K (calbindin 1). However, calbindin-immunoreactive cells are not restricted to the SDN-POA, but widely distributed outside of the SDN-POA. To find genes that are more specific to sexually dimorphic nuclei, we selected candidate genes by searching the Allen brain atlas and examined the detailed expressions of the candidate genes using in situ hybridization. We found that the strong expression of monooxygenase DBH-like 1 (Moxd1) was restricted to the SDN-POA, BNSTpr and MePD. The numbers of Moxd1-positive cells in the SDN-POA, BNSTpr and MePD in male mice were larger than those in female mice. Most of the Moxd1-positive cells in the SDN-POA and BNSTpr expressed calbindin. Neonatal castration of male mice reduced the number of Moxd1-positive cells in the SDN-POA, whereas gonadectomy in adulthood did not change the expression of the Moxd1 gene in the SDN-POA in both sexes. These results suggest that the Moxd1 gene is a suitable marker for sexual dimorphic nuclei in the POA, BNST and amygdala, which enables us to manipulate sexually dimorphic neurons to examine their roles in sex-biased physiology and behaviors.
Barney, Megan L; Patil, Jawahar G; Gunasekera, Rasanthi M; Carter, Chris G
Cytochrome P450 aromatase (CYP19) is a key enzyme in the steroidogenic pathway that catalyses the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, and therefore is thought to influence gonadal sex differentiation. In an effort to understand the role of this enzyme in ovarian differentiation, we isolated cDNA encoding the two distinct isoforms, ovarian and brain (termed cyp19a and cyp19b, respectively) of adult common carp, Cyprinus carpio. The cloned cDNA for cyp19a had an open reading frame (ORF) of 518 amino acid residues, in contrast to cyp19b with an ORF of 511 amino acids. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis showed that these CYP19 isoforms were orthologous with previously described cyp19a and cyp19b from other teleosts. Quantitative real-time PCR indicated that both isoforms are expressed in adult ovary and brain, with predominant expression of cyp19a in the ovary and cyp19b in the brain. The major aromatase expressing tissue was found to be the brain, with greatest cyp19b expression in the anterior quarter (telencephalon) in both sexes. The gonad showed sexually dimorphic expression of both genes and dimorphic expression of cyp19a was observed in the cerebellum and the liver. Ontogenic expression showed that only the ovarian aromatase transcript is inherited maternally, with lower expression observed through early larval development under warmer rearing conditions. The differential and overlapping expression suggests these two aromatase genes have different roles in reproductive physiology.
Takai, Masanaru; Nishimura, Takeshi; Shigehara, Nobuo; Setoguchi, Takeshi
The owl monkey, Aotus, is the only modern nocturnal anthropoid with monogamous social structure. It has been demonstrated by the fossil species, Aotus dindensis, discovered from La Venta, Colombia, that the Aotus lineage had emerged as early as the middle Miocene (12-15 Ma). The type specimen of A. dindensis, which was discovered in 1986, preserves extremely large orbits, indicating a nocturnal habit. However, a few anatomical traits in living Aotus, such as the lack of a tapetum lucidum, indicates that nocturnality is a secondary adaptation from diurnal ancestry in this genus. Here we report new fossil specimens of A. dindensis from La Venta. The specimens include maxillary teeth and a mandibular fragment preserving lower molars. The detailed analysis of the specimen suggests that A. dindensis exhibits strong sexual dimorphism in the maxillary canine and premolars, which is traditionally associated with intense intermale competition for mates and/or food resources in non-monogamous, diurnal societies. As a result, the new fossil materials of A. dindensis demonstrate the first osteological evidence for the diurnal ancestry of the night monkey, Aotus. Moreover, the coexistence of large orbits and canine dimorphism suggests the presence of mosaic evolution in the craniodental characters of the Aotus lineage.
Saitta, Evan Thomas
Conclusive evidence for sexual dimorphism in non-avian dinosaurs has been elusive. Here it is shown that dimorphism in the shape of the dermal plates of Stegosaurus mjosi (Upper Jurassic, western USA) does not result from non-sex-related individual, interspecific, or ontogenetic variation and is most likely a sexually dimorphic feature. One morph possessed wide, oval plates 45% larger in surface area than the tall, narrow plates of the other morph. Intermediate morphologies are lacking as principal component analysis supports marked size- and shape-based dimorphism. In contrast, many non-sex-related individual variations are expected to show intermediate morphologies. Taphonomy of a new quarry in Montana (JRDI 5ES Quarry) shows that at least five individuals were buried in a single horizon and were not brought together by water or scavenger transportation. This new site demonstrates co-existence, and possibly suggests sociality, between two morphs that only show dimorphism in their plates. Without evidence for niche partitioning, it is unlikely that the two morphs represent different species. Histology of the new specimens in combination with studies on previous specimens indicates that both morphs occur in fully-grown individuals. Therefore, the dimorphism is not a result of ontogenetic change. Furthermore, the two morphs of plates do not simply come from different positions on the back of a single individual. Plates from all positions on the body can be classified as one of the two morphs, and previously discovered, isolated specimens possess only one morph of plates. Based on the seemingly display-oriented morphology of plates, female mate choice was likely the driving evolutionary mechanism rather than male-male competition. Dinosaur ornamentation possibly served similar functions to the ornamentation of modern species. Comparisons to ornamentation involved in sexual selection of extant species, such as the horns of bovids, may be appropriate in predicting the
Saitta, Evan Thomas
Conclusive evidence for sexual dimorphism in non-avian dinosaurs has been elusive. Here it is shown that dimorphism in the shape of the dermal plates of Stegosaurus mjosi (Upper Jurassic, western USA) does not result from non-sex-related individual, interspecific, or ontogenetic variation and is most likely a sexually dimorphic feature. One morph possessed wide, oval plates 45% larger in surface area than the tall, narrow plates of the other morph. Intermediate morphologies are lacking as principal component analysis supports marked size- and shape-based dimorphism. In contrast, many non-sex-related individual variations are expected to show intermediate morphologies. Taphonomy of a new quarry in Montana (JRDI 5ES Quarry) shows that at least five individuals were buried in a single horizon and were not brought together by water or scavenger transportation. This new site demonstrates co-existence, and possibly suggests sociality, between two morphs that only show dimorphism in their plates. Without evidence for niche partitioning, it is unlikely that the two morphs represent different species. Histology of the new specimens in combination with studies on previous specimens indicates that both morphs occur in fully-grown individuals. Therefore, the dimorphism is not a result of ontogenetic change. Furthermore, the two morphs of plates do not simply come from different positions on the back of a single individual. Plates from all positions on the body can be classified as one of the two morphs, and previously discovered, isolated specimens possess only one morph of plates. Based on the seemingly display-oriented morphology of plates, female mate choice was likely the driving evolutionary mechanism rather than male-male competition. Dinosaur ornamentation possibly served similar functions to the ornamentation of modern species. Comparisons to ornamentation involved in sexual selection of extant species, such as the horns of bovids, may be appropriate in predicting the
Fernández-Montraveta, C; Moya-Laraño, J
Sex-specific plasticity in body size has been recently proposed to cause intraspecific patterns of variation in sexual size dimorphism (SSD). We reared juvenile male and female Mediterranean tarantulas (Lycosa tarantula) under two feeding regimes and monitored their growth until maturation. Selection gradients calculated across studies show how maturation size is under net stabilizing selection in females and under directional selection in males. This pattern was used to predict that body size should be more canalized in females than in males. As expected, feeding affected male but not female maturation size. The sex-specific response of maturation size was related to a dramatic divergence between subadult male and female growth pathways. These results demonstrate the existence of sex-specific canalization and resource allocation to maturation size in this species, which causes variation in SSD depending on developmental conditions consistent with the differential-plasticity hypothesis explaining Rensch's Rule.
Kranioti, Elena F; Michalodimitrakis, Manolis
Sex determination is the first essential step for positive identification when a decomposed body is recovered. Taking into consideration the population aspect of sexual dimorphism of the skeleton, the present study aimed to create a sex identification technique using osteometric standards, derived from a contemporary Cretan population. A total of 168 left humeri were measured according to standard osteometric techniques. The differences between the means in males and females were significant (p < 0.0005). About 92.3% of cases were correctly classified when all measurements were applied jointly. Stepwise procedure produced an accuracy rate of 92.9%. The most effective single dimension was vertical head diameter (89.9%). The current study provides standards for a population that has not been represented so far in the existing databases. It demonstrates that the humerus is an effective bone for the estimation of sex because even in a fragmentary state it can give high classification accuracy.
Stillwell, R. Craig; Blanckenhorn, Wolf U.; Teder, Tiit; Davidowitz, Goggy; Fox, Charles W.
Males and females of nearly all animals differ in their body size, a phenomenon called sexual size dimorphism (SSD). The degree and direction of SSD vary considerably among taxa, including among populations within species. A considerable amount of this variation is due to sex differences in body size plasticity. We examine how variation in these sex differences is generated by exploring sex differences in plasticity in growth rate and development time and the physiological regulation of these differences (e.g., sex differences in regulation by the endocrine system). We explore adaptive hypotheses proposed to explain sex differences in plasticity, including those that predict that plasticity will be lowest for traits under strong selection (adaptive canalization) or greatest for traits under strong directional selection (condition dependence), but few studies have tested these hypotheses. Studies that combine proximate and ultimate mechanisms offer great promise for understanding variation in SSD and sex differences in body size plasticity in insects. PMID:19728836
Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Gibbons, J. Whitfield; Agha, Mickey
The attainment of sexual maturity has been shown to affect measures of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) and adult sex ratios in several groups of vertebrates. Using data for turtles, we tested the model that sex ratios are expected to be male-biased when females are larger than males and female-biased when males are larger than females because of the relationship of each with the attainment of maturity. Our model is based on the premise that the earlier-maturing sex remains smaller, on average throughout life, and predominates numerically unless the sexes are strongly affected by differential mortality, differential emigration, and immigration, or biased primary sex ratios. Based on data for 24 species in seven families, SSD and sex ratios were significantly negatively correlated for most analyses, even after the effect of phylogenetic bias was removed. The analyses provide support for the model that SSD and adult sex ratios are correlated in turtles as a result of simultaneous correlation of each with sexual differences in attainment of maturity (bimaturism). Environmental sex determination provides a possible mechanism for the phenomenon in turtles and some other organisms.
Goyal, Ravi; Van-Wickle, Jonathan; Goyal, Dipali; Longo, Lawrence D
Elevated blood pressure is an important global health problem, and in-utero under-nutrition may be an important factor in the pathogenesis of hypertension. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that antenatal maternal low protein diet (MLPD) leads to sexually dimorphic developmental programming of the components of the pulmonary renin-angiotensin system. This may be important in the antenatal MLPD-associated development of hypertension. In pregnant mice, we administered normal (control) and isocaloric 50% protein restricted diet, commencing one week before mating and continuing until delivery of the pups. From the 18th to 24th week postnatal, we measured blood pressure in the offspring by use of a non-invasive tail-cuff method. In the same mice, we examined the mRNA and protein expression of the key components of the pulmonary renin-angiotensin system. Also, we examined microRNA complementary to angiotensin converting enzymes (ACE) 2 in the offspring lungs. Our results demonstrate that as a consequence of antenatal MLPD: 1) pup birthweight was significantly reduced in both sexes. 2) female offspring developed hypertension, but males did not. 3) In female offspring, ACE-2 protein expression was significantly reduced without any change in the mRNA levels. 4) miRNA 429, which has a binding site on ACE-2 - 3' UTR was significantly upregulated in the female antenatal MLPD offspring. 5) In males, ACE-2 mRNA and protein expression were unaltered. We conclude that in the mouse, antenatal MLPD-induced reduction of ACE-2 in the female offspring lung may be an important mechanisms in sexually dimorphic programming of hypertension.
Flynn, Katherine M.; Miller, Shelly A.; Sower, Stacia A.; Schreibman, Martin P.
The N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptor (NMDAR) is found in hypothalamic nuclei involved in the regulation of reproduction in several species of mammals and fishes. NMDAR is believed to affect reproductive development and function by regulating gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH)-producing cells. These pathways are likely to be sexually dimorphic, as are several other neurotransmitter systems involved in reproductive function. In this report, male and female platyfish received intraperitoneal injections of 0, 5, 10, 20, 40 or 60 microg/g body wt. of the non-competitive NMDAR antagonist MK-801. Injections began at 6 weeks of age and continued thrice weekly until control animals reached puberty, as evidenced by anal fin maturation. The percent of pubescent animals was significantly affected by sex and treatment, with fewer MK-801-injected females in puberty than control females at each dose (P<0.001), and fewer pubescent females than males at 10, 20 and 40 microg/g (P<0.05). There were no MK-801-related effects in males. Histological analyses revealed typical immature gonads and pituitary glands in treated females, and typical mature morphology in control females and all males. Immunocytochemical distribution of the R1 subunit of the NMDAR within the brain-pituitary-gonad (BPG) axis was limited to GnRH-containing brain cells in all animals; however, NMDAR1 distribution was in an immature pattern in treated females and a mature pattern in all others. Neural concentrations of GnRH were unaffected by MK-801 treatment in both sexes. These data suggest that in the platyfish, NMDAR influence on reproductive development is sexually dimorphic and occurs at, or above, the level of GnRH-containing cells of the BPG axis.
Oyeyemi, Bolaji Fatai; Iyiola, Oluyinka Ajibola; Oyeyemi, Adekunle Wahab; Oricha, Kokori Audu; Anifowoshe, Abass Toba; Alamukii, Nanfizat Abiket
Background: Ratio of second and fourth digit (2D:4D) is known to be germane in analyzing utero concentrations of testosterone and estrogen in human and other vertebrates. 2D:4D had been linked to several traits like athletes’ abilities, reproductive success, risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a clustering of several cardiovascular risk factors. Waist circumference (WC), neck circumference (NC), body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) are important in measuring MetS. This study investigated sexual dimorphism in 2D:4D and its relationship with MetS indices and CVD factors among adult residing in Ilorin, North central Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional, stratified multi-staged sampling study. Participants residing in different neighborhoods were visited at home where finger lengths and anthropometric traits were measured. Participants include 801 healthy adults aged 18-44 years (56% male) who had been living in the area for more than 3 years. Results: Males showed significantly lower 2D:4D than females (unpaired t-test; t  = 11.49, P = 0.001). A significant positive correlation was observed in MetS markers and 2D:4D. WHtR showed the highest correlation with 2D:4D in male (r = 0.461, P ≤ 0.001) and female (r = 0.408, P ≤ 0.001) when compared with BMI, NC and WC. All positive correlations recorded in this study were high in male and right hand. Conclusion: Our results showed that 2D:4D is sexual dimorphic and right hand 2D:4D as a predictor of MetS is better. We concluded that 2D:4D is a proxy for MetS and CVD risk factors in Ilorin. PMID:24949031
Serrano-Saiz, Esther; Oren-Suissa, Meital; Bayer, Emily A; Hobert, Oliver
Functional and anatomical sexual dimorphisms in the brain are either the result of cells that are generated only in one sex or a manifestation of sex-specific differentiation of neurons present in both sexes. The PHC neuron pair of the nematode C. elegans differentiates in a strikingly sex-specific manner. In hermaphrodites the PHC neurons display a canonical pattern of synaptic connectivity similar to that of other sensory neurons, but in males PHC differentiates into a densely connected hub sensory neuron/interneuron, integrating a large number of male-specific synaptic inputs and conveying them to both male-specific and sex-shared circuitry. We show that the differentiation into such a hub neuron involves the sex-specific scaling of several components of the synaptic vesicle machinery, including the vesicular glutamate transporter eat-4/VGLUT, induction of neuropeptide expression, changes in axonal projection morphology, and a switch in neuronal function. We demonstrate that these molecular and anatomical remodeling events are controlled cell autonomously by the phylogenetically conserved Doublesex homolog dmd-3, which is both required and sufficient for sex-specific PHC differentiation. Cellular specificity of dmd-3 action is ensured by its collaboration with non-sex-specific terminal selector-type transcription factors, whereas the sex specificity of dmd-3 action is ensured by the hermaphrodite-specific transcriptional master regulator of hermaphroditic cell identity tra-1, which represses the transcription of dmd-3 in hermaphrodite PHC. Taken together, our studies provide mechanistic insights into how neurons are specified in a sexually dimorphic manner.
Sawada, Kazuhiko; Horiuchi-Hirose, Miwa; Saito, Shigeyoshi; Aoki, Ichio
The present study quantitatively assessed sexual dimorphism of cortical convolution and sulcal morphology in young adult ferrets by MRI-based sulcal surface morphometry. Ex vivo T1-weighted (short TR/TE) MRI of the ferret cerebrum was acquired with high spatial resolution at 7-tesla. The degree of cortical convolution, evaluated quantitatively based on 3D MRI data by sulcation index (SI), was significantly greater in males (0.553 ± 0.036) than in females (0.502 ± 0.043) (p < 0.001). The rostrocaudal distribution of the cortical convolution revealed a greater convolution in the frontal region of the cortex in males than in females and by a posterior extension of the convolution in the temporo-parieto-occipital region of males. Although the cerebral width in the frontal region was not different between sexes, the rhinal fissure and rostral region of splenial sulcus were more infolded in males than in females. On the contrary, the cerebral width was greater in males in the temporo-parieto-occipital region, and male-prominent posterior extension of infolding was noted in the lateral sulcus, caudal suprasylvian sulcus, pesudosylvian sulcus, hippocampal sulcus, and the caudal region of splenial sulcus. Notably, the caudal descending region of lateral sulcus was clearly infolded in males, but obscured in females. The present results suggest a region-related sexual dimorphism of the sulcal infolding, which is reflected by local cortical expansion in the ferret cerebrum. In particular, male-favored sulcal infolding with expansion of the temporo-parieto-occipital neocortex may be relevant to the human cerebral cortex regarding visuo-spatial and emotion processing, which are known to differ between sexes. The present results will provide fundamental information assessing sex-related changes in the regional sulcal infolding, when ferrets with experimentally-induced gyrification abnormality will be used as models for male-prevalent or male-earlier-onset neurodevelopmental
Gomes, Camilla M; Kohlsdorf, Tiana
The ratio between lengths of digit II and IV (digit ratio 2D:4D) is a morphological feature that likely affects tetrapod locomotor performances in different microhabitats. Modifications of this trait may be triggered by changes in steroids concentrations during embryo development, which might reflect direct selection acting on digit ratio or be solely a consequence of hormonal differences related for example to body size. Here we apply both conventional and phylogenetic analyses on morphological data from 25 lizard species of 3 families of Iguania (Iguanidae, Polychrotidae, and Tropiduridae), in order to verify whether selective pressures related to locomotion in different microhabitats could override the prenatal developmental cues imposed on the digit ratio 2D:4D by differences in body size between males and females. Data suggest that this trait evolved in association with ecological divergence in the species studied, despite the clear effect of body size on the digit ratio 2D:4D. The ecological associations of size-corrected digit ratios were restricted to one sex, and females of species that often use perches exhibited small digit ratios in the front limbs, which translated into larger sexual dimorphism indexes of arboreal species. The results, together with the subsequent discussion, provide outlines for further investigation about possible developmental mechanisms related to the evolution of adaptive changes in digit lengths that may have occurred during the evolution of ecological divergence in squamates.
Gomes, Camilla M.; Kohlsdorf, Tiana
The ratio between lengths of digit II and IV (digit ratio 2D:4D) is a morphological feature that likely affects tetrapod locomotor performances in different microhabitats. Modifications of this trait may be triggered by changes in steroids concentrations during embryo development, which might reflect direct selection acting on digit ratio or be solely a consequence of hormonal differences related for example to body size. Here we apply both conventional and phylogenetic analyses on morphological data from 25 lizard species of 3 families of Iguania (Iguanidae, Polychrotidae, and Tropiduridae), in order to verify whether selective pressures related to locomotion in different microhabitats could override the prenatal developmental cues imposed on the digit ratio 2D:4D by differences in body size between males and females. Data suggest that this trait evolved in association with ecological divergence in the species studied, despite the clear effect of body size on the digit ratio 2D:4D. The ecological associations of size-corrected digit ratios were restricted to one sex, and females of species that often use perches exhibited small digit ratios in the front limbs, which translated into larger sexual dimorphism indexes of arboreal species. The results, together with the subsequent discussion, provide outlines for further investigation about possible developmental mechanisms related to the evolution of adaptive changes in digit lengths that may have occurred during the evolution of ecological divergence in squamates. PMID:22162772
Benítez, Hugo A.; Bravi, Raffaella; Parra, Luis E.; Sanzana, Maria-Jose; Sepúlveda-Zúñiga, Einer
Bees and wasps could exhibit shape and size sexual dimorphism, and most of their morphological variation could depend on phenotypic responses due to environmental pressure during ontogenetic development. More complex measurement techniques related to size and shape rather than simply to mass and length should be required to analyze such a complex sexual dimorphism. In this study, differences related to wing shape and size of males and females of Ophion intricatus Brullé (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) were evaluated using geometric morphometrics. Right and left wings of specimens were used, and a photographic matrix was constructed in which 18 morphological landmarks based on shape and vein patterns of the wings were digitalized. A multivariate analysis of wing shape showed significant differences between sexes and sites. The geometric variation demonstrated that the points at the intersection of radial and cubital-anal veins might be key characters to differentiate between sexes. This study also showed the presence of two clearly different male morphotypes coexisting in the same study site. However, it should be noted that the results of this study showed that the variation in wing shape is an analytical character in the determination of sexual differences in the family Ichneumonidae. These differences raise the question of whether sexual dimorphism of wing shape may be modulated by natural selection. PMID:24766555
Benítez, Hugo A; Sanzana, Maria-José; Jerez, Viviane; Parra, Luis E; Hernández, Cristián E; Canales-Aguirre, Cristian B
Insects in many species vary greatly in the expression of secondary sexual traits, resulting in sexual dimorphism, which has been proposed to be a consequence of differences in sexual selection. In this study, we analyze the occurrence of sexual shape dimorphism and the correlation between geometric body size in males and females and sex ratio in the genus Ceroglossus (Coleoptera: Carabidae) using geometric morphometrics and randomization analysis. Our results show a positive relationship between the centroid size of males and females and sex ratio. However, we also observed a trend to maintain a "similar" body shape between sexes and species due to characteristics associated with sexual selection of the group in which the scarcity of outstanding morphological characters does not restrict reproduction capacity. The trend in sexual proportions was found to be near 1:1 for the eight species. We propose that the observed differences between sexes associated with the sex ratio are due to an energy cost caused by sexual selection; nevertheless, since proportions are similar for all the species, it is really not relevant to generate more conspicuous structures for a stronger male-male competence.
Marassi, Michelle P; Fortunato, Rodrigo S; da Silva, Alba C Matos; Pereira, Valmara S; Carvalho, Denise P; Rosenthal, Doris; da Costa, Vânia M Corrêa
Iodothyronine deiodinase activities are regulated by sex steroids; however, the mechanisms underlying the reported sexual dimorphism are poorly defined. In the present report, we aimed to investigate whether type 1 deiodinase (D1) sexual dimorphism exists early in sexual development by studying pre-pubertal male (Pm) and female (Pf) rats, as well as adult controls (C) and gonadectomized male and females rats. Adult male Wistar rats were studied 21 days after orchiectomy (Tex), and adult females were studied 21 days after ovariectomy (Ovx), and after estradiol benzoate (Eb) replacement. Serum total triiodothyronine (T3) was higher in pre-pubertal (P) rats than in the matching adults, with no difference between genders, although in adult males T3 was significantly lower than in females. There were no sex or age differences in serum total T4. Serum TSH in pre-pubertal (P) rats was within the adult female range, and both were significantly lower than in adult males. D1 activity in liver was greater in Pm than in Pf. In adult females, liver D1 activity was lower, while in adult males it was higher than in P rats. The same pattern of D1 activity was found in kidney. In thyroid and pituitary, D1 activity was similar in Pm, Pf, and adult females, which were all significantly lower than in the adult male. There were no differences in serum T3 and T4 between C and Tex males, but serum TSH was significantly decreased in Tex rats. Hepatic and renal D1 activities were lower in Tex than in C, but no changes were detected in thyroid and pituitary. In Ovx females, T3 was significantly lower than in the C group. Serum T4 was significantly decreased by estradiol replacement therapy in Ovx rats, in both doses used, whereas TSH was unchanged. Eb replacement increased liver and thyroid D1 activity, but in the kidney, only the highest estradiol dose promoted a significant D1 increase. In conclusion, in males, hepatic and renal D1 activity appears to be significantly influenced by
Leininger, Elizabeth C; Kitayama, Ken; Kelley, Darcy B
Phylogenetic studies can reveal patterns of evolutionary change, including the gain or loss of elaborate courtship traits in males. Male African clawed frogs generally produce complex and rapid courtship vocalizations, whereas female calls are simple and slow. In a few species, however, male vocalizations are also simple and slow, suggesting loss of male-typical traits. Here, we explore features of the male vocal organ that could contribute to loss in two species with simple, slow male calls. In Xenopus boumbaensis, laryngeal morphology is more robust in males than in females. Larynges are larger, have a more complex cartilaginous morphology and contain more muscle fibers. Laryngeal muscle fibers are exclusively fast-twitch in males but are both fast- and slow-twitch in females. The laryngeal electromyogram, a measure of neuromuscular synaptic strength, shows greater potentiation in males than in females. Male-specific physiological features are shared with X. laevis, as well as with a species of the sister clade, Silurana tropicalis, and thus are likely ancestral. In X. borealis, certain aspects of laryngeal morphology and physiology are sexually monomorphic rather than dimorphic. In both sexes, laryngeal muscle fibers are of mixed-twitch type, which limits the production of muscle contractions at rapid intervals. Muscle activity potentiation and discrete tension transients resemble female rather than male X. boumbaensis. The de-masculinization of these laryngeal features suggests an alteration in sensitivity to the gonadal hormones that are known to control the sexual differentiation of the larynx in other Xenopus and Silurana species.
Poissant, Jocelyn; Wilson, Alastair J; Coltman, David W
The independent evolution of the sexes may often be constrained if male and female homologous traits share a similar genetic architecture. Thus, cross-sex genetic covariance is assumed to play a key role in the evolution of sexual dimorphism (SD) with consequent impacts on sexual selection, population dynamics, and speciation processes. We compiled cross-sex genetic correlations (r(MF)) estimates from 114 sources to assess the extent to which the evolution of SD is typically constrained and test several specific hypotheses. First, we tested if r(MF) differed among trait types and especially between fitness components and other traits. We also tested the theoretical prediction of a negative relationship between r(MF) and SD based on the expectation that increases in SD should be facilitated by sex-specific genetic variance. We show that r(MF) is usually large and positive but that it is typically smaller for fitness components. This demonstrates that the evolution of SD is typically genetically constrained and that sex-specific selection coefficients may often be opposite in sign due to sub-optimal levels of SD. Most importantly, we confirm that sex-specific genetic variance is an important contributor to the evolution of SD by validating the prediction of a negative correlation between r(MF) and SD.
Hansen, Peter J; Dobbs, Kyle B; Denicol, Anna C; Siqueira, Luiz G B
The developmental program of the embryo displays a plasticity that can result in long-acting effects that extend into postnatal life. In mammals, adult phenotype can be altered by changes in the maternal environment during the preimplantation period. One characteristic of developmental programming during this time is that the change in adult phenotype is often different for female offspring than for male offspring. In this paper, we propose the hypothesis that sexual dimorphism in preimplantation programming is mediated, at least in part, by sex-specific responses of embryos to maternal regulatory molecules whose secretion is dependent on the maternal environment. The strongest evidence for this idea comes from the study of colony-stimulating factor 2 (CSF2). Expression of CSF2 from the oviduct and endometrium is modified by environmental factors of the mother, in particular seminal plasma and obesity. Additionally, CSF2 alters several properties of the preimplantation embryo and has been shown to alleviate negative consequences of culture of mouse embryos on postnatal phenotype in a sex-dependent manner. In cattle, exposure of preimplantation bovine embryos to CSF2 causes sex-specific changes in gene expression, interferon-τ secretion and DNA methylation later in pregnancy (day 15 of gestation). It is likely that several embryokines can alter postnatal phenotype through actions directed towards the preimplantation embryo. Identification of these molecules and elucidation of the mechanisms by which sexually-disparate programming is established will lead to new insights into the control and manipulation of embryonic development.
Catz, Diana S.; Fischer, Leslie M.; Moschella, Maria C.; Tobias, Martha L.
Masculinization of the larynx in Xenopus laevis frogs is essential for the performance of male courtship song. During postmetamorphic (PM) development, the initially female-like phenotype of laryngeal muscle (slow and fast twitch fibers) is converted to the masculine form (entirely fast twitch) under the influence of androgenic steroids. To explore the molecular basis of androgen-directed masculinization, we have isolated cDNA clones encoding portions of a new Xenopus myosin heavy chain (MHC) gene. We have detected expression of this gene only in laryngeal muscle and specifically in males. All adult male laryngeal muscle fibers express the laryngeal myosin (LM). Adult female laryngeal muscle expresses LM only in some fibers. Expression of LM during PM development was examined using Northern blots and in situ hybridization. Males express higher levels of LM than females throughout PM development and attain adult levels by PM3. In females, LM expression peaks transiently at PM2. Treatment of juvenile female frogs with the androgen dihydrotestosterone masculinizes LM expression. Thus, LM appears to be a male-specific, testosterone-regulated MHC isoform in Xenopus laevis. The LM gene will permit analysis of androgen-directed sexual differentiation in this highly sexually dimorphic tissue. PMID:1426643
Tigreros, N; Lewis, S M
Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is a conspicuous yet poorly understood pattern across many organisms. Although artificial selection is an important tool for studying the evolution of SSD, previous studies have applied selection to only a single sex or to both sexes in the same direction. In nature, however, SSD likely arises through sex-specific selection on body size. Here, we use Tribolium castaneum flour beetles to investigate the evolution of SSD by subjecting males and females to sexually antagonistic selection on body size (sexes selected in opposite directions). Additionally, we examined correlated responses to body size selection in larval growth rates and development time. After seven generations, SSD remained unchanged in all selected lines; this observed lack of response to short-term selection may be attributed to evolutionary constraints arising from between-sex body size correlations. Developmental traits showed complex correlated responses under different selection treatments. These results suggest that sex-specific larval development patterns may facilitate the evolution of SSD.
Fujimoto, Takafumi; Nishimura, Toshiya; Goto-Kazeto, Rie; Kawakami, Yutaka; Yamaha, Etsuro; Arai, Katsutoshi
Germ cell-deficient fish usually develop as phenotypic males. Thus, the presence of germ cells is generally considered to be essential for female gonadal differentiation or the maintenance of ovarian structure. However, little is known of the role of germ ce