Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

War Between The Sexes Influences Evolution In Some Species, Say Scientists

Date:
April 7, 2006
Source:
University of California - Santa Barbara
Summary:
Competition and conflict between males and females start inside the egg in some species, say scientists. Birds, butterflies, and snakes have a genetic war between the sexes that influences the way they evolve, according to a new theory published in the April 7 issue of the journal Science.

Competition and conflict between males and females start inside the egg in some species, say scientists.

Related Articles


Birds, butterflies, and snakes have a genetic war between the sexes that influences the way they evolve, according to a new theory published in the April 7 issue of the journal Science.

"Genetic conflict is of great interest in evolutionary biology," explained first author Paige M. Miller. Miller is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology (EEMB) at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The recent publication of the chicken genome has sparked new interest in ZW species, explained William R. Rice, co-author and professor in the Department of EEMB at UC Santa Barbara.

Chickens serve as model organisms in many areas of research. Unlike mammals, the females are heterozygous; they have two different sex chromosomes, Z and W. In the human female, the sex chromosomes are XX; they are homozygous. Butterflies, birds and snakes are ZW species.

The authors explain that maternal-effect genes are those that are expressed in the mother, are packaged in the egg, and influence the development of offspring.

"We think that the maternal-effect genes are a new arena for conflict in ZW species," said Rice. "The mathematical models support this conclusion. 'Son killers' are predicted to accumulate on the W chromosome and 'daughter killers' to accumulate on the Z."

The scientists explain that the sexually antagonistic maternal-effect genes in ZW species lead to an evolutionary arms race.

They state that maternal-effect conflict is increased in ZW species (compared with XY species) because the W, unlike the Y in humans, is expressed in both sexes through the maternal transmission to the egg.

A precedent for another type of sexual conflict is seen in the genetic battle that occurs in the placenta of most mammals and in the endosperm of plants.

Paige M. Miller is supported by a National Science Foundation Minority Postdoctoral Fellowship.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Santa Barbara. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Santa Barbara. "War Between The Sexes Influences Evolution In Some Species, Say Scientists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060407094543.htm>.
University of California - Santa Barbara. (2006, April 7). War Between The Sexes Influences Evolution In Some Species, Say Scientists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060407094543.htm
University of California - Santa Barbara. "War Between The Sexes Influences Evolution In Some Species, Say Scientists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060407094543.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) You've probably seen some weird-looking dinosaurs, but have you ever seen one this weird? It's worth a look. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins