Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High-fitness Males Produce Low-fitness Daughters, And High-fitness Mothers Produce Low-fitness Sons

Date:
October 24, 2006
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Hemiclonal analysis of Drosophila melanogaster reveals that high-fitness males produce low-fitness daughters and high-fitness mothers produce low-fitness sons, with implications for models of sexual selection.

Males evolved extravagant plumage, towering antlers, and frenetic mating displays, Darwin proposed, because that's what females like. Selection on secondary sexual characteristics often results in sexually dimorphic traits being tailored toward the specific reproductive needs of each sex, and sexual dimorphism typically arises because selection operates in different directions on each gender--selecting for large males and compact females, for example--promoting sex-specific gene expression. But when selection acts on a shared trait and the sexes are genetically constrained from becoming dimorphic, "intralocus" sexual conflict can occur.

Related Articles


In a new study, Alison Pischedda and Adam Chippindale explore the potential costs of intralocus sexual conflict in the genetically tractable fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. By measuring the inheritance of fitness across generations, and across the genome, they show that sexual selection provides no advantage to the next generation. To the contrary, having a fit parent of the opposite sex leads to dramatically lower rates of reproductive success. Sexually antagonistic genes, it appears, may have far-reaching effects on patterns of fitness inheritance.

Using a recently developed genetic tool called hemiclonal analysis, researchers can screen the (nearly) entire genome for genetic variation within a population and for evidence of selection acting on that variation. Pischedda and Chippindale used hemiclonal analysis to generate high- and low-fitness parents, and selected three lines of the most and least fit mothers and fathers, based on egg production and number of offspring sired. High-fitness females laid 35% more eggs than low-fitness females; high-fitness males fathered 44% more offspring than their less-fit counterparts.

After crossing every possible combination of high- and low-fitness parental lines (yielding 36 crosses), the authors evaluated fitness effects on offspring to determine patterns of fitness inheritance, using reproductive success of sons and daughters as measures of their fitness. Overall, they found an inverted pattern of fitness inheritance: high maternal fitness was good for daughters but not sons, and sons born of high-fitness mothers had substantially fewer offspring than those with low-fitness mothers.

Similarly, daughters sired by high-fitness fathers laid fewer eggs than those with low-fitness fathers. Thus, females that choose successful mates, the authors explain, won't see indirect benefits through sons, and to make matters worse, will incur the cost of less-fit daughters. This sexually antagonistic pattern challenges sexual selection theory predictions that female costs of reproduction are offset by the indirect benefits of passing on good genes or generating sexy sons with high reproductive success.

Many genes shaping sexual characteristics are likely affected by the conditions that favor intralocus sexual conflict in sexually reproducing organisms, the authors argue, suggesting that the phenomenon may operate in far more organisms than the fruit fly, where it was first discovered.

And because sexually antagonistic genes compromise fitness by reducing fertility, the authors suggest, they may offer clues to a longstanding puzzle: how can genetic variation for a trait persist in a population in spite of strong selection in favor of one variant? Part of the answer may lie within the X chromosome: it may harbor sexually antagonistic genes that undermine offspring fitness of one sex, despite being selected for in the other sex.

For now, the assembled research suggests that sexually antagonistic genes are common and consequential in the genome and powerful enough to create a reversed inheritance of Darwinian fitness across the sexes. Simply seeking out the most attractive mate may have surprising implications for the offspring.

Citation: Pischedda A, Chippindale AK (2006) Intralocus sexual conflict diminishes the benefits of sexual selection. PLoS Biol 4(11): e356. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0040356.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "High-fitness Males Produce Low-fitness Daughters, And High-fitness Mothers Produce Low-fitness Sons." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061024010505.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2006, October 24). High-fitness Males Produce Low-fitness Daughters, And High-fitness Mothers Produce Low-fitness Sons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061024010505.htm
Public Library of Science. "High-fitness Males Produce Low-fitness Daughters, And High-fitness Mothers Produce Low-fitness Sons." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061024010505.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

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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