Sep 8, 2012

Experimental evolution of a novel sexually antagonistic allele

PLoS Genetics
Rebecca DeanStuart Wigby

Abstract

Evolutionary conflict permeates biological systems. In sexually reproducing organisms, sex-specific optima mean that the same allele can have sexually antagonistic expression, i.e. beneficial in one sex and detrimental in the other, a phenomenon known as intralocus sexual conflict. Intralocus sexual conflict is emerging as a potentially fundamental factor for the genetic architecture of fitness, with important consequences for evolutionary processes. However, no study to date has directly experimentally tested the evolutionary fate of a sexually antagonistic allele. Using genetic constructs to manipulate female fecundity and male mating success, we engineered a novel sexually antagonistic allele (SAA) in Drosophila melanogaster. The SAA is nearly twice as costly to females as it is beneficial to males, but the harmful effects to females are recessive and X-linked, and thus are rarely expressed when SAA occurs at low frequency. We experimentally show how the evolutionary dynamics of the novel SAA are qualitatively consistent with the predictions of population genetic models: SAA frequency decreases when common, but increases when rare, converging toward an equilibrium frequency of ∼8%. Furthermore, we show that persistence of th...Continue Reading

  • References37
  • Citations15

References

  • References37
  • Citations15

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Fertility
Reproduction
Cost Effectiveness
Sexual Behavior, Animal
Larva
X Chromosome
In Vitro Molecular Evolution
Malnutrition
Diptera
Chromosomes

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