May 31, 2013

Experimental evolution reveals trade-offs between mating and immunity

Biology Letters
Kathryn B McNamaraLeigh W Simmons

Abstract

Immune system maintenance and upregulation is costly. Sexual selection intensity, which increases male investment into reproductive traits, is expected to create trade-offs with immune function. We assayed phenoloxidase (PO) and lytic activity of individuals from populations of the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella, which had been evolving under different intensities of sexual selection. We found significant divergence among populations, with males from female-biased populations having lower PO activity than males from balanced sex ratio or male-biased populations. There was no divergence in anti-bacterial lytic activity. Our data suggest that it is the increased male mating demands in female-biased populations that trades-off against immunity, and not the increased investment in sperm transfer per mating that characterizes male-biased populations.

  • References14
  • Citations10

Mentioned in this Paper

Immune System
Hemolymph
Phenoloxidase B
Reproduction
Sperm Cell
Plodia interpunctella
Antheraea
Monophenol Monooxygenase
Phenoloxidase A
Entire Immune System

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