Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Information constraints and the precision of adaptation: Sex ratio manipulation in wasps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Author(s)

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Sex allocation theory offers excellent opportunities for studying the precision of adaptation. One of the best-supported areas in the field of sex allocation is Hamilton's theory of local mate competition, which predicts female-biased offspring sex ratios when populations are structured such that mating takes place locally before females disperse. As predicted by local mate competition theory, females of numerous species, especially parasitoid wasps, have been shown to lay a less female-biased sex ratio as the number of females simultaneously laying eggs on a patch increases. It has usually been assumed that this sex ratio adjustment comes through individuals adjusting their behavior directly in response to the presence of other females. Here we show that in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis, this shift in offspring sex ratios is primarily caused by the presence of eggs laid by other females and to a lesser extent by the presence of other females. We confirm that females are behaving as predicted by theory, but the way in which they do so is not as straightforward as is often assumed. Instead, even when there are multiple females on a patch, individuals still use the cues that are more commonly associated with sex ratio adjustment in response to sequential visits to a patch by females. This result provides a possible explanation for the observed variation in N. vitripennis sex ratios. More generally, it confirms the need to consider the mechanistic basis of a behavior to understand fully its adaptive value.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10363-10367
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume101
Issue number28
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2004

    Research areas

  • LOCAL MATE COMPETITION, HIERARCHICAL SELECTION THEORY, PARASITIC WASP, NASONIA-VITRIPENNIS, FIG WASPS, COMPARATIVE BIOLOGY, CLUTCH SIZE, EVOLUTION, HYMENOPTERA, ALLOCATION

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. A single pleiotropic locus influences the rate of hybridization between two sibling species of Lygaeus bugs

    Balfour, V., Black, D. & Shuker, D. M., Nov 2020, In : Ecology and Evolution. 10, 21, p. 12224-12232 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Genomics of sex allocation in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis

    Pannebakker, B. A., Cook, N., van den Heuvel, J., van de Zande, L. & Shuker, D. M., 20 Jul 2020, In : BMC Genomics. 21, 14 p., 499.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Mating failure shapes the patterns of sperm precedence in an insect

    Balfour, V. L., Black, D. & Shuker, D. M., 27 Jan 2020, In : Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 74, 14 p., 25.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Validating the demethylating effects of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine in insects requires a whole-genome approach (A reply to Ellers et al.)

    Cook, N., Parker, D. J., Tauber, E., Pannebakker, B. A. & Shuker, D. M., Sep 2019, In : American Naturalist. 194, 3

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Local mate competition modifies the costs of mating in a mostly monandrous parasitoid wasp

    Boulton, R. A., Cook, N., Greenway, E. V., Glaser, G. L., Green, J. & Shuker, D. M., 5 Apr 2019, In : Behavioral Ecology. 30, 2, p. 417-425 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Michael Martin Nevels (Guest editor)

    Jul 2016 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Oscar Eduardo Gaggiotti (Member of editorial board)

    1 Jan 2013 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  3. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Terry K Smith (Member of editorial board)

    2012 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  4. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Terry K Smith (Member of editorial board)

    2008 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  5. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Gareth Brian Miles (Reviewer)

    2006 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Related by journal

  1. A TDDFT investigation of the Photosystem II reaction center: Insights into the precursors to charge separation

    Kavanagh, M. A., Karlsson, J. K. G., Colburn, J. D., Barter, L. M. C. & Gould, I. R., 18 Aug 2020, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 117, 33, p. 19705-19712 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Acute social isolation alters neurogenomic state in songbird forebrain

    George, J., Bell, Z., Condliffe, D., Doher, K., Abaurrea, T., Spencer, K., Leitao, A., Gahr, M., Hurd, P. & Clayton, D. F., 22 Sep 2020, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 117, 38, p. 23311-23316

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. An evolutionary switch from sibling rivalry to sibling cooperation, caused by a sustained loss of parental care

    Rebar, D., Bailey, N. W., Jarrett, B. J. M. & Kilner, R. M., 4 Feb 2020, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 117, 5, p. 2544-2550 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Coastal heritage, global climate change, public engagement, and citizen science

    Dawson, T., Hambly, J., Kelley, A., Lees, W. & Miller, S., 14 Apr 2020, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 117, 15, p. 8280-8286

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Electronically driven spin-reorientation transition of the correlated polar metal Ca3Ru2O7

    Markovic, I., Watson, M. D., Clark, O. J., Mazzola, F., Abarca Morales, E., Hooley, C., Rosner, H., Polley, C. M., Balasubramanian, T., Mukherjee, S., Kikugawa, N., Sokolov, D. A., Mackenzie, A. & King, P. D. C., 7 Jul 2020, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 117, 27, p. 15524-15529 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 435027

Top