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Sexual selection in seaweed flies: Genetic variation in male size and its reliability as an indicator in natural populations

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Author(s)

TH Day, CS Crean, AS Gilburn, David Michael Shuker, RW Wilcockson

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Abstract

Characters that are evolving in response to indirect sexual selection operating through the production either of attractive sons (the Fisher process) or of progeny with high viability (good genes), are expected to exhibit high levels of additive genetic variation. In seaweed flies (Coelopa frigida) male size is subject to both direct and indirect sexual selection, whereas female size has probably evolved in response to direct selection alone. Coefficients of additive genetic variance (CVA's) in adult size were shown to be larger in males than females. Virtually all the genetic variation is attributable to the alpha beta chromosomal inversion which is known to be associated with larval survival. Sexual selection appears to have led to differential expression of relevant loci in the two sexes, and in the focussing of this variation into a single region of the genome. Samples from 25 natural populations provided estimates of CVA's in male size. Although the CVA values suggest male size is, on average, a reliable indicator of offspring fitness, both spatial and temporal differences in CVA's were observed. We suggest that indirect sexual selection is a very inconstant force of evolution.

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1127-1134
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Volume263
Issue number1374
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 1996

    Research areas

  • CHROMOSOMAL INVERSION POLYMORPHISM, FEMALE MATING PREFERENCE, COSTLY MATE PREFERENCES, RED JUNGLE FOWL, COELOPA-FRIGIDA, ADULT SIZE, HERITABLE VARIATION, HANDICAP PRINCIPLE, FLY, CHOICE

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