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The quantitative genetic basis of polyandry in the parasitoid wasp, Nasonia vitripennis

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Author(s)

David Michael Shuker, AJ Phillimore, MN Burton-Chellew, SE Hodge, SA West

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Abstract

Understanding the evolution of female multiple mating (polyandry) is crucial for understanding sexual selection and sexual conflict. Despite this interest, little is known about its genetic basis or whether genetics influences the evolutionary origin or maintenance of polyandry. Here, we explore the quantitative genetic basis of polyandry in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis, a species in which female remating has been observed to evolve in the laboratory. We performed a quantitative genetic experiment on a recently collected population of wasps. We found low heritabilities of female polyandry (re-mating frequency after 18 h), low heritability of courtship duration and a slightly higher heritability of copulation duration. However, the coefficients of additive genetic variance for these traits were all reasonably large (CVA > 7.0). We also found considerable dam effects for all traits after controlling for common environment, suggesting either dominance or maternal effects. Our work adds to the evidence that nonadditive genetic effects may influence the evolution of mating behaviour in Nasonia vitripennis, and the evolution of polyandry more generally.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-73
Number of pages5
JournalHeredity
Volume98
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007

    Research areas

  • additive genetic variance, heritability, Hymenoptera, polyandry, sexual selection, sexual conflict, SEXUAL CONFLICT, HERITABLE VARIATION, MATING FREQUENCY, SPERM COMPETITION, BEHAVIOR, COURTSHIP, SELECTION, MATE, DROSOPHILA, VIRGINITY

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