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The Sexually Antagonistic Genes of Drosophila melanogaster
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal Ecology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal Ecology.
2010 (English)In: PLoS biology, ISSN 1544-9173, E-ISSN 1545-7885, Vol. 8, no 3, e1000335- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

When selective pressures differ between males and females, the genes experiencing these conflicting evolutionary forces are said to be sexually antagonistic. Although the phenotypic effect of these genes has been documented in both wild and laboratory populations, their identity, number, and location remains unknown. Here, by combining data on sex-specific fitness and genome-wide transcript abundance in a quantitative genetic framework, we identified a group of candidate genes experiencing sexually antagonistic selection in the adult, which correspond to 8% of Drosophila melanogaster genes. As predicted, the X chromosome is enriched for these genes, but surprisingly they represent only a small proportion of the total number of sex-biased transcripts, indicating that the latter is a poor predictor of sexual antagonism. Furthermore, the majority of genes whose expression profiles showed a significant relationship with either male or female adult fitness are also sexually antagonistic. These results provide a first insight into the genetic basis of intralocus sexual conflict and indicate that genetic variation for fitness is dominated and maintained by sexual antagonism, potentially neutralizing any indirect genetic benefits of sexual selection.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 8, no 3, e1000335- p.
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-136200DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000335ISI: 000278125400013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-136200DiVA: diva2:376447
Available from: 2010-12-10 Created: 2010-12-10 Last updated: 2011-09-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sexual Conflict and Gene Expression in Drosophila melanogaster
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sexual Conflict and Gene Expression in Drosophila melanogaster
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic) [Artistic work]
Abstract [en]

Sexual conflict is broadly defined as a conflict between the evolutionary interests of the two sexes. Depending on the genetic architecture of the traits involved, it can occur at the level of male-female interactions or take the form of selection acting to change the mean of a shared trait against the sign of its genetic correlation. The aim of my thesis was to use genome-wide expression profiles in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster to provide novel insights in the study of sexual conflict.

First, we studied the female post-mating response to partition transcriptional changes associated with reproduction from male-induced effects, which are known to be harmful to females. We found substantial changes in expression of metabolic pathways associated with the activation of reproduction, while male-specific effects were dominated by the onset of an immune response. Changes in female response under different mating strategies was studied using experimental evolution: we found that monogamous females suffered decreased fecundity and their gene expression profiles suggested an overall weaker response to mating. To identify sexually antagonistic genes, we used hemiclonal lines and associated their sex-specific fitness with genome-wide transcript abundance. We confirmed the presence of a negative covariance for fitness and identified a group of candidate genes experiencing sexually antagonistic selection. We then focused on mitochondria, which can enable the accumulation of deleterious mutations with sex-specific effects due to their maternal inheritance, and found few effects on nuclear gene expression in females but major effects in males, predominantly in male-specific tissues. Finally, we used published data to compare intraspecific and interspecific genetic variation for a set of transcripts, to test whether speciation occurs along lines of maximum genetic variance.

In conclusion, gene expression techniques can generate useful results in the study of sexual conflict, particularly in association with phenotypic data or when integrated with published datasets.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2011. 46 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 843
Keyword
Sexual conflict, sexual selection, male-female coevolution, gene expression, transcriptome, microarrays, sexual dimorphism, Drosophila
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Animal Ecology; Biology with specialization in Evolutionary Genetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-156567 (URN)978-91-554-8130-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-10-01, Zootissalen, EBC, Villavägen 9, Uppsala, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-09-08 Created: 2011-08-03 Last updated: 2011-11-03

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