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Evolution of male and female genitalia following release from sexual selection
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal Ecology.
2011 (English)In: Evolution, ISSN 0014-3820, E-ISSN 1558-5646, Vol. 65, no 8, 2171-2183 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite the key functions of the genitalia in sexual interactions and fertilization, the role of sexual selection and conflict in shaping genital traits remains poorly understood. Seed beetle (Callosobruchus maculatus) males possess spines on the intromittent organ, and females possess a thickened reproductive tract wall that also bears spines. We investigated the role of sexual selection and conflict by imposing monogamous mating on eight replicate populations of this naturally polygamous insect, while maintaining eight other populations under polygamy. To establish whether responses to mating system manipulation were robust to ecological context, we simultaneously manipulated life-history selection (early/late reproduction). Over 18-21 generations, male genital spines evolved relatively reduced length in large males (i.e., shallower static allometry) in monogamous populations. Two nonintromittent male genital appendages also evolved in response to the interaction of mating system and ecology. In contrast, no detectable evolution occurred in female genitalia, consistent with the expectation of a delayed response in defensive traits. Our results support a sexually antagonistic role for the male genital spines, and demonstrate the evolution of static allometry in response to variation in sexual selection opportunity. We argue that further advances in the study of genital coevolution will require a much more detailed understanding of the functions of male and female genital traits.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 65, no 8, 2171-2183 p.
Keyword [en]
Adaptation, allometry, experimental evolution, genitalia, sexual selection
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-157019DOI: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01309.xISI: 000293182700004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-157019DiVA: diva2:434751
Available from: 2011-08-16 Created: 2011-08-15 Last updated: 2016-04-19Bibliographically approved

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Maklakov, Alexei A.
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