Sexes suffer from suboptimal lifespan because of genetic conflict in a seed beetle
2012 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 279, no 1745, 4296-4302 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Males and females have different routes to successful reproduction, resulting in sex differences in lifespan and age-specific allocation of reproductive effort. The trade-off between current and future reproduction is often resolved differently by males and females, and both sexes can be constrained in their ability to reach their sex-specific optima owing to intralocus sexual conflict. Such genetic antagonism may have profound implications for evolution, but its role in ageing and lifespan remains unresolved. We provide direct experimental evidence that males live longer and females live shorter than necessary to maximize their relative fitness in Callosobruchus maculatus seed beetles. Using artificial selection in a genetically heterogeneous population, we created replicate long-life lines where males lived on average 27 per cent longer than in short-life lines. As predicted by theory, subsequent assays revealed that upward selection on male lifespan decreased relative male fitness but increased relative female fitness compared with downward selection. Thus, we demonstrate that lifespan-extending genes can help one sex while harming the other. Our results show that sexual antagonism constrains adaptive life-history evolution, support a novel way of maintaining genetic variation for lifespan and argue for better integration of sex effects into applied research programmes aimed at lifespan extension.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 279, no 1745, 4296-4302 p.
ageing, life-history evolution, sexual conflict, sex-specific selection
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-184629DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2012.1345ISI: 000308748000026OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-184629DiVA: diva2:567574