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Selection on learning performance results in the correlated evolution of sexual dimorphism in life history
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.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5602-1933
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.
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2016 (English)In: Evolution, ISSN 0014-3820, E-ISSN 1558-5646, Vol. 70, no 2, 342-357 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Resource type
Text
Abstract [en]

The evolution of learning can be constrained by trade-offs. As male and female life histories often diverge, the relationship between learning and fitness may differ between the sexes. However, because sexes share much of their genome, intersexual genetic correlations can prevent males and females from reaching their sex-specific optima resulting in intralocus sexual conflict (IaSC). To investigate if IaSC constraints sex-specific evolution of learning, we selected Caenorhabditis remanei nematode females for increased or decreased olfactory learning performance and measured learning, life span (in mated and virgin worms), reproduction, and locomotory activity in both sexes. Males from downward-selected female lines had higher locomotory activity and longer virgin life span but sired fewer progeny than males from upward-selected female lines. In contrast, we found no effect of selection on female reproduction and downward-selected females showed higher locomotory activity but lived shorter as virgins than upward-selected females. Strikingly, selection on learning performance led to the reversal of sexual dimorphism in virgin life span. We thus show sex-specific trade-offs between learning, reproduction, and life span. Our results support the hypothesis that selection on learning performance can shape the evolution of sexually dimorphic life histories via sex-specific genetic correlations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 70, no 2, 342-357 p.
Keyword [en]
Caenorhabditis, cognition, intralocus sexual conflict, olfactory learning, sex-specific life histories
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-282325DOI: 10.1111/evo.12862ISI: 000370662500007PubMedID: 26787139OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-282325DiVA: diva2:916837
Available from: 2016-04-05 Created: 2016-04-05 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Age-specific trade-offs in life-history evolution
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Age-specific trade-offs in life-history evolution
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Trade-offs prevent selection from driving all fitness-enhancing traits towards values that would maximize fitness. Life-history trade-offs, such as the one between survival and reproduction are well-studied, yet trade-offs can also involve behavioural or cognitive traits. Because males and females have different routes to successful reproduction, the optimal resolution of life-history trade-offs can differ between the sexes. However, shared genome can constrain the evolution of sex-specific adaptations. In this thesis, I explore the links between sex-specific life histories, cognition and behaviour. I start by linking sex differences in life histories to sex differences in learning performance in the outcrossing nematode Caenorhabditis remanei (Paper I). I report that age-related learning differs between the sexes and that it corresponds to sexual dimorphism in life history. Then, I use experimental evolution to select for learning performance to study the patterns of genetic correlations between learning and life-history traits in both sexes (Paper II). The results demonstrate the correlated evolution of sexual dimorphism in life history indicating sex-specific fitness costs and benefits of learning. In Paper III I use the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to ask about the extent to which cognitive and demographic aging are independent. The results reveal that selection for late-life reproduction alone bears no effect on late-life learning and that joint selection on late-life learning and reproduction does not yield lifespan benefits. The selection might have affected, however, female age-specific reproductive effort. Motivated by the questions on aging I proceed to ask why a potent lifespan extending drug – rapamycin affects sexes differently (Paper IV). I take a closer look at the trade-off between growth, lifespan and reproduction and propose that the sex experiencing a stronger relationship between size and fitness pays a higher cost of lifespan extension. Finally, I focus on another sex-specific trait – dispersal (Paper V). I conduct experimental evolution to uncover a negative genetic correlation between dispersal and reproduction and show sex-specific genetic variation for dispersal. In summary, my thesis unravels the complex pattern of interdependence between life-history, behavioural and cognitive traits, where sex emerges as an important factor that can maintain genetic variation for trade-offs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. 48 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1555
Keyword
life history, trade-off, learning, aging, sex differences, dispersal, Caenorhabditis, Drosophila
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Animal Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-329035 (URN)978-91-513-0067-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-10-27, Zootissalen, Villavägen 9, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
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Supervisors
Available from: 2017-10-04 Created: 2017-09-07 Last updated: 2017-10-18

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Zwoinska, Martyna K.Lind, Martin I.Cortazar-Chinarro, MariaMaklakov, Alexei A.

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