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Coevolutionary dynamics of polyandry and selfish genetic elements


Holman, Luke; Price, Thomas; Wedell, Nina; Kokko, Hanna (2015). Coevolutionary dynamics of polyandry and selfish genetic elements. Evolution, 69(3):709-720.

Abstract

Segregation distorters located on sex chromosomes are predicted to sweep to fixation and cause extinction via a shortage of one sex, but in nature they are often found at low, stable frequencies. One potential resolution to this long-standing puzzle involves female multiple mating (polyandry). Because many meiotic drivers severely reduce the sperm competitive ability of their male carriers, females are predicted to evolve more frequent polyandry and thereby promote sperm competition when a meiotic driver invades. Consequently, the driving chromosome’s relative fitness should decline, halting or reversing its spread. We used formal modeling to show that this initially appealing hypothesis cannot resolve the puzzle alone: other selective pressures (e.g. low fitness of drive homozygotes) are required to establish a stable meiotic drive polymorphism. However, polyandry and meiotic drive can strongly affect one another’s frequency, and polyandrous populations may be resistant to the invasion of rare drive mutants.

Abstract

Segregation distorters located on sex chromosomes are predicted to sweep to fixation and cause extinction via a shortage of one sex, but in nature they are often found at low, stable frequencies. One potential resolution to this long-standing puzzle involves female multiple mating (polyandry). Because many meiotic drivers severely reduce the sperm competitive ability of their male carriers, females are predicted to evolve more frequent polyandry and thereby promote sperm competition when a meiotic driver invades. Consequently, the driving chromosome’s relative fitness should decline, halting or reversing its spread. We used formal modeling to show that this initially appealing hypothesis cannot resolve the puzzle alone: other selective pressures (e.g. low fitness of drive homozygotes) are required to establish a stable meiotic drive polymorphism. However, polyandry and meiotic drive can strongly affect one another’s frequency, and polyandrous populations may be resistant to the invasion of rare drive mutants.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:12 Mar 2015 08:04
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:49
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0014-3820
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.12595

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