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Fitness consequences of artificial selection on relative male genital size


Booksmythe, Isobel; Head, Megan L; Keogh, J Scott; Jennions, Michael D (2016). Fitness consequences of artificial selection on relative male genital size. Nature Communications, 7:1-11.

Abstract

Male genitalia often show remarkable differences among related species in size, shape and complexity. Across poeciliid fishes, the elongated fin (gonopodium) that males use to inseminate females ranges from 18 to 53% of body length. Relative genital size therefore varies greatly among species. In contrast, there is often tight within-species allometric scaling, which suggests strong selection against genital–body size combinations that deviate from a species’ natural line of allometry. We tested this constraint by artificially selecting on the allometric intercept, creating lines of males with relatively longer or shorter gonopodia than occur naturally for a given body size in mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki. We show that relative genital length is heritable and diverged 7.6–8.9% between our up selected and down-selected lines, with correlated changes in body shape. However, deviation from the natural line of allometry does not affect male success in assays of attractiveness, swimming performance and, crucially, reproductive success (paternity).

Abstract

Male genitalia often show remarkable differences among related species in size, shape and complexity. Across poeciliid fishes, the elongated fin (gonopodium) that males use to inseminate females ranges from 18 to 53% of body length. Relative genital size therefore varies greatly among species. In contrast, there is often tight within-species allometric scaling, which suggests strong selection against genital–body size combinations that deviate from a species’ natural line of allometry. We tested this constraint by artificially selecting on the allometric intercept, creating lines of males with relatively longer or shorter gonopodia than occur naturally for a given body size in mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki. We show that relative genital length is heritable and diverged 7.6–8.9% between our up selected and down-selected lines, with correlated changes in body shape. However, deviation from the natural line of allometry does not affect male success in assays of attractiveness, swimming performance and, crucially, reproductive success (paternity).

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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:April 2016
Deposited On:03 Jun 2016 08:26
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 19:36
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2041-1723
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms11597
PubMed ID:27188478

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