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Bayesian paternity analysis and mating patterns in a parasitic nematode, Trichostrongylus tenuis


Johnson, P C D; Hadfield, J D; Webster, L M I; Adam, A; Mable, B K; Keller, L F (2010). Bayesian paternity analysis and mating patterns in a parasitic nematode, Trichostrongylus tenuis. Heredity, 104(6):573-582.

Abstract

Mating behaviour is a fundamental aspect of the evolutionary ecology of sexually reproducing species, but one that has been under-researched in parasitic nematodes. We analysed mating behaviour in the parasitic nematode Trichostrongylus tenuis by performing a paternity analysis in a population from a single red grouse host. Paternity of the 150 larval offspring of 25 mothers (sampled from one of the two host caeca) was assigned among 294 candidate fathers (sampled from both caeca). Each candidate father's probability of paternity of each offspring was estimated from 10-locus microsatellite genotypes. Seventy-six (51%) offspring were assigned a father with a probability of 40.8, and the estimated number of unsampled males was 136 (95% credible interval (CI) 77-219). The probability of a male from one caecum fathering an offspring in the other caecum was estimated as 0.024 (95% CI 0.003-0.077), indicating that the junction of the caeca is a strong barrier to dispersal. Levels of promiscuity (defined as the probability of two of an adult's offspring sharing only one parent) were high for both sexes. Variance in male reproductive success was moderately high, possibly because of a combination of random mating and high variance in post-copulatory reproductive success. These results provide the first data on individual mating behaviour among parasitic nematodes.

Abstract

Mating behaviour is a fundamental aspect of the evolutionary ecology of sexually reproducing species, but one that has been under-researched in parasitic nematodes. We analysed mating behaviour in the parasitic nematode Trichostrongylus tenuis by performing a paternity analysis in a population from a single red grouse host. Paternity of the 150 larval offspring of 25 mothers (sampled from one of the two host caeca) was assigned among 294 candidate fathers (sampled from both caeca). Each candidate father's probability of paternity of each offspring was estimated from 10-locus microsatellite genotypes. Seventy-six (51%) offspring were assigned a father with a probability of 40.8, and the estimated number of unsampled males was 136 (95% credible interval (CI) 77-219). The probability of a male from one caecum fathering an offspring in the other caecum was estimated as 0.024 (95% CI 0.003-0.077), indicating that the junction of the caeca is a strong barrier to dispersal. Levels of promiscuity (defined as the probability of two of an adult's offspring sharing only one parent) were high for both sexes. Variance in male reproductive success was moderately high, possibly because of a combination of random mating and high variance in post-copulatory reproductive success. These results provide the first data on individual mating behaviour among parasitic nematodes.

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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)
Uncontrolled Keywords:parasitic nematodes; Trichostrongylus tenuis; paternity analysis; pedigree reconstruction; microsatellites; mating system
Language:English
Date:June 2010
Deposited On:16 Jul 2010 12:40
Last Modified:21 Nov 2017 14:54
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0018-067X
Funders:Leverhulme Trust ; NERC
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/hdy.2009.139
Other Identification Number:ISI:000277828500007

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