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Polyandry and the decrease of a selfish genetic element in a wild house mouse population


Manser, A; Lindholm, A K; König, B; Bagheri, Homayoun C (2011). Polyandry and the decrease of a selfish genetic element in a wild house mouse population. Evolution, 65(9): 2435-2447.

Abstract

Despite deleterious effects on individuals, the t haplotype is a selfish genetic element present in many house mouse populations. By distorting the transmission ratio, +/t males transmit the t haplotype to up to 90% of their offspring. However, t/t individuals perish in utero. Theoretical models based on these properties predict a much higher t frequency than observed, leading to the t paradox. Here, we use empirical field data and theoretical approaches to investigate whether polyandry is a female counterstrategy against the negative fitness consequences of such distorters. We found a significant decrease of the t frequency over a period of 5.5 years that cannot be explained by the effect of transmission ratio distortion and recessive lethals, despite significantly higher life expectancy of +/t females compared to +/+ females. We quantified life-history data and homozygous and heterozygous fitness effects. Population subdivision and inbreeding were excluded as evolutionary forces influencing the t system. The possible influence of polyandry on the t system was then investigated by applying a stochastic model to this situation. Simulations show that polyandry can explain the observed t dynamics, making it a biologically plausible explanation for low t frequencies in natural populations in general.

Abstract

Despite deleterious effects on individuals, the t haplotype is a selfish genetic element present in many house mouse populations. By distorting the transmission ratio, +/t males transmit the t haplotype to up to 90% of their offspring. However, t/t individuals perish in utero. Theoretical models based on these properties predict a much higher t frequency than observed, leading to the t paradox. Here, we use empirical field data and theoretical approaches to investigate whether polyandry is a female counterstrategy against the negative fitness consequences of such distorters. We found a significant decrease of the t frequency over a period of 5.5 years that cannot be explained by the effect of transmission ratio distortion and recessive lethals, despite significantly higher life expectancy of +/t females compared to +/+ females. We quantified life-history data and homozygous and heterozygous fitness effects. Population subdivision and inbreeding were excluded as evolutionary forces influencing the t system. The possible influence of polyandry on the t system was then investigated by applying a stochastic model to this situation. Simulations show that polyandry can explain the observed t dynamics, making it a biologically plausible explanation for low t frequencies in natural populations in general.

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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:September 2011
Deposited On:05 Mar 2012 09:50
Last Modified:05 Aug 2017 08:57
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0014-3820
Funders:SNF
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01336.x
PubMed ID:21884047

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