Inbreeding promotes female promiscuity

Michalczyk, Łukasz, Millard, Anna L., Martin, Oliver Y., Lumley, Alyson J., Emerson, Brent C., Chapman, Tracey and Gage, Matthew J. G. (2011) Inbreeding promotes female promiscuity. Science, 333 (6050). pp. 1739-1742. ISSN 0036-8075

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The widespread phenomenon of polyandry (mating by females with multiple males) is an evolutionary puzzle, because females can sustain costs from promiscuity, whereas full fertility can be provided by a single male. Using the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, we identify major fitness benefits of polyandry to females under inbreeding, when the risks of fertilization by incompatible male haplotypes are especially high. Fifteen generations after inbred populations had passed through genetic bottlenecks, we recorded increased levels of female promiscuity compared with noninbred controls, most likely due to selection from prospective fitness gains through polyandry. These data illustrate how this common mating pattern can evolve if population genetic bottlenecks increase the risks of fitness depression due to fertilization by sperm carrying genetically incompatible haplotypes.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Organisms and the Environment
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
Depositing User: Users 2731 not found.
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2012 21:52
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2024 01:19
DOI: 10.1126/science.1207314

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