Additive genetic variance in polyandry enables its evolution, but polyandry is unlikely to evolve through sexy or good sperm processes

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    Abstract

    © 2016 European Society for Evolutionary Biology.
    Polyandry is widespread despite its costs. The sexually selected sperm hypotheses ('sexy' and 'good' sperm) posit that sperm competition plays a role in the evolution of polyandry. Two poorly studied assumptions of these hypotheses are the presence of additive genetic variance in polyandry and sperm competitiveness. Using a quantitative genetic breeding design in a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster, we first established the potential for polyandry to respond to selection. We then investigated whether polyandry can evolve through sexually selected sperm processes. We measured lifetime polyandry and offensive sperm competitiveness (P2) while controlling for sampling variance due to male × male × female interactions. We also measured additive genetic variance in egg-to-adult viability and controlled for its effect on P2 estimates. Female lifetime polyandry showed significant and substantial additive genetic variance and evolvability. In contrast, we found little genetic variance or evolvability in P2 or egg-to-adult viability. Additive genetic variance in polyandry highlights its potential to respond to selection. However, the low levels of genetic variance in sperm competitiveness suggest that the evolution of polyandry may not be driven by sexy sperm or good sperm processes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)916-928
    JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
    Volume29
    Issue number5
    Early online date6 Feb 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2016

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    polyandry
    genetic variance
    sperm
    spermatozoa
    competitiveness
    viability
    egg
    sperm competition
    evolutionary biology
    quantitative genetics
    Drosophila melanogaster
    breeding
    Biological Sciences

    Cite this

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    title = "Additive genetic variance in polyandry enables its evolution, but polyandry is unlikely to evolve through sexy or good sperm processes",
    abstract = "{\circledC} 2016 European Society for Evolutionary Biology. Polyandry is widespread despite its costs. The sexually selected sperm hypotheses ('sexy' and 'good' sperm) posit that sperm competition plays a role in the evolution of polyandry. Two poorly studied assumptions of these hypotheses are the presence of additive genetic variance in polyandry and sperm competitiveness. Using a quantitative genetic breeding design in a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster, we first established the potential for polyandry to respond to selection. We then investigated whether polyandry can evolve through sexually selected sperm processes. We measured lifetime polyandry and offensive sperm competitiveness (P2) while controlling for sampling variance due to male × male × female interactions. We also measured additive genetic variance in egg-to-adult viability and controlled for its effect on P2 estimates. Female lifetime polyandry showed significant and substantial additive genetic variance and evolvability. In contrast, we found little genetic variance or evolvability in P2 or egg-to-adult viability. Additive genetic variance in polyandry highlights its potential to respond to selection. However, the low levels of genetic variance in sperm competitiveness suggest that the evolution of polyandry may not be driven by sexy sperm or good sperm processes.",
    author = "Travers, {L. M.} and Simmons, {L. W.} and F. Garcia-Gonzalez",
    year = "2016",
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    language = "English",
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    T1 - Additive genetic variance in polyandry enables its evolution, but polyandry is unlikely to evolve through sexy or good sperm processes

    AU - Travers, L. M.

    AU - Simmons, L. W.

    AU - Garcia-Gonzalez, F.

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    N2 - © 2016 European Society for Evolutionary Biology. Polyandry is widespread despite its costs. The sexually selected sperm hypotheses ('sexy' and 'good' sperm) posit that sperm competition plays a role in the evolution of polyandry. Two poorly studied assumptions of these hypotheses are the presence of additive genetic variance in polyandry and sperm competitiveness. Using a quantitative genetic breeding design in a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster, we first established the potential for polyandry to respond to selection. We then investigated whether polyandry can evolve through sexually selected sperm processes. We measured lifetime polyandry and offensive sperm competitiveness (P2) while controlling for sampling variance due to male × male × female interactions. We also measured additive genetic variance in egg-to-adult viability and controlled for its effect on P2 estimates. Female lifetime polyandry showed significant and substantial additive genetic variance and evolvability. In contrast, we found little genetic variance or evolvability in P2 or egg-to-adult viability. Additive genetic variance in polyandry highlights its potential to respond to selection. However, the low levels of genetic variance in sperm competitiveness suggest that the evolution of polyandry may not be driven by sexy sperm or good sperm processes.

    AB - © 2016 European Society for Evolutionary Biology. Polyandry is widespread despite its costs. The sexually selected sperm hypotheses ('sexy' and 'good' sperm) posit that sperm competition plays a role in the evolution of polyandry. Two poorly studied assumptions of these hypotheses are the presence of additive genetic variance in polyandry and sperm competitiveness. Using a quantitative genetic breeding design in a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster, we first established the potential for polyandry to respond to selection. We then investigated whether polyandry can evolve through sexually selected sperm processes. We measured lifetime polyandry and offensive sperm competitiveness (P2) while controlling for sampling variance due to male × male × female interactions. We also measured additive genetic variance in egg-to-adult viability and controlled for its effect on P2 estimates. Female lifetime polyandry showed significant and substantial additive genetic variance and evolvability. In contrast, we found little genetic variance or evolvability in P2 or egg-to-adult viability. Additive genetic variance in polyandry highlights its potential to respond to selection. However, the low levels of genetic variance in sperm competitiveness suggest that the evolution of polyandry may not be driven by sexy sperm or good sperm processes.

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