Genetic variation but weak genetic covariation between pre- and post-copulatory episodes of sexual selection in Drosophila melanogaster

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Abstract

© 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology
When females mate polyandrously, male reproductive success depends both on the male's ability to attain matings and on his ability to outcompete rival males in the fertilization of ova post-copulation. Increased investment in ejaculate components may trade off with investment in precopulatory traits due to resource allocation. Alternatively, pre- and post-copulatory traits could be positively related if individuals can afford to invest heavily in traits advantageous at both episodes of selection. There is empirical evidence for both positive and negative associations between pre- and post-copulatory episodes, but little is known about the genetic basis of these correlations. In this study, we measured morphological, chemical and behavioural precopulatory male traits and investigated their relationship with measures of male fitness (male mating success, remating inhibition and offensive sperm competitiveness) across 40 isofemale lines of Drosophila melanogaster. We found significant variation among isofemale lines, indicating a genetic basis for most of the traits investigated. However, we found weak evidence for genetic correlations between precopulatory traits and our indices of male fitness. Moreover, pre- and post-copulatory episodes of selection were uncorrelated, suggesting selection may act independently at the different episodes to maximize male reproductive success.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1535-1552
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume29
Issue number8
Early online date26 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

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