Paternity analysis in the golden egg bug using AFLPs : do the males preferentially accept their true genetic offspring?

Paco Garcia, Y. Nunez, F. Ponz, E.R.S. Roldan, M. Gomendio

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    9 Citations (Scopus)


    1. The evolution of parental care and intraspecific parasitism involve conflicts of interest between mothers and other potential care givers who contribute to enhance offspring survival. In the golden egg bug, Phyllomorpha laciniata Villers (Heteroptera: Coreidae), females lay eggs on conspecifics and on plants. The adaptive significance of egg carrying in this species has been the subject of some controversy, which can only be resolved by determining the genetic relationship between the eggs and the adult who carries them. This study examined whether male acceptance of true genetic offspring occurs with a higher frequency than that expected from random oviposition on conspecifics.2. Paternity analysis, using Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) markers, was conducted on eggs carried by males housed with field-mated females.3. Out of the total number of eggs sired by males in the experimental groups, the proportion of eggs carried by males that were their true genetic offspring was 30.8%.4. Monte Carlo methods show that the probability of a male accepting an egg that is his true genetic offspring is higher than expected if females dumped eggs on males at random.5. These results suggest that paternal care plays an important role in the maintenance of male egg carrying in this species. In addition, the methodology developed may become useful in determining true genetic parents in other species in which neither the father nor the mother can be determined by observational methods.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)444-455
    JournalEcological Entomology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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