Do genetic diversity effects drive the benefits associated with multiple mating? A test in a marine invertebrate.

McLeod, Laura and Marshall, Dustin J. (2009) Do genetic diversity effects drive the benefits associated with multiple mating? A test in a marine invertebrate.. PLoS One, 4 8: e6347-1-e6347-6. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006347

Author McLeod, Laura
Marshall, Dustin J.
Title Do genetic diversity effects drive the benefits associated with multiple mating? A test in a marine invertebrate.
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2009-08-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0006347
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 4
Issue 8
Start page e6347-1
End page e6347-6
Total pages 6
Editor C. Surridge
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.
Publisher Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
060308 Life Histories
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Formatted abstract
Background  Mothers that mate with multiple males often produce higher quality offspring than mothers that mate with a single male. By engaging in polyandry, mothers may increase their chances of mating with a compatible male or promote sperm competition - both of which act to increase maternal fitness via the biasing of the paternity of offspring. Surprisingly, mating with multiple males, can carry benefits without biasing paternity and may be due simply to differences in genetic diversity between monandrous and polyandrous clutches but role of genetic diversity effects in driving the benefits of polyandry remains poorly tested. Disentangling indirect, genetic benefits from genetic diversity effects is challenging but crucial if we are to understand the selection pressures acting to promote polyandry.

Methodology/Principal Findings  Here, we examine the post-fertilisation benefits of accessing the sperm of multiple males in an externally fertilising polychaete worm. Accessing the sperm of multiple males increases offspring performance but this benefit was driven entirely by genetic diversity effects and not by the biasing of paternity at fertilisation.

Conclusions/Significance  Previous studies on polyandry should be interpreted cautiously as genetic diversity effects alone can explain the benefits of polyandry yet these diversity effects may be difficult to disentangle from other mechanisms. We suggest that future studies use a modified experimental design in order to discriminate between genetic diversity effects and indirect, genetic benefits.
Copyright: © 2009 McLeod, Marshall. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keyword Polychaete Galeolaria-caespitosa
Sexual selection
Fertilization success
Fitness consequences
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 27 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 29 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 16 Feb 2010, 15:37:52 EST by Hayley Ware on behalf of School of Biological Sciences