The impact of male-killing bacteria on host evolutionary processes

Engelstaedter, Jan and Hurst, Gregory D. D. (2007) The impact of male-killing bacteria on host evolutionary processes. Genetics, 175 1: 245-254. doi:10.1534/genetics.106.060921


Author Engelstaedter, Jan
Hurst, Gregory D. D.
Title The impact of male-killing bacteria on host evolutionary processes
Journal name Genetics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0016-6731
Publication date 2007-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1534/genetics.106.060921
Volume 175
Issue 1
Start page 245
End page 254
Total pages 10
Place of publication Bethesda, MD United States
Publisher Genetics Society of America
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Male-killing bacteria are maternally inherited endosymbionts that selectively kill male offspring of their arthropod hosts. Using both analytical techniques and computer simulations, we studied the impact of these bacteria on the population genetics of their hosts. In particular, we derived and corroborated formulas for the fixation probability of mutant alleles, mean times to fixation and fixation or extinction, and heterozygosity for varying male-killer prevalence. Our results demonstrate that infections with male-killing bacteria impede the spread of beneficial alleles, facilitate the spread of deleterious alleles, and reduce genetic variation. The reason for this lies in the strongly reduced fitness of infected females combined with no or very limited gene flow from infected females to uninfected individuals. These two properties of male-killer-infected populations reduce the population size relevant for the initial emergence and spread of mutations. In contrast, use of Wright's equation relating sex ratio to effective population size produces misleading predictions. We discuss the relationship to the similar effect of background selection, the impact of other sex-ratio-distorting endosymbionts, and how our results affect the interpretation of empirical data on genetic variation in male-killer-infected populations.
Keyword Sex- Ratio Distortion
Male Mate Choice
Mitochondrial Dna
Population Dynamics
Drosophila Innubila
Finite Population
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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