The depletion of genetic variance by sexual selection

Van Homrigh, A., Higgie, M., McGuigan, K. and Blows, M. W. (2007) The depletion of genetic variance by sexual selection. Current Biology, 17 6: 528-532. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2007.01.055

Author Van Homrigh, A.
Higgie, M.
McGuigan, K.
Blows, M. W.
Title The depletion of genetic variance by sexual selection
Journal name Current Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0960-9822
Publication date 2007-01-01
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2007.01.055
Open Access Status
Volume 17
Issue 6
Start page 528
End page 532
Total pages 5
Editor North, G.
Place of publication Cambridge, UK
Publisher Cell Press
Language eng
Subject C1
270207 Quantitative Genetics
270799 Ecology and Evolution not elsewhere classified
780105 Biological sciences
Abstract Sexually selected traits display substantial genetic variance [1, 2], in conflict with the expectation that sexual selection will deplete it [3-5]. Condition dependence is thought to resolve this paradox [5-7], but experimental tests that relate the direction of sexual selection to the availability of genetic variance are lacking. Here, we show that condition-dependent expression is not sufficient to maintain genetic variance available to sexual selection in multiple male sexually selected traits. We employed an experimental design that simultaneously determined the quantitative genetic basis of nine male cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) of Drosophila bunnanda, the extent of condition dependence of these traits, and the strength and direction of sexual selection acting upon them. The CHCs of D. bunnanda are condition dependent, with 18% of the genetic variance in male body size explained by genetic variance in CHCs. Despite the presence of genetic variance in individual male traits, 98% of the genetic variance in CHCs was found to be orientated more than 88 degrees away from the direction of sexual selection and therefore unavailable to selection. A lack of genetic variance in male traits in the direction of sexual selection may represent a general feature of sexually selected systems, even in the presence of condition-dependent trait expression.
Keyword Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Lek Paradox
Quantitative Genetics
Covariance Matrix
Mate Choice
Field Conditions
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Tue, 19 Feb 2008, 02:43:49 EST