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Evolution. 2005 Sep;59(9):1965-75.

Intralocus sexual conflict and the genetic architecture of sexually dimorphic traits in Prochyliza xanthostoma (Diptera: Piophilidae).

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Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G5, Canada.


Because homologous traits of males and females are likely to have a common genetic basis, sex-specific selection (often resulting from sexual selection on one sex) may generate an evolutionary tug-of-war known as intralocus sexual conflict, which will constrain the adaptive divergence of the sexes. Theory suggests that intralocus sexual conflict can be mitigated through reduction of the intersexual genetic correlation (rMF), predicting negative covariation between rMF and sexual dimorphism. In addition, recent work showed that selection should favor reduced expression of alleles inherited from the opposite-sex parent (intersexual inheritance) in traits subject to intralocus sexual conflict. For traits under sexual selection in males, this should be manifested either in reduced maternal heritability or, when conflict is severe, in reduced heritability through the opposite-sex parent in offspring of both sexes. However, because we do not know how far these hypothesized evolutionary responses can actually proceed, the importance of intralocus sexual conflict as a long-term constraint on adaptive evolution remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the genetic architecture of sexual and nonsexual morphological traits in Prochyliza xanthostoma. The lowest rMF and greatest dimorphism were exhibited by two sexual traits (head length and antenna length) and, among all traits, the degree of sexual dimorphism was correlated negatively with rMF. Moreover, sexual traits exhibited reduced maternal heritabilities, and the most strongly dimorphic sexual trait (antenna length) was heritable only through the same-sex parent in offspring of both sexes. Our results support theory and suggest that intralocus sexual conflict can be resolved substantially by genomic adaptation. Further work is required to identify the proximate mechanisms underlying these patterns.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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