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PLoS One. 2007 Jan 17;2(1):e155.

No intra-locus sexual conflict over reproductive fitness or ageing in field crickets.

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School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


Differences in the ways in which males and females maximize evolutionary fitness can lead to intra-locus sexual conflict in which genes delivering fitness benefits to one sex are costly when expressed in the other. Trade-offs between current reproductive effort and future reproduction and survival are fundamental to the evolutionary biology of ageing. This leads to the prediction that sex differences in the optimization of age-dependent reproductive effort may generate intra-locus sexual conflict over ageing rates. Here we test for intra-locus sexual conflict over age-dependent reproductive effort and longevity in the black field cricket, Teleogryllus commodus. Using a half-sib breeding design, we show that the most important components of male and female reproductive effort (male calling effort and the number of eggs laid by females) were positively genetically correlated, especially in early adulthood. However, the genetic relationships between longevity and reproductive effort were different for males and females, leading to low genetic covariation between male and female longevity. The apparent absence of intra-locus sexual conflict over ageing suggests that male and female longevity can evolve largely independently of one another.

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