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Evolution. 2011 Jul;65(7):2085-97. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01267.x. Epub 2011 Mar 29.

Evidence for strong intralocus sexual conflict in the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella.

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Centre for Ecology and Conservation, Biosciences, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, Penryn, TR10 9EZ, UK.


Males and females share a genome and express many shared phenotypic traits, which are often selected in opposite directions. This generates intralocus sexual conflict that may constrain trait evolution by preventing the sexes from reaching their optimal phenotype. Furthermore, if present across multiple loci, intralocus sexual conflict can result in a gender load that may diminish the benefits of sexual selection and help maintain genetic variation for fitness. Despite the importance of intralocus sexual conflict, surprisingly few empirical studies conclusively demonstrate its operation. We show that the pattern of multivariate selection acting on three sexually dimorphic life-history traits (development time, body size, and longevity) in the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella, is opposing for the sexes. Moreover, we combined our estimates of selection with the additive genetic variance-covariance matrix (G) to predict the evolutionary response of the life-history traits in the sexes and showed that the angle between the vector of responses and the vector of sexually antagonistic selection was almost orthogonal at 84.70°. Thus, G biases the predicted response of life-history traits in the sexes away from the direction of sexually antagonistic selection, confirming the presence of strong intralocus sexual conflict in this species. Despite this, sexual dimorphism has evolved in all of the life-history traits examined suggesting that mechanism(s) have evolved to resolve this conflict and allow the sexes to reach their life-history optima. We argue that intralocus sexual conflict is likely to play an important role in the evolution of divergent life-history strategies between the sexes in this species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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