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Evolution. 2014 Feb;68(2):343-51. doi: 10.1111/evo.12264. Epub 2013 Sep 20.

Fitness consequences of outcrossing in a social spider with an inbreeding mating system.

Author information

1
Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede-Boker Campus, 84990, Israel; Genetics, Ecology and Evolution, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade, 116, 8000, Aarhus C, Denmark. tut.berger.tal@gmail.com.

Abstract

Inbreeding mating systems are uncommon because of inbreeding depression. Mating among close relatives can evolve, however, when outcrossing is constrained. Social spiders show obligatory mating among siblings. In combination with a female-biased sex ratio, sib-mating results in small effective populations. In such a system, high genetic homozygosity is expected, and drift may cause population divergence. We tested the effect of outcrossing in the social spider Stegodyphus dumicola. Females were mated to sib-males, to a non-nestmate within the population, or to a male from a distant population, and fitness traits of F1s were compared. We found reduced hatching success of broods from between-population crosses, suggesting the presence of population divergence at a large geographical scale that may result in population incompatibility. However, a lack of a difference in offspring performance between inbred and outbred crosses indicates little genetic variation between populations, and could suggest recent colonization by a common ancestor. This is consistent with population dynamics of frequent colonizations by single sib-mated females of common origin, and extinctions of populations after few generations. Although drift or single mutations can lead to population divergence at a relatively short time scale, it is possible that dynamic population processes homogenize these effects at longer time scales.

KEYWORDS:

Inbreeding depression; inbred sociality; local adaptation; population incompatibility; purging; social spiders

PMID:
24111606
DOI:
10.1111/evo.12264
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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