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Genetics. 1998 Jul;149(3):1487-93.

Female genotypes affect sperm displacement in Drosophila.

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Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA.


Differential success of sperm is likely to be an important component of fitness. Extensive variation among male genotypes in competitive success of sperm in multiply mated females has been documented for Drosophila melanogaster. However, virtually all previous studies considered the female to be a passive vessel. Nevertheless, under certain conditions female fitness could be determined by her role in mediating use of sperm from multiple males. Here we ask whether females differ among genotypes in their tendency to exhibit last-male precedence. Competition of sperm from two tester male genotypes (bwD and B3-09, a third-chromosome isogenic line from Beltsville, MD) was quantified by doubly mating female lines that had been rendered homozygous for X, second, or third chromosomes isolated from natural populations. The composite sperm displacement parameter, P2', was highly heterogeneous among lines, whether or not viability effects were compensated, implying the presence of polymorphic genes affecting access of sperm to eggs. Genetic variation of this type is completely neutral in the absence of pleiotropy or interaction between variation in the two sexes.

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