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Does meiotic drive alter male mate preference?

Finnegan, SR; Nitsche, L; Mondani, M; Camus, F; Fowler, K; Pomiankowski, A; (2019) Does meiotic drive alter male mate preference? Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA. Green open access

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Abstract

Abstract Male mate preferences have been demonstrated across a range of species, including the Malaysian stalk-eyed fly, Teleopsis dalmanni . This species is subject to SR, an X-linked male meiotic driver, that causes the dysfunction of Y-sperm and the production all female broods. SR is associated with a low frequency inversion spanning most of the X chromosome that causes reduced organismal fitness. While there has been work considering female avoidance of meiotic drive males, the mating decisions of drive-bearing males have not been considered previously. As drive males are of lower genetic quality they may be less able to bear the cost of choice or may experience weaker selection for its maintenance if they are avoided by females. We investigated preference of drive males using binary choice trials. We confirmed that males prefer to mate with large females (indicative of greater fecundity) but found no evidence that the strength of male mate preference differs between drive and standard males. This suggests that the cost of choice does not restrict male reference among drive males. In a further experiment, we found that large eyespan males showed strong preference whereas small eyespan males showed no preference. This is likely to weaken mate preference in drive males, as on average they have reduced eyespan compared to standard males. In this respect, drive males are subject to and exert weak sexual selection. Lay summary We studied male mate preference in stalk-eyed flies. This species suffers from meiotic drive, a selfish genetic element that causes a reduction in sperm production and organismal fitness. We predicted that males with meiotic drive would show weak mate preference. Males preferred to mate with large females, but there was no difference in the strength of preference between drive and non-drive males. Males with larger eyespan showed stronger mate preference. Meiotic drive males usually have reduced eyespan so on average they exert weaker sexual selection on females, but this is mediated by eyespan, not genotype per se .

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: Does meiotic drive alter male mate preference?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1101/736595
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1101/736595
Language: English
Additional information: The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted bioRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. It is made available under a CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10081618
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