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Genetic dissimilarity between mates, but not male heterozygosity, influences divorce in schistosomes.

Beltran S, Cézilly F, Boissier J - PLoS ONE (2008)

Bottom Line: Divorce rate increased significantly when females were given the opportunity to increase genetic dissimilarity through re-mating with a new partner, independently of the intensity of male-male competition.We found however no evidence for females attempting to maximize the level of heterozygosity of their reproductive partner through divorce.Female preference for genetically dissimilar males should result in more heterozygous offspring.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratoire de Biologie et d'Ecologie Tropicale et Méditerranéenne, UMR 5244 CNRS-EPHE-UPVD, Université de Perpignan, Perpignan, France.

ABSTRACT

Background: Correlational studies strongly suggest that both genetic similarity and heterozygosity can influence female mate choice. However, the influence of each variable has usually been tested independently, although similarity and heterozygosity might be correlated. We experimentally determined the relative influence of genetic similarity and heterozygosity in divorce and re-mating in the monogamous endoparasite Schistosoma mansoni.

Methodology/principal findings: We performed sequential infections of vertebrate hosts with controlled larval populations of parasites, where sex and individual genetic diversity and similarity were predetermined before infection. Divorce rate increased significantly when females were given the opportunity to increase genetic dissimilarity through re-mating with a new partner, independently of the intensity of male-male competition. We found however no evidence for females attempting to maximize the level of heterozygosity of their reproductive partner through divorce.

Conclusions/significance: Female preference for genetically dissimilar males should result in more heterozygous offspring. Because genetic heterozygosity might partly determine the ability of parasites to counter host resistance, adaptive divorce could be an important factor in the evolutionary arms race between schistosomes and their hosts.

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A schistosome pair, with the thin female located in the male gynaecophorical canal.
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pone-0003328-g001: A schistosome pair, with the thin female located in the male gynaecophorical canal.

Mentions: Schistosomes are an ideal biological model to test the influence of genetic quality on re-mating. Indeed, the mating system of Schistosoma mansoni is best described as sequential monogamy [15], [16]. Pairs form in the vertebrate definitive host, with the muscular male keeping its thin female in a groove on its ventral side called the gynaecophorical canal (Fig. 1). Divorce has been previously observed in S. mansoni [15], although its functional significance remains elusive.


Genetic dissimilarity between mates, but not male heterozygosity, influences divorce in schistosomes.

Beltran S, Cézilly F, Boissier J - PLoS ONE (2008)

A schistosome pair, with the thin female located in the male gynaecophorical canal.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2553268&req=5

pone-0003328-g001: A schistosome pair, with the thin female located in the male gynaecophorical canal.
Mentions: Schistosomes are an ideal biological model to test the influence of genetic quality on re-mating. Indeed, the mating system of Schistosoma mansoni is best described as sequential monogamy [15], [16]. Pairs form in the vertebrate definitive host, with the muscular male keeping its thin female in a groove on its ventral side called the gynaecophorical canal (Fig. 1). Divorce has been previously observed in S. mansoni [15], although its functional significance remains elusive.

Bottom Line: Divorce rate increased significantly when females were given the opportunity to increase genetic dissimilarity through re-mating with a new partner, independently of the intensity of male-male competition.We found however no evidence for females attempting to maximize the level of heterozygosity of their reproductive partner through divorce.Female preference for genetically dissimilar males should result in more heterozygous offspring.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratoire de Biologie et d'Ecologie Tropicale et Méditerranéenne, UMR 5244 CNRS-EPHE-UPVD, Université de Perpignan, Perpignan, France.

ABSTRACT

Background: Correlational studies strongly suggest that both genetic similarity and heterozygosity can influence female mate choice. However, the influence of each variable has usually been tested independently, although similarity and heterozygosity might be correlated. We experimentally determined the relative influence of genetic similarity and heterozygosity in divorce and re-mating in the monogamous endoparasite Schistosoma mansoni.

Methodology/principal findings: We performed sequential infections of vertebrate hosts with controlled larval populations of parasites, where sex and individual genetic diversity and similarity were predetermined before infection. Divorce rate increased significantly when females were given the opportunity to increase genetic dissimilarity through re-mating with a new partner, independently of the intensity of male-male competition. We found however no evidence for females attempting to maximize the level of heterozygosity of their reproductive partner through divorce.

Conclusions/significance: Female preference for genetically dissimilar males should result in more heterozygous offspring. Because genetic heterozygosity might partly determine the ability of parasites to counter host resistance, adaptive divorce could be an important factor in the evolutionary arms race between schistosomes and their hosts.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus