Unbound MEDLINE

Function, developmental genetics, and fitness consequences of a sexually antagonistic trait.

Abstract

Sexual conflict is thought to be a potent force driving the evolution of sexually dimorphic traits. In the water strider Rheumatobates rileyi, we show that elaborated traits on male antennae function to grasp resistant females during premating struggles. Using RNA interference, we uncovered novel roles of the gene distal-less (dll) in generating these male-specific traits. Furthermore, graded reduction of the grasping traits resulted in a graded reduction of mating success in males, thus demonstrating both selection for elaboration of the traits and the role of dll in their evolution. By establishing developmental genetic tools in model systems where sexual selection and conflict are understood, we can begin to reveal how selection can exploit ancient developmental genes to enable the evolution of sexually dimorphic traits.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors

    Khila A, Abouheif E, Rowe L

    Institution

    Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3B2, Canada.

    Source

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 336:6081 2012 May 4 pg 585-9

    MeSH

    Animals
    Arthropod Antennae
    Base Sequence
    Biological Evolution
    Female
    Genes, Insect
    Genetic Fitness
    Heteroptera
    Homeodomain Proteins
    Male
    Molecular Sequence Data
    Phenotype
    RNA Interference
    Selection, Genetic
    Sex Characteristics
    Sexual Behavior, Animal
    Transcription Factors
    Transcriptome

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    22556252