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Sexual conflict and the gender load: correlated evolution between population

Summary: Sexual conflict and the gender load:
correlated evolution between population
fitness and sexual dimorphism in
seed beetles
Go¨ran Arnqvist1,* and Midori Tuda2
Evolutionary Biology Centre, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Animal Ecology,
Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Institute of Biological Control, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
Although males and females share much of the same genome, selection is often distinct in the two sexes.
Sexually antagonistic loci will in theory cause a gender load in populations, because sex-specific selection
on a given trait in one sex will compromise the adaptive evolution of the same trait in the other sex. How-
ever, it is currently not clear whether such intralocus sexual conflict (ISC) represents a transient
evolutionary state, where conflict is rapidly resolved by the evolution of sexual dimorphism (SD), or
whether it is a more chronic impediment to adaptation. All else being equal, ISC should manifest itself
as correlated evolution between population fitness and SD in traits expressed in both sexes. However,
comparative tests of this prediction are problematic and have been unfeasible. Here, we assess the effects
of ISC by comparing fitness and SD across distinct laboratory populations of seed beetles that should be
well adapted to a shared environment. We show that SD in juvenile development time, a key life-history


Source: Arnqvist, Göran - Department of Animal Ecology, Uppsala Universitet


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology