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The proximate determinants of sex ratio in C. elegans populations
 

Summary: The proximate determinants of sex ratio in
C. elegans populations
ASHER D. CUTTER1
*, LETICIA AVILE´ S1
A N D SAMUEL WARD2
1
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
2
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
(Received 20 August 2002 and in revised form 5 November 2002)
Summary
The soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an example of a species in which self-fertilizing
hermaphrodites predominate, but functional males continue to persist ­ allowing outcrossing to
persevere at low levels. Hermaphrodites can produce male progeny as a consequence of sex
chromosome non-disjunction or via outcrossing with males. Consequently, the genetics of sex
determination coupled with the efficiency by which males find, inseminate and obtain fertilizations
with hermaphrodites will influence the frequency at which males and outcrossing occurs in such
populations. Behavioural and physiological traits with a heritable basis, as well as ecological
characters, may influence male reproductive success and therefore sex ratio. Because sex ratio is tied
to male reproductive success, sex ratio greatly affects outcrossing rates, patterns of genetic variation,

  

Source: Avilés, Leticia - Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia
Cutter, Asher D. - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology