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Polyandrous females avoid costs of inbreeding

Tregenza, T. and Wedell, N. (2002) Polyandrous females avoid costs of inbreeding. Nature, 415 (6867). pp. 71-73. ISSN 0028-0836

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Why do females typically mate with more than one male? Female mating patterns have broad implications for sexual selection, speciation and conflicts of interest between the sexes, and yet they are poorly understood. Matings inevitably have costs, and for females, the benefits of taking more than one mate are rarely obvious. One possible explanation is that females gain benefits because they can avoid using sperm from genetically incompatible males, or invest less in the offspring of such males. It has been shown that mating with more than one male can increase offspring viability, but we present the first clear demonstration that this occurs because females with several mates avoid the negative effects of genetic incompatibility. We show that in crickets, the eggs of females that mate only with siblings have decreased hatching success. However, if females mate with both a sibling and a non-sibling they avoid altogether the low egg viability associated with sibling matings. If similar effects occur in other species, inbreeding avoidance may be important in understanding the prevalence of multiple mating.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2002 Macmillan Magazines Ltd
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Biological Sciences (Leeds) > Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2006
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2014 13:49
Published Version: http://www.nature.com/nature/
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1038/415071a
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/77

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