Evol Ecol Res 13: 209-216 (2011)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

The role of sexual selection in purging the genome of induced mutations in the bulb mite (Rizoglyphus robini)

Agata Plesnar, Magdalena Konior and Jacek Radwan

Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

Correspondence: A. Plesnar, Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Krakow, Poland.
e-mail: agata.plesnar@uj.edu.pl


Background: Based on the assumption that males burdened with fewer deleterious mutations achieve higher reproductive success, the authors hypothesized that sexual selection can decrease the mutation load of populations.

Hypothesis: Sexual selection improves viability after induction of deleterious mutations.

Organism: The bulb mite, Rhizoglyphus robini (Acari: Acaridae).

Methods: Using 1.5 krad of gamma rays, the progeny (F1) of irradiated males, heterozygous for deleterious mutations, were divided into two treatments. In the sexual selection treatment (SS+), both pre-copulatory and post-copulatory sexual selection was allowed. In the non-sexual selection treatment, male–male competition and female choice were experimentally excluded. Viability and fecundity selection were permitted in both treatments. To control for non-genetic effects, we simultaneously ran two similar treatments with progeny of non-irradiated males. We subsequently assayed viability of offspring (F2) produced after each treatment.

Results: Irradiation significantly decreased viability. But the irradiation × treatment interaction was not significant. Thus, the hypothesis that sexual selection increases the rate of elimination of deleterious mutations over that caused by viability and fecundity selection was not supported in the present study.

Keywords: condition dependence, deleterious mutations, good genes, maintenance of sex.

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