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Sexual selection and individual genetic diversity in a songbird

journal contribution
posted on 07.11.2003, 00:00 authored by R Marshall, Kate BuchananKate Buchanan, C Catchpole
Here, we report for the first time, to our knowledge, a strong correlation between a measure of individual genetic diversity and song complexity, a sexually selected male trait in sedge warblers, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus. We also find that females prefer to mate with males who will maximize this diversity in individual progeny. The genetic diversity of each offspring is further increased by means of nonrandom fertilization, as we also show that the fertilizing sperm contains a haplotype more genetically distant to that of the egg than expected by chance. These findings suggest that species' mating preferences may be subject to fine tuning aimed at increasing offspring viability through increased genetic diversity. This includes external and internal mechanisms of selection, even within the ejaculate of a single male.

History

Journal

Proceedings of the Royal Society : B

Volume

270

Issue

2

Season

Supplement 2

Publisher

The Royal Society Publishing

Location

London, England

ISSN

0962-8452

eISSN

1471-2954

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2003, The Royal Society