How female × male and male × male interactions influence competitive fertilization in Drosophila melanogaster

Stefan Lüpold, Jonathan Bradley Reil, Mollie K. Manier, Valérian Zeender, John M. Belote, Scott Pitnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

How males and females contribute to joint reproductive success has been a long-standing question in sexual selection. Under postcopulatory sexual selection, paternity success is predicted to derive from complex interactions among females engaging in cryptic female choice and males engaging in sperm competition. Such interactions have been identified as potential sources of genetic variation in sexually selected traits but are also expected to inhibit trait diversification. To date, studies of interactions between females and competing males have focused almost exclusively on genotypes and not phenotypic variation in sexually selected traits. Here, we characterize within- and between-sex interactions in Drosophila melanogaster using isogenic lines with heritable variation in both male and female traits known to influence competitive fertilization. We confirmed, and expanded on, previously reported genotypic interactions within and between the sexes, and showed that several reproductive events, including sperm transfer, female sperm ejection, and sperm storage, were explained by two- and three-way interactions among sex-specific phenotypes. We also documented complex interactions between the lengths of competing males’ sperm and the female seminal receptacle, which are known to have experienced rapid female-male co-diversification. Our results highlight the nonindependence of sperm competition and cryptic female choice and demonstrate that complex interactions between the sexes do not limit the ability of multivariate systems to respond to directional sexual selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-429
Number of pages14
JournalEvolution Letters
Volume4
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

Keywords

  • Cryptic female choice
  • ejaculate-female interactions
  • female reproductive tract
  • genetic compatibility
  • postcopulatory sexual selection
  • sperm competition
  • trait diversification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics

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