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Correlated evolution between male ejacualte allocation and female remating behaviour in seed beetles (Bruchidae)
Uppsala universitet.
2008 (English)In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1010-061X, E-ISSN 1420-9101, Vol. 21, no 2, 471-479 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The pattern with which males allocate their ejaculate resources is at the heart of postmating sexual selection, and theory suggests that female remating rate is key in determining the selective regime under which male ejaculate traits evolve. Intraspecific studies have shown that males are able to adaptively allocate ejaculates according to the intensity of sperm competition, but observational data does not allow explicitly comparative tests of theory in this field. Using a group of seed beetles as a model system, we analyzed experimental quantifications of a suite of relevant male and female traits and behaviors in a phylogenetic comparative framework. We found a strongly and positively correlated evolution between the weight of males’ first ejaculate and the rate at which ejaculate weight decreases over successive matings. Sperm competition theory predicts that increased female remating should result in the evolution of larger male testes but smaller ejaculates, and both of these predictions were upheld in seed beetles. Theory also predicts that increased female remating should lead to the evolution of more prudent allocation of ejaculate resources over successive matings. In contrast to this prediction, we found that elevated female remating was associated with a less prudent ejaculate allocation. We suggest that this pattern of correlated evolution, apparently incongruent with classic sperm competition theory, is the result either of trade-offs between ejaculate expenditure and other competing demands or of evolution in total resource acquisition rather than in the evolution of resource allocation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 21, no 2, 471-479 p.
Keyword [en]
acessory gland products, Callosobruchus, coevolution, mating system, nuptial gift, polyandry, sexual selection, sperm allocation, sperm competition, Zabrotes
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-61565DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2007.01494.xOAI: diva2:436330
Available from: 2011-08-23 Created: 2011-08-23 Last updated: 2011-08-31Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Male-female Coevolution in Bruchid seed beetles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Male-female Coevolution in Bruchid seed beetles
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Male-female coevolution is at the heart of biology. It is responsible for much of the diversity we see in behaviour and morphology, and it is thought to be an important engine of speciation. The pattern of intersexual coevolution is well established in many taxa, yet understanding of the processes responsible for male-female coevolution remains incomplete. By studying interspecific variation within a closely related group of species, we can gain important information about how traits and behaviours have evolved. In the work done for this thesis, we studied a group of seed beetle species. Our results show that male-female coevolution has been a strong force in shaping both behaviour and morphological traits that are associated with mating and reproduction such as, morphology of male and female genitalia and remating behaviour. The evolution of harmful male genitalia has often been suggested to be a product of sexually antagonistic coevolution, but understanding of these extraordinary adaptations is limited. By combining comparative and experimental methods we show that as seed beetle males evolve more spiny genitalia, harm to females is elevated. We provide evidence for the correlated evolution between these antagonistic adaptations in males, and a female counter adaptation (the amount of connective tissue in the copulatory duct). We also demonstrate that imbalance of relative armament of the sexes affects evolution of the costs and benefits of reproduction. As males evolve genitalia that are more harmful relative to the level of female counteradaptation, costs associated with mating for females increase and population fitness is depressed. Our results unveil a coevolutionary arms race between the sexes and are consistent with a proposed link between sexual conflict, species’ viability and the risk of extinction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2009. 38 p.
, Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 614
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Animal Ecology
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-61566 (URN)978-91-554-7444-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
Available from: 2011-08-31 Created: 2011-08-23 Last updated: 2011-08-31Bibliographically approved

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