Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Origins and maintenance of sex Sexual conflict Sex ratios

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Origins and maintenance of sex Sexual conflict Sex ratios"— Presentation transcript:

1 Origins and maintenance of sex Sexual conflict Sex ratios
Dr. Sally Otto, UBC

2 Asexuality vs. self-fertilization
Give examples of the mechanism – pseudo copulation footage in snakes Video footage?

3 Costs of sex

4 Advantages of asexuality: which sex limits population growth?
Sexual lineage Asexual lineage Note: no figure, but attempted to convey same idea with letters. What would happen if an asexual mutant occurred in a population? Would it increase or decrease?

5 Advantages of asexuality: fitness
of individuals Frequency

6 99.9% of species can’t be wrong
So, is sex good? 99.9% of species can’t be wrong Cnemidophorus Sexual Asexual Dandelions Daphnia

7 (but a few asexual lineages persist)
Bdelloid rotifers freshwater filter feeders This implies that asexuality should have some major problems, or sex some major advantages. What exactly?

8 Hypotheses to explain the maintenance of sex
Harmful mutations: Mller’s ratchet Speed of adaptation and the Red Queen

9 Disadvantages of asexuality: Müller’s ratchet
Mutations happen and accumulate mutation-free chromosome

10 # of deleterious mutations # of deleterious mutations
Müller’s ratchet LLC: “least-loaded class” “CLICK” frequency frequency # of deleterious mutations # of deleterious mutations

11 Müller’s ratchet in sexuals? No.
“CLICK” frequency frequency # of deleterious mutations # of deleterious mutations frequency # of deleterious mutations

12 Müller’s ratchet : an experiment
Set up 444 cultures of Salmonella Transfer one individual every 24 hours 1700 generations Prediction: lower fitness Test: generation time: parental: Experimental populations:

13 Evidence for Müller’s ratchet : the human Y chromosome
In XX females, recombination Y chromosome does not pair with X

14 Müller’s ratchet overall

15 Reason’s for sex: adaptation
B1 A2 B2 Low fitness High fitness A1 B1 parental A1 B2 A1 B1 recombinant meiosis A2 B1 A2 B2 recombinant A2 B2 parental

16 Does recombination increase genetic variance for fitness?

17 The results of sex: cost of recombination
If parents have higher than average fitness, what effect of recombination? The results of sex: cost of recombination A1 B1 meiosis A2 B2 parental recombinant

18 Experimental test of recombination and adaptation
Adaptation may require new combinations of alleles Asexuality does not allow this Experiment: flour beetles (Tribolium) Have stock population Allow one population to evolve The other is restocked from original population, as if asexual. Asexual has 3x reproductive advantage Asexuals start 0.5 of population Selection: pesticide Malathion What proportion are sexual?

19 Advantage of sex: adaptation
Malathion concentration Proportion sexual 30 Generations figure 7.18

20 Do organisms need to adapt? Red queen hypothesis
Red Queen to Alice: “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.” --Lewis Carrol, Through the Looking Glass (1872) Concept: constant adaptation needed. Why?

21 Parasites and hosts Imagine four parasite genotypes, four host defense genotypes Parasite Host

22 Parasites and host: Red queen
start after selection on host

23 Parasites and host: Red queen
after selection on host after selection on parasite

24 Evolution over time: cycling genotypes

25 Red queen, evidence: topminnows of Mexico
Interspecific hybrids from asexual triploids or: sexual diploid fish Infected by parasites that cause spots

26 Data I: sexuals vs. asexuals: which has more parasites?
Asexuals have more parasites Parasites Fish length (mm)

27 What if there is no variation in sexual population?
Heart pool: dried up in 1976 Recolonized by just a few sexual minnows and a few asexual minnows. Which will have the higher fitness?

28 Why sex, summary

29 Why two sexes? Most species have two sexes
Some have multiple sexes (mating types): mating type 1 can mate with anyone except mating type 1, etc. Advantage: higher proportion of population available for mating Why only two mating types??

30 Implication of two sexes
Sexual selection Sexual conflict

31 Intrasexual competition: sperm competition
When females mate with multiple males, sperm can compete Example: yellow dung fly Scathophaga stercoraria

32 Yellow dung flies Females mate with multiple males
Last male to mate fertilizes most ovules Selection experiment: compare wild to 10 generations monogamous, 10 generations polyandrous Expected effect on sperm competition? Monogamous ♀ + ♂ Polygamous ♀ + 3♂ 10 gen. 10 gen.

33 Yellow dung flies: polyandrous males vs. monogamous males
Mate each female with two males: one from polyandrous line, one from monogamous line Hosken & Ward % offspring sired by second male to mate

34 Sexual selection and intersexual conflict evolution
Traits that favour male success may harm female success Example: sperm competition faster sperm win: higher fitness for male too many sperm: polyspermy – egg is lost human spontaneous abortions: 3% of conceptions end due to triploid embryos (1 egg, 2 sperm)

35 Female evolutionary response: slow the sperm
Yellow dung fly experiment

36 Evolution of sex ratios
Which sex should be more common? Why aren’t there many females per male? imagine monogamous species females become more common which would be better to have has offspring: male or female?

37 Sex bias? If females could choose:
What if polygamous species? some males have many mates most males do not mate If in excellent condition, should a female produce male or female offspring? If in poor condition, should a female produce male or female offspring?

38 Sex bias: data Case 1: Kakapo (NZ parrot)
Captive breeding, plenty of food. When well fed: 70% sons Adequately fed: 50% sons

39 Sex bias in humans: data
Mormon second (or higher) wives Sons Daughters Ratio One co-wife 4,217 3, More than one

40 References Hoskins, Garner, and Ward Sexual conflict selects for male and female reproductive characters. Current Biology 11: Hoskins and Ward Experimental evidence for testes size evolution via sperm competition. Ecology Letters 4:10-13. Lively, Craddock, & Vrijonhoek Red queen hypothesis supported by parasitism in sexual and clonal fish. Nature 344: Ridley, M The red queen: sex and the evolution of human nature. Harper. Nice job reviewing Muller’s ratchet and other hypotheses for the maintenance of sex. Goes boldly into explaining human nature, far beyond the evidence. Robertson et al Sex allocation theory aids species conservation. Biology Letters 2:

41 Readings and questions
1. In the beetle evolution experiment (figure 8.18) Dunbrack et al did not actually asexual beetles, as there aren't any. Instead they used two different lines of beetles that differed in color, treating one line as if it were asexual by replacing individuals with individuals from a stock population. The researcher's simulated asexual population was not allowed to evolve at all in response to competition and the presence of the insecticide. Is this realistic? 2. In general, would you expect asexual lineages to persist longer with small population sizes or large population sizes? Why? 3. If the offspring of sexual and asexual individuals have equivalent fitness, why would asexuals take over a population? 4. Explain how Muller's ratchet affects sexual populations differently from asexual populations. Explain how the Red Queen hypothesis relates to the maintenance of sex. Why might sex be advantageous in the face of parasites or disease? In most species, the sex ratio is 50 / 50 male: female. Why wouldn’t evolution favor a higher proportion of females, since one male could mate with many females? Discuss using the idea of frequency dependent selection.

Download ppt "Origins and maintenance of sex Sexual conflict Sex ratios"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google