Article

The genetic mating system of spotted sunfish (Lepomis punctatus): mate numbers and the influence of male reproductive parasites.

Department of Genetics, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.
Molecular Ecology (Impact Factor: 6.28). 01/2001; 9(12):2119-28. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-294X.2000.01123.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In nest-building fish species, mature males often exhibit one of two alternative reproductive behaviours. Bourgeois males build nests, court females, and guard their eggs. Parasitic cuckolders attempt to steal fertilizations from bourgeois males and do not invest in parental care. Previous evidence from the bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) suggests that adult males are morphologically specialized for these two tactics. Here, we used microsatellite markers to determine genetic parentage in a natural population of the spotted sunfish (L. punctatus) that also displayed both bourgeois and parasitic male morphs. As gauged by relative investments in gonadal vs. somatic tissues, between 5 and 15% of the mature adult males were parasites. Multi-locus genotypes were generated for more than 1400 embryos in 30 nests, their nest-guardian males, and for other adults in the population. Progeny in approximately 57% of the nests were sired exclusively by the guardian male, but the remaining nests contained embryos resulting from cuckoldry as well. Overall, the frequency of offspring resulting from stolen fertilizations was only 1.3%, indicating that the great majority of paternity is by bourgeois nesting males. With regard to maternity, 87% of the nests had at least three dams, and computer simulations estimate that about 7.2 dams spawned per nest.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
274 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We tested the hypothesis that reproductive success is randomly distributed within spawning aggregations of Atlantic cod Gadus morhua, a broadcast-spawning marine fish for which no parental care is provided. Based on microsatellite DNA-parentage assignment of 8913 offspring from 4 large (n = 52 to 93) experimental spawning aggregations, we quantified individual variation in male reproductive success and evaluated the degree to which this variation could be explained by aspects of morphology, condition, and spawning behaviour. Reproductive success was highly skewed, with more than 80% of the offspring within each group sired by 2 to 7 individuals. Body size and agonistic interactions initiated were positively associated with male reproductive success within each group. The lengths of fins prominent during courtship and mating were also correlated with reproductive success within one of the spawning groups for which data were available. Our observations are consistent with the hypotheses that some form of intrasexual competition or mate choice is a constituent of the mating system of this species and that the ratio of effective to census population size in broadcast-spawning marine fishes is very small.
    Marine Ecology Progress Series 03/2008; 354:257–265. · 2.64 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Molecular markers can provide information on the family structure of natural fish populations through molecular pedigree analysis. This information, which is otherwise difficult to obtain, can give important insights into the expression and evolution of phenotypic traits. We review the literature to provide examples of how molecular pedigree analysis has been used extensively to examine patterns of distribution, dispersal, and social behaviour in fishes and how it provides a tool for the estimation of quantitative genetic parameters. Although multiple methodologies can be used to examine family structure, the efficacy of any molecular pedigree analysis is generally dependent on prior consideration of interrelated statistical and biological factors. Statistical issues stem from the choice of molecular marker type and marker set used, in addition to sampling strategy. We discuss these considerations and additionally emphasize the utility of supplemental nongenetic data for increasing the efficacy of pedigree analysis. We advocate that, where possible, a priori knowledge of the study system's biology should be used to inform study design and further highlight the need for additional empirical testing of methodologies.
    Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 01/2002; 59(10):1696-1707. · 2.32 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: I love the term ‘natural history’ because it encapsulates the sentiment that nature's operations have evolutionary etiologies. Charles Darwin was a natural historian par excellence and his elucidation of natural selection, artificial selection, and sexual selection fundamentally changed how scientists interpret the origins of biological features previously ascribed to sentient craftsmanship by supernatural agents. Darwin's insights on evolutionary forces grew from his exceptional knowledge of natural history, yet two key topics steeped in natural history – sex and reproductive genetics – remained poorly understood (and probably even shunned) in Darwin's Victorian era. That situation changed dramatically in the latter half of the 20th century with societal awakenings about sexuality that also happened to coincide with the introduction of molecular parentage analyses that unveiled a plethora of formerly hidden ‘sexcapades’ throughout the biological world. Here I summarize some of the evolutionary revelations that have emerged from selection theory as applied to genetic and phylogenetic information on clonality, hermaphroditism, and pregnancy, three procreative phenomena that are relatively rare in vertebrate animals and thus offer alternative evolutionary perspectives on standard reproductive modes. Collectively, these three peculiarities of nature illustrate how the abnormal in biology can enlighten evolutionary thought about the norm.
    Journal of Zoology 01/2012; 286(1). · 2.04 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
5 Downloads
Available from
Aug 14, 2014