Gender-specific fitness?

Study finds that reproductively successful males have unsuccessful daughters

Melissa Lee Phillips
Jun 26, 2007
Genes that are advantageous to males may hinder fitness in females of the same species, according to a study of wild red deer in this week's Nature. The authors found that reproductively successful males had female relatives that reproduced less than average. Conflicting selection between the sexes may preserve trait diversity in the wild, the authors say.This work "is the first to provide compelling evidence of sexually antagonistic fitness variation in a wild population," said Russell Bonduriansky of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, who was not involved in the work. It should "dispel any lingering doubts about the reality and importance" of sex-specific selection, he added. Previous work has shown that genes are selected differently in females and males of laboratory organisms such as Drosophila melanogaster and the plant Silene latifolia. "The Drosophila studies were very powerful in terms of the genetic tools...

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