Sexual conflict opposes sexual selection

Sexually antagonistic genes could have far-reaching effects on patterns of fitness inheritance, a new study finds

Graciela Flores
Oct 23, 2006
Intralocus sexual conflict reduces the benefits of sexual selection by diminishing the fitness of offspring produced by the most attractive mates, researchers report in PLoS Biology this week. The study is the first to measure the inheritance of genetic quality from both parents across generations.When individuals of the same species carry sexually antagonistic genes -- genes that have opposite effects on fitness when expressed in the two sexes -- sexual conflict ensues. "In promiscuous mating systems, many genes that make a good male don't make a good female," study author Alison Pischedda, formerly at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada told The Scientist. To test the prediction that sexually antagonistic genes would result in an inverted pattern of fitness inheritance from one generation to the next, Pischedda and her colleague, Adam Chippindale, produced high-fitness and low-fitness lines of Drosophila melanogaster using cytogenetic cloning, a technique that allows...