Coevolution of non-fertile sperm and female receptivity in a butterfly.
Royal Society, The
© 2009 The Royal Society This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sexual conflict can promote rapid evolution of male and female reproductive traits. Males of many polyandrous butterflies transfer nutrients at mating that enhances female fecundity, but generates sexual conflict over female remating due to sperm competition. Butterflies produce both normal fertilizing sperm and large numbers of non-fertile sperm. In the green-veined white butterfly, Pieris napi, non-fertile sperm fill the females' sperm storage organ, switching off receptivity and thereby reducing female remating. There is genetic variation in the number of non-fertile sperm stored, which directly relates to the female's refractory period. There is also genetic variation in males' sperm production. Here, we show that females' refractory period and males' sperm production are genetically correlated using quantitative genetic and selection experiments. Thus selection on male manipulation may increase the frequency of susceptible females to such manipulations as a correlated response and vice versa.
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
The Royal Society
Open Access Article published originally in Biology Letters, October 2009, 5(5) pp 678-681, http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/5/5/678
Vol. 5, No. 5, pp. 678 - 681
Place of publication