Mixed evidence for the erosion of intertactical genetic correlations through intralocus tactical conflict

K. N. Pike*, J. L. Tomkins, B. A. Buzatto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Alternative reproductive tactics, whereby members of the same sex use different tactics to secure matings, are often associated with conditional intrasexual dimorphisms. Given the different selective pressures on males adopting each mating tactic, intrasexual dimorphism is more likely to arise if phenotypes are genetically uncoupled and free to evolve towards their phenotypic optima. However, in this context, genetic correlations between male morphs could result in intralocus tactical conflict (ITC). We investigated the genetic architecture of male dimorphism in bulb mites (Rhizoglyphus echinopus) and earwigs (Forficula auricularia). We used half-sibling breeding designs to assess the heritability and intra/intersexual genetic correlations of dimorphic and monomorphic traits in each species. We found two contrasting patterns; F. auricularia exhibited low intrasexual genetic correlations for the dimorphic trait, suggesting that the ITC is moving towards a resolution. Meanwhile, R. echinopus exhibited high and significant intrasexual genetic correlations for most traits, suggesting that morphs in the bulb mite may be limited in evolving to their optima. This also shows that intrasexual dimorphisms can evolve despite strong genetic constraints, contrary to current predictions. We discuss the implications of this genetic constraint and emphasize the potential importance of ITC for our understanding of intrasexual dimorphisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1195-1204
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume30
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • alternative phenotypes
  • alternative reproductive tactics
  • intrasexual dimorphism
  • male dimorphism
  • phenotypic plasticity
  • polyphenism

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