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Drosophila courtship: Male hybrid vigor after crossing isogenic lines?
AuthorMadeleine Gilles, Yasmine Graf, Saskia Rughöft, Kirstin Leinhoß, Björn Brembs
Author email bjoern©
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DescriptionIn many models of sexual selection it is assumed that attractive traits are passed on from father to son and thus also help the mother attain fitness benefits, since her sons would be more likely to father even more offspring. In Drosophila simulans, male attractiveness is heritable through the patriline: attractive fathers sire attractive sons, while unattractive fathers sire unattractive sons (Taylor et al., 2007). However, Pischedda et al. had previously concluded that "male fitness was not inherited by sons" in Drosophila melanogaster. In an attempt to further elucidate the evolutionary and neurobiological underpinnings of sexual signaling during courtship, we set out to test the attractiveness of recently published isogenic fly lines. It has been reported that these 40 lines exhibit considerable variability in copulation latencies and frequencies (Ayroles et al., 2009). We started by measuring copulation laten-cies and frequencies of a selected subset of these lines in standard courtship wheels against a Canton S tester female. The selected lines were the five lines with the highest (lowest, re-spectively) copulation latencies from experiments using large, food-containing vials with Oregon/Samarkand tester females. To identify the lines best suited for crossing, the copula-tion latencies were plotted against the copulation frequencies and four lines which were clearly separable on both variables were chosen for crossbreeding. In all cases, the male offspring from the reciprocal crosses were more attractive than the less attractive parent. Some offspring exceeded even the more attractive parent in attractiveness. This evidence demonstrates that the fathers from an unattractive D. melanogaster population can sire attractive sons if they mate with females from a population that produces attractive males.
These results also suggest a form of hybrid vigor which can render offspring more attractive than same-sex members from both their patri- and their matriline.
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