Sperm-limited fecundity and polyandry-induced mortality in female nematodes Caenorhabditis remanei

Diaz, S.A., Haydon, D.T. and Lindstrom, J. (2010) Sperm-limited fecundity and polyandry-induced mortality in female nematodes Caenorhabditis remanei. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 99(2), pp. 362-369. (doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2009.01352.x)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8312.2009.01352.x


In many sexually reproducing species, females are sperm limited and actively mate more than once which can lead to sperm competition between males. However, the costs and benefits of multiple matings may differ for males and females leading to different optimal mating frequencies and consequent sexual conflict. Under these circumstances, male traits that reduce females' re-mating rates are likely to evolve. However, the same traits can also reduce, directly or indirectly, female survival and/or manipulate female fecundity. Evidence of this sexual conflict is common across several taxa. Here, we examine the evidence for this form of conflict in the free-living nematodes of the Caenorhabditis genus. Members of this group are extensively used to describe developmental and physiological processes. Despite this, we understand little about the evolution of selfing, maintenance of males and sexual conflict in these species, particularly those with gonochoristic mating strategies. In this study, we demonstrate experimentally sexual conflict in the gonochoristic of C. remanei cultured under laboratory conditions. In our first experiment, we found that female fecundity increased with the number of males present which suggests that females' reproduction may be sperm limited. However, increasing the number of males present also reduced female survival. A second experiment ruled out the alternative explanation of density-dependent reduction in female survival when more males were present as increasing female density correspondingly did not affect female survival.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lindstrom, Dr Jan and Haydon, Professor Daniel
Authors: Diaz, S.A., Haydon, D.T., and Lindstrom, J.
Subjects:Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
ISSN (Online):1095-8312
Published Online:18 December 2009

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