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The male handicap: male-biased mortality explains skewed sex ratios in brown trout embryos / P Morán; L. Labbé; Carlos Garcia De Leaniz

Biology Letters, Volume: 12, Issue: 12, Start page: 20160693

Swansea University Author: Carlos, Garcia De Leaniz

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DOI (Published version): 10.1098/rsbl.2016.0693

Abstract

Juvenile sex ratios are often assumed to be equal for many species with genetic sex determination, but this has rarely been tested in fish embryos due to their small size and absence of sex-specific markers. We artificially crossed three populations of brown trout and used a recently developed genet...

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Published in: Biology Letters
ISSN: 1744-9561 1744-957X
Published: Royal Society 2016
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa32924
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Abstract: Juvenile sex ratios are often assumed to be equal for many species with genetic sex determination, but this has rarely been tested in fish embryos due to their small size and absence of sex-specific markers. We artificially crossed three populations of brown trout and used a recently developed genetic marker for sexing the offspring of both pure and hybrid crosses. Sex ratios (SR = proportion of males) varied widely one month after hatching ranging from 0.15 to 0.90 (mean = 0.39 ± 0.03). Families with high survival tended to produce balanced or male-biased sex ratios, but SR was significantly female-biased when survival was low, suggesting that males sustain higher mortality during development. No difference in SR was found between pure and hybrid families, but the existence of sire × dam interactions suggests that genetic incompatibility may play a role in determining sex ratios. Our findings have implications for animal breeding and conservation because skewed sex ratios will tend to reduce effective population size and bias selection estimates.
Item Description: First joint author and corresponding author
Keywords: embryo development, sex-specific mortality, sex ratio, genetic incompatibility, genetic conflict, sex determination
College: College of Science
Issue: 12
Start Page: 20160693