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Cooperatively breeding banded mongooses do not avoid inbreeding through familiarity-based kin recognition / Monil Khera, Kevin Arbuckle, Joseph I. Hoffman, Jennifer L. Sanderson, Michael A. Cant, Hazel Nichols

Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Volume: 75, Issue: 9

Swansea University Authors: Monil Khera, Kevin Arbuckle, Hazel Nichols

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Abstract

In species that live in family groups, such as cooperative breeders, inbreeding is usually avoided through the recognition of familiar kin. For example, individuals may avoid mating with conspecifics encountered regularly in infancy, as these likely include parents, siblings, and closely related all...

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Published in: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
ISSN: 0340-5443 1432-0762
Published: Springer Science and Business Media LLC 2021
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa57835
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For example, individuals may avoid mating with conspecifics encountered regularly in infancy, as these likely include parents, siblings, and closely related alloparents. Other mechanisms have also been reported, albeit rarely; for example, individuals may compare their own phenotype to that of others, with close matches representing likely relatives (&#x201C;phenotype matching&#x201D;). However, determinants of the primary inbreeding avoidance mechanisms used by a given species remain poorly understood. We use 24 years of life history and genetic data to investigate inbreeding avoidance in wild cooperatively breeding banded mongooses (Mungos mungo). We find that inbreeding avoidance occurs within social groups but is far from maximised (mean pedigree relatedness between 351 breeding pairs = 0.144). Unusually for a group-living vertebrate, we find no evidence that females avoid breeding with males with which they are familiar in early life. This is probably explained by communal breeding; females give birth in tight synchrony and pups are cared for communally, thus reducing the reliability of familiarity-based proxies of relatedness. We also found little evidence that inbreeding is avoided by preferentially breeding with males of specific age classes. Instead, females may exploit as-yet unknown proxies of relatedness, for example, through phenotype matching, or may employ postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanisms. Investigation of species with unusual breeding systems helps to identify constraints against inbreeding avoidance and contributes to our understanding of the distribution of inbreeding across species. Significance statement: Choosing the right mate is never easy, but it may be particularly difficult for banded mongooses. In most social animals, individuals avoid mating with those that were familiar to them as infants, as these are likely to be relatives. However, we show that this rule does not work in banded mongooses. Here, the offspring of several mothers are raised in large communal litters by their social group, and parents seem unable to identify or direct care towards their own pups. This may make it difficult to recognise relatives based on their level of familiarity and is likely to explain why banded mongooses frequently inbreed. 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spelling 2021-10-07T15:03:06.3141426 v2 57835 2021-09-10 Cooperatively breeding banded mongooses do not avoid inbreeding through familiarity-based kin recognition a63ca0b621b2f2b8d19f13db3f86b57f Monil Khera Monil Khera true false d1775d20b12e430869cc7be5d7d4a27e 0000-0002-9171-5874 Kevin Arbuckle Kevin Arbuckle true false 43ba12986bd7754484874c73eed0ebfe 0000-0002-4455-6065 Hazel Nichols Hazel Nichols true false 2021-09-10 SBI In species that live in family groups, such as cooperative breeders, inbreeding is usually avoided through the recognition of familiar kin. For example, individuals may avoid mating with conspecifics encountered regularly in infancy, as these likely include parents, siblings, and closely related alloparents. Other mechanisms have also been reported, albeit rarely; for example, individuals may compare their own phenotype to that of others, with close matches representing likely relatives (“phenotype matching”). However, determinants of the primary inbreeding avoidance mechanisms used by a given species remain poorly understood. We use 24 years of life history and genetic data to investigate inbreeding avoidance in wild cooperatively breeding banded mongooses (Mungos mungo). We find that inbreeding avoidance occurs within social groups but is far from maximised (mean pedigree relatedness between 351 breeding pairs = 0.144). Unusually for a group-living vertebrate, we find no evidence that females avoid breeding with males with which they are familiar in early life. This is probably explained by communal breeding; females give birth in tight synchrony and pups are cared for communally, thus reducing the reliability of familiarity-based proxies of relatedness. We also found little evidence that inbreeding is avoided by preferentially breeding with males of specific age classes. Instead, females may exploit as-yet unknown proxies of relatedness, for example, through phenotype matching, or may employ postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanisms. Investigation of species with unusual breeding systems helps to identify constraints against inbreeding avoidance and contributes to our understanding of the distribution of inbreeding across species. Significance statement: Choosing the right mate is never easy, but it may be particularly difficult for banded mongooses. In most social animals, individuals avoid mating with those that were familiar to them as infants, as these are likely to be relatives. However, we show that this rule does not work in banded mongooses. Here, the offspring of several mothers are raised in large communal litters by their social group, and parents seem unable to identify or direct care towards their own pups. This may make it difficult to recognise relatives based on their level of familiarity and is likely to explain why banded mongooses frequently inbreed. Nevertheless, inbreeding is lower than expected if mates are chosen at random, suggesting that alternative pre- or post-copulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanisms are used. Journal Article Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 75 9 Springer Science and Business Media LLC 0340-5443 1432-0762 10 9 2021 2021-09-10 10.1007/s00265-021-03076-3 COLLEGE NANME Biosciences COLLEGE CODE SBI Swansea University SU Library paid the OA fee (TA Institutional Deal) This work was supported by a Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) standard grant (HO 5122/5–1) awarded to JIH, a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) standard grant (NE/J010278/1) awarded to MAC, a Leverhulme International Fellowship (IAF-2018–006) awarded to HJN, a Swansea University Masters Excellence Scholarship awarded to MK and a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to HJN. 2021-10-07T15:03:06.3141426 2021-09-10T13:27:35.4288308 College of Science Biosciences Monil Khera 1 Kevin Arbuckle 0000-0002-9171-5874 2 Joseph I. Hoffman 3 Jennifer L. Sanderson 4 Michael A. Cant 5 Hazel Nichols 0000-0002-4455-6065 6 57835__20815__8d8da77dc11d46e398d28c1f4558d9b4.pdf cooperatively breeding banded mongooses do not avoid inbreeding through familiarity-based kin recognition.pdf 2021-09-10T13:32:39.0607441 Output 930849 application/pdf Version of Record true © The Author(s) 2021.T his article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License true eng
title Cooperatively breeding banded mongooses do not avoid inbreeding through familiarity-based kin recognition
spellingShingle Cooperatively breeding banded mongooses do not avoid inbreeding through familiarity-based kin recognition
Monil, Khera
Kevin, Arbuckle
Hazel, Nichols
title_short Cooperatively breeding banded mongooses do not avoid inbreeding through familiarity-based kin recognition
title_full Cooperatively breeding banded mongooses do not avoid inbreeding through familiarity-based kin recognition
title_fullStr Cooperatively breeding banded mongooses do not avoid inbreeding through familiarity-based kin recognition
title_full_unstemmed Cooperatively breeding banded mongooses do not avoid inbreeding through familiarity-based kin recognition
title_sort Cooperatively breeding banded mongooses do not avoid inbreeding through familiarity-based kin recognition
author_id_str_mv a63ca0b621b2f2b8d19f13db3f86b57f
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author_id_fullname_str_mv a63ca0b621b2f2b8d19f13db3f86b57f_***_Monil, Khera
d1775d20b12e430869cc7be5d7d4a27e_***_Kevin, Arbuckle
43ba12986bd7754484874c73eed0ebfe_***_Hazel, Nichols
author Monil, Khera
Kevin, Arbuckle
Hazel, Nichols
author2 Monil Khera
Kevin Arbuckle
Joseph I. Hoffman
Jennifer L. Sanderson
Michael A. Cant
Hazel Nichols
format Journal article
container_title Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
container_volume 75
container_issue 9
publishDate 2021
institution Swansea University
issn 0340-5443
1432-0762
doi_str_mv 10.1007/s00265-021-03076-3
publisher Springer Science and Business Media LLC
college_str College of Science
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hierarchy_top_title College of Science
hierarchy_parent_id collegeofscience
hierarchy_parent_title College of Science
department_str Biosciences{{{_:::_}}}College of Science{{{_:::_}}}Biosciences
document_store_str 1
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description In species that live in family groups, such as cooperative breeders, inbreeding is usually avoided through the recognition of familiar kin. For example, individuals may avoid mating with conspecifics encountered regularly in infancy, as these likely include parents, siblings, and closely related alloparents. Other mechanisms have also been reported, albeit rarely; for example, individuals may compare their own phenotype to that of others, with close matches representing likely relatives (“phenotype matching”). However, determinants of the primary inbreeding avoidance mechanisms used by a given species remain poorly understood. We use 24 years of life history and genetic data to investigate inbreeding avoidance in wild cooperatively breeding banded mongooses (Mungos mungo). We find that inbreeding avoidance occurs within social groups but is far from maximised (mean pedigree relatedness between 351 breeding pairs = 0.144). Unusually for a group-living vertebrate, we find no evidence that females avoid breeding with males with which they are familiar in early life. This is probably explained by communal breeding; females give birth in tight synchrony and pups are cared for communally, thus reducing the reliability of familiarity-based proxies of relatedness. We also found little evidence that inbreeding is avoided by preferentially breeding with males of specific age classes. Instead, females may exploit as-yet unknown proxies of relatedness, for example, through phenotype matching, or may employ postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanisms. Investigation of species with unusual breeding systems helps to identify constraints against inbreeding avoidance and contributes to our understanding of the distribution of inbreeding across species. Significance statement: Choosing the right mate is never easy, but it may be particularly difficult for banded mongooses. In most social animals, individuals avoid mating with those that were familiar to them as infants, as these are likely to be relatives. However, we show that this rule does not work in banded mongooses. Here, the offspring of several mothers are raised in large communal litters by their social group, and parents seem unable to identify or direct care towards their own pups. This may make it difficult to recognise relatives based on their level of familiarity and is likely to explain why banded mongooses frequently inbreed. Nevertheless, inbreeding is lower than expected if mates are chosen at random, suggesting that alternative pre- or post-copulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanisms are used.
published_date 2021-09-10T04:24:43Z
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