A test of genetic association among male nuptial coloration, female mating preference, and male aggression bias within a polymorphic population of cichlid fish

Inke Van Der Sluijs, Peter D. Dijkstra, Charlotte M. Lindeyer, Bertanne Visser, Alan M. Smith, Ton G.G. Groothuis, Jacques J.M. van Alphen, Ole Seehausen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Both inter- and intrasexual selection have been implicated in the origin and maintenance of species-rich taxa with diverse sexual traits. Simultaneous disruptive selection by female mate choice and male-male competition can, in theory, lead to speciation without geographical isolation if both act on the same male trait. Female mate choice can generate discontinuities in gene flow, while male-male competition can generate negative frequency-dependent selection stabilizing the male trait polymorphism. Speciation may be facilitated when mating preference and/or aggression bias are physically linked to the trait they operate on. We tested for genetic associations among female mating preference, male aggression bias and male coloration in the Lake Victoria cichlid Pundamilia. We crossed females from a phenotypically variable population with males from both extreme ends of the phenotype distribution in the same population (blue or red). Male offspring of a red sire were significantly redder than males of a blue sire, indicating that intra-population variation in male coloration is heritable. We tested mating preferences of female offspring and aggression biases of male offspring using binary choice tests. There was no evidence for associations at the family level between female mating preferences and coloration of sires, but dam identity had a significant effect on female mate preference. Sons of the red sire directed significantly more aggression to red than blue males, whereas sons of the blue sire did not show any bias. There was a positive correlation among individuals between male aggression bias and body coloration, possibly due to pleiotropy or physical linkage, which could facilitate the maintenance of color polymorphism [Current Zoology 59 (2): 221-229, 2013].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-229
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Zoology
Volume59
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

Keywords

  • Disruptive selection
  • Linkage disequilibrium
  • Pundamilia
  • Sexual selection
  • Speciation

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