Good male seed beetles make for bad dads

Posted By: Staff
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Washington, June 26 (ANI): A new study on seed beetles has shown that, contrary to predictions, males of high genetic quality are not very successful when it comes to fertilizing eggs.

The study, conducted by Swedish and Danish scientists Goran Arnqvist and Trine Bilde, found that when female mates with several males, the males of low genetic quality are the most successful in fertilizing eggs.

In almost all animals, females mate with several different males, despite the fact that a single mating is often sufficient to fertilize her eggs.

One commonly held belief is that this behaviour may allow females to choose the sperm of the male with highest genetic quality to fertilize her eggs.

Professor Goran Arnqvist from the Department of Ecology and Evolution, Uppsala University and associate professor Trine Bilde from the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Aarhus, tested this possibility directly for the first time using seed beetles and shown that it is not true.

The researchers found that, contrary to predictions, males of low genetic quality are more successful in fertilizing eggs.

Males who gained the highest share of paternity were actually males with low genetic quality. These males also fathered offspring that did less well.

"The results support the suggestion that genes that are good for males may often be bad for their mates. Therefore, in beetles at least, multiple mating does not award females with genetic benefits," Arnqvist said.

The study is published in this week's issue of Science. (ANI)

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