Faculté des sciences

Paternal inheritance of the primary sex ratio in a copepod

Voordouw, Maarten J. ; Robinson, H. Eve ; Anholt, Bradley R.

In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 2005, vol. 18, no. 5, p. 1304-1314

Uniparentally inherited genetic elements are under strong selection to manipulate sex determination in their host and shift the host sex ratio towards the transmitting sex. For any sex-ratio trait, lineage analysis and quantitative genetics are important tools for characterizing the mode of inheritance (biparental vs. maternal vs. paternal) thereby narrowing the field of possible sex-determining... Plus

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    Summary
    Uniparentally inherited genetic elements are under strong selection to manipulate sex determination in their host and shift the host sex ratio towards the transmitting sex. For any sex-ratio trait, lineage analysis and quantitative genetics are important tools for characterizing the mode of inheritance (biparental vs. maternal vs. paternal) thereby narrowing the field of possible sex-determining mechanisms (e.g. polygenic, sex chromosomes with meiotic drive, cytoplasmic microorganisms). The primary sex ratio of the harpacticoid copepod, Tigriopus californicus is often male-biased and is highly variable among full sib families. We found that this extra-binomial variation for the primary sex ratio is paternally but not maternally transmitted in T. californicus. Paternal transmission of the primary sex ratio has been well documented in the haplo–diploid hymenoptera but is relatively rare in diplo–diploid organisms. If the sex-ratio trait is paternally transmitted in other closely related harpacticoid copepods it would explain why male biased primary sex ratios are so common in this group.