Faculté des sciences

Genetic variation of male reproductive success in a laboratory population of Anopheles gambiae

Voordouw, Maarten J. ; Koella, Jacob

In: Malaria Journal, 2007, vol. 6, no. 99, p. 1-11

Background For Anopheline mosquitoes, the vectors of human malaria, genetic variation in male reproductive success can have important consequences for any control strategy based on the release of transgenic or sterile males. Methods A quantitative genetics approach was used to test whether there was a genetic component to variation in male reproductive success in a... Plus

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    Summary
    Background
    For Anopheline mosquitoes, the vectors of human malaria, genetic variation in male reproductive success can have important consequences for any control strategy based on the release of transgenic or sterile males.
    Methods
    A quantitative genetics approach was used to test whether there was a genetic component to variation in male reproductive success in a laboratory population of Anopheles gambiae. Swarms of full sibling brothers were mated with a fixed number of females and their reproductive success was measured as (1) proportion of ovipositing females, (2) proportion of ovipositing females that produced larvae, (3) proportion of females that produced larvae, (4) number of eggs laid per female, (5) number of larvae per ovipositing female and (6) number of larvae per female.
    Results
    The proportion of ovipositing females (trait 1) and the proportion of ovipositing females that produced larvae (trait 2) differed among full sib families, suggesting a genetic basis of mating success. In contrast, the other measures of male reproductive success showed little variation due to the full sib families, as their variation are probably mostly due to differences among females. While age at emergence and wing length of the males were also heritable, they were not associated with reproductive success. Larger females produced more eggs, but males did not prefer such partners.
    Conclusions
    The first study to quantify genetic variation for male reproductive success in A. gambiae found that while the initial stages of male reproduction (i.e. the proportion of ovipositing females and the proportion of ovipositing females that produced larvae) had a genetic basis, the overall reproductive success (i.e. the mean number of larvae per female) did not.