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The Battle of the Sexes over Seed Size: Support for Both Kinship Genomic Imprinting and Interlocus Contest Evolution

Yvonne Willi
The American Naturalist
Vol. 181, No. 6 (June 2013), pp. 787-798
DOI: 10.1086/670196
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/670196
Page Count: 12
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The Battle of the Sexes over Seed Size: Support for Both Kinship
                    Genomic Imprinting and Interlocus Contest Evolution
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Abstract

Abstract Outcrossing creates a venue for parental conflict. When one sex provides parental care to offspring fertilized by several partners, the nonproviding sex is under selection to maximally exploit the caring sex. The caring sex may counteradapt, and a coevolutionary arms race ensues. Genetic models of this conflict include the kinship theory of genomic imprinting (parent-of-origin-specific expression of maternal-care effectors) and interlocus conflict evolution (interaction between male selfish signals and female abatement). Predictions were tested by measuring the sizes of seeds produced by within-population crosses (diallel design) and between-population crosses in outcrossing and selfing populations of Arabidopsis lyrata. Within-population diallel crosses revealed substantial maternal variance in seed size in most populations. The comparison of between- and within-population crosses showed that seeds were larger when pollen came from another outcrossing population than when pollen came from a selfing or the same population, supporting interlocus contest evolution between male selfish genes and female recognition genes. Evidence for kinship genomic imprinting came from complementary trait means of seed size in reciprocal between-population crosses independent of whether populations were predominantly selfing or outcrossing. Hence, both kinship genomic imprinting and interlocus contest are supported in outcrossing Arabidopsis, whereas only kinship genomic imprinting is important in selfing populations.

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