Sex-specific associations between life-history traits and a novel reproductive polymorphism in the pacific field cricket

Jon Richardson*, Justa L. Heinen-Kay, Marlene Zuk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Associations between heritable polymorphisms and life-history traits, such as development time or reproductive investment, may play an underappreciated role in maintaining polymorphic systems. This is because selection acting on a particular morph could be bolstered or disrupted by correlated changes in life history or vice versa. In a Hawaiian population of the Pacific field cricket (Teleogryllus oceanicus), a novel mutation (flatwing) on the X-chromosome is responsible for a heritable polymorphism in male wing structure. We used laboratory cricket colonies fixed for male wing morph to investigate whether males and females bearing the flatwing or normal-wing (wild-type) allele differed in their life-history traits. We found that flatwing males developed faster and had heavier testes than normal-wings, whereas flatwing homozygous females developed slower and had lighter reproductive tissues than normal-wing homozygous females. Our results advance our understanding of the evolution of polymorphisms by demonstrating that the genetic change responsible for a reproductive polymorphism can also have consequences for fundamental life-history traits in both males and females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-557
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume34
Issue number3
Early online date23 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • development time
  • life history
  • reproductive investment
  • reproductive polymorphism
  • Teleogryllus oceanicus

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