The effect of full-sib inbreeding on competitive male-mating ability (CI♂) in Drosophila melanogaster was investigated in two experiments. In the first, five inbred lines (with reserves) were assessed up to 18 generations. Linear inbreeding depression, of 5.9% per 10% increase in homozygosity, was observed. In a second experiment, 21 inbred lines were tested after three generations of full-sib mating (without reserves), and the decline with inbreeding was more severe, the male competitive index (CI♂) decreasing by 10.7% per 10% increase in F. The difference between these results is attributed to natural selection acting on variation within the inbred lines in extent of homozygosity, which can arise because of the peculiarly strong influence of linkage in Drosophila. Furthermore, differentiation between the lines may have reflected this variation rather than the various effects of different alleles fixed.—These results imply that the genetic variation in male-mating ability is largely due to dominance (no epistasis was detected) and are consonant with the proposition that intermale sexual selection is a very important component of fitness in D. melanogaster. There was no evidence of a positive correlation between male body size and competitive mating ability.
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 1984|