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Title: Inbreeding and selection on sex ratio in the bark beetle Xylosandrus germanus
Authors: Keller, Laurent
Peer, Katharina
Bernasconi, Christian
Taborsky, Michael
Shuker, David M.
Keywords: QH426 Genetics
Issue Date: 13-Dec-2011
Citation: Keller , L , Peer , K , Bernasconi , C , Taborsky , M & Shuker , D M 2011 , ' Inbreeding and selection on sex ratio in the bark beetle Xylosandrus germanus ' BMC Evolutionary Biology , vol 11 , 359 , pp. - . , 10.1186/1471-2148-11-359
Abstract: Background: Local Mate Competition (LMC) theory predicts a female should produce a more female-biased sex ratio if her sons compete with each other for mates. Because it provides quantitative predictions that can be experimentally tested, LMC is a textbook example of the predictive power of evolutionary theory. A limitation of many earlier studies in the field is that the population structure and mating system of the studied species are often estimated only indirectly. Here we use microsatellites to characterize the levels of inbreeding of the bark beetle Xylosandrus germanus, a species where the level of LMC is expected to be high. Results: For three populations studied, genetic variation for our genetic markers was very low, indicative of an extremely high level of inbreeding (F-IS = 0.88). There was also strong linkage disequilibrium between microsatellite loci and a very strong genetic differentiation between populations. The data suggest that matings among non-siblings are very rare (3%), although sex ratios from X. germanus in both the field and the laboratory have suggested more matings between non-sibs, and so less intense LMC. Conclusions: Our results confirm that caution is needed when inferring mating systems from sex ratio data, especially when a lack of biological detail means the use of overly simple forms of the model of interest.
Version: Publisher PDF
Status: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 1471-2148
Type: Journal article
Rights: © 2011 Keller et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Appears in Collections:Centre for Higher Education Research (CHER) Research
University of St Andrews Research
Biology Research
Institute of Behavioural and Neural Sciences Research
Scottish Oceans Institute Research

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