Mating ecology explains patterns of genome elimination
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Genome elimination – whereby an individual discards chromosomes inherited from one parent, and transmits only those inherited from the other parent – is found across thousands of animal species. It is more common in association with inbreeding, under male heterogamety, in males, and in the form of paternal genome elimination. However, the reasons for this broad pattern remain unclear. We develop a mathematical model to determine how degree of inbreeding, sex determination, genomic location, pattern of gene expression and parental origin of the eliminated genome interact to determine the fate of genome-elimination alleles. We find that: inbreeding promotes paternal genome elimination in the heterogametic sex; this may incur population extinction under female heterogamety, owing to eradication of males; and extinction is averted under male heterogamety, owing to countervailing sex-ratio selection. Thus, we explain the observed pattern of genome elimination. Our results highlight the interaction between mating system, sex-ratio selection and intragenomic conflict.
Gardner , A & Ross , L 2014 , ' Mating ecology explains patterns of genome elimination ' Ecology Letters , vol 17 , no. 12 , pp. 1602–1612 . DOI: 10.1111/ele.12383
© 2014. The Authors. Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and CNRS. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
This research has been supported by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (AG), a Royal Society Newton International Fellowship (LR) and two NERC Independent Research Fellowships (AG & LR).
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