Revisiting telegony: Offspring inherit an acquired characteristic of their mother's previous mate

Angela J. Crean*, Anna M. Kopps, Russell Bonduriansky

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetterAcademicpeer-review

    43 Citations (Scopus)
    233 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Newly discovered non-genetic mechanisms break the link between genes and inheritance, thereby also raising the possibility that previous mating partners could influence traits in offspring sired by subsequent males that mate with the same female (‘telegony’). In the fly Telostylinus angusticollis, males transmit their environmentally acquired condition via paternal effects on offspring body size. We manipulated male condition, and mated females to two males in high or low condition in a fully crossed design. Although the second male sired a large majority of offspring, offspring body size was influenced by the condition of the first male. This effect was not observed when females were exposed to the first male without mating, implicating semen-mediated effects rather than female differential allocation based on pre-mating assessment of male quality. Our results reveal a novel type of transgenerational effect with potential implications for the evolution of reproductive strategies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1545-1552
    Number of pages8
    JournalEcology Letters
    Volume17
    Issue number12
    Early online date30-Sep-2014
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec-2014

    Keywords

    • Condition
    • diet
    • inheritance of acquired traits
    • non-genetic inheritance
    • paternal effect
    • plasticity
    • seminal proteins
    • telegony
    • SEMINAL FLUID PROTEINS
    • DROSOPHILA-MELANOGASTER
    • DIFFERENTIAL-ALLOCATION
    • GOLDEN-HAMSTER
    • FEMALE CHOICE
    • EVOLUTION
    • PATERNITY
    • EJACULATE
    • SIZE
    • FLY

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