The evolution of sex ratios and sex-determining systems

Tobias Uller, Ido Pen, Erik Wapstra, Leo W. Beukeboom, Jan Komdeur*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Sex determination is a fundamental process governed by diverse mechanisms. Sex ratio selection is commonly implicated in the evolution of sex-determining systems, although formal models are rare. Here, we argue that, although sex ratio selection can induce shifts in sex determination, genomic conflicts between parents and offspring can explain why single-factor systems (e.g. XY/XX or ZW/ZZ) are common even in species that experience selection for biased sex ratios. Importantly, evolutionary shifts in sex determination do not always result in the biased production of sons and daughters sensu sex ratio theory. Thus, equal sex ratios might be an emergent character of sex-determining systems even when biased sex ratios are favored by selection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-297
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Ecology & Evolution
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2007

Keywords

  • OFFSPRING CONFLICT
  • NATURAL-SELECTION
  • GENETIC SYSTEMS
  • REPTILES
  • HAPLODIPLOIDY
  • LIZARD
  • MANIPULATION
  • COEVOLUTION
  • TEMPERATURE
  • VERTEBRATES

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