Phenotypic fitness effects of the selfish B chromosome, paternal sex ratio (PSR) in the parasitic wasp Nasonia vitripennis

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B chromosomes are often considered genomic parasites. Paternal sex ratio (PSR) is an extreme example of a parasitic B chromosome in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis. PSR is transmitted through the sperm of carrier males and destroys the other paternal chromosomes in early fertilized eggs. PSR disrupts the normal haplodiploid sex determination in this wasp by converting diploid (female) eggs into haploid (male) eggs that bear PSR. In this study I compare a number of phenotypic fitness aspects of PSR and standard (non-PSR) males. In general, PSR males were as fit as standard males. No significant differences were found in longevity (with one exception), ability to compete for mates and sperm depletion rates. PSR males produced 11-22% larger family sizes and developed slightly faster than standard males. Under conditions of sperm competition, females who mated with both types of males fertilized a constant proportion of eggs with each sperm type over their lifetime. PSR males produced fewer offspring among progenies from double-inseminated females. Phenotypic fitness effects are believed to play a minor role in determining PSR frequencies in natural populations.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1-24
Aantal pagina's24
TijdschriftEvolutionary Ecology
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusPublished - 1994

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