Is Evolution of Mating Preferences Inevitable? Random Mating in the Multisex System of Tetrahymena thermophila.

Is Evolution of Mating Preferences Inevitable? Random Mating in the Multisex System of Tetrahymena thermophila.

You are here

Authors: Phadke SS, Cooper L, Zufall RA
Title: Is Evolution of Mating Preferences Inevitable? Random Mating in the Multisex System of Tetrahymena thermophila.
Citation: International journal of evolutionary biology. 2012-01-01; 2012.: 201921.
Abstract:
Ciliate mating systems are highly diversified, providing unique opportunities to study sexual differentiation and its implications for mating dynamics. Many species of ciliates have multiple (>2) sexes. More sexes may mean more choice and an opportunity for evolution of preferential mating. We asked if the multiple sexes of the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila mate preferentially among each other. We quantified pairing frequencies among four sexes of T. thermophila using experiments that allowed the sexes to compete as mating partners. We found that all sexes mated equally frequently among each other, that is, we found no evidence of preferential mating with respect to sex. This suggests that the "mate choice" in this ciliate is binary, between whether to form a pair or not and, in this regard, sex facilitates only self-/non-self-distinction. Thus, presence of multiple sexes does not necessarily result in the evolution of mating bias, which could decrease the maximum amount of mating that would otherwise be possible in a population. Our result of random mating verifies a key assumption in the theoretical model of sex ratio evolution in T. thermophila. Investigation into molecular differences between the sexes will be necessary to reveal the mechanistic basis of random mating among them.
PMID: 23056994

This publication is listed for reference purposes only. It may be included to present a more complete view of a JCVI employee's body of work, or as a reference to a JCVI sponsored project.