Navigation Links
Genetic rarity rules in wild guppy population, study finds
Date:11/1/2013

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. When it comes to choosing a mate, female guppies don't care about who is fairest. All that matters is who is rarest.

Florida State University Professor Kimberly A. Hughes in the Department of Biological Science has a new study just published in the journal Nature that is the first to demonstrate a female preference for rare males using an experiment in a wild population, rather than a laboratory setting.

This study of genetic differences in male guppies is relevant to understanding variation in humans as well as in other organisms, Hughes said.

Hughes and her longtime collaborators studied guppies in Trinidad and found that male guppies with rare color patterns mated more and lived longer than the common males. The males' color variations are genetic and not due to diet or temperature. And the males' actual appearance didn't matter to the females, who are tan in color and do the choosing of mates.

"No matter which color pattern we made rare in any group, they mated more and had more offspring," Hughes said.

So, a male guppy common in one grouping, i.e., placed in a stream with many fish that look like him, is a dud to the females also in the stream. But, take that common male and place him in a different stream with only one or two others similar to him, and he's suddenly rare and a desirable mate.

In an earlier study, Hughes showed that male guppies with rare color patterns had a survival advantage compared to those with common patterns in natural populations. During a three-week study, also in Trinidad, 70 percent of common males survived, while 85 percent of rare males survived.

This new study, "Mating advantage for rare males in wild guppy populations," reports the results of paternity analyses of the offspring produced by the females in that earlier field experiment.

Hughes approached this new, rare-male-as-mating-champ theory with the goal of ruling it out. She thought it was unlikely.

But, "We got a big, significant result," she said.

Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) are an ideal species for this study, Hughes said, because the males' color variations are so visible and because there is so much variation. Other fish show color variation but not as widely as the guppy.

"These guys are sort of the champions of variation," she said.

And it's not that the rare males are simply trying harder to land a female. All male guppies do elaborate mating rituals, fanning out their fins and pursuing a mate.

The next question to answer, Hughes said, is why. Why do female guppies go for the rarest male in a particular population? It's possible that in choosing a mate who appears unknown to her, a female guppy is trying to avoid procreating with a relative, which can lead to genetic disorders in offspring.

The guppy question speaks to a longstanding puzzle within evolutionary biology: Why are individuals within species so genetically diverse?

Understanding why species are genetically diverse is key to understanding human variation in disease susceptibility, for maintaining healthy crop and livestock populations and for preserving endangered species, Hughes said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nicole Brooks
nbrooks@fsu.edu
850-645-1294
Florida State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. GenSeq: Updated nomenclature for genetic sequences to solve taxonomic determination issues
2. BUSM researchers study epigenetic mechanisms of tumor metastasis for improved cancer therapy
3. HIV -- Geneticists map human resistance to AIDS
4. Measuring segments of genetic material may help predict and monitor recurrence after thyroid cancer
5. Genetic variants associated with bronchodilator responsiveness
6. EUREKA grant to fund development of new optogenetic technique for mapping neural networks at UMMS
7. New software traces origins of genetic disorders 20 times more accurately
8. 2 genetic wrongs make a biochemical right
9. Babcock Genetics Launches Breed Select Program
10. New genetic discovery could reduce the guesswork in drug dosing
11. What makes us left or right handed? New study rules out strong genetic factors
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/13/2017)... 2017 Sandata Technologies, LLC, a leading ... industry, including Electronic Visit Verification™ (EVV™), announced today ... as Senior Vice President of Product Management. ... homecare experience to Sandata, where he will be ... align Sandata,s suite of solutions with the needs ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... 2017 Intoxalock, a leading ignition interlock provider, ... its patent-pending calibration device. With this new technology, Intoxalock ... upload data logs and process repairs at service center ... "Fighting drunk driving through the application of cutting-edge technologies ... but also for the customer who can get back ...
(Date:1/6/2017)... NEWARK, Calif. , Jan. 5, 2017  Delta ... introduced its iris scanning technology for automotive at CES® ... GNTX ) to demonstrate the use of ... to identify and authenticate the driver in a car, ... automobiles during the driving experience. Delta ID ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/21/2017)... ... 20, 2017 , ... G&L Scientific Inc, a leading provider ... ), has announced the opening of new offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts, strengthening and ... This is the latest step in G&L’s expansion of its global clinical consulting ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... Jan. 20, 2017 Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... on the licensing, development and commercialization of innovative biopharmaceutical ... Best Company in North America ... award based on the FDA approval of three ... ENTYCE ® (capromorelin oral solution) and NOCITA ® ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... -- http://www.Financialbuzz.com - According to ... of death worldwide. There were 8.2 million cancer related ... deaths increased gradually over time, the death rates have ... cancers continues to drive demand of biological therapies for ... Insights, Inc. cancer biological therapy market size was USD 61.3 ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... -- WuXi AppTec, a leading global pharmaceutical, biotechnology ... today announced that it has acquired HD Biosciences ... contract research organization (CRO). After completion of acquisition, ... WuXi, and will continue to focus on growing ... acquisition will further strengthen WuXi,s R&D capability from ...
Breaking Biology Technology: