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Title: The effect of relatedness on sexual dynamics : studies of red junglefowl and fruit flies
Author: Tan, Cedric Kaiwei
ISNI:       0000 0004 2745 2015
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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In this thesis, I explore four different ways in which relatedness affects sexual interactions in the red junglefowl Gallus gallus ssp., and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. First, I show that in both species, inbreeding depression is sex-specific and modulated by parental age and gametic age. However, the sex that suffers higher inbreeding depression was trait- and species-dependent. Second, I examined patterns of inbreeding avoidance. I found no evidence of inbreeding avoidance in the fruit fly, but in the red junglefowl both males and females avoided mating with relatives, independently from sex-ratio of the social group. Third, I investigated whether relatedness amongst members of one sex affects mate choice in members of the opposite sex. Male fruit flies preferentially courted females unrelated to females with whom they had previously mated, while female flies displayed a weak preference for males related to their previous mates. In the red junglefowl, females exposed to male trios of two males related to each other and one unrelated male, displayed a marked preference for mating with the male unrelated to the other two males, and might also bias postcopulatory sperm utilization in favour of the unrelated male. Fourth, I explored the implications of male relatedness on the intensity of male-male competition. Male red junglefowl were less aggressive towards related competitors, but invested more sperm in females that had previously mated with a related male rather than with an unrelated male. In fruit flies, male relatedness had a strong impact on female life-history and offspring viability, although I found no evidence that these effects were modulated by changes in male-male competition. Collectively, the findings of these studies demonstrate the complex relationship between relatedness and other important biological phenomena as such senescence and sexual conflict.
Supervisor: Pizzari, Tommaso; Wigby, Stuart Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biology ; Behaviour (zoology) ; Evolution (zoology) ; Ecology (zoology) ; sexual conflict ; senescence ; kin selection ; inbreeding ; Coolidge effect