Table of Contents
International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2015, Article ID 756269, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/756269
Research Article

Evolutionary Consequences of Male Driven Sexual Selection and Sex-Biased Fitness Modifications in Drosophila melanogaster and Members of the simulans Clade

Department of Biology, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4K1

Received 14 April 2015; Revised 22 June 2015; Accepted 1 July 2015

Academic Editor: Yoko Satta

Copyright © 2015 Santosh Jagadeeshan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Males have evolved a variety of behavioral, morphological, and physiological traits to manipulate their mates in order to maximize their chances of success. These traits are bound to influence how females respond to male behaviors and influence the nature of sexual selection/conflict. A common consequence of aggressive male mating strategies in Drosophila melanogaster is the reduction of female lifespan. Our study shows that this is common across members of the simulans clade. Reduced life expectancy of females implies that female contribution to a population is less than that of males per generation. Fitness differences between the sexes in every generation will invariably affect overall population fitness. How natural selection responds to the female deaths and thereby the unequal fitness of the sexes has rarely been addressed. We shed light on this issue and provide evidence, which suggests that additional gains of fitness by males due to their longevity and continued mating may provide one explanation as to why the loss of female fitness may be “invisible” (effectively neutral) to natural selection. Male driven sexual selection and additional, transgenerational gains of male fitness can be an important force of evolutionary change and need to be tested with other organisms.