Friday, March 15, 2013

Next lab meeting: WIPs and paper on sex role evolution

The African Jacana, a sex-role reversed bird
Hello everyone, this is Qinyang and for our next lab meeting, I picked the recently published paper on sex-role reversal among several shorebird species. They tested the recent theory and confirmed that adult sex ratio indeed play an essential role in shorebirds' parenting and mating systems.
Abstract: Sex-role reversal represents a formidable challenge for evolutionary biologists, since it is not clear which ecological, life-history or social factors facilitated conventional sex roles (female care and male-male competition for mates) to be reversed (male care and female-female competition). Classic theories suggested ecological or life-history predictors of role reversal, but most studies failed to support these hypotheses. Recent theory however predicts that sex-role reversal should be driven by male-biased adult sex ratio (ASR). Here we test this prediction for the first time using phylogenetic comparative analyses. Consistent with theory, both mating system and parental care are strongly related to ASR in shorebirds: conventional sex roles are exhibited by species with female-biased ASR, whereas sex-role reversal is associated with male-biased ASR. These results suggest that social environment has a strong influence on breeding systems and therefore revealing the causes of ASR variation in wild populations is essential for understanding sex role evolution.
Before the discussion of the paper, I’d like to use this opportunity to present the work I’ve been doing so far in testing heritability of the wing interference pattern of Drosophila Melanogaster, as well as some problems occurred. It would really help me to hear your advices. I’ll bring fika.

Time: Tuesday, Mar/19, 10:30am. 


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