Publication details

Is assortative fertilisation after sperm competition driven by male environment or male genetics in common bedbugs (Cimex lectularius)?



Year of publication 2019
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description Even though assortative mating has large implication for mate choice and speciation, it has mainly been examined prior to mating but less so after mating (assortative fertilisation). Moreover, research on assortative mating has not always separated whether the assortment was based on environmental or genetic effects. Here we used common bedbugs (Cimex lectularius) from five populations that naturally either feed on human blood or bat blood. Females and 1st used males (P1) came from one population which was different from populations of 2nd used males (P2). P2 were fed on either their original diet or that of the other populations (i.e. eight combinations) and thereby were able to quantify the relative influence of male genetics and environment on the outcome of assortative fertilisation. Assortment by genetic characters, i.e. local adaptation of ejaculates, predicts an effect of male genetics but not of male diet. Focussing on sperm offence, we genotyped 10 offspring/week/female over at least 6 weeks. The results of this work in progress show that paternity of P2 increases with time since mating, from 20% in week 1 to 70% on average in week 5. Pending the final outcomes of the genotyping, our current data suggest that P2 are higher on the original than the foreign diet in week 1 (assortative fertilization), then remain similar and become lower in weeks 4 and 5 (disassortative fertilisation). Our study reveals the significance of separating environmental and genetic effects on assortative mating and show that it is not necessarily constant over time.
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