Mate choice for major histocompatibility complex complementarity in a strictly monogamous bird, the grey partridge (Perdix perdix)
|Článek v odborném periodiku
|Časopis / Zdroj
|Frontiers in Zoology
|Fakulta / Pracoviště MU
|Grey partridge; Mate choice; MHC genes; Ornaments; Sexual selection; Social monogamy; Inbreeding avoidance
|Our study provides one of the first pieces of evidence for MHC-based mate choice for genetic complementarity in a strictly monogamous bird, the grey partridge. We found no evidence for absolute mate choice criteria as regards grey partridge MHCIIB genotypes, i.e., number and occurrence of amino acid variants, but red chroma of the spot behind eyes was positively associated with male pairing success. On the other hand, mate choice at MHCIIB was based on relative criteria as females preferentially paired with more dissimilar males having a lower number of shared amino acid variants. This observation supports the ‘complementary genes’ hypothesis, but ‘inbreeding avoidance’ cannot be ruled out as a primary mechanism of the described mate choice pattern, as these two hypotheses could not be evaluated separately in our study. The statistical approach employed can be recommended for testing mating preferences in cases where availability of potential mates (recorded with an appropriate method such as radio-tracking) shows considerable temporal variation.