The sexually antagonistic genes of Drosophila melanogaster
ABSTRACT: Differences in the selective pressures experienced by males and females are believed to be ubiquitous in dioecious organisms and are expected to result in the evolution of sexually antagonistic alleles, thereby driving the evolution of sexual dimorphism. Negative genetic correlation for fitness between the sexes has been documented, however, the identity, number and location of loci causing this relationship are unknown. Here we show that a large proportion of Drosophila melanogaster transcripts are associated with the interaction between genomic haplotype and gender and that at least 8% of loci in the fly genome are currently evolving under sexually antagonistic selection. Overall design: We measured gene expression of adult males and females of Drosophila melanogaster from 15 hemiclone lines, showing either high-male/low-female fitness, high-female/lowmale fitness or average fitness in both sexes. Data from four replicates for each sex/line are presented, giving a total of 120 arrays.
Project description:Differences in the selective pressures experienced by males and females are believed to be ubiquitous in dioecious organisms and are expected to result in the evolution of sexually antagonistic alleles, thereby driving the evolution of sexual dimorphism. Negative genetic correlation for fitness between the sexes has been documented, however, the identity, number and location of loci causing this relationship are unknown. Here we show that a large proportion of Drosophila melanogaster transcripts are associated with the interaction between genomic haplotype and gender and that at least 8% of loci in the fly genome are currently evolving under sexually antagonistic selection. We measured gene expression of adult males and females of Drosophila melanogaster from 15 hemiclone lines, showing either high-male/low-female fitness, high-female/lowmale fitness or average fitness in both sexes. Data from four replicates for each sex/line are presented, giving a total of 120 arrays.
Project description:When males and females have different fitness optima for the same trait but share loci, intralocus sexual conflict is likely to occur. Epigenetic mechanisms such as genomic imprinting (in which expression is altered according to parent-of-origin) and sex-specific maternal effects have been suggested as ways by which this conflict can be resolved. However these ideas have not yet been empirically tested. We designed an experimental evolution protocol in Drosophila melanogaster that enabled us to look for epigenetic effects on the X-chromosome-a hotspot for sexually antagonistic loci. We used special compound-X females to enforce father-to-son transmission of the X-chromosome for many generations, and compared fitness and gene expression levels between Control males, males with a Control X-chromosome that had undergone one generation of father-son transmission, and males with an X-chromosome that had undergone many generations of father-son transmission. Fitness differences were dramatic, with experimentally-evolved males approximately 20% greater than controls, and with males inheriting a non-evolved X from their father about 20% lower than controls. These data are consistent with both strong intralocus sexual conflict and misimprinting of the X-chromosome under paternal inheritance. However, expression differences suggested that reduced fitness under paternal X inheritance was largely due to deleterious maternal effects. Our data confirm the sexually-antagonistic nature of Drosophila's X-chromosome and suggest that the response to male-limited X-chromosome evolution entails compensatory evolution for maternal effects, and perhaps modification of other epigenetic effects via coevolution of the sex chromosomes.
Project description:The BA allele of the Drosophila cytochrome P450 gene Cyp6g1 confers resistance to a range of insecticides. It is also subject to intralocus sexual conflict when introgressed into the Canton-S background, whose collection predates the widespread use of insecticides. In this genetic background, the allele confers a pleiotropic fitness benefit to females but a cost to males, and exhibits little sexual dimorphism in conferred insecticide resistance. It is unclear whether these sexually antagonistic effects also exist in current populations that have naturally evolved with insecticides, where genetic modifiers that offset male costs might be expected to evolve. Here, we explore these issues using Drosophila melanogaster caught recently from an Australian population in which the BA allele naturally segregates. While we find increased fecundity in insecticide-resistant BA females and no consistent evidence of fitness costs in males, experimental evolution indicates balancing selection at the locus. We suggest that this apparent discrepancy may be due to reduced investment in reproduction in resistant males. Our results at the population level are consistent with previous work, and suggest that individual-level fitness assays do not always capture sexually antagonistic fitness effects that emerge in a population context.
Project description:The evolution of sexual dimorphism is constrained by a shared genome, leading to 'sexual antagonism', in which different alleles at given loci are favoured by selection in males and females. Despite its wide taxonomic incidence, we know little about the identity, genomic location, and evolutionary dynamics of antagonistic genetic variants. To address these deficits, we use sex-specific fitness data from 202 fully sequenced hemiclonal Drosophila melanogaster fly lines to perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of sexual antagonism. We identify approximately 230 chromosomal clusters of candidate antagonistic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). In contradiction to classic theory, we find no clear evidence that the X chromosome is a hot spot for sexually antagonistic variation. Characterising antagonistic SNPs functionally, we find a large excess of missense variants but little enrichment in terms of gene function. We also assess the evolutionary persistence of antagonistic variants by examining extant polymorphism in wild D. melanogaster populations and closely related species. Remarkably, antagonistic variants are associated with multiple signatures of balancing selection across the D. melanogaster distribution range and in their sister species D. simulans, indicating widespread and evolutionarily persistent (about 1 million years) genomic constraints on the evolution of sexual dimorphism. Based on our results, we propose that antagonistic variation accumulates because of constraints on the resolution of sexual conflict over protein coding sequences, thus contributing to the long-term maintenance of heritable fitness variation.
Project description:Evolutionary conflict permeates biological systems. In sexually reproducing organisms, sex-specific optima mean that the same allele can have sexually antagonistic expression, i.e. beneficial in one sex and detrimental in the other, a phenomenon known as intralocus sexual conflict. Intralocus sexual conflict is emerging as a potentially fundamental factor for the genetic architecture of fitness, with important consequences for evolutionary processes. However, no study to date has directly experimentally tested the evolutionary fate of a sexually antagonistic allele. Using genetic constructs to manipulate female fecundity and male mating success, we engineered a novel sexually antagonistic allele (SAA) in Drosophila melanogaster. The SAA is nearly twice as costly to females as it is beneficial to males, but the harmful effects to females are recessive and X-linked, and thus are rarely expressed when SAA occurs at low frequency. We experimentally show how the evolutionary dynamics of the novel SAA are qualitatively consistent with the predictions of population genetic models: SAA frequency decreases when common, but increases when rare, converging toward an equilibrium frequency of ?8%. Furthermore, we show that persistence of the SAA requires the mating advantage it provides to males: the SAA frequency declines towards extinction when the male advantage is experimentally abolished. Our results empirically demonstrate the dynamics underlying the evolutionary fate of a sexually antagonistic allele, validating a central assumption of intralocus sexual conflict theory: that variation in fitness-related traits within populations can be maintained via sex-linked sexually antagonistic loci.
Project description:The life history strategies of males and females are often divergent, creating the potential for sex differences in selection. Deleterious mutations may be subject to stronger selection in males, owing to sexual selection, which can improve the mean fitness of females and reduce mutation load in sexual populations. However, sex differences in selection might also maintain sexually antagonistic genetic variation, creating a sexual conflict load. The overall impact of separate sexes on fitness is unclear, but the net effect is likely to be positive when there is a large sex difference in selection against deleterious mutations. Parasites can also have sex-specific effects on fitness, and there is evidence that parasites can intensify the fitness consequences of deleterious mutations. Using lines that accumulated mutations for over 60 generations, we studied the effect of the pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa on sex differences in selection in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Pseudomonas infection increased the sex difference in selection, but may also have weakened the intersexual correlation for fitness. Our results suggest that parasites may increase the benefits of sexual selection.
Project description:Genetic variation can be beneficial to one sex yet harmful when expressed in the other-a condition referred to as sexual antagonism. Because X chromosomes are transmitted from fathers to daughters, and sexually antagonistic fitness variation is predicted to often be X-linked, mates of relatively low-fitness males might produce high-fitness daughters whereas mates of high-fitness males produce low-fitness daughters. Such fitness consequences have been predicted to influence the evolution of female mating biases and the offspring sex ratio. Females might evolve to prefer mates that provide good genes for daughters or might adjust offspring sex ratios in favor of the sex with the highest relative fitness. We test these possibilities in a laboratory-adapted population of Drosophila melanogaster, and find that females preferentially mate with males carrying genes that are deleterious for daughters. Preferred males produce equal numbers of sons and daughters, whereas unpreferred males produce female-biased sex ratios. As a consequence, mean offspring fitness of unpreferred males is higher than offspring fitness of preferred males. This observation has several interesting implications for sexual selection and the maintenance of population genetic variation for fitness.
Project description:Males and females have different fitness optima but share the vast majority of their genomes, causing an inherent genetic conflict between the two sexes that must be resolved to achieve maximal population fitness. We show that two tandem duplicate genes found specifically in Drosophila melanogaster are sexually antagonistic, but rapidly evolved sex-specific functions and expression patterns that mitigate their antagonistic effects. We use copy-specific knockouts and rescue experiments to show that Apollo (Apl) is essential for male fertility but detrimental to female fertility, in addition to its important role in development, while Artemis (Arts) is essential for female fertility but detrimental to male fertility. Further analyses show that Apl and Arts have essential roles in spermatogenesis and oogenesis. These duplicates formed ~200,000 years ago, underwent a strong selective sweep and lost most expression in the antagonized sex. These data provide direct evidence that gene duplication allowed rapid mitigation of sexual conflict by allowing Apl and Arts to evolve essential sex-specific reproductive functions and complementary expression in male and female gonads.
Project description:The theoretical foundation of sexually antagonistic coevolution is that females suffer a net fitness cost through their interactions with males. The empirical prediction is that direct costs to female lifetime fecundity will exceed indirect benefits despite a possible increase in the genetic quality of offspring. Although direct costs of males have been repeatedly shown, to date no study has comprehensively tested whether females are compensated for this direct harm through indirect benefits. Here we use experimental evolution to show that a mutation giving Drosophila melanogaster females nearly complete resistance to the direct costs of male courtship and remating, but which also excluded almost all indirect benefits, is strongly favoured by selection. We estimated the selection coefficient favouring the resistance allele to be +20%. These results demonstrate that any indirect benefits that females accrued were not sufficient to counter-balance the direct costs of males, and reinforce a large body of past studies by verifying interlocus sexual conflict in this model system.
Project description:Since the autosomal genome is shared between the sexes, sex-specific fitness optima present an evolutionary challenge. While sexually antagonistic selection might favor different alleles within females and males, segregation randomly reassorts alleles at autosomal loci between sexes each generation. This process of homogenization during transmission thus prevents between-sex allelic divergence generated by sexually antagonistic selection from accumulating across multiple generations. However, recent empirical studies have reported high male-female FST statistics. Here, we use a population genetic model to evaluate whether these observations could plausibly be produced by sexually antagonistic selection. To do this, we use both a single-locus model with nonrandom mate choice, and individual-based simulations to study the relationship between strength of selection, degree of between-sex divergence, and the associated genetic load. We show that selection must be exceptionally strong to create measurable divergence between the sexes and that the decrease in population fitness due to this process is correspondingly high. Individual-based simulations with selection genome-wide recapitulate these patterns and indicate that small sample sizes and sampling variance can easily generate substantial male-female divergence. We therefore conclude that caution should be taken when interpreting autosomal allelic differentiation between the sexes.