Article: article from journal or magazin.
Early maternal investment in mice: no evidence for compatible-genes sexual selection despite hybrid vigor.
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Confronting a recently mated female with a strange male can induce a pregnancy block ('Bruce effect'). The physiology of this effect is well studied, but its functional significance is still not fully understood. The 'anticipated infanticide hypothesis' suggests that the pregnancy block serves to avoid the cost of embryogenesis and giving birth to offspring that are likely to be killed by a new territory holder. Some 'compatible-genes sexual selection hypotheses' suggest that the likelihood of a pregnancy block is also dependent on the female's perception of the stud's and the stimulus male's genetic quality. We used two inbred strains of mice (C57BL/6 and BALB/c) to test all possible combinations of female strain, stud strain, and stimulus strain under experimental conditions (N(total) = 241 mated females). As predicted from previous studies, we found increased rates of pregnancy blocks if stud and stimulus strains differed, and we found evidence for hybrid vigour in offspring of between-strain mating. Despite the observed heterosis, pregnancies of within-strain matings were not more likely to be blocked than pregnancies of between-strain matings. A power analysis revealed that if we missed an existing effect (type-II error), the effect must be very small. If a female gave birth, the number and weight of newborns were not significantly influenced by the stimulus males. In conclusion, we found no support for the 'compatible-genes sexual selection hypotheses'.
Animals, Animals, Newborn/anatomy & histology, Birth Rate, Crosses, Genetic, Female, Genotype, Hybrid Vigor, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C/genetics, Mice, Inbred BALB C/physiology, Mice, Inbred C57BL/genetics, Mice, Inbred C57BL/physiology, Pregnancy, Pregnancy, Animal/physiology, Selection, Genetic, Sex Ratio
Web of science
Last modification date