Evolutionary conflict

Resistance to natural and synthetic gene drive systems

This review summarizes our current understanding of the evolution of resistance to naturally-occurring and synthetically-created gene drives. We explore how insights from earlier work might help us deelop evolution-proof gene drives, better predict …

Sibling rivalry versus mother's curse: can kin competition facilitate a response to selection on male mitochondria?

We find evidence that the mitochondrial DNA carried by _Drosophila_ larvae affects the fitness of other cohabiting larvae -- a mitochondrial 'indirect genetic effect'. This result implies that the effects of mitochondrial DNA on the phenotype of males (specifically, male larvae) may have evolutionary consequences, in contrast to the received wisdom that mtDNA inside males is 'invisible to selection' due to maternal inheritance of mtDNA.

Mother’s curse and indirect genetic effects: do males matter to mitochondrial genome evolution?

We argue that the effects of mitochondrial DNA on a male phenotype can respond to selection, provided that males interact with their female 'mitochondrial relatives', and that the male phenotype affects female fitness. We present experimental evidence that female fitness depends on the mitochondrial DNA carried by interacting males, and discuss the implications for 'mother's curse'.

Sexual selection improves population fitness: a systematic review and meta-analysis

We synthesised 459 effect sizes from 65 pertinent experimental evolution studies using meta-analysis, and found that sexual selection on males tends to elevate the mean and reduce the variance for many fitness traits. The beneficial effect was stronger in female traits than males, and for populations evolving under stressful conditions. The results have implications for conservation and captive breeding programs.

Building a new research framework for social evolution: Intralocus caste antagonism

The breeding and non-breeding ‘castes’ of eusocial insects provide a striking example of role-specific selection, where each caste maximises fitness through different morphological, behavioural and physiological trait values. Typically, queens are …

The effects of stress and sex on selection, genetic covariance, and the evolutionary response

The capacity of a population to adapt to selection (evolvability) depends on whether the structure of genetic variation permits the evolution of fitter trait combinations. Selection, genetic variance and genetic covariance can change under …

The ecology and evolutionary dynamics of meiotic drive

Both naturally occurring and synthetic ‘meiotic drivers’ violate Mendel's law of equal segregation and can rapidly spread through populations even when they reduce the fitness of individuals carrying them. Synthetic drivers are being developed to …

Assessing the alignment of sexual and natural selection using radio-mutagenized seed beetles

A major unsolved question in evolutionary biology concerns the relationship between natural and sexual selection. Sexual selection might augment natural selection, for example if mutations that harm female fecundity also reduce male mating success. …

Coevolutionary dynamics of polyandry and sex-linked meiotic drive

Segregation distorters located on sex chromosomes are predicted to sweep to fixation and cause extinction via a shortage of one sex, but in nature they are often found at low, stable frequencies. One potential resolution to this longstanding puzzle …

The evolution of genomic imprinting: Costs, benefits and long-term consequences

Genomic imprinting refers to a pattern of gene expression in which a specific parent's allele is either under-expressed or completely silenced. Imprinting is an evolutionary conundrum because it appears to incur the costs of diploidy (e.g. presenting …