We test whether variation in sexual selection can predict speciation and extinction rates across up to 5,812 species of passerine birds. Male‐biased sexual selection, and specifically sexual size dimorphism, predicted two of the three measures of speciation rates that we examined.
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.
We measured the effects of a natural gene drive, _Sex Ratio_ (_SR_), on fitness in _Drosophila pseudoobscura_. We find that _SD_ is very costly, especially when homozygous, and that it also has transgenerational effects on offspring fitness and sex ratio. Using a model, we show that these effects may explain the frequency and clinal patterns of _SR_ in nature.
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'.
We measured the effects of a natural gene drive, _Segregation Distorter_ (_SD_), on fitness in _Drosophila melanogaster_. We find that _SD_ is very costly, especially when homozygous, and that it also has transgenerational effects on offspring fitness and sex ratio. Using a model, we show that these effects may explain the puzzling rarity of _SD_ in nature.
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.
We use theoretical models to examine the evolution of female choice when there is both intralocus sexual conflict and local adaptation. We show that IASC can weaken female preferences for high-condition males -- or even cause a preference for males in low condition -- depending on the relative benefits of producing well-adapted sons versus daughters. We discuss the relevance of our results to conservation genetics and empirical evolutionary biology.
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 …