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Data from: Costs and benefits of giant sperm and sperm storage organs in Drosophila melanogaster


Zajitschek, Susanne et al. (2020), Data from: Costs and benefits of giant sperm and sperm storage organs in Drosophila melanogaster, Dryad, Dataset,


In Drosophila, long sperm are favoured in sperm competition based on the length of the female’s primary sperm storage organ, the seminal receptacle (SR). This sperm-SR interaction, together with a genetic correlation between the traits, suggests that the coevolution of exaggerated sperm and SR lengths may be driven by Fisherian runaway selection. Here, we explore the costs and benefits of long sperm and SR genotypes, both in the sex that carries them and in the sex that does not. We measured male and female fitness in inbred lines of D. melanogaster derived from four populations previously selected for long sperm, short sperm, long SRs, or short SRs. We specifically asked: what are the costs and benefits of long sperm in males and long SRs in females? Furthermore, do genotypes that generate long sperm in males or long SRs in females impose a fitness cost on the opposite sex? Answers to these questions will address whether long sperm are an honest indicator of male fitness, if male post-copulatory success is associated with male pre-copulatory success, if female choice benefits females or is costly, and whether intra-genomic conflict could influence evolution of these traits. We found that both sexes have increased longevity in long sperm and long SR genotypes. Males, but not females, from long SR lines had higher fecundity. Our results suggest that sperm-SR coevolution is facilitated by both increased viability and indirect benefits of long sperm and SRs in both sexes.

Usage Notes


National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1257859