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Data from: The effect of parasites on sex differences in selection

Cite this dataset

Sharp, Nathaniel P.; Vincent, Crystal M. (2014). Data from: The effect of parasites on sex differences in selection [Dataset]. Dryad.


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.

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