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Data from: Sexual selection and experimental evolution of chemical signals in Drosophila pseudoobscura

Citation

Hunt, John et al. (2012), Data from: Sexual selection and experimental evolution of chemical signals in Drosophila pseudoobscura, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.782c2

Abstract

Our expectations for the evolution of chemical signals in response to sexual selection are uncertain. How are chemical signals elaborated? Does sexual selection result in complexity of the composition or in altered quantities of expression? We addressed this in Drosophila pseudoobscura by examining male and female cuticular hydrocarbons (CHs) after 82 generations of elevated (E) sexual selection or relaxed sexual selection through monogamy (M). The CH profile consisted of 18 different components. We extracted three eigenvectors using principal component analysis that explained 72% of the variation. PC1 described the amount of CHs produced, PC2 the trade-off between short- and long-chain CHs and PC3 the trade-off between apparently arbitrary CHs. In both sexes, the amount of CHs produced was greater in flies from the E treatment. PC3 was also higher, indicating that sexual selection also influenced the evolution of CH composition. The sexes differed in all three PCs indicating substantial sexual dimorphism in this species, although the magnitude of this dimorphism was not increased as a result of our experimental evolution. Collectively, our work provides direct evidence that sexual selection plays an important role in the evolution of CHs in D. pseudoobscura, and that both increased quantity and overall composition are targeted.

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