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Data from: Demographic, environmental and genetic determinants of mating success in captive koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus)

Citation

Abts, Kendra C.; Ivy, Jamie A.; DeWoody, J. Andrew (2018), Data from: Demographic, environmental and genetic determinants of mating success in captive koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.h015320

Abstract

Many factors have been shown to affect mating behavior. For instance, genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are known to influence mate choice in a wide variety of vertebrate species. The genetic management of captive populations can be confounded if intrinsic mate choice reduces or eliminates reproductive success between carefully chosen breeding pairs. For example, the San Diego Zoo koala colony only has a 45% copulation rate for matched individuals. Herein, we investigated determinants of koala mating success using breeding records (1984-2010) and genotypes for 52 individuals at four MHC markers. We quantified MHC diversity according to functional amino acids, heterozygosity, and the probability of producing a heterozygous offspring. We then used categorical analysis and logistic regression to investigate both copulation and parturition success. In addition, we also examined age, day length, and average pairwise kinship. Our post-hoc power analysis indicates that at a power level of 1 – β = 0.8, we should have been able to detect strong MHC preferences. However, we did not find a significant MHC effect on either copulation or parturition success with one exception: pairs with lower or no production of a joey had significantly lower MHC functional amino acid diversity in the categorical analysis. In contrast, day length and dam age (or age difference of the pair) consistently had an effect on mating success. These findings may be leveraged to improve the success of attempted pairs, conserve resources, and facilitate genetic management.

Usage Notes

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: DGE-1333468