Data from: Direct benefits of choosing a high fitness mate can offset the indirect costs associated with intralocus sexual conflict
Pischedda, Alison; Chippindale, Adam K. (2017), Data from: Direct benefits of choosing a high fitness mate can offset the indirect costs associated with intralocus sexual conflict, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.n5q26
Intralocus sexual conflict generates a cost to mate choice: high fitness partners transmit genetic variation that confers lower fitness to offspring of the opposite sex. Our earlier work in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, revealed that these indirect genetic costs were sufficient to reverse potential “good genes” benefits of sexual selection. However, mate choice can also confer direct fitness benefits by inducing larger numbers of progeny. Here, we consider whether direct benefits through enhanced fertility could offset the costs associated with intralocus sexual conflict in D. melanogaster. Using hemiclonal analysis, we found that females mated to high fitness males produced 11% more offspring compared to those mated to low fitness males, and high fitness females produced 37% more offspring than low fitness females. These direct benefits more than offset the reduction in offspring fitness caused by intralocus sexual conflict, creating a net fitness benefit for each sex to pairing with a high fitness partner. Our findings highlight the need to consider both direct and indirect effects when investigating the fitness impacts of mate choice. Direct fitness benefits may shelter sexually antagonistic alleles from selection, suggesting a novel mechanism for the maintenance of fitness variation.