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Data from: Inbreeding alters context‐dependent reproductive effort and immunity in male crickets

Cite this dataset

Duffield, Kristin R. et al. (2019). Data from: Inbreeding alters context‐dependent reproductive effort and immunity in male crickets [Dataset]. Dryad.


Infection can cause hosts to drastically alter their investment in key life‐history traits of reproduction and defence. Infected individuals are expected to increase investment in defence (e.g., by increasing immune function) and, due to trade‐offs, investment in other traits (e.g., current reproduction) should decrease. However, the terminal investment hypothesis postulates that decreased lifespan due to infection and the associated reduction in the expectation for future offspring will favour increased investment towards current reproduction. Variation in intrinsic condition will likely influence shifts in reproductive investment post‐infection, but this is often not considered in such assessments. For example, the extent of inbreeding can significantly impact an individual's lifetime fitness and may influence its reproductive behaviour following a threat of infection. Here, we investigated the effects of inbreeding status on an individual's reproductive investment upon infection, including the propensity to terminally invest. Male crickets (Gryllodes sigillatus) from four genetically distinct inbred lines and one outbred line were subjected to a treatment from an increasing spectrum of simulated infection cue intensities, using heat‐killed bacteria. We then measured reproductive effort (calling effort), survival and immune function (antibacterial activity, circulating haemocytes and haemocyte microaggregations). Inbred and outbred males diverged in how they responded to a low‐dose infection cue: relative to unmanipulated males, outbred males decreased calling effort, whereas inbred males increased calling effort. Moreover, we found that inbred males exhibited higher antibacterial activity and numbers of circulating haemocytes compared with outbred males. These results suggest that an individual's inbreeding status may have consequences for context‐dependent shifts in reproductive strategies, such as those triggered by infection.

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National Science Foundation, Award: IOS 16–54028