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Larger males facilitate population expansion in Ophraella communa

Citation

Zhang, Yan et al. (2021), Larger males facilitate population expansion in Ophraella communa, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.sj3tx965h

Abstract

  1. One of the most intriguing concepts in animal ecology is the reproductive advantages offered by larger body size, and the females prefer to mate with larger males in order to gain reproductive advantage.
  2. Currently, it is not clear how females recognize signs of male “quality” and what mechanisms are involved in producing offspring with direct or indirect benefits. Our study aims to assess the preferences of females for males in Ophraella communa, determine the reproductive benefits and reveal the underlying mechanism behind this advantage.
  3. We demonstrate that male body size is an important determinant in the evolutionary process of O. communa, affecting female mate choice. Moreover, our study establishes that females prefer males with a larger body size, and this could further improve the developmental and reproductive fitness of their offspring. Finally, we focus on the seminal fluid proteins (SFPs) in O. communa, determine differentially expressed genes (i.e., OcACE, OcCBP and OcSFP) by analyzing their proteomes and transcriptomes, and define the role of these SFPs-related genes through RNAi.
  4. Our study proved that the reproductive benefit of large males may be regulated by biased expression of crucial SFPs genes. The present study advances our understanding of the biological significance of preferential mating.

 

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31972340

National Natural Science Foundation of China for Excellent Young Scholars, Award: 31322046

National Natural Science Foundation of China for Excellent Young Scholars, Award: 31322046