Section: Evolutionary Biology
Topic: Evolution, Population biology

Transgenerational cues about local mate competition affect offspring sex ratios in the spider mite Tetranychus urticae

10.24072/pcjournal.343 - Peer Community Journal, Volume 3 (2023), article no. e108.

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In structured populations, competition for mates between closely related males, termed Local Mate Competition (LMC), is expected to select for female-biased offspring sex ratios. However, the cues underlying sex allocation decisions remain poorly studied. Here, we test for several cues in the spider mite Tetranychus urticae, a species that was previously found to adjust the sex ratio of its offspring in response to the number of females within the local population, i.e. a patch. We here investigate whether the offspring sex ratio of T. urticae females changes in response to 1) the current number of females in the same patch, 2) the number of females in the patches of their mothers and 3) their relatedness to their mate. Single females on patches produced similar sex ratios to those of groups of 15 females; their mothers had been in identical conditions of panmixia. The offspring sex ratios of females mated with their brother did not differ from those of females mated with an unrelated male. Females however produced a more female-biased offspring sex ratio if their mothers were alone on a patch compared to 15 other females. Thus, maternal environment is used as a cue for the sex allocation of daughters. We discuss the conditions under which the maternal environment may be a reliable predictor of LMC experienced by grand-sons.

Published online:
DOI: 10.24072/pcjournal.343
Type: Research article
Keywords: local mate competition, sex-ratio, sib-mating, haplodiploid
Duncan, Alison B. 1; Marinosci, Cassandra 1; Devaux, Céline 1; Lefèvre, Sophie 1; Magalhães, Sara 2; Griffin, Joanne 1; Valente, Adeline 1; Ronce, Ophélie 1; Olivieri, Isabelle 1

1 ISEM, Université de Montpellier, CNRS, IRD, EPHE, CC065, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 05, France
2 cE3c: Centre for Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Changes, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Edifício C2, 38 piso, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
License: CC-BY 4.0
Copyrights: The authors retain unrestricted copyrights and publishing rights
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     title = {Transgenerational cues about local mate competition affect offspring sex ratios in the spider mite {\protect\emph{Tetranychus} urticae}},
     journal = {Peer Community Journal},
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Duncan, Alison B.; Marinosci, Cassandra; Devaux, Céline; Lefèvre, Sophie; Magalhães, Sara; Griffin, Joanne; Valente, Adeline; Ronce, Ophélie; Olivieri, Isabelle. Transgenerational cues about local mate competition affect offspring sex ratios in the spider mite Tetranychus urticae. Peer Community Journal, Volume 3 (2023), article  no. e108. doi : 10.24072/pcjournal.343.

PCI peer reviews and recommendation, and links to data, scripts, code and supplementary information: 10.24072/pci.evolbiol.100051

Conflict of interest of the recommender and peer reviewers:
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article.

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