Microsatellite profiles of the genetic mating systems
and reproductive natural histories of some fascinating fishes and turtles
John Avise, Ph.D.
University of Georgia
Wednesday, May 16, 2001
3:00 p.m.–Pacific Forum
The diverse breeding behaviors of fish make this taxonomic group
valuable for testing theories on the ecology and evolution of genetic
mating systems and alternative reproductive tactics.
We have made DNA-level appraisals of paternity and maternity in wild
fish populations and integrated the molecular data with natural history
information. Behavioral phenomena unveiled and quantified in various
species by the genetic markers include: multiple mating by either or both
genders; frequent cuckoldry by males and occasional cuckoldry by females
in nest-tending species; additional routes to surrogate parentage via nest
piracy and egg-thievery; sperm storage by dams in female-pregnant species;
and enhanced sexual selection on females and extreme polyandry in some
male-pregnant species. Additional natural-history phenomena and estimation
procedures that have emerged from genetic parentage analyses in fishes
include the study of clustered mutations of pre-meiotic origin, filial
cannibalism, and appraisals of local population size.
All of these novel classes of results will be discussed in the context
of relevant behavioral and evolutionary theory.
Next: Energy Acquisition and Allocation In Vesicomyid Clam Symbioses