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Keywords:

  • Papio;
  • apolipoprotein;
  • lipoprotein

Abstract

Sexual dimorphism is evident in many quantitative genetic traits, and there has been much speculation on the evolution of primate sexual dimorphism. Morphological characters have been the main focus of attention, while sexual dimorphism in physiological quantitative traits has been neglected. In either case, the genetic basis of primate sexual dimorphism has received little attention. This study characterizes genotype by sex (GxS) interactions in two physiological traits, serum apolipoprotein AI (apo AI) and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations, in baboons fed two different diets, a basal diet and a high cholesterol saturated fat (HCSF) diet. A GxS interaction effect on a trait indicates a heritable component of male/female differences in that trait. Using maximum likelihood methods, eight different quantitative genetic models were evaluated. Significant GxS interactions were found for serum apo AI and HDL-C concentrations on the basal diet. GxS interactions were suggested for serum apo AI and HDL-C concentrations on the HCSF diet, but they were not statistically significant. These results reveal that sexual dimorphisms in serum apo AI and HDL-C concentrations in baboons are heritable, with heritabilities that are influenced by diet. © 1992 Wiley-Liss, Inc.