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Keywords:

  • competitive microsatellite PCR;
  • cryptic female choice;
  • genetic incompatibility;
  • inbreeding avoidance;
  • polyandry;
  • sperm competition

Abstract

Recent studies in a variety of species have shown that polyandrous females are somehow able to bias paternity against their relatives postcopulation, although how they do so remains unknown. Field crickets readily mate with their siblings, but when also mated to an unrelated male, they produce disproportionately fewer inbred offspring. We use a new competitive microsatellite polymerase chain reaction technique to determine the contribution of males to stored sperm and subsequent paternity of offspring. Paternity is almost completely predicted by how much sperm from a particular male is stored, and unrelated males contribute more sperm to storage and have a corresponding higher paternity success.