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Female influence on pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection and its genetic basis in Drosophila melanogaster


Anthony C. Fiumera, Fax: +1 607 777 6521; E-mail:


Genetic variation among females is likely to influence the outcome of both pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection in Drosophila melanogaster. Here we use association testing to survey natural variation in 10 candidate female genes for their effects on female reproduction. Females from 91 chromosome two substitution lines were scored for phenotypes affecting pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection such as mating and remating rate, propensity to use sperm from the second male to mate, and measures of fertility. There were significant genetic contributions to phenotypic variation for all the traits measured. Resequencing of the 10 candidate genes in the 91 lines yielded 68 non-synonymous polymorphisms which were tested for associations with the measured phenotypes. Twelve significant associations (markerwise P < 0.01) were identified. Polymorphisms in the putative serine protease homolog CG9897 and the putative odorant binding protein CG11797 associated with female propensity to remate and met an experimentwise significance of P < 0.05. Several other associations, including those impacting both fertility and female remating rate suggest that sperm storage might be an important factor mitigating female influence on sexual selection.