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Keywords:

  • interlocus conflict;
  • interlocus contest evolution;
  • sexual conflict;
  • sexually antagonistic coevolution

Abstract

The sexual conflict hypothesis predicts that males evolve traits that exploit the higher parental investment of females, which generates selection for females to counter-evolve resistance. In Drosophila melanogaster it is now established that males harm females and that there is genetic variation among males for the degree of this harm. Genetic variation among females for resistance to harm from males, and the corresponding strength of selection on this variation, however, have not been quantified previously. Here we carryout a genome-wide screen for female resistance to harm from males. We estimate that the cost of interactions with males depresses lifetime fecundity of females by 15% (95% CI: 8.2–22.0), that genetic variation for female resistance constitutes 17% of total genetic variation for female adult fitness, and that propensity to remate in response to persistent male courtship is a major factor contributing to genetic variation for female resistance.