Can cytoplasmic incompatibility inducing Wolbachia promote the evolution of mate preferences?
Article first published online: 11 MAY 2005
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 18, Issue 4, pages 967–977, July 2005
How to Cite
CHAMPION DE CRESPIGNY, F. E., BUTLIN, R. K. and WEDELL, N. (2005), Can cytoplasmic incompatibility inducing Wolbachia promote the evolution of mate preferences?. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 18: 967–977. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2005.00909.x
- Issue published online: 11 MAY 2005
- Article first published online: 11 MAY 2005
- Received 27 October 2004; revised 24 January 2005; accepted 25 January 2005
- cytoplasmic incompatibility;
- mate choice;
- sexual selection;
The maternally inherited bacterium, Wolbachia pipientis, manipulates host reproduction by rendering uninfected females reproductively incompatible with infected males (cytoplasmic incompatibility, CI). Hosts may evolve mechanisms, such as mate preferences, to avoid fitness costs of Wolbachia infection. Despite the potential importance of mate choice for Wolbachia population dynamics, this possibility remains largely unexplored. Here we model the spread of an allele encoding female mate preference for uninfected males alongside the spread of CI inducing Wolbachia. Mate preferences can evolve but the spread of the preference allele depends on factors associated with both Wolbachia infection and the preference allele itself. Incomplete maternal transmission of Wolbachia, fitness costs and low CI, improve the spread of the preference allele and impact on the population dynamics of Wolbachia. In addition, mate preferences are found in infected individuals. These results have important consequences for the fate of Wolbachia and studies addressing mate preferences in infected populations.