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  Female assortative mate choice functionally validates synthesized male odours of evolving stickleback river–lake ecotypes

Gahr, C. L., Boehm, T., & Milinski, M. (2018). Female assortative mate choice functionally validates synthesized male odours of evolving stickleback river–lake ecotypes. Biology Letters, 14(12): 20180730. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2018.0730.

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 Creators:
Gahr, Christoph L.1, 2, Author           
Boehm, Thomas, Author
Milinski, Manfred1, 3, Author           
Affiliations:
1Emeritus Group Milinski, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society, ou_2591693              
2IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society, ou_1445639              
3Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society, ou_1445634              

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 Abstract: During mate choice decisions, females of many vertebrates use male olfactorycues to achieve immunogenetic optimality of their offspring. Three-spinedsticklebacks (Gasterosteusaculeatus) populating habitats that differ in theirparasite communities evolve locally adapted combinations of genetic variantsencoded at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Such adaptationconfers optimal resistance to the local parasite fauna. Immunogenetic signa-tures co-evolved with local parasites favour population-specific assortativemate choice behaviour. Previous studies have shown that female sticklebacksevaluate male MHC-associated olfactory cues during the process of matechoice, but how habitat-specific information is exchanged between malesand females has remained elusive. Here, we directly demonstrate themolecular nature of the olfactory cue providing habitat-specific information.Under controlled laboratory conditions, females that are ready to mateprefer mixtures of synthetic MHC peptide ligands mimicking the optimalallele number of their original population. These results imply that femalesticklebacks can determine the number of MHC alleles of their prospectivemates, compare it to their own immunogenetic status, and, if optimal withrespect to the immunogenetic complementarity, accept the male as mate.Our results suggest a potentially common mechanism of ecological speciationin vertebrates that is based on the olfactory assessment of habitat-specificimmunogenetic diversity.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2018-10-162018-11-222018-12-122018-12-05
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0730
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Title: Biology Letters
  Other : Biol. Lett.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London, [England] : The Royal Society
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 14 (12) Sequence Number: 20180730 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1744-9561
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925580128