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Switches, stability and reversals: the evolutionary history of sexual patterns in teleosts

AuthorsPla Quirante, Susanna; Capellini, Isabella; Benvenuto, Chiara; Mariani, Stefano; Piferrer, Francesc
KeywordsPhylogenetic comparative methods
Sexual patterns
Issue Date15-May-2018
CitationMarine Evolution 2018 : A Marcus Wallenberg Symposium: 98 (2018)
AbstractMost organisms reproduce sexually and individuals maintain their gender throughout their life (gonochorism). In some species, however, individuals can produce male and female gametes at the same time (simultaneous hermaphroditism) or reproduce initially as one sex and later in life switch to the other (sequential hermaphroditism, where female is the first sex in protogyny and male the first sex in protandry). Theoretical models, initially developed for plants, suggest that gonochorism and simultaneous hermaphroditism are evolutionary stable conditions, but if this is the case in animals is unclear, especially in sexually plastic taxa as teleosts. At least 5% of fish species are hermaphroditic with an over-representation of sequential hermaphrodites in the late Cretaceous radiation of marine percomorphs. Using phylogenetic comparative methods and a sample of over 3400 teleost species, we show that gonochorism is the most likely ancestral condition from which protogyny, protandry and to a lesser extent simultaneous hermaphroditism evolved at a low rate. Unlike simultaneous hermaphroditism and protandry, that once evolved quickly move to a different sexual pattern, gonochorism and protogyny are evolutionary stable conditions that are more quickly gained than lost. These results contradict classic plant theoretical models by showing that simultaneous hermaphroditism is not an evolutionary stable state in teleosts, presumably because of the complexity of managing the opposing behavioural and physiological consequences of sexual hormones in animals. Instead, our results identify protogyny as the most stable condition among all forms of hermaphroditism in this taxon. We suggest that the greater evolutionary stability of protogyny over protandry may be explained by the differential physiological and energetic costs of male and female gametes for an animal of increasing size, with the production of numerus but cheaper sperm in protogynous males being a particularly successful strategy with the haremic mating system that many protogynous teleosts exhibit
DescriptionMarine Evolution 2018 - A Marcus Wallenberg Symposium, 15-17 May 2018, Strömstad, Sweden
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Comunicaciones congresos
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