Lifetime reproductive success is maximized with optimal major histocompatibility complex diversity

Kalbe, Martin, Eizaguirre, C, Dankert, I., Reusch, Thorsten B.H., Sommerfeld, R. D., Wegner, K. M. and Milinski, Manfred (2009) Lifetime reproductive success is maximized with optimal major histocompatibility complex diversity Proceedings of The Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences, 276 . pp. 925-934. DOI 10.1098/rspb.2008.1466.

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Individual diversity at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is predicted to be optimal at intermediate rather than at maximal levels. We showed previously in sticklebacks that an intermediate MHC diversity is predominant in natural populations and provides maximal resistance in experimental multiple parasite infections in the laboratory. However, what counts ultimately is the lifetime reproductive success (LRS). Here, we measured LRS of six laboratory-bred sib-groups—to minimize the influence of non-MHC genes—three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) during their entire breeding period, each in a seminatural enclosure in the lake of their parents, where they were exposed to the natural spectrum of parasites. We collected developing clutches at regular intervals and determined parenthood for a representative number of eggs (2279 in total) per clutch with 18 microsatellites. Both males and females with an intermediate MHC class IIB variant number had the highest LRS. The mechanistic link of MHC diversity and LRS differed between the sexes: in females, we found evidence for a trade-off between number of eggs and immunocompentence, whereas in males this correlation was concealed by different timing strategies of reproduction.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: lifetime reproductive success, major histocompatibility complex, stickleback, parasites, mating decision
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1098/rspb.2008.1466
ISSN: 1471-2954
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2009 13:03
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2016 12:04

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