Preferential Sex Linkage of Sexually Selected Genes: Evidence and a New Explanation

Klaus Reinhold

in The Speciation of Modern Homo Sapiens

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780197263112
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734885 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Preferential Sex Linkage of Sexually Selected Genes: Evidence and a New Explanation

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This chapter discusses evidence and theory on sex chromosomal linkage of sexually selected traits that may be the key to a functional separation of sexual and natural selection. It reviews the evidence showing that the X chromosome has a disproportional share concerning the inheritance of sexually selected traits in animals with heterogametic males, and suggests a new explanation that relates this X bias with female choice of heterozygotic males. With numeric simulations, it shows that female choice of heterozygotic males is usually disadvantageous. Because this disadvantage cannot occur when females prefer X-linked male traits, preferential X linkage of sexually selected traits can be expected. As an alternative to fluctuating selection on sex-limited traits, the disadvantage of heterozygotic choice may thus explain the X bias observed for sexually selected traits.

Keywords: sex chromosomal linkage; natural selection; heterogametic males; X linkage; heterozygotic choice; sexually selected traits

Chapter.  5375 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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