Male pygmy hippopotamus influence offspring sex ratio
AuthorSaragusty, J; Hermes, R; Hofer, H; Bouts, T; Goeritz, F; Hildebrandt, TB
Source TitleNature Communications
PublisherNATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
University of Melbourne Author/sHildebrandt, Thomas
AffiliationSchool of BioSciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsSaragusty, J., Hermes, R., Hofer, H., Bouts, T., Goeritz, F. & Hildebrandt, T. B. (2012). Male pygmy hippopotamus influence offspring sex ratio. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 3 (1), https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms1700.
Access StatusOpen Access
Pre-determining fetal sex is against the random and equal opportunity that both conceptus sexes have by nature. Yet, under a wide variety of circumstances, populations shift their birth sex ratio from the expected unity. Here we show, using fluorescence in situ hybridization, that in a population of pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) with 42.5% male offspring, males bias the ratio of X- and Y-chromosome-bearing spermatozoa in their ejaculates, resulting in a 0.4337±0.0094 (mean±s.d.) proportion of Y-chromosome-bearing spermatozoa. Three alternative hypotheses for the shifted population sex ratio were compared: female counteract male, female indifferent, or male and female in agreement. We conclude that there appears little or no antagonistic sexual conflict, unexpected by prevailing theories. Our results indicate that males possess a mechanism to adjust the ratio of X- and Y-chromosome-bearing spermatozoa in the ejaculate, thereby substantially expanding currently known male options in sexual conflict.
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