Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genes determine mate choice

25.09.2007
How do we choose our mates? For quite some time now, scientists suspect that it is not for looks or fashion, neither for love or sympathy. It may be the genes that determine our preference for certain males or females.

A new study provides support for this idea by looking at lemurs in Madagaskar. Female fat-tailed dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleus medius) live in life-long pairs, yet notoriously cheat on their partners to improve the genetic fitness of their offspring. Scientists at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin published the study in the journal Evolutionary Ecology (DOI 10.1007/s10682-007-9186-4).

The team headed by Prof. Simone Sommer looked for possible genetic benefits in the obligate pair-living fat-tailed dwarf lemur which maintains life-long pair bonds but has an extremely high rate of extra-pair paternity. Possible mechanisms of female mate choice were investigated by analyzing overall genetic variability as well as a marker of adaptive significance (major histocompatibility complex, MHC-DRB exon 2). MHC-genes determine not only the individual’s immune response but also the individual’s body odour. This holds true for animals as well as for humans.

The study indicated that females preferred males both as social and as genetic fathers for their offspring if they have a higher number of MHC-alleles and MHC-supertypes, a lower overlap with the female’s MHC-supertypes as well as a higher genome-wide heterozygosity than randomly assigned males. This means that females looked for the most genetically different males preferably with a “healthy” set of genes. Mutual relatedness had no influence on mate choice.

... more about:
»choice »determine »lemur »mate

Interestingly, females were most likely to cheat on their social partner if he had a higher overlap with the female’s MHC supertype. Extra-pair mates were chosen mostly for their genetic difference, thus maximising the genetic complementarity of sires to the females.

Josef Zens | alfa
Further information:
http://www.izw-berlin.de

Further reports about: choice determine lemur mate

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>