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 Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>