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Positive genetic correlation between brain size and sexual traits in male guppies artificially selected for brain size

Kotrschal, A, Corral-Lopez, A, Zajitschek, S, Immler, S, Maklakov, AA and Kolm, N (2015) Positive genetic correlation between brain size and sexual traits in male guppies artificially selected for brain size. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 28 (4). pp. 841-850. ISSN 1010-061X

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Brain size is an energetically costly trait to develop and maintain. Investments into other costly aspects of an organism's biology may therefore place important constraints on brain size evolution. Sexual traits are often costly and could therefore be traded off against neural investment. However, brain size may itself be under sexual selection through mate choice on cognitive ability. Here, we use guppy (Poecilia reticulata) lines selected for large and small brain size relative to body size to investigate the relationship between brain size, a large suite of male primary and secondary sexual traits, and body condition index. We found no evidence for trade-offs between brain size and sexual traits. Instead, larger-brained males had higher expression of several primary and precopulatory sexual traits – they had longer genitalia, were more colourful and developed longer tails than smaller-brained males. Larger-brained males were also in better body condition when housed in single-sex groups. There was no difference in post-copulatory sexual traits between males from the large- and small-brained lines. Our data do not support the hypothesis that investment into sexual traits is an important limiting factor to brain size evolution, but instead suggest that brain size and several sexual traits are positively genetically correlated.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0602 Ecology, 0603 Evolutionary Biology, 0608 Zoology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Wiley
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 24 May 2021 08:55
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 05:26
DOI or ID number: 10.1111/jeb.12608
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15041
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