Reinforcement and sex linkage

Evolution. 2006 May;60(5):908-21.


We present a general model for the effect of sex linkage on the evolution of reinforcement of mating preferences on an island. We find that the level of reinforcement can vary up to 80% depending on the mode of inheritance of the female preference and male trait. When reinforcement is driven mainly by selection in the male trait and intrinsic hybrid incompatibilities are weak, sex-linked preferences and autosomal male traits are the most conducive to reinforcement, whereas autosomal preferences and X-linked traits are the least. Surprisingly, the effect of mode of inheritance on reinforcement is poorly predicted by its effect on the genetic correlation between the male trait and female preference. Sex-linkage of genetic incompatibility loci increases reinforcement, though this is not due solely to the occurrence of Haldane's rule. We find that reinforcement can lead to complete reproductive isolation in some cases but not others and that the mode of inheritance can determine which outcome occurs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Genetic Linkage*
  • Hybridization, Genetic
  • Male
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Sex Characteristics