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. 2012 Mar 22;279(1731):1203-9.
doi: 10.1098/rspb.2011.1740. Epub 2011 Sep 28.

Widespread Genetic Linkage of Mating Signals and Preferences in the Hawaiian Cricket Laupala

Free PMC article

Widespread Genetic Linkage of Mating Signals and Preferences in the Hawaiian Cricket Laupala

Chris Wiley et al. Proc Biol Sci. .
Free PMC article


The evolution of novel sexual communication systems is integral to the process of speciation, as it discourages gene flow between incipient species. Physical linkage between genes underlying male-female communication (i.e. sexual signals and preferences for them) facilitates both rapid and coordinated divergence of sexual communication systems between populations and reduces recombination in the face of occasional hybridization between diverging populations. Despite these ramifications of the genetic architecture of sexual communication for sexual selection and speciation, few studies have examined this relationship empirically. Previous studies of the closely related Hawaiian crickets Laupala paranigra and Laupala kohalensis have indirectly suggested that many of the genes underlying the difference in pulse rate of male song are physically linked with genes underlying the difference in female preference for pulse rate. Using marker-assisted introgression, we moved 'slow pulse rate' alleles from L. paranigra at five known quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying male pulse rate into the 'fast pulse rate' genetic background of L. kohalensis and assessed the effect of these loci on female preference. An astounding four out of five song QTL predicted the preferences of female fourth-generation backcrosses, providing direct evidence for the extensive genetic linkage of song and preference in one of the fastest diversifying genera currently known.


Figure 1.
Figure 1.
Pulse rate preferences among (a) pure L. kohalensis females, (b) fourth-generation backcross females with no surveyed L. paranigra QTL, and fourth-generation backcross females with a single L. paranigra QTL allele at (c) QTL1, (d) QTL2, (e) QTL3, (f) QTL4 and (g) QTL5. Females with multiple L. paranigra QTL were excluded from this figure.

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