Predation-associated differences in sex linkage of wild guppy coloration

Evolution. 2012 Mar;66(3):912-918. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01495.x. Epub 2011 Nov 15.


Evolutionary theory predicts that the sex linkage of sexually selected traits can influence the direction and rate of evolutionary change, and also itself be subject to selection. Theory abounds on how sex-specific selection, mate choice, or other phenomena should favor different types of sex-linked inheritance, yet evidence in nature remains limited. Here, we use hormone assays in Trinidadian guppies to explore the extent to which linkage of male coloration differs among populations adapted to varying predation regimes. Results show there is consistently higher degree of X- and autosomal linkage in body coloration among populations adapted to low-predation environments. More strikingly, analyses of an introduced population of guppies from a high- to a low-predation environment suggest that this difference can change in 50 years or less.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Genetic Linkage*
  • Male
  • Pigmentation / genetics*
  • Poecilia / genetics*
  • Predatory Behavior
  • Selection, Genetic*
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Sex Chromosomes