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Opposites attract : MHC-associated mate choice in a polygynous primate.

Setchell, J. M. and Charpentier, M. J. E. and Abbott, K. M. and Wickings, E. J. and Knapp, L. A. (2010) 'Opposites attract : MHC-associated mate choice in a polygynous primate.', Journal of evolutionary biology., 23 (1). pp. 136-148.


We investigated reproduction in a semi-free-ranging population of a polygynous primate, the mandrill, in relation to genetic relatedness and male genetic characteristics, using neutral microsatellite and MHC genotyping. We compared genetic characteristics of the sire and genetic dissimilarity to the mother with all other potential sires present at the conception of each offspring (193 offspring for microsatellite genetics, 180 for MHC). The probability that a given male sired increased as pedigree relatedness with the mother decreased, and overall genetic dissimilarity and MHC dissimilarity with the mother increased. Reproductive success also increased with male microsatellite heterozygosity and MHC diversity. These effects were apparent despite the strong influence of dominance rank on male reproductive success. The closed nature of our study population is comparable to human populations for which MHC-associated mate choice has been reported, suggesting that such mate choice may be especially important in relatively isolated populations with little migration to introduce genetic variation.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Major histocompatability complex, Dissassortative mating, Good genes, Heterozygosity, Sexual selection.
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Record Created:30 Oct 2009 12:35
Last Modified:25 Jan 2010 08:54

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