A female signal reflects MHC genotype in a social primate

Elise Huchard, Michel Raymond, Julio Benavides, Harry Marshall, Leslie A. Knapp, Guy Cowlishaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. Males from many species are believed to advertise their genetic quality through striking ornaments that attract mates. Yet the connections between signal expression, body condition and the genes associated with individual quality are rarely elucidated. This is particularly problematic for the signals of females in species with conventional sex roles, whose evolutionary significance has received little attention and is poorly understood. Here we explore these questions in the sexual swellings of female primates, which are among the most conspicuous of mammalian sexual signals and highly variable in size, shape and colour. We investigated the relationships between two components of sexual swellings (size and shape), body condition, and genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) in a wild baboon population (Papio ursinus) where males prefer large swellings. Results. Although there was no effect of MHC diversity on the sexual swelling components, one specific MHC supertype (S1) was associated with poor body condition together with swellings of small size and a particular shape. The variation in swelling characteristics linked with the possession of supertype S1 appeared to be partially mediated by body condition and remained detectable when taking into account the possession of other supertypes. Conclusions. These findings suggest a pathway from immunity genes to sexual signals via physical condition for the first time in females. They further indicate that mechanisms of sexual selection traditionally assigned to males can also operate in females.

Original languageEnglish
Article number96
JournalBMC Evolutionary Biology
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2010

Fingerprint

major histocompatibility complex
primate
swelling
body condition
Primates
genotype
Papio ursinus
genes
gene
Papio
sexual selection
sex role
immunity
wild population
color
gender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Huchard, E., Raymond, M., Benavides, J., Marshall, H., Knapp, L. A., & Cowlishaw, G. (2010). A female signal reflects MHC genotype in a social primate. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10(1), [96]. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-10-96
Huchard, Elise ; Raymond, Michel ; Benavides, Julio ; Marshall, Harry ; Knapp, Leslie A. ; Cowlishaw, Guy. / A female signal reflects MHC genotype in a social primate. In: BMC Evolutionary Biology. 2010 ; Vol. 10, No. 1.
@article{8388a7d7d35047629cf3595009246ee5,
title = "A female signal reflects MHC genotype in a social primate",
abstract = "Background. Males from many species are believed to advertise their genetic quality through striking ornaments that attract mates. Yet the connections between signal expression, body condition and the genes associated with individual quality are rarely elucidated. This is particularly problematic for the signals of females in species with conventional sex roles, whose evolutionary significance has received little attention and is poorly understood. Here we explore these questions in the sexual swellings of female primates, which are among the most conspicuous of mammalian sexual signals and highly variable in size, shape and colour. We investigated the relationships between two components of sexual swellings (size and shape), body condition, and genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) in a wild baboon population (Papio ursinus) where males prefer large swellings. Results. Although there was no effect of MHC diversity on the sexual swelling components, one specific MHC supertype (S1) was associated with poor body condition together with swellings of small size and a particular shape. The variation in swelling characteristics linked with the possession of supertype S1 appeared to be partially mediated by body condition and remained detectable when taking into account the possession of other supertypes. Conclusions. These findings suggest a pathway from immunity genes to sexual signals via physical condition for the first time in females. They further indicate that mechanisms of sexual selection traditionally assigned to males can also operate in females.",
author = "Elise Huchard and Michel Raymond and Julio Benavides and Harry Marshall and Knapp, {Leslie A.} and Guy Cowlishaw",
year = "2010",
month = "4",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1186/1471-2148-10-96",
language = "English",
volume = "10",
journal = "BMC Evolutionary Biology",
issn = "1471-2148",
publisher = "BioMed Central",
number = "1",

}

Huchard, E, Raymond, M, Benavides, J, Marshall, H, Knapp, LA & Cowlishaw, G 2010, 'A female signal reflects MHC genotype in a social primate', BMC Evolutionary Biology, vol. 10, no. 1, 96. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-10-96

A female signal reflects MHC genotype in a social primate. / Huchard, Elise; Raymond, Michel; Benavides, Julio; Marshall, Harry; Knapp, Leslie A.; Cowlishaw, Guy.

In: BMC Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 10, No. 1, 96, 15.04.2010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - A female signal reflects MHC genotype in a social primate

AU - Huchard, Elise

AU - Raymond, Michel

AU - Benavides, Julio

AU - Marshall, Harry

AU - Knapp, Leslie A.

AU - Cowlishaw, Guy

PY - 2010/4/15

Y1 - 2010/4/15

N2 - Background. Males from many species are believed to advertise their genetic quality through striking ornaments that attract mates. Yet the connections between signal expression, body condition and the genes associated with individual quality are rarely elucidated. This is particularly problematic for the signals of females in species with conventional sex roles, whose evolutionary significance has received little attention and is poorly understood. Here we explore these questions in the sexual swellings of female primates, which are among the most conspicuous of mammalian sexual signals and highly variable in size, shape and colour. We investigated the relationships between two components of sexual swellings (size and shape), body condition, and genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) in a wild baboon population (Papio ursinus) where males prefer large swellings. Results. Although there was no effect of MHC diversity on the sexual swelling components, one specific MHC supertype (S1) was associated with poor body condition together with swellings of small size and a particular shape. The variation in swelling characteristics linked with the possession of supertype S1 appeared to be partially mediated by body condition and remained detectable when taking into account the possession of other supertypes. Conclusions. These findings suggest a pathway from immunity genes to sexual signals via physical condition for the first time in females. They further indicate that mechanisms of sexual selection traditionally assigned to males can also operate in females.

AB - Background. Males from many species are believed to advertise their genetic quality through striking ornaments that attract mates. Yet the connections between signal expression, body condition and the genes associated with individual quality are rarely elucidated. This is particularly problematic for the signals of females in species with conventional sex roles, whose evolutionary significance has received little attention and is poorly understood. Here we explore these questions in the sexual swellings of female primates, which are among the most conspicuous of mammalian sexual signals and highly variable in size, shape and colour. We investigated the relationships between two components of sexual swellings (size and shape), body condition, and genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) in a wild baboon population (Papio ursinus) where males prefer large swellings. Results. Although there was no effect of MHC diversity on the sexual swelling components, one specific MHC supertype (S1) was associated with poor body condition together with swellings of small size and a particular shape. The variation in swelling characteristics linked with the possession of supertype S1 appeared to be partially mediated by body condition and remained detectable when taking into account the possession of other supertypes. Conclusions. These findings suggest a pathway from immunity genes to sexual signals via physical condition for the first time in females. They further indicate that mechanisms of sexual selection traditionally assigned to males can also operate in females.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77950667606&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1186/1471-2148-10-96

DO - 10.1186/1471-2148-10-96

M3 - Article

VL - 10

JO - BMC Evolutionary Biology

JF - BMC Evolutionary Biology

SN - 1471-2148

IS - 1

M1 - 96

ER -