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Extra-pair Fertilization, Mate Choice and Genetic Similarity in the Mexican Jay (Aphelocoma ultramarina)

by Eimes, John Andrew

Abstract (Summary)
Inbreeding depression should select for the ability of females to avoid inbreeding or minimize its effects. We tested for a relationship between genetic similarity of social pairs and the occurrence of extra-pair fertilization (EPF) in the Mexican jay (Aphelocoma ultramarina), a bird species with known inbreeding depression and a high EPF rate (Brown and Brown 1998, Li and Brown 2000). Multi-locus minisatellite and microsatellite DNA fingerprinting were used to detect extra-pair young and measure genetic similarity between social parents. We found that 15 of 38 (39%) nests had at least one EPF and 21 of 115 (18%) young were the result of EPF. The mean DNA fingerprinting band-sharing score between social mates who had at least one EPF was significantly higher than the mean band-sharing score between mates who did not (0.35 vs. 0.26). The mean band-sharing score for non-EPF dyads (0.26) was similar to the background band sharing among non-relatives (0.23). The mean band sharing score for mates that had an EPF was significantly higher than that of non-relatives (background) and was significantly lower than that of half-siblings (0.51). Our results showed a significant positive relationship between genetic similarity of social mates and incidence of EPF at P < 0.01. 3 Eimes, John, 2004, UMSL, p. 4
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School:University of Missouri-Saint Louis

School Location:USA - Missouri

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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