Sexual selection and the accumulation of deleterious mutations (2008–2010)

The most widely contemplated theory attempting to explain the prevalence of sexual selection is that females choose among males because some males have better genes than others. Although intuitively appealing, this theory is highly controversial as genetic variance in sexually-selected traits should be depleted. Recent advances in multivariate quantitative genetics have confirmed that male sexually selected traits lack genetic variance. We will test the hypothesis that female choice against novel deleterious mutations prevents the accumulation of genetic variance while still providing a genetic benefit to choosing females, providing a mechanism for the maintenance of female choice in natural populations.
Grant type:
ARC Discovery Projects
Funded by:
Australian Research Council