The avoidance of genetic incompatibilities between parental genotypes has been proposed to account for the evolution of polyandry. An extension of this hypothesis suggests polyandry may provide an opportunity for females to avoid the cost of inbreeding by exploiting postcopulatory mechanisms that bias paternity toward unrelated male genotypes. Here we test the inbreeding avoidance hypothesis in house mice by experimentally manipulating genetic compatibility via matings between siblings and nonsiblings. We observed little difference in reproductive success between females mated to two siblings or females mated to two nonsiblings. Females mated to both a sibling and a nonsibling tended to have a lower litter survival, but only when the first male to mate was a sibling. Microsatellite data revealed that paternity was biased toward nonsiblings when a female mated with both a sibling and a nonsibling. Unlike previous studies of invertebrates, paternity bias toward the sibling male was independent of mating sequence. We provide one of the first empirical demonstrations that polyandry facilitates postcopulatory sexual selection in a vertebrate. We discuss this result in relation to the possibility of selective fertilization of ova based on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) haploid expression of sperm.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 62 • No. 3