Evolution of mate harm resistance in females from Drosophila melanogaster populations selected for faster development and early reproduction  : [Preprint]

Interlocus sexual conflict is predicted to result in sexually antagonistic coevolution between male competitive traits, which are also female-detrimental, and mate harm resistance (MHR) in females. Though such antagonistic coevolution has been experimentally shown, little is known about its connection with life-history evolution. Here, we investigated the evolution of MHR in a set of experimentally evolved populations selected for faster development and early reproduction. Previously we showed the reduction of harming ability of males in these populations. Here, we measured mortality and fecundity of females in these populations and those of their matched controls under different male exposure conditions. As predicted by the coevolution theory, we observed that the evolved females were more susceptible to mate harm - suffering from significantly higher mortality under continuous exposure to control males. We used fecundity data to show that this higher mortality in evolved females is unlikely due to cost of reproduction per se.

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