Evolution of sex-specific pace-of-life syndromes: genetic architecture and physiological mechanisms

Immonen, Elina, Hämäläinen, Anni, Schuett, Wiebke and Tarka, Maja (2018) Evolution of sex-specific pace-of-life syndromes: genetic architecture and physiological mechanisms. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 72 (60). pp. 1-23. ISSN 0340-5443

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Sex differences in life history, physiology, and behavior are nearly ubiquitous across taxa, owing to sex-specific selection that arises from different reproductive strategies of the sexes. The pace-of-life syndrome (POLS) hypothesis predicts that most variation in such traits among individuals, populations, and species falls along a slow-fast pace-of-life continuum. As a result of their different reproductive roles and environment, the sexes also commonly differ in pace-of-life, with important consequences for the evolution of POLS. Here, we outline mechanisms for how males and females can evolve differences in POLS traits and in how such traits can covary differently despite constraints resulting from a shared genome. We review the current knowledge of the genetic basis of POLS traits and suggest candidate genes and pathways for future studies. Pleiotropic effects may govern many of the genetic correlations, but little is still known about the mechanisms involved in trade-offs between current and future reproduction and their integration with behavioral variation. We highlight the importance of metabolic and hormonal pathways in mediating sex differences in POLS traits; however, there is still a shortage of studies that test for sex specificity in molecular effects and their evolutionary causes. Considering whether and how sexual dimorphism evolves in POLS traits provides a more holistic framework to understand how behavioral variation is integrated with life histories and physiology, and we call for studies that focus on examining the sex-specific genetic architecture of this integration.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology > QL0750 Animal behaviour
Depositing User: Wiebke Schuett
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2018 15:07
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 14:46
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/78333

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