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Temporal and genetic variation in female aggression after mating

Bath, Eleanor and Biscocho, Edmund Ryan and Easton-Calabria, August and Wigby, Stuart (2020) Temporal and genetic variation in female aggression after mating. . (Unpublished)

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Aggression between individuals of the same sex is almost ubiquitous across the animal kingdom. Winners of intrasexual contests often garner considerable fitness benefits, through greater access to mates, food, or social dominance. In females, aggression is often tightly linked to reproduction, with females displaying increases in aggressive behavior when mated, gestating or lactating, or when protecting dependent offspring. In the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, females spend twice as long fighting over food after mating as when they are virgins. However, it is unknown when this increase in aggression begins or whether it is consistent across genotypes. Here we show that aggression in females increases between 2 to 4 hours after mating and remains elevated for at least a week after a single mating. In addition, this increase in aggression 24 hours after mating is consistent across three diverse genotypes, suggesting this may be a universal response to mating in the species. We also report here the first use of automated tracking and classification software to study female aggression in Drosophila and assess its accuracy for this behavior. Dissecting the genetic diversity and temporal patterns of female aggression assists us in better understanding its generality and adaptive function, and will facilitate the identification of its underlying mechanisms.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
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Bath, Eleanor0000-0002-2988-8061
Additional Information:The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted bioRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. It is made available under a CC-BY 4.0 International license. Posted February 12, 2020. Data availability: Data for all experiments conducted for this paper will be made publicly available on the Oxford University Research Archive (doi to be inserted here). Author contributions: E.B. and S.W. conceived the project. E.B. designed the experiments, with S.W. providing advice. E.R.B, A.E-C, E.B. performed the behavioural experiments. E.R.B and A.E-C. collected the egg count and wing size data for the genotype experiment, while E.B. scored the behavioural data for the timing experiment. E.B. trained the automated tracking and analysis software, and analysed the data for both experiments. E.B. wrote the manuscript. S.W., E.R.B. and A.E-C. discussed the results and contributed to the manuscript.
Subject Keywords:Aggression, female-female competition, sexual selection, post-mating responses, Drosophila melanogaster
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200213-080905687
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Official Citation:Temporal and genetic variation in female aggression after mating. Eleanor Bath, Edmund Ryan Biscocho, August Easton-Calabria, Stuart Wigby. bioRxiv 2020.02.12.945436; doi:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:101261
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Feb 2020 17:07
Last Modified:13 Feb 2020 17:07

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