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  1. Jennions, Michael D. (Ed.)
    When two species meet in secondary contact, the production of low fitness hybrids may be prevented by the adaptive evolution of increased prezygotic isolation, a process known as reinforcement. Theoretical challenges to the evolution of reinforcement are generally cast as a coordination problem, i.e., “how can statistical associations between traits and preferences be maintained in the face of recombination?” However, the evolution of reinforcement also poses a potential conflict between mates. For example, the opportunity costs to hybridization may differ between the sexes or species. This is particularly likely for reinforcement based on postmating prezygotic (PMPZ) incompatibilities, as the ability to fertilize both conspecific and heterospecific eggs is beneficial to male gametes, but heterospecific mating may incur a cost for female gametes. We develop a population genetic model of interspecific conflict over reinforcement inspired by “gametophytic factors”, which act as PMPZ barriers among Zea mays subspecies. We demonstrate that this conflict results in the transient evolution of reinforcement—after females adaptively evolve to reject gametes lacking a signal common in conspecific gametes, this gamete signal adaptively introgresses into the other population. Ultimately, the male gamete signal fixes in both species, and isolation returns to pre-reinforcement levels. We interpret geographic patterns ofmore »isolation among Z . mays subspecies considering these findings and suggest when and how this conflict can be resolved. Our results suggest that sexual conflict over fertilization may pose an understudied obstacle to the evolution of reinforcement.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 13, 2023
  2. Jennions, Michael D (Ed.)
    Abstract Sexual selection can contribute to speciation when signals and preferences expressed during mate choice are coupled within groups, but come to differ across groups (generating assortative mating). When new sexual signals evolve, it is important to investigate their roles in both mate location and courtship contexts, as both signaling functions are critical in mate choice. In previous work, researchers identified two new male morphs (silent and purring) in Hawaiian populations of the Pacific field cricket, Teleogryllus oceanicus. These morphs likely evolved because they protect males from an acoustically orienting parasitoid, yet still obtain some reproductive success. But, it remains unknown how the purring morph functions in close courtship encounters. We compared the relative success of the very recently evolved purring morph to that of the ancestral and silent morphs during courtship encounters. Purring males produce a novel courtship song and were not as successful in courtship as the ancestral type, but were mounted by females as often and as quickly as the obligately silent morph that arose and spread ~20 years ago. Purring males initiate courtship more quickly than other morphs, and females from populations where purring is common exhibit higher overall mounting rates. Thus, differences in the behaviormore »of purring males and of females from populations where purring is common may have facilitated the origin of this novel sexual signal. We found no assortative mating between males of a given morph and females from their own population, and so we hypothesize that multiple male types will be maintained within the species because each achieves fitness in different ways.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 8, 2023