Socially induced inhibition of genetically determined maturation in the platyfish, Xiphophorus maculatus

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Science  14 Jan 1977:
Vol. 195, Issue 4274, pp. 199-201
DOI: 10.1126/science.831271


Maturation in Xiphophorus maculatus (Pisces; Poeciliidae) is under control of the sex-linked P gene. However, when two individuals are reared together the socially dominant individual delays the maturation of the subordinate. Nevertheless, it is not a requirement that a fish be socially dominant to become mature. The data suggest that inhibition of maturity takes place when an individual is not dominant at a time near the genetically determined age of maturation. Two hypotheses are offered to explain these results.