Extraordinary Flux in Sex Ratio

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Science  13 Jul 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5835, pp. 214
DOI: 10.1126/science.1143369

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The ratio of males to females in a species is often considered to be relatively constant, at least over ecological time. Hamilton noted that the spread of "selfish" sex ratio-distorting elements could be rapid and produce a switch to highly biased population sex ratios. Selection against a highly skewed sex ratio should promote the spread of mutations that suppress the sex ratio distortion. We show that in the butterfly Hypolimnas bolina the suppression of sex biases occurs extremely fast, with a switch from a 100:1 population sex ratio to 1:1 occurring in fewer than 10 generations.

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