Report

Running with the Red Queen: Host-Parasite Coevolution Selects for Biparental Sex

Science  08 Jul 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6039, pp. 216-218
DOI: 10.1126/science.1206360

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text
As a service to the community, AAAS/Science has made this article free with registration.

Abstract

Most organisms reproduce through outcrossing, even though it comes with substantial costs. The Red Queen hypothesis proposes that selection from coevolving pathogens facilitates the persistence of outcrossing despite these costs. We used experimental coevolution to test the Red Queen hypothesis and found that coevolution with a bacterial pathogen (Serratia marcescens) resulted in significantly more outcrossing in mixed mating experimental populations of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Furthermore, we found that coevolution with the pathogen rapidly drove obligately selfing populations to extinction, whereas outcrossing populations persisted through reciprocal coevolution. Thus, consistent with the Red Queen hypothesis, coevolving pathogens can select for biparental sex.

View Full Text

Cited By...