Developmental flexibility and the effect of social environment on fertility and fecundity in parthenogenetic reproduction

Allen Moore, Patricia Moore, Patricia J. Moore, Allen J. Moore

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    One specialized environment that can influence development arises in the context of social interactions, including the environment contributed by a sexual partner during sexual reproduction. It is often difficult, however, to separate out the effect of mating (fertilization) from the effect of social environment. In the study reported here we examine the effect of social environment mediated by a pheromonal signal on the fertility and fecundity of the facultatively parthenogenetic cockroach Nauphoete cinerea. By examining parthenogenetically reproducing females, we isolate the effects of social environment in the absence of mating or fertilization. Females exposed to male odors are more likely to produce parthenogenetic offspring. Further, increased exposure to the male pheromone increases the number of offspring produced. Variation in timing of reproduction is also dependent on the male. Thus, social environments are a mechanism by which males contribute to the development of their offspring, resulting in variation in development. This study illustrates the potential evolutionary importance of social environments in development, because a requirement for male-contributed environments may be a constraint to evolving asexual reproduction from a sexually reproducing species.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)163-168
    Number of pages5
    JournalEvolution and Development
    Volume5
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2003

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