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Sex, War And Disease: The Effects Of Infection On Horn Size And Intra-sexual Competition In The Broad-horned Flour Beetle, Gnathocerus cornutus

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Sex, War And Disease: The Effects Of Infection On Horn Size And Intra-sexual Competition In The Broad-horned Flour Beetle, Gnathocerus cornutus

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dc.contributor.author Naidu, Amrita en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2010-03-03T23:30:44Z
dc.date.available 2010-03-03T23:30:44Z
dc.date.issued 2010-03-03T23:30:44Z
dc.date.submitted January 2009 en_US
dc.identifier.other DISS-10510 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10106/2068
dc.description.abstract Sexual selection is widely used to explain the evolution of mating systems where most often it is manifest as the competition among males for access to females. This competition takes the form of direct male-male interactions in broad-horned flour beetle Gnathocerus cornutus and often results in exaggerated male phenotypes. Sexually selected traits are interesting because in many cases their existence appears to contradict natural selection. For example, the "handicap hypothesis" suggests that there may be a trade-off between immune response and horn size because mounting an immune response necessary for survival (natural selection) may divert resources away from growing longer horns that are required to garner mating opportunities (sexual selection). In contrast, the "good genes hypothesis" suggests that the degree of expression in secondary sexual traits is indicative of males' overall fitness, and therefore should be positively correlated with other fitness related traits such as immunity. I tested these opposing hypotheses about sexual selection using the eggs of Hymenolepis diminuta (the rat tapeworm) to infect G. cornutus larvae and then measuring the correlation between adult horn size and immune protein level. As a result of infection with H. diminuta, the beetles developed shorter horns that imposed a direct disadvantage to them in male-male competition. Growth and maintenance of secondary sexual trait in the form of beetle horns in males did not impose a trade-off in the constitutive levels of immune protein in their bodies but rather advertised their increased ability to resist the detrimental effects of parasitism. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Demuth, Jeffery en_US
dc.language.iso EN en_US
dc.publisher Biology en_US
dc.title Sex, War And Disease: The Effects Of Infection On Horn Size And Intra-sexual Competition In The Broad-horned Flour Beetle, Gnathocerus cornutus en_US
dc.type M.S. en_US
dc.contributor.committeeChair Demuth, Jeffery en_US
dc.degree.department Biology en_US
dc.degree.discipline Biology en_US
dc.degree.grantor University of Texas at Arlington en_US
dc.degree.level masters en_US
dc.degree.name M.S. en_US
dc.identifier.externalLink https://www.uta.edu/ra/real/editprofile.php?onlyview=1&pid=1988
dc.identifier.externalLinkDescription Link to Research Profiles

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