Within-population selection component analysis to identify the signature of sexual selection in a population of straight-nosed pipefish, and among-population phenotypic and genome-wide variation to identify how much sexually selected genomic and phenotypic variation exists and how population structure affects the signature of selection

Ansvariga forskare: Sarah Flanagan, Gunilla Rosenqvist, Anders Berglund och Adam Jones

We used a novel genome-wide analysis of selection components, coupled with a broader survey of phenotypic and genomic variation among populations, to investigate how sexual selection affects both genotype and phenotype in the polyandrous straight-nosed pipefish, Nerophis ophidion. In the straight-nosed pipefish, males provide extreme paternal care by carrying developing embryos on their bodies, sexual selection acts more strongly on females than on males, and females have bright sexually selected ornaments.

Thus, in this system fathers can be easily matched to their offspring. Selection components analysis can be used to compare allele frequencies in parent-offspring combinations to decompose total selection into its components, so N. ophidion provides a good system for this analysis. Additionally, female N. ophidion experience very strong sexual selection, providing an explicit hypothesis that the selection components analysis will uncover evidence of this process.


Sarah Flanagan
Jones Lab
Biology Department
Texas A&M University