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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 403:255-267 (2010)  -  DOI:

Is multiple mating beneficial or unavoidable? Low multiple paternity and genetic diversity in the shortspine spurdog Squalus mitsukurii

Toby S. Daly-Engel1,5,*, R. Dean Grubbs2, Kevin A. Feldheim3, Brian W. Bowen4, Robert J. Toonen4

1University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Zoology, 2538 The Mall, Edmondson 152, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA
2Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory, 3618 Hwy 98, St. Teresa, Florida 32358, USA
3Field Museum, Pritzker Laboratory for Molecular Systematics and Evolution, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605, USA
4Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, PO Box 1356, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744, USA
5Present address: University of Arizona, Forbes 410, 1140 E. South Campus Drive, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA

ABSTRACT: Proposed benefits of multiple paternity include increased reproductive output, elevated fitness of progeny, and maintenance of population genetic diversity. However, another consideration is whether multiple paternity is simply an unavoidable byproduct of sexual conflict, with males seeking to maximize mating encounters while females seek to minimize the stress of copulation. Here we examined the polyandrous mating system in sharks, with a focus on the reproductive genetics of the shortspine spurdog Squalus mitsukurii. Members of the genus Squalus are long-lived, slow-growing, and employ among the longest gestation periods of any vertebrate. To evaluate multiple paternity and genetic diversity in S. mitsukurii, we genotyped 27 litters plus 96 individuals with 8 microsatellite loci. Further, 670 bp of the mtDNA control region were sequenced in 112 individuals to examine population structure. S. mitsukurii in Hawaii showed low genetic diversity relative to other sharks (π = 0.0010 ± 0.0008) and no significant population structure in the Hawaiian Archipelago. Direct allele counts and Bayesian approximations returned concordant estimates of 11% multiple paternity, the lowest observed in sharks to date. Considering the protracted reproductive interval of S. mitsukurii, sexual conflict that results from differential male and female reproductive strategies may favor the development of female mating avoidance behavior to minimize trauma. In S. mitsukurii this behavior includes segregation of sexes and an asynchronous reproductive cycle.

KEY WORDS: Elasmobranch · Polyandry · Control region · Microsatellite DNA · Population structure · Sexual conflict · Sexual segregation · Reproductive strategy

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Cite this article as: Daly-Engel TS, Grubbs RD, Feldheim KA, Bowen BW, Toonen RJ (2010) Is multiple mating beneficial or unavoidable? Low multiple paternity and genetic diversity in the shortspine spurdog Squalus mitsukurii. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 403:255-267.

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