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Selection on insect immunity in the wild.

Authors
  • Rolff, Jens
  • Siva-Jothy, Michael T
Type
Published Article
Journal
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society
Publication Date
Oct 22, 2004
Volume
271
Issue
1553
Pages
2157–2160
Identifiers
PMID: 15475336
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The strength of selection on immune function in wild populations has only been examined in a few vertebrate species. We report the results from a study measuring selection on a key insect immune enzyme, phenoloxidase (PO), in a wild population of the damselfly Calopteryx xanthostoma. We followed individually marked males from the pre-reproductive adult phase and recorded their lifetime mating success. We found positive selection on PO activity in response to an immune insult, but no selection on wing-spot quality, a trait actively displayed to females during courtship. We suggest that positive selection on PO activity in the year of study may be explained by annual fluctuations in parasite loads.

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