The Resolution of Sexual Antagonism by Gene Duplication

T. Connallon, A. G. Clark
2011 Genetics  
Disruptive selection between males and females can generate sexual antagonism, where alleles improving fitness in one sex reduce fitness in the other. This type of genetic conflict arises because males and females carry nearly identical sets of genes: opposing selection, followed by genetic mixing during reproduction, generates a population genetic "tug-of-war" that constrains adaptation in either sex. Recent verbal models suggest that gene duplication and sex-specific cooption of paralogs
more » ... resolve sexual antagonism and facilitate evolutionary divergence between the sexes. However, this intuitive proximal solution for sexual dimorphism potentially belies a complex interaction between mutation, genetic drift, and positive selection during duplicate fixation and sex-specific paralog differentiation. The interaction of these processes-within the explicit context of duplication and sexual antagonism-has yet to be formally described by population genetics theory. Here, we develop and analyze models of gene duplication and sex-specific differentiation between paralogs. We show that sexual antagonism can favor the fixation and maintenance of gene duplicates, eventually leading to the evolution of sexually dimorphic genetic architectures for male and female traits. The timescale for these evolutionary transitions is sensitive to a suite of genetic and demographic variables, including allelic dominance, recombination, sex linkage, and population size. Interestingly, we find that female-beneficial duplicates preferentially accumulate on the X chromosome, whereas male-beneficial duplicates are biased toward autosomes, independent of the dominance parameters of sexually antagonistic alleles. Although this result differs from previous models of sexual antagonism, it is consistent with several findings from the empirical genomics literature.
doi:10.1534/genetics.110.123729 pmid:21220356 pmcid:PMC3063682 fatcat:ory6tl62c5fcxcl4jw745qh5hi