Evol Ecol Res 17: 35-51 (2016) Full PDF if your library subscribes.
Fine-scale spatial genetic structure
suggests modest risk of inbreeding
in natural populations of Argiope bruennichi
Stefanie M. Zimmer and Jutta M. Schneider
Zoological Institute, Biocenter Grindel, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Correspondence: S.M. Zimmer, Zoological Institute, Biocenter Grindel, University of Hamburg, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3, 20146 Hamburg, Germany.
Background: One may expect inbreeding avoidance via mate choice to evolve if two circumstances arise: the risk of inbreeding is high but avoidable, and there is sufficiently severe inbreeding depression.
Organism: The European wasp spider (Argiope bruennichi) in which males are monogynous or conditionally bigynous and polyandrous females cannibalize up to 80% of their mates following copulation.
Goal: Assess the potential for inbreeding and inbreeding avoidance by determining the fine-scale spatial genetic structure of natural spider populations. Investigate pre-copulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanisms.
Methods: Search for patterns of fine-scale spatial genetic structure across three populations using 16 polymorphic microsatellite loci before and after mate search. Sample twice. In the first, estimate genetic distances of sub-adult males and juvenile females using spatial autocorrelation analysis. In the second, determine genetic distances of guarding males and guarded females. In addition, monitor mate acceptance and rejection in the field, genetically screen the mating partners, and assess the genetic distance between the male and female.
Results: We found no fine-scale genetic substructure and no evidence for clusters of related juveniles. The probability of encountering genetically similar mates following male mate search was around 10% on average and differed between populations. Furthermore, the data revealed no correlation between genetic similarity and male rejection against virgin females.
Keywords: dispersal, genetic population structure, inbreeding depression, mating strategy, microsatellite, polyandry.
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