Defense Date

4-25-2006

Availability

Worldwide Access

Submission Type

thesis

Degree Name

MS

Department

Biological Sciences

School

Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Committee Chair

Brady A. Porter

Committee Member

David J. Lampe

Committee Member

Michael Jensen-Seaman

Keywords

Cyprinidae, kinship, parentage, paternity, spawning

Abstract

In the mating system of the bluntnose minnow, Pimephales notatus, females partition their eggs among several nests, depositing eggs on the underside of rocks that are prepared, tended, and cared for by the males. In this study, I genotyped embryos from 10 nests along with their respective guarding males using 5 microsatellite markers to reveal alternative reproductive tactics employed in high-density and low-density populations. Comparing the multilocus genotype of each guarding male to those of the guarded embryos, genetic signatures of cuckoldry and nest-guard swapping were revealed. The average percentage of allopaternal care occurring in the nests was 67.8%, which is the highest documented in fish. On average, the guarding males were significantly more related to illegitimate offspring in their nest than they were to other random adults in the population, suggesting that these higher levels of allopaternal care may be adaptive through kin selection.

Format

PDF

Language

English

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