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Molecular Assessment of Mating Strategies in a Population of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins

Title: Molecular Assessment of Mating Strategies in a Population of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins.
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Name(s): Green, Michelle L., author
Herzing, Denise L., author
Baldwin, John D., author
Wang, Hanping, editor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Article
Date Issued: 2015-02-18
Summary: Similar to other small cetacean species, Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) have been the object of concentrated behavioral study. Although mating and courtship behaviors occur often and the social structure of the population is well-studied, the genetic mating system of the species is unknown. To assess the genetic mating system, we genotyped females and their progeny at ten microsatellite loci. Genotype analysis provided estimates of the minimum number of male sires necessary to account for the allelic diversity observed among the progeny. Using the estimates of male sires, we determined whether females mated with the same or different males during independent estrus events. Using GERUD2.0, a minimum of two males was necessary to account for the genetic variation seen among progeny arrays of all tested females. ML-RELATE assigned the most likely relationship between offspring pairs; half or full sibling. Relationship analysis supported the conservative male estimates of GERUD2.0 but in some cases, half or full sibling relationships between offspring could not be fully resolved. Integrating the results from GERUD2.0, ML-RELATE with previous observational and paternity data, we constructed two-, three-, and four-male pedigree models for each genotyped female. Because increased genetic diversity of offspring may explain multi-male mating, we assessed the internal genetic relatedness of each offspring’s genotype to determine whether parent pairs of offspring were closely related. We found varying levels of internal relatedness ranging from unrelated to closely related (range -0.136–0.321). Because there are several hypothesized explanations for multi-male mating, we assessed our data to determine the most plausible explanation for multi-male mating in our study system. Our study indicated females may benefit from mating with multiple males by passing genes for long-term viability to their young.
Identifier: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118227 (doi), http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0118227 (uri), FAUIR000070 (IID)
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FAUIR000070
Use and Reproduction: publisher
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part Of: PLOS ONE.
1932-6203