Switches, stability and reversals in the evolutionary history of sexual systems in fish

Pla, S, Benvenuto, C ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8378-8168, Capellini, I and Piferrer, F 2022, 'Switches, stability and reversals in the evolutionary history of sexual systems in fish' , Nature Communications, 13 , p. 3029.

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Sexual systems are highly diverse and have profound consequences for population dynamics and resilience. Yet, little is known about how they evolved. Using phylogenetic Bayesian modelling and a sample of 4614 species, we show that gonochorism is the likely ancestral condition in teleost fish. While all hermaphroditic forms revert quickly to gonochorism, protogyny and simultaneous hermaphroditism are evolutionarily more stable than protandry. In line with theoretical expectations, simultaneous hermaphroditism does not evolve directly from gonochorism but can evolve slowly from sequential hermaphroditism, particularly protandry. We find support for the predictions from life history theory that protogynous, but not protandrous, species live longer than gonochoristic species and invest the least in male gonad mass. The distribution of teleosts’ sexual systems on the tree of life does not seem to reflect just adaptive predictions, suggesting that adaptations alone may not fully explain why some sexual forms evolve in some taxa but not others (Williams’ paradox). We propose that future studies should incorporate mating systems, spawning behaviours, and the diversity of sex determining mechanisms. Some of the latter might constrain the evolution of hermaphroditism, while the non-duality of the embryological origin of teleost gonads might explain why protogyny predominates over protandry in teleosts.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Nature Communications
Funders: Santander
Depositing User: C Benvenuto
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2022 12:31
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 09:45
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/64050

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