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Reference: Geoff Wild and Stuart A. West, (2009). Genomic imprinting and sex allocation. American Naturalist, 173 (1), Article: E1-E14.Citable link to this page:


Genomic imprinting and sex allocation

Abstract: Genomic imprinting allows maternally and paternally derived alleles to have different patterns of expression (one allele is often silent). Kin selection provides an explanation of genomic imprinting because conflicts of interest can arise between paternally and maternally inherited alleles when they have different probabilities of being present in other individuals. Our aim here is to examine the extent to which conflicts between paternally and maternally inherited alleles could arise over the allocation of resources to make male and female reproduction (sex allocation), for example, conflict over the offspring sex ratio. We examine the situations in which sex allocation is influenced by competitive or cooperative interactions between relatives: local resource competition, local mate competition, and local resource enhancement. We determine solutions for diploids and haplodiploids when either the mother or the offspring controls sex allocation. Our results suggest that the greatest conflict between paternally and maternally inherited alleles and therefore the strongest selection for genomic imprinting will occur in haplodiploid species where the offspring can control sex allocation, such as the social hymenoptera, we expect especially strong selection for genomic imprinting in species subject to local resource competition, such as honeybees and army ants.

Publication status:PublishedPeer Review status:Peer reviewedVersion:Publisher's versionNotes:Citation: Wild, G. & West, S. A. (2009). 'Genomic imprinting and sex allocation', American Naturalist, 173(1), E1-E14. [Available at]. © 2009 by The University of Chicago. N.B. Prof West is now based at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford.

Bibliographic Details

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Publisher Website:

Host: American Naturalistsee more from them

Publication Website:

Issue Date: 2009-January

Copyright Date: 2009

pages:Article: E1-E14Identifiers


Eissn: 0003-0147

Urn: uuid:3de430e0-ebfb-4ac8-b601-0d450bb966ea Item Description

Type: Article: post-print;

Language: en

Version: Publisher's versionKeywords: conflict direct fitness kin selection Hymenoptera inclusive fitness sex ratioSubjects: Biology Biology and other natural sciences (mathematics) Tiny URL: ora:2823


Autor: Geoff Wild - institutionUniversity of Western Ontario, Canada facultyDepartment of Applied Mathematics fundingNatural Sciences En



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