The effect of sexual selection and mating on personality traits and behavior consistency of Callosobruchus maculatus

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för biologisk grundutbildning

Abstract: Animals’ personality traits are defined as consistent behavior tendencies and the function of them in life-history strategy and reproductive success has been given a lot of explanations in a large amount of research. However, the behavior consistency of individuals in different sexes, mating status and selection regimes is rarely mentioned. In this research, we were interested in personality traits and their consistency in inter-individuals and intra-individuals, and proposed that with the removal of fecundity selection males would evolve to be more female-like and decrease their locomotor activity, and copulation would change the physiological status of females and thus alter their levels of activity.   In the experiment, seed beetles (Callosobruchus maculatus) that were artificially selected in monogamy, polygamy and male-limited selection regimes were weighed, dropped in a designed arena and their behaviors were recorded with a camera for four minutes in the first day when they were newborn and virgin. In the next day, the virgin beetles were randomly paired to mate, weighed afterwards, and dropped in the arena again for videoing the same setting as yesterday. In data collection step, with these videos four behaviors types including walking, entering squares, time spent on roof and entering a new area were observed, scored and noted down. To process the data, we made correlation analysis and it was found that walking, entering square and a new area were positively correlated. After building the linear mixed effect models we found that sex together with mating significantly act in modifying beetles’ behaviors, males were more active than females but the difference was narrowed after mating, and copulation caused a significant increase in the level of locomotor activity in females. To our disappointment, selection regimes did not have any significant impact on locomotor activity. Our work gave an insight that copulation changed individuals’ behaviors more in females than in males and dimorphic expression of sex-biased genes differed due to mating effect.  

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