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Raquel Vasconcelos, Sara Rocha, Xavier Santos
BACKGROUND: The extent of social behaviour among reptiles is underappreciated. Two types of aggregations are recognized in lizards: ecological and social, i.e., related to the attraction to a site or to animals of the same species, respectively. As most lizards are territorial, aggregations increase the probability of aggressive interactions among individuals, a density-dependent behaviour. METHODS: After some spurious observations of aggregation behaviour in the endemic Cabo Verde nocturnal gecko Tarentola substituta, we conducted a field-based study in order to thoroughly characterize it...
2017: PeerJ
Jun Xu, Shuai Zhan, Shuqing Chen, Baosheng Zeng, Zhiqian Li, Anthony A James, Anjiang Tan, Yongping Huang
The DM domain genes, doublesex (dsx) in insects, or their structural homologs, male abnormal 3 (mab-3) in nematodes and Dmrt1 (doublesex and mab-3-related transcription factor 1) in mammals, are downstream regulators of the sex determination pathway that control sexually dimorphic development. Despite the functional importance of dsx and its potential applications in sterile insect technologies (SITs), the mechanisms by which it controls sexually dimorphic traits and the subsequent developmental gene networks in insects are poorly understood...
January 2017: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
T Jean M Arseneau-Robar, Eliane Müller, Anouk L Taucher, Carel P van Schaik, Erik P Willems
Males in a number of group-living species fight in intergroup conflicts to defend access to food resources, a seemingly paradoxical behaviour, given that this resource does not usually limit male fitness directly. We investigated the mechanism(s) driving apparent male food defence in wild vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops pygerythrus) by testing the effect that female resource access, and female audience size and activity had on the response of focal males during simulated intergroup encounters. Males do not appear to defend food to increase the reproductive success of female group members because their response was not influenced by the presence of provisioning boxes that only females could access...
October 24, 2016: Scientific Reports
Andrew V Dane, Zopito A Marini, Anthony A Volk, Tracy Vaillancourt
Taking an evolutionary psychological perspective, we investigated whether involvement in bullying as a perpetrator or victim was more likely if adolescents reported having more dating and sexual partners than their peers, an indication of greater engagement in competition for mates. A total of 334 adolescents (173 boys, 160 girls) between the ages of 12 and 16 years (M = 13.6, SD = 1.3), recruited from community youth organizations, completed self-report measures of physical and relational bullying and victimization, as well as dating and sexual behavior...
October 17, 2016: Aggressive Behavior
Sandra Varga, Rocío Vega-Frutis, Minna-Maarit Kytöviita
Plants usually interact with other plants, and the outcome of such interaction ranges from facilitation to competition depending on the identity of the plants, including their sexual expression. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi have been shown to modify competitive interactions in plants. However, few studies have evaluated how AM fungi influence plant intraspecific and interspecific interactions in dioecious species. The competitive abilities of female and male plants of Antennaria dioica were examined in a greenhouse experiment...
October 1, 2016: Plant Biology
Heino F L Meyer-Bahlburg
As a side effect of globalization, the ideological and religious heterogeneity of many local populations is increasing. This trend is particularly noticeable at tertiary-care medical centers serving patients with rare conditions such as somatic intersexuality or gender dysphoria and transgenderism (both with and without somatic intersexuality). This special section is designed to familiarize clinicians and researchers with culture-associated gender bias and stigma that may influence attitudes to individuals with somatic or behavioral gender atypicalities...
September 29, 2016: Archives of Sexual Behavior
Heino F L Meyer-Bahlburg, Jazmin A Reyes-Portillo, Jananne Khuri, Anke A Ehrhardt, Maria I New
Stigma defined as "undesired differentness" (Goffman, 1963) and subtyped as "experienced" or "enacted," "anticipated," and "internalized" has been documented for patients with diverse chronic diseases. However, no systematic data exist on the association of stigma with somatic intersexuality. The current report concerns women with classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), the most prevalent intersex syndrome, and provides descriptive data on CAH-related stigma as experienced in the general social environment (excluding medical settings and romantic/sexual partners) during childhood, adolescence, and adulthood...
September 27, 2016: Archives of Sexual Behavior
Benjamin Geffroy, Florian Guilbaud, Elsa Amilhat, Laurent Beaulaton, Matthias Vignon, Emmanuel Huchet, Jacques Rives, Julien Bobe, Alexis Fostier, Yann Guiguen, Agnès Bardonnet
Environmental sex determination (ESD) has been detected in a range of vertebrate reptile and fish species. Eels are characterized by an ESD that occurs relatively late, since sex cannot be histologically determined before individuals reach 28 cm. Because several eel species are at risk of extinction, assessing sex at the earliest stage is a crucial management issue. Based on preliminary results of RNA sequencing, we targeted genes susceptible to be differentially expressed between ovaries and testis at different stages of development...
2016: Scientific Reports
Inas A Mazen
This article reviews the literature on intersexuality (disorders of sex development [DSD]) and transsexuality in Egypt. Egypt's resources for the diagnosis and treatment of rare conditions, such as DSD and transsexualism, are quite limited. The birth of a child with a DSD is likely to be stressful, especially in regard to decisions on gender assignment, and genital abnormalities are associated with stigma and shame. Gender assignment may be biased toward the male gender, because female infertility precludes marriage and female gender adversely affects employment prospects and inheritance...
September 20, 2016: Archives of Sexual Behavior
Zhihao Yi, Deguang Liu, Xiaoning Cui, Zheming Shang
The apple buprestid beetle, Agrilus mali Matsumura, is an invasive pest causing significant damages to rare wild apple forests of Xinjiang. The morphology, abundance and distribution of antennal sensilla in both sexes of this pest were examined. We found that the antennae of A. mali females were longer than those of males. Five types of antennal sensilla were characterized, including trichodea (subtypes Tr.1, Tr.2, and Tr.3), chaetica (subtypes Sc.1, Sc.2, Sc.3, and Sc.4), basiconica (subtypes Ba. 1, Ba. 2, Ba...
2016: Journal of Insect Science
Chris J Law, Colleen Young, Rita S Mehta
Sexual dimorphism attributed to niche divergence is often linked to differentiation between the sexes in both dietary resources and characters related to feeding and resource procurement. Although recent studies have indicated that southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) exhibit differences in dietary preferences as well as sexual dimorphism in skull size and shape, whether these intersexual differences translate to differentiation in feeding performances between the sexes remains to be investigated. To test the hypothesis that scaling patterns of bite force, a metric of feeding performance, differ between the sexes, we calculated theoretical bite forces for 55 naturally deceased male and female southern sea otters spanning the size ranges encountered over ontogeny...
September 2016: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Yan Li, Baoli Duan, Juan Chen, Helena Korpelainen, Ülo Niinemets, Chunyang Li
Sexual competition among dioecious plants affects sex ratios and the spatial distribution of the sexes in different environments. At present, little is known about sexual dimorphisms induced by different competition patterns under salinity stress. We employed Populus deltoides as a model to investigate sex-related growth as well as physiological and biochemical responses to salinity stress under conditions of intrasexual and intersexual competition. Potted seedlings (two seedlings per pot; two females, two males, or one female and one male) were exposed to two salt levels (0 and 50 mM NaCl) and salinity- and competition-driven differences in growth, assimilation rate, water use, contents of leaf pigments and osmotica, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and antioxidant enzyme and nitrate reductase activity were examined...
December 2016: Tree Physiology
Fumin Wang, Jianyu Deng, Coby Schal, Yonggen Lou, Guoxin Zhou, Bingbing Ye, Xiaohui Yin, Zhihong Xu, Lize Shen
The ecological effects of plant volatiles on herbivores are manifold. Little is known, however, about the impacts of non-host plant volatiles on intersexual pheromonal communication in specialist herbivores. We tested the effects of several prominent constitutive terpenoids released by conifers and Eucalyptus trees on electrophysiological and behavioral responses of an oligophagous species, Plutella xylostella, which feeds on Brassicaceae. The non-host plant volatile terpenoids adversely affected the calling behavior (pheromone emission) of adult females, and the orientation responses of adult males to sex pheromone were also significantly inhibited by these terpenoids in a wind tunnel and in the field...
2016: Scientific Reports
Erica M Tennenhouse, Sarah Putman, Nicole P Boisseau, Janine L Brown
Relationships between the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal and hypothalamic-pituitary gonadal axes and social behaviour in primates are complex. By using hair to quantify steroid hormones, one can obtain retrospective estimates of long-term free hormone levels from a single sample. In this study, hair was used to quantify long-term levels of cortisol, testosterone, and estradiol among members of a colony of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) to explore associations between intra- and intersexual levels of these hormones and social behaviour between the breeding and birthing seasons...
August 20, 2016: Primates; Journal of Primatology
Rebecca Dean, Judith E Mank
Genetic correlations between males and females are often thought to constrain the evolution of sexual dimorphism. However, sexually dimorphic traits and the underlying sexually dimorphic gene expression patterns are often rapidly evolving. We explore this apparent paradox by measuring the genetic correlation in gene expression between males and females (Cmf) across broad evolutionary timescales, using two RNA-sequencing data sets spanning multiple populations and multiple species. We find that unbiased genes have higher Cmf than sex-biased genes, consistent with intersexual genetic correlations constraining the evolution of sexual dimorphism...
September 2016: American Naturalist
D W Miller, A D Jones, J S Goldston, M P Rowe, A H Rowe
Studies of venom variability have advanced from describing the mechanisms of action and relative potency of medically important toxins to understanding the ecological and evolutionary causes of the variability itself. While most studies have focused on differences in venoms among taxa, populations, or age-classes, there may be intersexual effects as well. Striped bark scorpions (Centruroides vittatus) provide a good model for examining sex differences in venom composition and efficacy, as this species exhibits dramatic sexual dimorphism in both size and defensive behavior; when threatened by an enemy, larger, slower females stand and fight while smaller, fleeter males prefer to run...
November 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
A N Bloch, V J Estela, J M Leese, M Itzkowitz
Many monogamous species demonstrate size-assortative mating patterns within natural populations. To better understand the role of intersexual selection in this process, we examined the effect of male preference for female body size in the convict cichlid (Amatitlania siquia). We provided males with a choice between females that differed in size, relative to each other and in relation to the focal male. Based on previous work, we expected males to prefer the largest available female mates across all treatments...
September 2016: Behavioural Processes
John F Benson, Jeff A Sikich, Seth P D Riley
Understanding population and individual-level behavioral responses of large carnivores to human disturbance is important for conserving top predators in fragmented landscapes. However, previous research has not investigated resource selection at predation sites of mountain lions in highly urbanized areas. We quantified selection of natural and anthropogenic landscape features by mountain lions at sites where they consumed their primary prey, mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), in and adjacent to urban, suburban, and rural areas in greater Los Angeles...
2016: PloS One
Pamela Heidi Douglas, Gottfried Hohmann, Róisín Murtagh, Robyn Thiessen-Bock, Tobias Deschner
BACKGROUND: The evolution of primate sexual swellings and their influence on mating strategies have captivated the interest of biologists for over a century. Across the primate order, variability in the timing of ovulation with respect to females' sexual swelling patterns differs greatly. Since sexual swellings typically function as signals of female fecundity, the temporal relation between ovulation and sexual swellings can impact the ability of males to pinpoint ovulation and thereby affect male mating strategies...
2016: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Juan Chen, Baoli Duan, Gang Xu, Helena Korpelainen, Ülo Niinemets, Chunyang Li
Although increasing attention has been paid to plant adaptation to soil heavy metal contamination, competition and neighbor effects have been largely overlooked, especially in dioecious plants. In this study, we investigated growth as well as biochemical and ultrastructural responses of Populus cathayana Rehder females and males to cadmium (Cd) stress under different sexual competition patterns. The results showed that competition significantly affects biomass partitioning, photosynthetic capacity, leaf and root ultrastructure, Cd accumulation, the contents of polyphenols, and structural and nonstructural carbohydrates...
November 2016: Tree Physiology
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