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1 June 2002 GAMETOCYTE SEX RATIO OF A MALARIA PARASITE: EXPERIMENTAL TEST OF HERITABILITY
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Abstract
The gametocyte sex ratio of Plasmodium mexicanum, a malaria parasite of western fence lizards, was studied in a modified garden experiment. Each of 6 naturally infected lizards was used to initiate 20 replicate-infections in naive western fence lizards. A significant donor effect was observed for the sex ratios of recipient infections at their maximal parasitemia, and this effect was associated with the sex ratio of the donor infection. In 20 infections in which sex ratio was followed during the course of the infection, 9 revealed constant sex ratios and 11 showed an increase in proportion of males over time. Recipient sex ratio was correlated with another life-history trait, a composite of rate of asexual replication and peak parasitemia, such that higher Rate–Peak scores were associated with infections with less female-biased sex ratios. These results are placed into the context of sex ratio theory that concludes that the degree of selfing of parasite genotypes (number of parasite clones) within the vector will influence the evolution of gametocyte sex ratio. The theory predicts that the sex ratio should be under some genetic control and thus be heritable as observed in the experiment. Clonal diversity should also influence the life-history trait, Rate–Peak, which was found to be correlated with sex ratio.
Sarah M. Osgood, Rebecca J. Eisen and Jos J. Schall "GAMETOCYTE SEX RATIO OF A MALARIA PARASITE: EXPERIMENTAL TEST OF HERITABILITY," Journal of Parasitology 88(3), (1 June 2002). https://doi.org/10.1645/0022-3395(2002)088[0494:GSROAM]2.0.CO;2
Received: 27 February 2001; Accepted: 1 November 2001; Published: 1 June 2002
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