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      Nuptial gift chemistry reveals convergent evolution correlated with antagonism in mating systems of harvestmen (Arachnida, Opiliones)

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          Nuptial gifts are material donations given from male to female before or during copulation and are subject to sexual selection in a wide variety of taxa. The harvestman genus Leiobunum has emerged as a model system for understanding the evolution of reproductive morphology and behavior, as transitions between solicitous and antagonistic modes of courtship have occurred multiple times within the lineage and are correlated with convergence in genital morphology. We analyzed the free amino acid content of nuptial gift secretions from five species of Leiobunum using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Multivariate analysis of the free amino acid profiles revealed that, rather than clustering based on phylogenetic relationships, nuptial gift chemical composition was better predicted by genital morphology and behavior, suggesting that convergent evolution has acted on the chemical composition of the nuptial gift. In addition, we found that, species with solicitous courtship produce gifts consisting of a 19% larger proportion of essential amino acids as compared to those with more antagonistic courtship interactions. This work represents the first comparative study of nuptial gift chemistry within a phylogenetic framework in any animal group and as such contributes to our understanding of the evolution of reproductive diversity and the participant role of nuptial gift chemistry in mating system transitions.

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          Most cited references 29

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          An amino-acid taste receptor.

          The sense of taste provides animals with valuable information about the nature and quality of food. Mammals can recognize and respond to a diverse repertoire of chemical entities, including sugars, salts, acids and a wide range of toxic substances. Several amino acids taste sweet or delicious (umami) to humans, and are attractive to rodents and other animals. This is noteworthy because L-amino acids function as the building blocks of proteins, as biosynthetic precursors of many biologically relevant small molecules, and as metabolic fuel. Thus, having a taste pathway dedicated to their detection probably had significant evolutionary implications. Here we identify and characterize a mammalian amino-acid taste receptor. This receptor, T1R1+3, is a heteromer of the taste-specific T1R1 and T1R3 G-protein-coupled receptors. We demonstrate that T1R1 and T1R3 combine to function as a broadly tuned L-amino-acid sensor responding to most of the 20 standard amino acids, but not to their D-enantiomers or other compounds. We also show that sequence differences in T1R receptors within and between species (human and mouse) can significantly influence the selectivity and specificity of taste responses.
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            The function of nuptial feeding in insects: a review of empirical studies

             Karim Vahed (1998)
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              Sexual conflict over nuptial gifts in insects.

              Edible and seminal gifts that male arthropods transfer to their mates range from important material donations to items that provide little direct benefit. Recent reviews and research have emphasized the negative effect of gifts on female fitness, suggesting that male donations reduce the female's remating rate below her optimum or even that nuptial feeding is a net detriment to her fitness. However, comparative, experimental, and natural history evidence reveal that most edible gifts of prey or glandular products provide direct benefits to females. Gifts clearly supply nutrients when females compete for them or increase mating rates when food from other sources is limited. I point out the difficulties in determining that female remating rates are suboptimal and suggest several alternative hypotheses for the apparently low female mating rates in some gift-giving species. With regard to seminal contributions (absorbed from the ejaculate), I discuss how to separate hormonal (potentially manipulative) and material-benefit effects of male secretions on females.

                Author and article information

                Ecol Evol
                Ecol Evol
                Ecology and Evolution
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                22 June 2018
                July 2018
                : 8
                : 14 ( doiID: 10.1002/ece3.2018.8.issue-14 )
                : 7103-7110
                [ 1 ] Biology Department Macalester College St. Paul Minnesota
                [ 2 ] Chemistry Department Macalester College St. Paul Minnesota
                [ 3 ] Biology Department San Diego State University San Diego California
                [ 4 ]Present address: Department of Biological Sciences University of Maryland Baltimore County Baltimore Maryland
                Author notes
                [* ] Correspondence

                Sarah L. Boyer, Biology Department, Macalester College, 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105.

                Email: boyer@ 123456macalester.edu

                © 2018 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 1, Pages: 8, Words: 6484
                Original Research
                Original Research
                Custom metadata
                July 2018
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_NLMPMC version:version= mode:remove_FC converted:11.09.2018

                Evolutionary Biology

                chemical ecology, leiobunum, mating systems, phylogenetics, sclerosomatidae


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