HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Bigger horns equal better genes

Size matters. At least, it does to an alpine ibex.

According to a team of international researchers, mature, male alpine ibex demonstrate a correlation between horn growth and genetic diversity. Past research studies have shown that greater genetic diversity correlates with a greater chance of survival.

"The size of the horns reliably advertises the genetic quality of the ibexand the bigger, the better," said Dr. David Coltman, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Alberta and co-author of the study, which was published this month in the journal Molecular Ecology.

The researchers found that horn sizes among younger ibex (one- to six-years-old) are relatively similar regardless of their genetic diversity. However, once the ibex mature to the age when they begin competing for reproductive mates (7 to 12), horn length varies according to genetic diversity: the greater the diversity, the greater the length of the horns.

The researchers believe the horn length discrepancies are evidence to support the mutation accumulation theory of ageing, which is the idea that, because natural selection weakens with age, genetic mutations have effects that accumulate over time. Therefore, differences in genetic quality become more apparent as an organism ages.

Coltman noted that his study, which incorporated genetic samples from more than 150 ibex, took into account the fact that environmental factors also play a role in determining ibex horn size.

The ibex's horns are considered a "secondary sexual trait". Researchers believe the horns help males successfully mate because they display genetic quality to females and also help to "win" physical battles and achieve high social rank among their competitors.

"We've learned from other species, such as deer and sheep, that horn or antler size can be a good indicator of an individual's quality and reproductive success," Coltman said. "We wanted to see if
'"/>

Contact: Ryan Smith
ryan.smith@ualberta.ca
780-492-0436
University of Alberta
5-Jun-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Bigger is smarter
2. Halos and horns: Fixing the taste of diet soda
3. Why are male antlers and horns so large?
4. Vanishing beetle horns have surprise function
5. Female pronghorns choose mate based on substance as well as show
6. Not all embryonic stem cell lines are created equal
7. Biodiversity loss linked to economic inequality worldwide
8. All itches not created equal -- Different parts of brain activated depending on cause
9. Researchers find not all drugs are equal in treating teen drivers with ADHD
10. In stretching, pain doesnt equal gain; but if NO isnt producing, stretching wont help
11. New study: Inequality in recreational resources decreases physical activities, boosts weight gain

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:10/11/2018)... Md. (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2018 , ... ... economy is the vision behind the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals ... array of projects designed to advance biopharmaceutical manufacturing and workforce development in the ...
(Date:10/5/2018)... ... October 04, 2018 , ... High dose of biotin may ... tests such as cardiac troponin has serious clinical complications. There is an increasing trend ... is still unknown. , High dose of biotin supplement use may continue to ...
(Date:10/2/2018)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... October 02, 2018 , ... Stuart is a fun-loving eight-year-old Labrador ... According to his owner, Cynthia, “He loves playing ball so much that whenever anyone ... might want to play a game of fetch.” In early 2017, Stuart began limping ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2018)... ... October 10, 2018 , ... ... announces the appointment of Wendy Nelson, PhD, as its new CEO. , Dr. ... experience in the biotech industry. Most recently, Dr. Nelson was VP of ...
(Date:10/11/2018)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2018 , ... ... and short-run label printing and software solutions, in collaboration with HP, the global ... certification for Avery UltraDuty GHS Chemical Labels on all HP PageWide Printers. , ...
(Date:10/5/2018)... ... October 04, 2018 , ... ... with Duke University, announced today at IDWeek™ 2018 the positive results of a ... DNA in plasma, accurately identified causative pathogens in patients with infective endocarditis even ...
(Date:10/5/2018)... ... October 04, 2018 , ... Earthres Group, Inc., a multi-disciplinary ... company’s brand identity and better reflects its current breadth of markets and services. ... expertise and related support services to clients in seven market sectors, and currently ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: