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Sex allocation and sex determination in squamate reptiles


Wapstra, E and Warner, DA, Sex allocation and sex determination in squamate reptiles, Sexual Development, 4, (1-2) pp. 110-118. ISSN 1661-5425 (2010) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel

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DOI: doi:10.1159/000272459


Reptiles possess a wide variety of sex determining mechanisms, more so than any other vertebrate group. They offer outstanding opportunities to understand the evolutionary transitions between modes of sex determination. In this review, we argue that sex allocation theory is fundamental for understanding the selective causes of such shifts. Whether selection for biased sex allocation actually results in evolutionary shifts in sex determination depends on the overall strength, direction and consistency of selection and to what extent existing reproductive systems can establish novel links between factors causing sex-specific fitness and mechanisms of sex determination. Perhaps one of the most exciting advances in recent years has been the phylogenetically diverse range in reptile taxa that form the basis of research on the evolution of sex determination. The traditional use of long-lived oviparous species (especially turtles and crocodiles) is now expanded to include a range of short-lived taxa that exhibit both genetic sex determination and environment-/temperature-dependent sex determination (particularly agamid lizards), as well as a greater emphasis on viviparous species. If selection on differential sex allocation is a key selective pressure for the evolution of sex-determining mechanisms, these taxa will provide considerable insights into the integrated fields of sex allocation biology and sex determination.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Constraints� Evolutionary transitions� Maternal effects� Sex allocation� Sex determination� Sex ratio
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Animal developmental and reproductive biology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Wapstra, E (Associate Professor Erik Wapstra)
ID Code:63807
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2010-06-01
Last Modified:2014-11-24
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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