Androdioecious Caenorhabditis have a high frequency of self-compatible hermaphrodites and a low frequency of males. The effects of mutations on male fitness are of interest for two reasons. First, when males are rare, selection on male-specific mutations is less efficient than in hermaphrodites. Second, males may present a larger mutational target than hermaphrodites because of the different ways in which fitness accrues in the two sexes. We report the first estimates of male-specific mutational effects in an androdioecious organism. The rate of male-specific inviable or sterile mutations is ≤ 5 x 10-4/generation, below the rate at which males would be lost solely due to those kinds of mutations. The rate of mutational decay of male competitive fitness is ~0.17%/generation; that of hermaphrodite competitive fitness is ~0.11%/generation. The point estimate of ~1.5X faster rate of mutational decay of male fitness is nearly identical to the same ratio in Drosophila. Estimates of mutational variance (VM) for male mating success and competitive fitness are not significantly different from zero, whereas VM for hermaphrodite competitive fitness is similar to that of non-competitive fitness. Two independent estimates of the average selection coefficient against mutations affecting hermaphrodite competitive fitness agree to within two-fold, 0.33%-0.5%.
|Date made available||2017|