Ekechukwu, NE and Tripet, F (2019) Current versus future reproductive investment adaptive responses in adult Anopheles coluzzii malaria mosquitoes: hydric-stressed males give it all. Parasites and Vectors, 12 (1). 377 - ?.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Life history theory predicts that an individual's current reproductive investment should depend on its future reproductive value. A variety of intrinsic biotic and extrinsic factors influence reproductive value, including age, health status and current environmental conditions. Phenotypic plastic reproductive decisions are particularly crucial in species with limited mating and breeding opportunities. In the malaria mosquito Anopheles coluzzii, the combination of male-male competition and female monandry results in male reproductive success being dependent on limited mating opportunities and sperm reserves. Short life spans combined with 3-4 day gonotrophic cycles imply that females can produce only a limited number of egg-batches in their lifetime and rely on a single male's insemination to do so. Here we experimentally tested the effect of hydric stress on male sperm transfer and female sperm maintenance in this important vector species.

METHODS:
Virgin males and females were stressed prior to mating to simulate environmental uncertainty, hence the prospect of a decreased lifespan. They were then paired overnight with non-stressed mates in standardized mating assays. Sperm transfer, uptake and maintenance were quantified using qPCR, and sperm activity determined via video recording.

RESULTS:
When exposed to hydric stress, males responded by increasing their current reproductive investment and transferred significantly larger amounts of sperm to females. There was no significant increase in the mean number of females inseminated overnight by stressed males. In contrast, females did not significantly change their sperm uptake following stress nor did they alter their sperm maintenance strategy after 7-day post-mating hydric stress as measured through sperm activity level and sperm cells quantification.

CONCLUSIONS:
As predicted by life-history theory, pre-mating hydric stress was associated with an increase in male current reproductive effort in the form of increased sperm transfer. In contrast, pre and post-mating hydric stress had no impact on sperm uptake and maintenance by females, which is compatible with the prediction that females maximize their reproductive value by withstanding stress periods until a blood meal opportunity and maintain sperm quality towards future egg production.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via BioMed Central at https://parasitesandvectors.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13071-019-3608-3#Abs1 - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: trade off, reproductive value, hydric stress, mating, sperm quantification, qPCR; sperm activity, anopheles gambiae
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2019 15:10
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2019 08:28
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/6623

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