Do dominants have higher heterozygosity? Social status and genetic variation in brown trout, Salmo trutta

  • Katriina Tiira
  • Anssi Laurila
  • Katja Enberg
  • Jorma Piironen
  • Sami Aikio
  • Esa Ranta
  • Craig R. R. Primmer
Original Article

Abstract

A key question of evolutionary importance is what factors influence who becomes dominant. Individual genetic variation has been found to be associated with several fitness traits, including behaviour. Could it also be a factor influencing social dominance? We investigated the association between social status and the amount of intra-individual genetic variation in juvenile brown trout (Salmo trutta). Genetic variation was estimated using 12 microsatellite loci. Dominant individuals had higher mean heterozygosity than subordinates in populations with the longest hatchery background. Heterozygosity–heterozygosity correlations did not find any evidence of inbreeding; however, single-locus analysis revealed four loci that each individually differed significantly between dominant and subordinate fish, thus giving more support to local than general effect as the mechanism behind the observed association between genetic diversity and a fitness-associated trait. We did not find any significant relation between mean d2 and social status, or internal relatedness and social status. Our results suggest that individual genetic variation can influence dominance relations, but manifestation of this phenomenon may depend on the genetic background of the population.

Keywords

Dominance status Aggression Microsatellites Heterozygosity Genetic background 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katriina Tiira
    • 1
  • Anssi Laurila
    • 1
  • Katja Enberg
    • 3
  • Jorma Piironen
    • 4
  • Sami Aikio
    • 1
  • Esa Ranta
    • 1
  • Craig R. R. Primmer
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Biological and Environmental SciencesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Population Biology/Department of Ecology and Evolution, Evolutionary Biology CentreUniversity of UppsalaUppsalaSweden
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  4. 4.Joensuu Game and Fisheries ResearchYliopistonkatu 6JoensuuFinland
  5. 5.Department of BiologyUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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