Abstracts (first author)
Developmental links between sex and nutrition; Interactions between the sex determination pathway and hormonal signaling in stag beetles
The evolution of sexual dimorphism in animals has long fascinated biologists. One of the important characteristics of sexually-selected traits is condition dependent expression. The mandibles of metallic stag beetles are sexually dimorphic and disproportionately larger in males with large body sizes compared to small body size males. The development of these sexually selected traits is likely to be regulated by nutrition-dependent mechanisms as well as the sex-determination pathway. Yet we know very little about how either of these mechanisms work, much less how they might interact with each other to generate sexual dimorphism. In this study, we experimentally offer evidence of a developmental link between nutrition and sex in the sexually dimorphic stag beetle, Cyclommatus metallifer, focusing on genes in the sex-determination pathway and its interaction with juvenile hormone (JH) signaling which acts as a mediator between nutrition and mandible growth.