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The Evolution of Sex Is Favoured During Adaptation to New Environments

Figure 3

Evolution of the propensity for sex in adapting and control populations measured under standardized conditions.

The propensity for sex is measured as percentage of females induced to sexual reproduction when exposed to a standardized stimulus. Data points represent the mean of five replicate populations per treatment ±1 standard error. The grey horizontal lines represent the initial propensity for sex and are shown for reference (upper line for Set 1; lower line for Set 2). The propensity for sex decreases in the control populations (solid lines) independent of the environment. In populations adapting to new environments (dashed lines), the propensity for sex increases and then declines (quadratic term: B→A χ2 = 18.5, df = 1, p = 1.7×10−5; A→B χ2 = 30.2, df = 1, p<2.2×10−16). On day 37, a second set of adapting populations were initiated from the controls. They also show an increase in sex (open symbols). The numbers in parentheses on the time axis denote the number of days since initiation of the second set. Note that colour always depicts the environment from which eggs were isolated and in which the assay was performed (red, Environment A; black, Environment B). Grey vertical lines denote time points when high- and low-density subpopulations were started to test for short- and long-term effects of sex (Figure 4).

Figure 3

doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001317.g003