Do parasites manipulate sexual signalling : an interspecies comparision.
Chua, Ivan Ming Lai.
Date of Issue2012
School of Biological Sciences
Sexual selection, an integral part of evolution, accounts for the costly sexual signals that pose as a disadvantage to the individual’s survival. Such costly sexual signals evolve through sexual selection because they serve as honest signals of fitness. Mate choice can be based on direct risk of parasitic infection or heritable resistance to parasites. Manipulation of host behavior has been known since a long time. However, there are only a few studies of manipulation of host sexual signaling by the parasite. This review sets out to investigate whether parasite do indeed manipulate host sexual signaling. Results included examples of parasitic manipulation of host sexual signaling. Sexual signals can be exploited by parasites and they can also exert selection pressure on the hosts, compromising sexual signaling. Mate choice and mating success can also be manipulated by parasites. Parasites face an evolutionary pressure to manipulate sexual signals if there is discrimination against parasitized males in mate choice. Under certain circumstances, parasites do manipulate sexual signaling to their advantage.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University