▪ Abstract 

In contrast to Bateman's principle, there is now increasing evidence that female fitness can depend on the number of mates obtained. A number of genetic benefits have been proposed for the evolution of polyandry. A meta-analysis of available data suggests that polyandry, rather than multiple mating, can have a weak but significant general effect on embryo viability, as indicated by egg hatching success. Although this effect is generally regarded as evidence in favor of the genetic incompatibility hypothesis, appropriate data that test for intrinsic sire effects on embryo viability are generally unavailable. Moreover, maternal effects that could generate the result have not been adequately controlled, and there is little unequivocal evidence to suggest that fertilization is biased toward sperm bearing genotypes that would enhance offspring viability. Greater effort is required in these areas to elucidate the mechanisms underlying observed fitness effects of polyandry.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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