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Kin Recognition and Incest Avoidance in Toads1 | Integrative and Comparative Biology | Oxford Academic

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Article navigation Volume 32 Issue 1 February 1992 This article was originally published in American Zoologist
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Kin Recognition and Incest Avoidance in Toads

BRUCE WALDMAN Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 Search for other works by this author on: Oxford Academic PubMed Google Scholar JOHN E. RICE Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 Search for other works by this author on: Oxford Academic PubMed Google Scholar RODNEY L. HONEYCUTT Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University College Station, Texas 77843 Search for other works by this author on: Oxford Academic PubMed Google Scholar Integrative and Comparative Biology, Volume 32, Issue 1, 1 February 1992, Pages 18–30, [doi.org] Published: 01 August 2015 Close Advanced Search

Abstract

Toads, like many amphibians, display breeding site fidelity. Individuals that return to natal ponds to breed are likely to encounter siblings as potential mates. We examined the genetic structure of Bufo americanus breeding populations at five localities within a 1 km radius. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes significantly differed among the breeding populations, but haplotype distributions did not differ from year to year within breeding sites. Natal philopatry may account for these results. Although incest is thus possible, siblings rarely mate. Comparing haplotypes of toads captured while mating, we found only 2 of 86 pairs that could possibly be siblings. We suggest that toads might recognize and actively avoid close kin as mates. Advertisement vocalizations given by males serve as potential cues by which females might recognize their kin. We recorded calls of males, in the field, and later obtained rank estimates of their relationships to one another by DNA fingerprinting of the nuclear genome. The resemblance of males' calls was positively correlated with the similarity of their fingerprints. Significant differences in call characteristics were also found among breeding populations. Temporal parameters, rather than frequency components, encode kinship information. Recently developed techniques in molecular genetics facilitate studies of the heritability of behavioral traits in natural populations.

© 1992 by the American Society of Zoologists Issue Section: MECHANISMS OF MATE CHOICE Download all figures 224 Views 0 Citations View Metrics ×

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