Influence of sex chromosomes and castration upon lifespan: studies of meal moths, a species in which sex chromosomes are homogeneous in males and heterogeneous in females

Hamilton, J.B.; Johansson, M.

Anatomical Record 121(3): 565-577

1955


ISSN/ISBN: 0003-276X
PMID: 14376897
DOI: 10.1002/ar.1091210308
Accession: 024858440

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Abstract
Meal moths (Ephestia kuhniella Zeller) were chosen for studies of the influence of sex chromosomes and castration upon duration of life. In these animals the sex chromosomes are homogeneous in males, heterogeneous in females; this is the reverse of the situation found in most species of animals in which sex chromosomes are dissimilar in males, similar in females. Thus, these investigations test the possibility that the general tendency of males to be less viable than females in most species of animals might have its origin in heterogeneity of sex chromosomes in males or homogeneity in females. If dissimilarity of sex chromosomes were responsible for the shorter life of males in most species, female moths would be expected to outlive males. This was found not to be the case in any of three studies carried out at different population densities (in isolation, mated pairs, and groups of 5 males and 5 females). Conversely, if similarity of sex chromosomes accounted for the longer life of fe -males in most species, male moths would be expected to live longer than females. Studies at three different population densities showed that homogeneity of sex chromosomes was not associated with extended lifespan. Castration did not influence duration of life in this species, as tested both in isolated and mated animals.