Genetic Epidemiology, Translational Neurogenomics, Psychiatric Genetics and Statistical Genetics Laboratories investigate the pattern of disease in families, particularly identical and non-identical twins, to assess the relative importance of genes and environment in a variety of important health problems.
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PMID
32393867
TITLE
An age-dependent ovulatory strategy explains the evolution of dizygotic twinning in humans.
ABSTRACT
Dizygotic twinning, the simultaneous birth of siblings when multiple ova are released, is an evolutionary paradox. Twin-bearing mothers often have elevated fitness, but despite twinning being heritable, twin births occur only at low frequencies in human populations. We resolve this paradox by showing that twinning and non-twinning are not competing strategies; instead, dizygotic twinning is the outcome of an adaptive conditional ovulatory strategy of switching from single to double ovulation with increasing age. This conditional strategy, when coupled with the well-known decline in fertility as women age, maximizes reproductive success and explains the increase and subsequent decrease in the twinning rate with maternal age that is observed across human populations. We show that the most successful ovulatory strategy would be to always double ovulate as an insurance against early fetal loss, but to never bear twins. This finding supports the hypothesis that twinning is a by-product of selection for double ovulation rather than selection for twinning.
DATE PUBLISHED
2020 May 11
HISTORY
PUBSTATUS PUBSTATUSDATE
received 2019/12/03
accepted 2020/03/06
pubmed 2020/05/13 06:00
medline 2020/05/13 06:00
entrez 2020/05/13 06:00
AUTHORS
NAME COLLECTIVENAME LASTNAME FORENAME INITIALS AFFILIATION AFFILIATIONINFO
Hazel WN Hazel Wade N WN Department of Biology, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN, USA. wnh@depauw.edu.
Black R Black Robert R School of Biological Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia.
Smock RC Smock Richard C RC Department of Mathematics, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN, USA.
Sear R Sear Rebecca R London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.
Tomkins JL Tomkins Joseph L JL Centre for Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia. joseph.tomkins@uwa.edu.au.
INVESTIGATORS
JOURNAL
VOLUME:
ISSUE:
TITLE: Nature ecology & evolution
ISOABBREVIATION: Nat Ecol Evol
YEAR: 2020
MONTH: May
DAY: 11
MEDLINEDATE:
SEASON:
CITEDMEDIUM: Internet
ISSN: 2397-334X
ISSNTYPE: Electronic
MEDLINE JOURNAL
MEDLINETA: Nat Ecol Evol
COUNTRY: England
ISSNLINKING: 2397-334X
NLMUNIQUEID: 101698577
PUBLICATION TYPE
PUBLICATIONTYPE TEXT
Journal Article
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