Fascinating new data, revealed through gene sequencing, comparative genomics, and genetic engineering, precisely establish which genes are involved in mate choice and mating activity—behaviors that are surprisingly understudied from a genetic perspective. Discussed here are some of the recently identified visual and chemosensory genes that are involved in mate choice and mating behavior. These genes’ products are involved in the production, transmission, and receipt of crucial sensory mate-choice cues that affect fitness. This review exposes newfound evidence that alternative splicing, gene-expression pattern changes, and molecular genetic variation in sensory genes are crucial for both intra- and interspecific mate choice and mating success. Many sensory genes have arisen through gene duplications, and data amassed from studies conducted at scales ranging from individual genes to genomic comparisons show that strong, positive Darwinian selection acts on several mating-related genes and that these genes evolve rapidly.
Original Publication Citation
Horth, L. (2007). Sensory genes and mate choice: Evidence that duplications, mutations, and adaptive evolution alter variation in mating cue genes and their receptors. Genomics, 90(2), 159-175. doi:10.1016/j.ygeno.2007.03.021
Horth, Lisa, "Sensory Genes and Mate Choice: Evidence That Duplications, Mutations, and Adaptive Evolution Alter Variation in Mating Cue Genes and Their Receptors" (2007). Biological Sciences Faculty Publications. 338.