High-protein paternal diet confers an advantage to sons in sperm competition

Felix Zajitschek, Susanne Zajitschek, Mollie Manier

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Parental environment can widely influence offspring phenotype, but paternal effects in the absence of parental care remain poorly understood. We asked if protein content in the larval diet of fathers affected paternity success and gene expression in their sons. We found that males reared on high-protein diet had sons that fared better during sperm competition, suggesting that postcopulatory sexual selection is subject to transgenerational paternal effects. Moreover, immune response genes were downregulated in sons of low-protein fathers, while genes involved in metabolic and reproductive processes were upregulated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20160914
Number of pages6
JournalBiology Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Gene expression
  • Parental effects
  • Postcopulatory sexual selection
  • RNAseq
  • Transcriptomics
  • Transgenerational effects

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