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Multiple paternity in socially monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

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Abstract:

Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster (Wagner, 1842)) exhibit behavioral, morphological, and neuroendocrinological traits associated with monogamy and are considered a model system to examine the biological foundations of monogamy in mammals. We examined allelic polymorphism at microsatellite loci to assess mating exclusivity in wild prairie voles sampled in east-central Illinois and found evidence of multiple paternity in five of nine litters (56%) analyzed. Thus, a female in this socially monogamous mammal with extensive mechanisms for pair bonding does not always mate solely with its partner and raises the paradox of why some pair-bonded females mate multiply.

Les campagnols des prairies (Microtus ochrogaster (Wagner, 1842)) possèdent des caractéristiques comportementales, morphologiques et neuroendocriniennes associées à la monogamie; ils sont d'ailleurs utilisés comme système modèle pour étudier les fondements biologiques de la monogamie chez les mammifères. Nous avons examiné le polymorphisme des allèles à des locus microsatellites pour évaluer en nature l'exclusivité des accouplements chez les campagnols des prairies échantillonnés dans le centre-est de l'Illinois; nous avons trouvé des indices de paternités multiples dans cinq (56 %) des neuf nichées que nous avons analysées. Ainsi, une femelle de ce mammifère à monogamie sociale qui possède d'importants mécanismes de renforcement du couple ne s'accouple pas toujours uniquement avec son partenaire; se pose alors le paradoxe à savoir pourquoi certaines femelles vivant en couple s'accouplent avec plusieurs partenaires.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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nrc/cjz/2004/00000082/00000010/art00013
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