Sperm competition and the dynamics of X chromosome drive: Stability and extinction

Taylor, JEJ, J.,  Genetics,  160:1721-1731. 2002.

Several empirical studies of sperm competition in populations polymorphic for a driving X chromosome have revealed that Sex-ratio males (those carrying a driving X) are at a disadvantage relative to Standard males. Because the frequency of the driving X chromosome determines the population-level sex ratio and thus alters male and female mating rates, the evolutionary consequences of sperm competition for sex chromosome meiotic drive are subtle. As the SR allele increases in frequency, the ratio of females to males also increases, causing an increase in the male mating rate and a decrease in the female mating rate. While the former change may exacerbate the disadvantage of Sex-ratio males during sperm competition, the latter change decreases the incidence of sperm competition within the population. We analyze a model of the effects of sperm competition on a driving X chromosome and show that these opposing trends in male and female mating rates call result in two coexisting locally stable equlibria, one corresponding to a balanced polymorphism of the SR and ST alleles and the second to fixation of the ST allele. Stochastic fluctuations of either the Population sex ratio or the SR frequency call then drive the population away from the balanced polymorphism and into the basin of attraction for the second equilibrium, resulting in fixation of the SR allele and extinction of the population.