Volume 42 Issue 1
Jan.  2021
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Zhi-Feng Ding, Chun-Lan Zhang, Wen-Sui Zhang, Qian-Min Yuan, Long-Wu Wang, Gang Ren, En Li, Hui-Jian Hu, Wei Liang. Determining the level of extra-pair paternity in yellow-bellied prinias, a socially monogamous passerine. Zoological Research, 2021, 42(1): 108-115. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2020.079
Citation: Zhi-Feng Ding, Chun-Lan Zhang, Wen-Sui Zhang, Qian-Min Yuan, Long-Wu Wang, Gang Ren, En Li, Hui-Jian Hu, Wei Liang. Determining the level of extra-pair paternity in yellow-bellied prinias, a socially monogamous passerine. Zoological Research, 2021, 42(1): 108-115. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2020.079

Determining the level of extra-pair paternity in yellow-bellied prinias, a socially monogamous passerine

doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2020.079
Funds:  This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31572257 to H.J.H., 31660617 to L.W.W., 31472013 and 31970427 to W.L.) and Guangdong Academy of Sciences (GDAS) Special Project of Science and Technology Development (2018GDASCX-0107)
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  • Previous work based on molecular evidence has shown that most socially monogamous birds follow a genetic polyandrous mating system. However, our knowledge about avian mating systems is heavily biased toward the north temperate zone, with data on tropical birds remaining relatively scarce. This uneven distribution of both phylogenetic and spatial sampling has hampered our understanding and interpretation of results. In this study, we investigated the frequency of extra-pair paternity (EPP) in a tropical population of yellow-bellied prinias (Prinia flaviventris) in Guangxi, southern China. A total of 129 individuals belonging to 24 nests were sampled, among which 12 out of 83 chicks (14.46%) in seven nests were found to be EPP offspring. In nests in which all nestlings were sampled, only five out of 56 chicks were EPP offspring, accounting for an unbiased EPP rate of 8.93%. This rate is below the average rate of EPP in the family Sylviidae. The possible causes of EPP in prinias and the occurrence of EPP in birds with high resource investment and intensive parental care are discussed. This study highlights the value of genome-wide markers in determining relatedness in a wild bird species without a reference genome.
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