Understanding the causes of substitution rate variation is an important goal in the study of molecular evolution. It has been proposed that sperm competition intensity may affect genome-wide rates of substitution as a by-product of selection on sperm numbers. Here, I test this hypothesis by applying recently developed Bayesian methods to a data set consisting of approximately 35 kb of sequence data from 55 primate species. I find evidence for positive covariance between testes mass and the rate of substitution, independently of the potentially confounding effects of body mass and longevity.

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Keywords molecular clock, mutation rate, sexual selection, sperm competition, substitution rate
Funder Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msu091
Journal Molecular Biology and Evolution
Wong, A. (2014). Covariance between testes size and substitution rates in primates. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 31(6), 1432–1436. doi:10.1093/molbev/msu091