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Adaptive sex ratio theory explains why gametocyte sex ratios are female-biased in many populations of apicomplexan parasites such as Plasmodium and Toxoplasma. Recently, Ferguson has criticized this framework and proposed two alternative explanations--one for vector-borne parasites (e.g. Plasmodium) and one for Toxoplasma. Ferguson raises some interesting issues that certainly deserve more empirical attention. However, it should be pointed out that: (1) there are theoretical and empirical problems for his alternative hypotheses; and (2) existing empirical data support the application of sex ratio theory to these parasites, not its rejection.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Trends Parasitol

Publication Date

04/2003

Volume

19

Pages

155 - 157

Keywords

Animals, Evolution, Molecular, Female, Life Cycle Stages, Male, Sex Ratio, Toxoplasma