Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Genetic Conflict Theory

Controversial proposal that attempts to explain genomic imprinting in terms of competing evolutionary sex strategies, i.e. because males are uncertain about paternity they have evolved mechanisms to insure large and strong offspring, whereas females attempt to distribute resources over several smaller offspring. Each parent modifies the DNA expression in offspring in a manner that maximizes their inclusive fitness. Occurs in marsupials and placental mammals. Aka Haig hypothesis, kinship theory of genetic imprinting, intragenomic conflict theory.

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