Navigation Links
Females shut down male-male sperm competition in leafcutter ants
Date:3/18/2010

Leafcutter ant queens can live for twenty years, fertilizing millions of eggs with sperm stored after a single day of sexual activity.

Danish researchers who have studied ants at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama since 1992 discovered that in both ant and bee species in which queens have multiple mates, a male's seminal fluid favors the survival of its own sperm over the other males' sperm. However, once sperm has been stored, leafcutter ant queens neutralize male-male sperm competition with glandular secretions in their sperm-storage organ.

"Two things appear to be going on here," explains Jacobus Boomsma, professor at the University of Copenhagen and Research Associate at STRI. "Right after mating there is competition between sperm from different males. Sperm is expendable. Later, sperm becomes very precious to the female who will continue to use it for many years to fertilize her own eggs, producing the millions of workers it takes to maintain her colony."

With post-doctoral researchers Susanne den Boer in Copenhagen and Boris Baer at the University of Western Australia, professor Boomsma studied sperm competition in sister species of ants and bees that mate singlyeach queen with just one maleor multiplywith several males.

Their results, published this week in the prestigious journal, Science, show that the ability of a male's seminal fluid to harm the sperm of other males only occurs in species that mate multiply, and that their own seminal fluid does not protect sperm against these antagonistic effects.

"Females belonging to many speciesfrom vertebrates to insects-- have multiple male partners. Seminal products evolve rapidly, probably in response to the intense male-male competition that continues even after courtship and mating have taken place," said William Eberhard, Smithsonian staff scientist. "This study continues the STRI tradition of looking at post-copulatory selection in a very biodiverse range of organisms, following in the footsteps of people like Bob Silberglied, who asked why butterflies and moths have two kinds of sperm in the 1970's."

Similar sperm competition systems appear to have evolved independently in ants and in bees. Researchers now aim to discover how genes that control sperm recognition in bees and ants may differ, thus continuing to elucidate the details of a process key to reproduction and evolution.


'/>"/>

Contact: Beth King
kingb@si.edu
703-487-3770 x8216
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Pesticide atrazine can turn male frogs into females
2. Exposure to young triggers new neuron creation in females exhibiting maternal behavior
3. Pesky fruit flies learn from experienced females: Study
4. Caffeine appears to be beneficial in males -- but not females -- with Lou Gehrigs disease
5. Caffeine appears to be beneficial in males -- but not females -- with Lou Gehrigs disease
6. Reproductive life of male mice is increased by living with females
7. Study first to pinpoint why analgesic drugs may be less potent in females than in males
8. Gene in male fish lures females into sex
9. Vaginal reconstruction not needed for most inter-sex females, Hopkins study shows
10. Why do males and females frequently differ in body size and structure?
11. Molecular study could push back angiosperm origins
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Females shut down male-male sperm competition in leafcutter ants
(Date:3/2/2017)... NEW YORK , March 2, 2017 Summary ... to better understand Perrigo and its partnering interests and activities ... ... The Partnering Deals and Alliance since 2010 report provides an ... world,s leading life sciences companies. On demand company ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... 2017 Who risk to be deprived of ... full report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4313699/ WILL APPLE AND ... Fingerprint sensors using capacitive technology represent a fast ... Idex forecasts an increase of 360% of the number ... the fingerprint sensor market between 2014 and 2017 (source ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... , March 1, 2017  Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... announced that Richard P. Moberg has resigned, ... co-President and Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Aware ... to serve as a member of the Board of ... , Aware,s co-Chief Executive Officer and co-President, General Counsel ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... Researchers ... from small lab samples to full-size tissues, bones, even whole organs to implant ... system that delivers blood deep into the developing tissue. , Current bioengineering ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017 Good Start Genetics, ... has eclipsed the 130 million covered lives mark through ... of Texas . With newly signed ... continues to enjoy strong payor acceptance based on the ... programs and genetic counseling, its industry-leading customer care and ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017 The ... states a research report by Transparency Market Research (TMR). ... Amgen Inc., and AbbVie Inc., accounted for a share ... prominent players in this market are focusing aggressively on ... portfolio, which is likely to lead to market consolidation ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017   Boston Biomedical ... cancer therapeutics designed to target cancer stemness pathways, today ... S. Andrews as Chief Executive Officer, effective April ... Chiang J. Li , M.D., FACP, who has ... years ago. Under his leadership, Boston Biomedical has grown ...
Breaking Biology Technology: