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:1/19/2017)... Jan. 19, 2017 Sensory Inc ... and security for consumer electronics, and i ... systems and cybersecurity solutions, today announced a global ... financial institutions worldwide to bolster security of data ... secure user authentication platforms they offer, innerCore now ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. , Jan. 13, 2017 ... provider of technology solutions for the homecare industry, ... appointment of homecare industry expert, Justin Jugs, as ... Justin brings more than 15 years of homecare ... the team in developing strategic plans to align ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... Oregon and PUNE, India , January 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... Market: Opportunities and Forecasts, 2015 - 2022," projects that the global biometric technology market ... of 19.4% from 2016 to 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... provide essential device-to-computer interconnect using USB or PCI Express, announced the ZEM5310 USB ... V E FPGA into a compact business-card sized form factor suitable for prototyping, ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... Mass. , Jan. 18, 2017   Boston ... novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, will ... investigational compound, napabucasin, at the 2017 ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers ... Francisco . Napabucasin is an ... by targeting STAT3. i Cancer stem cells (CSCs) ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017   Parent Project Muscular ... to end Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne) , today ... New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Talem Technologies ... of robotic technology to assist people living with ... NJIT,s technology – an embedded computer, software, a force ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... Total Orthopedics and ... SpineFrontier’s A-CIFT™ Solofuse-P™. The operation took place on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at ... was an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion on a 42 year old female ...
Breaking Biology Technology: