Navigation Links
Insects and sex: 'Educational help' from the museum

So-called "holometabolous" insects will be in the focus of their attention. All insects that undergo complete metamorphosis from larva to pupa belong to this group of insects. "With more than 800,000 described species these insects are the 'successful ones' in evolution," underlines project manager Beutel.

Besides many morphological similarities and agreements among the representatives of one order, it can be noticed that the male genital apparatus of holometabolous insects is outstandingly multiform. "Often it serves as the only distinguishing feature between different species," Prof. Beutel makes clear. The entomologist and his team from the Institute of Systematic Zoology and Evolutionary Biology to which the Phyletic Museum belongs as well ask the question why there is such a great variety in male genitals and which meaning this has for the evolution of insects.

The project of the insect researchers is funded by the VolkswagenStiftung with EUR 150,000. As the only zoological project it has asserted itself against approx. 120 competitors and does now belong to the 11 projects throughout Germany that are funded within the VolkswagenStiftung's initiative Research in Museums". It is the goal of the initiative to strengthen smaller and medium-sized museums as research institutions, and to link them with universities and other scientific organizations. "With regard to content we will mainly deal with anatomical images of the genitals of insects," Dr. Frank Hnefeld explains the work to come. The scientists at the University's Phyletic Museum are using a special imaging system called micro-computed tomography (MicroCT). It allows high-resolution morphological images. "We do not only want to study the genitals in detail but also get images of the act of mating itself," says Dr. Hnefeld. The zoologists are hoping for insight into how far the so-called key-lock principle" is realized among different insect orders. The exact fitting of male and female sexual organs within one species so that fertilization by another species can be prevented has for a long time served as the explanation for the extraordinary variability of the copulation organs," says Prof. Beutel. "Current works, however, indicate that this is rather the result of sexual selection a kind of evolutive arms race between male and female sexual organs, so to speak."

At the end of the two-year term the research project's results will be shown in a scientific workshop, and in a special exhibition for the public in the Phyletic Museum. It is planned to create larger-than-life models of the insects from the MicroCT images. The working title of the exhibition has been fixed already: "What you've always wanted to know about sex and insects." "We therefore give people 'education' literally", Prof. Beutel says with a wink. Thanks to the bees.


Contact: Prof. Dr. Rolf Beutel
Friedrich-Schiller-Universitt Jena

Related biology news :

1. New assay helps track termites and other insects
2. Where did insects come from?
3. Conservation from space: Landscape diversity helps to conserve insects
4. How the 100th protein structure solved at Diamond impacts our understanding of how insects smell
5. Scientists discover how to send insects off the scent of crops
6. Biological clocks of insects could lead to more effective pest control
7. Study assesses impact of fish stocking on aquatic insects
8. Insects use plant like a telephone
9. Insects evolved radically different strategy to smell
10. Insects take a bigger bite out of plants in a higher CO2 world
11. Birds, bats and insects hold secrets for aerospace engineers
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Insects and sex: 'Educational help' from the museum
(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016  A new partnership ... more accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction of ... competitively priced and high-value life insurance policies to ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, ... data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... 2016   LegacyXChange, ... "Company") LegacyXChange is excited to release its ... to be launched online site for trading 100% guaranteed ... will also provide potential shareholders a sense of the ... an industry that is notorious for fraud. The video ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... 2016 According to ... for Consumer Industry by Type (Image, Motion, Pressure, ... & IT, Entertainment, Home Appliances, & Wearable ... 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market for ... USD 26.76 Billion by 2022, at a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Epic Sciences ... detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting ... cells (CTCs). The new test has already been ... in multiple cancer types. Over 230 ... damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced ... this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" ... commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors ... such as WDR5 represent an exciting class of ... precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased ... received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval of ... Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods perform ...
Breaking Biology Technology: