Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Inbred sperm fertilize fewer eggs according to University of East Anglia research

16.06.2010
Inbred male sperm have been found to fertilise fewer eggs when in competition with non-inbred males according to a new study by the University of East Anglia.

Research into the breeding habits of the red flour beetle, published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, shows that the reduced fitness of inbred beetles, known as 'inbreeding depression', reveals itself in competitive scenarios.

Inbreeding is a potentially important problem in declining species across the world, and conserving genetic variation is now recognised as a priority by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The new research is potentially vital for the successful implementation of recovery programmes of inbred species.

When populations deplete or fragment, relatives can be forced into reproduction, often leading to inbreeding depression.

Led by Dr Matt Gage, the new research into the promiscuous red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) measured how male reproduction responded to forced inbreeding.

After mating brothers with sisters for eight generations, the research found no changes in male fertility or mating behaviour.

However, inbred male sperm fertilized fewer eggs when in competition with another non-inbred male, and sperm became more variable in size.

Dr Gage said: "The experiment was designed to make comparisons with non-inbred control lines. Using multiple inbred lines, we measured the effect s of inbreeding on pre and post-mating success, in the absence and presence of male-male competition."

The results showed no differences between inbred and non-inbred males in terms of mating success, latency, duration, the number of mounts or persistency in a non-competitive setting.

However inbred males suffered significantly reduced sperm competitiveness, fathering an average of 15 per cent fewer offspring than non-inbred males across 330 sperm competition comparisons.

Dr Gage said: "It seems that inbreeding depression in sperm competitiveness was caused by a decrease in either sperm quantity or quality that is critical for relative competitiveness, but still allows full male fertilization success to be achieved under benign, competition-free conditions.

"We have shown that male fertility and mating competence are not affected by inbreeding and that any decline in sperm quality under inbreeding is only detectable when sperm competition is invoked.

"One limitation to this study is that the ancestral laboratory stock we have used is likely to carry relatively reduced genetic diversity. Also insect sperm do not generally manifest cellular abnormalities akin to those commonly found in more complex mammalian sperm," he added.

The next stage of the research will explore ways that female beetles use multiple mating to generate sperm competition and thereby avoid inbreeding depression of their own fertility.

The research is part of a three-year £400,000 project funded by the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC). The overall results will help managers of conservation and captive breeding projects recognise when inbreeding is a problem, how it progresses and how best to manage or reverse it.

Lisa Horton | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uea.ac.uk

Further reports about: Depression East genetic variation male fertility non-inbred males

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology

nachricht Migrating Cells: Folds in the cell membrane supply material for necessary blebs
23.11.2017 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>