Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

War between the sexes influences evolution in some species, say scientists

10.04.2006
Competition and conflict between males and females start inside the egg in some species, say scientists.

Birds, butterflies, and snakes have a genetic war between the sexes that influences the way they evolve, according to a new theory published in the April 7 issue of the journal Science.

"Genetic conflict is of great interest in evolutionary biology," explained first author Paige M. Miller. Miller is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology (EEMB) at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The recent publication of the chicken genome has sparked new interest in ZW species, explained William R. Rice, co-author and professor in the Department of EEMB at UC Santa Barbara.

Chickens serve as model organisms in many areas of research. Unlike mammals, the females are heterozygous; they have two different sex chromosomes, Z and W. In the human female, the sex chromosomes are XX; they are homozygous. Butterflies, birds and snakes are ZW species.

The authors explain that maternal-effect genes are those that are expressed in the mother, are packaged in the egg, and influence the development of offspring.

"We think that the maternal-effect genes are a new arena for conflict in ZW species," said Rice. "The mathematical models support this conclusion. ’Son killers’ are predicted to accumulate on the W chromosome and ’daughter killers’ to accumulate on the Z."

The scientists explain that the sexually antagonistic maternal-effect genes in ZW species lead to an evolutionary arms race.

They state that maternal-effect conflict is increased in ZW species (compared with XY species) because the W, unlike the Y in humans, is expressed in both sexes through the maternal transmission to the egg.

A precedent for another type of sexual conflict is seen in the genetic battle that occurs in the placenta of most mammals and in the endosperm of plants.

Gail Gallessich | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ia.ucsb.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

nachricht The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>