Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

'Fruit fly dating game' provides clues to our reproductive prowess

25.10.2006
Sexual selection comes at a cost to offspring

Queen's University researchers have discovered that seeking out the most attractive mate may be unhealthy for any offspring.

Using a "virtual fruit fly dating game", Biology professor Adam Chippindale and graduate student Alison Pischedda have found that mating with a "fit" partner actually leads to dramatically lower rates of reproductive success in the next generation.

The research also raises questions about how masculine and feminine traits may be expressed through genes.

... more about:
»Chippindale »Sex »genes »offspring »reproductive

The findings, published in the November edition of PLoS Biology, suggest quite a twist on evolutionary thinking: On average, the lowest quality couple produced the best offspring while the highest quality pair produced the worst offspring.

The Queen's research team measured the inheritance of "fitness" (quality and number of offspring) using samples of low-and-high-fitness males and a separate set of low-and-high-fitness females to uncover what occurs as a result of sexual selection, the Darwinian process by which organisms compete for, and choose, their mates. In some traditional models, sexual selection is the search to provide offspring with 'good genes' to increase their reproductive success.

But Chippindale's group suspected that things were not so simple, at least in their flies. If sexually antagonistic genes, or genes that benefit one sex while harming the other, are prevalent then "…females who seek out high-fitness males will find that they produce high quality sons, but this will have detrimental effects on their daughters," says Dr. Chippindale, a Canada Research Chair in evolutionary genetics.

The researchers findings supports the notion that sexually antagonistic genes exert powerful effects and mostly inhabit the X chromosome, which only females pass onto sons. So when females choose successful mates they will see no benefits to sons and will only incur the cost of less-fit daughters, says Dr. Chippindale. "Sexually antagonistic genes, may be harmful or compromise fitness by reducing fertility of the opposite sex."

Dr. Chippindale suggests that this phenomenon may operate in far more organisms than the fruit fly. "If there are genes which have effects that feminize or masculinize each individual, then the expression of a wide variety of such genes will produce a continuum of gender. People wonder why there is so much gender identity diversity in the human populations – this kind of mechanism may help us get a handle on that."

Molly Kehoe | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.queensu.ca

Further reports about: Chippindale Sex genes offspring reproductive

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Copper hydroxide nanoparticles provide protection against toxic oxygen radicals in cigarette smoke
29.05.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Camera on NASA's Lunar Orbiter survived 2014 meteoroid hit

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 3-D look at the 2015 El Niño

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>