Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Selection Of Successful Sperms Influenced By Female Grey Mouse Lemurs

Date:
January 3, 2008
Source:
Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Summary:
In grey mouse lemurs from the dry deciduous forests in western Madagascar each female is receptive to mating for a single night per year. For male mouse lemurs this is a stressful time. What happens during this special night? Up to fourteen males visit a single female and females copulate with up to seven different males at maximum. But who will become father? The selection of successful sperms must be influenced by internal body mechanisms of the female after copulation.

In grey mouse lemurs from the dry deciduous forests in western Madagascar each female is receptive for a single night per year. For male mouse lemurs this is a stressful time. The main question in a research project conducted by Nina Schwensow and Simone Sommer of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin and their colleague Manfred Eberle from the Leibniz Institute for Primate Research in Gφttingen was: What will happen during this special night?

Up to fourteen males visit a single female and females copulate with up to seven different males at maximum. But who will become father?

The surprising answer: The selection of successful sperms must be influenced by internal body mechanisms after copulation. The female’s mate choice was not driven by any preferences and the males could not enforce copulation due to the fact that both sexes are similar in size and body weight (60 gram).

“For a female, pregnancy and lactation is very costly”, say Nina Schwensow and Simone Sommer, biologists from the IZW. “For females, the input of energy is far more effective when the offspring’s constitution and health status is based on genetically superior immuno competence.” Within the scientific community it is widely assumed that females choose males very carefully to maximise the offspring’s probability of survival. Here the so called MHC-genes (major histocompatibility complex) are important. Genes of this group are important components of the body’s immune system; they identify disease agents and activate immune reactions. There is good evidence that individuals recognise the MHC-constitution of conspecifics by odour. With this information females might select the most promising partner.

But this mechanism does not seem to be used by grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus), because copulation takes place without pre-selection of sexual mates. In their single receptive night of the year females do not seem to be choosy. The scientists did not find any differences by comparing accepted and refused sexual mates concerning the MHC-gene setting or any physical attributes.

But: Which of the male mouse lemurs finally became the offspring’s father was clearly linked to immune genes. “The fathers definitively had more variable MHC-genes than the potential males, chosen in randomised simulations”, Schwensow adds. “Furthermore, the father’s MHC-genes were highly different form those of the mothers, which could lead to an optimum in immune competence for the offspring.” The grey mouse lemur’s mate choice is post-copulatory, driven by internal selection processes. For the first time, the hypothesis of so called cryptic post-copulatory mate choice could be proven for a wildlife primate population.

For scientists the reason for this form of mate choice is not clear. Presumably they are highly linked to the mating system, because the male mouse lemurs turn up superior in high numbers during the mating day. Project leader Simone Sommer says:” Presumably it is too costly for females to refuse several highly motivated males”. Promiscuity in connection with post-copulatory selection seems to be the most practical way to optimise the genetic constitution of the offspring.

Detailed results were published recently in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.. "Selection Of Successful Sperms Influenced By Female Grey Mouse Lemurs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071221183505.htm>.
Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.. (2008, January 3). Selection Of Successful Sperms Influenced By Female Grey Mouse Lemurs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071221183505.htm
Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.. "Selection Of Successful Sperms Influenced By Female Grey Mouse Lemurs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071221183505.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) — Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) — Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) — Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins