Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fruit Flies Sick From Mating

Date:
February 20, 2009
Source:
Wiley - Blackwell
Summary:
Mating can be exhausting. When fruit flies mate, the females' genes are activated to roughly the same extent as when an immune reaction starts. Using a combination of behavioral studies and genomic technology, researchers in Sweden can show how fruit fly females are affected by mating.

Fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster).
Credit: Image courtesy of Wiley - Blackwell

Mating can be exhausting. When fruit flies mate, the females' genes are activated to roughly the same extent as when an immune reaction starts. This is shown in a study at Uppsala University that is now appearing in the scientific publication Journal of Evolutionary Biology.

Related Articles


Using a combination of behavioral studies and genomic technology, so-called microarrays, researchers at Uppsala University can show how fruit fly females are affected by mating.

"We monitor how genetic expression is impacted by mating and show that the most common process that is affected is the immune defense system," says Ted Morrow at the Department of Ecology and Evolution, Uppsala University.

What's more, the cost of mating turns out to be rather high.

"Previous research findings show that if this cost were not a factor, females would produce 20 percent more offspring,” says Ted Morrow.

It is costly for females to mate because competition among males has led to behaviours and adaptations in males that are injurious to females, such as harassment during mating rituals and toxic proteins in their sperm fluid.

"Our results are the strongest evidence that the cost to females is probably tied to the cost of starting an immune reaction. In other words, the males are like a ‘sickness' to females," says Ted Morrow.

We can thus conclude the following from the study: the immune defence has developed to combat not only pathogens but also substances produced by males. This lends new meaning to the term ‘lovesick.'


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley - Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Innocenti et al. Immunogenic males: a genome-wide analysis of reproduction and the cost of mating in Drosophila melanogaster females. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 2009; DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2009.01708.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley - Blackwell. "Fruit Flies Sick From Mating." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090219081040.htm>.
Wiley - Blackwell. (2009, February 20). Fruit Flies Sick From Mating. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090219081040.htm
Wiley - Blackwell. "Fruit Flies Sick From Mating." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090219081040.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stray Dog Follows Adventure Racing Team for 6-Day Endurance Race

Stray Dog Follows Adventure Racing Team for 6-Day Endurance Race

Buzz60 (Nov. 24, 2014) A Swedish Adventure racing team travels to try and win a world title, but comes home with something way better: a stray dog that joined the team for much of the grueling 430-mile race. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying Black Seadevil Fish Captured on First-of-Its Kind Video

Terrifying Black Seadevil Fish Captured on First-of-Its Kind Video

Buzz60 (Nov. 24, 2014) An aquarium captures a first-of-its kind video of a notoriously camera-shy fish that’s also not so camera-friendly. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Red Panda Cubs Explore the Bratislava Zoo

Red Panda Cubs Explore the Bratislava Zoo

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Four-month old Red Panda twins Pim and Pam still rely on their mother for breast milk at the Bratislava Zoo in Slovakia, but the precocious cubs have begun to branch out to solid foods, as well. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
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