Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Males more considerate than imagined -- at least, in nematode worms

Date:
November 1, 2010
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
Male worms plug females after copulation as a form of 'gift', rather than to prevent them from mating again, as had previously been thought. Researchers found that plugged females mated just as often and were just as attractive as those who were unplugged, and that plugging ultimately improved female fitness.

Male worms plug females after copulation as a form of 'gift', rather than to prevent them from mating again, as had previously been thought.

Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Frontiers in Zoology found that plugged females mated just as often and were just as attractive as those who were unplugged, and that plugging ultimately improved female fitness.

Nadine Timmermeyer worked with a team of researchers from the University of Tuebingen, Germany, to investigate the effects of copulatory plugs in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis remanei. She said, "Our results indicate that plugging neither affects the likelihood that a female is located by males, nor whether or not mating ensues. However, we found that plugging has a significant positive effect on egg production, suggesting that plugs may represent a beneficial act of a male towards its female partner rather than a competitive act between males."

Mating plugs have been documented for a broad range of animal groups, including insects, arachnids, reptiles, and rodents. In the worms studied, plugs consist of gelatinous mass deposited by the male onto the female's vulva at the end of copulation, which then hardens like glue.

Speaking about possible ways that such a seal may benefit both males and females, Timmermeyer said: "A plug may act as a seal, keeping sperm inside the female and preventing the entry of harmful pathogens. It may also contain substances that stimulate the female, or that have nutritious or antimicrobial properties."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Nadine Timmermeyer, Tobias Gerlach, Christian Guempel, Johanna Knoche, Jens F Pfann, Daniel Schliessmann and Nico K Michiels. The function of copulatory plugs in Caenorhabditis remanei: hints for female benefits. Frontiers in Zoology, 2010; (in press) [link]

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Males more considerate than imagined -- at least, in nematode worms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101101181456.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2010, November 1). Males more considerate than imagined -- at least, in nematode worms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101101181456.htm
BioMed Central. "Males more considerate than imagined -- at least, in nematode worms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101101181456.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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