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)

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 April 24, 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 April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) A Harvard University study suggests monkeys can use symbols to perform basic math calculations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur on Monday when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Drake University hosts 35th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) One Florida fisherman caught a 805-pound shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month. 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:
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