Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bizarre insect inbreeding signals an end to males

Date:
August 8, 2011
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
A bizarre form of inbreeding could spell the end of males in one insect species, according to researchers. The research focused on cottony cushion scales, a hermaphroditic bug species in which females appear to fertilize their own eggs.

An Icerya purchasi (cottony cushion scale) mother and babies
Credit: P. Hollinger

A bizarre form of inbreeding could spell the end of males in one insect species, according to researchers from Oxford University. The research focused on cottony cushion scales, a hermaphroditic bug species in which females appear to fertilize their own eggs.

"It turns out that females are not really fertilizing their eggs themselves, but instead are having this done by a parasitic tissue that infects them at birth," said Laura Ross, one of the study's authors. "It seems that this infectious tissue derives from leftover sperm from their fathers."

In effect, the tissue enables males to father offspring with both their mates and then their daughters. According to a mathematical model developed by Ross and her co-author Andy Gardner, this odd reproductive tactic could eliminate the need for males in the species. Once the parasitic fathers become widespread in a population, females will be inclined to reproduce with them instead of regular males. Regular males, as a result, become very rare because they have a hard time finding willing mates.

The research appears in the American Naturalist.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andy Gardner, Laura Ross. The Evolution of Hermaphroditism by an Infectious Male-Derived Cell Lineage: An Inclusive-Fitness Analysis. The American Naturalist, 2011; 178 (2): 191 DOI: 10.1086/660823

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Bizarre insect inbreeding signals an end to males." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110727164535.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2011, August 8). Bizarre insect inbreeding signals an end to males. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110727164535.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Bizarre insect inbreeding signals an end to males." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110727164535.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

AP (July 29, 2014) Food scraps and other items left on the grounds by picnickers brings unwelcome visitors to the grounds of the world famous and popular Louvre Museum in Paris. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jane Goodall Warns Great Apes Face Extinction

Jane Goodall Warns Great Apes Face Extinction

AFP (July 29, 2014) The world's great apes face extinction within decades, renowned chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall warned Tuesday in a call to arms to ensure man's closest relatives are not wiped out. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rat Infestation at Paris' Tuileries Garden

Rat Infestation at Paris' Tuileries Garden

AFP (July 29, 2014) An infestation of rats is causing concern among tourists at Paris' most famous park -- the Tuileries garden next to the Louvre Museum. Duration: 00:54 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:
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