Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mating has long-term benefits: Courtship can take effort, but now scientists know why it might be worth it

Date:
April 9, 2012
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Courtship rituals can be all-consuming, demanding time and effort – but now scientists have discovered why it might be worth it.

Courtship rituals can demand time and effort, but now scientists have discovered why it might be worth it.

Related Articles


Attracting a mate -- which can take significant effort, such as in a peacock's show of feathers or the exhaustive rutting of stags -- can produce benefits for a species in the long term, a study suggests.

Edinburgh scientists have shown that animals and plants which reproduce sexually are at a considerable advantage to those species -- such as some insects and reptiles -- that reproduce without a partner.

Shuffling DNA

Researchers studied sexual reproduction in tiny fruit flies to learn more about how DNA is randomly shuffled when the genes of two parents combine to create a new individual.

They found that this recombination of genetic material allows for damaging elements of DNA -- which might cause disease or other potential drawbacks -- to be weeded out within a few generations.

Individuals who inherit healthy genes tend to flourish and pass on their DNA to the next generation, while weaker individuals are more likely to die without reproducing.

Strong evidence

The findings were made possible by genome sequencing technology.

They provide strong evidence to back up a long-standing theory that sexual reproduction, rather than asexual cloning of an individual, has long-term benefits for a species.

Scientists studied how the DNA of fruit flies is affected when the recombination of DNA does not occur.

They found that harmful DNA quickly accumulates, making the species weaker overall in the long term.

Crop science

Researchers say the findings may help inform the development of crop species with high yields.

The study, published in Genome Biology and Evolution, was supported by the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Natural Environment Research Council.

"Throughout the animal kingdom, individuals have to go to a lot of effort to reproduce. This is strong evidence to show that sexual reproduction enables a species to continually adapt and to weed out elements of DNA that would otherwise cause long-term damage," said Dr Penny Haddrill of the School of Biological Science.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. J. L. Campos, B. Charlesworth, P. R. Haddrill. Molecular Evolution in Nonrecombining Regions of the Drosophila melanogaster Genome. Genome Biology and Evolution, 2012; 4 (3): 278 DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evs010

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Mating has long-term benefits: Courtship can take effort, but now scientists know why it might be worth it." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120409133912.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2012, April 9). Mating has long-term benefits: Courtship can take effort, but now scientists know why it might be worth it. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120409133912.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Mating has long-term benefits: Courtship can take effort, but now scientists know why it might be worth it." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120409133912.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

Newsy (Mar. 29, 2015) A 508-million-year-old arthropod that swam in the Cambrian seas is thought to share a common ancestor with spiders and scorpions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

AFP (Mar. 29, 2015) Vietnam&apos;s drive to become the world&apos;s leading rice exporter is pushing farmers in the fertile Mekong Delta to the brink, say experts, with mounting costs to the environment. Duration: 02:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) A lioness in Pakistan has given birth to five cubs, twice the usual size of a litter. Queen gave birth to two other cubs just nine months ago. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
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