Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Responses of genes in females to sex revealed in fruit fly study

Date:
September 12, 2012
Source:
University of East Anglia
Summary:
Sex can trigger remarkable female responses including altered fertility, immunity, libido, eating and sleep patterns -- by the activation of diverse sets of genes, according to new research. Scientists studied how female Drosophila melanogaster -- or fruit flies -- respond to mating.

Sex can trigger remarkable female responses including altered fertility, immunity, libido, eating and sleep patterns -- by the activation of diverse sets of genes, according to research from the University of East Anglia.

Publishing today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the researchers studied how female Drosophila melanogaster -- or fruit flies -- respond to mating.

They discovered that a single protein found in semen generates a wide range of responses in many genes in females, which become apparent at different times and in different parts of the female's body following mating.

The findings could in principle be akin to responses in many animals, including humans, where sperm and semen is released inside the female's body during sex.

Lead researcher Prof Tracey Chapman, from UEA's school of Biological Sciences, said: "It's already known that seminal fluid proteins transferred from males during mating cause remarkable effects in females -- including altered egg laying, feeding, immunity, sleep patterns, water balance and sexual receptivity.

"We tested here the effects of one enigmatic seminal fluid protein, known as the 'sex peptide', and found it to change the expression of a remarkable array of many genes in females -- both across time and in different parts of the body.

"There were significant alterations to genes linked to egg development, early embryogenesis, immunity, nutrient sensing, behavior and, unexpectedly, phototransduction -- or the pathways by which they see.

"It showed that the semen protein is a 'master regulator' -- which ultimately means that males effectively have a direct and global influence on the behaviour and reproductive system of the female. Such effects may well occur across many species.

"An additional and intriguing twist is that the effects of semen proteins can favour the interests of males whilst generating costs in females, resulting in sexual conflict.

"For example, there can be a tug-of-war, where males employ semen proteins to ensure that females make a large investment in the current brood -- even if that doesn't suit the longer term interests of females."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Gioti, S. Wigby, B. Wertheim, E. Schuster, P. Martinez, C. J. Pennington, L. Partridge, T. Chapman. Sex peptide of Drosophila melanogaster males is a global regulator of reproductive processes in females. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2012; DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2012.1634

Cite This Page:

University of East Anglia. "Responses of genes in females to sex revealed in fruit fly study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120911200157.htm>.
University of East Anglia. (2012, September 12). Responses of genes in females to sex revealed in fruit fly study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120911200157.htm
University of East Anglia. "Responses of genes in females to sex revealed in fruit fly study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120911200157.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. 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