Scientists have developed a powerful new way to study sperm competition: Watch the action -- live.
Using fluorescent tagging technology, the researchers have bought themselves a front row seat to the fight, allowing them to decipher the strategies males use to ensure their sperm (and not another male's) reach the egg, already helping to debunk a recent theory about sperm competition in Drosophila, according to a study published online today (March 18) in Science Express. "It's one of the most exciting papers in the sperm competition field I've seen for ages," said evolutionary biologist linkurl:David Hosken;http://biosciences.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=david_hosken of the University of Exeter in the UK, who did not participate in the study. "The paper is really the methodological breakthrough that enables us to capture a...
spermatheca of a female D. melanogaster
initially mated to GFP-sperm male
then remated to RFP-sperm male.
Image: © Science/AAAS