Sperm sparring spotted

Scientists have developed a powerful new way to study sperm competition: Watch the action -- live. The seminal receptacle (SR) and onespermatheca of a female D. melanogasterinitially mated to GFP-sperm malethen remated to RFP-sperm male.Image: © Science/AAASUsing 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

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

View full profile.


Learn about our editorial policies.

Mar 17, 2010
Scientists have developed a powerful new way to study sperm competition: Watch the action -- live.
The seminal receptacle (SR) and one
spermatheca of a female D. melanogaster
initially mated to GFP-sperm male
then remated to RFP-sperm male.

Image: © Science/AAAS
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...
Drosophila melanogasterDrosophilaScienceDrosophilaTriboliumDrosophila



Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?