Seminal fluid mediates ejaculate competition in social insects

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Documents

Susanne Petronella A Den Boer, Boris Baer, Jacobus Jan Boomsma

Queens of ants and bees normally obtain a lifetime supply of sperm on a single day of sexual activity, and sperm competition is expected to occur in lineages where queens receive sperm from multiple males. We compared singly mated (monandrous) and multiply mated (polyandrous) sister groups of ants and bees and show that seminal fluid of polyandrous species has a more positive effect on the survival of a male's own sperm than on other males' sperm. This difference was not observed in the monandrous species, suggesting that incapacitation of competing sperm may have independently evolved in both bees and ants. In Atta leafcutter ants, the negative effect of the seminal fluid of other males was negated by secretion from the queen sperm-storage organ, suggesting that queens may control ejaculate competition after sperm storage.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience
Volume327
Issue number5972
Pages (from-to)1506-1509
Number of pages4
ISSN0036-8075
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and www.ku.dk


No data available

ID: 18691588