The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants

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The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants. / den Boer, Susanne; Stürup, Marlene; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan; Baer, Boris.

In: Journal of Insect Physiology, Vol. 74, 2015, p. 56-62.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Harvard

den Boer, S, Stürup, M, Boomsma, JJ & Baer, B 2015, 'The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants', Journal of Insect Physiology, vol. 74, pp. 56-62. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jinsphys.2015.02.006

APA

den Boer, S., Stürup, M., Boomsma, J. J., & Baer, B. (2015). The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants. Journal of Insect Physiology, 74, 56-62. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jinsphys.2015.02.006

Vancouver

den Boer S, Stürup M, Boomsma JJ, Baer B. The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants. Journal of Insect Physiology. 2015;74:56-62. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jinsphys.2015.02.006

Author

den Boer, Susanne ; Stürup, Marlene ; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan ; Baer, Boris. / The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants. In: Journal of Insect Physiology. 2015 ; Vol. 74. pp. 56-62.

Bibtex

@article{4395794a77e54384ab86876c5e43d513,
title = "The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants",
abstract = "The eusocial ants are unique in that females (queens) acquire and store sperm on a single mating flight early in adult life. This event largely determines the size (possibly millions of workers), longevity (possibly decades) and genetic variation of the colonies that queens found, but our understanding of the fundamental biology of ejaculate production, transfer and physiological function remains extremely limited. We studied the ejaculation process in the leafcutter ant Atta colombica and found that it starts with the appearance of a clear pre-ejaculatory fluid (PEF) at the tip of the endophallus that is followed by the joint expulsion of the remainder of accessory gland (AG) secretion, sperm, accessory testes (AT) secretion, and a small mating plug. PEF, AG secretion and AT secretion all contribute to sperm survival, but PEF and AG secretion also reduce the survival of sperm from other males. We show that PEF is produced in the AGs and is likely identical to AG secretion because protein-banding patterns of PEF and AG secretion were similar on 1D electrophoresis gels, but differed from the protein-banding pattern of AT secretion. We show that proteins in AG secretion are responsible for the incapacitation of rival sperm and infer that transfer of AG secretion prior to sperm may allow these components to interact with rival sperm, while at the same time providing a supportive biochemical environment for the arrival of own sperm.",
author = "{den Boer}, Susanne and Marlene St{\"u}rup and Boomsma, {Jacobus Jan} and Boris Baer",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1016/j.jinsphys.2015.02.006",
language = "English",
volume = "74",
pages = "56--62",
journal = "Journal of Insect Physiology",
issn = "0022-1910",
publisher = "Pergamon Press",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants

AU - den Boer, Susanne

AU - Stürup, Marlene

AU - Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

AU - Baer, Boris

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - The eusocial ants are unique in that females (queens) acquire and store sperm on a single mating flight early in adult life. This event largely determines the size (possibly millions of workers), longevity (possibly decades) and genetic variation of the colonies that queens found, but our understanding of the fundamental biology of ejaculate production, transfer and physiological function remains extremely limited. We studied the ejaculation process in the leafcutter ant Atta colombica and found that it starts with the appearance of a clear pre-ejaculatory fluid (PEF) at the tip of the endophallus that is followed by the joint expulsion of the remainder of accessory gland (AG) secretion, sperm, accessory testes (AT) secretion, and a small mating plug. PEF, AG secretion and AT secretion all contribute to sperm survival, but PEF and AG secretion also reduce the survival of sperm from other males. We show that PEF is produced in the AGs and is likely identical to AG secretion because protein-banding patterns of PEF and AG secretion were similar on 1D electrophoresis gels, but differed from the protein-banding pattern of AT secretion. We show that proteins in AG secretion are responsible for the incapacitation of rival sperm and infer that transfer of AG secretion prior to sperm may allow these components to interact with rival sperm, while at the same time providing a supportive biochemical environment for the arrival of own sperm.

AB - The eusocial ants are unique in that females (queens) acquire and store sperm on a single mating flight early in adult life. This event largely determines the size (possibly millions of workers), longevity (possibly decades) and genetic variation of the colonies that queens found, but our understanding of the fundamental biology of ejaculate production, transfer and physiological function remains extremely limited. We studied the ejaculation process in the leafcutter ant Atta colombica and found that it starts with the appearance of a clear pre-ejaculatory fluid (PEF) at the tip of the endophallus that is followed by the joint expulsion of the remainder of accessory gland (AG) secretion, sperm, accessory testes (AT) secretion, and a small mating plug. PEF, AG secretion and AT secretion all contribute to sperm survival, but PEF and AG secretion also reduce the survival of sperm from other males. We show that PEF is produced in the AGs and is likely identical to AG secretion because protein-banding patterns of PEF and AG secretion were similar on 1D electrophoresis gels, but differed from the protein-banding pattern of AT secretion. We show that proteins in AG secretion are responsible for the incapacitation of rival sperm and infer that transfer of AG secretion prior to sperm may allow these components to interact with rival sperm, while at the same time providing a supportive biochemical environment for the arrival of own sperm.

U2 - 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2015.02.006

DO - 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2015.02.006

M3 - Journal article

VL - 74

SP - 56

EP - 62

JO - Journal of Insect Physiology

JF - Journal of Insect Physiology

SN - 0022-1910

ER -

ID: 132043676