Females play key role in determining paternity in fruit flies

London, June 11 (ANI): Biologists have found that female fruit flies play a larger role in determining paternity than previously thought.

Stefan Lupold, a research assistant professor in the college's Department of Biology and the paper's lead author, said that the findings have major implications for the study of sexual selection, sexual conflict and the coevolution of male and female reproductive traits.

He along with his team conducted the research by mating female flies with two groups of males, the latter of which were distinguished by green- and red-tagged sperm heads.

Lupold said that their research shows that female flies don't just provide a static arena for sperm competition; they also influence who fathers their offspring.

"This is indicated by various means, including the re-mating interval; progeny production rate; sperm-storage organ morphology; and the way females store and use sperm," he said.

The researchers discovered that the timing of the female ejection of sperm was genetically variable, and, thus, influenced the amount of sperm competing for fertilization.

Their findings were published this month by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. (ANI)

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