Utilization of sperm by the female Drosophila melanogaster

Kaufmann, P., Demerec, M. (September 1942) Utilization of sperm by the female Drosophila melanogaster. American Naturalist, 76 (766). pp. 445-469. ISSN 0003-0147

URL: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/2...
DOI: 10.1086/281068


The number of sperms transferred by a 4- to 5-day-old wild-type male of D. melanogaster in a single copulation has been found by actual count to approach 4,000. In successive copulations the number rapidly decreases, until after a few matings no sperm is transferred. By the next day, however, additional sperm may be available for transfer. The amount of sperm transferred in a single copulation is only sufficient to guarantee ferilization of all eggs laid during the first few days by the average female. On subsequent days the percentage of sterile eggs increases, so that toward the end of the egg-laying period practically all eggs deposited are unfertilized. A measure was made of the ability of sperms of three types of males, namely, wild-type, Curly/Glazed and plexus brown speck, when used in all possible mating sequences, to take precedence in fertilizing the eggs of plexus brown speck females. The Curly and Glazed off-spring from these crosses were slightly more frequent than the wild-type; the plexus brown speck represented only about one sixth of the total progeny. Similar proportions were found among the offspring of plexus brown speck females, which were permitted to lay their eggs in the same bottle, after each had mated with only one of the types of males available. Such similarity suggests that the differences in frequency of different classes of offspring following polyandry are referable to differential viability of the different types of embryos and larvae, and not to differences in vigor or mortality of the various types of sperms leading to selective fertilization.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: organism description > animal > insect > Drosophila
CSHL Authors:
Communities: The Carnegie Institution Department of Genetics
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: September 1942
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2018 15:43
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2018 15:43
URI: https://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/35900

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