Alpha Tocopherol Control of Sexuality and Polymorphism in the Rotifer Asplanchna

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Science  16 Feb 1968:
Vol. 159, Issue 3816, pp. 734-736
DOI: 10.1126/science.159.3816.734


A dietary component that initiates both the tranisition from parthenogenetic to sexual reproduction and the production of lateral, posterodorsal, and posterior outgrowths of the body wall of females was isolated from the neutral lipids of dried grass and identified as α-tocopherol. The smallest concentrations eliciting both responses were below 100 nanograms per milliliter. Relative activities of α-, β3-, and γ-tocopherol and α-tocopheryl-quinone were roughly 100 : 100 : 20 : 0.4. The synthetic antioxidants tested were without activity.