News of the WeekEvolution

Male Rivalry Extends to Sperm in Female Reproductive Tract

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Science  19 Mar 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5972, pp. 1443
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5972.1443-a

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On page 1506 of this week's issue of Science, researchers demonstrate that sperm rivalries in some ants and bees have led to the evolution of seminal fluids containing toxins that impede rival sperm and to female fluids that counter these toxins. Another team, reporting online in Science, followed red- or green-glowing sperm as they jockeyed their way through the reproductive tracts of fruit flies. Both papers drive home the point that the competition between males continues inside the female.