Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

DNA Maintenance Declines During Sperm Competition in Male Beetles

Researchers from Sweden and Germany reporting in PLOS Biology explore the balance between sperm competition and mutations in the male germline in the Callosobruchus maculatus seed beetle. With sperm competition assays, RNA sequencing-based gene expression profiling, and other experiments on beetles followed over some 50 generations, the team saw signs that DNA damage repair gets dialed down when beetles are exposed to male competitors and sexual selection, while monogamous beetles appeared to father fewer, but higher quality offspring with more resilience in the presence of DNA-damaging radiation — distinct strategies that were accompanied by gene expression shifts affecting at least 18 genes in the male beetle's reproductive tract in response to radiation exposure. "While more work is needed to detail the exact molecular underpinnings of our results, our findings provide rare experimental evidence for a trade-off between male success in sperm competition and germline maintenance," the authors report. "This suggests that sex differences in the relative strengths of sexual and natural selection are causally linked to male mutation bias."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.