Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Sperm blocking is not a male adaptation to sperm competition in a parasitoid wasp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Author(s)

Rebecca A Boulton, Nicola Cook, Jade Green, Elisabeth Virginia Greenway, David Michael Shuker

School/Research organisations

Abstract

The extent to which sperm or ejaculate-derived products from different males interact during sperm competition—from kamikaze sperm to sperm incapacitation—remains controversial. Repeated matings in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis lead to a short-term reduction of efficient sperm use by females, which is crucial for a haplodiploid organism when needing to allocate sex adaptively (i.e. by fertilizing eggs to produce daughters). Repeated matings by females in this species, therefore, constrain sex allocation through this “sperm-blocking” effect, eliciting a cost to polyandry. Here, we explore the causes and consequences of sperm blocking and test the hypothesis that it is an ejaculate-related trait associated with sperm competition. First, we show that sperm blocking, which leads to an overproduction of sons, is not correlated with success in either offensive or defensive roles in sperm competition. Then, we show that the extent of sperm blocking is not affected by self–self or kin–kin ejaculate interactions when compared to self vs nonself or kin versus nonkin sperm competition. Our results suggest that sperm blocking is not a sperm competition adaptation, but is instead associated with the mechanics of processing sperm in this species, which are likely shaped by selection on female reproductive morphology for adaptive sex allocation.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-263
JournalBehavioral Ecology
Volume29
Issue number1
Early online date8 Dec 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2018

    Research areas

  • Sperm competition, Post-copulatory sexual selection, Polyandry, Sex allocation, Local mate competition

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Genomics of sex allocation in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis

    Pannebakker, B. A., Cook, N., van den Heuvel, J., van de Zande, L. & Shuker, D. M., 20 Jul 2020, In : BMC Genomics. 21, 14 p., 499.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Validating the demethylating effects of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine in insects requires a whole-genome approach (A reply to Ellers et al.)

    Cook, N., Parker, D. J., Tauber, E., Pannebakker, B. A. & Shuker, D. M., Sep 2019, In : American Naturalist. 194, 3

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Local mate competition modifies the costs of mating in a mostly monandrous parasitoid wasp

    Boulton, R. A., Cook, N., Greenway, E. V., Glaser, G. L., Green, J. & Shuker, D. M., 5 Apr 2019, In : Behavioral Ecology. 30, 2, p. 417-425 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Differential gene expression is not required for facultative sex allocation: a transcriptome analysis of brain tissue in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis

    Cook, N., Boulton, R., Green, J., Trivedi, U., Tauber, E., Pannebakker, B. A., Ritchie, M. G. & Shuker, D. M., Feb 2018, In : Royal Society Open Science. 5, 8 p., 171718.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Exposure to the neonicotinoid imidacloprid disrupts sex allocation cue use during superparasitism in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis

    Cook, N., Green, J., Shuker, D. M. & Whitehorn, P. R., 7 Nov 2016, In : Ecological Entomology. 41, 6, p. 693-697 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Behavioral Ecology (Journal)

    Will Cresswell (Reviewer)

    26 Apr 2018

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  2. Behavioral Ecology (Journal)

    Susan Denise Healy (Editor)

    20122014

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  3. Behavioral Ecology (Journal)

    Iain McCombe Matthews (Reviewer)

    2007 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  4. Behavioral Ecology (Journal)

    Susan Denise Healy (Editor)

    20072014

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  5. Behavioral Ecology (Journal)

    Will Cresswell (Editor)

    20062010

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

Related by journal

  1. Does the response of D. melanogaster males to intrasexual competitors influence sexual isolation?

    Marie-Orleach, L., Sanz, A. M., Bailey, N. W. & Ritchie, M. G., Mar 2020, In : Behavioral Ecology. 31, 2, p. 487-492 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. It’s not all about temperature: breeding success also affects nest design

    Edwards, S. C., Shoot, T. T., Martin, R. J., Sherry, D. F. & Healy, S. D., 1 Jul 2020, In : Behavioral Ecology. 31, 4, p. 1065-1072 araa052.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Juvenile socio-ecological environment shapes material technology in nest-building birds

    Breen, A. J., Lovie, K. E., Guerard, C., Edwards, S. C., Cooper, J., Healy, S. D. & Guillette, L. M., 30 Apr 2020, In : Behavioral Ecology. Advance Articles, araa027.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Local mate competition modifies the costs of mating in a mostly monandrous parasitoid wasp

    Boulton, R. A., Cook, N., Greenway, E. V., Glaser, G. L., Green, J. & Shuker, D. M., 5 Apr 2019, In : Behavioral Ecology. 30, 2, p. 417-425 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Necessity creates opportunities for chimpanzee tool use

    Grund, C., Neumann, C., Zuberbuehler, K. & Gruber, T., Jul 2019, In : Behavioral Ecology. 30, 4, p. 1136-1144 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 251399787

Top