Dataset Open Access

Data from: A species-specific multigene family mediates differential sperm displacement in Drosophila melanogaster

Jayawal, Vivek; Jimenez, Jamie; Magie, Robert; Nguyen, Kien; Clifton, Bryan; Yeh, Shudan; Ranz, Jose M.; Jayaswal, Vivek

Sperm competition is a post-copulatory sexual selection mechanism in species in which females mate with multiple males. Despite its evolutionary relevance in shaping male traits, the genetic mechanisms underlying sperm competition are poorly understood. A recently originated multigene family specific to D. melanogaster, Sdic, is important for the outcome of sperm competition in doubly-mated females, although the mechanistic nature of this phenotype remained unresolved. Here we compared doubly-mated females, second mated to either Sdic knockout or non-knockout males, and directly visualize sperm dynamics in the female reproductive tract. We found that a less effective removal of first-to-mate male's sperm within the female's sperm storage organs is consistent with a reduced sperm competitive ability of the Sdic knockout males. Our results highlight the role young genes can play in driving the evolution of sperm competition.

Funding provided by: National Science Foundation
Crossref Funder Registry ID: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000001
Award Number: MCB-1157876

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