Semen toxicity

Mariana Wolfner, Tracey Chapman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Mating requires cooperation between the sexes. In species in which there are separate sexes, females and males of the same species must communicate to find each other and sperm and eggs need to be united in the correct manner to achieve fertilization. And, at least in some organisms with parental care, cooperation between parents continues after the progeny are produced. Yet, against this background of cooperation, there are less salutary interactions. For example, in some taxa males transfer in their seminal fluid molecules that result in premature death of their mates (e.g. in the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster, nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, bean beetle Callosobruchus maculatus; Colorado potato beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata; (see Chapman, et al., 1995; Shi & Murphy, 2014 for examples); or interfere with the function of other males’ sperm (a point that even merited mention in an episode of the TV series House). How and why would this occur?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science
EditorsTodd K. Shackelford, Viviana Weekes-Shackelford
PublisherSpringer Nature
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-19650-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-19651-0, 978-3-319-19649-7
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2019

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