Sunday, 15 May 2016

Genes that encourage same-sex mating in beetles help opposite gender reproduce


'The genetic mechanism explaining the occurrence of same-sex sexual behaviour that we demonstrate in these beetles could apply equally well in very different animals'

Ian Johnston Science Correspondent 

The reasons why it is common for animals to engage in sexual behaviour with others of the same gender has long puzzled evolutionary biologists.

After all, it doesn’t actually lead to the production of offspring and the continuation of the creature’s genes.

But now researchers in Sweden have discovered that genes which encourage beetles to engage in what they call same-sex sexual behaviour (SSB) can also be evolutionarily advantageous to the opposite sex.

When they bred male beetles selectively for SSB, they found that “their sisters laid more eggs and produced more offspring than before”. And breeding females for SSB resulted in genes that helped the males reproduce.

Professor David Berger, of Uppsala University, said: “Our findings show that studying the genetic links between different characteristics in males and females can hold major clues to how genetic conflicts between the sexes shape the evolution of traits, and same-sex sexual behaviours are just one example of this. 

“The genetic mechanism explaining the occurrence of SSB that we demonstrate in these beetles could apply equally well in very different animals.”




No comments:

Post a comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

ShareThis