Our research proposal to use proteomics to investigate sperm modification within the female reproductive tract of Drosophila melanogaster was just funded by an R21 grant from the National Institutes of Health (Male Reproductive Health Program, Fertility and Infertility Branch). This project complements the evolutionary research funded by our recent NSF, which explores evolutionary divergence and reproductive isolation consequences of these sperm-female interactions. This work is a collaboration between CRE members Steve Dorus, Scott Pitnick, John Belote and PhD student Emma Whittington, along with Mariana Wolfner of Cornell University. We will soon be searching for a Postdoctoral Fellow to join this research program. Please contact us if you are interested.
A Postdoctoral Fellowship is available for our NSF-funded investigation of sperm modification within the female reproductive tract. Molecular interactions between sperm and the female reproductive tract evolve across closely related species and may contribute to reproductive isolation. Sperm undergo numerous modifications as they move through the male and female reproductive tracts, although the nature of these interactions and their importance for fertilization success is not well understood. This project will characterize these changes at the molecular level, within closely-related species of fruit fly, as well as following hybrid inseminations, to understand their evolutionary history and influence on sperm survival and fertilization success. If you are interested in the position, get more information here
Great article by Laura Poppick of Smithsonian.com on the history of trying to understand sperm form and function. Read here.
Caitlin McDonough, a CRE graduate student, is a Co-Chair of the Career Development Sub-Committee of the Genetics Society of America. Get to know Caitlin better at the GSA’s Genes to Genomes Blog.
Our research proposal to use proteomics to investigate sperm modification within the female reproductive tract, along with its evolutionary divergence and reproductive isolation consequences, is recommended for funding by the NSF. This work is a collaboration between CRE members Steve Dorus, Scott Pitnick, John Belote and PhD student Emma Whittington, along with Mariana Wolfner of Cornell University and Tim Karr of the Kyoto Institute of Technology.
Brian’s research combined investigations from the field, laboratory and artificial pastures in the greenhouse on the LSC rooftop to explore the evolutionary maintenance of alternative male reproductive tactics in the yellow dung fly, Scathophaga stercoararia. We wish Brian great success as he begins a killer postdoctoral fellowship at UC, Davis with Frank Zalom of the Department of Entomology and Nematology.
Emma, a PhD student in the CRE, is the first student to receive this prestigious fellowship, made possible by a generous gift to the SU Biology Department from former faculty member Marilyn Kerr. Color us proud.
Shelley Stevens’ image, which accompanied the publication of Landeen et al. in PLoS Biology, is selected by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences as their picture of the day (http://bpod.mrc.ac.uk/archive/2016/8/18).
The recent Nature paper was covered by numerous media outlets, but none better than that by science writer and journalist Ed Yong of The Atlantic: article Thanks, Ed! We are huge fans of your work.
Collaborative research by CRE members Pitnick, Belote and Puniamoorthy, together with CRE alumni Lüpold, Manier and othersreveal that the giant sperm some Drosophila may be the most extreme ornaments in all of nature and demonstrate how their existence challenges theories explaining the intensity of sexual selection, mating-system evolution and the fundamental nature of sex differences. The study also combined quantitative genetic analyses of interacting sex-specific traits in D. melanogaster with comparative analyses of the condition dependence of male and female reproductive potential across species with varying ornament size to reveal complex dynamics that may underlie sperm-length evolution.