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Fluorescents Illuminate Sperm in Competition

Fri, 01/18/2013 - 8:12am
Small World in Motion Photomicrography Competition

 

Stefan Lüpold, from Syracuse Univ., took second place in the Small World in Motion Photomicrography Competitionwith a time-lapse movie showing sperm from two different males competing within the female reproductive tract of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.

 

While competition between sperm is a widespread phenomenon throughout the animal kingdom - and a powerful evolutionary force driving species diversity – it has been nearly impossible to study the fundamental biological processes associated with such sperm competition occurring when sperm from different males mix inside of females. The very recent development of genetically-modified fruit flies that produce sperm with either green- or red-fluorescent heads (as seen in Lüpold’s movie) is now allowing scientists to answer important biological questions.

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