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

  • Vivek Jayaswal (Contributor)
  • Jamie Jimenez (Contributor)
  • Robert Magie (Contributor)
  • Kien Nguyen (Contributor)
  • Bryan Clifton (Contributor)
  • Shu-Dan Yeh (Contributor)
  • José M. Ranz (Contributor)



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.
Date made available13 Dec 2017

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