Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Korner and Schmid-Hempel show for the bumble-bee (Bombus terrestris) an influence of the male genotype on the longevity of females. They show that insemination with sperm of certain patrilinies can reduce the survival of queens. This effect is not caused by accessory gland products like for e.g. the case in Drosophila, as they additonally inseminated some queens artificially with the content of these glands only. This seems surprising as bumble-bees generally are singly mated and therefore male and female interests should be more convergent. However, a genetic incompatibility effect is considered to be unlikely as no support for a patriline x matriline interaction effect was found. Somatic-genetic incompatibilites as immune reactions, cryptic diseases or other substance might contribute to their findings.


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