Female fruit flies cannot protect stored sperm from high temperature damage

Walsh, Benjamin S ORCID: 0000-0002-9544-0986, Parratt, Steven R, Snook, Rhonda R, Bretman, Amanda, Atkinson, David and Price, Tom AR ORCID: 0000-0002-4394-6301
(2022) Female fruit flies cannot protect stored sperm from high temperature damage. Journal of Thermal Biology, 105. p. 103209.

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Recently, it has been demonstrated that heat-induced male sterility is likely to shape population persistence as climate change progresses. However, an under-explored possibility is that females may be able to successfully store and preserve sperm at temperatures that sterilise males, which could ameliorate the impact of male infertility on populations. Here, we test whether females from two fruit fly species can protect stored sperm from a high temperature stress. We find that sperm carried by female Drosophila virilis are almost completely sterilised by high temperatures, whereas sperm carried by female Zaprionus indianus show only slightly reduced fertility. Heat-shocked D. virilis females can recover fertility when allowed to remate, suggesting that the delivered heat-shock is damaging stored sperm and not directly damaging females in this species. The temperatures required to reduce fertility of mated females are substantially lower than the temperatures required to damage mature sperm in males, suggesting that females are worse than males at protecting mature sperm. This suggests that female sperm storage is unlikely to ameliorate the impacts of high temperature fertility losses in males, and instead exacerbates fertility costs of high temperatures, representing an important determinant of population persistence during climate change.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fertility, Female sperm storage, Heat stress, Climate change
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2022 07:35
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2023 02:30
DOI: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2022.103209
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3151635