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Presence Of Male Worms Are Fatal For Female Worms

Update Date: Dec 02, 2013 08:41 AM EST

Presence of male roundworms can prove fatal for female worms, a new study suggests.

Study performed by researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine in California have proved that male worms secrete molecules that are responsible for the death of female worms.

Previously it has been proved that the certain species of flies and worms contribute to lessen the lifespan of their female equivalents. Like male fruit flies release seminal fluids that contain toxins which ultimately is fatal for female flies.

Researchers performed a series of laboratory investigations into the common roundworm. This common roundworm is known as Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). The worms were transparent nematodes and measure approximately one millimeter in length.

Upon series of such experiments, Associate Professor of Genetics Anne Brunet, PhD, concluded that male roundworms expressed a vast number of genes that influenced “sensation and signaling” in hermaphrodites.

“This raises the possibility that the male-induced demise is not just due to the physical stress of copulation but instead involves some degree of active signaling, ” said Brunet, according to Guardian Live. 

“Males that are deficient in pheromone production no longer induce a strong premature demise of hermaphrodites, and hermaphrodites that cannot sense pheromones are resistant to male-induced demise," he further added.

The results of the study are published in the latest issue of Science Express.

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