Quantcast

Nematode courting caught on camera

Researchers studying the nervous control of nematode mating behavior have produced video footage of a male worm preparing to mate with a hermaphrodite. Writing in the open access journal BMC Biology, Allyson Whittaker and Paul Sternberg from the California Institute of Technology investigated the role of the excitatory neurotransmitter acetylcholine in regulating tail muscles to achieve an exploratory embrace.

The video shows an intimate moment between two nematodes of the species Caenorhabditis elegans. As the hermaphrodite does not actively co-operate in mating, it is up to the male to make and maintain the necessary contact. He presses the front side of his tail against the hermaphrodite while he backs along and searches for the vulva. If not found along this first side, the tail makes a sharp turn, curling round the end of the hermaphrodite to continue searching on the other side. On finding the vulva, the male inserts his spicules and mating commences.

Notes to Editors

1. Coordination of opposing sex-specific and core muscle groups regulates male tail posture during Caenorhabditis elegans male mating behavior

Allyson J Whittaker, Paul W Sternberg

BMC Biology 2009, 7:33 (22 June 2009)

http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1741-7007-7-33.pdf

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central’s open access policy.

2. BMC Biology – the flagship biology journal of the BMC series – publishes research and methodology articles of special importance and broad interest in any area of biology and biomedical sciences. BMC Biology (ISSN 1741-7007) is covered by PubMed, MEDLINE, BIOSIS, CAS, Scopus, EMBASE, Zoological Record, Thomson Reuters (ISI) and Google Scholar.

3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.



The material in this press release comes from the originating research organization. Content may be edited for style and length. Want more? Sign up for our daily email.