Sperm quantity and size variation in un-irradiated and irradiated males of the malaria mosquito Anopheles arabiensis Patton

M. Helinski, B.G.J. Knols

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11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Anopheles mosquitoes are important candidates for genetic control strategies. However, little is known about sperm quality and quantity as determinants of male reproductive success. In this study, sperm quantity and length variation were assessed in testes of un-irradiated and irradiated Anopheles arabiensis. Male reproductive organs were dissected for sperm and an estimate of the total number of spermatozoa was made. Sperm lengths were measured using imaging software. The effects of irradiation were evaluated for males exposed in the pupal or adult stage to a full (120 Gy) or partially sterilising dose (70 Gy). Sperm length variation in the laboratory strain was compared to the distribution observed in wild males. We also determined the size distribution of sperm lengths in spermathecae of inseminated females compared to those observed in male testes. Sperm quantity increased with age, and 12-day-old males had significantly more sperm in their testes (8214 ± 467) than males aged 3 days (5022 ± 375). Mosquitoes irradiated in the pupal stage had significantly fewer sperm (2982 ± 125) than un-irradiated males (4950 ± 848) although for adult stage irradiation similar amounts of sperm were observed compared to un-irradiated males. Sperm length variation was detected with sperm lengths ranging between
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-69
JournalActa Tropica
Volume109
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • mediterranean fruit-flies
  • fly diptera-tephritidae
  • gambiae mosquitos
  • mating competitiveness
  • reproductive-system
  • long sperm
  • age
  • drosophila
  • insects
  • storage

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