Worm species lost 7,000 genes after evolving to fertilize itself

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01/10/2018 12:37 PM EST

hermaphroditic C. briggsae and a male mating

Reproduction in most animal species requires breeding between two individuals. But some worms have evolved the ability to go it alone. In these species, a single individual can breed with itself to produce offspring. A new University of Maryland-led study found that gaining this ability, known as “selfing,” may have caused a worm species to lose a quarter of its genome, including genes that give male sperm a competitive edge during mating.

Full story at https://cmns.umd.edu/news-events/features/4054

Source
University of Maryland

This is an NSF News From the Field item.