'Killer Sperm' Prevents Mating Between Worm Species

July 30, 2014 12:29 PM

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'Killer Sperm' Prevents Mating Between Worm Species

The classic definition of a biological species is the ability to breed within its group, and the inability to breed outside it. For instance, breeding a horse and a donkey may result in a live mule offspring, but mules are nearly always sterile due to genomic incompatibility between the two species.

The vast majority of the time, mating across species is merely unsuccessful in producing offspring. However, when researchers at the Univ. of Maryland and the Univ. of Toronto mated Caenorhabditis worms of different species, they found that the lifespan of the female worms and their number of progen...

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