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Biology Seminar: December 6

Contributed by Nancy Pierce on 11/26/2012 

Mariana Wolfner
Cornell University

“What's love got to do with it?” Seminal proteins and the mated
female fly

Department Seminar Series

Thursday, December 6
4:00 p.m.
CNS 112

Refreshments served at 3:45, 1st floor CNS foyer. Bring your mug. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Nancy Pierce at npierce@ithaca.edu or (607) 274-3161. We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.

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We investigate reproductive processes that occur around the time of fertilization. Our molecular/genetic studies focus primarily on Drosophila, because of its genetic/genomic tools and resources, easily manipulated reproductive biology, and role as a model system for understanding analogous processes in people and in insect vectors of disease. One topic that we study, and the one that I will discuss in my seminar, concerns the actions of seminal proteins that female flies receive from their mates. These proteins modify the mated females’ behavior and reproductive physiology. I will describe how males’ seminal proteins work together with females’ molecules and physiology to stimulate egg production and sperm storage within mated females. Then I will describe how evolutionary studies suggest that even though the male and female molecules work together, there are evolutionary pressures that can drive those molecules to evolve rapidly.

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