Sperm v. bacteria: the evolution of avian ejaculates
Late lunch talk by Melissah Rowe
All organisms face the threat of disease. Sperm cells are not immune to pathogen attack, and ejaculate-borne pathogens can impact sperm quality with negative consequences for male fertility. Moreover, pathogens can be transferred during mating (sexually transmitted diseases, STDs) with negative consequences for females. Here, I will introduce my new project in which we integrate organismal and molecular approaches to develop an understanding of the role of bacteria in the evolution of avian seminal fluid and factors that minimise bacterial-induced sperm defects and limit the transmission of STDs.