WorldWideScience

Sample records for sperm competition dynamics

  1. Sperm competition in bats.

    OpenAIRE

    Hosken, D J

    1997-01-01

    Sperm competition is a widespread phenomenon influencing the evolution of male anatomy, physiology and behaviour. Bats are an ideal group for studying sperm competition. Females store fertile sperm for up to 200 days and the size of social groups varies from single animals to groups of hundreds of thousands. This study examines the relationship between social group size and investment in spermatogenesis across 31 species of microchiropteran bat using new and published data on testis mass and ...

  2. Sperm competition, sperm numbers and sperm quality in muroid rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez Montoto, Laura; Magaña, Concepción; Tourmente, Maximiliano; Martín-Coello, Juan; Crespo, Cristina; Luque-Larena, Juan José; Gomendio, Montserrat; Roldan, Eduardo R S

    2011-03-25

    Sperm competition favors increases in relative testes mass and production efficiency, and changes in sperm phenotype that result in faster swimming speeds. However, little is known about its effects on traits that contribute to determine the quality of a whole ejaculate (i.e., proportion of motile, viable, morphologically normal and acrosome intact sperm) and that are key determinants of fertilization success. Two competing hypotheses lead to alternative predictions: (a) sperm quantity and quality traits co-evolve under sperm competition because they play complementary roles in determining ejaculate's competitive ability, or (b) energetic constraints force trade-offs between traits depending on their relevance in providing a competitive advantage. We examined relationships between sperm competition levels, sperm quantity, and traits that determine ejaculate quality, in a comparative study of 18 rodent species using phylogenetically controlled analyses. Total sperm numbers were positively correlated to proportions of normal sperm, acrosome integrity and motile sperm; the latter three were also significantly related among themselves, suggesting no trade-offs between traits. In addition, testes mass corrected for body mass (i.e., relative testes mass), showed a strong association with sperm numbers, and positive significant associations with all sperm traits that determine ejaculate quality with the exception of live sperm. An "overall sperm quality" parameter obtained by principal component analysis (which explained 85% of the variance) was more strongly associated with relative testes mass than any individual quality trait. Overall sperm quality was as strongly associated with relative testes mass as sperm numbers. Thus, sperm quality traits improve under sperm competition in an integrated manner suggesting that a combination of all traits is what makes ejaculates more competitive. In evolutionary terms this implies that a complex network of genetic and

  3. Individual adjustment of sperm expenditure accords with sperm competition theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilastro, Andrea; Scaggiante, Marta; Rasotto, Maria B

    2002-07-23

    Sperm competition theory predicts that males should strategically allocate their sperm reserves according to the level of sperm competition, defined as the probability that the sperm of two males compete for fertilizing a given set of ova. Substantial evidence from numerous animal taxa suggests that, at the individual level, sperm expenditure increases when the risk of sperm competition is greater. In contrast, according to the "intensity model" of sperm competition [Parker, G. A., Ball, M. A., Stockley, P. & Gage, M. J. G. (1996) Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 263, 1291-1297], when more than two ejaculates compete during a given mating event, sperm expenditure should decrease as the number of competing males increases. Empirical evidence supporting this prediction, however, is still lacking. Here we measured sperm expenditure in two gobiid fishes, the grass (Zosterisessor ophiocephalus) and black goby (Gobius niger), in which up to six sneakers can congregate around the nest of territorial males and release their sperm when females spawn. We show that, in accordance with theory, sneaker males of both species release fewer sperm as the number of competitors increases.

  4. Sperm competition, immunity, selfish genes and cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Z; Price, T A R; Wedell, N

    2008-10-01

    Sperm competition is widespread and has played an important role in shaping male reproductive characters such as testis size and numbers of sperm produced, and this is reflected in the rapid evolution of many reproductive genes. Additionally, sperm competition has been implicated in the rapid evolution of seminal fluids. However, our understanding of the molecular basis of many traits thought to be important in sperm competition is rudimentary. Furthermore, links between sperm competition and a range of issues not directly related to reproduction are only just beginning to be explored. These include associations between sperm competition and selfish genes, immunity and diseases such as cancer.We briefly review these topics and suggest areas we consider worthy of additional research.

  5. Sperm competition selects for sperm quantity and quality in the Australian Maluridae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Melissah; Pruett-Jones, Stephen

    2011-01-25

    When ejaculates from rival males compete for fertilization, there is strong selection for sperm traits that enhance fertilization success. Sperm quantity is one such trait, and numerous studies have demonstrated a positive association between sperm competition and both testes size and the number of sperm available for copulations. Sperm competition is also thought to favor increases in sperm quality and changes in testicular morphology that lead to increased sperm production. However, in contrast to sperm quantity, these hypotheses have received considerably less empirical support and remain somewhat controversial. In a comparative study using the Australian Maluridae (fairy-wrens, emu-wrens, grasswrens), we tested whether increasing levels of sperm competition were associated with increases in both sperm quantity and quality, as well as an increase in the relative amount of seminiferous tubule tissue contained within the testes. After controlling for phylogeny, we found positive associations between sperm competition and sperm numbers, both in sperm reserves and in ejaculate samples. Additionally, as sperm competition level increased, the proportion of testicular spermatogenic tissue also increased, suggesting that sperm competition selects for greater sperm production per unit of testicular tissue. Finally, we also found that sperm competition level was positively associated with multiple sperm quality traits, including the proportion of motile sperm in ejaculates and the proportion of both viable and morphologically normal sperm in sperm reserves. These results suggest multiple ejaculate traits, as well as aspects of testicular morphology, have evolved in response to sperm competition in the Australian Maluridae. Furthermore, our findings emphasize the importance of post-copulatory sexual selection as an evolutionary force shaping macroevolutionary differences in sperm phenotype.

  6. Experimental evolution of sperm competitiveness in a mammal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simmons Leigh W

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background When females mate with multiple partners, sperm from rival males compete to fertilise the ova. Studies of experimental evolution have proven the selective action of sperm competition on male reproductive traits. However, while reproductive traits may evolve in response to sperm competition, this does not necessarily provide evidence that sperm competitive ability responds to selection. Indeed, a study of Drosophila failed to observe divergence in sperm competitive ability of males in lines selected for enhanced sperm offence and defence. Results Adopting the naturally polygamous house mouse (Mus domesticus as our vertebrate model, we performed an experimental evolution study and observed genetic divergence in sperm quality; males from the polygamous selection lines produced ejaculates with increased sperm numbers and greater sperm motility compared to males from the monogamous lines. Here, after 12 generations of experimental evolution, we conducted competitive matings between males from lineages evolving under sperm competition and males from lineages subject to relaxed selection. We reduced variation in paternity arising from embryo mortality by genotyping embryos in utero at 14 days gestation. Our microsatellite data revealed a significant paternity bias toward males that evolved under the selective regime of sperm competition. Conclusion We provide evidence that the sperm competitiveness phenotype can respond to selection, and show that improved sperm quality translates to greater competitive fertilisation success in house mice.

  7. Sperm competition and reproductive mode influence sperm dimensions and structure among snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tourmente, Maximiliano; Gomendio, Montserrat; Roldan, Eduardo R S; Giojalas, Laura C; Chiaraviglio, Margarita

    2009-10-01

    The role of sperm competition in increasing sperm length is a controversial issue, because findings from different taxa seem contradictory. We present a comparative study of 25 species of snakes with different levels of sperm competition to test whether it influences the size and structure of different sperm components. We show that, as levels of sperm competition increase, so does sperm length, and that this elongation is largely explained by increases in midpiece length. In snakes, the midpiece is comparatively large and it contains structures, which in other taxa are present in the rest of the flagellum, suggesting that it may integrate some of its functions. Thus, increases in sperm midpiece size would result in more energy as well as greater propulsion force. Sperm competition also increases the area occupied by the fibrous sheath and outer dense fibers within the sperm midpiece, revealing for the first time an effect upon structural elements within the sperm. Finally, differences in male-male encounter rates between oviparous and viviparous species seem to lead to differences in levels of sperm competition. We conclude that the influence of sperm competition upon different sperm components varies between taxa, because their structure and function is different.

  8. COMP-1 promotes competitive advantage of nematode sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Jody M; Chavez, Daniela R; Stanfield, Gillian M

    2015-03-19

    Competition among sperm to fertilize oocytes is a ubiquitous feature of sexual reproduction as well as a profoundly important aspect of sexual selection. However, little is known about the cellular mechanisms sperm use to gain competitive advantage or how these mechanisms are regulated genetically. In this study, we utilize a forward genetic screen in Caenorhabditis elegans to identify a gene, comp-1, whose function is specifically required in competitive contexts. We show that comp-1 functions in sperm to modulate their migration through and localization within the reproductive tract, thereby promoting their access to oocytes. Contrary to previously described models, comp-1 mutant sperm show no defects in size or velocity, thereby defining a novel pathway for preferential usage. Our results indicate not only that sperm functional traits can influence the outcome of sperm competition, but also that these traits can be modulated in a context-dependent manner depending on the presence of competing sperm.

  9. Sperm competition leads to functional adaptations in avian testes to maximize sperm quantity and quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lüpold, Stefan; Wistuba, Joachim; Damm, Oliver S; Rivers, James W; Birkhead, Tim R

    2011-05-01

    The outcome of sperm competition (i.e. competition for fertilization between ejaculates from different males) is primarily determined by the relative number and quality of rival sperm. Therefore, the testes are under strong selection to maximize both sperm number and quality, which are likely to result in trade-offs in the process of spermatogenesis (e.g. between the rate of spermatogenesis and sperm length or sperm energetics). Comparative studies have shown positive associations between the level of sperm competition and both relative testis size and the proportion of seminiferous (sperm-producing) tissue within the testes. However, it is unknown how the seminiferous tissue itself or the process of spermatogenesis might evolve in response to sperm competition. Therefore, we quantified the different germ cell types and Sertoli cells (SC) in testes to assess the efficiency of sperm production and its associations with sperm length and mating system across 10 species of New World Blackbirds (Icteridae) that show marked variation in sperm length and sperm competition level. We found that species under strong sperm competition generate more round spermatids (RS)/spermatogonium and have SC that support a greater number of germ cells, both of which are likely to increase the maximum sperm output. However, fewer of the RS appeared to elongate to mature spermatozoa in these species, which might be the result of selection for discarding spermatids with undesirable characteristics as they develop. Our results suggest that, in addition to overall size and gross morphology, testes have also evolved functional adaptations to maximize sperm quantity and quality.

  10. Sperm competition promotes diversity of sperm bundles in Ohomopterus ground beetles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takami, Yasuoki; Sota, Teiji

    2007-07-01

    Diversification of sperm morphology has been investigated in the context of sperm competition, but the adaptive significance of sperm bundles is still unclear. In analyzing 10 taxa of the genus Carabus subgenus Ohomopterus and one related Carabus ground beetles, we found that dimorphic sperm bundles occurred in most species with varied degrees of bimodality, whereas sperm were generally monomorphic. Comparative analyses with phylogenetically independent contrasts revealed that the sizes of large and small sperm bundles evolved more rapidly than, and were not correlated with, the length of sperm, suggesting more intense selection on sperm bundle sizes and their independent responses to different evolutionary forces. The size of large sperm bundles was positively correlated with male genital morphology (pertinent to displacement of rival spermatophores) and postcopulatory guarding duration as well as male body length, suggesting that larger sperm bundles have been favored when the risk of spermatophore displacement is high. Larger sperm bundles may be advantageous because of their ability to migrate more rapidly into the spermatheca. In contrast, no clear association was detected between the small sperm bundle size and mating traits despite its rapid diversification. The present study provides the first record of heteromorphic sperm bundles, the diversity of which may be promoted by sperm competition.

  11. A sperm competition model for the European bitterling (Rhodeus amarus)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Smith, Carl; Reichard, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 150, č. 14 (2013), s. 1709-1730 ISSN 0005-7959 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/1163 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Acheilognathinae * alternative mating tactics * mating system * sneaking * sperm competition * sperm motility Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.401, year: 2013

  12. Sperm depletion as a consequence of increased sperm competition risk in the European bitterling, Rhodeus amarus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Smith, C.; Pateman-Jones, C.; Zieba, G.; Przybylski, M.; Reichard, Martin

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 77, č. 5 (2009), s. 1227-1233 ISSN 0003-3472 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : alternative mating tactics * European bitterling * mating system * sexual conflict * sexual selection * sneaking * sperm competition * sperm economy Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.890, year: 2009

  13. Variation in sperm morphometry and sperm competition among barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) populations

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Laskemoen, T.; Albrecht, Tomáš; Bonisoli-Alquati, A.; Cepák, J.; De Lope, F.; Hermosell, I. G.; Johannessen, L. E.; Kleven, O.; Marzal, A.; Mousseau, T. A.; Moller, A. P.; Robertson, R. J.; Rudolfsen, G.; Saino, N.; Vortman, Y.; Lifjeld, J. T.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 67, č. 2 (2013), s. 301-309 ISSN 0340-5443 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Barn swallow * Extrapair paternity * Hirundo rustica * Sperm competition * Sperm size Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.049, year: 2013

  14. COMP-1 promotes competitive advantage of nematode sperm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Jody M; Chavez, Daniela R; Stanfield, Gillian M

    2015-01-01

    Competition among sperm to fertilize oocytes is a ubiquitous feature of sexual reproduction as well as a profoundly important aspect of sexual selection. However, little is known about the cellular mechanisms sperm use to gain competitive advantage or how these mechanisms are regulated genetically. In this study, we utilize a forward genetic screen in Caenorhabditis elegans to identify a gene, comp-1, whose function is specifically required in competitive contexts. We show that comp-1 functions in sperm to modulate their migration through and localization within the reproductive tract, thereby promoting their access to oocytes. Contrary to previously described models, comp-1 mutant sperm show no defects in size or velocity, thereby defining a novel pathway for preferential usage. Our results indicate not only that sperm functional traits can influence the outcome of sperm competition, but also that these traits can be modulated in a context-dependent manner depending on the presence of competing sperm. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05423.001 PMID:25789512

  15. Feed-backs among inbreeding, inbreeding depression in sperm traits, and sperm competition can drive evolution of costly polyandry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocedi, Greta; Reid, Jane M

    2017-12-01

    Ongoing ambitions are to understand the evolution of costly polyandry and its consequences for species ecology and evolution. Emerging patterns could stem from feed-back dynamics between the evolving mating system and its genetic environment, defined by interactions among kin including inbreeding. However, such feed-backs are rarely considered in nonselfing systems. We use a genetically explicit model to demonstrate a mechanism by which inbreeding depression can select for polyandry to mitigate the negative consequences of mating with inbred males, rather than to avoid inbreeding, and to elucidate underlying feed-backs. Specifically, given inbreeding depression in sperm traits, costly polyandry evolved to ensure female fertility, without requiring explicit inbreeding avoidance. Resulting sperm competition caused evolution of sperm traits and further mitigated the negative effect of inbreeding depression on female fertility. The evolving mating system fed back to decrease population-wide homozygosity, and hence inbreeding. However, the net overall decrease was small due to compound effects on the variances in sex-specific reproductive success and paternity skew. Purging of deleterious mutations did not eliminate inbreeding depression in sperm traits or hence selection for polyandry. Overall, our model illustrates that polyandry evolution, both directly and through sperm competition, might facilitate evolutionary rescue for populations experiencing sudden increases in inbreeding. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  16. Male crickets adjust ejaculate quality with both risk and intensity of sperm competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, Leigh W; Denholm, Amy; Jackson, Chantelle; Levy, Esther; Madon, Ewa

    2007-10-22

    Sperm competition theory predicts that males should increase their expenditure on the ejaculate with increasing risk of sperm competition, but decrease their expenditure with increasing intensity. There is accumulating evidence for sperm competition theory, based on examinations of testes size and/or the numbers of sperm ejaculated. However, recent studies suggest that ejaculate quality can also be subject to selection by sperm competition. We used experimental manipulations of the risk and intensity of sperm competition in the cricket, Teleogryllus oceanicus. We found that males produced ejaculates with a greater percentage of live sperm when they had encountered a rival male prior to mating. However, when mating with a female that presented a high intensity of sperm competition, males did not respond to risk, but produced ejaculates with a reduced percentage of live sperm. Our data suggest that males exhibit a fine-tuned hierarchy of responses to these cues of sperm competition.

  17. Sperm quality but not relatedness predicts sperm competition success in threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehlis, Marion; Rahn, Anna K; Bakker, Theo C M

    2015-04-26

    Mating between close relatives often leads to a reduction of an individual's fitness, due to an increased expression of deleterious alleles. Thus, in many animal taxa pre- as well as postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanisms have evolved. An increased risk of inbreeding and hence a loss of genetic variation may occur during founder events as in most cases only few individuals establish a new population. The threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) is a small externally fertilizing fish species subject to strong sperm competition. Sticklebacks inhabit both marine and freshwater environments and anadromous populations have repeatedly established new genetically less diverse freshwater populations. Previous studies showed that anadromous sticklebacks strongly suffer from inbreeding depression and when given the choice females prefer to mate with unrelated males. The present study aimed to address whether there exists a postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanism solely based on sperm-egg interactions in sperm competition experiments. We used F1 individuals that originated either from a large, genetically heterogeneous anadromous population or from a small, genetically less diverse freshwater population. For each population, eggs of two different females were in vitro fertilized by the same two males' sperm in a paired study design. In the main experiment one male was the female's full-sib brother and in the control experiment all individuals were unrelated. The results revealed that fertilization success was independent of relatedness in both populations suggesting a general lack of a postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanism. Instead, male quality (i.e. sperm morphology) predicted paternity success during competitive fertilization trials. In sticklebacks, there is no evidence for postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance. Sperm morphology predicted paternity instead, thus sperm quality traits are under strong sexual selection, presumably driven by the

  18. Sperm competition games when males invest in paternal care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Requena, Gustavo S; Alonzo, Suzanne H

    2017-08-16

    Sperm competition games investigate how males partition limited resources between pre- and post-copulatory competition. Although extensive research has explored how various aspects of mating systems affect this allocation, male allocation between mating, fertilization and parental effort has not previously been considered. Yet, paternal care can be energetically expensive and males are generally predicted to adjust their parental effort in response to expected paternity. Here, we incorporate parental effort into sperm competition games, particularly exploring how the relationship between paternal care and offspring survival affects sperm competition and the relationship between paternity and paternal care. Our results support existing expectations that (i) fertilization effort should increase with female promiscuity and (ii) paternal care should increase with expected paternity. However, our analyses also reveal that the cost of male care can drive the strength of these patterns. When paternal behaviour is energetically costly, increased allocation to parental effort constrains allocation to fertilization effort. As paternal care becomes less costly, the association between paternity and paternal care weakens and may even be absent. By explicitly considering variation in sperm competition and the cost of male care, our model provides an integrative framework for predicting the interaction between paternal care and patterns of paternity. © 2017 The Author(s).

  19. Sperm competition risk drives rapid ejaculate adjustments mediated by seminal fluid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlett, Michael J; Steeves, Tammy E; Gemmell, Neil J; Rosengrave, Patrice C

    2017-10-31

    In many species, males can make rapid adjustments to ejaculate performance in response to sperm competition risk; however, the mechanisms behind these changes are not understood. Here, we manipulate male social status in an externally fertilising fish, chinook salmon ( Oncorhynchus tshawytscha ), and find that in less than 48 hr, males can upregulate sperm velocity when faced with an increased risk of sperm competition. Using a series of in vitro sperm manipulation and competition experiments, we show that rapid changes in sperm velocity are mediated by seminal fluid and the effect of seminal fluid on sperm velocity directly impacts paternity share and therefore reproductive success. These combined findings, completely consistent with sperm competition theory, provide unequivocal evidence that sperm competition risk drives plastic adjustment of ejaculate quality, that seminal fluid harbours the mechanism for the rapid adjustment of sperm velocity and that fitness benefits accrue to males from such adjustment.

  20. Evolutionary Modeling Predicts a Decrease in Postcopulatory Sperm Viability as a Response to Increasing Levels of Sperm Competition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engqvist, Leif

    Sperm competition has been found to have a strong influence on the evolution of many male and female reproductive traits. Theoretical models have shown that, with increasing levels of sperm competition, males are predicted to increase ejaculate investment, and there is ample empirical evidence

  1. On sperm competition games: raffles and roles revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesterton-Gibbons, M

    1999-08-01

    In principle there are two approaches to modelling a trade-off between the positive and negative outcomes of a behavior: after suitably defining a value for the behavior in the absence of any trade-off, one can either multiply that value by an appropriate discount or subtract an appropriate cost. In a prospective analysis of sperm competition, Parker (Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B (1990) 242, 120-126) adopted the multiplicative approach to model the trade-off between the value of a mating and the cost of its acquisition. He obtained two paradoxical results. First, if two males 'know' whether they are first or second to mate, but these roles are assigned randomly, then sperm numbers should be the same for both males whether the 'raffle' for fertilization is fair or unfair. Second, if mating order is constant, then a favored male should expend less on sperm. His results are puzzling not only in terms of intuition about nature, but also in terms of his model's consistency. In other words, they present both an external and an internal paradox. Parker assumed the fairness of the raffle to a disfavored male to be independent of how much sperm a favored male deposits. This article both generalizes Parker's analysis by allowing fairness to decrease with sperm expenditure by the favored male and compares Parker's results to those obtained by the additive approach. In many respects, results are similar. Nevertheless, if the costs of mating are assumed to increase with sperm expenditure but not to depend on the role in which sperm is expended, as Parker assumed, then the additive approach is more fundamentally correct. In particular, Parker's constant-role paradox is an artifact of his approach. His random-role paradox is internally rationalized in terms of standard microeconomic theory. When fairness decreases, however slightly, with sperm expenditure by the favored male, both models demonstrate that the evolutionarily stable strategy is for more sperm to be deposited during a

  2. Differences in the fatty-acid composition of rodent spermatozoa are associated to levels of sperm competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    delBarco-Trillo, Javier; Mateo, Rafael; Roldan, Eduardo R. S.

    2015-01-01

    Sperm competition is a prevalent phenomenon that drives the evolution of sperm function. High levels of sperm competition lead to increased metabolism to fuel higher sperm velocities. This enhanced metabolism can result in oxidative damage (including lipid peroxidation) and damage to the membrane. We hypothesized that in those species experiencing high levels of sperm competition there are changes in the fatty-acid composition of the sperm membrane that makes the membrane more resistant to oxidative damage. Given that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are the most prone to lipid peroxidation, we predicted that higher sperm competition leads to a reduction in the proportion of sperm PUFAs. In contrast, we predicted that levels of sperm competition should not affect the proportion of PUFAs in somatic cells. To test these predictions, we quantified the fatty-acid composition of sperm, testis and liver cells in four mouse species (genus Mus) that differ in their levels of sperm competition. Fatty-acid composition in testis and liver cells was not associated to sperm competition levels. However, in sperm cells, as predicted, an increase in sperm competition levels was associated with an increase in the proportion of saturated fatty-acids (the most resistant to lipid peroxidation) and by a concomitant decrease in the proportion of PUFAs. Two particular fatty acids were most responsible for this pattern (arachidonic acid and palmitic acid). Our findings thus indicate that sperm competition has a pervasive influence in the composition of sperm cells that ultimately may have important effects in sperm function. PMID:25795911

  3. Sexual selection, germline mutation rate and sperm competition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Møller AP

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An important component of sexual selection arises because females obtain viability benefits for their offspring from their mate choice. Females choosing extra-pair fertilization generally favor males with exaggerated secondary sexual characters, and extra-pair paternity increases the variance in male reproductive success. Furthermore, females are assumed to benefit from 'good genes' from extra-pair sires. How additive genetic variance in such viability genes is maintained despite strong directional selection remains an evolutionary enigma. We propose that sexual selection is associated with elevated mutation rates, changing the balance between mutation and selection, thereby increasing variance in fitness and hence the benefits to be obtained from good genes sexual selection. Two hypotheses may account for such elevated mutation: (1 Increased sperm production associated with sperm competition may increase mutation rate. (2 Mutator alleles increase mutation rates that are revealed by the expression of condition-dependent secondary sexual characters used by choosy females during their mate choice. M Petrie has independently developed the idea that mutator alleles may account for the maintenance of genetic variation in viability despite strong directional selection. Results A comparative study of birds revealed a positive correlation between mutation rate at minisatellite loci and extra-pair paternity, but not between mutation rate and relative testes mass which is a measure of relative sperm production. Minisatellite mutation rates were not related to longevity, suggesting a meiotic rather than a mitotic origin of mutations. Conclusion We found evidence of increased mutation rate in species with more intense sexual selection. Increased mutation was not associated with increased sperm production, and we suggest that species with intense sexual selection may maintain elevated mutation rates because sexual selection continuously

  4. On the relative effect of spawning asynchrony, sperm quantity and sperm quality on paternity under sperm competition in an external fertilizer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torvald Blikra Egeland

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available How much of a fitness benefit is obtained by dominant males of external fertilizers from releasing ejaculates in synchrony with female egg-release when engaging in sperm competition, and what is the most important sperm trait for paternity in these situations? The Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus is an external fertilizer experiencing intense male-male competition over reproductive opportunities including sperm competition. To compensate for their disadvantage the sneaker males, which often spawn out of synchrony with the female, produce more and faster sperm than the guarding males. We used controlled in vitro fertilization trials with experimentally produced dominant and subordinate, sneaker males to test what effect relative synchrony in gamete release, sperm quality (i.e., motility and velocity and sperm quantity have on a male’s fertilization success in pair-wise sperm competitions. When the sneaker males released ejaculates after the guarding male there was no overall difference in fertilization success. The quality (i.e., motility and velocity of a male’s sperm relative to that of the competing male was the best predictor of male fertilization success regardless of their mating tactic and spawning synchrony. The relative number of sperm cells also had an effect on fertilization success, but mainly when the dominant and sneaker male ejaculated synchronously. Our close imitation of natural sperm competition in charr shows that the sneaker males of external fertilizing species may fully compensate for their disadvantaged mating role by producing ejaculates of higher quality - an adjustment strangely not met by dominants.

  5. Effect of 4-nonylphenol on the sperm dynamic parameters ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    4-Nonylphenol (NP) is a compound that causes endocrine disruption and affects sperm quality of mammals and fish. However, the effects of NP on the sperm and fertilization rate of amphibians remain unknown. This study investigates the in vivo and in vitro effects of NP on the sperm dynamic parameters and fertilization ...

  6. Maternal effects, but no good or compatible genes for sperm competitiveness in Australian crickets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowling, Damian K; Nystrand, Magdalena; Simmons, Leigh W

    2010-05-01

    Explanations for the evolution of polyandry often center on the idea that females garner genetic benefits for their offspring by mating multiply. Furthermore, postcopulatory processes are thought to be fundamental to enabling polyandrous females to screen for genetic quality. Much attention has focused on the potential for polyandrous females to accrue such benefits via a sexy- or good-sperm mechanism, whereby additive variation exists among males in sperm competitiveness. Likewise, attention has focused on an alternative model, in which offspring quality (in this context, the sperm competitiveness of sons) hinges on an interaction between parental haplotypes (genetic compatibility). Sperm competitiveness that is contingent on parental compatibility will exhibit nonadditive genetic variation. We tested these models in the Australian cricket, Teleogryllus oceanicus, using a design that allowed us to partition additive, nonadditive genetic, and parental variance for sperm competitiveness. We found an absence of additive and nonadditive genetic variance in this species, challenging the direct relevance of either model to the evolution of sperm competitiveness in particular, and polyandry in general. Instead, we found maternal effects that were possibly sex-linked or cytoplasmically linked. We also found effects of focal male age on sperm competitiveness, with small increments in age conferring more competitive sperm.

  7. Seminal fluid enhances competitiveness of territorial males' sperm in a fish with alternative male reproductive tactics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poli, Federica; Locatello, Lisa; Rasotto, Maria B

    2018-05-29

    The most common adaptation to sperm competition in males is represented by an increase in the sperm number and/or quality released at mating, to raise their probability of egg fertilization. However, rapidly mounting evidence highlights that seminal fluid may directly influence the competitive fertilization success of a male by affecting either own and/or rival sperm performances. In the black goby, Gobius niger , an external fertilizer with guard-sneaker mating tactics and high sperm competition level, sneaker males' ejaculates contain less seminal fluid and more sperm, that are also of better quality, than those of territorial males. However, territorial males, gain a higher paternity success inside natural nests. Here, we ask whether the seminal fluid can contribute to territorial males' reproductive success by enhancing their sperm performances and/or by decreasing those of sneaker males. Using sperm and seminal fluid manipulation and in vitro fertilization tests, we found that own seminal fluid influences the velocity and fertilization ability of sperm only in territorial males, making them as faster as those of sneakers and with similar fertilization rate. Moreover, both sneaker and territorial males' sperm remain unaffected by the seminal fluid of rival males. Thus, black goby males respond to the different level of sperm competition faced by differently allocating in sperm and non-sperm components of the ejaculate, with sneakers primarily investing in sperm of intrinsic high quality and territorial males relying on the effect of seminal fluid to increase the lower intrinsic quality of their sperm. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  8. Sperm competition in humans: mate guarding behavior negatively correlates with ejaculate quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leivers, Samantha; Rhodes, Gillian; Simmons, Leigh W

    2014-01-01

    In species where females mate with multiple males, the sperm from these males must compete to fertilise available ova. Sexual selection from sperm competition is expected to favor opposing adaptations in males that function either in the avoidance of sperm competition (by guarding females from rival males) or in the engagement in sperm competition (by increased expenditure on the ejaculate). The extent to which males may adjust the relative use of these opposing tactics has been relatively neglected. Where males can successfully avoid sperm competition from rivals, one might expect a decrease in their expenditure on tactics for the engagement in sperm competition and vice versa. In this study, we examine the relationship between mate guarding and ejaculate quality using humans as an empirical model. We found that men who performed fewer mate guarding behaviors produced higher quality ejaculates, having a greater concentration of sperm, a higher percentage of motile sperm and sperm that swam faster and less erratically. These effects were found independent of lifestyle factors or factors related to male quality. Our findings suggest that male expenditure on mate guarding and on the ejaculate may represent alternative routes to paternity assurance in humans.

  9. Sperm dynamics in spiders (Araneae): ultrastructural analysis of the sperm activation process in the garden spider Argiope bruennichi (Scopoli, 1772).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vöcking, Oliver; Uhl, Gabriele; Michalik, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Storage of sperm inside the female genital tract is an integral phase of reproduction in many animal species. The sperm storage site constitutes the arena for sperm activation, sperm competition and female sperm choice. Consequently, to understand animal mating systems information on the processes that occur from sperm transfer to fertilization is required. Here, we focus on sperm activation in spiders. Male spiders produce sperm whose cell components are coiled within the sperm cell and that are surrounded by a proteinaceous sheath. These inactive and encapsulated sperm are transferred to the female spermathecae where they are stored for later fertilization. We analyzed the ultrastructural changes of sperm cells during residency time in the female genital system of the orb-web spider Argiope bruennichi. We found three clearly distinguishable sperm conditions: encapsulated sperm (secretion sheath present), decapsulated (secretion sheath absent) and uncoiled sperm (cell components uncoiled, presumably activated). After insemination, sperm remain in the encapsulated condition for several days and become decapsulated after variable periods of time. A variable portion of the decapsulated sperm transforms rapidly to the uncoiled condition resulting in a simultaneous occurrence of decapsulated and uncoiled sperm. After oviposition, only decapsulated and uncoiled sperm are left in the spermathecae, strongly suggesting that the activation process is not reversible. Furthermore, we found four different types of secretion in the spermathecae which might play a role in the decapsulation and activation process.

  10. Sperm swimming velocity predicts competitive fertilization success in the green swordtail Xiphophorus helleri.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clelia Gasparini

    Full Text Available Sperm competition is expected to favour the evolution of traits that influence the performance of sperm when they compete to fertilize a female's eggs. While there is considerable evidence that selection favours increases in sperm numbers, much less is known about how sperm quality contributes towards competitive fertilization success. Here, we determine whether variation in sperm quality influences competitive fertilization success in the green swordtail Xiphophorus helleri, a highly promiscuous livebearing fish. We use artificial insemination as a method of controlled sperm delivery and show that sperm swimming velocity is the primary determinant of fertilization success when ejaculates from two males compete to fertilize a female's eggs. By contrast, we found no evidence that sperm length had any effect on siring success. We also found no evidence that pre- and postcopulatory sexual traits were phenotypically integrated in this species, suggesting that the previous observation that reproductive skew favours males with high mating rates is unlikely to be due to any direct association between sperm quality and male sexual ornamentation.

  11. Sperm competition and sex allocation in simultaneous hermaphrodites : A new look at Charnov's invariance principle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pen, I.R.; Weissing, F.J.

    Recently, Charnov (1996) investigated the consequences of sperm competition for optimal sex allocation in simultaneous hermaphrodites. Charnov argued that the optimal sex allocation strategy can be derived on the basis of the 'sperm displacement rule'; that is, the function describing the

  12. Differences in the fatty-acid composition of rodent spermatozoa are associated to levels of sperm competition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier delBarco-Trillo

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Sperm competition is a prevalent phenomenon that drives the evolution of sperm function. High levels of sperm competition lead to increased metabolism to fuel higher sperm velocities. This enhanced metabolism can result in oxidative damage (including lipid peroxidation and damage to the membrane. We hypothesized that in those species experiencing high levels of sperm competition there are changes in the fatty-acid composition of the sperm membrane that makes the membrane more resistant to oxidative damage. Given that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs are the most prone to lipid peroxidation, we predicted that higher sperm competition leads to a reduction in the proportion of sperm PUFAs. In contrast, we predicted that levels of sperm competition should not affect the proportion of PUFAs in somatic cells. To test these predictions, we quantified the fatty-acid composition of sperm, testis and liver cells in four mouse species (genus Mus that differ in their levels of sperm competition. Fatty-acid composition in testis and liver cells was not associated to sperm competition levels. However, in sperm cells, as predicted, an increase in sperm competition levels was associated with an increase in the proportion of saturated fatty-acids (the most resistant to lipid peroxidation and by a concomitant decrease in the proportion of PUFAs. Two particular fatty acids were most responsible for this pattern (arachidonic acid and palmitic acid. Our findings thus indicate that sperm competition has a pervasive influence in the composition of sperm cells that ultimately may have important effects in sperm function.

  13. Linear models for assessing mechanisms of sperm competition: the trouble with transformations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggert, Anne-Katrin; Reinhardt, Klaus; Sakaluk, Scott K

    2003-01-01

    Although sperm competition is a pervasive selective force shaping the reproductive tactics of males, the mechanisms underlying different patterns of sperm precedence remain obscure. Parker et al. (1990) developed a series of linear models designed to identify two of the more basic mechanisms: sperm lotteries and sperm displacement; the models can be tested experimentally by manipulating the relative numbers of sperm transferred by rival males and determining the paternity of offspring. Here we show that tests of the model derived for sperm lotteries can result in misleading inferences about the underlying mechanism of sperm precedence because the required inverse transformations may lead to a violation of fundamental assumptions of linear regression. We show that this problem can be remedied by reformulating the model using the actual numbers of offspring sired by each male, and log-transforming both sides of the resultant equation. Reassessment of data from a previous study (Sakaluk and Eggert 1996) using the corrected version of the model revealed that we should not have excluded a simple sperm lottery as a possible mechanism of sperm competition in decorated crickets, Gryllodes sigillatus.

  14. Socially cued seminal fluid gene expression mediates responses in ejaculate quality to sperm competition risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, Leigh W; Lovegrove, Maxine

    2017-08-30

    There is considerable evidence that males will increase the number of sperm ejaculated in response to sperm competition risk. However, whether they have the capacity to adjust seminal fluid components of the ejaculate has received less attention. Male crickets ( Teleogryllus oceanicus ) have been shown to adjust the viability of sperm in their ejaculate in response to sperm competition risk. Here we show that socially mediated plasticity in sperm viability is probably due, at least in part, to male adjustments in the protein composition of the seminal fluid. Seven seminal fluid protein genes were found to have an increased expression in males exposed to rival calls. Increased expression of these genes was correlated with increased sperm viability in whole ejaculates, and gene knockdown confirmed that at least one of these proteins promotes sperm viability. Our results lend support for recent theoretical models that predict complex responses in male allocation to seminal fluid composition in response to sperm competition risk. © 2017 The Author(s).

  15. Ejaculate quality and constraints in relation to sperm competition levels among eutherian mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lüpold, Stefan

    2013-10-01

    The outcome of sperm competition is influenced by the relative quantity and quality of sperm among competing ejaculates. Whereas it is well established that individual ejaculate traits evolve rapidly under postcopulatory sexual selection, little is known about other factors that might influence the evolution of ejaculates. For example, the metabolic rate is likely to affect the sperm production rate and the cellular activity or metabolism of sperm, and it has recently been suggested to constrain the evolution of sperm length in large but not small mammals. I thus examined in eutherian mammals how ejaculate quality traits vary with one another and with testis mass, body size, and metabolism. I found all ejaculate traits to covary positively with one another and to increase with relative testis mass. When controlling for testis mass, small-bodied species showed superior sperm quality (but not sperm number). Furthermore, sperm motility and viability were positively associated with the mass-corrected metabolic rate, but the percentage of morphologically normal and acrosome-intact sperm were not. These results indicate that body size and the energy budget may also influence the evolution of ejaculate quality, although these influences appear to vary among traits. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  16. Inbreeding depresses sperm competitiveness, but not fertilization or mating success in male Tribolium castaneum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalczyk, Łukasz; Martin, Oliver Y.; Millard, Anna L.; Emerson, Brent C.; Gage, Matthew J. G.

    2010-01-01

    As populations decline to levels where reproduction among close genetic relatives becomes more probable, subsequent increases in homozygous recessive deleterious expression and/or loss of heterozygote advantage can lead to inbreeding depression. Here, we measure how inbreeding across replicate lines of the flour beetle Tribolium castaneum impacts on male reproductive fitness in the absence or presence of male–male competition. Effects on male evolution from mating pattern were removed by enforcing monogamous mating throughout. After inbreeding across eight generations, we found that male fertility in the absence of competition was unaffected. However, we found significant inbreeding depression of sperm competitiveness: non-inbred males won 57 per cent of fertilizations in competition, while inbred equivalents only sired 42 per cent. We also found that the P2 ‘offence’ role in sperm competition was significantly more depressed under inbreeding than sperm ‘defence’ (P1). Mating behaviour did not explain these differences, and there was no difference in the viability of offspring sired by inbred or non-inbred males. Sperm length variation was significantly greater in the ejaculates of inbred males. Our results show that male ability to achieve normal fertilization success was not depressed under strong inbreeding, but that inbreeding depression in these traits occurred when conditions of sperm competition were generated. PMID:20554548

  17. The genetic basis of traits regulating sperm competition and polyandry: can selection favour the evolution of good- and sexy-sperm?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Jonathan P; Simmons, Leigh W

    2008-09-01

    The good-sperm and sexy-sperm (GS-SS) hypotheses predict that female multiple mating (polyandry) can fuel sexual selection for heritable male traits that promote success in sperm competition. A major prediction generated by these models, therefore, is that polyandry will benefit females indirectly via their sons' enhanced fertilization success. Furthermore, like classic 'good genes' and 'sexy son' models for the evolution of female preferences, GS-SS processes predict a genetic correlation between genes for female mating frequency (analogous to the female preference) and those for traits influencing fertilization success (the sexually selected traits). We examine the premise for these predictions by exploring the genetic basis of traits thought to influence fertilization success and female mating frequency. We also highlight recent debates that stress the possible genetic constraints to evolution of traits influencing fertilization success via GS-SS processes, including sex-linked inheritance, nonadditive effects, interacting parental genotypes, and trade-offs between integrated ejaculate components. Despite these possible constraints, the available data suggest that male traits involved in sperm competition typically exhibit substantial additive genetic variance and rapid evolutionary responses to selection. Nevertheless, the limited data on the genetic variation in female mating frequency implicate strong genetic maternal effects, including X-linkage, which is inconsistent with GS-SS processes. Although the relative paucity of studies on the genetic basis of polyandry does not allow us to draw firm conclusions about the evolutionary origins of this trait, the emerging pattern of sex linkage in genes for polyandry is more consistent with an evolutionary history of antagonistic selection over mating frequency. We advocate further development of GS-SS theory to take account of the complex evolutionary dynamics imposed by sexual conflict over mating frequency.

  18. Sneaker "jack" males outcompete dominant "hooknose" males under sperm competition in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Brent; Conti, David V; Dean, Matthew D

    2013-12-01

    In a variety of taxa, males deploy alternative reproductive tactics to secure fertilizations. In many species, small "sneaker" males attempt to steal fertilizations while avoiding encounters with larger, more aggressive, dominant males. Sneaker males usually face a number of disadvantages, including reduced access to females and the higher likelihood that upon ejaculation, their sperm face competition from other males. Nevertheless, sneaker males represent an evolutionarily stable strategy under a wide range of conditions. Game theory suggests that sneaker males compensate for these disadvantages by investing disproportionately in spermatogenesis, by producing more sperm per unit body mass (the "fair raffle") and/or by producing higher quality sperm (the "loaded raffle"). Here, we test these models by competing sperm from sneaker "jack" males against sperm from dominant "hooknose" males in Chinook salmon. Using two complementary approaches, we reject the fair raffle in favor of the loaded raffle and estimate that jack males were ∼1.35 times as likely as hooknose males to fertilize eggs under controlled competitive conditions. Interestingly, the direction and magnitude of this skew in paternity shifted according to individual female egg donors, suggesting cryptic female choice could moderate the outcomes of sperm competition in this externally fertilizing species.

  19. Rival male relatedness does not affect ejaculate allocation as predicted by sperm competition theory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa L Thomas

    Full Text Available When females are sexually promiscuous, the intensity of sperm competition for males depends on how many partners females mate with. To maximize fitness, males should adjust their copulatory investment in relation to this intensity. However, fitness costs associated with sperm competition may not only depend on how many males a female has mated with, but also how related rival males are. According to theoretical predictions, males should adjust their copulatory investment in response to the relatedness of their male rival, and transfer more sperm to females that have first mated with a non-sibling male than females that have mated to a related male. Here, for the first time, we empirically test this theory using the Australian field cricket Teleogryllus oceanicus. We expose male crickets to sperm competition from either a full sibling or non-sibling male, by using both the presence of a rival male and the rival male's actual competing ejaculate as cues. Contrary to predictions, we find that males do not adjust ejaculates in response to the relatedness of their male rival. Instead, males with both full-sibling and non-sibling rivals allocate sperm of similar quality to females. This lack of kin biased behaviour is independent of any potentially confounding effect of strong competition between close relatives; kin biased behaviour was absent irrespective of whether males were raised in full sibling or mixed relatedness groups.

  20. Advertising Dynamics and Competitive Advantage

    OpenAIRE

    Ulrich Doraszelski; Sarit Markovich

    2004-01-01

    Can advertising lead to a sustainable competitive advantage? To answer this question, we propose a dynamic model of advertising competition where firms repeatedly advertise, compete in the product market, and make entry as well as exit decisions. Within this dynamic framework, we study two different models of advertising: In the first model, advertising influences the goodwill consumers extend towards a firm ("goodwill advertising"), whereas in the second model it influences the share of cons...

  1. Semen Displacement as a Sperm Competition Strategy in Humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon G. Gallup

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available We examine some of the implications of the possibility that the human penis may have evolved to compete with sperm from other males by displacing rival semen from the cervical end of the vagina prior to ejaculation. The semen displacement hypothesis integrates considerable information about genital morphology and human reproductive behavior, and can be used to generate a number of interesting predictions.

  2. Female Remating, Sperm Competition and Sexual Selection in Drosophila

    OpenAIRE

    Singh, Dr. Shree Ram; Singh, Dr. B N; Hoenigsberg, Dr. H F

    2002-01-01

    Female remating is the fundamental to evolutionary biology as it determines the pattern of sexual selection and sexual conflict. Remating in females is an important component of Drosophila mating systems because it is associated with pattern of sperm usage and sexual selection. Remating is common in females of many species of Drosophila in both natural and laboratory populations. It is reported in many insect species and vertebrates also. Female remating is prerequisite for the ...

  3. Sperm competition in tropical versus temperate zone birds

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Albrecht, Tomáš; Kleven, O.; Kreisinger, J.; Laskemoen, T.; Omotoriogun, T. C.; Ottosson, U.; Reif, J.; Sedláček, O.; Hořák, D.; Robertson, R. J.; Lifjeld, J. T.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 280, č. 1752 (2013), s. 20122434 ISSN 0962-8452 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP505/11/1617; GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : clutch size * extra-pair paternity * life history * post-copulatory sexual selection * sperm phenotype Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 5.292, year: 2013

  4. Competitive Manufacturing Dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rymaszewska, Anna; Christensen, Irene; Karlsson, Christer

    to constantly improve this process in terms of time to volume, according to predefined cost and quality measures. The importance of the success of this process can lead to a significant creation of competitive advantage. This paper addresses the challenges of the manufacturing ramp-up process in the context...

  5. Competition between the sperm of a single male can increase the evolutionary rate of haploid expressed genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezawa, Kiyoshi; Innan, Hideki

    2013-07-01

    The population genetic behavior of mutations in sperm genes is theoretically investigated. We modeled the processes at two levels. One is the standard population genetic process, in which the population allele frequencies change generation by generation, depending on the difference in selective advantages. The other is the sperm competition during each genetic transmission from one generation to the next generation. For the sperm competition process, we formulate the situation where a huge number of sperm with alleles A and B, produced by a single heterozygous male, compete to fertilize a single egg. This "minimal model" demonstrates that a very slight difference in sperm performance amounts to quite a large difference between the alleles' winning probabilities. By incorporating this effect of paternity-sharing sperm competition into the standard population genetic process, we show that fierce sperm competition can enhance the fixation probability of a mutation with a very small phenotypic effect at the single-sperm level, suggesting a contribution of sperm competition to rapid amino acid substitutions in haploid-expressed sperm genes. Considering recent genome-wide demonstrations that a substantial fraction of the mammalian sperm genes are haploid expressed, our model could provide a potential explanation of rapid evolution of sperm genes with a wide variety of functions (as long as they are expressed in the haploid phase). Another advantage of our model is that it is applicable to a wide range of species, irrespective of whether the species is externally fertilizing, polygamous, or monogamous. The theoretical result was applied to mammalian data to estimate the selection intensity on nonsynonymous mutations in sperm genes.

  6. Sperm Competition Risk and Sexual Coercion Predict Copulatory Duration in Humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Barbaro

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available A man whose romantic partner is sexually unfaithful is at risk of sperm competition and cuckoldry—unwitting investment in offspring to whom he is genetically unrelated. Men, therefore, may have evolved mechanisms to solve the adaptive problems of sperm competition and cuckoldry. The current research investigates another potential anti-cuckoldry tactic: reducing in-pair copulation (IPC duration, thereby more quickly placing his sperm into competition. We hypothesize that IPC duration will be negatively correlated with female infidelity (Hypothesis 1. We further hypothesize that IPC duration will be negatively correlated with sexual coercion (Hypothesis 2. Results of Study 1 (men’s reports, n = 410 indicate that both men’s perceptions of female infidelity and men’s sexual coercion predict shorter IPC duration. Results of Study 2 (women’s reports, n = 455 did not provide statistical support for the study hypotheses. The current research provides an initial investigation of men’s adjustment of copulatory duration and suggests that men reduce IPC duration and ejaculate more quickly at the couple’s most recent copulation, in response to greater risk of sperm competition and in the context of sexual coercion.

  7. Polyandrous females provide sons with more competitive sperm: Support for the sexy-sperm hypothesis in the rattlebox moth (Utetheisa ornatrix).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egan, Andrea L; Hook, Kristin A; Reeve, H Kern; Iyengar, Vikram K

    2016-01-01

    Given the costs of multiple mating, why has female polyandry evolved? Utetheisa ornatrix moths are well suited for studying multiple mating in females because females are highly polyandrous over their life span, with each male mate transferring a substantial spermatophore with both genetic and nongenetic material. The accumulation of resources might explain the prevalence of polyandry in this species, but another, not mutually exclusive, possibility is that females mate multiply to increase the probability that their sons will inherit more-competitive sperm. This latter "sexy-sperm" hypothesis posits that female multiple mating and male sperm competitiveness coevolve via a Fisherian runaway process. We tested the sexy-sperm hypothesis by using competitive double matings to compare the sperm competition success of sons of polyandrous versus monandrous females. In accordance with sexy-sperm theory, we found that in 511 offspring across 17 families, the male whose polyandrous mother mated once with each of three different males sired significantly more of all total offspring (81%) than did the male whose monandrous mother was mated thrice to a single male. Interestingly, sons of polyandrous mothers had a significantly biased sex ratio of their brood toward sons, also in support of the hypothesis. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  8. Credit rating dynamics and competition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hirth, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    I analyze the market for credit ratings with competition between more than two rating agencies. How can honest rating behavior be achieved, and under which conditions can a new honest rating agency successfully invade a market with inflating incumbents? My model predicts cyclic dynamics...

  9. Bigger testes increase paternity in a simultaneous hermaphrodite, independently of the sperm competition level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vellnow, N; Marie-Orleach, L; Zadesenets, K S; Schärer, L

    2018-02-01

    Hermaphroditic animals face the fundamental evolutionary optimization problem of allocating their resources to their male vs. female reproductive function (e.g. testes and sperm vs. ovaries and eggs), and this optimal sex allocation can be affected by both pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection. For example, local sperm competition (LSC) - the competition between related sperm for the fertilization of a partner's ova - occurs in small mating groups and can favour a female-biased sex allocation, because, under LSC, investment into sperm production is predicted to show diminishing fitness returns. Here, we test whether higher testis investment increases an individual's paternity success under sperm competition, and whether the strength of this effect diminishes when LSC is stronger, as predicted by sex allocation theory. We created two subsets of individuals of the simultaneously hermaphroditic flatworm Macrostomum lignano - by sampling worms from either the highest or lowest quartile of the testis investment distribution - and estimated their paternity success in group sizes of either three (strong LSC) or eight individuals (weak LSC). Specifically, using transgenic focal individuals expressing a dominant green-fluorescent protein marker, we showed that worms with high testis investment sired 22% more offspring relative to those with low investment, corroborating previous findings in M. lignano and other species. However, the strength of this effect was not significantly modulated by the experienced group size, contrasting theoretical expectations of more strongly diminishing fitness returns under strong LSC. We discuss the possible implications for the evolutionary maintenance of hermaphroditism in M. lignano. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  10. Cleavage events and sperm dynamics in chick intrauterine embryos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyung Chul Lee

    Full Text Available This study was undertaken to elucidate detailed event of early embryogenesis in chicken embryos using a noninvasive egg retrieval technique before oviposition. White Leghorn intrauterine eggs were retrieved from 95 cyclic hens aged up to 54-56 weeks and morphogenetic observation was made under both bright field and fluorescent image in a time course manner. Differing from mammals, asymmetric cleavage to yield preblastodermal cells was observed throughout early embryogenesis. The first two divisions occurred synchronously and four polarized preblastodermal cells resulted after cruciform cleavage. Then, asynchronous cleavage continued in a radial manner and overall cell size in the initial cleavage region was smaller than that in the distal area. Numerous sperms were visible, regardless of zygotic nuclei formation. Condensed sperm heads were present mainly in the perivitelline space and cytoplasm, and rarely in the yolk region, while decondensed sperm heads were only visible in the yolk. In conclusion, apparent differences in sperm dynamics and early cleavage events compared with mammalian embryos were detected in chick embryo development, which demonstrated polarized cleavage with penetrating supernumerary sperm into multiple regions.

  11. Sperm Precedence in Zebra Finches Does Not Require Special Mechanisms of Sperm Competition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Colegrave, N.; Birkhead, T.R.; Lessells, C.M.

    1995-01-01

    Competition between the spermatozoa of different males to fertilize the eggs of a single female acts as a selection pressure on the behaviour of males and females. However, quantitative predictions about behaviour fan only be made if the paternity consequences of different patterns of copulation are

  12. Electricity market dynamics: Oligopolistic competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gutierrez-Alcaraz, G.; Sheble, Gerald B.

    2006-01-01

    Presently, electricity markets are characterized by a small number of suppliers with distributed resources. These market suppliers can easily be identified because their geographic location is known. Essentially, two or three of them compete for leading the market whereas the rest of them follow. Hence, it is necessary to study the market structure as ologopolistic competition rather than perfect competition. This paper studies market producer decisions in a dynamic sequential framework by using discrete event system simulation (DESS) also known as discrete control theory. Two-player ologopolistic market structure is presented in this paper. (author)

  13. Sperm competitive ability and genetic relatedness in Drosophila melanogaster: similarity breeds contempt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, Paul D; Hammock, Brian A; Promislow, Daniel E L

    2002-09-01

    Offspring of close relatives often suffer severe fitness consequences. Previous studies have demonstrated that females, when given a choice, will choose to avoid mating with closely related males. But where opportunities for mate choice are limited or kin recognition is absent, precopulatory mechanisms may not work. In this case, either sex could reduce the risks of inbreeding through mechanisms that occur during or after copulation. During mating, males or females could commit fewer gametes when mating with a close relative. After mating, females could offset the effects of mating with a closely related male through cryptic choice. Few prior studies of sperm competition have examined the effect of genetic similarity, however, and what studies do exist have yielded equivocal results. In an effort to resolve this issue, we measured the outcome of sperm competition when female Drosophila melanogaster were mated to males of four different degrees of genetic relatedness and then to a standardized competitor. We provide the strongest evidence to date that sperm competitive ability is negatively correlated with relatedness, even after controlling for inbreeding depression.

  14. Sperm structure and motility in the eusocial naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber: a case of degenerative orthogenesis in the absence of sperm competition?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    van der Horst Gerhard

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We have studied sperm structure and motility in a eusocial rodent where reproduction is typically restricted to a single male and behaviourally dominant queen. Males rarely compete for access to the queen during her estrus cycle, suggesting little or no role for sperm competition. Results Our results revealed an atypical mammalian sperm structure with spermatozoa from breeding, subordinate and disperser males being degenerate and almost completely lacking a "mammalian phylogenetic stamp". Sperm structure is characterized by extreme polymorphism with most spermatozoa classified as abnormal. Sperm head shapes include round, oval, elongated, lobed, asymmetrical and amorphous. At the ultrastructural level, the sperm head contains condensed to granular chromatin with large open spaces between the chromatin. Nuclear chromatin seems disorganized since chromatin condensation is irregular and extremely inconsistent. The acrosome forms a cap (ca 35% over the anterior part of the head. A well defined nuclear fossa and neck with five minor sets of banded protein structures are present. The midpiece is poorly organized and contains only 5 to 7 round to oval mitochondria. The flagellar pattern is 9+9+2. A distinct degenerative feature of the tail principal piece is the absence of the fibrous sheath. Only 7% motile spermatozoa were observed which had exceptionally slow swimming speeds. Conclusion In this species, sperm form has simplified and degenerated in many aspects and represents a specialised form of degenerative orthogenesis at the cellular level.

  15. A general description of additive and nonadditive elements of sperm competitiveness and their relation to male fertilization success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engqvist, Leif

    2013-05-01

    A complete understanding of male reproductive success, and thus sexual selection, often requires an insight into male success in sperm competition. Genuine conclusions on male sperm competitiveness can only be made in real competitive situations. However, statistical analyses of sperm competitiveness from fertilization success data have been shown to be problematic. Here, I first outline a comprehensive general description of the different additive and nonadditive elements relevant for the outcome of sperm competition staged between two males. Based on this description, I will highlight two main problems that are frequently encountered in experiments aiming at estimating sperm competitiveness. First, I focus on potential problems when using standardized competitors versus random mating trials, because trials with standardized competitors do not allow generalization if male-male interactions are important. Second, I illustrate the necessity to analyze data on the logit scale rather than on raw proportions, because only the logit scale allows a clean separation of additive and nonadditive effects (i.e., male × male and female × male interactions). © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution © 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  16. Competitive Dynamics on Complex Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jiuhua; Liu, Qipeng; Wang, Xiaofan

    2014-07-01

    We consider a dynamical network model in which two competitors have fixed and different states, and each normal agent adjusts its state according to a distributed consensus protocol. The state of each normal agent converges to a steady value which is a convex combination of the competitors' states, and is independent of the initial states of agents. This implies that the competition result is fully determined by the network structure and positions of competitors in the network. We compute an Influence Matrix (IM) in which each element characterizing the influence of an agent on another agent in the network. We use the IM to predict the bias of each normal agent and thus predict which competitor will win. Furthermore, we compare the IM criterion with seven node centrality measures to predict the winner. We find that the competitor with higher Katz Centrality in an undirected network or higher PageRank in a directed network is most likely to be the winner. These findings may shed new light on the role of network structure in competition and to what extent could competitors adjust network structure so as to win the competition.

  17. Sneaker “jack” males outcompete dominant “hooknose” males under sperm competition in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Brent; Conti, David V; Dean, Matthew D

    2013-01-01

    In a variety of taxa, males deploy alternative reproductive tactics to secure fertilizations. In many species, small “sneaker” males attempt to steal fertilizations while avoiding encounters with larger, more aggressive, dominant males. Sneaker males usually face a number of disadvantages, including reduced access to females and the higher likelihood that upon ejaculation, their sperm face competition from other males. Nevertheless, sneaker males represent an evolutionarily stable strategy under a wide range of conditions. Game theory suggests that sneaker males compensate for these disadvantages by investing disproportionately in spermatogenesis, by producing more sperm per unit body mass (the “fair raffle”) and/or by producing higher quality sperm (the “loaded raffle”). Here, we test these models by competing sperm from sneaker “jack” males against sperm from dominant “hooknose” males in Chinook salmon. Using two complementary approaches, we reject the fair raffle in favor of the loaded raffle and estimate that jack males were ∼1.35 times as likely as hooknose males to fertilize eggs under controlled competitive conditions. Interestingly, the direction and magnitude of this skew in paternity shifted according to individual female egg donors, suggesting cryptic female choice could moderate the outcomes of sperm competition in this externally fertilizing species. PMID:24455130

  18. Sperm competition, but not major histocompatibility divergence, drives differential fertilization success between alternative reproductive tactics in Chinook salmon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehnert, S J; Helou, L; Pitcher, T E; Heath, J W; Heath, D D

    2018-01-01

    Post-copulatory sexual selection processes, including sperm competition and cryptic female choice (CFC), can operate based on major histocompatibility (MH) genes. We investigated sperm competition between male alternative reproductive tactics [jack (sneaker) and hooknose (guard)] of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Using a full factorial design, we examined in vitro competitive fertilization success of paired jack and hooknose males at three time points after sperm activation (0, 15 and 60 s) to test for male competition, CFC and time effects on male fertilization success. We also examined egg-mediated CFC at two MH genes by examining both the relationship between competitive fertilization success and MH divergence as well as inheritance patterns of MH alleles in resulting offspring. We found that jacks sired more offspring than hooknose males at 0 s post-activation; however, jack fertilization success declined over time post-activation, suggesting a trade-off between sperm speed and longevity. Enhanced fertilization success of jacks (presumably via higher sperm quality) may serve to increase sneaker tactic competitiveness relative to dominant hooknose males. We also found evidence of egg-mediated CFC (i.e. female × male interaction) influencing competitive fertilization success; however, CFC was not acting on the MH genes as we found no relationship between fertilization success and MH II β 1 or MH I α 1 divergence and we found no deviations from Mendelian inheritance of MH alleles in the offspring. Our study provides insight into evolutionary mechanisms influencing variation in male mating success within alternative reproductive tactics, thus underscoring different strategies that males can adopt to attain success. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  19. Competitive Pressure: Competitive Dynamics as Reactions to Multiple Rivals

    OpenAIRE

    Zucchini, Leon; Kretschmer, Tobias

    2011-01-01

    Competitive dynamics research has focused primarily on interactions between dyads of firms. Drawing on the awareness-motivation-capability framework and strategic group theory we extend this by proposing that firms’ actions are influenced by perceived competitive pressure resulting from actions by several rivals. We predict that firms’ action magnitude is influenced by the total number of rival actions accumulating in the market, and that this effect is moderated by strategic group membership...

  20. Postmating-prezygotic isolation between two allopatric populations of Drosophila montana: fertilisation success differs under sperm competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ala-Honkola, Outi; Ritchie, Michael G; Veltsos, Paris

    2016-03-01

    Postmating but prezygotic (PMPZ) interactions are increasingly recognized as a potentially important early-stage barrier in the evolution of reproductive isolation. A recent study described a potential example between populations of the same species: single matings between Drosophila montana populations resulted in differential fertilisation success because of the inability of sperm from one population (Vancouver) to penetrate the eggs of the other population (Colorado). As the natural mating system of D. montana is polyandrous (females remate rapidly), we set up double matings of all possible crosses between the same populations to test whether competitive effects between ejaculates influence this PMPZ isolation. We measured premating isolation in no-choice tests, female fecundity, fertility and egg-to-adult viability after single and double matings as well as second-male paternity success (P2). Surprisingly, we found no PMPZ reproductive isolation between the two populations under a competitive setting, indicating no difficulty of sperm from Vancouver males to fertilize Colorado eggs after double matings. While there were subtle differences in how P2 changed over time, suggesting that Vancouver males' sperm are somewhat less competitive in a first-male role within Colorado females, these effects did not translate into differences in overall P2. Fertilisation success can thus differ dramatically between competitive and noncompetitive conditions, perhaps because the males that mate second produce higher quality ejaculates in response to sperm competition. We suggest that unlike in more divergent species comparisons, where sperm competition typically increases reproductive isolation, ejaculate tailoring can reduce the potential for PMPZ isolation when recently diverged populations interbreed.

  1. Essays on Dynamic Competition and Academic Entrepreneurship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Huyen T.

    2012-01-01

    My dissertation focuses on dynamic firm competition and academic entrepreneurship. The first essay studies the dynamics and equilibrium outcomes of a duopoly in which firms make decisions about both capacity expansion and cost reduction. The second essay is an extension of the framework used in the first essay to study the strategic roles of…

  2. Sneaker “jack” males outcompete dominant “hooknose” males under sperm competition in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

    OpenAIRE

    Young, Brent; Conti, David V; Dean, Matthew D

    2013-01-01

    In a variety of taxa, males deploy alternative reproductive tactics to secure fertilizations. In many species, small “sneaker” males attempt to steal fertilizations while avoiding encounters with larger, more aggressive, dominant males. Sneaker males usually face a number of disadvantages, including reduced access to females and the higher likelihood that upon ejaculation, their sperm face competition from other males. Nevertheless, sneaker males represent an evolutionarily stable strategy un...

  3. Does the risk of sperm competition help explain cooperation between reproductive competitors? A study in the ocellated wrasse (Symphodus ocellatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiver, Kelly A; Alonzo, Suzanne H

    2013-03-01

    Although cooperating individuals may gain benefits, they risk being cheated by their allies. Therefore, to understand the persistence of cooperation by mutual benefits, it is important to document both the potential benefits of cooperation and the risks of cheating. We experimentally examined evidence of cooperation in the ocellated wrasse (Symphodus ocellatus), a fish species with males that exercise three reproductive strategies: satellite and sneaker males attempt to parasitically spawn in the nests of nesting males. Nesting males have been hypothesized to tolerate satellites as a result of satellite aid in defense against sneaker males and help in courting females. Here, we provide evidence that cooperation between reproductive competitors may arise in response to sperm competition from other males. After we experimentally removed satellites, nesting males had more sneakers at their nest and experienced a higher rate of sneaking when they spawned (increased sperm competition risk). When we experimentally distracted nesting males to prevent their acting aggressively toward satellites, satellites spawned with females and ate eggs in the nest. Our results suggest that nesting males and satellites gain fitness benefits of reduced direct reproductive and sperm competition through cooperation. However, nesting males risk losing paternity, while satellites experience increased aggression and must invest in aggression themselves (i.e., they act aggressively toward sneakers).

  4. Alfalfa weevil male: effect of γ-radiation and weevil age on mating competitiveness and sperm transfer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wollam, J.D.; Hower, A.A. Jr.

    1977-01-01

    Virgin male Hypera postica (Gyllenhal) were irradiated at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 weeks of age. Alfalfa weevils from each age group were subjected to γ-radiation doses of 0, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 krads. Mating competitiveness was reduced by the 5 to 6 krad doses in all age groups except those 4 weeks old. Weevils irradiated at 1 week of age showed a reduction in competitiveness at doses above 2 krad. Radiation dose and age at irradiation had little noticeable effect on sperm transfer

  5. Cost Reducing Investment, Competition and Industry Dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E. Petrakis; S. Roy (Santanu)

    1998-01-01

    textabstractWe demonstrate the possibility of shake-out of firms and emergence of inter-firm heterogeneity along the (socially optimal) dynamic equilibrium path of a competitive industry with free entry and exit, even when there is no uncertainty and all firms are ex ante identical with perfect

  6. Effect of gamma irradiation on sperm activity, sperm viability and adult competitiveness of the pulse beetle Collosobruchus Chinensis L

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roushdy, H.M.; Ahmed, M.Y.Y.; Abdel-Nasr, A.E.; Abdel-Rahman, A.M.; Haiba, I.M.H.

    1984-01-01

    When mature pupae of callosobruchus chinensis L. were treated with 7 krad, the resulting adults were sterile. Replacing normal males by irradiate ones in the normal population, decreases the egg hatchability. Hatchability decreased from 88.23% in the 1st 3 days to 32.44% after replacing normal males by sterile ones (in the 2nd 3 days). Insemination by normal males could approximately nullify insemination by irradiated males, as the egg hatchability increased from zero to 37.79% even after replacing the irradiated males by normal ones. Percent egg infertility of the eggs produced from newly emerged virgin females mated with sterile males was 100%. When males irradiated (1) with 7 krad as fully grown pupae were confined with unirradiated (U) males and females (1:1:1 ratio), infertility of the resulting eggs were 44.98%. The competitiveness value of irradiated males was 0.54. Males and females both treated as fully grown pupae with a sterilizing dose (7 krad) and confined with U males and U females at a 1 male :1 female :U male : female ratio caused 55.77% infertility in the resulting eggs. When the ratio of sterile males and females was increased to 5:5:1:1 or 10:10:1:1, the infertility reached 91.27% and 100.0% respectively. The percentage of actual infertility was less than expected for the ratios 1:1:1:1 and 5:5:1:1, but it was exceeded with the highest ratio used (10:10:1:1). The competitiveness value for this flooding ratio was 1.00 i.e., the sterile adults were fully competitive with the normal ones. These results indicated that irradiation with 7 krad, a sterilizing dose, did not decrease sexual competitiveness of adults. Also, the release of 1 males together with 1 female could give good results in controlling a population of the pulse beetle in an autocidal control program; and therefore, separation of the sexes prior to release is probably unnecessary

  7. Male spiders reduce pre- and postmating sexual investment in response to sperm competition risk

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tuni, Cristina; Weber, Sabrina; Bilde, Trine

    2017-01-01

    food donations (i.e., nuptial gifts), pre- and postmating responses may be aligned, as nuptial gifts have the dual function of facilitating both mate acquisition and sperm transfer. In the spider Pisaura mirabilis, nuptial gifts consist of silk-wrapped prey. We tested whether males respond...

  8. Efficiency-wage competition and nonlinear dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrazzi, Marco; Sodini, Mauro

    2018-05-01

    In this paper we develop a nonlinear version of the efficiency-wage competition model pioneered by Hahn (1987) [27]. Under the assumption that the strategic relationship among optimal wage bids put forward by competing firms is non-monotonic, we show that market wage offers can actually display persistent fluctuations described by a piece-wise non-invertible map. Thereafter, assuming that employers are never constrained in the labour market, we give evidence that in the parameter region of chaotic dynamics, the model is able to reproduce the business cycle regularity according to which in the short-run average wages fluctuate less than aggregate employment. In addition, we show that the efficiency-wage competition among firms leads to some inefficiencies in the wage setting process.

  9. The Fluid Dynamics of Competitive Swimming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Timothy; Mark, Russell; Hutchison, Sean

    2014-01-01

    Nowhere in sport is performance so dependent on the interaction of the athlete with the surrounding medium than in competitive swimming. As a result, understanding (at least implicitly) and controlling (explicitly) the fluid dynamics of swimming are essential to earning a spot on the medal stand. This is an extremely complex, highly multidisciplinary problem with a broad spectrum of research approaches. This review attempts to provide a historical framework for the fluid dynamics-related aspects of human swimming research, principally conducted roughly over the past five decades, with an emphasis on the past 25 years. The literature is organized below to show a continuous integration of computational and experimental technologies into the sport. Illustrations from the authors' collaborations over a 10-year period, coupling the knowledge and experience of an elite-level coach, a lead biomechanician at USA Swimming, and an experimental fluid dynamicist, are intended to bring relevance and immediacy to the review.

  10. Imaging of the 3D dynamics of flagellar beating in human sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva-Villalobos, F; Pimentel, J A; Darszon, A; Corkidi, G

    2014-01-01

    The study of the mechanical and environmental factors that regulate a fundamental event such as fertilization have been subject of multiple studies. Nevertheless, the microscopical size of the spermatozoa and the high beating frequency of their flagella (up to 20 Hz) impose a series of technological challenges for the study of the mechanical factors implicated. Traditionally, due to the inherent characteristics of the rapid sperm movement, and to the technological limitations of microscopes (optical or confocal) to follow in three dimensions (3D) their movement, the analysis of their dynamics has been studied in two dimensions, when the head is confined to a surface. Flagella propel sperm and while their head can be confined to a surface, flagellar movement is not restricted to 2D, always displaying 3D components. In this work, we present a highly novel and useful tool to analyze sperm flagella dynamics in 3D. The basis of the method is a 100 Hz oscillating objective mounted on a bright field optical microscope covering a 16 microns depth space at a rate of ~ 5000 images per second. The best flagellum focused subregions were associated to their respective Z real 3D position. Unprecedented graphical results making evident the 3D movement of the flagella are shown in this work and supplemental material illustrating a 3D animation using the obtained experimental results is also included.

  11. Opinion competition dynamics on multiplex networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amato, R.; Kouvaris, N. E.; San Miguel, M.; Díaz-Guilera, A.

    2017-12-01

    Multilayer and multiplex networks represent a good proxy for the description of social phenomena where social structure is important and can have different origins. Here, we propose a model of opinion competition where individuals are organized according to two different structures in two layers. Agents exchange opinions according to the Abrams-Strogatz model in each layer separately and opinions can be copied across layers by the same individual. In each layer a different opinion is dominant, so each layer has a different absorbing state. Consensus in one opinion is not the only possible stable solution because of the interaction between the two layers. A new mean field solution has been found where both opinions coexist. In a finite system there is a long transient time for the dynamical coexistence of both opinions. However, the system ends in a consensus state due to finite size effects. We analyze sparse topologies in the two layers and the existence of positive correlations between them, which enables the coexistence of inter-layer groups of agents sharing the same opinion.

  12. The dynamics of the global competitiveness of Chinese industries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhang, J.; Ebbers, H.; van Witteloostuijn, A.

    2013-01-01

    Using a two-dimensional multi-variable approach, this article investigates the competitiveness and dynamics of Chinese industries from the perspective of the international marketplace. The study reveals the step-by-step transformation of the degree of global competitiveness across 97 Chinese

  13. Sex allocation and investment into pre- and post-copulatory traits in simultaneous hermaphrodites: the role of polyandry and local sperm competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schärer, Lukas; Pen, Ido

    2013-03-05

    Sex allocation theory predicts the optimal allocation to male and female reproduction in sexual organisms. In animals, most work on sex allocation has focused on species with separate sexes and our understanding of simultaneous hermaphrodites is patchier. Recent theory predicts that sex allocation in simultaneous hermaphrodites should strongly be affected by post-copulatory sexual selection, while the role of pre-copulatory sexual selection is much less clear. Here, we review sex allocation and sexual selection theory for simultaneous hermaphrodites, and identify several strong and potentially unwarranted assumptions. We then present a model that treats allocation to sexually selected traits as components of sex allocation and explore patterns of allocation when some of these assumptions are relaxed. For example, when investment into a male sexually selected trait leads to skews in sperm competition, causing local sperm competition, this is expected to lead to a reduced allocation to sperm production. We conclude that understanding the evolution of sex allocation in simultaneous hermaphrodites requires detailed knowledge of the different sexual selection processes and their relative importance. However, little is currently known quantitatively about sexual selection in simultaneous hermaphrodites, about what the underlying traits are, and about what drives and constrains their evolution. Future work should therefore aim at quantifying sexual selection and identifying the underlying traits along the pre- to post-copulatory axis.

  14. Competition dynamics of second-language listening

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Broersma, M.; Cutler, A.

    2011-01-01

    Spoken-word recognition in a nonnative language is particularly difficult where it depends on discrimination between confusable phonemes. Four experiments here examine whether this difficulty is in part due to phantom competition from onear-wordso in speech. Dutch listeners confuse English /ae/ and

  15. Contracting dynamics in the competitive dialogue procedure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoezen, Mieke; Voordijk, Johannes T.; Dewulf, Geert P.M.R.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose – The competitive dialogue (CD) aims to align complex demands of principals with possible solutions that contractors have to offer. It is, however, unclear how formal and informal structures and processes in the CD are interrelated. The purpose of this paper is to provide insights in to the

  16. Dynamics-based sequential memory: Winnerless competition of patterns

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seliger, Philip; Tsimring, Lev S.; Rabinovich, Mikhail I.

    2003-01-01

    We introduce a biologically motivated dynamical principle of sequential memory which is based on winnerless competition (WLC) of event images. This mechanism is implemented in a two-layer neural model of sequential spatial memory. We present the learning dynamics which leads to the formation of a WLC network. After learning, the system is capable of associative retrieval of prerecorded sequences of patterns

  17. Reconstructing the competitive dynamics of mixed-oak neighborhoods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eric K. Zenner; Daniel J. Heggenstaller; Patrick H. Brose; JeriLynn E. Peck; Kim C. Steiner

    2012-01-01

    The disparity between the potential for latent oak dominance within a stand and their region-wide decline in importance value raises questions about the competitiveness of oaks in early stand dynamics. We reconstructed tree height growth dynamics in mixed-species neighborhoods to determine if currently dominant oaks were ever shorter than their competitors and at what...

  18. No evidence of trade-offs in the evolution of sperm numbers and sperm size in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tourmente, M; Delbarco Trillo, J; Roldan, E R S

    2015-10-01

    Post-copulatory sexual selection, in the form sperm competition, has influenced the evolution of several male reproductive traits. However, theory predicts that sperm competition would lead to trade-offs between numbers and size of spermatozoa because increased costs per cell would result in a reduction of sperm number if both traits share the same energetic budget. Theoretical models have proposed that, in large animals, increased sperm size would have minimal fitness advantage compared with increased sperm numbers. Thus, sperm numbers would evolve more rapidly than sperm size under sperm competition pressure. We tested in mammals whether sperm competition maximizes sperm numbers and size, and whether there is a trade-off between these traits. Our results showed that sperm competition maximizes sperm numbers in eutherian and metatherian mammals. There was no evidence of a trade-off between sperm numbers and sperm size in any of the two mammalian clades as we did not observe any significant relationship between sperm numbers and sperm size once the effect of sperm competition was taken into account. Maximization of both numbers and size in mammals may occur because each trait is crucial at different stages in sperm's life; for example size-determined sperm velocity is a key determinant of fertilization success. In addition, numbers and size may also be influenced by diverse energetic budgets required at different stages of sperm formation. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  19. Competition under capacitated dynamic lot-sizing with capacity acquisition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Hongyan; Meissner, Joern

    2011-01-01

    Lot-sizing and capacity planning are important supply chain decisions, and competition and cooperation affect the performance of these decisions. In this paper, we look into the dynamic lot-sizing and resource competition problem of an industry consisting of multiple firms. A capacity competition...... production setup, along with inventory carrying costs. The individual production lots of each firm are limited by a constant capacity restriction, which is purchased up front for the planning horizon. The capacity can be purchased from a spot market, and the capacity acquisition cost fluctuates...

  20. Dynamics of Bovine Sperm Interaction with Epithelium Differ Between Oviductal Isthmus and Ampulla1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardon, Florencia; Markello, Ross D.; Hu, Lian; Deutsch, Zarah I.; Tung, Chih-Kuan; Wu, Mingming; Suarez, Susan S.

    2016-01-01

    In mammals, many sperm that reach the oviduct are held in a reservoir by binding to epithelium. To leave the reservoir, sperm detach from the epithelium; however, they may bind and detach again as they ascend into the ampulla toward oocytes. In order to elucidate the nature of binding interactions along the oviduct, we compared the effects of bursts of strong fluid flow (as would be caused by oviductal contractions), heparin, and hyperactivation on detachment of bovine sperm bound in vitro to epithelium on intact folds of isthmic and ampullar mucosa. Intact folds of oviductal mucosa were used to represent the strong attachments of epithelial cells to each other and to underlying connective tissue that exist in vivo. Effects of heparin on binding were tested because heparin binds to the Binder of SPerm (BSP) proteins that attach sperm to oviductal epithelium. Sperm bound by their heads to beating cilia on both isthmic and ampullar epithelia and could not be detached by strong bursts of fluid flow. Addition of heparin immediately detached sperm from isthmic epithelium but not ampullar epithelium. Addition of 4-aminopyridine immediately stimulated hyperactivation of sperm but did not detach them from isthmic or ampullar epithelium unless added with heparin. These observations indicate that the nature of binding of sperm to ampullar epithelium differs from that of binding to isthmic epithelium; specifically, sperm bound to isthmic epithelium can be detached by heparin alone, while sperm bound to ampullar epithelium requires both heparin and hyperactivation to detach from the epithelium. PMID:27605344

  1. Measuring competitive fitness in dynamic environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razinkov, Ivan A; Baumgartner, Bridget L; Bennett, Matthew R; Tsimring, Lev S; Hasty, Jeff

    2013-10-24

    Most yeast genes are dispensable for optimal growth in laboratory cultures. However, this apparent lack of fitness contribution is difficult to reconcile with the theory of natural selection. Here we use stochastic modeling to show that environmental fluctuations can select for a genetic mechanism that does not affect growth in static laboratory environments. We then present a novel experimental platform for measuring the fitness levels of specific genotypes in fluctuating environments. We test this platform by monitoring a mixed culture of two yeast strains that differ in their ability to respond to changes in carbon source yet exhibit the same fitness level in static conditions. When the sugar in the growth medium was switched between galactose and glucose, the wild-type strain gained a growth advantage over the mutant strain. Interestingly, both our computational and experimental results show that the strength of the adaptive advantage conveyed by the wild-type genotype depends on the total number of carbon source switches, not on the frequency of these fluctuations. Our results illustrate the selective power of environmental fluctuations on seemingly slight phenotypic differences in cellular response dynamics and underscore the importance of dynamic processes in the evolution of species.

  2. Dynamics of movie competition and popularity spreading in recommender systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeung, C H; Cimini, G; Jin, C-H

    2011-01-01

    We introduce a simple model to study movie competition in recommender systems. Movies of heterogeneous quality compete against each other through viewers' reviews and generate interesting dynamics at the box office. By assuming mean-field interactions between the competing movies, we show that the runaway effect of popularity spreading is triggered by defeating the average review score, leading to box-office hits: Popularity rises and peaks before fade-out. The average review score thus characterizes the critical movie quality necessary for transition from box-office bombs to blockbusters. The major factors affecting the critical review score are examined. By iterating the mean-field dynamical equations, we obtain qualitative agreements with simulations and real systems in the dynamical box-office forms, revealing the significant role of competition in understanding box-office dynamics.

  3. Dynamics of movie competition and popularity spreading in recommender systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeung, C. H.; Cimini, G.; Jin, C.-H.

    2011-01-01

    We introduce a simple model to study movie competition in recommender systems. Movies of heterogeneous quality compete against each other through viewers’ reviews and generate interesting dynamics at the box office. By assuming mean-field interactions between the competing movies, we show that the runaway effect of popularity spreading is triggered by defeating the average review score, leading to box-office hits: Popularity rises and peaks before fade-out. The average review score thus characterizes the critical movie quality necessary for transition from box-office bombs to blockbusters. The major factors affecting the critical review score are examined. By iterating the mean-field dynamical equations, we obtain qualitative agreements with simulations and real systems in the dynamical box-office forms, revealing the significant role of competition in understanding box-office dynamics.

  4. The discrete dynamics of symmetric competition in the plane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, H; Rogers, T D

    1987-01-01

    We consider the generalized Lotka-Volterra two-species system xn + 1 = xn exp(r1(1 - xn) - s1yn) yn + 1 = yn exp(r2(1 - yn) - s2xn) originally proposed by R. M. May as a model for competitive interaction. In the symmetric case that r1 = r2 and s1 = s2, a region of ultimate confinement is found and the dynamics therein are described in some detail. The bifurcations of periodic points of low period are studied, and a cascade of period-doubling bifurcations is indicated. Within the confinement region, a parameter region is determined for the stable Hopf bifurcation of a pair of symmetrically placed period-two points, which imposes a second component of oscillation near the stable cycles. It is suggested that the symmetric competitive model contains much of the dynamical complexity to be expected in any discrete two-dimensional competitive model.

  5. Variation in sperm morphology among Afrotropical sunbirds

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Omotoriogun, T. C.; Laskemoen, T.; Rowe, M.; Albrecht, Tomáš; Bowie, R. C. K.; Sedláček, O.; Hořák, D.; Ottosson, U.; Lifjeld, J. T.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 158, č. 1 (2016), s. 155-166 ISSN 0019-1019 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : comparative analysis * Nectariniidae * phylogenetic signal * sperm competition * sperm size Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.279, year: 2016

  6. Structure and Dynamics of Humpback Whales Competitive Groups in Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Félix

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available We assessed the social structure and behavior of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae competitive groups off Ecuador between July and August 2010. During this time we followed 185 whales in 22 competitive groups for 41.45 hr. The average group size was 8.4 animals (SD = 2.85. The average sighting time was 113.05 min/group (SD = 47.1. We used photographs of dorsal fins and video to record interactions and estimate an association index (AI between each pair of whales within the groups. Sightings were divided into periods, which were defined by changes in group membership. On average, group composition changed every 30.2 min, which confirms that the structure of competitive groups is highly dynamic. Interactions between escorts characterized by low level of aggression. At least 60% of escorts joined or left together the group in small subunits between two and five animals, suggesting some type of cooperative association. Although singletons, as well as pairs or trios were able to join competitive groups at any moment, escorts that joined together were able to stay longer with the group and displace dominant escorts. Genetic analysis showed that in three occasions more than one female was present within a competitive group, suggesting either males are herding females or large competitive groups are formed by subunits. Males and females performed similar surface displays. We propose that competition and cooperation are interrelated in humpback whales’ competitive groups and that male cooperation would be an adaptive strategy either to displace dominant escorts or to fend off challengers.

  7. The dynamic relationship between plant architecture and competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, E David

    2014-01-01

    In this review, structural and functional changes are described in single-species, even-aged, stands undergoing competition for light. Theories of the competition process as interactions between whole plants have been advanced but have not been successful in explaining these changes and how they vary between species or growing conditions. This task now falls to researchers in plant architecture. Research in plant architecture has defined three important functions of individual plants that determine the process of canopy development and competition: (i) resource acquisition plasticity; (ii) morphogenetic plasticity; (iii) architectural variation in efficiency of interception and utilization of light. In this review, this research is synthesized into a theory for competition based on five groups of postulates about the functioning of plants in stands. Group 1: competition for light takes place at the level of component foliage and branches. Group 2: the outcome of competition is determined by the dynamic interaction between processes that exert dominance and processes that react to suppression. Group 3: species differences may affect both exertion of dominance and reaction to suppression. Group 4: individual plants may simultaneously exhibit, in different component parts, resource acquisition and morphogenetic plasticity. Group 5: mortality is a time-delayed response to suppression. Development of architectural models when combined with field investigations is identifying research needed to develop a theory of architectural influences on the competition process. These include analyses of the integration of foliage and branch components into whole-plant growth and precise definitions of environmental control of morphogenetic plasticity and its interaction with acquisition of carbon for plant growth.

  8. Dynamic Pricing Competition with Strategic Customers Under Vertical Product Differentiation

    OpenAIRE

    Qian Liu; Dan Zhang

    2013-01-01

    We consider dynamic pricing competition between two firms offering vertically differentiated products to strategic customers who are intertemporal utility maximizers. We show that price skimming arises as the unique pure-strategy Markov perfect equilibrium in the game under a simple condition. Our results highlight the asymmetric effect of strategic customer behavior on quality-differentiated firms. Even though the profit of either firm decreases as customers become more strategic, the low-qu...

  9. Quasivariational Inequalities for a Dynamic Competitive Economic Equilibrium Problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmela Vitanza

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is to consider a dynamic competitive economic equilibrium problem in terms of maximization of utility functions and of excess demand functions. This equilibrium problem is studied by means of a time-dependent quasivariational inequality which is set in the Lebesgue space L2([0,T],ℝ. This approach allows us to obtain an existence result of time-dependent equilibrium solutions.

  10. Which new competitive dynamics in France and Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    2003-01-01

    The sixth issue of the annual energy conference organized by 'Les Echos' journal was devoted to the opening of energy markets to competition, and in particular to the electric power and natural gas markets. The main question debated during this day was the dynamics created by this market opening: choice of suppliers, development of infrastructures and transportation networks, multi-energy offers, gas-electric power convergence.. (J.S.)

  11. Dynamic hubs show competitive and static hubs non-competitive regulation of their interaction partners.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Apurv Goel

    Full Text Available Date hub proteins have 1 or 2 interaction interfaces but many interaction partners. This raises the question of whether all partner proteins compete for the interaction interface of the hub or if the cell carefully regulates aspects of this process? Here, we have used real-time rendering of protein interaction networks to analyse the interactions of all the 1 or 2 interface hubs of Saccharomyces cerevisiae during the cell cycle. By integrating previously determined structural and gene expression data, and visually hiding the nodes (proteins and their edges (interactions during their troughs of expression, we predict when interactions of hubs and their partners are likely to exist. This revealed that 20 out of all 36 one- or two- interface hubs in the yeast interactome fell within two main groups. The first was dynamic hubs with static partners, which can be considered as 'competitive hubs'. Their interaction partners will compete for the interaction interface of the hub and the success of any interaction will be dictated by the kinetics of interaction (abundance and affinity and subcellular localisation. The second was static hubs with dynamic partners, which we term 'non-competitive hubs'. Regulatory mechanisms are finely tuned to lessen the presence and/or effects of competition between the interaction partners of the hub. It is possible that these regulatory processes may also be used by the cell for the regulation of other, non-cell cycle processes.

  12. COMPETITIVE DYNAMICS AND EARLY MOVER ADVANTAGES UNDER ECONOMIC RECESSIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Vassolo

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available In light of the recent macroeconomic instability in global markets, we examine the evolution of competitive dynamics and firm profitability when industries are subject to recessions. Although ordinary intuition leads most to view recessions as harmful, we highlight conditions under which they enhance the relative value of industry-level supply-side isolating mechanisms, thereby affording early movers significant and sustainable profit advantages vis-à-vis laggards. We observe that the distribution of firm size within the industry switches from a bi-modal distribution (i.e., one dominated by both small and large firms to a right-skewed one (i.e., dominated mostly by large firms in these contexts, thereby signaling the rise of important opportunities in the form of less rivalrous competitive contexts for survivors of recessions. We derive our results from formal modeling and multiple simulation runs.

  13. Why small males have big sperm: dimorphic squid sperm linked to alternative mating behaviours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwata, Yoko; Shaw, Paul; Fujiwara, Eiji; Shiba, Kogiku; Kakiuchi, Yasutaka; Hirohashi, Noritaka

    2011-08-10

    Sperm cells are the target of strong sexual selection that may drive changes in sperm structure and function to maximize fertilisation success. Sperm evolution is regarded to be one of the major consequences of sperm competition in polyandrous species, however it can also be driven by adaptation to the environmental conditions at the site of fertilization. Strong stabilizing selection limits intra-specific variation, and therefore polymorphism, among fertile sperm (eusperm). Here we analyzed reproductive morphology differences among males employing characteristic alternative mating behaviours, and so potentially different conditions of sperm competition and fertilization environment, in the squid Loligo bleekeri. Large consort males transfer smaller (average total length = 73 μm) sperm to a female's internal sperm storage location, inside the oviduct; whereas small sneaker males transfer larger (99 μm) sperm to an external location around the seminal receptacle near the mouth. No significant difference in swimming speed was observed between consort and sneaker sperm. Furthermore, sperm precedence in the seminal receptacle was not biased toward longer sperm, suggesting no evidence for large sperm being favoured in competition for space in the sperm storage organ among sneaker males. Here we report the first case, in the squid Loligo bleekeri, where distinctly dimorphic eusperm are produced by different sized males that employ alternative mating behaviours. Our results found no evidence that the distinct sperm dimorphism was driven by between- and within-tactic sperm competition. We propose that presence of alternative fertilization environments with distinct characteristics (i.e. internal or external), whether or not in combination with the effects of sperm competition, can drive the disruptive evolution of sperm size.

  14. Why small males have big sperm: dimorphic squid sperm linked to alternative mating behaviours

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiba Kogiku

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sperm cells are the target of strong sexual selection that may drive changes in sperm structure and function to maximize fertilisation success. Sperm evolution is regarded to be one of the major consequences of sperm competition in polyandrous species, however it can also be driven by adaptation to the environmental conditions at the site of fertilization. Strong stabilizing selection limits intra-specific variation, and therefore polymorphism, among fertile sperm (eusperm. Here we analyzed reproductive morphology differences among males employing characteristic alternative mating behaviours, and so potentially different conditions of sperm competition and fertilization environment, in the squid Loligo bleekeri. Results Large consort males transfer smaller (average total length = 73 μm sperm to a female's internal sperm storage location, inside the oviduct; whereas small sneaker males transfer larger (99 μm sperm to an external location around the seminal receptacle near the mouth. No significant difference in swimming speed was observed between consort and sneaker sperm. Furthermore, sperm precedence in the seminal receptacle was not biased toward longer sperm, suggesting no evidence for large sperm being favoured in competition for space in the sperm storage organ among sneaker males. Conclusions Here we report the first case, in the squid Loligo bleekeri, where distinctly dimorphic eusperm are produced by different sized males that employ alternative mating behaviours. Our results found no evidence that the distinct sperm dimorphism was driven by between- and within-tactic sperm competition. We propose that presence of alternative fertilization environments with distinct characteristics (i.e. internal or external, whether or not in combination with the effects of sperm competition, can drive the disruptive evolution of sperm size.

  15. Moss antheridia are desiccation tolerant: Rehydration dynamics influence sperm release in Bryum argenteum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Lloyd R; McLetchie, D Nicholas; Greenwood, Joshua L; Eppley, Sarah M

    2016-05-01

    Free-living sperm of mosses are known to be partially desiccation tolerant. We hypothesized that mature moss antheridia should also tolerate desiccation and that rehydration to partial turgor (prehydration) or rehydration to full turgor (rehydration) before immersion in water is required for full recovery from any damaging effects of prior desiccation. Bryum argenteum (silvery-thread moss) was grown in continuous culture for several months, produced mature perigonia (clusters of antheridia), and these were subjected to a slow rate of drying (∼36 h from full turgor to desiccation) and equilibration with 50% relative humidity. Perigonia were prehydrated (exposed to a saturated atmosphere) or rehydrated (planted upright in saturated media) for 0, 45, 90, 135, 180, and 1440 min, then immersed in sterile water. Time to first sperm mass release, number of antheridia releasing sperm masses, and the integrity of the first sperm mass released were assessed. Rehydration of dried antheridia for at least 3 h before immersion in water resulted in antheridia functioning similar to control undried antheridia. Compared with rehydration, prehydration was not effective in the recovery of antheridia from desiccation. For the first time, moss antheridia are shown to be fully desiccation tolerant at a functional level, capable of releasing fully functional sperm following a slow drying event provided the antheridia are allowed to rehydrate at least 3 h before immersion in water. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  16. Dynamic International Competitiveness of Transition Economies: The Case of Poland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jørgen Ulff-Møller

    2003-01-01

    This paper shows that the reform on the structures of the Polish economy has had an impressively fast effect on the numbers of different products this country exports to Western countries. The time path may well be described by a logistic curve. The change in the exports of this country may...... therefore be characterised by a widening, instead of a deepening in specialisation. The paper introduces a new empirical methodology to evaluate the dynamic changes in export activities of a country. The result of this new methodology is that quality competition is becoming increasingly important for Poland...

  17. Dynamical Encoding by Networks of Competing Neuron Groups: Winnerless Competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rabinovich, M.; Volkovskii, A.; Lecanda, P.; Huerta, R.; Abarbanel, H. D. I.; Laurent, G.

    2001-01-01

    Following studies of olfactory processing in insects and fish, we investigate neural networks whose dynamics in phase space is represented by orbits near the heteroclinic connections between saddle regions (fixed points or limit cycles). These networks encode input information as trajectories along the heteroclinic connections. If there are N neurons in the network, the capacity is approximately e(N-1) ! , i.e., much larger than that of most traditional network structures. We show that a small winnerless competition network composed of FitzHugh-Nagumo spiking neurons efficiently transforms input information into a spatiotemporal output

  18. Propagation dynamics for a spatially periodic integrodifference competition model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Ruiwen; Zhao, Xiao-Qiang

    2018-05-01

    In this paper, we study the propagation dynamics for a class of integrodifference competition models in a periodic habitat. An interesting feature of such a system is that multiple spreading speeds can be observed, which biologically means different species may have different spreading speeds. We show that the model system admits a single spreading speed, and it coincides with the minimal wave speed of the spatially periodic traveling waves. A set of sufficient conditions for linear determinacy of the spreading speed is also given.

  19. Predicting performance in competitive apnea diving, part II: dynamic apnoea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schagatay, Erika

    2010-03-01

    Part I of this series of articles identified the main physiological factors defining the limits of static apnea, while this paper reviews the factors involved when physical work is added in the dynamic distance disciplines, performed in shallow water in a swimming pool. Little scientific work has been done concerning the prerequisites and limitations of swimming with or without fins whilst breath holding to extreme limits. Apneic duration influences all competitive apnea disciplines, and can be prolonged by any means that increase gas storage or tolerance to asphyxia, or reduce metabolic rate, as reviewed in the first article. For horizontal underwater distance swimming, the main challenge is to restrict metabolism despite the work, and to direct blood flow only to areas where demand is greatest, to allow sustained function. Here, work economy, local tissue energy and oxygen stores and the anaerobic capacity of the muscles are key components. Improvements in swimming techniques and, especially in swimming with fins, equipment have already contributed to enhanced performance and may do so further. High lactate levels observed after competition swims suggest a high anaerobic component, and muscle hypoxia could ultimately limit muscle work and swimming distance. However, the frequency of syncope, especially in swimming without fins, suggests that cerebral oxygenation may often be compromised before this occurs. In these pool disciplines, safety is high and the dive can be interrupted by the competitor or safety diver within seconds. The safety routines in place during pool competitions are described.

  20. How sexual selection can drive the evolution of costly sperm ornamentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lüpold, Stefan; Manier, Mollie K.; Puniamoorthy, Nalini; Schoff, Christopher; Starmer, William T.; Luepold, Shannon H. Buckley; Belote, John M.; Pitnick, Scott

    2016-05-01

    Post-copulatory sexual selection (PSS), fuelled by female promiscuity, is credited with the rapid evolution of sperm quality traits across diverse taxa. Yet, our understanding of the adaptive significance of sperm ornaments and the cryptic female preferences driving their evolution is extremely limited. Here we review the evolutionary allometry of exaggerated sexual traits (for example, antlers, horns, tail feathers, mandibles and dewlaps), show that the giant sperm of some Drosophila species are possibly the most extreme ornaments in all of nature and demonstrate how their existence challenges theories explaining the intensity of sexual selection, mating-system evolution and the fundamental nature of sex differences. We also combine quantitative genetic analyses of interacting sex-specific traits in D. melanogaster with comparative analyses of the condition dependence of male and female reproductive potential across species with varying ornament size to reveal complex dynamics that may underlie sperm-length evolution. Our results suggest that producing few gigantic sperm evolved by (1) Fisherian runaway selection mediated by genetic correlations between sperm length, the female preference for long sperm and female mating frequency, and (2) longer sperm increasing the indirect benefits to females. Our results also suggest that the developmental integration of sperm quality and quantity renders post-copulatory sexual selection on ejaculates unlikely to treat male-male competition and female choice as discrete processes.

  1. Opinion dynamics on interacting networks: media competition and social influence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quattrociocchi, Walter; Caldarelli, Guido; Scala, Antonio

    2014-05-27

    The inner dynamics of the multiple actors of the informations systems - i.e, T.V., newspapers, blogs, social network platforms, - play a fundamental role on the evolution of the public opinion. Coherently with the recent history of the information system (from few main stream media to the massive diffusion of socio-technical system), in this work we investigate how main stream media signed interaction might shape the opinion space. In particular we focus on how different size (in the number of media) and interaction patterns of the information system may affect collective debates and thus the opinions' distribution. We introduce a sophisticated computational model of opinion dynamics which accounts for the coexistence of media and gossip as separated mechanisms and for their feedback loops. The model accounts also for the effect of the media communication patterns by considering both the simple case where each medium mimics the behavior of the most successful one (to maximize the audience) and the case where there is polarization and thus competition among media memes. We show that plurality and competition within information sources lead to stable configurations where several and distant cultures coexist.

  2. Opinion dynamics on interacting networks: media competition and social influence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quattrociocchi, Walter; Caldarelli, Guido; Scala, Antonio

    2014-05-01

    The inner dynamics of the multiple actors of the informations systems - i.e, T.V., newspapers, blogs, social network platforms, - play a fundamental role on the evolution of the public opinion. Coherently with the recent history of the information system (from few main stream media to the massive diffusion of socio-technical system), in this work we investigate how main stream media signed interaction might shape the opinion space. In particular we focus on how different size (in the number of media) and interaction patterns of the information system may affect collective debates and thus the opinions' distribution. We introduce a sophisticated computational model of opinion dynamics which accounts for the coexistence of media and gossip as separated mechanisms and for their feedback loops. The model accounts also for the effect of the media communication patterns by considering both the simple case where each medium mimics the behavior of the most successful one (to maximize the audience) and the case where there is polarization and thus competition among media memes. We show that plurality and competition within information sources lead to stable configurations where several and distant cultures coexist.

  3. Sperm motility of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, R K; Kaurova, S A; Uteshev, V K; Shishova, N V; McGinnity, D; Figiel, C R; Mansour, N; Agney, D; Wu, M; Gakhova, E N; Dzyuba, B; Cosson, J

    2015-01-01

    We review the phylogeny, sperm competition, morphology, physiology, and fertilization environments of the sperm of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians. Increased sperm competition in both fish and anurans generally increases sperm numbers, sperm length, and energy reserves. The difference between the internal osmolarity and iconicity of sperm cells and those of the aquatic medium control the activation, longevity, and velocity of sperm motility. Hypo-osmolarity of the aquatic medium activates the motility of freshwater fish and amphibian sperm and hyperosmolarity activates the motility of marine fish sperm. The average longevity of the motility of marine fish sperm (~550 seconds) was significantly (P amphibian sperm in general and anurans reversion from internal to external fertilization. Our findings provide a greater understanding of the reproductive biology of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians, and a biological foundation for the further development of reproduction technologies for their sustainable management.

  4. Tactic-specific differences in seminal fluid influence sperm performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locatello, Lisa; Poli, Federica; Rasotto, Maria B

    2013-03-22

    Seminal fluid often makes up a large part of an ejaculate, yet most empirical and theoretical studies on sperm competition have focused on how sperm characteristics (number and quality) affect fertilization success. However, seminal fluid influences own sperm performance and may potentially influence the outcome of sperm competition, by also affecting that of rivals. As a consequence males may be expected to allocate their investment in both sperm and seminal fluid in relation to the potential level of competition. Grass goby (Zosterisessor ophiocephalus) is an external fertilizer with guard-sneaker mating tactics, where sperm competition risk varies according to the tactic adopted. Here, we experimentally manipulated grass goby ejaculates by separately combining sperm and seminal fluid from territorial and sneaker males. While sperm of sneaker and territorial males did not differ in their performance when they interacted with their own seminal fluid only, sperm of sneakers increased their velocity and fertilization rate in the presence of territorial males' seminal fluid. By contrast, sneaker males' seminal fluid had a detrimental effect on the performance of territorial males' sperm. Sperm velocity was unaffected by the seminal fluid of males employing the same tactic, suggesting that seminal fluid's effect on rival-tactic sperm is not based on a self/non-self recognition mechanism. Our findings show that cross interactions of sperm and seminal fluid may influence the fertilization success of competing ejaculates with males investing in both sperm and seminal fluid in response to sperm competition risk.

  5. ASPECTS OF REGIONAL COMPETITIVENESS THROUGH DYNAMIC PRICES OF PETROLEUM PRODUCTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela\tENACHESCU

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents aspects regarding the dynamics of prices of petroleum products: gasoline and diesel in Romania in the period 2003(2007-2014. Both focus on relationship-price raw material and finished product by the impact of market prices. Given that the price of fuel is a key factor in economic development but also in the living of population, this paper has proposed to analyze some aspects of the dynamics of prices of petroleum products in correlation with commodity prices in a competitive market in 2003 -2014. In the analized period, price of oil barrel has a dynamics substantially influenced by the global political turbulences but also by lower oil demand due to consumption reduction, especially lately. Increases and decreases were abrupt and unpredictable in the early years of the first decade of the XXI century. Political crises in the Middle East, the economic crisis started in 2007 and especially the crisis in Ukraine and policies adopted by the EU and the US have led to extremely large fluctuations in oil prices from one period to another . This dynamic will only cover the price of petroleum products namely gazoline and diesel for vehicles.

  6. Competitive assessment of aerospace systems using system dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfaender, Jens Holger

    Aircraft design has recently experienced a trend away from performance centric design towards a more balanced approach with increased emphasis on engineering an economically successful system. This approach focuses on bringing forward a comprehensive economic and life-cycle cost analysis. Since the success of any system also depends on many external factors outside of the control of the designer, this traditionally has been modeled as noise affecting the uncertainty of the design. However, this approach is currently lacking a strategic treatment of necessary early decisions affecting the probability of success of a given concept in a dynamic environment. This suggests that the introduction of a dynamic method into a life-cycle cost analysis should allow the analysis of the future attractiveness of such a concept in the presence of uncertainty. One way of addressing this is through the use of a competitive market model. However, existing market models do not focus on the dynamics of the market. Instead, they focus on modeling and predicting market share through logit regression models. The resulting models exhibit relatively poor predictive capabilities. The method proposed here focuses on a top-down approach that integrates a competitive model based on work in the field of system dynamics into the aircraft design process. Demonstrating such integration is one of the primary contributions of this work, which previously has not been demonstrated. This integration is achieved through the use of surrogate models, in this case neural networks. This enabled not only the practical integration of analysis techniques, but also reduced the computational requirements so that interactive exploration as envisioned was actually possible. The example demonstration of this integration is built on the competition in the 250 seat large commercial aircraft market exemplified by the Boeing 767-400ER and the Airbus A330-200. Both aircraft models were calibrated to existing performance

  7. Dynamical tendencies of health consequences caused by competitive risk factors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bykov, A.A.; Pronina, I.A.; Kudriavtsev, G.I.

    2000-01-01

    The paper deals with the generalized probabilistic approach for analyzing health consequences caused by various exposure factors. Formally basing on the competitive risk theory, it is introduced a general risk model for analysis the influence of environmental risk factors to human health. The usefulness of the model approach is in the opportunity of taking into account: time delay of impact and consequence manifestation; easy comparisons of exposure factors with different nature and various consequences (morbidity and mortality, carcinogenic and genetic); social and environmental components in overall mortality. Preliminary examples of comparative risk analysis are demonstrated on the Russian demography and environmental data with the attempt of characterizing the dynamical tendencies and evolution of introduced risk index. The prospects of the probabilistic approach and the results obtaining on this basis are discussed. (author)

  8. DNA fragmentation dynamics allows the assessment of cryptic sperm damage in human: Evaluation of exposure to ionizing radiation, hyperthermia, acidic pH and nitric oxide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Santiso, Rebeca; Tamayo, Maria [Laboratorio de Genetica Molecular y Radiobiologia, Centro Oncologico de Galicia, Doctor Camilo Veiras 1, 15009-A Coruna (Spain); Genetics Unit, INIBIC-Complejo Hospitalario Universitario A Coruna (CHUAC), As Xubias, 84, 15006-A Coruna (Spain); Gosalvez, Jaime [Genetics Unit, Facultad de Biologia, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria de Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid (Spain); Johnston, Steve [School of Agriculture and Food Science, University of Queensland, Gatton 4343 (Australia); Marino, Alfonso [Servicio de Oncologia Radioterapica, Centro Oncologico de Galicia, Doctor Camilo Veiras 1, 15009-A Coruna (Spain); Fernandez, Carlos; Losada, Carlos [Servicio de Radiofisica, Centro Oncologico de Galicia, Doctor Camilo Veiras 1, 15009-A Coruna (Spain); Fernandez, Jose Luis, E-mail: Jose.Luis.Fernandez.Garcia@sergas.es [Laboratorio de Genetica Molecular y Radiobiologia, Centro Oncologico de Galicia, Doctor Camilo Veiras 1, 15009-A Coruna (Spain); Genetics Unit, INIBIC-Complejo Hospitalario Universitario A Coruna (CHUAC), As Xubias, 84, 15006-A Coruna (Spain)

    2012-06-01

    Sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) is not a static seminal parameter, since the longevity of sperm DNA decreases progressively with time following ejaculation or thawing. While the dynamics of SDF is a species-specific characteristic, in the case of humans, there is still significant variation within patients. To evaluate the suitability of the dynamic SDF assay to assess the adverse effects of agents that cause genetic damage, fresh semen samples from different donors were exposed in vitro to (1) increasing acute doses of ionizing radiation, (2) elevated temperature (41 Degree-Sign C and 45 Degree-Sign C), (3) acidic pH (pH 4) and (4) the nitric oxide (NO) donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP). Sperm DNA fragmentation was analyzed after an incubation period of chronic (24 h), or acute (1 h) exposure to each treatment followed by incubation at 37 Degree-Sign C over a period of 24 h. SDF was assessed using the sperm chromatin dispersion (SCD) test. Dynamic SDF for each treatment was analyzed using Kaplan-Meier survival curves. All agents, except for ionizing radiation, accelerated SDF kinetics following chronic exposure over a 24 h period. Transient exposure to NO and heat but not acidic pH increased the basal (T0) level of SDF. Despite the removal of the three toxicants, the remaining sperm following acute exposure showed a decrease in their expected DNA longevity. It is concluded that the assessment of sperm DNA fragmentation dynamics is an effective methodological approach for revealing latent damage associated with toxicants that is not initially expressed following a single initial observation of SDF.

  9. Competition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bridoux, F.; Vodosek, M.; Den Hartog, D.N.; McNett, J.M.

    2014-01-01

    Competition traditionally refers to the actions that firms take in a product market to outperform rivals in attracting customers and generating revenues. Yet, competition extends beyond product markets to other arenas such as factor markets, where firms compete for resources, and the political

  10. Model of annual plants dynamics with facilitation and competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Droz, Michel; Pękalski, Andrzej

    2013-10-21

    An individual-based model describing the dynamics of one type of annual plants is presented. We use Monte Carlo simulations where each plant has its own history and the interactions among plants are between nearest neighbours. The character of the interaction (positive or negative) depends on local conditions. The plants compete for two external resources-water and light. The amount of water and/or light a plant receives depends on the external factor but also on local arrangement. Survival, growth and seed production of plants are determined by how well their demands for the resources are met. The survival and seeds production tests have a probabilistic character, which makes the dynamics more realistic than by using a deterministic approach. There is a non-linear coupling between the external supplies. Water evaporates from the soil at a rate depending on constant evaporation rate, local conditions and the amount of light. We examine the dynamics of the plant population along two environmental gradients, allowing also for surplus of water and/or light. We show that the largest number of plants is when the demands for both resources are equal to the supplies. We estimate also the role of evaporation and we find that it depends on the situation. It could be negative, but sometimes it has a positive character. We show that the link between the type of interaction (positive or negative) and external conditions has a complex character. In general in favourable environment plants have a stronger tendency for competitive interactions, leading to mostly isolated plants. When the conditions are getting more difficult, cooperation becomes the dominant type of interactions and the plants grow in clusters. The type of plants-sun-loving or shade tolerating, plays also an important role. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. The heritability of mating behaviour in a fly and its plasticity in response to the threat of sperm competition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Bretman

    Full Text Available Phenotypic plasticity is a key mechanism by which animals can cope with rapidly changeable environments, but the evolutionary lability of such plasticity remains unclear. The socio-sexual environment can fluctuate very rapidly, affecting both the frequency of mating opportunities and the level of competition males may face. Males of many species show plastic behavioural responses to changes in social environment, in particular the presence of rival males. For example, Drosophila pseudoobscura males respond to rivals by extending mating duration and increasing ejaculate size. Whilst such responses are predicted to be adaptive, the extent to which the magnitude of response is heritable, and hence selectable, is unknown. We investigated this using isofemale lines of the fruit fly D. pseudoobscura, estimating heritability of mating duration in males exposed or not to a rival, and any genetic basis to the change in this trait between these environments (i.e. degree of plasticity. The two populations differed in population sex ratio, and the presence of a sex ratio distorting selfish chromosome. We find that mating duration is heritable, but no evidence of population differences. We find no significant heritability of plasticity in mating duration in one population, but borderline significant heritability of plasticity in the second. This difference between populations might be related to the presence of the sex ratio distorting selfish gene in the latter population, but this will require investigation in additional populations to draw any conclusions. We suggest that there is scope for selection to produce an evolutionary response in the plasticity of mating duration in response to rivals in D. pseudoobscura, at least in some populations.

  12. Dynamics of Nearest-Neighbour Competitions on Graphs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rador, Tonguç

    2017-10-01

    Considering a collection of agents representing the vertices of a graph endowed with integer points, we study the asymptotic dynamics of the rate of the increase of their points according to a very simple rule: we randomly pick an an edge from the graph which unambiguously defines two agents we give a point the the agent with larger point with probability p and to the lagger with probability q such that p+q=1. The model we present is the most general version of the nearest-neighbour competition model introduced by Ben-Naim, Vazquez and Redner. We show that the model combines aspects of hyperbolic partial differential equations—as that of a conservation law—graph colouring and hyperplane arrangements. We discuss the properties of the model for general graphs but we confine in depth study to d-dimensional tori. We present a detailed study for the ring graph, which includes a chemical potential approximation to calculate all its statistics that gives rather accurate results. The two-dimensional torus, not studied in depth as the ring, is shown to possess critical behaviour in that the asymptotic speeds arrange themselves in two-coloured islands separated by borders of three other colours and the size of the islands obey power law distribution. We also show that in the large d limit the d-dimensional torus shows inverse sine law for the distribution of asymptotic speeds.

  13. Dissipative particle dynamics simulations for biological tissues: rheology and competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Basan, Markus; Prost, Jacques; Joanny, Jean-François; Elgeti, Jens

    2011-01-01

    In this work, we model biological tissues using a simple, mechanistic simulation based on dissipative particle dynamics. We investigate the continuum behavior of the simulated tissue and determine its dependence on the properties of the individual cell. Cells in our simulation adhere to each other, expand in volume, divide after reaching a specific size checkpoint and undergo apoptosis at a constant rate, leading to a steady-state homeostatic pressure in the tissue. We measure the dependence of the homeostatic state on the microscopic parameters of our model and show that homeostatic pressure, rather than the unconfined rate of cell division, determines the outcome of tissue competitions. Simulated cell aggregates are cohesive and round up due to the effect of tissue surface tension, which we measure for different tissues. Furthermore, mixtures of different cells unmix according to their adhesive properties. Using a variety of shear and creep simulations, we study tissue rheology by measuring yield stresses, shear viscosities, complex viscosities as well as the loss tangents as a function of model parameters. We find that cell division and apoptosis lead to a vanishing yield stress and fluid-like tissues. The effects of different adhesion strengths and levels of noise on the rheology of the tissue are also measured. In addition, we find that the level of cell division and apoptosis drives the diffusion of cells in the tissue. Finally, we present a method for measuring the compressibility of the tissue and its response to external stress via cell division and apoptosis

  14. Competition Law, Antitrust Immunity and Profits : A Dynamic Panel Analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brouwer, E.; Ozbugday, F.C.

    2011-01-01

    This paper tests whether the transition from the old Economic Competition Act, which was based on the so-called "abuse system", to the new Competition Act, which was based on "prohibition system", in the Netherlands had an impact on the price-cost margins in manufacturing industries during the

  15. Competition Law, Antitrust Immunity and Profits : A Dynamic Panel Analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brouwer, E.; Ozbugday, F.C.

    2011-01-01

    This paper tests whether the transition from the old Economic Competition Act, which was based on the so-called “abuse system”, to the new Competition Act, which was based on “prohibition system”, in the Netherlands had an impact on the price-cost margins in manufacturing industries during the

  16. Parasitoid competition and the dynamics of host-parasitoid models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew D. Taylor

    1988-01-01

    Both parasitoids and predators compete intraspecifically for prey or hosts. The nature of this competition, however, is potentially much more complex and varied for parasitoids than for predators. With predators, prey are generally consumed upon capture and thus cease to be bones of contention: competition is simply for discovery (or capture) of prey. In contrast,...

  17. Possibilities of fractal analysis of the competitive dynamics: Approaches and procedures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zagornaya, T. O.; Medvedeva, M. A.; Panova, V. L.; Isaichik, K. F.; Medvedev, A. N.

    2017-11-01

    The possibilities of the fractal approach are used for the study of non-linear nature of the competitive dynamics of the market of trading intermediaries. Based on a statistical study of the functioning of retail indicators in the region, the approach to the analysis of the characteristics of the competitive behavior of market participants is developed. The authors postulate the principles of studying the dynamics of competition as a result of changes in the characteristics of the vector and the competitive behavior of market agents.

  18. Study on a hidden protein-DNA binding in salmon sperm DNA sample by dynamic kinetic capillary isoelectric focusing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liang Liang; Dou Peng; Dong Mingming; Ke Xiaokang; Bian Ningsheng; Liu Zhen

    2009-01-01

    Nuclease P1 is an important enzyme that hydrolyzes RNA or single-stranded DNA into nucleotides, and complete digestion is an essential basis for assays based on this enzyme. To digest a doubled-stranded DNA, the enzyme is usually combined with heat denaturing, which breaks doubled-stranded DNA into single strands. This paper presents an un-expected phenomenon that nuclease P1, in combination with heat denaturing, fails to completely digest a DNA sample extracted from salmon sperm. Under the experimental conditions used, at which nuclease P1 can completely digest calf thymus DNA, the digestion yield of salmon sperm DNA was only 89.5%. Spectrometric measurement indicated that a total protein of 4.7% is present in the DNA sample. To explain the reason for this phenomenon, the dynamic kinetic capillary isoelectric focusing (DK-CIEF) approach proposed previously, which allows for the discrimination of different types of protein-DNA interactions and the measurement of the individual dissociation rate constants, was modified and applied to examine possible protein-DNA interactions involved. It was found that a non-specific DNA-protein binding occurs in the sample, the dissociation rate constant for which was measured to be 7.05 ± 0.83 x 10 -3 s -1 . The formation of DNA-protein complex was suggested to be the main reason for the incomplete digestion of the DNA sample. The modified DK-CIEF approach can be applied as general DNA samples, with the advantages of fast speed and low sample consumption.

  19. Casanovas are liars: behavioral syndromes, sperm competition risk, and the evolution of deceptive male mating behavior in live-bearing fishes [v2; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/1ko

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Bierbach

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Male reproductive biology can by characterized through competition over mates as well as mate choice. Multiple mating and male mate choice copying, especially in internally fertilizing species, set the stage for increased sperm competition, i.e., sperm of two or more males can compete for fertilization of the female’s ova. In the internally fertilizing fish Poecilia mexicana, males respond to the presence of rivals with reduced expression of mating preferences (audience effect, thereby lowering the risk of by-standing rivals copying their mate choice. Also, males interact initially more with a non-preferred female when observed by a rival, which has been interpreted in previous studies as a strategy to mislead rivals, again reducing sperm competition risk (SCR. Nevertheless, species might differ consistently in their expression of aggressive and reproductive behaviors, possibly due to varying levels of SCR. In the current study, we present a unique data set comprising ten poeciliid species (in two cases including multiple populations and ask whether species can be characterized through consistent differences in the expression of aggression, sexual activity and changes in mate choice under increased SCR. We found consistent species-specific differences in aggressive behavior, sexual activity as well as in the level of misleading behavior, while decreased preference expression under increased SCR was a general feature of all but one species examined. Furthermore, mean sexual activity correlated positively with the occurrence of potentially misleading behavior. An alternative explanation for audience effects would be that males attempt to avoid aggressive encounters, which would predict stronger audience effects in more aggressive species. We demonstrate a positive correlation between mean aggressiveness and sexual activity (suggesting a hormonal link as a mechanistic explanation, but did not detect a correlation between aggressiveness and

  20. Casanovas are liars: behavioral syndromes, sperm competition risk, and the evolution of deceptive male mating behavior in live-bearing fishes [v3; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/1zi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Bierbach

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Male reproductive biology can by characterized through competition over mates as well as mate choice. Multiple mating and male mate choice copying, especially in internally fertilizing species, set the stage for increased sperm competition, i.e., sperm of two or more males can compete for fertilization of the female’s ova. In the internally fertilizing fish Poecilia mexicana, males respond to the presence of rivals with reduced expression of mating preferences (audience effect, thereby lowering the risk of by-standing rivals copying their mate choice. Also, males interact initially more with a non-preferred female when observed by a rival, which has been interpreted in previous studies as a strategy to mislead rivals, again reducing sperm competition risk (SCR. Nevertheless, species might differ consistently in their expression of aggressive and reproductive behaviors, possibly due to varying levels of SCR. In the current study, we present a unique data set comprising ten poeciliid species (in two cases including multiple populations and ask whether species can be characterized through consistent differences in the expression of aggression, sexual activity and changes in mate choice under increased SCR. We found consistent species-specific differences in aggressive behavior, sexual activity as well as in the level of misleading behavior, while decreased preference expression under increased SCR was a general feature of all but one species examined. Furthermore, mean sexual activity correlated positively with the occurrence of potentially misleading behavior. An alternative explanation for audience effects would be that males attempt to avoid aggressive encounters, which would predict stronger audience effects in more aggressive species. We demonstrate a positive correlation between mean aggressiveness and sexual activity (suggesting a hormonal link as a mechanistic explanation, but did not detect a correlation between aggressiveness and

  1. Spatial competition dynamics between reef corals under ocean acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwitz, Rael; Hoogenboom, Mia O.; Fine, Maoz

    2017-01-01

    Climate change, including ocean acidification (OA), represents a major threat to coral-reef ecosystems. Although previous experiments have shown that OA can negatively affect the fitness of reef corals, these have not included the long-term effects of competition for space on coral growth rates. Our multispecies year-long study subjected reef-building corals from the Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea) to competitive interactions under present-day ocean pH (pH 8.1) and predicted end-of-century ocean pH (pH 7.6). Results showed coral growth is significantly impeded by OA under intraspecific competition for five out of six study species. Reduced growth from OA, however, is negligible when growth is already suppressed in the presence of interspecific competition. Using a spatial competition model, our analysis indicates shifts in the competitive hierarchy and a decrease in overall coral cover under lowered pH. Collectively, our case study demonstrates how modified competitive performance under increasing OA will in all likelihood change the composition, structure and functionality of reef coral communities.

  2. Competition

    CERN Multimedia

    Staff Association

    2017-01-01

    Get ready for the Easter Egg Hunt! The Staff Association is organising a competition from 10 to 21 April 2017. There are several Go Sport gift vouchers to win, with a value of 50 € each. Try your luck! Count the number of different eggs that we have hidden on our website. Then indicate your answer in the online form. To participate, you just need to be a member of the Staff Association. Winners will be randomly drawn among the correct answers.

  3. Competition

    CERN Multimedia

    Staff Association

    2016-01-01

      The Staff Association is organising a competition from 13 to 21 December 2016. There are several Go Sport vouchers to win with a value of 50 € each. Try your luck! To participate, you just have to be a member of the Staff Association and take the online quiz: https://ap-vote.web.cern.ch/content/jeu-concours-de-noel. The winners will be drawn among the correct answers.

  4. Competition

    CERN Multimedia

    Staff Association

    2016-01-01

      The Staff Association is organising a competition from April 11 to 20. There are several Go Sport gift vouchers with a value of 50 € each to win. Try your luck! To participate, you just have to be a member of the Staff Association and take the online quiz: https://ap-vote.web.cern.ch/content/jeu-concours. The winners will be drawn among the correct answers.

  5. Plant Size and Competitive Dynamics along Nutrient Gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldberg, Deborah E; Martina, Jason P; Elgersma, Kenneth J; Currie, William S

    2017-08-01

    Resource competition theory in plants has focused largely on resource acquisition traits that are independent of size, such as traits of individual leaves or roots or proportional allocation to different functions. However, plants also differ in maximum potential size, which could outweigh differences in module-level traits. We used a community ecosystem model called mondrian to investigate whether larger size inevitably increases competitive ability and how size interacts with nitrogen supply. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that bigger is better, we found that invader success and competitive ability are unimodal functions of maximum potential size, such that plants that are too large (or too small) are disproportionately suppressed by competition. Optimal size increases with nitrogen supply, even when plants compete for nitrogen only in a size-symmetric manner, although adding size-asymmetric competition for light does substantially increase the advantage of larger size at high nitrogen. These complex interactions of plant size and nitrogen supply lead to strong nonlinearities such that small differences in nitrogen can result in large differences in plant invasion success and the influence of competition along productivity gradients.

  6. Competitive Dynamics in Micro: Analysis of Perception About Competition in Unitomo Street Food Business

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bambang Raditya Purnomo

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of the study this is to explore small and micro businesses in their connections with competitors and the competitive force in the market. This study uses the information processing approach to examine three activities, scanning the competitive environment, the interpretation of competitive actions, and reactions based on that assessment. This research is motivated by the lack of competitiveness of micro businesses, especially those engaged in the culinary field. This study uses qualitative approach with phenomenological methods, in which researchers try to explain or reveal the meaning of a concept or phenomenon of experience based on the awareness that occurs in some individuals. In this study, researchers collect, summarize and interpret the data obtained, which is then processed back in order to obtain a clear, directed and thorough pictures of the problem which become the object of research. Phenomenological approach is used to analyze the original data collected from interview with the informant. Structural interpretation of the experience described by researchers in the description of the participants.

  7. Nonlinear instability in flagellar dynamics: a novel modulation mechanism in sperm migration?

    KAUST Repository

    Gadelha, H.

    2010-05-12

    Throughout biology, cells and organisms use flagella and cilia to propel fluid and achieve motility. The beating of these organelles, and the corresponding ability to sense, respond to and modulate this beat is central to many processes in health and disease. While the mechanics of flagellum-fluid interaction has been the subject of extensive mathematical studies, these models have been restricted to being geometrically linear or weakly nonlinear, despite the high curvatures observed physiologically. We study the effect of geometrical nonlinearity, focusing on the spermatozoon flagellum. For a wide range of physiologically relevant parameters, the nonlinear model predicts that flagellar compression by the internal forces initiates an effective buckling behaviour, leading to a symmetry-breaking bifurcation that causes profound and complicated changes in the waveform and swimming trajectory, as well as the breakdown of the linear theory. The emergent waveform also induces curved swimming in an otherwise symmetric system, with the swimming trajectory being sensitive to head shape-no signalling or asymmetric forces are required. We conclude that nonlinear models are essential in understanding the flagellar waveform in migratory human sperm; these models will also be invaluable in understanding motile flagella and cilia in other systems.

  8. Shallow food for deep divers: Dynamic foraging behavior of male sperm whales in a high latitude habitat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Teloni, Valeria; Johnson, M.P.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2008-01-01

    Groups of female and immature sperm whales live at low latitudes and show a stereotypical diving and foraging behavior with dives lasting about 45 min to depths of between 400 and 1200 m. In comparison, physically mature male sperm whales migrate to high latitudes where little is known about...... their foraging behavior and ecology. Here we use acoustic recording tags to study the diving and acoustic behavior of male sperm whales foraging off northern Norway. Sixty-five hours of tag data provide detailed information about the movements and sound repertoire of four male sperm whales performing 83 dives...... epipelagic prey, is consistent with the hypothesis that male sperm whales may migrate to high latitudes to access a productive, multi-layered foraging habitat....

  9. Dynamic Pricing of New Products in Competitive Markets: A Mean-Field Game Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Chenavaz, Régis; Paraschiv, Corina; Turinici, Gabriel

    2017-01-01

    Dynamic pricing of new products has been extensively studied in monopolistic and oligopolistic markets. But, the optimal control and differential game tools used to investigate the pricing behavior on markets with a finite number of firms are not well-suited to model competitive markets with an infinity of firms. Using a mean-field games approach, this paper examines dynamic pricing policies in competitive markets, where no firm exerts market power. The theoretical setting is based on a diffu...

  10. Estimating a theoretical model of state banking competition using a dynamic panel: the Brazilian case

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fábio A. Miessi Sanches

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we set up a model of regional banking competition based on Bresnahan (1982, Lau (1982 and Nakane (2002. The structural model is estimated using data from eight Brazilian states and a dynamic panel. The results show that on average the level of competition in the Brazilian banking system is high, even tough the null of perfect competition can be rejected at the usual significance levels. This result also prevails at the state level: Rio Grande do Sul, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuco and Minas Gerais have high degree of competition.

  11. FORMATION OF COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES OF ENTERPRISES IN TERMS OF GLOBALIZATION: COMPETITIVE DYNAMICS AND AN INTELLECTUAL COMPONENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oleg Tarasenko

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of the article is to investigate the current state of scientific thought in relation to the formation of intellectual capital of an enterprise in the innovation process, achievement by the enterprise of corresponding competitive advantages and their protection. Methodology. The methodological basis of the article is the systematic approach, which provided a comprehensive definition of the scope of this research – intellectual property and its protection as a complex economic and legal category. This made it possible to systematically define the purpose, level of abstraction, hierarchy, forms of manifestation, and key attributes of the subject of research. Application of principles of modelling of business processes also allowed studying the influence of factors of the external environment on the sequence of information flows in the process of forming competitive advantages on the basis of intellectual property. In addition, having determined the scientific basis, the collective and local monographic studies of leading scientists concerning the specificity of the formation of competitive advantages of innovative enterprises, including on the basis of intellectual capital, were also taken into account. Results. The article studies, describes and, correspondingly, formalizes modern processes of formation of competitive advantages in the conditions of Smart Economy: knowledge management, their patenting, modern significance, and the influence of patenting on the role of intellectual property in the investigated phenomena, as well as management of relevant information flows. Practical implications. The research demonstrates ways of forming competitive advantages in the modern economy, and the results of the analysis of relevant statistics explain patterns of economic and legal processes in the field of relevant practical activities. This allows assessing the actual state of the subject of the research, determining the development

  12. Kings and Vikings: On the Dynamics of Competitive Agglomeration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baker, M.J.; Bulte, E.H.

    2010-01-01

    This paper proposes a theory of competitive agglomeration—a new enquiry into the origins of hierarchical structures and governments. As a motivating example we analyze the Viking age—the roughly 300 year period beginning in 800 AD—from the perspective of the economics of conflict. The Viking age is

  13. Dynamics of an advertising competition model with sales promotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Hui; Feng, Zhaosheng; Jiang, Guirong

    2017-01-01

    In this paper, an advertising competition model with sales promotion is constructed and investigated. Conditions of the existence and stability of period-T solutions are obtained by means of the discrete map. Flip bifurcation is analyzed by using the center manifold theory and three sales promotion strategies are discussed. Example and numerical simulations are illustrated which agree well with our theoretical analysis.

  14. Evolution of sperm quality but not quantity in the internally fertilized fish Xiphophorus nigrensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, C C; Ryan, M J

    2010-08-01

    Species with alternative reproductive strategies are characterized by discrete differences among males in suites of traits related to competition for fertilizations. Models predict sneaker males should allocate more resources to their ejaculates because they experience sperm competition more frequently and often occupy a disfavoured 'role' owing to subordinance in intramale competition and female preferences for larger males. We examined whether sperm number and quality differed between male strategies in the internally fertilized fish Xiphophorus nigrensis and explored the relationship between sperm morphology and performance. We found sneaker males had similar testes sizes compared to courting males but ejaculates with both more viable and longer lived sperm. Sneaker sperm also had longer midpieces, which was positively correlated with both velocity and longevity. Our study suggests that the evolution of sperm quantity and quality can be decoupled and that the sperm morphology is likely to play an important role in mediating sperm competition through its effects on sperm performance.

  15. Reproductive-tactic-specific variation in sperm swimming speeds in a shell-brooding cichlid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, J L; Desjardins, J K; Milligan, N; Montgomerie, R; Balshine, S

    2007-08-01

    Theory predicts that males experiencing elevated levels of sperm competition will invest more in gonads and produce faster-swimming sperm. Although there is ample evidence in support of the first prediction, few studies have examined sperm swimming speed in relation to sperm competition. In this study, we tested these predictions from sperm competition theory by examining sperm characteristics in Telmatochromis vittatus, a small shell-brooding cichlid fish endemic to Lake Tanganyika. Males exhibit four different reproductive tactics: pirate, territorial, satellite, and sneaker. Pirate males temporarily displace all other competing males from a shell nest, whereas sneaker males always release sperm in the presence of territorial and satellite males. Due to the fact that sneakers spawn in the presence of another male, sneakers face the highest levels of sperm competition and pirates the lowest, whereas satellites and territorials experience intermediate levels. In accordance with predictions, sperm from sneakers swam faster than sperm from males adopting the other reproductive tactics, whereas sperm from pirates was slowest. Interestingly, we were unable to detect any variation in sperm tail length among these reproductive tactics. Thus, sperm competition appears to have influenced sperm energetics in this species without having any influence on sperm size.

  16. Investment Dynamics and Capacity Utilization under Monopolistic Competition

    OpenAIRE

    Omar LICANDRO

    1992-01-01

    In the tradition of Tobin's q models, the influence on investment of demand uncertainty and capacity constraints is analyzed in a monopolistically competitive economy. Under these conditions, the degree of capacity utilization has a positive effect on the markup rate and explains the difference between average q and marginal q. In the aggregate economy, when the representative firm faces only specific demand uncertainty, it is shown that the degree of capacity utilization is strictly smaller ...

  17. Intraspecific Competition and Population Dynamics of Aedes aegypti

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paixão, C. A.; Charret, I. C.; Lima, R. R.

    2012-04-01

    We report computational simulations for the evolution of the population of the dengue vector, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The results suggest that controlling the mosquito population, on the basis of intraspecific competition at the larval stage, can be an efficient mechanism for controlling the spread of the epidemic. The results also show the presence of a kind of genetic evolution in vector population, which results mainly in increasing the average lifespan of individuals in adulthood.

  18. The Influence of Information Acquisition on the Complex Dynamics of Market Competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Zhanbing; Ma, Junhai

    In this paper, we build a dynamical game model with three bounded rational players (firms) to study the influence of information on the complex dynamics of market competition, where useful information is about rival’s real decision. In this dynamical game model, one information-sharing team is composed of two firms, they acquire and share the information about their common competitor, however, they make their own decisions separately, where the amount of information acquired by this information-sharing team will determine the estimation accuracy about the rival’s real decision. Based on this dynamical game model and some creative 3D diagrams, the influence of the amount of information on the complex dynamics of market competition such as local dynamics, global dynamics and profits is studied. These results have significant theoretical and practical values to realize the influence of information.

  19. Effect of a pre-freezing treatment with cholesterol-loaded cyclodextrins on boar sperm longevity, capacitation dynamics, ability to adhere to porcine oviductal epithelial cells in vitro and DNA fragmentation dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomás, C; Blanch, E; Fazeli, A; Mocé, E

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this work was to examine how a pre-freezing treatment with cholesterol-loaded cyclodextrins (CLC) affects boar sperm longevity, capacitation dynamics, ability to bind to a porcine telomerase-immortalised oviductal epithelial cell line (TERT-OPEC) in vitro and DNA integrity dynamics after freeze-thawing. Although the samples treated with CLC exhibited lower sperm quality than the control samples (P0.05) after long-term incubation (26h at 37 or 16°C). Additionally, the CLC-treated spermatozoa underwent similar capacitation and DNA fragmentation dynamics as the control spermatozoa (P>0.05). However, CLC-treated spermatozoa were better able to bind to TERT-OPEC in vitro (POPEC in vitro, which could have an effect on the establishment of the sperm reservoir in the ampullary--isthmic junction in vivo. Additionally, frozen-thawed spermatozoa can be stored at 16°C for at least 6h without a significant observable decline in sperm quality, which could be beneficial for the transport of thawed diluted doses of spermatozoa from the laboratory to the farm.

  20. Judo strategy. The competitive dynamics of Internet time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoffie, D B; Cusumano, M A

    1999-01-01

    Competition on the Internet is creating fierce battles between industry giants and small-scale start-ups. Smart start-ups can avoid those conflicts by moving quickly to uncontested ground and, when that's no longer possible, turning dominant players' strengths against them. The authors call this competitive approach judo strategy. They use the Netscape-Microsoft battles to illustrate the three main principles of judo strategy: rapid movement, flexibility, and leverage. In the early part of the browser wars, for instance, Netscape applied the principle of rapid movement by being the first company to offer a free stand-alone browser. This allowed Netscape to build market share fast and to set the market standard. Flexibility became a critical factor later in the browser wars. In December 1995, when Microsoft announced that it would "embrace and extend" competitors' Internet successes, Netscape failed to give way in the face of superior strength. Instead it squared off against Microsoft and even turned down numerous opportunities to craft deep partnerships with other companies. The result was that Netscape lost deal after deal when competing with Microsoft for common distribution channels. Netscape applied the principle of leverage by using Microsoft's strengths against it. Taking advantage of Microsoft's determination to convert the world to Windows or Windows NT, Netscape made its software compatible with existing UNIX systems. While it is true that these principles can't replace basic execution, say the authors, without speed, flexibility, and leverage, very few companies can compete successfully on Internet time.

  1. Sperm Production Rate, Gonadal and Extragonadal Sperm ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Five healthy West African Dwarf (WAD) rams, 1.5 to 2.5 years of age and weighing between 15 kg to 20 kg were used to determine daily sperm production, gonadal and exragonadal sperm reserves. Gonadal and extragonadal sperm reserves were estimated by the haemocytometric method, while the daily sperm production ...

  2. Does interspecific competition have a moderating effect on Taenia solium transmission dynamics in Southeast Asia?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conlan, James V; Vongxay, Khamphouth; Fenwick, Stanley; Blacksell, Stuart D; Thompson, R C Andrew

    2009-09-01

    It is well understood that sociocultural practices strongly influence Taenia solium transmission; however, the extent to which interspecific parasite competition moderates Taenia transmission has yet to be determined. This is certainly the case in Southeast Asia where T. solium faces competition in both the definitive host (people) and the intermediate host (pigs). In people, adult worms of T. solium, T. saginata and T. asiatica compete through density-dependent crowding mechanisms. In pigs, metacestodes of T. solium, T. hydatigena and T. asiatica compete through density-dependent immune-mediated interactions. Here, we describe the biological and epidemiological implications of Taenia competition and propose that interspecific competition has a moderating effect on the transmission dynamics of T. solium in the region. Furthermore, we argue that this competitive ecological scenario should be considered in future research and surveillance activities examining T. solium cysticercosis and taeniasis in Southeast Asia.

  3. Dynamic competition in pharmaceuticals. Patent expiry, generic penetration, and industry structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magazzini, Laura; Pammolli, Fabio; Riccaboni, Massimo

    2004-06-01

    This paper investigates patterns of industrial dynamics and competition in the pharmaceutical industry, with particular reference to the consequences of patent expiry in different countries. We focus on the competition at the level of single chemical entities, distinguishing between original brands and generic products. Quarterly data, spanning from July 1987 to December 1998, on sales of pharmaceutical products in four countries (USA, UK, Germany, and France) constitute the basis of our analysis. All the products containing major molecules whose patent expiration date lies between 1986 and 1996 are included in our sample. We show how diffusion of generics is linked to the characteristics of the market and investigate how price dynamics of original products are affected by generic competition. Our empirical investigation shows that the dynamics of drug prices and the competition by generic drugs vary significantly across countries. This heterogeneity notwithstanding, a clear distinction seems to emerge. On the one hand, systems that rely on market-based competition in pharmaceuticals promote a clear distinction between firms that act as innovators and firms that act as imitators after patent expiry. Here, original products enjoy premium prices and exclusivity profits under patent protection, and face fierce price competition after patent expiry. On the other hand, in systems that rely on administered prices, penetration by generic drugs tends to be rather limited. Its descriptive and preliminary nature notwithstanding, our analysis seems to have relevant implications at different levels of generality, especially for Europe.

  4. Competitive Dynamics of Market Entry: Scale and Survival

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John W. UPSON

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Market entry is the essence of strategy and is largely viewed as a dichotomous event: entry or no entry. What has not been acknowledged is the uniqueness of each market entry. Our study highlights the scale of market entry in the context of multipoint competition. We assert that entry scale varies based on the risk of market incumbent retaliation. Theory suggests that when risk associated with retaliation are low, firms enter with large scale and when associated risks are high, firms enter with low scale. Further, survival is viewed as dependent on following theory. We argue and find supporting evidence that firms behave in the opposite manner and do so to their own benefit, thereby revealing a unique discrepancy between theory and practice among 75 product market entries by 27 firms.

  5. Competition between Bose-Einstein Condensation and Spin Dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naylor, B; Brewczyk, M; Gajda, M; Gorceix, O; Maréchal, E; Vernac, L; Laburthe-Tolra, B

    2016-10-28

    We study the impact of spin-exchange collisions on the dynamics of Bose-Einstein condensation by rapidly cooling a chromium multicomponent Bose gas. Despite relatively strong spin-dependent interactions, the critical temperature for Bose-Einstein condensation is reached before the spin degrees of freedom fully thermalize. The increase in density due to Bose-Einstein condensation then triggers spin dynamics, hampering the formation of condensates in spin-excited states. Small metastable spinor condensates are, nevertheless, produced, and they manifest in strong spin fluctuations.

  6. Dynamic analysis of interhospital collaboration and competition: empirical evidence from an Italian regional health system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mascia, Daniele; Di Vincenzo, Fausto; Cicchetti, Americo

    2012-05-01

    Policymakers stimulate competition in universalistic health-care systems while encouraging the formation of service provision networks among hospital organizations. This article addresses a gap in the extant literature by empirically analyzing simultaneous collaboration and competition between hospitals within the Italian National Health Service, where important procompetition reforms have been implemented. To explore how rising competition between hospitals relates to their propensity to collaborate with other local providers. Longitudinal data on interhospital collaboration and competition collected in an Italian region from 2003 to 2007 are analyzed. Social network analysis techniques are applied to study the structure and dynamics of interhospital collaboration. Negative binomial regressions are employed to explore how interhospital competition relates to the collaborative network over time. Competition among providers does not hinder interhospital collaboration. Collaboration is primarily local, with resource complementarity and differentials in the volume of activity and hospital performance explaining the propensity to collaborate. Formation of collaborative networks among hospitals is not hampered by reforms aimed at fostering market forces. Because procompetition reforms elicit peculiar forms of managed competition in universalistic health systems, studies are needed to clarify whether the positive association between interhospital competition and collaboration can be generalized to other health-care settings. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Designing dynamically "signature business model" that support durable competitive advantage

    OpenAIRE

    Čirjevskis, Andrejs

    2016-01-01

    Purpose/Research question: The paper provides an empirical research of the Samsung case. In particular, we study the case by adopting three frameworks: dynamic capabilities (DC, examined by using the sensing/seizing/transforming approach), business model (BM, examined by using the BM canvas), and customer value proposition (CVP), examined by using the PERFA ((Performance, Ease of use, Reliability, Flexibility, and Affectivity) framework. The aim is to demonstrate that three frameworks success...

  8. Differences in Dynamic Brand Competition Across Markets: An Empirical Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Jean-Pierre Dubé; Puneet Manchanda

    2005-01-01

    We investigate differences in the dynamics of marketing decisions across geographic markets empirically. We begin with a linear-quadratic game involving forward-looking firms competing on prices and advertising. Based on the corresponding Markov perfect equilibrium, we propose estimable econometric equations for demand and marketing policy. Our model allows us to measure empirically the strategic response of competitors along with economic measures such as firm profitability. We use a rich da...

  9. Research of Dynamic Competitive Learning in Neural Networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    PAN Hao; CEN Li; ZHONG Luo

    2005-01-01

    Introduce a method of generation of new units within a cluster and a algorithm of generating new clusters.The model automatically builds up its dynamically growing internal representation structure during the learning process.Comparing model with other typical classification algorithm such as the Kohonen's self-organizing map, the model realizes a multilevel classification of the input pattern with an op tional accuracy and gives a strong support possibility for the parallel computational main processor. The idea is suitable for the high level storage of complex datas struetures for object recognition.

  10. Sperm preparation for fertilization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gadella, B.M.

    2014-01-01

    Description This book contains 19 chapters that discuss theoretical and applied andrology for domestic, zoo and wild animals. Topics include semen and its constituents; sperm production and harvest; determinants of sperm morphology; sperm preparation for fertilization; practical aspects of semen

  11. Competitive-cum-cooperative interfirm relations and dynamics in the Japanese semiconductor industry

    CERN Document Server

    Okada, Yoshitaka

    2000-01-01

    Japanese semiconductor firms are well known for obtaining dynamics in a short period of time and achieving even global leadership. A significant portion of their success are attributable to cooperative interfirm relations and the development of intermediate organizational structure based on long-term relationship between firms. The purpose of this book is to explain how interfirm relations contributed to their dynamics during the golden age of the semiconductor industry. Meanwhile this book clarifies the real source of dynamics in interfirm relations and how the firms have interacted. The author concludes that the competitive-cum-cooperative (CCC) interfirm interaction are observed. Quantitative and qualitative findings show that firms enjoy not only flexible cooperation based synergy effects, but also dynamics market-like effects by creating competition among partners through CCC interaction.

  12. Predation, Competition, and Abiotic Disturbance: Population Dynamics of Small Mammals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yunger, John A. [Northern Illinois U.

    1996-01-01

    Predation and food availability have been implicated in annual non-cyclic fluctuations of vertebrate prey at mid-latitudes. The timing and magnitude of these factors are unclear due to a lack of large-scale field experiments, little attention to interactions, and a failure to closely link vertebrate predators with their prey. From October 1992 to January 1996, small mammal populations were censused on eight 0.6 ha plots at monthly intervals in a 32-ha prairie restoration at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Illinois. Terrestrial vertebrate predators were excluded after July 1993 from four of the eight plots and canid diets monitored. Both terrestrial and avian vertebrate predators were excluded in March 1994. During 1993 small mammal densities (i.e., Microtus pennsylvanicus, Peromyscus leucopus, and P. maniculatus) were relatively high. Following peak densities in late summer, Microtus numbers were 2-3x greater on exclusion plots relative to controls due to preferential selection of Microtus by canids, as reflected in diets. Following an ice-storm and crash in small mammal numbers (particularly Microtus), vertebrate predator exclusion had no detectable effect on P. leucopus numbers, probably due to an abundance of alternative prey (i.e., Sylvilagus floridanus). Meadow vole numbers began to increase in Fall 1995, and a numerical effect of predator exclusion, similar to that in 1993, was observed. Predator exclusion had no detectable effect on the movements and spatial patterns of Microtus during 1993. There was a significant decrease in home range and a significant increase in home range overlap for £.. leucopus on the predator exclusion plots. The change in spatial behavior may be due to interspecific competition with Microtus resulting from increased densities on exclusion plots. Thus, predators had an indirect effect on .f.. leucopus spatial patterns mediated through M. pennsylvanicus. The role of food limitation was studied using natural and manipulative

  13. Predation, Competition, and Abiotic Disturbance: Population Dynamics of Small Mammals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yunger, John A.; /Northern Illinois U. /Northern Illinois U.

    1996-01-01

    Predation and food availability have been implicated in annual non-cyclic fluctuations of vertebrate prey at mid-latitudes. The timing and magnitude of these factors are unclear due to a lack of large-scale field experiments, little attention to interactions, and a failure to closely link vertebrate predators with their prey. From October 1992 to January 1996, small mammal populations were censused on eight 0.6 ha plots at monthly intervals in a 32-ha prairie restoration at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Illinois. Terrestrial vertebrate predators were excluded after July 1993 from four of the eight plots and canid diets monitored. Both terrestrial and avian vertebrate predators were excluded in March 1994. During 1993 small mammal densities (i.e., Microtus Pennsylvanicus, Peromyscus leucopus, and P. maniculatus) were relatively high. Following peak densities in late summer, Microtus numbers wer 2-3x greater on exclusion plots relative to controls due to preferential selection of Microtus by canids, as reflected in dits. Following an ice-storm and crash in small mammal numbers (particularly Microtus), vertebrate predator exclusion had no detectable effect on P. leucopus numbers, probably due to an abundance of alternative prey (i.e., Sylvilagus floridanus). Meadow vole numbers began to increase in Fall 1995, and a numerical effect of predator exclusion, similar to that in 1993, was observed. Predator exclusion had no detectable effect on the movements and spatial patterns of Microtus during 1993. There was a significant decrease in home range and a significant increase in home range overlap for P. leucopus on the predator exclusion plots. The change in spatial behavior may be due to interspecific competition with Microtus resulting from increased densities on exclusion plots. Thus, predators had an indirect effect on P. leucopus spatial patterns mediated through M. Pennsylvanicus. The role of food limitation was studied using natural and manipulative

  14. A network-based dynamical ranking system for competitive sports

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motegi, Shun; Masuda, Naoki

    2012-12-01

    From the viewpoint of networks, a ranking system for players or teams in sports is equivalent to a centrality measure for sports networks, whereby a directed link represents the result of a single game. Previously proposed network-based ranking systems are derived from static networks, i.e., aggregation of the results of games over time. However, the score of a player (or team) fluctuates over time. Defeating a renowned player in the peak performance is intuitively more rewarding than defeating the same player in other periods. To account for this factor, we propose a dynamic variant of such a network-based ranking system and apply it to professional men's tennis data. We derive a set of linear online update equations for the score of each player. The proposed ranking system predicts the outcome of the future games with a higher accuracy than the static counterparts.

  15. Inter-species competition-facilitation in stochastic riparian vegetation dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tealdi, Stefano; Camporeale, Carlo; Ridolfi, Luca

    2013-02-07

    Riparian vegetation is a highly dynamic community that lives on river banks and which depends to a great extent on the fluvial hydrology. The stochasticity of the discharge and erosion/deposition processes in fact play a key role in determining the distribution of vegetation along a riparian transect. These abiotic processes interact with biotic competition/facilitation mechanisms, such as plant competition for light, water, and nutrients. In this work, we focus on the dynamics of plants characterized by three components: (1) stochastic forcing due to river discharges, (2) competition for resources, and (3) inter-species facilitation due to the interplay between vegetation and fluid dynamics processes. A minimalist stochastic bio-hydrological model is proposed for the dynamics of the biomass of two vegetation species: one species is assumed dominant and slow-growing, the other is subdominant, but fast-growing. The stochastic model is solved analytically and the probability density function of the plant biomasses is obtained as a function of both the hydrologic and biologic parameters. The impact of the competition/facilitation processes on the distribution of vegetation species along the riparian transect is investigated and remarkable effects are observed. Finally, a good qualitative agreement is found between the model results and field data. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. The Dynamics of Bertrand Price Competition with Cost-Reducing Investments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Iskhakov, Fedor; Rust, John; Schjerning, Bertel

    2018-01-01

    We extend the classic Bertrand duopoly model of price competition to a dynamic setting where competing duopolists invest in a stochastically improving production technology to “leapfrog” their rival and attain temporary low cost leadership. We find a huge multiplicity of Markov perfect equilibria...

  17. Strategy Dynamics through a Demand-Based Lens: The Evolution of Market Boundaries, Resource Rents and Competitive Positions

    OpenAIRE

    Adner, Ron; Zemsky, Peter

    2003-01-01

    We develop a novel approach to the dynamics of business strategy that is grounded in an explicit treatment of consumer choice when technologies improve over time. We address the evolution of market boundaries, resource rents and competitive positions by adapting models of competition with differentiated products. Our model is consistent with the central strategy assertion that competitive interactions are governed by superior value creation and competitive advantage. More importantly, it show...

  18. Dominance dynamics of competition between intrinsic and extrinsic grouping cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luna, Dolores; Villalba-García, Cristina; Montoro, Pedro R; Hinojosa, José A

    2016-10-01

    In the present study we examined the dominance dynamics of perceptual grouping cues. We used a paradigm in which participants selectively attended to perceptual groups based on several grouping cues in different blocks of trials. In each block, single and competing grouping cues were presented under different exposure durations (50, 150 or 350ms). Using this procedure, intrinsic vs. intrinsic cues (i.e. proximity and shape similarity) were compared in Experiment 1; extrinsic vs. extrinsic cues (i.e. common region and connectedness) in Experiment 2; and intrinsic vs. extrinsic cues (i.e. common region and shape similarity) in Experiment 3. The results showed that in Experiment 1, no dominance of any grouping cue was found: shape similarity and proximity grouping cues showed similar reaction times (RTs) and interference effects. In contrast, in Experiments 2 and 3, common region dominated processing: (i) RTs to common region were shorter than those to connectedness (Exp. 2) or shape similarity (Exp. 3); and (ii) when the grouping cues competed, common region interfered with connectedness (Exp. 2) and shape similarity (Exp. 3) more than vice versa. The results showed that the exposure duration of stimuli only affected the connectedness grouping cue. An important result of our experiments indicates that when two grouping cues compete, both the non-attended intrinsic cue in Experiment 1, and the non-dominant extrinsic cue in Experiments 2 and 3, are still perceived and they are not completely lost. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Competitive dynamics of lexical innovations in multi-layer networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javarone, Marco Alberto

    2014-04-01

    We study the introduction of lexical innovations into a community of language users. Lexical innovations, i.e. new term added to people's vocabulary, plays an important role in the process of language evolution. Nowadays, information is spread through a variety of networks, including, among others, online and offline social networks and the World Wide Web. The entire system, comprising networks of different nature, can be represented as a multi-layer network. In this context, lexical innovations diffusion occurs in a peculiar fashion. In particular, a lexical innovation can undergo three different processes: its original meaning is accepted; its meaning can be changed or misunderstood (e.g. when not properly explained), hence more than one meaning can emerge in the population. Lastly, in the case of a loan word, it can be translated into the population language (i.e. defining a new lexical innovation or using a synonym) or into a dialect spoken by part of the population. Therefore, lexical innovations cannot be considered simply as information. We develop a model for analyzing this scenario using a multi-layer network comprising a social network and a media network. The latter represents the set of all information systems of a society, e.g. television, the World Wide Web and radio. Furthermore, we identify temporal directed edges between the nodes of these two networks. In particular, at each time-step, nodes of the media network can be connected to randomly chosen nodes of the social network and vice versa. In doing so, information spreads through the whole system and people can share a lexical innovation with their neighbors or, in the event they work as reporters, by using media nodes. Lastly, we use the concept of "linguistic sign" to model lexical innovations, showing its fundamental role in the study of these dynamics. Many numerical simulations have been performed to analyze the proposed model and its outcomes.

  20. Mutual and asynchronous anticipation and action in sports as globally competitive and locally coordinative dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujii, Keisuke; Isaka, Tadao; Kouzaki, Motoki; Yamamoto, Yuji

    2015-11-01

    Humans interact by changing their actions, perceiving other’s actions and executing solutions in conflicting situations. Using oscillator models, nonlinear dynamics have been considered for describing these complex human movements as an emergence of self-organisation. However, these frameworks cannot explain the hierarchical structures of complex behaviours between conflicting inter-agent and adapting intra-agent systems, especially in sport competitions wherein mutually quick decision making and execution are required. Here we adopt a hybrid multiscale approach to model an attack-and-defend game during which both players predict the opponent’s movement and move with a delay. From both simulated and measured data, one synchronous outcome between two-agent (i.e. successful defence) can be described as one attractor. In contrast, the other coordination-breaking outcome (i.e. successful attack) cannot be explained using gradient dynamics because the asymmetric interaction cannot always assume a conserved physical quantity. Instead, we provide the asymmetric and asynchronous hierarchical dynamical models to discuss two-agent competition. Our framework suggests that possessing information about an opponent and oneself in local-coordinative and global-competitive scale enables us to gain a deeper understanding of sports competitions. We anticipate developments in the scientific fields of complex movement adapting to such uncontrolled environments.

  1. Local and global dynamics in a duopoly with price competition and market share delegation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fanti, Luciano; Gori, Luca; Mammana, Cristiana; Michetti, Elisabetta

    2014-01-01

    This paper aims at studying a nonlinear dynamic duopoly model with price competition and horizontal product differentiation augmented with managerial firms, where managers behave according to market share delegation contracts. Ownership and management are then separate and managers are paid through adequate incentives in order to achieve a competitive advantage in the market. In this context, we show that complexity arises, related both to the structure of the attractors of the system and the structure of their basins, as multistability occurs. The study is conducted by combining analytical and numerical techniques, and aims at showing that slight different initial conditions may cause very different long-term outcomes

  2. The articulation of Mexico into the dynamics of competition of the North American natural gas market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elizalde Baltierra, A.

    2002-07-01

    Deregulation is at the origin of the new dynamics of competition in the natural gas industry. The United States and Canada were the pioneer countries to suffer these changes. In fact, their natural gas markets today function in a very similar way: i) the private sector takes a place as large as possible, and ii)competition is developed within the three segments of the gas value, especially at the upstream level (emergence of hubs, spot and financial markets,...). In Mexico, its downstream gas activities (transportation, storage and distribution) were liberalized in 1995 in order to attract private investments and to develop the gas sector that has historically been operated under State control. Gas upstream operations remain reserved by the Constitution to the national oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX). This thesis develops an evaluation framework of the articulation of Mexico into the dynamics of competition of the North American natural gas market, based on the structure-conduct-performance paradigm. In the first part, all North American's natural gas industries base conditions are analyzed. We examine in the second part, the deregulation and articulation of the dynamics of competition of the American and Canadian gas industries. Finally, in the third part we analyze the main elements of the articulation of Mexico into the dynamics of competition of United States and Canada's gas industries. Furthermore, we evaluate the impact of three of these elements (the economic growth, the electric power generation sector and eventually opening to private investments of gas upstream activities) on the adjustment of gas supply and demand in Mexico to the year 2020. (author)

  3. Long-term competitive dynamics of two cryptic rotifer species: diapause and fluctuating conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Gabaldón

    Full Text Available Life-history traits may have an important role in promoting species coexistence. However, the complexity of certain life cycles makes it difficult to draw conclusions about the conditions for coexistence or exclusion based on the study of short-term competitive dynamics. Brachionus plicatilis and B. manjavacasare two cryptic rotifer species co-occurring in many lakes on the Iberian Peninsula. They have a complex life cycle in which cyclical parthenogenesis occurs with diapausing stages being the result of sexual reproduction. B. plicatilis and B. manjavacasare identical in morphology and size, their biotic niches are broadly overlapping, and they have similar competitive abilities. However, the species differ in life-history traits involving sexual reproduction and diapause, and respond differently to salinity and temperature. As in the case of certain other species that are extremely similar in morphology, a fluctuating environment are considered to be important for their coexistence. We studied the long-term competitive dynamics of B. plicatilis and B. manjavacas under different salinity regimes (constant and fluctuating. Moreover, we focused on the dynamics of the diapausing egg bank to explore how the outcome of the entire life cycle of these rotifers can work to mediate stable coexistence. We demonstrated that these species do not coexist under constant-salinity environment, as the outcome of competition is affected by the level of salinity-at low salinity, B. plicatilis excluded B. manjavacas, and the opposite outcome occurred at high salinity. Competitive dynamics under fluctuating salinity showed that the dominance of one species over the other also tended to fluctuate. The duration of co-occurrence of these species was favoured by salinity fluctuation and perhaps by the existence of a diapausing egg bank. Stable coexistence was not found in our system, which suggests that other factors or other salinity fluctuation patterns might act as

  4. Long-term competitive dynamics of two cryptic rotifer species: diapause and fluctuating conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabaldón, Carmen; Carmona, María José; Montero-Pau, Javier; Serra, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Life-history traits may have an important role in promoting species coexistence. However, the complexity of certain life cycles makes it difficult to draw conclusions about the conditions for coexistence or exclusion based on the study of short-term competitive dynamics. Brachionus plicatilis and B. manjavacasare two cryptic rotifer species co-occurring in many lakes on the Iberian Peninsula. They have a complex life cycle in which cyclical parthenogenesis occurs with diapausing stages being the result of sexual reproduction. B. plicatilis and B. manjavacasare identical in morphology and size, their biotic niches are broadly overlapping, and they have similar competitive abilities. However, the species differ in life-history traits involving sexual reproduction and diapause, and respond differently to salinity and temperature. As in the case of certain other species that are extremely similar in morphology, a fluctuating environment are considered to be important for their coexistence. We studied the long-term competitive dynamics of B. plicatilis and B. manjavacas under different salinity regimes (constant and fluctuating). Moreover, we focused on the dynamics of the diapausing egg bank to explore how the outcome of the entire life cycle of these rotifers can work to mediate stable coexistence. We demonstrated that these species do not coexist under constant-salinity environment, as the outcome of competition is affected by the level of salinity-at low salinity, B. plicatilis excluded B. manjavacas, and the opposite outcome occurred at high salinity. Competitive dynamics under fluctuating salinity showed that the dominance of one species over the other also tended to fluctuate. The duration of co-occurrence of these species was favoured by salinity fluctuation and perhaps by the existence of a diapausing egg bank. Stable coexistence was not found in our system, which suggests that other factors or other salinity fluctuation patterns might act as stabilizing

  5. Did residential electricity rates fall after retail competition? A dynamic panel analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swadley, Adam; Yücel, Mine

    2011-01-01

    A key selling point for the restructuring of electricity markets was the promise of lower prices. There is not much consensus in earlier studies on the effects of electricity deregulation in the U.S., particularly for residential customers. Part of the reason for not finding a consistent link with deregulation and lower prices was that the removal of transitional price caps led to higher prices. In addition, the timing of the removal of price caps coincided with rising fuel prices, which were passed on to consumers in a competitive market. Using a dynamic panel model, we analyze the effect of participation rates, fuel costs, market size, a rate cap and switch to competition for 16 states and the District of Columbia. We find that an increase in participation rates, price controls, a larger market, and high shares of hydro in electricity generation lower retail prices, while increases in natural gas and coal prices increase rates. We also find that retail competition makes the market more efficient by lowering the markup of retail prices over wholesale costs. The effects of a competitive retail electricity market are mixed across states, but generally appear to lower prices in states with high participation rates. - Highlights: ► We analyze the effects of retail competition in electricity markets on residential retail prices. ► Analysis carried out using a dynamic panel model; monthly data for 17 U.S. states. ► More customer participation and larger market lead to lower prices. ► Higher fuel costs increase retail prices, but with a lag. ► Retail competition leads to a more efficient electricity market.

  6. Competitive marketing strategies: tools for enhancing value in the dynamic world of business

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ph. D. Kehinde Oladele Joseph

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Developing solid competitive marketing strategies in order to contribute towards long-term sustainable success, has become imperative today for every success driven organization. The paper examines a number of Competitive Strategies, whitch have become string tools for enhancing value in the Nigerian Telecommunication industry.Thr objectives of the paper among others are to (iExamine whether there is any relationship between the use ao competitive marketing strategies and business success and(ii Find out whether the various competitive marketing strategies used by Nigerian telecommunication firms have effects on rival companies, among others.The paper uses survey method with two hypotheses stated in the null form, with structured questionnaire,which were,distributed among the sampled respondents who are secondary school teachers in Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo states of Nigeria.Results were analyzed with the aid of correlation test statistics.Findings show that there is significant positive relationship between the use of competitive Marketing Strategies and Business Success.Finding also reveals that the various Competitive Strategiea used by players have effects on other competitors. The paper makesvarious policy recommendtions,which operators in the Nigerian Telecomunication Industry will find useful, if faithfully implemented. These include the need for firms to constantly engage in research to meet the changing needs of their esteemed Customers. Companies must identify where they could have competitive advantage over their Competitors and that Companies must render quality Service and try to constantly improve their offers in the face of changing market Dynamics, amongst others.

  7. Periodic dynamics of delayed Lotka–Volterra competition systems with discontinuous harvesting policies via differential inclusions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cai, Zuowei; Huang, Lihong

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • A more practical form of harvesting management policy (DHP) has been proposed. • We analyze the periodic dynamics of a class of discontinuous and delayed Lotka–Volterra competition systems. • We present a new method to obtain the existence of positive periodic solutions via differential inclusions. • The global convergence in measure of harvesting solution is discussed. -- Abstract: This paper considers a general class of delayed Lotka–Volterra competition systems where the harvesting policies are modeled by discontinuous functions or by non-Lipschitz functions. By means of differential inclusions theory, cone expansion and compression fixed point theorem of multi-valued maps and nonsmooth analysis theory with generalized Lyapunov approach, a series of useful criteria on existence, uniqueness and global asymptotic stability of the positive periodic solution is established for the delayed Lotka–Volterra competition systems with discontinuous right-hand sides. Moreover, the global convergence in measure of harvesting solution is discussed. Our results improve and extend previous works on periodic dynamics of delayed Lotka–Volterra competition systems with not only continuous or even Lipschitz continuous but also discontinuous harvesting functions. Finally, we give some corollaries and numerical examples to show the applicability and effectiveness of the proposed criteria

  8. The dynamic consequences of cooperation and competition in small-world networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iván Y Fernández-Rosales

    Full Text Available We present a study of the social dynamics among cooperative and competitive actors interacting on a complex network that has a small-world topology. In this model, the state of each actor depends on its previous state in time, its inertia to change, and the influence of its neighboring actors. Using numerical simulations, we determine how the distribution of final states of the actors and measures of the distances between the values of the actors at local and global levels, depend on the number of cooperative to competitive actors and the connectivity of the actors in the network. We find that similar numbers of cooperative and competitive actors yield the lowest values for the local and global measures of the distances between the values of the actors. On the other hand, when the number of either cooperative or competitive actors dominate the system, then the divergence is largest between the values of the actors. Our findings make new testable predictions on how the dynamics of a conflict depends on the strategies chosen by groups of actors and also have implications for the evolution of behaviors.

  9. The neural dynamics of competition resolution for language production in the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourguignon, Nicolas J; Ohashi, Hiroki; Nguyen, Don; Gracco, Vincent L

    2018-03-01

    Previous research suggests a pivotal role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in word selection during tasks of confrontation naming (CN) and verb generation (VG), both of which feature varying degrees of competition between candidate responses. However, discrepancies in prefrontal activity have also been reported between the two tasks, in particular more widespread and intense activation in VG extending into (left) ventrolateral PFC, the functional significance of which remains unclear. We propose that these variations reflect differences in competition resolution processes tied to distinct underlying lexico-semantic operations: Although CN involves selecting lexical entries out of limited sets of alternatives, VG requires exploration of possible semantic relations not readily evident from the object itself, requiring prefrontal areas previously shown to be recruited in top-down retrieval of information from lexico-semantic memory. We tested this hypothesis through combined independent component analysis of functional imaging data and information-theoretic measurements of variations in selection competition associated with participants' performance in overt CN and VG tasks. Selection competition during CN engaged the anterior insula and surrounding opercular tissue, while competition during VG recruited additional activity of left ventrolateral PFC. These patterns remained after controlling for participants' speech onset latencies indicative of possible task differences in mental effort. These findings have implications for understanding the neural-computational dynamics of cognitive control in language production and how it relates to the functional architecture of adaptive behavior. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Dynamic aggregation evolution of competitive societies of cooperative and noncooperative agents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin Zhen-Quan; Ye Gao-Xiang

    2013-01-01

    We propose an evolution model of cooperative agent and noncooperative agent aggregates to investigate the dynamic evolution behaviors of the system and the effects of the competing microscopic reactions on the dynamic evolution. In this model, each cooperative agent and noncooperative agent are endowed with integer values of cooperative spirits and noncooperative spirits, respectively. The cooperative spirits of a cooperative agent aggregate and the noncooperative spirits of a noncooperative agent aggregate change via four competing microscopic reaction schemes: the win-win reaction between two cooperative agents, the lose-lose reaction between two noncooperative agents, the win-lose reaction between a cooperative agent and a noncooperative agent (equivalent to the migration of spirits from cooperative agents to noncooperative agents), and the cooperative agent catalyzed decline of noncooperative spirits. Based on the generalized Smoluchowski's rate equation approach, we investigate the dynamic evolution behaviors such as the total cooperative spirits of all cooperative agents and the total noncooperative spirits of all noncooperative agents. The effects of the three main groups of competition on the dynamic evolution are revealed. These include: (i) the competition between the lose-lose reaction and the win-lose reaction, which gives rise to respectively the decrease and increase in the noncooperative agent spirits; (ii) the competition between the win-win reaction and the win-lose reaction, which gives rise to respectively the increase and decrease in the cooperative agent spirits; (iii) the competition between the win-lose reaction and the catalyzed-decline reaction, which gives rise to respectively the increase and decrease in the noncooperative agent spirits. (interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

  11. Mating duration and sperm precedence in the spider Linyphia triangularis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weldingh, Ditte L.; Toft, Søren; Larsen, Ole Næsbye

    2011-01-01

    , especially the males, are able to influence the outcome of mating for their own benefit. We studied the linyphiid spider Linyphia triangularis in which mating follows a strict sequence during which the male inducts two droplets of sperm and transfers them to the female. We performed sperm competition...

  12. The roles of competition and habitat in the dynamics of populations and species distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yackulic, Charles Brandon; Reid, Janice; Nichols, James D.; Hines, James E.; Davis, Raymond; Forsman, Eric

    2014-01-01

    The role of competition in structuring biotic communities at fine spatial scales is well known from detailed process-based studies. Our understanding of competition's importance at broader scales is less resolved and mainly based on static species distribution maps. Here, we bridge this gap by examining the joint occupancy dynamics of an invading (barred owl: Strix varia) and a resident species (Northern spotted owl: Strix occidentalis caurina) in a 1000 km2 study area over a 22 - year period. Past studies of these competitors have focused on the dynamics of one species at a time, hindering efforts to parse out the roles of habitat and competition and to forecast the future of the resident species. In addition, while these studies accounted for the imperfect detection of the focal species, no multiseason analysis of these species has accounted for the imperfect detection of the secondary species, potentially biasing inference. We analyze survey data using models that combine the general multistate-multiseason occupancy modeling framework with autologistic modeling - allowing us to account for important aspects of our study system. We find that local extinction probability increases for each species when the other is present; however, the effect of the invader on the resident is greater. Although the species prefer different habitats, these habitats are highly correlated at the patch scale and the impacts of invader on the resident are greatest in patches that would otherwise be optimal. As a consequence, competition leads to a weaker relationship between habitat and Northern spotted owl occupancy. Colonization and extinction rates of the invader are closely related to neighborhood occupancy, and over the first half of the study the availability of colonists limited the rate of population growth. Competition is likely to exclude the resident species both through its immediate effects on local extinction, and by indirectly lowering colonization rates as Northern

  13. The roles of competition and habitat in the dynamics of populations and species distributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yackulic, Charles B; Reid, Janice; Nichols, James D; Hines, James E; Davis, Raymond; Forsman, Eric

    2014-02-01

    The role of competition in structuring biotic communities at fine spatial scales is well known from detailed process-based studies. Our understanding of competition's importance at broader scales is less resolved and mainly based on static species distribution maps. Here, we bridge this gap by examining the joint occupancy dynamics of an invading species (Barred Owl, Strix varia) and a resident species (Northern Spotted Owl, Strix occidentalis caurina) in a 1000-km study area over a 22-year period. Past studies of these competitors have focused on the dynamics of one species at a time, hindering efforts to parse out the roles of habitat and competition and to forecast the future of the resident species. In addition, while these studies accounted for the imperfect detection of the focal species, no multi-season analysis of these species has accounted for the imperfect detection of the secondary species, potentially biasing inference. We analyzed survey data using models that combine the general multistate-multi-season occupancy modeling framework with autologistic modeling, allowing us to account for important aspects of our study system. We found that local extinction probability increases for each species when the other is present; however, the effect of the invader on the resident is greater. Although the species prefer different habitats, these habitats are highly correlated at the patch scale, and the impacts of invader on the resident are greatest in patches that would otherwise be optimal. As a consequence, competition leads to a weaker relationship between habitat and Northern Spotted Owl occupancy. Colonization and extinction rates of the invader are closely related to neighborhood occupancy, and over the first half of the study the availability of colonists limited the rate of population growth. Competition is likely to exclude the resident species, both through its immediate effects on local extinction and by indirectly lowering colonization rates as

  14. The Dynamics of Bertrand Price Competition with Cost-Reducing Investments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Iskhakov, Fedor; Rust, John; Schjerning, Bertel

    We present a dynamic extension of the classic static model of Bertrand price competition that allows competing duopolists to undertake cost-reducing investments in an attempt to “leapfrog” their rival to attain low-cost leadership – at least temporarily. We show that leapfrogging occurs in equili......We present a dynamic extension of the classic static model of Bertrand price competition that allows competing duopolists to undertake cost-reducing investments in an attempt to “leapfrog” their rival to attain low-cost leadership – at least temporarily. We show that leapfrogging occurs...... in equilibrium, resolving the Bertrand investment paradox., i.e. leapfrogging explains why firms have an ex ante incentive to undertake cost-reducing investments even though they realize that simultaneous investments to acquire the state of the art production technology would result in Bertrand price competition...... leader. We show that the equilibrium involves investment preemption only when the firms invest in a deterministically alternating fashion and technological progress is deterministic. We prove that when technological progress is deterministic and firms move in an alternating fashion, the game has a unique...

  15. Modeling cytoskeletal flow over adhesion sites: competition between stochastic bond dynamics and intracellular relaxation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sabass, Benedikt; Schwarz, Ulrich S

    2010-01-01

    In migrating cells, retrograde flow of the actin cytoskeleton is related to traction at adhesion sites located at the base of the lamellipodium. The coupling between the moving cytoskeleton and the stationary adhesions is mediated by the continuous association and dissociation of molecular bonds. We introduce a simple model for the competition between the stochastic dynamics of elastic bonds at the moving interface and relaxation within the moving actin cytoskeleton represented by an internal viscous friction coefficient. Using exact stochastic simulations and an analytical mean field theory, we show that the stochastic bond dynamics lead to biphasic friction laws as observed experimentally. At low internal dissipation, stochastic bond dynamics lead to a regime of irregular stick-and-slip motion. High internal dissipation effectively suppresses cooperative effects among bonds and hence stabilizes the adhesion.

  16. Dynamical behaviors determined by the Lyapunov function in competitive Lotka-Volterra systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Ying; Yuan, Ruoshi; Ma, Yian

    2013-01-01

    Dynamical behaviors of the competitive Lotka-Volterra system even for 3 species are not fully understood. In this paper, we study this problem from the perspective of the Lyapunov function. We construct explicitly the Lyapunov function using three examples of the competitive Lotka-Volterra system for the whole state space: (1) the general 2-species case, (2) a 3-species model, and (3) the model of May-Leonard. The basins of attraction for these examples are demonstrated, including cases with bistability and cyclical behavior. The first two examples are the generalized gradient system, where the energy dissipation may not follow the gradient of the Lyapunov function. In addition, under a new type of stochastic interpretation, the Lyapunov function also leads to the Boltzmann-Gibbs distribution on the final steady state when multiplicative noise is added.

  17. Impact of competitive flow on wall shear stress in coronary surgery: computational fluid dynamics of a LIMA-LAD model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordgaard, Håvard; Swillens, Abigail; Nordhaug, Dag; Kirkeby-Garstad, Idar; Van Loo, Denis; Vitale, Nicola; Segers, Patrick; Haaverstad, Rune; Lovstakken, Lasse

    2010-12-01

    Competitive flow from native coronary vessels is considered a major factor in the failure of coronary bypass grafts. However, the pathophysiological effects are not fully understood. Low and oscillatory wall shear stress (WSS) is known to induce endothelial dysfunction and vascular disease, like atherosclerosis and intimal hyperplasia. The aim was to investigate the impact of competitive flow on WSS in mammary artery bypass grafts. Using computational fluid dynamics, WSS was calculated in a left internal mammary artery (LIMA) graft to the left anterior descending artery in a three-dimensional in vivo porcine coronary artery bypass graft model. The following conditions were investigated: high competitive flow (non-significant coronary lesion), partial competitive flow (significant coronary lesion), and no competitive flow (totally occluded coronary vessel). Time-averaged WSS of LIMA at high, partial, and no competitive flow were 0.3-0.6, 0.6-3.0, and 0.9-3.0 Pa, respectively. Further, oscillatory WSS quantified as the oscillatory shear index (OSI) ranged from (maximum OSI = 0.5 equals zero net WSS) 0.15 to 0.35, OSI similar to the no competitive flow condition. Graft flow is highly dependent on the degree of competitive flow. High competitive flow was found to produce unfavourable WSS consistent with endothelial dysfunction and subsequent graft narrowing and failure. Partial competitive flow, however, may be better tolerated as it was found to be similar to the ideal condition of no competitive flow.

  18. Low Sperm Count

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... that the fluid (semen) you ejaculate during an orgasm contains fewer sperm than normal. A low sperm ... ejaculation occurs when semen enters the bladder during orgasm instead of emerging out of the tip of ...

  19. Adaptive dynamics of competition for nutritionally complementary resources: character convergence, displacement, and parallelism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasseur, David A; Fox, Jeremy W

    2011-10-01

    Consumers acquire essential nutrients by ingesting the tissues of resource species. When these tissues contain essential nutrients in a suboptimal ratio, consumers may benefit from ingesting a mixture of nutritionally complementary resource species. We investigate the joint ecological and evolutionary consequences of competition for complementary resources, using an adaptive dynamics model of two consumers and two resources that differ in their relative content of two essential nutrients. In the absence of competition, a nutritionally balanced diet rarely maximizes fitness because of the dynamic feedbacks between uptake rate and resource density, whereas in sympatry, nutritionally balanced diets maximize fitness because competing consumers with different nutritional requirements tend to equalize the relative abundances of the two resources. Adaptation from allopatric to sympatric fitness optima can generate character convergence, divergence, and parallel shifts, depending not on the degree of diet overlap but on the match between resource nutrient content and consumer nutrient requirements. Contrary to previous verbal arguments that suggest that character convergence leads to neutral stability, coadaptation of competing consumers always leads to stable coexistence. Furthermore, we show that incorporating costs of consuming or excreting excess nonlimiting nutrients selects for nutritionally balanced diets and so promotes character convergence. This article demonstrates that resource-use overlap has little bearing on coexistence when resources are nutritionally complementary, and it highlights the importance of using mathematical models to infer the stability of ecoevolutionary dynamics.

  20. Ascidian Sperm Lysin System

    OpenAIRE

    Hitoshi, Sawada; Department of Biochemistry, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hokkaido University

    2002-01-01

    Fertilization is a precisely controlled process involving many gamete molecules in sperm binding to and penetration through the extracellular matrix of the egg. After sperm bind to the extracellular matrix (vitelline coat), they undergo the acrosome reaction which exposes and partially releases a lytic agent called "lysin" to digest the vitelline coat for the sperm penetration. The vitelline coat sperm lysin is generally a protease in deuterostomes. The molecular mechanism of the actual degra...

  1. Dynamic International Competitiveness of Transition Economies. What do trade figures tell us? The case of Poland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jørgen Ulff-Møller

    This paper shows that the reform on the structures of the Polish economy has had an impressively fast effect on the numbers of different products this country exports to Western countries. The time path may well be described by a logistic curve. The change in the exports of this country may...... therefore be characterised by a widening, instead of a deepening in specialisation. The paper introduces a new empirical methodology to evaluate the dynamic changes in export activities of a country. The result of this new methodology is that quality competition is becoming increasingly important for Poland...

  2. Dynamics of Competition between Subnetworks of Spiking Neuronal Networks in the Balanced State.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagzi, Fereshteh; Rotter, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    We explore and analyze the nonlinear switching dynamics of neuronal networks with non-homogeneous connectivity. The general significance of such transient dynamics for brain function is unclear; however, for instance decision-making processes in perception and cognition have been implicated with it. The network under study here is comprised of three subnetworks of either excitatory or inhibitory leaky integrate-and-fire neurons, of which two are of the same type. The synaptic weights are arranged to establish and maintain a balance between excitation and inhibition in case of a constant external drive. Each subnetwork is randomly connected, where all neurons belonging to a particular population have the same in-degree and the same out-degree. Neurons in different subnetworks are also randomly connected with the same probability; however, depending on the type of the pre-synaptic neuron, the synaptic weight is scaled by a factor. We observed that for a certain range of the "within" versus "between" connection weights (bifurcation parameter), the network activation spontaneously switches between the two sub-networks of the same type. This kind of dynamics has been termed "winnerless competition", which also has a random component here. In our model, this phenomenon is well described by a set of coupled stochastic differential equations of Lotka-Volterra type that imply a competition between the subnetworks. The associated mean-field model shows the same dynamical behavior as observed in simulations of large networks comprising thousands of spiking neurons. The deterministic phase portrait is characterized by two attractors and a saddle node, its stochastic component is essentially given by the multiplicative inherent noise of the system. We find that the dwell time distribution of the active states is exponential, indicating that the noise drives the system randomly from one attractor to the other. A similar model for a larger number of populations might suggest a

  3. Plant nitrogen dynamics and nitrogen-use strategies under altered nitrogen seasonality and competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Zhiyou; Liu, Weixing; Niu, Shuli; Wan, Shiqiang

    2007-10-01

    Numerous studies have examined the effects of climatic factors on the distribution of C(3) and C(4) grasses in various regions throughout the world, but the role of seasonal fluctuations in temperature, precipitation and soil N availability in regulating growth and competition of these two functional types is still not well understood. This report is about the effects of seasonality of soil N availability and competition on plant N dynamics and N-use strategies of one C(3) (Leymus chinensis) and one C(4) (Chloris virgata) grass species. Leymus chinensis and C. virgata, two grass species native to the temperate steppe in northern China, were planted in a monoculture and a mixture under three different N seasonal availabilities: an average model (AM) with N evenly distributed over the growing season; a one-peak model (OM) with more N in summer than in spring and autumn; and a two-peak model (TM) with more N in spring and autumn than in summer. The results showed that the altered N seasonality changed plant N concentration, with the highest value of L. chinensis under the OM treatment and C. virgata under the TM treatment, respectively. N seasonality also affected plant N content, N productivity and N-resorption efficiency and proficiency in both the C(3) and C(4) species. Interspecific competition influenced N-use and resorption efficiency in both the C(3) and C(4) species, with higher N-use and resorption efficiency in the mixture than in monoculture. The C(4) grass had higher N-use efficiency than the C(3) grass due to its higher N productivity, irrespective of the N treatment or competition. The observations suggest that N-use strategies in the C(3) and C(4) species used in the study were closely related to seasonal dynamics of N supply and competition. N seasonality might be involved in the growth and temporal niche separation between C(3) and C(4) species observed in the natural ecosystems.

  4. Gamma irradiation effects on the adult stage, mating competitiveness and sperm activity of the lesser grain borer beetle, Rhizopertha Dominica F

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahmed, M.Y.Y.; Salem, Y.S.; El-Kady, E.A.; Gharib, O.H.

    1985-01-01

    Effects of gamma radiation dosages between 4 and 22 Krad on the adult stage of the lesser grain borer beetle, Rhizopertha Dominica F. were studied. Adult females were more sensitive to the sterilizing effects of gamma radiation than were males. Males of R. Dominica irradiated (I) as full grown pupae with 20 Krad were sterile. Males treated similarly and confined with unirradiated (U) males and females at a ratio of 1:1:1 caused 42.2% of the eggs produced to be infertile; increasing the ratio 20:1:1 caused 97.1% infertile eggs. Males and females both treated with a sterilizing dose (20 Krad) as pupae and confined with U adults at a ratio of 1:1:1 caused 43.3% infertility in the resulting eggs. When the ratio of sterile males and females was increased to 5:5:1:1, 10:10:1:1 or 15:15:1 (I:U:U), the percentage infertility reached 83.8, 93.9 and 100.0% respectively. The percentage of actual infertility was less than the expected infertility for the ratios 1:1:1:1, 5:5:1:1 and 10:10:1:1 but was exceeded with the highest ratio used (15:15:1:1). The competitiveness value for this flooding ratio was 1.00. Replacing U male by I male decreased the egg hatchability, which indicates that I male were able to negate previous insemination by U male. Insemination by U female could nullify insemination by I males

  5. Modeling viral coevolution: HIV multi-clonal persistence and competition dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagnoli, F.; Liò, P.; Sguanci, L.

    2006-07-01

    The coexistence of different viral strains (quasispecies) within the same host are nowadays observed for a growing number of viruses, most notably HIV, Marburg and Ebola, but the conditions for the formation and survival of new strains have not yet been understood. We present a model of HIV quasispecies competition, which describes the conditions of viral quasispecies coexistence under different immune system conditions. Our model incorporates both T and B cells responses, and we show that the role of B cells is important and additive to that of T cells. Simulations of coinfection (simultaneous infection) and superinfection (delayed secondary infection) scenarios in the early stages (days) and in the late stages of the infection (years) are in agreement with emerging molecular biology findings. The immune response induces a competition among similar phenotypes, leading to differentiation (quasispeciation), escape dynamics and complex oscillations of viral strain abundance. We found that the quasispecies dynamics after superinfection or coinfection has time scales of several months and becomes even slower when the immune system response is weak. Our model represents a general framework to study the speed and distribution of HIV quasispecies during disease progression, vaccination and therapy.

  6. Rogue sperm indicate sexually antagonistic coevolution in nematodes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald E Ellis

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Intense reproductive competition often continues long after animals finish mating. In many species, sperm from one male compete with those from others to find and fertilize oocytes. Since this competition occurs inside the female reproductive tract, she often influences the outcome through physical or chemical factors, leading to cryptic female choice. Finally, traits that help males compete with each other are sometimes harmful to females, and female countermeasures may thwart the interests of males, which can lead to an arms race between the sexes known as sexually antagonistic coevolution. New studies from Caenorhabditis nematodes suggest that males compete with each other by producing sperm that migrate aggressively and that these sperm may be more likely to win access to oocytes. However, one byproduct of this competition appears to be an increased probability that these sperm will go astray, invading the ovary, prematurely activating oocytes, and sometimes crossing basement membranes and leaving the gonad altogether. These harmful effects are sometimes observed in crosses between animals of the same species but are most easily detected in interspecies crosses, leading to dramatically lowered fitness, presumably because the competitiveness of the sperm and the associated female countermeasures are not precisely matched. This mismatch is most obvious in crosses involving individuals from androdioecious species (which have both hermaphrodites and males, as predicted by the lower levels of sperm competition these species experience. These results suggest a striking example of sexually antagonistic coevolution and dramatically expand the value of nematodes as a laboratory system for studying postcopulatory interactions.

  7. The dynamics of competitive activity performance of the strongest athletes in the world during the Olympic year

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rabin Muhammad Fahmi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The paper scrutinizes the annual dynamics of competitive activity performance of prize winners in track and field of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro. The studies performed allow to identify two basic strategies of participation of elite athletes in the competitions. The first implies a strong focus on achieving the best results in major competitions of the year. It is used by most of the strongest athletes in the world. The second focuses the athlete on the effective combination of competitive activity in major competitions of the year (the Olympics and World Championships and in the Diamond League. As shown by the experience of the best sports practice, only a limited number of athletes manage to implement the latter strategy. The methodological approaches to planning competitive activity during the year are identified. The first involves the rational allocation of the optimal number of competitions throughout the year, the second focuses on preparatory competitive activities of a fairly high intensity, and the third involves the use of a small number of competitions in the system of annual training.

  8. Seminal fluid mediates ejaculate competition in social insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Den Boer, Susanne Petronella A; Baer, Boris; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2010-01-01

    Queens of ants and bees normally obtain a lifetime supply of sperm on a single day of sexual activity, and sperm competition is expected to occur in lineages where queens receive sperm from multiple males. We compared singly mated (monandrous) and multiply mated (polyandrous) sister groups of ants...

  9. Mammalian Sperm Motility: Observation and Theory

    KAUST Repository

    Gaffney, E.A.

    2011-01-21

    Mammalian spermatozoa motility is a subject of growing importance because of rising human infertility and the possibility of improving animal breeding. We highlight opportunities for fluid and continuum dynamics to provide novel insights concerning the mechanics of these specialized cells, especially during their remarkable journey to the egg. The biological structure of the motile sperm appendage, the flagellum, is described and placed in the context of the mechanics underlying the migration of mammalian sperm through the numerous environments of the female reproductive tract. This process demands certain specific changes to flagellar movement and motility for which further mechanical insight would be valuable, although this requires improved modeling capabilities, particularly to increase our understanding of sperm progression in vivo. We summarize current theoretical studies, highlighting the synergistic combination of imaging and theory in exploring sperm motility, and discuss the challenges for future observational and theoretical studies in understanding the underlying mechanics. © 2011 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

  10. Viscoelasticity promotes collective swimming of sperm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tung, Chih-Kuan; Harvey, Benedict B.; Fiore, Alyssa G.; Ardon, Florencia; Suarez, Susan S.; Wu, Mingming

    From flocking birds to swarming insects, interactions of organisms large and small lead to the emergence of collective dynamics. Here, we report striking collective swimming of bovine sperm, with sperm orienting in the same direction within each cluster, enabled by the viscoelasticity of the fluid. A long-chain polyacrylamide solution was used as a model viscoelastic fluid such that its rheology can be fine-tuned to mimic that of bovine cervical mucus. In viscoelastic fluid, sperm formed dynamic clusters, and the cluster size increased with elasticity of the polyacrylamide solution. In contrast, sperm swam randomly and individually in Newtonian fluids of similar viscosity. Analysis of the fluid motion surrounding individual swimming sperm indicated that sperm-fluid interaction is facilitated by the elastic component of the fluid. We note that almost all biological fluids (e.g. mucus and blood) are viscoelastic in nature, this finding highlights the importance of fluid elasticity in biological function. We will discuss what the orientation fluctuation within a cluster reveals about the interaction strength. Supported by NIH Grant 1R01HD070038.

  11. The fate of received sperm in the reproductive tract of a hermaphroditic snail and its implications for fertilisation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koene, J.M.; Montagne-Wajer, K; Roelofs, D.; ter Maat, A.

    2009-01-01

    Multiple mating, sperm storage and internal fertilisation enhance sperm competition. The great pond snail can use stored sperm for over three months, and frequently mates with different partners. This hermaphrodite, Lymnaea stagnalis, can also self-fertilise and often produces egg masses containing

  12. Imperialist Competitive Algorithm with Dynamic Parameter Adaptation Using Fuzzy Logic Applied to the Optimization of Mathematical Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emer Bernal

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we are presenting a method using fuzzy logic for dynamic parameter adaptation in the imperialist competitive algorithm, which is usually known by its acronym ICA. The ICA algorithm was initially studied in its original form to find out how it works and what parameters have more effect upon its results. Based on this study, several designs of fuzzy systems for dynamic adjustment of the ICA parameters are proposed. The experiments were performed on the basis of solving complex optimization problems, particularly applied to benchmark mathematical functions. A comparison of the original imperialist competitive algorithm and our proposed fuzzy imperialist competitive algorithm was performed. In addition, the fuzzy ICA was compared with another metaheuristic using a statistical test to measure the advantage of the proposed fuzzy approach for dynamic parameter adaptation.

  13. Coupled dynamics of node and link states in complex networks: a model for language competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carro, Adrián; Toral, Raúl; Miguel, Maxi San

    2016-01-01

    Inspired by language competition processes, we present a model of coupled evolution of node and link states. In particular, we focus on the interplay between the use of a language and the preference or attitude of the speakers towards it, which we model, respectively, as a property of the interactions between speakers (a link state) and as a property of the speakers themselves (a node state). Furthermore, we restrict our attention to the case of two socially equivalent languages and to socially inspired network topologies based on a mechanism of triadic closure. As opposed to most of the previous literature, where language extinction is an inevitable outcome of the dynamics, we find a broad range of possible asymptotic configurations, which we classify as: frozen extinction states, frozen coexistence states, and dynamically trapped coexistence states. Moreover, metastable coexistence states with very long survival times and displaying a non-trivial dynamics are found to be abundant. Interestingly, a system size scaling analysis shows, on the one hand, that the probability of language extinction vanishes exponentially for increasing system sizes and, on the other hand, that the time scale of survival of the non-trivial dynamical metastable states increases linearly with the size of the system. Thus, non-trivial dynamical coexistence is the only possible outcome for large enough systems. Finally, we show how this coexistence is characterized by one of the languages becoming clearly predominant while the other one becomes increasingly confined to ‘ghetto-like’ structures: small groups of bilingual speakers arranged in triangles, with a strong preference for the minority language, and using it for their intra-group interactions while they switch to the predominant language for communications with the rest of the population. (paper)

  14. Ordering dynamics with two non-excluding options: bilingualism in language competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castelló, Xavier; Eguíluz, Víctor M.; San Miguel, Maxi

    2006-12-01

    We consider an extension of the voter model in which a set of interacting elements (agents) can be in either of two equivalent states (A or B) or in a third additional mixed (AB) state. The model is motivated by studies of language competition dynamics, where the AB state is associated with bilingualism. We study the ordering process and associated interface and coarsening dynamics in regular lattices and small world networks. Agents in the AB state define the interfaces, changing the interfacial noise driven coarsening of the voter model to curvature driven coarsening. This change in the coarsening mechanism is also shown to originate for a class of perturbations of the voter model dynamics. When interaction is through a small world network the AB agents restore coarsening, eliminating the metastable states of the voter model. The characteristic time to reach the absorbing state scales with system size as τ ~ lnN to be compared with the result τ ~ N for the voter model in a small world network.

  15. Engie. Group dynamics and activities. Competitive environment and strategic perspectives. Release - October 2017

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2017-09-01

    After a synthesis, this report proposes a presentation of the Engie Group (general overview, activities in the different parts of the world, evolution of human resources, share-holding structure, stock market data, high management, competitive environment). It gives an overview of the Engie group dynamics and of its activities through a presentation of an environment analysis (world energy market, European gas and electricity market, gas consumption in France, regulated tariffs and spot prices, temperatures in France, regulatory evolutions), a presentation of the group activity (turnover in France, gas and electricity sales, turnover per area and market segment), a performance analysis (operating income), and a competitive analysis (comparison with the main European energy companies). It analyses the different development axes and discusses main events regarding Engie's strategy, the implementation of a large asset disposal, how Engie gets on the path of renewable energies, and the development of energy services. Financial data are presented along with the main economic and financial indicators. Important statistical data are provided

  16. Cue competition affects temporal dynamics of edge-assignment in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Joseph L; Palmer, Stephen E

    2011-03-01

    Edge-assignment determines the perception of relative depth across an edge and the shape of the closer side. Many cues determine edge-assignment, but relatively little is known about the neural mechanisms involved in combining these cues. Here, we manipulated extremal edge and attention cues to bias edge-assignment such that these two cues either cooperated or competed. To index their neural representations, we flickered figure and ground regions at different frequencies and measured the corresponding steady-state visual-evoked potentials (SSVEPs). Figural regions had stronger SSVEP responses than ground regions, independent of whether they were attended or unattended. In addition, competition and cooperation between the two edge-assignment cues significantly affected the temporal dynamics of edge-assignment processes. The figural SSVEP response peaked earlier when the cues causing it cooperated than when they competed, but sustained edge-assignment effects were equivalent for cooperating and competing cues, consistent with a winner-take-all outcome. These results provide physiological evidence that figure-ground organization involves competitive processes that can affect the latency of figural assignment.

  17. Total. Group dynamics and activities. Competitive environment and strategic perspectives. Release - July 2017

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2017-07-01

    After a synthesis which notably proposes a SWOT analysis of the Total group, this report proposes a presentation of the Total Group (general overview, presentation of activities, human resources, shareholder structure and stock market data, competitive environment). It gives an overview of the Total group dynamics and of its activities through a presentation of an environment analysis (world oil demand, refining-chemistry activity, hydrocarbon prices), a presentation of the group activity (turnover, turnover per segment, operational income and financial results of competitors). It comments important events and development axes: four strategic orientations, strengthening of the upstream pole, restructuring of refining and chemical activities, widening of the energy provision, consolidation of positions in the marketing and services sector. Financial data are presented along with the main economic and financial indicators. Important statistical data are provided

  18. EDF. Group dynamics and activities. Competitive environment and strategic perspectives. Release - October 2017

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2017-10-01

    After a synthesis, this report proposes a presentation of the EDF Group (general overview, activities, human resources, share-holding structure, stock market data). It gives an overview of the EDF Group dynamics and of its activities: environment analysis (world electric power production, power consumption in France, regulated and spot prices, turnover in France and per area and market segment), performance analysis, and competitive analysis (comparison with the main European energy companies). It analyses the different development axes and discusses main events regarding the consolidation of nuclear activities, investments in renewable energies, withdrawal from coal and fuel, diversification in energy services, and financial consolidation. Financial data are presented along with the main economic and financial indicators. Important statistical data are provided

  19. Switching dynamics in an interpersonal competition brings about "deadlock" synchronization of players.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akifumi Kijima

    Full Text Available In competitive sport game behavior, certain interpersonal patterns of movement coordination evolve even though each individual player only intends to exert their own strategy to win. To investigate this interpersonal pattern formation process, we asked pairs of naïve participants to engage in a play-tag game in which they had to remove a tag fastened to their partner's hip. Relative phase analysis of the players' step towards-away velocities indicated that anti-phase synchronization evolved across 10 repetitions of the game. We clarified evolution of this synchronization process using a dynamical model with an attractor (at relative π phase and a repeller (at 0 relative phase and discuss the self-organized nature of model and its ability to embody general solution for martial art interpersonal coordination.

  20. Winnerless competition principle and prediction of the transient dynamics in a Lotka-Volterra model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afraimovich, Valentin; Tristan, Irma; Huerta, Ramon; Rabinovich, Mikhail I.

    2008-12-01

    Predicting the evolution of multispecies ecological systems is an intriguing problem. A sufficiently complex model with the necessary predicting power requires solutions that are structurally stable. Small variations of the system parameters should not qualitatively perturb its solutions. When one is interested in just asymptotic results of evolution (as time goes to infinity), then the problem has a straightforward mathematical image involving simple attractors (fixed points or limit cycles) of a dynamical system. However, for an accurate prediction of evolution, the analysis of transient solutions is critical. In this paper, in the framework of the traditional Lotka-Volterra model (generalized in some sense), we show that the transient solution representing multispecies sequential competition can be reproducible and predictable with high probability.

  1. Areva. Group dynamics and activities. Competitive environment and strategic perspectives. Release - October 2016

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2016-10-01

    After a synthesis which notably proposes a SWOT analysis of the Areva group, this report proposes a presentation of the Areva Group (general overview, mining, upstream and downstream poles, shareholder structure and stock market data, competitive environment). It gives an overview of the Areva group dynamics and of its activities through a presentation of an environment analysis (world electric power production, uranium production and consumption, operated nuclear plants in the world), a presentation of the group activity (turnover and order backlog, turnover per segment and per geographical area, operational and net income). It indicates important events and comments development axes: strategic orientations, new partnership with EDF, stronger presence in China, asset disposal, and organisation optimisation. Financial data are presented along with the main economic and financial indicators. Important statistical data are provided

  2. Technip. Group dynamics and activities. Competitive environment and strategic perspectives. Release - February 2017

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2017-02-01

    After a synthesis which notably proposes a SWOT analysis of the Technip group, this report proposes a presentation of the Technip Group (general overview, presentation of activities per department, human resources, stock market data, and competitive environment). It gives an overview of the Technip group dynamics and of its activities through a presentation of an environment analysis (world oil demand and production, hydrocarbon prices), a presentation of the group activity (turnover, order takings, performance per activity pole, turnover per geographical area, operational income). It addresses important events and development axes: strategic axes, group restructuring, widening of service provision, R and D investments. Financial data are presented along with the main economic and financial indicators. Important statistical data are provided

  3. Competitive Structure of U.S. Grain Exporters in the World Market: A Dynamic Panel Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyun J. Jin

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study is to analyze the competitive structure of U.S. wheat, corn, and soybeans exporters in the world market. A dynamic two¡ⓒway panel estimator is utilized in the analysis in place of typically used two¡ⓒway fixed effects panel estimator. A broader (in terms of the number of destination markets and more recent data sample is analyzed in this study in comparison to previous studies in order to reflect vast changes that occurred in world grain markets during the last twenty years. Results indicate the presence of pricing¡ⓒto¡ⓒmarkets behavior by U.S. grain exporters overall, and toward some importing countries in particular.

  4. Rheotaxis guides mammalian sperm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miki, Kiyoshi; Clapham, David E

    2013-01-01

    Background In sea urchins, spermatozoan motility is altered by chemotactic peptides, giving rise to the assumption that mammalian eggs also emit chemotactic agents that guide spermatozoa through the female reproductive tract to the mature oocyte. Mammalian spermatozoa indeed undergo complex adaptations within the female (the process of capacitation) that are initiated by agents ranging from pH to progesterone, but these factors are not necessarily taxic. Currently, chemotaxis, thermotaxis, and rheotaxis have not been definitively established in mammals. Results Here, we show that positive rheotaxis, the ability of organisms to orient and swim against the flow of surrounding fluid, is a major taxic factor for mouse and human sperm. This flow is generated within 4 hours of sexual stimulation and coitus in female mice; prolactin-triggered oviductal fluid secretion clears the oviduct of debris, lowers viscosity, and generates the stream that guides sperm migration in the oviduct. Rheotaxic movement is demonstrated in capacitated and uncapacitated spermatozoa in low and high viscosity medium. Finally, we show that a unique sperm motion we quantify using the sperm head's rolling rate reflects sperm rotation that generates essential force for positioning the sperm in the stream. Rotation requires CatSper channels, presumably by enabling Ca2+ influx. Conclusions We propose that rheotaxis is a major determinant of sperm guidance over long distances in the mammalian female reproductive tract. Coitus induces fluid flow to guide sperm in the oviduct. Sperm rheotaxis requires rotational motion during CatSper channel-dependent hyperactivated motility. PMID:23453951

  5. How Overall Logistics Strategy Mediates The Influence Of Market Attractiveness And Dynamic Capability On Strategic Competitive Response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Febriyanto

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available This research is conducted to examine the influence of market attractiveness and dynamic capability on strategic competitive response through overall logistics strategies of logistics service providers LSPs. Involving 266 LSPs SEM-LISREL is applied to test the hypotheses. The findings reveal that the market attractiveness and the dynamic capability positively affect the overall logistics strategy. Additionally the market attractiveness and the dynamic capability positively affect the strategic competitive response. Indirectly the market attractiveness and the dynamic capability positively affect the performance through strategic competitive response of LSPs. Obviously overall logistics strategy strengthen the influence of both market attractiveness and dynamic capability on strategic competitive response. There are five alternatives to optimize the overall logistics strategy of LSPs market intensification integration focus collaboration and strengthening value proposition. The involvement of overall logistics strategy as mediating variable is new paradigm in the strategic management discourses especially in logistics industry. Further research needs to be performed by involving the size of business as control variable and LSPs perception on Governments policies.

  6. Sex differences in in-group cooperation vary dynamically with competitive conditions and outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Drew H; Winegard, Benjamin; Oxford, Jon; Geary, David C

    2012-03-18

    Men's but not women's investment in a public goods game varied dynamically with the presence or absence of a perceived out-group. Three hundred fifty-four (167 male) young adults participated in multiple iterations of a public goods game under intergroup and individual competition conditions. Participants received feedback about whether their investments in the group were sufficient to earn a bonus to be shared among all in-group members. Results for the first trial confirm previous research in which men's but not women's investments were higher when there was a competing out-group. We extended these findings by showing that men's investment in the in-group varied dynamically by condition depending on the outcome of the previous trial: In the group condition, men, but not women, decreased spending following a win (i.e., earning an in-group bonus). In the individual condition, men, but not women, increased spending following a win. We hypothesize that these patterns reflect a male bias to calibrate their level of in-group investment such that they sacrifice only what is necessary for their group to successfully compete against a rival group.

  7. Sex Differences in In-Group Cooperation Vary Dynamically with Competitive Conditions and Outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Drew H. Bailey

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Men's but not women's investment in a public goods game varied dynamically with the presence or absence of a perceived out-group. Three hundred fifty-four (167 male young adults participated in multiple iterations of a public goods game under intergroup and individual competition conditions. Participants received feedback about whether their investments in the group were sufficient to earn a bonus to be shared among all in-group members. Results for the first trial confirm previous research in which men's but not women's investments were higher when there was a competing out-group. We extended these findings by showing that men's investment in the in-group varied dynamically by condition depending on the outcome of the previous trial: In the group condition, men, but not women, decreased spending following a win (i.e., earning an in-group bonus. In the individual condition, men, but not women, increased spending following a win. We hypothesize that these patterns reflect a male bias to calibrate their level of in-group investment such that they sacrifice only what is necessary for their group to successfully compete against a rival group.

  8. The complexity of an investment competition dynamical model with imperfect information in a security market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xin Baogui; Ma Junhai; Gao Qin

    2009-01-01

    We present a nonlinear discrete dynamical model of investment competition with imperfect information for N heterogeneous oligopolists in a security market. In this paper, our focus is on a given three-dimensional model which exhibits highly rich dynamical behaviors. Based on Wen's Hopf bifurcation criterion [Wen GL. Criterion to identify Hopf bifurcations in maps of arbitrary dimension. Phys Rev E 2005;72:026201-3; Wen GL, Xu DL, Han X. On creation of Hopf bifurcations in discrete-time nonlinear systems. Chaos 2002;12(2):350-5] and Kuznetsov's normal form theory [Kuznetsov YA. Elements of applied bifurcation theory. New York: Springer-Verlag; 1998. p. 125-37], we study the model's stability, criterion and direction of Neimark-Sacker bifurcation. Moreover, we numerically simulate a complexity evolution route: fixed point, closed invariant curve, double closed invariant curves, fourfold closed invariant curves, strange attractor, period-3 closed invariant curve, period-3 2-tours, period-4 closed invariant curve, period-4 2-tours.

  9. Dynamics of a photorefractive response and competition of nonlinear processes in self-pumping double phase-conjugate mirrors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mogaddam, Mehran Wahdani; Shuvalov, Vladimir V

    2005-01-01

    The dynamics of formation of a nonlinear response of a double phase-conjugate (PC) BaTiO 3 mirror is calculated. It is shown that because of competition between processes of different types (related to the presence of several PC channels, the local and nonlocal components of the photorefractive nonlinearity), the transient and dynamic lasing regimes for this mirror can be substantially different. It is found that the development of lasing begins with the successive formation and phasing of dynamic holograms of two different types (two PC channels). It is shown that even under optimal conditions, the lasing regime is not stationary due to competition between processes of different types, and the parameters of output fields fluctuate in time in a nontrivial way (due to the presence of the in-phase and out-of-phase components). Several scenarios of transition to the dynamic chaos are described. (nonlinear optical phenomena)

  10. Three is much more than two in coarsening dynamics of cyclic competitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitarai, Namiko; Gunnarson, Ivar; Pedersen, Buster Niels; Rosiek, Christian Anker; Sneppen, Kim

    2016-04-01

    The classical game of rock-paper-scissors has inspired experiments and spatial model systems that address the robustness of biological diversity. In particular, the game nicely illustrates that cyclic interactions allow multiple strategies to coexist for long-time intervals. When formulated in terms of a one-dimensional cellular automata, the spatial distribution of strategies exhibits coarsening with algebraically growing domain size over time, while the two-dimensional version allows domains to break and thereby opens the possibility for long-time coexistence. We consider a quasi-one-dimensional implementation of the cyclic competition, and study the long-term dynamics as a function of rare invasions between parallel linear ecosystems. We find that increasing the complexity from two to three parallel subsystems allows a transition from complete coarsening to an active steady state where the domain size stays finite. We further find that this transition happens irrespective of whether the update is done in parallel for all sites simultaneously or done randomly in sequential order. In both cases, the active state is characterized by localized bursts of dislocations, followed by longer periods of coarsening. In the case of the parallel dynamics, we find that there is another phase transition between the active steady state and the coarsening state within the three-line system when the invasion rate between the subsystems is varied. We identify the critical parameter for this transition and show that the density of active boundaries has critical exponents that are consistent with the directed percolation universality class. On the other hand, numerical simulations with the random sequential dynamics suggest that the system may exhibit an active steady state as long as the invasion rate is finite.

  11. Competitive Semantic Memory Retrieval: Temporal Dynamics Revealed by Event-Related Potentials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin Hellerstedt

    Full Text Available Memories compete for retrieval when they are related to a common retrieval cue. Previous research has shown that retrieval of a target memory may lead to subsequent retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF of currently irrelevant competing memories. In the present study, we investigated the time course of competitive semantic retrieval and examined the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying RIF. We contrasted two theoretical accounts of RIF by examining a critical aspect of this memory phenomenon, namely the extent to which it depends on successful retrieval of the target memory. Participants first studied category-exemplar word-pairs (e.g. Fruit-Apple. Next, we recorded electrophysiological measures of brain activity while the participants performed a competitive semantic cued-recall task. In this task, the participants were provided with the studied categories but they were instructed to retrieve other unstudied exemplars (e.g. Fruit-Ma__?. We investigated the event-related potential (ERP correlates of retrieval success by comparing ERPs from successful and failed retrieval trials. To isolate the ERP correlates of continuous retrieval attempts from the ERP correlates of retrieval success, we included an impossible retrieval condition, with incompletable word-stem cues (Drinks-Wy__ and compared it with a non-retrieval presentation baseline condition (Occupation-Dentist. The participants' memory for all the studied exemplars was tested in the final phase of the experiment. Taken together, the behavioural results suggest that RIF is independent of target retrieval. Beyond investigating the mechanisms underlying RIF, the present study also elucidates the temporal dynamics of semantic cued-recall by isolating the ERP correlates of retrieval attempt and retrieval success. The ERP results revealed that retrieval attempt is reflected in a late posterior negativity, possibly indicating construction of candidates for completing the word-stem cue and retrieval

  12. Competitive Semantic Memory Retrieval: Temporal Dynamics Revealed by Event-Related Potentials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellerstedt, Robin; Johansson, Mikael

    2016-01-01

    Memories compete for retrieval when they are related to a common retrieval cue. Previous research has shown that retrieval of a target memory may lead to subsequent retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF) of currently irrelevant competing memories. In the present study, we investigated the time course of competitive semantic retrieval and examined the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying RIF. We contrasted two theoretical accounts of RIF by examining a critical aspect of this memory phenomenon, namely the extent to which it depends on successful retrieval of the target memory. Participants first studied category-exemplar word-pairs (e.g. Fruit—Apple). Next, we recorded electrophysiological measures of brain activity while the participants performed a competitive semantic cued-recall task. In this task, the participants were provided with the studied categories but they were instructed to retrieve other unstudied exemplars (e.g. Fruit—Ma__?). We investigated the event-related potential (ERP) correlates of retrieval success by comparing ERPs from successful and failed retrieval trials. To isolate the ERP correlates of continuous retrieval attempts from the ERP correlates of retrieval success, we included an impossible retrieval condition, with incompletable word-stem cues (Drinks—Wy__) and compared it with a non-retrieval presentation baseline condition (Occupation—Dentist). The participants’ memory for all the studied exemplars was tested in the final phase of the experiment. Taken together, the behavioural results suggest that RIF is independent of target retrieval. Beyond investigating the mechanisms underlying RIF, the present study also elucidates the temporal dynamics of semantic cued-recall by isolating the ERP correlates of retrieval attempt and retrieval success. The ERP results revealed that retrieval attempt is reflected in a late posterior negativity, possibly indicating construction of candidates for completing the word-stem cue and retrieval

  13. Competitive Semantic Memory Retrieval: Temporal Dynamics Revealed by Event-Related Potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellerstedt, Robin; Johansson, Mikael

    2016-01-01

    Memories compete for retrieval when they are related to a common retrieval cue. Previous research has shown that retrieval of a target memory may lead to subsequent retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF) of currently irrelevant competing memories. In the present study, we investigated the time course of competitive semantic retrieval and examined the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying RIF. We contrasted two theoretical accounts of RIF by examining a critical aspect of this memory phenomenon, namely the extent to which it depends on successful retrieval of the target memory. Participants first studied category-exemplar word-pairs (e.g. Fruit-Apple). Next, we recorded electrophysiological measures of brain activity while the participants performed a competitive semantic cued-recall task. In this task, the participants were provided with the studied categories but they were instructed to retrieve other unstudied exemplars (e.g. Fruit-Ma__?). We investigated the event-related potential (ERP) correlates of retrieval success by comparing ERPs from successful and failed retrieval trials. To isolate the ERP correlates of continuous retrieval attempts from the ERP correlates of retrieval success, we included an impossible retrieval condition, with incompletable word-stem cues (Drinks-Wy__) and compared it with a non-retrieval presentation baseline condition (Occupation-Dentist). The participants' memory for all the studied exemplars was tested in the final phase of the experiment. Taken together, the behavioural results suggest that RIF is independent of target retrieval. Beyond investigating the mechanisms underlying RIF, the present study also elucidates the temporal dynamics of semantic cued-recall by isolating the ERP correlates of retrieval attempt and retrieval success. The ERP results revealed that retrieval attempt is reflected in a late posterior negativity, possibly indicating construction of candidates for completing the word-stem cue and retrieval monitoring

  14. Dynamics of Competition between Subnetworks of Spiking Neuronal Networks in the Balanced State

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagzi, Fereshteh; Rotter, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    We explore and analyze the nonlinear switching dynamics of neuronal networks with non-homogeneous connectivity. The general significance of such transient dynamics for brain function is unclear; however, for instance decision-making processes in perception and cognition have been implicated with it. The network under study here is comprised of three subnetworks of either excitatory or inhibitory leaky integrate-and-fire neurons, of which two are of the same type. The synaptic weights are arranged to establish and maintain a balance between excitation and inhibition in case of a constant external drive. Each subnetwork is randomly connected, where all neurons belonging to a particular population have the same in-degree and the same out-degree. Neurons in different subnetworks are also randomly connected with the same probability; however, depending on the type of the pre-synaptic neuron, the synaptic weight is scaled by a factor. We observed that for a certain range of the “within” versus “between” connection weights (bifurcation parameter), the network activation spontaneously switches between the two sub-networks of the same type. This kind of dynamics has been termed “winnerless competition”, which also has a random component here. In our model, this phenomenon is well described by a set of coupled stochastic differential equations of Lotka-Volterra type that imply a competition between the subnetworks. The associated mean-field model shows the same dynamical behavior as observed in simulations of large networks comprising thousands of spiking neurons. The deterministic phase portrait is characterized by two attractors and a saddle node, its stochastic component is essentially given by the multiplicative inherent noise of the system. We find that the dwell time distribution of the active states is exponential, indicating that the noise drives the system randomly from one attractor to the other. A similar model for a larger number of populations might

  15. No Evidence for Pre-Copulatory Sexual Selection on Sperm Length in a Passerine Bird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lifjeld, Jan T.; Laskemoen, Terje; Kleven, Oddmund; Pedersen, A. Tiril M.; Lampe, Helene M.; Rudolfsen, Geir; Schmoll, Tim; Slagsvold, Tore

    2012-01-01

    There is growing evidence that post-copulatory sexual selection, mediated by sperm competition, influences the evolution of sperm phenotypes. Evidence for pre-copulatory sexual selection effects on sperm traits, on the other hand, is rather scarce. A recent paper on the pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca, reported phenotypic associations between sperm length and two sexually selected male traits, i.e. plumage colour and arrival date, thus invoking pre-copulatory sexual selection for longer sperm. We were unable to replicate these associations with a larger data set from the same and two additional study populations; sperm length was not significantly related to either male plumage colour or arrival date. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in sperm length between populations despite marked differences in male plumage colour. We also found some evidence against the previously held assumption of longer sperm being qualitatively superior; longer sperm swam at the same speed as shorter sperm, but were less able to maintain speed over time. We argue that both empirical evidence and theoretical considerations suggest that the evolution of sperm morphology is not primarily associated with pre-copulatory sexual selection on male secondary sexual traits in this or other passerine bird species. The relatively large between-male variation in sperm length in this species is probably due to relaxed post-copulatory sexual selection. PMID:22384277

  16. Sperm traits differ between winged and wingless males of the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrempf, Alexandra; Moser, Astrid; Delabie, Jacques; Heinze, Jürgen

    2016-11-01

    Size and shape of sperm cells vary tremendously throughout the animal kingdom. The adaptive significance of this variation is not fully understood. In addition to sperm-female interactions and the environmental conditions, the risk of sperm competition might affect number, morphology and other "quality" traits of sperm. In the male-diphenic ant Cardiocondyla obscurior, winged sneaker males have limited sperm number, because their testes degenerate shortly after adult emergence, as is typical for males of social Hymenoptera. In contrast, wingless fighter males continuously replenish their sperm supply due to their exceptional lifelong spermatogenesis. While winged males usually have to compete with several other winged males for virgin queens, wingless males are able to monopolize queens by killing all other rivals. Hence, this presents a unique system to investigate how alternative reproductive tactics and associated physiology affect sperm morphology and viability. We found that sperm-limited males invest into sperm number instead of sperm size. Variance in sperm length is smaller in winged males, probably reflecting that they have to compete with several other males. Finally, sperm viability is equally high in both male phenotypes. © 2016 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  17. No evidence for pre-copulatory sexual selection on sperm length in a passerine bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan T Lifjeld

    Full Text Available There is growing evidence that post-copulatory sexual selection, mediated by sperm competition, influences the evolution of sperm phenotypes. Evidence for pre-copulatory sexual selection effects on sperm traits, on the other hand, is rather scarce. A recent paper on the pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca, reported phenotypic associations between sperm length and two sexually selected male traits, i.e. plumage colour and arrival date, thus invoking pre-copulatory sexual selection for longer sperm. We were unable to replicate these associations with a larger data set from the same and two additional study populations; sperm length was not significantly related to either male plumage colour or arrival date. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in sperm length between populations despite marked differences in male plumage colour. We also found some evidence against the previously held assumption of longer sperm being qualitatively superior; longer sperm swam at the same speed as shorter sperm, but were less able to maintain speed over time. We argue that both empirical evidence and theoretical considerations suggest that the evolution of sperm morphology is not primarily associated with pre-copulatory sexual selection on male secondary sexual traits in this or other passerine bird species. The relatively large between-male variation in sperm length in this species is probably due to relaxed post-copulatory sexual selection.

  18. The Competitiveness of Exports from Manufacturing Industries in Croatia and Slovenia to the EU-15 Market: A Dynamic Panel Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nebojša Stojčić

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available It is often stated that the growth prospects of nations are closely related to patterns of competitiveness exercised by their firms and industries in the international market. Building on foundations of endogenous growth and new trade theories academics and policy-makers postulate that quality-driven competitiveness bears higher growth potential than the ability to compete in terms of prices. The transition of Central and Eastern European Countries has been characterised by movement from the latter towards the former pattern of competitiveness. This process was facilitated by the transfer of knowledge and skills through the outsourcing of production from their most important trading partners, the West European members of the European Union (EU-15 countries, which paved the way for the development of intra-industry trade. This paper explores the competitiveness of manufacturing industries from Croatia and Slovenia in the EU-15 market. Using dynamic panel analysis we find that between 2002 and 2007 producers from the two countries followed different patterns of competitiveness. While in Slovenia the quality of exports is the main determinant of EU-15 market share, the competitiveness of Croatian producers still depends on their labour costs. We also find a strong impact of intra-industry trade on the competiveness of industries from the two countries in the EU-15 market.

  19. A sex-chromosome inversion causes strong overdominance for sperm traits that affect siring success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knief, Ulrich; Forstmeier, Wolfgang; Pei, Yifan; Ihle, Malika; Wang, Daiping; Martin, Katrin; Opatová, Pavlína; Albrechtová, Jana; Wittig, Michael; Franke, Andre; Albrecht, Tomáš; Kempenaers, Bart

    2017-08-01

    Male reproductive success depends on the competitive ability of sperm to fertilize the ova, which should lead to strong selection on sperm characteristics. This raises the question of how heritable variation in sperm traits is maintained. Here we show that in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) nearly half of the variance in sperm morphology is explained by an inversion on the Z chromosome with a 40% allele frequency in the wild. The sperm of males that are heterozygous for the inversion had the longest midpieces and the highest velocity. Furthermore, such males achieved the highest fertility and the highest siring success, both within-pair and extra-pair. Males homozygous for the derived allele show detrimental sperm characteristics and the lowest siring success. Our results suggest heterozygote advantage as the mechanism that maintains the inversion polymorphism and hence variance in sperm design and in fitness.

  20. Drosophila melanogaster seminal fluid can protect the sperm of other males

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holman, Luke

    2009-01-01

    a different male. This study therefore provides strong evidence that seminal fluid does not kill rival sperm, and instead can actually protect them. This study also tested whether chemicals in the female reproductive tract harm sperm as in another Drosophila species, but found no evidence of this. # 3...... physiology. # 2. Seminal fluid is well-studied in Drosophila melanogaster, a species in which it has been suggested to 'incapacitate' the sperm of rival males (e.g. by killing them) and thereby provide an advantage in sperm competition. This hypothesis has been tested several times over many years......, but different studies have yielded conflicting conclusions. Here, I use fluorescent staining to directly measure the effects of D. melanogaster seminal fluid on the survival of sperm from the same male or from a rival. The results suggest that seminal fluid improves sperm survival, even if the sperm are from...

  1. Dynamic Eye Tracking Based Metrics for Infant Gaze Patterns in the Face-Distractor Competition Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahtola, Eero; Stjerna, Susanna; Yrttiaho, Santeri; Nelson, Charles A.; Leppänen, Jukka M.; Vanhatalo, Sampsa

    2014-01-01

    Objective To develop new standardized eye tracking based measures and metrics for infants’ gaze dynamics in the face-distractor competition paradigm. Method Eye tracking data were collected from two samples of healthy 7-month-old (total n = 45), as well as one sample of 5-month-old infants (n = 22) in a paradigm with a picture of a face or a non-face pattern as a central stimulus, and a geometric shape as a lateral stimulus. The data were analyzed by using conventional measures of infants’ initial disengagement from the central to the lateral stimulus (i.e., saccadic reaction time and probability) and, additionally, novel measures reflecting infants gaze dynamics after the initial disengagement (i.e., cumulative allocation of attention to the central vs. peripheral stimulus). Results The results showed that the initial saccade away from the centrally presented stimulus is followed by a rapid re-engagement of attention with the central stimulus, leading to cumulative preference for the central stimulus over the lateral stimulus over time. This pattern tended to be stronger for salient facial expressions as compared to non-face patterns, was replicable across two independent samples of 7-month-old infants, and differentiated between 7 and 5 month-old infants. Conclusion The results suggest that eye tracking based assessments of infants’ cumulative preference for faces over time can be readily parameterized and standardized, and may provide valuable techniques for future studies examining normative developmental changes in preference for social signals. Significance Standardized measures of early developing face preferences may have potential to become surrogate biomarkers of neurocognitive and social development. PMID:24845102

  2. Dynamic eye tracking based metrics for infant gaze patterns in the face-distractor competition paradigm.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eero Ahtola

    Full Text Available To develop new standardized eye tracking based measures and metrics for infants' gaze dynamics in the face-distractor competition paradigm.Eye tracking data were collected from two samples of healthy 7-month-old (total n = 45, as well as one sample of 5-month-old infants (n = 22 in a paradigm with a picture of a face or a non-face pattern as a central stimulus, and a geometric shape as a lateral stimulus. The data were analyzed by using conventional measures of infants' initial disengagement from the central to the lateral stimulus (i.e., saccadic reaction time and probability and, additionally, novel measures reflecting infants gaze dynamics after the initial disengagement (i.e., cumulative allocation of attention to the central vs. peripheral stimulus.The results showed that the initial saccade away from the centrally presented stimulus is followed by a rapid re-engagement of attention with the central stimulus, leading to cumulative preference for the central stimulus over the lateral stimulus over time. This pattern tended to be stronger for salient facial expressions as compared to non-face patterns, was replicable across two independent samples of 7-month-old infants, and differentiated between 7 and 5 month-old infants.The results suggest that eye tracking based assessments of infants' cumulative preference for faces over time can be readily parameterized and standardized, and may provide valuable techniques for future studies examining normative developmental changes in preference for social signals.Standardized measures of early developing face preferences may have potential to become surrogate biomarkers of neurocognitive and social development.

  3. Single, competitive, and dynamic adsorption on activated carbon of compounds used as plasticizers and herbicides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdel daiem, Mahmoud M; Rivera-Utrilla, José; Sánchez-Polo, Manuel; Ocampo-Pérez, Raúl

    2015-12-15

    The main aim of this study was to investigate the single, competitive, and dynamic adsorption of phthalic acid (PA), bisphenol A (BPA), diphenolic acid (DPA), 2,4-dichlorophenoxy-acetic acid (2,4-D), and 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxyacetic acid (MCPA) on two activated carbons with different chemical natures and similar textural characteristics. The adsorption mechanism was also elucidated by analyzing the influence of solution pH and ionic strength. The activated carbons demonstrated high adsorption capacity to remove all micropollutants due to the presence of active sites on their surfaces, which increase dispersive interactions between the activated carbon graphene layers and the aromatic ring of pollutants. The adsorption capacity of the activated carbons increased in the order: DPApH (pHactivated carbon decreased by around 50% and 70% in the presence of DPA and BPA, respectively, indicating that both compounds are adsorbed on the same adsorption sites of the activated carbon. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Unravelling anisogamy: egg size and ejaculate size mediate selection on morphology in free-swimming sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monro, Keyne; Marshall, Dustin J

    2016-07-13

    Gamete dimorphism (anisogamy) defines the sexes in most multicellular organisms. Theoretical explanations for its maintenance usually emphasize the size-related selection pressures of sperm competition and zygote survival, assuming that fertilization of all eggs precludes selection for phenotypes that enhance fertility. In external fertilizers, however, fertilization is often incomplete due to sperm limitation, and the risk of polyspermy weakens the advantage of high sperm numbers that is predicted to limit sperm size, allowing alternative selection pressures to target free-swimming sperm. We asked whether egg size and ejaculate size mediate selection on the free-swimming sperm of Galeolaria caespitosa, a marine tubeworm with external fertilization, by comparing relationships between sperm morphology and male fertility across manipulations of egg size and sperm density. Our results suggest that selection pressures exerted by these factors may aid the maintenance of anisogamy in external fertilizers by limiting the adaptive value of larger sperm in the absence of competition. In doing so, our study offers a more complete explanation for the stability of anisogamy across the range of sperm environments typical of this mating system and identifies new potential for the sexes to coevolve via mutual selection pressures exerted by gametes at fertilization. © 2016 The Author(s).

  5. Pronounced within-individual plasticity in sperm morphometry across social environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Immler, Simone; Pryke, Sarah R; Birkhead, Tim R; Griffith, Simon C

    2010-06-01

    Sperm morphometry (i.e., size and shape) and function are important determinants of male reproductive success and are thought to be under stabilizing selection. However, recent studies suggest that sperm morphometry can be a phenotypically plastic trait, which can be adjusted to varying conditions. We tested whether different behavioral strategies in aggression between aggressive red and nonaggressive black males of the color polymorphic Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae) can influence sperm morphometry. We show pronounced within-individual phenotypic plasticity in sperm morphometry of male Gouldian finches in three different social environments. Both red and black males placed in intermediate to high competitive environments (high frequency of red males) increased the relative length of their sperm midpiece. By contrast, red males placed in low to intermediate competitive environments (higher frequency of black males) increased the length of the sperm flagellum. Significant changes in stress and sex steroid hormone levels (in response to the competitive environment) appear to influence sperm traits in red but not in black males, suggesting that changes in hormonal levels are not solely responsible for the observed changes in sperm morphometry. These findings imply that males can adjust sperm morphometry across social environments.

  6. Does egg competition occur in marine broadcast-spawners?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, D J; Evans, J P

    2005-09-01

    When the availability of sperm limits female reproductive success, competition for sperm, may be an important broker of sexual selection. This is because sperm limitation can increase the variance in female reproductive success, resulting in strong selection on females to compete for limited fertilization opportunities. Sperm limitation is probably common in broadcast-spawning marine invertebrates, making these excellent candidates for investigating scramble competition between broods of eggs and its consequences for female reproductive success. Here, we report our findings from a series of experiments that investigate egg competition in the sessile, broadcast-spawning polychaete Galeolaria caespitosa. We initially tested whether the order in which eggs encounter sperm affects their fertilization success at two ecologically relevant current regimes. We used a split-clutch-split--ejaculate technique to compare the fertilization success of eggs from individual females that had either first access (competition-free treatment) or second access (egg competition treatment) to a batch of sperm. We found that fertilization success depended on the order in which eggs accessed sperm; eggs that were assigned to the competition-free treatment exhibited significantly higher fertilization rates than those assigned to the egg competition treatment at both current speeds. In subsequent experiments we found that prior exposure of sperm to eggs significantly reduced both the quantity and quality of sperm available to fertilize a second clutch of eggs, resulting in reductions in fertilization success at high and low sperm concentrations. These findings suggest that female traits that increase the likelihood of sperm-egg interactions (e.g. egg size) will respond to selection imposed by egg competition.

  7. Last mated male sperm precedence in doubly mated females is not ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Genetics; Volume 92; Issue 2. Last mated male sperm precedence in doubly mated females is not ubiquitous: evidence from sperm competition in laboratory populations of Drosophila nasuta nasuta and Drosophila nasuta albomicans. B. Shruthi S. R. Ramesh. Research Note Volume 92 Issue 2 ...

  8. Seminal fluid enhances sperm viability in the leafcutter ant Atta colombica

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Den Boer, Susanne Petronella A; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan; Baer, Boris

    2008-01-01

    The seminal fluid that accompanies sperm in ejaculates has been shown or suggested to affect sperm competition and paternity success of insects by preventing female remating, inducing oviposition, and forming mating plugs. In Atta leafcutter ants, queens have multiple mates but never remate later...

  9. Collaboration, Competition, and Co-opetition: Interorganizational Dynamics Between Private Child Welfare Agencies and Child Serving Sectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunger, Alicia C; Collins-Camargo, Crystal; McBeath, Bowen; Chuang, Emmeline; Perez-Jolles, Monica; Wells, Rebecca

    2014-03-01

    Human service agencies are encouraged to collaborate with other public and private agencies in providing services to children and families. However, they also often compete with these same partners for funding, qualified staff, and clientele. Although little is known about complex interagency dynamics of competition and collaboration in the child-serving sector, evidence suggests that competition can undermine collaboration unless managed strategically. This study explores the interrelationship between competition and collaboration, sometimes referred to as "co-opetition." Using a national dataset of private child and family serving agencies, we examine their relationships with other child serving sectors (N=4460 pair-wise relationships), and explore how variations in patterns of collaboration and competition are associated with several organizational, environmental and relational factors. Results suggest that most relationships between private child welfare agencies and other child serving agencies are characterized by both competition and collaboration (i.e. "co-opetition"), and is most frequently reported with other local private child welfare agencies. Logistic regression analyses indicate that co-opetition is likely to occur when private child welfare agencies have a good perceived relationship or a sub-contract with their partner. Findings have implications for how agency leaders manage partner relationships, and how public child welfare administrators structure contracts.

  10. Dynamics of competitive strategies in de-regulated industries: the case of the electricity industry in France

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cateura, O.

    2007-11-01

    This research work is focused on the competitive dynamics approach and rivalry studies between competitors. It develops theses recent perspectives and particularly multi-market competition (also called multipoint competition) in de-regulated industries (network utilities). Indeed, competitive behaviours in liberalized industries are still badly-known. To conduct this research, we decided to analyze a selection of companies (EDF, Electrabel, Endesa, Enel, Gaz de France, Poweo, Direct Energie..) settled on the French electricity market presently in the course of liberalization (1996 - 2006). This qualitative research, through longitudinal case studies, has been developed thanks to a CIFRE agreement (between the French Ministry of Research and the firm Electrabel France) including action research and participant observation. Using multidimensional strategic sequences, we identified two periods, the first one characterized by a confrontation movement and a second one by mutual forbearance. We argue that after learning the rules of a newly liberalized market (confrontation, diversification, internationalization), competitors rapidly and collectively shift there positions towards a focused European strategy based on the gas-electricity convergence. The development of multi-market competition has conducted to mutual forbearance, which was particularly profitable to the major participants. Integrated strategy (market and non-market) appears as an important driver for legitimizing theses behaviours. (author)

  11. Random sperm use and genetic effects on worker caste fate in Atta colombica leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holman, Luke; Stürup, Marlene; Trontti, Kalevi

    2011-01-01

    Sperm competition can produce fascinating adaptations with far-reaching evolutionary consequences. Social taxa make particularly interesting models, because the outcome of sexual selection determines the genetic composition of groups, with attendant sociobiological consequences. Here, we use...... molecular tools to uncover some of the mechanisms and consequences of sperm competition in the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica, a species with extreme worker size polymorphism. Competitive PCR allowed quantification of the relative numbers of sperm stored by queens from different males, and offspring...... genotyping revealed how sperm number translated into paternity of eggs and adult workers. We demonstrate that fertilization success is directly related to sperm numbers, that stored sperm are well-mixed and that egg paternity is constant over time. Moreover, worker size was found to have a considerable...

  12. Polyandry in the medfly - shifts in paternity mediated by sperm stratification and mixing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scolari, Francesca; Gomulski, Ludvik M; Gabrieli, Paolo; Malacrida, Anna R; Gasperi, Giuliano; Yuval, Boaz; Schetelig, Marc F; Bassetti, Federico; Wimmer, Ernst A

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: In the Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly), Ceratitis capitata, a highly invasive agricultural pest species, polyandry, associated with sperm precedence, is a recurrent behaviour in the wild. The absence of tools for the unambiguous discrimination between competing sperm from different males in the complex female reproductive tract has strongly limited the understanding of mechanisms controlling sperm dynamics and use. RESULTS: Here we use transgenic medfly lines expressing green or red fluorescent proteins in the spermatozoa, which can be easily observed and unambiguously differentiated within the female fertilization chamber. In twice-mated females, one day after the second mating, sperm from the first male appeared to be homogeneously distributed all over the distal portion of each alveolus within the fertilization chamber, whereas sperm from the second male were clearly concentrated in the central portion of each alveolus. This distinct stratified sperm distribution was not maintained over time, as green and red sperm appeared homogeneously mixed seven days after the second mating. This dynamic sperm storage pattern is mirrored by the paternal contribution in the progeny of twice-mated females. CONCLUSIONS: Polyandrous medfly females, unlike Drosophila, conserve sperm from two different mates to fertilize their eggs. From an evolutionary point of view, the storage of sperm in a stratified pattern by medfly females may initially favour the fresher ejaculate from the second male. However, as the second male’s sperm gradually becomes depleted, the sperm from the first male becomes increasingly available for fertilization. The accumulation of sperm from different males will increase the overall genetic variability of the offspring and will ultimately affect the effective population size. From an applicative point of view, the dynamics of sperm storage and their temporal use by a polyandrous female may have an impact on the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT

  13. The influence of company’s dynamic capabilities on achieving a competitive advantage as the new management paradigm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilona Penc-Pietrzak

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the most important conceptions of achieving a company’s competitive advantage: Porter’s five forces model based on the SCP paradigm; the conception of strategic conflict, which uses the tools of game theory; resource-based perspective, which emphasizes the distinctive resources and skills of a company and the dynamic capabilities approach, which is very useful in turbulent environment. The last conception is correctly treated as the new management paradigm.

  14. Daily Sperm Production, Gonadal and Extra-Gonadal Sperm ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SH

    animals fed diets 2 and 3 were similar to the control animals but they were significantly (P<0.05) lower than those fed ... Keywords: Prebiotics, probiotics, rabbits, sperm reserves, sperm production. ... Materials and methods .... In: Handbook of.

  15. ANALYSING ROMANIAN INDUSTRIAL COMPETITIVENESS REGARDING THE RECENT DYNAMICS OF THE INTERNATIONAL INDUSTRIAL TRADE BALANCE

    OpenAIRE

    Felea Adrian Ioan

    2015-01-01

    The industry remains the most important sector of the national economy, although in the other member states the services have a more important share of GDP. In this context, the level of industrial competitiveness is essential for the national competitiveness. This is a characteristic feature for Romania, where the industry has an important share in the GDP, in comparison with the other member states. The international trade balance is an important indicator for measuring the economic competi...

  16. Competitive advantage and competitive dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    Milisavljević Momčilo

    2002-01-01

    Understanding competitors means locating and defining their main elements. The first element is participants - companies that compete and create a network of rivalry. Apart from our company it includes other participants in the market (investors, consumers, distributors, providers and producers of substitute and complementary products). The other element is additional value - net profit and loss which every competitor brings to the others. Measuring of additional value requires measurement of...

  17. Sperm length, sperm storage and mating system characteristics in bumblebees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Høeg, Jens Thorvald

    2003-01-01

    -term storage of sperm, using three bumblebee species with different mating systems as models. We show that individual males produce only one size-class of sperm, but that sperm length is highly variable among brothers, among unrelated conspecific males, and among males of different species. Males of Bombus...

  18. Postcopulatory sexual selection is associated with reduced variation in sperm morphology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Calhim

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available The evolutionary role of postcopulatory sexual selection in shaping male reproductive traits, including sperm morphology, is well documented in several taxa. However, previous studies have focused almost exclusively on the influence of sperm competition on variation among species. In this study we tested the hypothesis that intraspecific variation in sperm morphology is driven by the level of postcopulatory sexual selection in passerine birds.Using two proxy measures of sperm competition level, (i relative testes size and (ii extrapair paternity level, we found strong evidence that intermale variation in sperm morphology is negatively associated with the degree of postcopulatory sexual selection, independently of phylogeny.Our results show that the role of postcopulatory sexual selection in the evolution of sperm morphology extends to an intraspecific level, reducing the variation towards what might be a species-specific 'optimum' sperm phenotype. This finding suggests that while postcopulatory selection is generally directional (e.g., favouring longer sperm across avian species, it also acts as a stabilising evolutionary force within species under intense selection, resulting in reduced variation in sperm morphology traits. We discuss some potential evolutionary mechanisms for this pattern.

  19. No evidence of conpopulation sperm precedence between allopatric populations of house mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renée C Firman

    Full Text Available Investigations into the evolution of reproductive barriers have traditionally focused on closely related species, and the prevalence of conspecific sperm precedence. The effectiveness of conspecific sperm precedence at limiting gene exchange between species suggests that gametic isolation is an important component of reproductive isolation. However, there is a paucity of tests for evidence of sperm precedence during the earlier stages of divergence, for example among isolated populations. Here, we sourced individuals from two allopatric populations of house mice (Mus domesticus and performed competitive in vitro fertilisation assays to test for conpopulation sperm precedence specifically at the gametic level. We found that ova population origin did not influence the outcome of the sperm competitions, and thus provide no evidence of conpopulation or heteropopulation sperm precedence. Instead, we found that males from a population that had evolved under a high level of postcopulatory sexual selection consistently outcompeted males from a population that had evolved under a relatively lower level of postcopulatory sexual selection. We standardised the number of motile sperm of each competitor across the replicate assays. Our data therefore show that competitive fertilizing success was directly attributable to differences in sperm fertilizing competence.

  20. No evidence of conpopulation sperm precedence between allopatric populations of house mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firman, Renée C; Simmons, Leigh W

    2014-01-01

    Investigations into the evolution of reproductive barriers have traditionally focused on closely related species, and the prevalence of conspecific sperm precedence. The effectiveness of conspecific sperm precedence at limiting gene exchange between species suggests that gametic isolation is an important component of reproductive isolation. However, there is a paucity of tests for evidence of sperm precedence during the earlier stages of divergence, for example among isolated populations. Here, we sourced individuals from two allopatric populations of house mice (Mus domesticus) and performed competitive in vitro fertilisation assays to test for conpopulation sperm precedence specifically at the gametic level. We found that ova population origin did not influence the outcome of the sperm competitions, and thus provide no evidence of conpopulation or heteropopulation sperm precedence. Instead, we found that males from a population that had evolved under a high level of postcopulatory sexual selection consistently outcompeted males from a population that had evolved under a relatively lower level of postcopulatory sexual selection. We standardised the number of motile sperm of each competitor across the replicate assays. Our data therefore show that competitive fertilizing success was directly attributable to differences in sperm fertilizing competence.

  1. Additive genetic variance in polyandry enables its evolution, but polyandry is unlikely to evolve through sexy or good sperm processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travers, L M; Simmons, L W; Garcia-Gonzalez, F

    2016-05-01

    Polyandry is widespread despite its costs. The sexually selected sperm hypotheses ('sexy' and 'good' sperm) posit that sperm competition plays a role in the evolution of polyandry. Two poorly studied assumptions of these hypotheses are the presence of additive genetic variance in polyandry and sperm competitiveness. Using a quantitative genetic breeding design in a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster, we first established the potential for polyandry to respond to selection. We then investigated whether polyandry can evolve through sexually selected sperm processes. We measured lifetime polyandry and offensive sperm competitiveness (P2 ) while controlling for sampling variance due to male × male × female interactions. We also measured additive genetic variance in egg-to-adult viability and controlled for its effect on P2 estimates. Female lifetime polyandry showed significant and substantial additive genetic variance and evolvability. In contrast, we found little genetic variance or evolvability in P2 or egg-to-adult viability. Additive genetic variance in polyandry highlights its potential to respond to selection. However, the low levels of genetic variance in sperm competitiveness suggest that the evolution of polyandry may not be driven by sexy sperm or good sperm processes. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  2. Sperm motility in fish: technical applications and perspectives through CASA-Mot systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallego, V; Asturiano, J F

    2018-03-09

    Although a relatively high number of sperm quality biomarkers have been reported over the years in several fish species, sperm motility is nowadays considered the best biomarker for fish spermatozoa. The first scientific reports focusing on fish sperm motility date from a century ago, but the objective assessment allowed by computer-aided sperm analysis (CASA-Mot) systems was not applied to fish species until the mid-1980s. Since then, a high number of sperm kinetic parameters from more than 170 fish species have been reported in more than 700 scientific articles, covering a wide range of topics, such as sperm physiology, sperm storage, broodstock management, the phenomenon of sperm competition, ecotoxicology and understanding the life cycle of the species. The sperm kinetic parameters provided by CASA-Mot systems can serve as powerful and useful tools for aquaculture and ecological purposes, and this review provides an overview of the major research areas in which fish sperm motility assessment by a CASA-Mot system has been used successfully.

  3. Mean field dynamics of the coexistence phase in generalized cyclic competitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mowlaei, Shahir; Roman, Ahmed; Pleimling, Michel

    2014-03-01

    Multispecies Lotka-Volterra models have been a rich source of inspiration in multidisciplinary areas of research due to their inherent nonlinearity which yields intriguing and complex behavior for a large class of competition schemes. Of particular interest here is a subclass of these models where competition is realized in a cyclic manner through a variety of reactions. The goal is to predict and quantify emerging two-dimensional patterns in the coexistence regime. The focus will further be on a set of models that can be analyzed without using the cumbersome machinery of slow-manifolds. This work is supported by the US National Science Foundation through grant DMR-1205309.

  4. The different types of sperm morphology and behavior within a single species: Why do sperm of squid sneaker males form a cluster?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirohashi, Noritaka; Iwata, Yoko

    2013-11-01

    Some coastal squids exhibit male dimorphism (large and small body size) that is linked to mating behaviors. Large "consort" males compete with other, rival males to copulate with a female, and thereby transfer their spermatophores to her internal site around the oviduct. Small "sneaker" males rush to a single female or copulating pair and transfer spermatophores to her external body surface around the seminal receptacle near the mouth. We previously found that in Loligo bleekeri, sneaker sperm are ~50% longer than consort sperm, and only the sneaker sperm, once ejaculated from the spermatophore (sperm mass), form a cluster because of chemoattraction toward their own respiratory CO2. Here, we report that sperm clusters are able to move en masse. Because a fraction of ejaculated sperm from a sneaker's spermatophore are eventually located in the female's seminal receptacle, we hypothesize that sperm clustering facilitates collective migration to the seminal receptacle or an egg micropyle. Sperm clustering is regarded as a cooperative behavior that may have evolved by sperm competition and/or physical and physiological constraints imposed by male mating tactics.

  5. Modification of sperm quality after sexual abstinence in Seba's short-tailed bat, Carollia perspicillata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wesseling, Charlotte; Fasel, Nicolas; Richner, Heinz; Helfenstein, Fabrice

    2016-05-01

    In polygynous mating systems, few males have stable access to sexual mates. With an expected higher copulation rate, harem males may deplete seminal fluids or increase epididymal sperm maturation, generating poor sperm quality. In a first study, we reported a higher sperm quality in sneaker males of Carollia perspicillata To test whether the lower sperm quality observed in harem males was generated by an elevated copulation rate, we temporarily removed males of both social statuses from the colony. We thus assessed status-related changes of sperm quality resulting from sexual abstinence. Moreover, released from territory and female guarding, harem males were expected to show a reduction in somatic costs. On the basis of sperm competition models, we predicted a higher resource investment in the ejaculate with the reduction of pre-copulatory efforts. In line with our predictions, sperm quality of harem males improved significantly in contrast to sneaker males, whose sperm quality did not change. Without an increase in ejaculate lipid peroxidation, our results also provide evidence that the duration of sexual abstinence was not sufficient to generate sperm oxidative damage through senescence. Harem males did not show a reduction in blood lipid peroxidation or in the ratio of oxidized to reduced glutathione. In line with the maintenance of these somatic costs, harem males did not invest more superoxide dismutase to the ejaculate to maintain sperm quality. Our results suggest that a difference in copulation rate rather than an adaptation to sperm competition provides sneaker males with higher sperm quality in C. perspicillata. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. Complex dynamics of an eco-epidemiological model with different competition coefficients and weak Allee in the predator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saifuddin, Md.; Biswas, Santanu; Samanta, Sudip; Sarkar, Susmita; Chattopadhyay, Joydev

    2016-01-01

    The paper explores an eco-epidemiological model with weak Allee in predator, and the disease in the prey population. We consider a predator-prey model with type II functional response. The curiosity of this paper is to consider different competition coefficients within the prey population, which leads to the emergent carrying capacity. We perform the local and global stability analysis of the equilibrium points and the Hopf bifurcation analysis around the endemic equilibrium point. Further we pay attention to the chaotic dynamics which is produced by disease. Our numerical simulations reveal that the three species eco-epidemiological system without weak-Allee induced chaos from stable focus for increasing the force of infection, whereas in the presence of the weak-Allee effect, it exhibits stable solution. We conclude that chaotic dynamics can be controlled by the Allee parameter as well as the competition coefficients. We apply basic tools of non-linear dynamics such as Poincare section and maximum Lyapunov exponent to identify chaotic behavior of the system.

  7. A dynamic approach to assess international competitiveness of Vietnam's garment and textile industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vu, Huong Thanh; Pham, Lam Cat

    2016-01-01

    Garment and textile (G&T) industry has been playing as a driving force for the socio-economic development of Vietnam. With the international integration process and rising challenges from the global market, there is a need to examine international competitiveness of Vietnam's G&T industry to find out what Vietnam should focus on to enhance its position in the global market place. This paper, by using the Generalized Double Diamond Model (GDDM), analyzed international competitiveness of Vietnam's G&T industry and compared it with China. The results showed that Vietnam was less competitive than China in all four attributes of the GDDM. The lowest competitiveness of Vietnam in comparison with China was Related and Supporting industries, followed by Factor Conditions. Therefore, the paper argued that although Vietnam should improve all of the four attributes in the long term, Vietnam must put a high priority on developing Related and Supporting Industries and then enhance Factor Conditions while maintaining its strengths over China in terms of G&T export growths and favorable business context.

  8. Competition and facilitation may lead to asymmetric range shift dynamics with climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ettinger, Ailene; HilleRisLambers, Janneke

    2017-09-01

    Forecasts of widespread range shifts with climate change stem from assumptions that climate drives species' distributions. However, local adaptation and biotic interactions also influence range limits and thus may impact range shifts. Despite the potential importance of these factors, few studies have directly tested their effects on performance at range limits. We address how population-level variation and biotic interactions may affect range shifts by transplanting seeds and seedlings of western North American conifers of different origin populations into different competitive neighborhoods within and beyond their elevational ranges and monitoring their performance. We find evidence that competition with neighboring trees limits performance within current ranges, but that interactions between adults and juveniles switch from competitive to facilitative at upper range limits. Local adaptation had weaker effects on performance that did not predictably vary with range position or seed origin. Our findings suggest that competitive interactions may slow species turnover within forests at lower range limits, whereas facilitative interactions may accelerate the pace of tree expansions upward near timberline. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. A phi-competitive algorithm for collecting items with increasing weights from a dynamic queue

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bienkowski, M.; Chrobak, M.; Dürr, Ch.; Hurand, M.; Jeż, A.; Jeż, Łukasz; Stachowiak, G.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 475, 4 March (2013), s. 92-102 ISSN 0304-3975 Institutional support: RVO:67985840 Keywords : online algorithms * competitive analysis * buffer management Subject RIV: BA - General Mathematics Impact factor: 0.516, year: 2013 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304397513000121

  10. Private capital access: a new competition dynamic on electric power generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luz, A.D. da; Ribeiro, H.M.

    1990-01-01

    This paper intents to elaborate an interpretation on the market structure changes of the electric power generation sector based on Competition Pattern concept. It proposes to demonstrate that the recent institutional reformulations are not causes, but results from the economic movements. Finally a prospective scenery and the State Company perspectives on energy generation are anticipated. (author)

  11. Competitive dynamics of energy, environment, and economy in the U.S

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pao, Hsiao-Tien; Chen, Haipeng; Li, Yi-Ying

    2015-01-01

    This paper applies the Lotka–Volterra model to investigate the competitive interactions among energy, environment, and economy (3Es) in the U.S. The proposed LV-COMSUD (Lotka–Volterra COmpetition Model for SUstainable Development) has satisfactory performance for model fitting and provides a useful multivariate framework to predict outcomes concerning these interactions. Our key findings include a pure competition between emissions and GDP (Gross Domestic Product), neutralisms between renewable and fossil/nuclear energy, and commensalisms between GDP and renewable/fossil energy and between nuclear energy and fossil energy/emissions. These results indicate that renewable/fossil energy use contributes to GDP and interacts indirectly with emissions, that an environmental Kuznets curve exists, and that the amount of produced nuclear energy correlates with emission. The U.S. is dependent on non-clean energy sources and its energy efficiency has room for improvement. The results provide unique insights for policy makers to craft up sustainable economic development plans. Overall, it is suggested that for developed markets such as the U.S., to enhance energy security and mitigate climate changes, improving energy efficiency and developing low-carbon clean energy should be top priorities. - Highlights: • The competitive interactions among energy, environment, and economy are examined. • A pure competition between emissions and GDP exists and an EKC exists. • Energy use contributes to GDP and interacts indirectly with emissions. • Nuclear energy was used to tackle the growth of emissions/fossil energy use. • Improved energy efficiency is a viable policy to enhance energy security in U.S

  12. Sperm head's birefringence: a new criterion for sperm selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gianaroli, Luca; Magli, M Cristina; Collodel, Giulia; Moretti, Elena; Ferraretti, Anna P; Baccetti, Baccio

    2008-07-01

    To investigate the characteristics of birefringence in human sperm heads and apply polarization microscopy for sperm selection at intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Prospective randomized study. Reproductive Medicine Unit, Società Italiana Studi Medicina della Riproduzione, Bologna, Italy. A total of 112 male patients had birefringent sperm selected for ICSI (study group). The clinical outcome was compared with that obtained in 119 couples who underwent a conventional ICSI cycle (control group). The proportion of birefringent spermatozoa was evaluated before and after treatment in relation to the sperm sample quality. Embryo development and clinical outcome in the study group were compared with those in the controls. Proportion of birefringent sperm heads, rates of fertilization, cleavage, pregnancy, implantation, and ongoing implantation. The proportion of birefringent spermatozoa was significantly higher in normospermic samples when compared with oligoasthenoteratospermic samples with no progressive motility and testicular sperm extraction samples. Although fertilization and cleavage rates did not differ between the study and control groups, in the most severe male factor condition (oligoasthenoteratospermic with no progressive motility and testicular sperm extraction), the rates of clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and implantation were significantly higher in the study group versus the controls. The analysis of birefringence in the sperm head could represent both a diagnostic tool and a novel method for sperm selection.

  13. Enhancement of faba bean competitive ability by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi is highly correlated with dynamic nutrient acquisition by competing wheat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiao, Xu; Bei, Shuikuan; Li, Chunjie; Dong, Yan; Li, Haigang; Christie, Peter; Zhang, Fusuo; Zhang, Junling

    2015-01-29

    The mechanistic understanding of the dynamic processes linking nutrient acquisition and biomass production of competing individuals can be instructive in optimizing intercropping systems. Here, we examine the effect of inoculation with Funneliformis mosseae on competitive dynamics between wheat and faba bean. Wheat is less responsive to mycorrhizal inoculation. Both inoculated and uninoculated wheat attained the maximum instantaneous N and P capture approximately five days before it attained the maximum instantaneous biomass production, indicating that wheat detected the competitor and responded physiologically to resource limitation prior to the biomass response. By contrast, the instantaneous N and P capture by uninoculated faba bean remained low throughout the growth period, and plant growth was not significantly affected by competing wheat. However, inoculation substantially enhanced biomass production and N and P acquisition of faba bean. The exudation of citrate and malate acids and acid phosphatase activity were greater in mycorrhizal than in uninoculated faba bean, and rhizosphere pH tended to decrease. We conclude that under N and P limiting conditions, temporal separation of N and P acquisition by competing plant species and enhancement of complementary resource use in the presence of AMF might be attributable to the competitive co-existence of faba bean and wheat.

  14. Modelling a tethered mammalian sperm cell undergoing hyperactivation

    KAUST Repository

    Curtis, M.P.

    2012-09-01

    The beat patterns of mammalian sperm flagella can be categorised into two different types. The first involves symmetric waves propagating down the flagellum with a net linear propulsion of the sperm cell. The second, hyperactive, waveform is classified by vigorous asymmetric waves of higher amplitude, lower wavenumber and frequency propagating down the flagellum resulting in highly curved trajectories. The latter beat pattern is part of the capacitation process whereby sperm prepare for the prospective penetration of the zona pellucida and fusion with the egg. Hyperactivation is often observed to initiate as sperm escape from epithelial and ciliary bindings formed within the isthmic regions of the female oviducts, leading to a conjecture in the literature that this waveform is mechanically important for sperm escape. Hence, we explore the mechanical effects of hyperactivation on a tethered sperm, focussing on a Newtonian fluid. Using a resistive force theory model we demonstrate that hyperactivation can indeed generate forces that pull the sperm away from a tethering point and consequently a hyperactivated sperm cell bound to an epithelial surface need not always be pushed by its flagellum. More generally, directions of the forces generated by tethered flagella are insensitive to reductions in beat frequency and the detailed flagellar responses depend on the nature of the binding at the tethering point. Furthermore, waveform asymmetry and amplitude increases enhance the tendency for a tethered flagellum to start tugging on its binding. The same is generally predicted to be true for reductions in the wavenumber of the flagellum beat, but not universally so, emphasising the dynamical complexity of flagellar force generation. Finally, qualitative observations drawn from experimental data of human sperm bound to excised female reproductive tract are also presented and are found to be consistent with the theoretical predictions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Modelling a tethered mammalian sperm cell undergoing hyperactivation

    KAUST Repository

    Curtis, M.P.; Kirkman-Brown, J.C.; Connolly, T.J.; Gaffney, E.A.

    2012-01-01

    The beat patterns of mammalian sperm flagella can be categorised into two different types. The first involves symmetric waves propagating down the flagellum with a net linear propulsion of the sperm cell. The second, hyperactive, waveform is classified by vigorous asymmetric waves of higher amplitude, lower wavenumber and frequency propagating down the flagellum resulting in highly curved trajectories. The latter beat pattern is part of the capacitation process whereby sperm prepare for the prospective penetration of the zona pellucida and fusion with the egg. Hyperactivation is often observed to initiate as sperm escape from epithelial and ciliary bindings formed within the isthmic regions of the female oviducts, leading to a conjecture in the literature that this waveform is mechanically important for sperm escape. Hence, we explore the mechanical effects of hyperactivation on a tethered sperm, focussing on a Newtonian fluid. Using a resistive force theory model we demonstrate that hyperactivation can indeed generate forces that pull the sperm away from a tethering point and consequently a hyperactivated sperm cell bound to an epithelial surface need not always be pushed by its flagellum. More generally, directions of the forces generated by tethered flagella are insensitive to reductions in beat frequency and the detailed flagellar responses depend on the nature of the binding at the tethering point. Furthermore, waveform asymmetry and amplitude increases enhance the tendency for a tethered flagellum to start tugging on its binding. The same is generally predicted to be true for reductions in the wavenumber of the flagellum beat, but not universally so, emphasising the dynamical complexity of flagellar force generation. Finally, qualitative observations drawn from experimental data of human sperm bound to excised female reproductive tract are also presented and are found to be consistent with the theoretical predictions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

  16. Dimorphic ejaculates and sperm release strategies associated with alternative mating behaviors in the squid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apostólico, Lígia H; Marian, José E A R

    2017-11-01

    Sperm competition is a powerful postcopulatory selective force influencing male adaptations associated with increasing fertilization success, and it is usually related to the evolution of different strategies of ejaculate expenditure between individuals. Ejaculates may also be influenced by additional selective pressures associated with sperm competition, such as timing between insemination and fertilization, female reproductive tract morphology, and fertilization environment. Also, males that adopt alternative mating tactics may face distinct sperm competition pressures, which may lead to the evolution of intraspecific diversity in ejaculates. In loliginid squids, males with alternative reproductive tactics (sneakers and consorts) differ not only in mating behavior, but also transfer spermatophores into two distinct sites within the female. Here, we compared structure and functioning of spermatophores between sneakers and consorts in the squid Doryteuthis plei applying microscopy techniques and in vitro experiments. Sneakers and consorts exhibit differences in spermatophore structure that lead to distinct spermatophoric reactions and spermatangium morphologies. Moreover, in sneakers, sperm release lasts longer and their sperm show an aggregative behavior not detected in consorts. Slow sperm release may be a strategy to guarantee longer sperm provision, given the wide interval between sneaker mating and egg release. For consorts, in turn, intense and quick sperm discharge may be advantageous, as timing between mating and egg-laying is relatively short. Within the complex squid mating system, factors such as (i) different fertilization sites and (ii) interval between mating and egg release may also influence sperm competition, and ultimately shape the evolution of divergent ejaculates between dimorphic males. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. The Growth Dynamics of Words: How Historical Context Shapes the Competitive Linguistic Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tenenbaum, Joel; Petersen, Alexander; Havlin, Shlomo; Stanley, H. Eugene

    2012-02-01

    Using the massive Google n-gram database of over 10^11 word uses in English, Hebrew, and Spanish, we explore the connection between the growth rates of relative word use and the observed growth rates of disparate competing actors in a common environment such as businesses, scientific journals, and universities, supporting the concept that a language's lexicon is a generic arena for competition, evolving according to selection laws. We find aggregate-level anomalies in the collective statistics corresponding to the time of key historical events such as World War II and the Balfour Declaration.

  18. The different types of sperm morphology and behavior within a single species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirohashi, Noritaka; Iwata, Yoko

    2013-01-01

    Some coastal squids exhibit male dimorphism (large and small body size) that is linked to mating behaviors. Large “consort” males compete with other, rival males to copulate with a female, and thereby transfer their spermatophores to her internal site around the oviduct. Small “sneaker” males rush to a single female or copulating pair and transfer spermatophores to her external body surface around the seminal receptacle near the mouth. We previously found that in Loligo bleekeri, sneaker sperm are ~50% longer than consort sperm, and only the sneaker sperm, once ejaculated from the spermatophore (sperm mass), form a cluster because of chemoattraction toward their own respiratory CO2. Here, we report that sperm clusters are able to move en masse. Because a fraction of ejaculated sperm from a sneaker’s spermatophore are eventually located in the female’s seminal receptacle, we hypothesize that sperm clustering facilitates collective migration to the seminal receptacle or an egg micropyle. Sperm clustering is regarded as a cooperative behavior that may have evolved by sperm competition and/or physical and physiological constraints imposed by male mating tactics. PMID:24567779

  19. Subversive practices of sperm donation - globalizing Danish sperm

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willum Adrian, Stine

    as the use of donated sperm continuously has been debated as an ethical issue, and increasingly been regulated. In this presentation I will discuss how Denmark became a destination for fertility travelling (sperm donation) as a result of various subversive strategies of family making. The article inquires......-sited ethnography drawing on ethnographic research including observations and interviews from fertility clinics and sperm banks in Denmark during 2002/2003 and 2011- 2013, legislative documents and websites of fertility clinics and sperm banks. The presentation is methodologically inspired by Adele Clarke...

  20. Recent advances in bird sperm morphometric analysis and its role in male gamete characterization and reproduction technologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian Santiago-Moreno

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Postcopulatory sexual selection through sperm competition may be an important evolutionary force affecting many reproductive traits, including sperm morphometrics. Environmental factors such as pollutants, pesticides, and climate change may affect different sperm traits, and thus reproduction, in sensitive bird species. Many sperm-handling processes used in assisted reproductive techniques may also affect the size of sperm cells. The accurately measured dimensions of sperm cell structures (especially the head can thus be used as indicators of environmental influences, in improving our understanding of reproductive and evolutionary strategies, and for optimizing assisted reproductive techniques (e.g., sperm cryopreservation for use with birds. Computer-assisted sperm morphometry analysis (CASA-Morph provides an accurate and reliable method for assessing sperm morphometry, reducing the problem of subjectivity associated with human visual assessment. Computerized systems have been standardized for use with semen from different mammalian species. Avian spermatozoa, however, are filiform, limiting their analysis with such systems, which were developed to examine the approximately spherical heads of mammalian sperm cells. To help overcome this, the standardization of staining techniques to be used in computer-assessed light microscopical methods is a priority. The present review discusses these points and describes the sperm morphometric characteristics of several wild and domestic bird species.

  1. Cytometry of mammalian sperm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gledhill, B.L.

    1983-10-11

    Male germ cells respond dramatically to a variety of insults and are important reproductive dosimeters. Semen analyses are very useful in studies on the effects of drugs, chemicals, and environmental hazards on testicular function, male fertility and heritable germinal mutations. The accessibility of male cells makes them well suited for analytical cytology. We might automate the process of determining sperm morphology but should not do so solely for increased speed. Rather, richer tangible benefits will derive from cytometric evaluation through increased sensitivity, reduced subjectivity, standardization between investigators and laboratories, enhanced archival systems, and the benefits of easily exchanged standardized data. Inroads on the standardization of assays for motility and functional integrity are being made. Flow cytometric analysis of total DNA content of individual sperm is an insensitive means to detect exposure to reproductive toxins because of the small size and low frequency of the DNA content errors. Flow cytometry can be applied to determine the proportions of X- and Y-sperm in semen samples.

  2. Cytometry of mammalian sperm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gledhill, B.L.

    1983-01-01

    Male germ cells respond dramatically to a variety of insults and are important reproductive dosimeters. Semen analyses are very useful in studies on the effects of drugs, chemicals, and environmental hazards on testicular function, male fertility and heritable germinal mutations. The accessibility of male cells makes them well suited for analytical cytology. We might automate the process of determining sperm morphology but should not do so solely for increased speed. Rather, richer tangible benefits will derive from cytometric evaluation through increased sensitivity, reduced subjectivity, standardization between investigators and laboratories, enhanced archival systems, and the benefits of easily exchanged standardized data. Inroads on the standardization of assays for motility and functional integrity are being made. Flow cytometric analysis of total DNA content of individual sperm is an insensitive means to detect exposure to reproductive toxins because of the small size and low frequency of the DNA content errors. Flow cytometry can be applied to determine the proportions of X- and Y-sperm in semen samples

  3. Cryopreservation of microencapsulated canine sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Shambhu; Otsuki, Tsubasa; Fujimura, Chika; Yamamoto, Naoki; Yamashita, Yasuhisa; Higaki, Shogo; Hishinuma, Mitsugu

    2011-03-01

    The objective was to develop a method for cryopreserving microencapsulated canine sperm. Pooled ejaculates from three beagle dogs were extended in egg yolk tris extender and encapsulated using alginate and poly-L-lysine at room temperature. The microcapsules were cooled at 4 °C, immersed in pre-cooled extender (equivalent in volume to the microcapsules) to reach final concentration of 7% (v/v) glycerol and 0.75% (v/v) Equex STM paste, and equilibrated for 5, 30 and 60 min at 4 °C. Thereafter, microcapsules were loaded into 0.5 mL plastic straws and frozen in liquid nitrogen. In Experiment 1, characteristics of microencapsulated canine sperm were evaluated after glycerol addition at 4 °C. Glycerol exposure for 5, 30 and 60 min did not significantly affect progressive motility, viability, or acrosomal integrity of microencapsulated sperm compared with pre-cooled unencapsulated sperm (control). In Experiment 2, characteristics of frozen-thawed canine microencapsulated sperm were evaluated at 0, 3, 6, and 9 h of culture at 38.5 °C. Pre-freeze glycerol exposure for 5, 30, and 60 min at 4 °C did not influence post-thaw quality in unencapsulated sperm. Post-thaw motility and acrosomal integrity of microencapsulated sperm decreased more than those of unencapsulated sperm (P < 0.05) following glycerol exposure for 5 min. However, motility, viability and acrosomal integrity of microencapsulated sperm after 30 and 60 min glycerol exposure were higher than unencapsulated sperm cultured for 6 or 9 h (P < 0.05). In conclusion, since microencapsulated canine sperm were successfully cryopreserved, this could be a viable alternative to convention sperm cryopreservation in this species. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Testes mass, but not sperm length, increases with higher levels of polyandry in an ancient sex model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David E Vrech

    Full Text Available There is strong evidence that polyandrous taxa have evolved relatively larger testes than monogamous relatives. Sperm size may either increase or decrease across species with the risk or intensity of sperm competition. Scorpions represent an ancient direct mode with spermatophore-mediated sperm transfer and are particularly well suited for studies in sperm competition. This work aims to analyze for the first time the variables affecting testes mass, ejaculate volume and sperm length, according with their levels of polyandry, in species belonging to the Neotropical family Bothriuridae. Variables influencing testes mass and sperm length were obtained by model selection analysis using corrected Akaike Information Criterion. Testes mass varied greatly among the seven species analyzed, ranging from 1.6 ± 1.1 mg in Timogenes dorbignyi to 16.3 ± 4.5 mg in Brachistosternus pentheri with an average of 8.4 ± 5.0 mg in all the species. The relationship between testes mass and body mass was not significant. Body allocation in testes mass, taken as Gonadosomatic Index, was high in Bothriurus cordubensis and Brachistosternus ferrugineus and low in Timogenes species. The best-fitting model for testes mass considered only polyandry as predictor with a positive influence. Model selection showed that body mass influenced sperm length negatively but after correcting for body mass, none of the variables analyzed explained sperm length. Both body mass and testes mass influenced spermatophore volume positively. There was a strong phylogenetic effect on the model containing testes mass. As predicted by the sperm competition theory and according to what happens in other arthropods, testes mass increased in species with higher levels of sperm competition, and influenced positively spermatophore volume, but data was not conclusive for sperm length.

  5. The effects of rival seminal plasma on sperm velocity in the alternative reproductive tactics of Chinook salmon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Jason A; Pitcher, Trevor E

    2017-04-01

    Sperm competition is prevalent and intense in many animal mating systems, and is a major force driving evolution of such mating systems. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of seminal plasma on sperm velocity of male Chinook salmon (Onchorhynchus tshawytscha), which possesses a mating system with male alternative reproductive tactics and intense sperm competition. Male Chinook salmon either adopt a small, precocious sneaking tactic (jack) or a large, dominant tactic (hooknose). To test whether the seminal plasma can effect sperm velocity amongst sperm competitors, two experiments were done whereby males were paired based upon the alternative tactic each male adopted, with the first experiment consisting of jack-hooknose pairs (N = 16) and the second experiment consisting of jack-jack and hooknose-hooknose pairs (N = 12 and 14, respectively). Within each pair, milt of each male was manipulated such that seminal plasma was removed and swapped between the males in each pair and sperm velocity was measured. Jack seminal plasma caused a significant decrease (∼11.9%) in hooknose sperm velocity while causing a significant increase in jack sperm velocity (∼7%), while alternatively, hooknose seminal plasma had no affect on sperm velocity of jack or other hooknose males. This study shows that rival seminal plasma may affect the outcome of sperm competition between males; males adopting a sneaking tactic, that spawn in a disadvantageous mating position, may be able to compensate for this deficit by being more competitive through the effects of their seminal plasma on their competitor's sperm velocity. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. DYNAMIC CAPABILITIES AND CREATING ORGANIZATIONAL KNOWLEDGE: IMPORTANT LINKAGE FOR BUILDING COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sugiono A.

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available As a concept derived from the resource-based view, dynamic capabilities essentially have an important linkage with activities related to the creation of organizational knowledge. Using literature study method, this paper aims to discuss the linkage between the creation of dynamic knowledge capabilities and the creation of knowledge company. The study shows that the discussion of dynamic capabilities creation finally puts both learning and knowledge in an important position. Correspondingly, the relationship between a growth strategy that is generally chosen by the organization brings a consequence that the creation of organizational knowledge becomes something that can not be ignored. In order to make the process of knowledge creation in line with dynamic capabilities creation within a growth strategy creation framework, we need a dynamic process of knowledge creation. Among the various models of knowledge creation, SECI model still becomes a relevant model within organizational knowledge creation framework. In general, this study is still theoretical, therefore, more empirical subsequent discussions are expected.

  7. Carbonic anhydrases and their functional differences in human and mouse sperm physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    José, O; Torres-Rodríguez, P; Forero-Quintero, L S; Chávez, J C; De la Vega-Beltrán, J L; Carta, F; Supuran, C T; Deitmer, J W; Treviño, C L

    2015-12-25

    Fertilization is a key reproductive event in which sperm and egg fuse to generate a new individual. Proper regulation of certain parameters (such as intracellular pH) is crucial for this process. Carbonic anhydrases (CAs) are among the molecular entities that control intracellular pH dynamics in most cells. Unfortunately, little is known about the function of CAs in mammalian sperm physiology. For this reason, we re-explored the expression of CAI, II, IV and XIII in human and mouse sperm. We also measured the level of CA activity, determined by mass spectrometry, and found that it is similar in non-capacitated and capacitated mouse sperm. Importantly, we found that CAII activity accounts for half of the total CA activity in capacitated mouse sperm. Using the general CA inhibitor ethoxyzolamide, we studied how CAs participate in fundamental sperm physiological processes such as motility and acrosome reaction in both species. We found that capacitated human sperm depend strongly on CA activity to support normal motility, while capacitated mouse sperm do not. Finally, we found that CA inhibition increases the acrosome reaction in capacitated human sperm, but not in capacitated mouse sperm. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Dynamic competition and enterprising discovery: Kirzner’s market process theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmet İhsan KAYA

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Market process theory is designed by the followers of Austrian School tradition as an alternative to neo-classic price theory in order to explain perceptible markets. Contrary to neo-classic economy which focuses on the concept of equilibrium, market process theory seeks to explore unequilibrium and direction to equilibrium. While doing so, the role of enterprenuer in dealing with limited information which is not taken into consideration in the price theory of neo-classic economy, uncertainty because of time and uncertainty which occurs in market underpins Israel Kirzner's analyses. In the study, Kirzner's competition and enterpreneurship theory is discussed with the contributions of Mises and Hayek. The study constitutes an introduction to market process theory of Kirzner.

  9. The dynamics of male-male competition in Cardiocondyla obscurior ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cremer Sylvia

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The outcome of male-male competition can be predicted from the relative fighting qualities of the opponents, which often depend on their age. In insects, freshly emerged and still sexually inactive males are morphologically indistinct from older, sexually active males. These young inactive males may thus be easy targets for older males if they cannot conceal themselves from their attacks. The ant Cardiocondyla obscurior is characterised by lethal fighting between wingless (“ergatoid” males. Here, we analyse for how long young males are defenceless after eclosion, and how early adult males can detect the presence of rival males. Results We found that old ergatoid males consistently won fights against ergatoid males younger than two days. Old males did not differentiate between different types of unpigmented pupae several days before emergence, but had more frequent contact to ready-to-eclose pupae of female sexuals and winged males than of workers and ergatoid males. In rare cases, old ergatoid males displayed alleviated biting of pigmented ergatoid male pupae shortly before adult eclosion, as well as copulation attempts to dark pupae of female sexuals and winged males. Ergatoid male behaviour may be promoted by a closer similarity of the chemical profile of ready-to-eclose pupae to the profile of adults than that of young pupae several days prior to emergence. Conclusion Young ergatoid males of C. obscurior would benefit greatly by hiding their identity from older, resident males, as they are highly vulnerable during the first two days of their adult lives. In contrast to the winged males of the same species, which are able to prevent ergatoid male attacks by chemical female mimicry, young ergatoids do not seem to be able to produce a protective chemical profile. Conflicts in male-male competition between ergatoid males of different age thus seem to be resolved in favour of the older males. This might represent selection

  10. Mechanisms and dynamics of cooperation and competition emergence in complex networked systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gianetto, David A.

    Cooperative behavior is a pervasive phenomenon in human interactions and yet how it can evolve and become established, through the selfish process of natural selection, is an enduring puzzle. These behaviors emerge when agents interact in a structured manner; even so, the key structural factors that affect cooperation are not well understood. Moreover, the literature often considers cooperation a single attribute of primitive agents who do not react to environmental changes but real-world actors are more perceptive. The present work moves beyond these assumptions by evolving more realistic game participants, with memories of the past, on complex networks. Agents play repeated games with a three-part Markovian strategy that allows us to separate the cooperation phenomenon into trust, reciprocity, and forgiveness characteristics. Our results show that networks matter most when agents gain the most by acting in a selfish manner, irrespective of how much they may lose by cooperating; since the context provided by neighborhoods inhibits greedy impulses that agents otherwise succumb to in isolation. Network modularity is the most important driver of cooperation emergence in these high-stakes games. However, modularity fails to tell the complete story. Modular scale-free graphs impede cooperation when close coordination is required, partially due to the acyclic nature of scale-free network models. To achieve the highest cooperation in diverse social conditions, both high modularity, low connectivity within modules, and a rich network of long cycles become important. With these findings in hand, we study the influence of networks on coordination and competition within the federal health care insurance exchange. In this applied study, we show that systemic health care coordination is encouraged by the emergent insurance network. The network helps underpin the viability of the exchange and provides an environment of stronger competition once a critical-mass of insurers have

  11. Ovarian fluid impacts flagellar beating and biomechanical metrics of sperm between alternative reproductive tactics

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Butts, I. A. E.; Prokopchuk, Galina; Kašpar, V.; Cosson, J.; Pitcher, T. E.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 220, č. 12 (2017), s. 2210-2217 ISSN 0022-0949 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : competition * salmon * Oncorhynchus tshawytscha * spawning * reproductive strategy * sperm competition * cryptic female choice Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Zoology Impact factor: 3.320, year: 2016

  12. Analysis of the long-term availability of uranium: The influence of dynamic constraints and market competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Monnet, Antoine; Gabriel, Sophie; Percebois, Jacques

    2017-01-01

    Abstract: The availability of natural uranium has a direct impact on the global capability to sustain the demand from nuclear power plants in the coming decades. Therefore, the expansion scenarios of nuclear power should be analysed in conjunction with long-term dynamics of the uranium market. This paper presents three forms of a partial-equilibrium model of the uranium market. All forms consider global demand as exogenous (input scenarios from the literature) and regional estimates of the quantities and the costs of ultimate resources (results obtained from previous work). The three forms differ by the market constraints and the market structure considered. Comparing them highlights the role of the market structure and the impact of some key parameters of the market dynamics on the long-term availability of uranium. An important finding is the influence of two constraints: the anticipation of demand and the significant role played by the correlation between price and exploration expenses in shaping the price trends. In addition, results from simulations highlight different long-term dynamics when the producers are allocated into a limited number of regions (to simulate an oligopoly) compared to a single region (undefined number of players to simulate perfect competition). - Highlights: • The growth rate of demand during the 21st century is a key driver of price trends. • Uncertainties on ultimate resources have a limited impact in expansion scenarios. • The price-exploration correlation is a first-order dynamic constraint. • The anticipation of demand is a strong dynamic constraint related to scarcity rent. • The uranium market is better represented by a constrained oligopoly.

  13. Effect of Prophylactic Ankle-Brace Use During a High School Competitive Basketball Season on Dynamic Postural Control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crockett, Nathan J; Sandrey, Michelle A

    2015-08-01

    Few studies have evaluated the long-term effects of prophylactic ankle-brace use during a sport season. To determine the effects of prophylactic ankle-brace use during a high school basketball season on dynamic postural control and functional tests. Prospective repeated-measures design. High school athletic facility. 21 healthy high school basketball athletes (13 girls, 8 boys). The order of testing was randomized using the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) for posteromedial (PM), medial (M), and anteromedial (AM) directions and 3 functional tests (FT) consisting of the single-leg crossover hop, single-leg vertical jump, and the single-leg 6-m hop for time at pre-, mid-, and postseason. After pretesting, the ankle brace was worn on both limbs during the entire 16-wk competitive basketball season. SEBT for PM, M, and AM and 3 single-leg FTs. Dynamic postural control using the SEBT and the 3 FTs improved over time, notably from pretest to posttest. The left limb was different from the right limb during the single-leg vertical jump. Effect sizes were large for pretest to posttest for the 3 SEBT directions and 2 of the 3 FTs. The 16-wk basketball prophylactic ankle-brace intervention significantly improved dynamic postural control and single-limb FTs over time.

  14. Spatiotemporal model of barley and cereal yellow dwarf virus transmission dynamics with seasonality and plant competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    S.M. Moore; C.A. Manore; V.A. Bokil; E.T. Borer; P.R. Hosseini

    2011-01-01

    Many generalist pathogens are influenced by the spatial distributions and relative abundances of susceptible host species. The spatial structure of host populations can influence patterns of infection incidence (or disease outbreaks), and the effects of a generalist pathogen on host community dynamics in a spatially heterogeneous community may differ from predictions...

  15. Essays on competition, corporate financing and investment : A stochastic dynamic approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gryglewicz, S.

    2008-01-01

    This thesis contains four studies on economic and finance theory that analyze the effects of time, uncertainty and information on firms’ strategic and financial decisions. The first essay presents a game-theoretic model of dynamic signaling taking place in an evolving environment. The model is

  16. System dynamics of the competition of municipal solid waste to landfill, electricity, and liquid fuel in California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Westbrook, Jessica; Malczynski, Leonard A.; Manley, Dawn Kataoka

    2014-03-01

    A quantitative system dynamics model was created to evaluate the economic and environmental tradeoffs between biomass to electricity and to liquid fuel using MSW biomass in the state of California as a case study. From an environmental perspective, landfilling represents the worst use of MSW over time, generating more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to converting MSW to liquid fuel or to electricity. MSW to ethanol results in the greatest displacement of GHG emissions per dollar spent compared to MSW to electricity. MSW to ethanol could save the state of California approximately $60 billion in energy costs by 2050 compared to landfilling, while also reducing GHG emissions state-wide by approximately 140 million metric tons during that timeframe. MSW conversion to electricity creates a significant cost within the state's electricity sector, although some conversion technologies are cost competitive with existing renewable generation.

  17. COMPETITION BEETWEN DYNAMIC RECUPERATION AND RECRYSTALLIZATION OF ASTM F 138 AUSTENITIC STAINLESS STEEL UTILIZED IN MEDICAL DEVICES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio Henrique Casarini Geronimo

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available ASTM F 138 austenitic stainless steel has being used in the manufacture of orthopedical devices by hot forging. In this work, the flow stress curves are determined by hot torsion tests in a wide range of temperatures and strain rates. With the observed microestrutural evolution by optical microscopy in different hot forming conditions in addiction with EBSD (Electron Backscatter Diffraction techniques it is possible to obtained the recrystallized volume fraction and the misorientation angles of the samples. Due to the intermediate level of stacking fault energy of this material, during the dynamic softening occurs a competition between recrystallization and recovery. The aim of this work is to identify the softening mechanisms in this stainless steel, as well as in which hot work conditions they become more active.

  18. Factors influencing boar sperm cryosurvival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roca, J; Hernández, M; Carvajal, G; Vázquez, J M; Martínez, E A

    2006-10-01

    Optimal sperm cryopreservation is a prerequisite for the sustainable commercial application of frozen-thawed boar semen for AI. Three experiments were performed to identify factors influencing variability of postthaw sperm survival among 464 boar ejaculates. Sperm-rich ejaculate fractions were cryopre-served using a standard freezing-thawing procedure for 0.5-mL plastic straws and computer-controlled freezing equipment. Postthaw sperm motility (assessed with a computer-assisted semen analysis system) and viability (simultaneously probed by flow cytometry analysis after triple-fluorescent stain), evaluated 30 and 150 min postthaw, were used to estimate the success of cryopreservation. In the first experiment, 168 unselected ejaculates (1 ejaculate/boar), from boars of 6 breeds with a wide age range (8 to 48 mo), were cryopreserved over a 12-mo period to evaluate the predictive value of boar (breed and age), semen collection, transport variables (season of ejaculate collection, interval between collections, and ejaculate temperature exposure), initial semen traits, and sperm quality before freezing on sperm survival after freezing-thawing. In Exp. 2, 4 ejaculates from each of 29 boars, preselected according to their initial semen traits and sperm quality before freezing, were collected and frozen over a 6-mo period to evaluate the influence of interboar and intraboar ejaculate variability in the survival of sperm after cryopreservation. In Exp. 3, 12 ejaculates preselected as for Exp. 2, from each of 15 boars with known good sperm cryosurvival, were collected and frozen over a 12-mo period to estimate the sustainability of sperm cryosurvival between ejaculates over time. Boar and semen collection and transport variables were not predictive of sperm cryosurvival among ejaculates. Initial semen traits and sperm quality variables observed before freezing explained 23.2 and 10.9%, respectively, of the variation in postthaw sperm motility and viability. However, more that

  19. Sexual segregation in juvenile New Zealand sea lion foraging ranges: implications for intraspecific competition, population dynamics and conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elaine S Leung

    Full Text Available Sexual segregation (sex differences in spatial organisation and resource use is observed in a large range of taxa. Investigating causes for sexual segregation is vital for understanding population dynamics and has important conservation implications, as sex differences in foraging ecology may affect vulnerability to area-specific human activities. Although behavioural ecologists have proposed numerous hypotheses for this phenomenon, the underlying causes of sexual segregation are poorly understood. We examined the size-dimorphism and niche divergence hypotheses as potential explanations for sexual segregation in the New Zealand (NZ sea lion (Phocarctos hookeri, a nationally critical, declining species impacted by trawl fisheries. We used satellite telemetry and linear mixed effects models to investigate sex differences in the foraging ranges of juvenile NZ sea lions. Male trip distances and durations were almost twice as long as female trips, with males foraging over the Auckland Island shelf and in further locations than females. Sex was the most important variable in trip distance, maximum distance travelled from study site, foraging cycle duration and percent time at sea whereas mass and age had small effects on these characteristics. Our findings support the predictions of the niche divergence hypothesis, which suggests that sexual segregation acts to decrease intraspecific resource competition. As a consequence of sexual segregation in foraging ranges, female foraging grounds had proportionally double the overlap with fisheries operations than males. This distribution exposes female juvenile NZ sea lions to a greater risk of resource competition and bycatch from fisheries than males, which can result in higher female mortality. Such sex-biased mortality could impact population dynamics, because female population decline can lead to decreased population fecundity. Thus, effective conservation and management strategies must take into account

  20. Non-additive costs and interactions alter the competitive dynamics of co-occurring ecologically distinct plasmids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, Elise R; Platt, Thomas G; Fuqua, Clay; Bever, James D

    2014-03-22

    Plasmids play an important role in shaping bacterial evolution and adaptation to heterogeneous environments. As modular genetic elements that are often conjugative, the selective pressures that act on plasmid-borne genes are distinct from those that act on the chromosome. Many bacteria are co-infected by multiple plasmids that impart niche-specific phenotypes. Thus, in addition to host-plasmid dynamics, interactions between co-infecting plasmids are likely to be important drivers of plasmid population dynamics, evolution and ecology. Agrobacterium tumefaciens is a facultative plant pathogen that commonly harbours two distinct megaplasmids. Virulence depends on the presence of the tumour-inducing (Ti) plasmid, with benefits that are primarily restricted to the disease environment. Here, we demonstrate that a second megaplasmid, the At plasmid, confers a competitive advantage in the rhizosphere. To assess the individual and interactive costs of these plasmids, we generated four isogenic derivatives: plasmidless, pAt only, pTi only and pAtpTi, and performed pairwise competitions under carbon-limiting conditions. These studies reveal a low cost to the virulence plasmid when outside of the disease environment, and a strikingly high cost to the At plasmid. In addition, the costs of pAt and pTi in the same host were significantly lower than predicted based on single plasmid costs, signifying the first demonstration of non-additivity between naturally occurring co-resident plasmids. Based on these empirically demonstrated costs and benefits, we developed a resource-consumer model to generate predictions about the frequencies of these genotypes in relevant environments, showing that non-additivity between co-residing plasmids allows for their stable coexistence across environments.

  1. Hyaluronic acid binding ability of human sperm reflects cellular maturity and fertilizing potential: selection of sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huszar, Gabor; Ozkavukcu, Sinan; Jakab, Attila; Celik-Ozenci, Ciler; Sati, G Leyla; Cayli, Sevil

    2006-06-01

    The current concepts of sperm biochemical markers and the central role of the HspA2 chaperone protein, a measure of sperm cellular maturity and fertilizing potential, are reviewed. Because HspA2 is a component of the synaptonemal complex, low HspA2 levels and increased frequency of chromosomal aneuploidies are related in diminished maturity sperm. We also suggest a relationship between HspA2 expression in elongating spermatids and events of late spermiogenesis, such as cytoplasmic extrusion and plasma membrane remodeling that aid the formation of the zona pellucida binding and hyaluronic acid binding sites. The presence of hyaluronic acid receptor on the plasma membrane of mature sperm, coupled with hyaluronic acid coated glass or plastic surfaces, facilitates testing of sperm function and selection of single mature sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. The frequencies of sperm with chromosomal disomy are reduced approximately fourfold to fivefold in hyaluronic acid selected sperm compared with semen sperm, comparable to the increase in such abnormalities in intracytoplasmic sperm injection offspring. Hyaluronic acid binding also excludes immature sperm with cytoplasmic extrusion, persistent histones, and DNA chain breaks. Hyaluronic acid mediated sperm selection is a novel technique that is comparable to sperm zona pellucida binding. Hyaluronic acid selected sperm will also alleviate the risks related to intracytoplasmic sperm injection fertilization with sperm of diminished maturity that currently cause worldwide concern.

  2. Attractive males have faster sperm in three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marion MEHLIS, Lukas K. HILKE, Theo C. M. BAKKER

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have revealed that sexually selected traits may signal sperm quality and hence male fertilisation ability. There is also evidence that the expression of male sexual ornamentation and associated sperm characteristics depend on an individual’s ability to cope with oxidative stress. Carotenoids are known for their antioxidant properties and carotenoid-based ornaments might represent honest signals as these pigments can be traded off between the investment in sexual ornamentation, sperm function as well as immune response. In this study, we examined the relationship between sexual ornamentation (breeding coloration and sperm characteristics (e.g., velocity and morphology in the three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus, an externally fertilising fish species, in which sperm competition commonly occurs. During the breeding season males are sperm limited and develop a conspicuous carotenoid-based coloration, which is under strong pre-copulatory sexual selection due to female mate choice and male-male competition. The results of the present study show that the expression of stickleback male breeding coloration is significantly positively associated with the linearity of sperm movement, whereas sperm morphology (head length to tail length ratio is significantly negatively related to the trajectory of sperm movement. Moreover, there is some support for the phenotype-linked fertility hypothesis as the intensity of male red breeding coloration is significantly positively correlated with sperm velocity, which is supposed to be an important determinant of fertilisation success in external fertilisers, indicating the honesty of the sexually selected nuptial red coloration [Current Zoology 59 (6: 761-768, 2013].

  3. Dynamical Competition of IC-Industry Clustering from Taiwan to China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Bi-Huei; Tsai, Kuo-Hui

    2009-08-01

    Most studies employ qualitative approach to explore the industrial clusters; however, few research has objectively quantified the evolutions of industry clustering. The purpose of this paper is to quantitatively analyze clustering among IC design, IC manufacturing as well as IC packaging and testing industries by using the foreign direct investment (FDI) data. The Lotka-Volterra system equations are first adopted here to capture the competition or cooperation among such three industries, thus explaining their clustering inclinations. The results indicate that the evolution of FDI into China for IC design industry significantly inspire the subsequent FDI of IC manufacturing as well as IC packaging and testing industries. Since IC design industry lie in the upstream stage of IC production, the middle-stream IC manufacturing and downstream IC packing and testing enterprises tend to cluster together with IC design firms, in order to sustain a steady business. Finally, Taiwan IC industry's FDI amount into China is predicted to cumulatively increase, which supports the industrial clustering tendency for Taiwan IC industry. Particularly, the FDI prediction of Lotka-Volterra model performs superior to that of the conventional Bass model after the forecast accuracy of these two models are compared. The prediction ability is dramatically improved as the industrial mutualism among each IC production stage is taken into account.

  4. Cost-competitive incentives for wind energy development in China: institutional dynamics and policy changes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wenqiang Liu; Xiliang Zhang; Lin Gan

    2002-01-01

    This paper presents an overview of the development of wind power in China. The factors that affect the directions of wind power development are analyzed. It examines the economics of wind farm development and compares it with conventional energy sources. The major constraints in wind technology development, and defects of the current policies, are discussed. It points out that wind power development should be subject to rational policy change and institutional adjustment. It discusses the incentive mechanisms and institutional frameworks for future development. Particular importance is attributed to market incentives for wind power to reach the objectives of industrialization and commercialization. A number of cost-competitive incentive measures and policies are recommended: (i) introducing market based mechanisms through standard power purchase agreement; (ii) establishing effective investment policies and regulations to attract private investment; (iii) promoting localization of wind turbine production; (iv) adjusting tax and subsidy policies; and (v) reforming governmental institutions to make clear rules and responsibilities for policymaking, and enhancing communication/coordination between relevant government agencies in order to formulate uniform and effective policies. (Author)

  5. Complex Dynamics in a Triopoly Game with Multiple Delays in the Competition of Green Product Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Fengshan; Ma, Junhai

    Research on the output game behavior of oligopoly has greatly advanced in recent years. But many unknowns remain, particularly the influence of consumers’ willingness to buy green products on the oligopoly output game. This paper constructs a triopoly output game model with multiple delays in the competition of green products. The influence of the parameters on the stability and complexity of the system is studied by analyzing the existence and local asymptotic stability of the equilibrium point. It is found that the system loses stability and increases complexity if delay parameters exceed a certain range. In the unstable or chaotic game market, the decisions of oligopoly will be counterproductive. It is also observed that the influence of weight and output adjustment speed on the firm itself is obviously stronger than the influence of other firms. In addition, it is important that weight and output adjustment speed cannot increase indefinitely, otherwise it will bring unnecessary losses to the firm. Finally, chaos control is realized by using the variable feedback control method. The research results of this paper can provide a reference for decision-making for the output of the game of oligopoly.

  6. Competition of Dynamic Self-Confidence and Inhomogeneous Individual Influence in Voter Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei Xiong

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In social systems, agents often have different ability to persuade neighbors to adopt their opinions. In this paper, we aim to investigate how the location and heterogeneity of influencers in social networks can improve convergence. We propose a voter model with dynamic self-conviction and heterogeneous individual influence which is related to the underlying network topology. An agent may keep its current opinion according to personal conviction, or otherwise, it may preferentially choose the opinion of the neighbor that has a great influence. Individual conviction evolves during the dynamic process, and can be strengthened by social recognition. Simulations indicate our model has three nontrivial results. First, the conservation of average magnetization in the voter model is broken under the effect of individual conviction and influence, and the system evolves to an ordered state in which one opinion is dominant, but total consensus is prevented by extremists. Furthermore, individual influence has a subtle action on opinion evolution. The heterogeneity of individual influence accelerates the relaxation process, but, with the action of dynamic conviction, more heterogeneous influence does not mean the average magnetization will be more ordered. In addition, when competing with agents’ conviction, more heterogeneous individual influence plays a more significant role in agents’ decisions. These results are helpful for understanding some aspects of collective phenomena that occur on online social media.

  7. Elucidating the Solvation Structure and Dynamics of Lithium Polysulfides Resulting from Competitive Salt and Solvent Interactions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rajput, Nav Nidhi; Murugesan, Vijayakumar; Shin, Yongwoo; Han, Kee Sung; Lau, Kah Chun; Chen, Junzheng; Liu, Jun; Curtiss, Larry A.; Mueller, Karl T.; Persson, Kristin A.

    2017-04-10

    Fundamental molecular level understanding of functional properties of liquid solutions provides an important basis for designing optimized electrolytes for numerous applica-tions. In particular, exhaustive knowledge of solvation structure, stability and transport properties is critical for developing stable electrolytes for fast charging and high energy density next-generation energy storage systems. Here we report the correlation between solubility, solvation structure and translational dynamics of a lithium salt (Li-TFSI) and polysulfides species using well-benchmarked classical molecular dynamics simulations combined with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). It is observed that the polysulfide chain length has a significant effect on the ion-ion and ion-solvent interaction as well as on the diffusion coefficient of the ionic species in solution. In particular, extensive cluster formation is observed in lower order poly-sulfides (Sx2-; x≤4), whereas the longer polysulfides (Sx2-; x>4) show high solubility and slow dynamics in the solu-tion. It is observed that optimal solvent/salt ratio is essen-tial to control the solubility and conductivity as the addi-tion of Li salt increases the solubility but decreases the mo-bility of the ionic species. This work provides a coupled theoretical and experimental study of bulk solvation struc-ture and transport properties of multi-component electro-lyte systems, yielding design metrics for developing optimal electrolytes with improved stability and solubility.

  8. Methods of sperm vitality assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskovtsev, Sergey I; Librach, Clifford L

    2013-01-01

    Sperm vitality is a reflection of the proportion of live, membrane-intact spermatozoa determined by either dye exclusion or osmoregulatory capacity under hypo-osmotic conditions. In this chapter we address the two most common methods of sperm vitality assessment: eosin-nigrosin staining and the hypo-osmotic swelling test, both utilized in clinical Andrology laboratories.

  9. Competition or cooperation in transboundary fish stocks management: Insight from a dynamical model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Trong Hieu; Brochier, Timothée; Auger, Pierre; Trinh, Viet Duoc; Brehmer, Patrice

    2018-06-14

    An idealized system of a shared fish stock associated with different exclusive economic zones (EEZ) is modelled. Parameters were estimated for the case of the small pelagic fisheries shared between Southern Morocco, Mauritania and the Senegambia. Two models of fishing effort distribution were explored. The first one considers independent national fisheries in each EEZ, with a cost per unit of fishing effort that depends on local fishery policy. The second one considers the case of a fully cooperative fishery performed by an international fleet freely moving across the borders. Both models are based on a set of six ordinary differential equations describing the time evolution of the fish biomass and the fishing effort. We take advantage of the two time scales to obtain a reduced model governing the total fish biomass of the system and fishing efforts in each zone. At the fast equilibrium, the fish distribution follows the ideal free distribution according to the carrying capacity in each area. Different equilibria can be reached according to management choices. When fishing fleets are independent and national fishery policies are not harmonized, in the general case, competition leads after a few decades to a scenario where only one fishery remains sustainable. In the case of sub-regional agreement acting on the adjustment of cost per unit of fishing effort in each EEZ, we found that a large number of equilibria exists. In this last case the initial distribution of fishing effort strongly impact the optimal equilibrium that can be reached. Lastly, the country with the highest carrying capacity density may get less landings when collaborating with other countries than if it minimises its fishing costs. The second fully cooperative model shows that a single international fishing fleet moving freely in the fishing areas leads to a sustainable equilibrium. Such findings should foster regional fisheries organizations to get potential new ways for neighbouring fish stock

  10. Dynamic occupancy modelling reveals a hierarchy of competition among fishers, grey foxes and ringtails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, David S; Matthews, Sean M; Swiers, Robert C; Callas, Richard L; Scott Yaeger, J; Farber, Stuart L; Schwartz, Michael K; Powell, Roger A

    2018-05-01

    Determining how species coexist is critical for understanding functional diversity, niche partitioning and interspecific interactions. Identifying the direct and indirect interactions among sympatric carnivores that enable their coexistence is particularly important to elucidate because they are integral for maintaining ecosystem function. We studied the effects of removing nine fishers (Pekania pennanti) on their population dynamics and used this perturbation to elucidate the interspecific interactions among fishers, grey foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) and ringtails (Bassariscus astutus). Grey foxes (family: Canidae) are likely to compete with fishers due to their similar body sizes and dietary overlap, and ringtails (family: Procyonidae), like fishers, are semi-arboreal species of conservation concern. We used spatial capture-recapture to investigate fisher population numbers and dynamic occupancy models that incorporated interspecific interactions to investigate the effects members of these species had on the colonization and persistence of each other's site occupancy. The fisher population showed no change in density for up to 3 years following the removals of fishers for translocations. In contrast, fisher site occupancy decreased in the years immediately following the translocations. During this same time period, site occupancy by grey foxes increased and remained elevated through the end of the study. We found a complicated hierarchy among fishers, foxes and ringtails. Fishers affected grey fox site persistence negatively but had a positive effect on their colonization. Foxes had a positive effect on ringtail site colonization. Thus, fishers were the dominant small carnivore where present and negatively affected foxes directly and ringtails indirectly. Coexistence among the small carnivores we studied appears to reflect dynamic spatial partitioning. Conservation and management efforts should investigate how intraguild interactions may influence the

  11. Three is much more than two in coarsening dynamics of cyclic competitions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mitarai, Namiko; Gunnarson, Ivar; Pedersen, Buster Niels

    2016-01-01

    stays finite. We further find that this transition happens irrespective of whether the update is done in parallel for all sites simultaneously or done randomly in sequential order. In both cases, the active state is characterized by localized bursts of dislocations, followed by longer periods...... that the density of active boundaries has critical exponents that are consistent with the directed percolation universality class. On the other hand, numerical simulations with the random sequential dynamics suggest that the system may exhibit an active steady state as long as the invasion rate is finite....

  12. Competition between abstraction and exchange channels in H + HCN reaction: Full-dimensional quantum dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jiang, Bin; Guo, Hua, E-mail: hguo@unm.edu [Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131 (United States)

    2013-12-14

    Dynamics of the title reaction is investigated on an ab initio based potential energy surface using a full-dimensional quantum wave packet method within the centrifugal sudden approximation. It is shown that the reaction between H and HCN leads to both the hydrogen exchange and hydrogen abstraction channels. The exchange channel has a lower threshold and larger cross section than the abstraction channel. It also has more oscillations due apparently to quantum resonances. Both channels are affected by long-lived resonances supported by potential wells. Comparison with experimental cross sections indicates underestimation of the abstraction barrier height.

  13. Comparison of Static and Dynamic Balance at Different Levels of Sport Competition in Professional and Junior Elite Soccer Players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jadczak, Łukasz; Grygorowicz, Monika; Dzudziński, Witold; Śliwowski, Robert

    2018-04-12

    Jadczak, Ł, Grygorowicz, M, Dzudziński, W, and Śliwowski, R. Comparison of static and dynamic balance at different levels of sport competition in professional and junior elite soccer players. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2018-The purpose of this study was to compare body balance control and balance recovery strategies of professional football players, representing various sports levels in static (eyes open, eyes closed) and dynamic conditions, both on the dominant and nondominant leg. Three groups of professional and junior elite soccer players were investigated: a PRO group (n = 52), a U-21 group (n = 55), and a U-19 group (n = 47). The study of body balance control was performed using a Delos Postural Proprioceptive System measurement tool. The analysis of the results showed an effect of group (p balance on both legs, which allows for a comprehensive comparison of body balance control and the balance recovery strategy depending on the represented sport level. Our study indicates that the higher the sport level of football players (the PRO group), the better their balance, which may indirectly contribute to the prevention of injuries and more effective performance of any actions directly related to the game.

  14. Experience of mating rivals causes males to modulate sperm transfer in the fly Drosophila pseudoobscura.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Tom A R; Lizé, Anne; Marcello, Marco; Bretman, Amanda

    2012-12-01

    Male responses to risk of sperm competition play an important role in sexual selection, sexual conflict, and the evolution of mating systems. Such responses can combine behavioural and physiological processes, and can be mediated through different components of the ejaculate such as sperm numbers and seminal proteins. An additional level of ejaculate complexity is sperm heteromorphism, with the inclusion of non-fertilising parasperm in the ejaculate. We now test the response to rivals in a sperm heteromorphic species, Drosophila pseudoobscura, measuring the behavioural response and sperm transfer and, crucially, relating these to short-term fitness. Males respond to exposure to conspecific rivals by increasing mating duration, but do not respond to heterospecific rivals. In addition, after exposure to a conspecific rival, males increased the transfer of fertilising eusperm, but not non-fertilising parasperm. Males exposed to a conspecific rival also achieve higher offspring production. This suggests that the evolution of parasperm in flies was not driven by sperm competition and adds to the increasing evidence that males can make extremely sophisticated responses to mating competition. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Relationship between sperm parameters and intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shahla Chaichian

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: With the adventure of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI technique, great progresses have developed in the treatment of infertility. Concentration on the properties of male’s gamete has been encouraged by the increasing concerns about the causes of ICSI failure. We hence conducted this study to investigate the probable association of sperm parameters with ISCI outcome. Methods: A total of 523 couples referred to Isfahan Fertility and Sterility Center from January 2007 to June 2008 for ICSI. Semen analysis was performed before ICSI procedure according to the WHO criteria. Patients were assigned into successful ICSI (case and failed ICSI (control groups. Sperm parameters were then compared between the 2 groups. Results: One hundred and six patients (20% had successful ICSI results (case group compared with 417 couples (80% with undesirable ICSI outcomes (control group. Among evaluated factors, sperm agglutination (p = 0.007, sperm concentration (p = 0.043, leukocytospermia (p = 0.026 and head abnormality of sperm (p = 0.019 showed statistically significant differences between two groups with differing ICSI results. None of the other semen parameters revealed significant differences between these two groups. Conclusion: Our study showed that some sperm parameters are associated with desirable ICSI outcome. However, it is unclear whether these associations are causal.

  16. Sperm whale clicks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møhl, Bertel; Wahlberg, Magnus; Madsen, Peter T.

    2000-01-01

    . A sound generator weighing upward of 10 tons and with a cross-section of 1 m is expected to generate high-intensity, directional sounds. This prediction from the Norris and Harvey theory is not supported by published data for sperm whale clicks ~source levels of 180 dB re 1 mPa and little, if any......In sperm whales ~Physeter catodon L. 1758! the nose is vastly hypertrophied, accounting for about one-third of the length or weight of an adult male. Norris and Harvey @in Animal Orientation and Navigation, NASA SP-262 ~1972!, pp. 397–417# ascribed a sound-generating function to this organ complex......, directionality!. Either the theory is not borne out or the data is not representative for the capabilities of the sound-generating mechanism. To increase the amount of relevant data, a five-hydrophone array, suspended from three platforms separated by 1 km and linked by radio, was deployed at the slope...

  17. A multi-objective framework for dynamic transmission expansion planning in competitive electricity market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foroud, Asghar Akbari; Abdoos, Ali Akbar; Keypour, Reza; Amirahmadi, Meisam

    2010-01-01

    Restructuring of power system has changed the traditional planning objectives and introduced challenges in the field of Transmission Expansion Planning (TEP). Due to these changes, new approaches and criteria are needed for transmission planning in deregulated environment. Therefore, in this paper, a dynamic expansion methodology is presented using a multi-objective optimization framework. Investment cost, congestion cost and reliability are considered in the optimization as three objectives. To overcome the difficulties in solving the non-convex and mixed integer nature of the optimization problems, a Non-Dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm (NSGA II) approach is used followed by a fuzzy decision making analysis to obtain the final optimal solution. The planning methodology has been demonstrated on the IEEE 24-bus test system and north-east of Iran national 400 kV transmission grid to show the feasibility and capabilities of the proposed algorithm in electricity market environment. (author)

  18. Description of dynamic shared knowledge: an exploratory study during a competitive team sports interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourbousson, J; Poizat, G; Saury, J; Seve, C

    2011-02-01

    This exploratory case study describes the sharedness of knowledge within a basketball team (nine players) and how it changes during an official match. To determine how knowledge is mobilised in an actual game situation, the data were collected and processed following course-of-action theory (Theureau 2003). The results were used to characterise the contents of the shared knowledge (i.e. regarding teammate characteristics, team functioning, opponent characteristics, opposing team functioning and game conditions) and to identify the characteristic types of change: (a) the reinforcement of a previous element of shared knowledge; (b) the invalidation of an element of shared knowledge; (c) fragmentation of an element of shared knowledge; (d) the creation of a new element of shared knowledge. The discussion deals with the diverse types of change in shared knowledge and the heterogeneous and dynamic nature of common ground within the team. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: The present case study focused on how the cognitions of individual members of a team coordinate to produce a team performance (e.g. surgical teams in hospitals, military teams) and how the shared knowledge changes during team activity. Traditional methods to increase knowledge sharedness can be enhanced by making use of 'opportunities for coordination' to optimise team adaptiveness.

  19. Testis size variation within sneaker males of the dusky frillgoby Bathygobius fuscus (Gobiidae): effects of within-tactic competition

    OpenAIRE

    Kawase, Shoma; Hayashi, Takahiro; Matsumoto, Yukio; Takegaki, Takeshi

    2017-01-01

    A ‘sneaking tactic’ is an alternative reproductive strategy that usually results in sperm competition among males with different tactics. Relatively large testes are a sneaker-specific trait that has generally been thought to have evolved due to sperm competition between sneaker males and bourgeois (guarding) males. However, here we show that competition among sneaker males can also affect testis enlargement in the dusky frillgoby (Bathygobius fuscus) sneaker males. The competitive advantage ...

  20. Association of sperm apoptosis and DNA ploidy with sperm chromatin quality in human spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahfouz, Reda Z; Sharma, Rakesh K; Said, Tamer M; Erenpreiss, Juris; Agarwal, Ashok

    2009-04-01

    To examine the relationship among sperm apoptosis, sperm chromatin status, and DNA ploidy in different sperm fractions. Prospective study. Reproductive research center in a tertiary care hospital. Sperm prepared by density gradient were evaluated for sperm count, motility, apoptosis, and sperm chromatin assessment. Sperm count, sperm motility, toluidine blue (TB) results, DNA fragmentation index (%DFI), high DNA stainability, DNA cytometry, and early and late apoptosis. Sperm motility was related to late apoptotic and subhaploid apoptotic sperm (r = -0.56 and -0.53, respectively). The sperm %DFI showed significant correlation with late apoptotic and subhaploid sperm (r = 0.62 and 0.68). TB-stained sperm were significantly correlated with late apoptotic sperm (r = 0.51). Significantly higher proportions of haploid sperm and light blue TB-stained sperm were seen in mature compared with immature fractions. Even in semen samples with low %DFI, semen processing results in a lower incidence of nuclear immaturity and subhaploidy, but the incidence of late apoptotic sperm remains unchanged. Therefore, simultaneous evaluation of apoptosis and sperm chromatin status is important for processing sperm in assisted reproductive procedures.

  1. Diversifying evolution of competitiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldauf, Sebastian A; Engqvist, Leif; Weissing, Franz J

    2014-10-29

    In many species, individuals express phenotypic characteristics that enhance their competitiveness, that is, the ability to acquire resources in competition with others. Moreover, the degree of competitiveness varies considerably across individuals and in time. By means of an evolutionary model, we provide an explanation for this finding. We make the assumption that investment into competitiveness enhances the probability to acquire a high-quality resource, but at the same time reduces the ability of exploiting acquired resources with maximal efficiency. The model reveals that under a broad range of conditions competitiveness either converges to a polymorphic state, where individuals differing in competitive ability stably coexist, or is subject to perpetual transitions between periods of high and low competitiveness. The dynamics becomes even more complex if females can evolve preferences for (or against) competitive males. In extreme cases, such preferences can even drive the population to extinction.

  2. Sperm fractions obtained following density gradient centrifugation in human ejaculates show differences in sperm DNA longevity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Gosálvez

    2014-06-01

    Conclusion: 1 Unnecessary incubation of spermatozoa prior to artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization, should be avoided, since sperm DNA longevity is significantly reduced after ex vivo sperm handling and 2 Although sperm selection by DCG significantly reduces the baseline levels of SDF of sperm in Fraction 3, sperm DNA longevity in this fraction was ultimately lower following 24 h incubation when compared to sperm recovered from non-centrifuged NSS.

  3. Cooperation through Competition-Dynamics and Microeconomics of a Minimal Nutrient Trade System in Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schott, Stephan; Valdebenito, Braulio; Bustos, Daniel; Gomez-Porras, Judith L; Sharma, Tripti; Dreyer, Ingo

    2016-01-01

    In arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis, fungi and plants exchange nutrients (sugars and phosphate, for instance) for reciprocal benefit. Until now it is not clear how this nutrient exchange system works. Here, we used computational cell biology to simulate the dynamics of a network of proton pumps and proton-coupled transporters that are upregulated during AM formation. We show that this minimal network is sufficient to describe accurately and realistically the nutrient trade system. By applying basic principles of microeconomics, we link the biophysics of transmembrane nutrient transport with the ecology of organismic interactions and straightforwardly explain macroscopic scenarios of the relations between plant and AM fungus. This computational cell biology study allows drawing far reaching hypotheses about the mechanism and the regulation of nutrient exchange and proposes that the "cooperation" between plant and fungus can be in fact the result of a competition between both for the same resources in the tiny periarbuscular space. The minimal model presented here may serve as benchmark to evaluate in future the performance of more complex models of AM nutrient exchange. As a first step toward this goal, we included SWEET sugar transporters in the model and show that their co-occurrence with proton-coupled sugar transporters results in a futile carbon cycle at the plant plasma membrane proposing that two different pathways for the same substrate should not be active at the same time.

  4. The individual and interactive effects of tree-tree establishment competition and fire on savanna structure and dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    Calabrese, Justin; Vázquez, Federico; López, Cristóbal; San Miguel, Maxi; Grimm, Volker

    2010-01-01

    The mechanisms regulating savanna tree populations are still not well understood. Recent empirical work suggests that both tree-tree competition and fire are key factors in semi-arid to mesic savannas. However, the potential for competition to structure savannas, particularly in interaction with fire, has received little theoretical attention. We develop a minimalistic and analytically tractable stochastic cellular automaton to study the individual and combined effects of competition and fire...

  5. Environmental structure and competitive scoring advantages in team competitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merritt, Sears; Clauset, Aaron

    2013-10-01

    In most professional sports, playing field structure is kept neutral so that scoring imbalances may be attributed to differences in team skill. It thus remains unknown what impact environmental heterogeneities can have on scoring dynamics or competitive advantages. Applying a novel generative model of scoring dynamics to roughly 10 million team competitions drawn from an online game, we quantify the relationship between the structure within a competition and its scoring dynamics, while controlling the impact of chance. Despite wide structural variations, we observe a common three-phase pattern in the tempo of events. Tempo and balance are highly predictable from a competition's structural features alone and teams exploit environmental heterogeneities for sustained competitive advantage. Surprisingly, the most balanced competitions are associated with specific environmental heterogeneities, not from equally skilled teams. These results shed new light on the design principles of balanced competition, and illustrate the potential of online game data for investigating social dynamics and competition.

  6. Theoretical aspects of competitive advantage and competition

    OpenAIRE

    Hudakova, Ivana

    2009-01-01

    The concept of competitive advantage is well-known for many of us and a number of literary resources focused on entrepreneurship and functioning of economies deal with it, either directly or indirectly. The understanding of the term competitive advantage though sometimes varies. One can only perceive it when looking at it as a whole, a live organism that is constantly developing in a complex dynamic entrepreneurial environment, the individual parts of which do not function when separated from...

  7. Dynamic Competition and Cooperation of Road Infrastructure Investment of Multiple Tourism Destinations: A Case Study of Xidi and Hongcun World Cultural Heritage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Li

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The transportation infrastructure always plays an important role in the development of the local tourism. A system dynamics method incorporated with a destination choice model is proposed in this paper to analyze the dynamic impacts of transportation infrastructure on the tourism development, where multiple tourism destinations share a common market. Tourists’ destination choice behaviors are characterized by a multinomial logit choice model based on the utility of destinations, which depends heavily on the accessibility of destinations that the local administration has strong willingness to improve. The system dynamics method is used to model dynamic interactions among destinations and to simulate the dynamic evolution of the competition on the tourism market. A case study of the World Cultural Heritage Sites, Xidi and Hongcun villages, shows the competition for road infrastructure investment can produce a win-win situation and bring the cooperation on investment due to the positive externality of transport infrastructure and two villages show a tendency to merge into one bigger destination. Finally, the tourism development strategies for two villages are discussed based on the scenario analysis.

  8. Short communication Relationship between sperm plasma ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Matshidiso MB. Masenya

    2017-01-04

    Jan 4, 2017 ... observed between sperm plasma membrane integrity and fertility. There was a weak positive correlation between normal sperm morphology and conception rate (r = 0.11). Additionally ..... been approved by all of us. Authors' ...

  9. What use is an infertile sperm? A comparative study of sperm-heteromorphic Drosophila

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holman, Luke; Freckleton, Robert P; Snook, Rhonda R

    2007-01-01

    Sperm size and number are important determinants of male reproductive success. The genus Drosophila exhibits a remarkable diversity of sperm production strategies, including the production of multiple sperm morphs by individual males, a phenomenon called sperm heteromorphism. Sperm-heteromorphic ......Sperm size and number are important determinants of male reproductive success. The genus Drosophila exhibits a remarkable diversity of sperm production strategies, including the production of multiple sperm morphs by individual males, a phenomenon called sperm heteromorphism. Sperm......-heteromorphic Drosophila species in the obscura group produce large numbers of infertile "parasperm" in addition to fertile eusperm. Parasperm have been hypothesized to perform a number of roles in place of fertilization, predominantly focused on their potential function in postcopulatory sexual selection. However...

  10. Understanding the joint effects of Cognitive Distance and Competition on Pioneering Innovations through the Dynamics between Suppliers and Competitors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Ying; Salomo, Søren

    2010-01-01

    the individual effects of cognitive distance and competition on innovation but also try to understand their joint effects in a coherent way based on a resource-based view and through the product life cycle as a link of cognitive distance and competition. Competition is multidimensional and innovation has many......The relationships between cognitive distance, competition and innovation have drawn great attention from economists and management researchers. First, with regard to cognitive distance and innovation, it is suggested that a moderate level of cognitive distance between firms is associated...... with an optimal innovation performance, because a too small cognitive distance provides the focal innovating firm with too little novelty value, while a too large cognitive distance makes it difficult for firms to learn and collaborate with each other. Second, the empirical evidence for the relationship between...

  11. Findings on sperm alterations and DNA fragmentation, nutritional, hormonal and antioxidant status in an elite triathlete: case report

    OpenAIRE

    Vaamonde, D.; Silva-Grigoletto, M.E. Da; Fernandez, J.M.; Algar-Santacruz, C.; García-Manso, J.M.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: The present case study analyzes semen quality, nutritional patterns, and hormonal and oxidative status of an international high-level triathlete with a low-volume, high-intensity training load. Method: The athlete was 26 years old, having participated in competitions since he was 13 years old, and practiced professional triathlon for the last five years. The qualitative sperm parameters analyzed were volume, sperm count, motility, morphology, and DNA fragmentation (additional testi...

  12. Temporal trends in sperm count

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levine, Hagai; Jørgensen, Niels; Martino-Andrade, Anderson

    2017-01-01

    a predefined protocol 7518 abstracts were screened and 2510 full articles reporting primary data on SC were reviewed. A total of 244 estimates of SC and TSC from 185 studies of 42 935 men who provided semen samples in 1973-2011 were extracted for meta-regression analysis, as well as information on years.......006, respectively). WIDER IMPLICATIONS: This comprehensive meta-regression analysis reports a significant decline in sperm counts (as measured by SC and TSC) between 1973 and 2011, driven by a 50-60% decline among men unselected by fertility from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Because......BACKGROUND: Reported declines in sperm counts remain controversial today and recent trends are unknown. A definitive meta-analysis is critical given the predictive value of sperm count for fertility, morbidity and mortality. OBJECTIVE AND RATIONALE: To provide a systematic review and meta-regression...

  13. Bioenergetics of mammalian sperm capacitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferramosca, Alessandra; Zara, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    After ejaculation, the mammalian male gamete must undergo the capacitation process, which is a prerequisite for egg fertilization. The bioenergetics of sperm capacitation is poorly understood despite its fundamental role in sustaining the biochemical and molecular events occurring during gamete activation. Glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) are the two major metabolic pathways producing ATP which is the primary source of energy for spermatozoa. Since recent data suggest that spermatozoa have the ability to use different metabolic substrates, the main aim of this work is to present a broad overview of the current knowledge on the energy-producing metabolic pathways operating inside sperm mitochondria during capacitation in different mammalian species. Metabolism of glucose and of other energetic substrates, such as pyruvate, lactate, and citrate, is critically analyzed. Such knowledge, besides its obvious importance for basic science, could eventually translate into the development of novel strategies for treatment of male infertility, artificial reproduction, and sperm selection methods.

  14. SPERM COUNT DISTRIBUTIONS IN FERTILE MEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sperm concentration and count are often used as indicators of environmental impacts on male reproductive health. Existing clinical databases may be biased towards subfertile men with low sperm counts and less is known about expected sperm count distributions in cohorts of fertil...

  15. Microfluidic single sperm entrapment and analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Wagenaar, B.; Berendsen, Johanna Theodora Wilhelmina; Berendsen, J.T.W.; Bomer, Johan G.; Olthuis, Wouter; van den Berg, Albert; Segerink, Loes Irene

    2015-01-01

    Selection of healthy spermatozoa is of crucial importance for the success rates of assisted reproduction technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilization and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection. Although sperm selection for ART procedures is predominantly based on sperm motility, successful

  16. Postcopulatory sexual selection is associated with accelerated evolution of sperm morphology

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rowe, M.; Albrecht, Tomáš; Cramer, E. R. A.; Johnsen, A.; Laskemoen, T.; Weir, J. T.; Lifjeld, J. T.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 69, č. 4 (2015), s. 1044-1052 ISSN 0014-3820 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : birds * evolutionary diversification * evolutionary rate * passerine * sperm competition Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 4.007, year: 2015

  17. Social imaginaries, sperm and whiteness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andreassen, Rikke

    2017-01-01

    media coverage of these new families, this article explores contemporary constructions of race, especially whiteness, and gender, and shows how imaginaries of Vikings, genes and white superiority circulate in British media and among British mothers. The article illustrates how a racial discourse, which......This article analyses narratives about so-called Viking babies and Viking sperm. Over the last few years an increasing number of British single women and lesbian couples have been creating families by becoming pregnant with Danish donor sperm, termed ‘Viking sperm’. Through analyses of British...

  18. PRICES IN COMPETITIVE SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VADUVA MARIA

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Regularities of competitive market determine rules for determining prices and their dynamics. Orientation prices to competition (competitive pricing is the strategy most frequently used in countries with market economies and especially for exports. Moreover, in an economy dominated by market competition it cannot be ignored without certain risks the prices resulting from competition between products bidders. Companies that use this type of strategy seek to maintain a level of prices linked to that charged by other competitors (or exporting producers generally no longer covering production costs or demand, relying on the assumption that the average market price is a reasonable basis of costs. But the way how practical guidance and reporting to the competition in every price strategy, will be determined by the company's market position, by the available power and enjoyed prestige, objectives and prospects of its market share etc. according to these elements, there may be several versions of pricing strategies oriented to competitors.

  19. THE EVOLVING COMPETITIVE DYNAMICS IN THE RETAIL BANKING SECTOR IN INDIA: A CASE STUDY OF KARNATAKA BANK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krishnakumar RAMANATHAN

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The banking industry in India is going through a unique competitive situation: on the one hand, the proliferation of new banks has increased competition multi-fold; on the other hand, given the rigid regulatory environment, banks have very little liberty to innovate products. The entry of multinational banking giants with superior service operations has further amplified the competition for customers. This paper examines the business performance of Karnataka bank during the period between 2006 and 2014 in order to bring home some of these challenges. Based on feedback from the branch managers, savings and current accounts - two classic banking products – suffered the most in the onslaught. Practicing managers as well as customers that we interviewed held that banking services in terms of customer experience ought to be improved and that various value added services could be introduced. Customers also expected reduced penalty for minimum balance and enhanced insurance cover for their accounts.

  20. Etiologies of sperm oxidative stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parvin Sabeti

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Sperm is particularly susceptible to reactive oxygen species (ROS during critical phases of spermiogenesis. However, the level of seminal ROS is restricted by seminal antioxidants which have beneficial effects on sperm parameters and developmental potentials. Mitochondria and sperm plasma membrane are two major sites of ROS generation in sperm cells. Besides, leukocytes including polymer phonuclear (PMN leukocytes and macrophages produce broad category of molecules including oxygen free radicals, non-radical species and reactive nitrogen species. Physiological role of ROS increase the intracellular cAMP which then activate protein kinase in male reproductive system. This indicates that spermatozoa need small amounts of ROS to acquire the ability of nuclear maturation regulation and condensation to fertilize the oocyte. There is a long list of intrinsic and extrinsic factors which can induce oxidative stress to interact with lipids, proteins and DNA molecules. As a result, we have lipid peroxidation, DNA fragmentation, axonemal damage, denaturation of the enzymes, over generation of superoxide in the mitochondria, lower antioxidant activity and finally abnormal spermatogenesis. If oxidative stress is considered as one of the main cause of DNA damage in the germ cells, then there should be good reason for antioxidant therapy in these conditions

  1. Assessment of sperm competition by European bitterling, Rhodeus sericeus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Smith, C.; Reichard, Martin; Jurajda, Pavel

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 53, č. 4 (2003), s. 206-213 ISSN 0340-5443 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6093917 Keywords : Acheilognathinae * alternative mating tactics * ESS model Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.649, year: 2003

  2. Long-term consequences of selected competitive strategies during deregulation of the United States electric utility industry: System dynamics modeling and simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalil, Yehia Fahim

    Currently, U.S. investor-owned utilities (IOUs) are facing major reforms in their business environment similar to the airlines, telecommunications, banking, and insurance industries. As a result, IOUs are gearing up for fierce price competition in the power generation sector, and are vying for electricity customers outside their franchised service territories. Energy experts predict that some IOUs may suffer fatal financial setbacks (especially those with nuclear plants), while others may thrive under competition. Both federal and state energy regulators anticipate that it may take from five to ten years to complete the transition of America's electric utility industry from a regulated monopoly to a market-driven business. During this transition, utility executives are pursuing aggressive business strategies to confront the upcoming price wars. The most compelling strategies focus on cutting operation and maintenance (O&M) costs of power production, downsizing the work force, and signing bilateral energy agreements with large price-sensitive customers to retain their business. This research assesses the impact of the three pivotal strategies on financial performance of utilities during transition to open market competition. A system-dynamics-based management flight simulator has been developed to predict the dynamic performance of a hypothetical IOU organization preparing for market competition. The simulation results show that while the three business strategies lead to short-lived gains, they also produce unanticipated long-term consequences that adversely impact the organization's operating revenues. Generally, the designed flight simulator serves as a learning laboratory which allows management to test new strategies before implementation.

  3. When the ball is in the female's court: How the scramble-competition mating system of the North American red squirrel has shaped male physiology and testosterone dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boonstra, Rudy; Dušek, Adam; Lane, Jeffrey E; Boutin, Stan

    2017-10-01

    Male reproductive success in most mammals is determined by their success in direct inter-male competition through aggression and conflict, resulting in female-defense mating systems being predominant. This is linked to male testosterone levels and its dynamics. However, in certain environments, a scramble-competition mating system has evolved, where female reproductive behavior takes precedence and male testosterone dynamics are unlikely to be related to inter-male competition. We studied the North American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), a species with a well-established scramble-competition system. Using an ACTH hormonal challenge protocol as a proxy for competitive interactions, we compared the testosterone dynamics in breeding males in late winter with that in nonbreeding males in late spring in the Yukon. To gain an integrated picture of their physiological state, we also assessed changes in their stress response, body mass, energy mobilization, and indices of immune function. Testosterone levels at the base bleed were high in breeding males (2.72ng/mL) and virtually absent in non-breeding males (0.04ng/mL). Breeding males were in better condition (heavier body mass, higher hematocrit, and higher erythrocytes), had higher indices of immune function (neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio), but a similar ability to mobilize energy (glucose) compared with non-breeding males. Though total cortisol was higher in non-breeding males, free cortisol was twice as high in breeding males as their corticosteroid binding globulin levels were half as high. In response to the ACTH challenge, testosterone levels in breeding males declined 49% over the first hour and increased 36% over the next hour; in non-breeding males levels showed no change. Free cortisol increased only modestly (26% in breeding males; 23% in non-breeding males). Glucose levels changed similarly in breeding and nonbreeding males, declining for the first 30min and then increasing for the next 60min. Thus

  4. The dynamic process of interspecific interactions of competitive nitrogen capture between intercropped wheat (Triticum aestivum L. and Faba Bean (Vicia faba L..

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunjie Li

    Full Text Available Wheat (Triticum aestivum L./faba bean (Vicia faba L. intercropping shows significant overyielding and high nitrogen (N-use efficiency, but the dynamics of plant interactions have rarely been estimated. The objective of the present study was to investigate the temporal dynamics of competitive N acquisition between intercropped wheat and faba bean with the logistic model. Wheat and faba bean were grown together or alone with limited N supply in pots. Data of shoot and root biomass and N content measured from 14 samplings were fitted to logistic models to determine instantaneous rates of growth and N uptake. The superiority of instantaneous biomass production and N uptake shifted from faba bean to wheat with their growth. Moreover, the shift of superiority on N uptake occurred 7-12 days earlier than that of biomass production. Interspecific competition stimulated intercropped wheat to have a much earlier and stronger superiority on instantaneous N uptake compared with isolated wheat. The modeling methodology characterized the temporal dynamics of biomass production and N uptake of intercropped wheat and faba bean in different planting systems, which helps to understand the underlying process of plant interaction for intercropping plants.

  5. The dynamic process of interspecific interactions of competitive nitrogen capture between intercropped wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and Faba Bean (Vicia faba L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chunjie; Dong, Yan; Li, Haigang; Shen, Jianbo; Zhang, Fusuo

    2014-01-01

    Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)/faba bean (Vicia faba L.) intercropping shows significant overyielding and high nitrogen (N)-use efficiency, but the dynamics of plant interactions have rarely been estimated. The objective of the present study was to investigate the temporal dynamics of competitive N acquisition between intercropped wheat and faba bean with the logistic model. Wheat and faba bean were grown together or alone with limited N supply in pots. Data of shoot and root biomass and N content measured from 14 samplings were fitted to logistic models to determine instantaneous rates of growth and N uptake. The superiority of instantaneous biomass production and N uptake shifted from faba bean to wheat with their growth. Moreover, the shift of superiority on N uptake occurred 7-12 days earlier than that of biomass production. Interspecific competition stimulated intercropped wheat to have a much earlier and stronger superiority on instantaneous N uptake compared with isolated wheat. The modeling methodology characterized the temporal dynamics of biomass production and N uptake of intercropped wheat and faba bean in different planting systems, which helps to understand the underlying process of plant interaction for intercropping plants.

  6. Sperm subpopulational dinamycs during the cryopreservation procedure in caprine (Capra aegagrus hircus ejaculates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbas JP

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the present research was to determine specific sperm subpopulational dynamics in different processing steps during cryopreservation process by using objective functional sperm kinematic descriptors in goat ejaculates. Fresh ejaculates (n=40 collected from eight bucks were analised for volume, concentration, sperm viability, acrosome integrity, and sperm motility using computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA system. Eight sperm kinematic descriptors (VCL, VSL, VAP, LIN, STR, BCF, ALH, and WOB were assessed using CASA system after five different handling step (1st: fresh semen collection (F; 2nd: 1st washing/centrifugation step (1WC; 3rd: 2nd washing / centrifugation step (2WC; 4th: cooling step at 4ºC (CL; and 5th: post-thawing step at 37ºC (PT during a standard cryopreservation protocol for goat semen. The results obtained from the kinematic parameters were analysed by using Principal Component Analysis (PCA and multivariate clustering procedures to identify specific kinematic subpopulations and establish the relationship between the distribution of the subpopulations found and the functional sperm motility in each step. Except for the 1st (SbpF1-SbpF3 and 4th (SbpCL1-SbpCL3 intervals, four sperm kinematic subpopulations (Sbp1LC1-Sbp1LC4, Sbp2LC1-Sbp2LC4 and SbpPD1-SbpPD4 were observed. Based on kinematic velocity parameters and the subpopulation disclosed, rapid, slow, vigorous, passive, non-progressive and progressive sperm were discerned. Moreover, based on kinematic linearity parameters and depending on the subpopulation uncovered, curvilinear, regular-linear, parabolic and erratic-non-linear trajectories were detected. Subpopulations remained varible throughout handling steps and multiple significant differences among the sperm kinematic parameters were observed (p<0.001 as well as in the frequency of distribution of kinematic subpopulations among steps (p<0.05. In conclusion, this study confirms the variability and

  7. Dynamics for a discrete competition and cooperation model of two enterprises with multiple delays and feedback controls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Lin

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper is concerned with a competition and cooperation model of two enterprises with multiple delays and feedback controls. With the aid of the difference inequality theory, we have obtained some sufficient conditions which guarantee the permanence of the model. Under a suitable condition, we prove that the system has global stable periodic solution. The paper ends with brief conclusions.

  8. Stress map for ion irradiation: Depth-resolved dynamic competition between radiation-induced viscoelastic phenomena in SiO2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dillen, T. van; Siem, M.Y.S.; Polman, A.

    2004-01-01

    The dynamic competition between structural transformation, Newtonian viscous flow, and anisotropic strain generation during ion irradiation of SiO 2 , leads to strongly depth-dependent evolution of the mechanical stress, ranging between compressive and tensile. From independent in situ stress measurements during irradiation, generic expressions are derived of the nuclear stopping dependence of both the structural transformation rate and the radiation-induced viscosity. Using these data we introduce and demonstrate the concept of a 'stress map' that predicts the depth-resolved saturation stress in SiO 2 for any irradiation up to several MeV

  9. Competitive Intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergeron, Pierrette; Hiller, Christine A.

    2002-01-01

    Reviews the evolution of competitive intelligence since 1994, including terminology and definitions and analytical techniques. Addresses the issue of ethics; explores how information technology supports the competitive intelligence process; and discusses education and training opportunities for competitive intelligence, including core competencies…

  10. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcomes with cryopreserved testicular sperm aspiration samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roque, M; Valle, M; Marques, F; Sampaio, M; Geber, S

    2016-04-01

    Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be performed with testicular frozen-thawed spermatozoa in patients with nonobstructive azoospermia (NOA). Sperm retrieval can be performed in advance of oocyte aspiration, as it may avoid the possibility of no recovery of spermatozoa on the day of oocyte pickup. There are few studies available in the literature concerning the use of frozen-thawed spermatozoa obtained from testicular sperm aspiration (TESA). To evaluate the effects and the outcomes of ICSI with frozen-thawed spermatozoa obtained by TESA, we performed a retrospective analysis of 43 ICSI cycles using frozen-thawed TESA. We obtained acceptable results with a fertilisation rate of 67.9%, an implantation rate (IR) of 17.1%, and clinical and ongoing pregnancy rates of 41.9% and 37.2% respectively. The results of this study suggest that performing ICSI using cryopreserved frozen-thawed testicular spermatozoa with TESA as a first option is a viable, safe, economic and effective method for patients with NOA. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  11. Population Dynamics of Wolves and Coyotes at Yellowstone National Park: Modeling Interference Competition with an Infectious Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Blanco, Krystal; Barley, Kamal; Mubayi, Anuj

    2014-01-01

    Gray wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park (YNP) in 1995. The population initially flourished, but since 2003 the population has experience significant reductions due to factors that may include disease-induced mortality, illegal hunting, park control pro- grams, vehicle induced deaths and intra-species aggression. Despite facing similar conditions, and interference competition with the wolves, the coyote population at YNP has persisted. In this paper we introduce an epidemiol...

  12. Evaluation of multi-species weed competition and weeds population dynamic in corn Zea mays L. field

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Mijani

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available In order to examine the multi-species weed competition in corn field an experiment as an interval mapping was carried out at the Agricultural Research field of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad during growing season 2009-2010. At 3-4 leafy stages of corn, 20 non-destructive quadrates determine and the density of weeds was counted separately. At the same time, 20 destructive quadrates determine and in addition of counting number of plants, leaf area index and dry weight of each species were recorded separately. By using data from previous section, hyperbolic functions were fitted. In these functions number of species serve as the independent variable, weight or leaf area was considered as the dependent variable. With the help of these functions and leaf dry weight of each species was determined for non-destructive quadrates at this stage. Relative leaf area at early season as independent variables and natural logarithm of individual plant weight at later season as dependent variable in a multiple linear regression was fitted to obtain the interspecies competition coefficients. Based on ln of weight of single plant equation the weed interference effects on the corn yield can be divided into two groups: inhibition (negative sign and stimulation (positive sign. Among all weeds, night shade (Solanum nigrum L., redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus L. and lambsquarter (Chenopodium album L. had positive effects on corn yield, respectively. In fact, these weeds had competition and negative impacts on other weeds and reduced their competition power with corn and caused facilitation role on corn yield. At the end of growing season of corn, population of lambsquarter and Common purslane (Portulaca oleracea L. decreased while population of barnyard grass(Echinochloa crus-galli L., redroot pigweed and night shade increased.

  13. Dynamic stability in hydropsychid guilds along a regulated stream: the role of competitive interactions versus environmental perturbations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Camargo, J.O.

    1993-01-01

    Temporal alterations in the structure of hydropsychid guilds were studied along a regulated stream to examine the role of interspecific competitive interactions and environmental perturbations in determining species persistence. Discharge fluctuations of hypolimnial waters with a significant oxygen deficit were produced daily by Burgomillodo Dam. Under unregulated conditions (upstream sampling site), it is assumed that the coexistence of competing hydropsychid species is a function of species dominance (d') and resource limitation (R), as major cause of interaction strength among competitors, and the niche overlap (O) as a major causes of connectance among competitors, d' tends to increase with the number of subordinate species. A hydropsychid guild will tend to be unstable (by competitive displacement) if d'R(SO) 0.5 > 1, where S is the number of competing species in the guild. The product d'R(SO) 0.5 is used as a competition coefficient (β'); R and O are assumed to be 1 and 0.5, respectively. Upstream from the dam, values of β' were 0.599, 1.080 and 0.656, and values of S were 7,7 and 6. Downstream β' was less than unity during all sampling surveys, but S decreased at all sampling sites. Total density and total biomass were significantly higher downstream. Hydropsyche pellucidula was dominant upstream, whereas H. siltalai became dominant downstream. Temporal variations in individual weights of H. bulbifera and H. exocellata downstream were different from those upsteam. This is interpreted as 'character displacement. It is concluded that interspecific competitive interactions upstream and environmental perturbations downstream determined species persistence in hydropsychid guilds. (Author)

  14. Analysis of limited fertility in intracytoplasmic sperm injection of sperm obtained by electroejaculation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Yoshihiro; Kitamura, Masaya; Nishimura, Kenji; Tsujimura, Akira; Takeyama, Masami; Kondoh, Nobuyuki; Miyazaki, Kazunori; Okuyama, Akihiko

    2004-01-01

    Background and Aims:  We correlated findings in semen from patients with ejaculatory dysfunction with results of in vitro fertilization using their electroejaculated sperm. Methods and Results:  Electroejaculation was carried out in six patients with the above‐mentioned criteria for a total of eight times. Sperm was obtained in six attempts. Intracytoplasmic injection of these sperm was performed in 156 eggs. Sixty‐seven eggs were fertilized; most of these were injected with motile sperm. Two women became pregnant, both after injection with motile sperm. As previously reported, electroejaculated sperm showed low motility and a low fertilization rate, but even motile sperm had a low fertilization rate. Conclusion:  The results of the present study suggest the importance in fertilization of undetermined factors in addition to sperm motility. (Reprod Med Biol 2004; 3: 9–12) PMID:29662380

  15. Retail competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-01-01

    Retail competition as the cornerstone of a competitive electricity marketplace was the subject of the seventh in the series of policy discussion papers developed at the Market Design Conference. Concern was expressed that because of the complexities involved in market design and technical implementation, the retail competition may lag behind other elements of the implementation of the new market design. A variety of key issues were debated, including the role of physical versus financial contracts, the form of retail competition and financial settlement systems in the short term, the requirement to separate 'competitive' (metering, billing, maintenance, consumer education) from non-competitive' (the transmission wires) services and the role of municipal electric utilities. It was agreed that the IMO should play an important role in defining and enforcing the separation of services, and that as a general rule, the development of policy in this area should be guided by the principle of maximizing the potential for competition

  16. Na/K-ATPase regulates bovine sperm capacitation through raft- and non-raft-mediated signaling mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajamanickam, Gayathri D; Kastelic, John P; Thundathil, Jacob C

    2017-11-01

    Highly dynamic lipid microdomains (rafts) in the sperm plasma membrane contain several signaling proteins that regulate sperm capacitation. Na/K-ATPase isoforms (testis-specific isoform ATP1A4 and ubiquitous isoform ATP1A1) are abundant in bovine sperm plasma membrane. We previously reported that incubation of bovine sperm with ouabain, a specific Na/K-ATPase ligand, induced tyrosine phosphorylation of several sperm proteins during capacitation. The objective of this study was to investigate the roles of lipid rafts and non-rafts in Na/K-ATPase enzyme activity and signaling during bovine sperm capacitation. Content of ATP1A4 and, to a lesser extent, ATP1A1 was increased in raft and non-raft fractions of capacitated sperm, although non-raft enzyme activities of both isoforms were higher than the corresponding activities in rafts from capacitated sperm. Yet, ATP1A4 was the predominant isoform responsible for total Na/K-ATPase activity in both rafts and non-rafts. A comparative increase in phosphorylation of signaling molecules was observed in both raft (CAV1) and non-raft (EGFR and ERK1/2) membrane fractions during capacitation. Although SRC was phosphorylated in both membrane fractions, the non-raft fraction possessed more of this activated form. We also inferred, by immunoprecipitation, that ATP1A4 interacted with CAV1 and EGFR in the raft fraction, whereas interactions of ATP1A4 with SRC, EGFR, and ERK1/2 occurred in the non-raft fraction of ouabain-capacitated sperm; conversely, ATP1A1 interacted only with CAV1 in both fractions of uncapacitated and capacitated sperm. In conclusion, both raft and non-raft cohorts of Na/K-ATPase isoforms contributed to phosphorylation of signaling molecules during bovine sperm capacitation. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Varicocele Negatively Affects Sperm Mitochondrial Respiration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferramosca, Alessandra; Albani, Denise; Coppola, Lamberto; Zara, Vincenzo

    2015-10-01

    To evaluate the effect of varicocele on oxidative stress, sperm mitochondrial respiratory efficiency, sperm morphology, and semen parameters. A total of 20 patients with varicocele and 20 normozoospermic subjects without varicocele (control group) were recruited from a medical center for reproductive biology. The levels of serum reactive oxygen metabolites and seminal lipid peroxides were assessed for both control and varicocele subjects. Sperm deoxyribonucleic acid fragmentation was measured by sperm chromatin dispersion test. Mitochondrial respiratory activity was evaluated with a polarographic assay of oxygen consumption carried out in hypotonically treated sperm cells. In this study, varicocele patients were compared with men without varicoceles. Oxidative stress was observed in the serum and seminal fluid of varicocele patients. These patients showed an increase of 59% (P <.05) in serum reactive oxygen metabolites and a 3-fold increase in the level of sperm lipid peroxides. A parallel and significant increase (a 2-fold increase; P <.05) in the degree of sperm deoxyribonucleic acid fragmentation was also observed. Varicocele patients showed a 27% decrease (P <.05) in mitochondrial respiratory activity in comparison to the control group. A 32% increase (P <.05) in sperm midpiece defects and a 41% decrease (P <.05) in sperm concentration and motility were also observed. Men with varicocele have increased markers of oxidative stress and decreased mitochondrial respiratory activity. These results correlated with abnormalities in semen parameters. For morphology, these correlated with midpiece defects. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Effects of hydrostatic pressure on mouse sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karimi, N; Kamangar, P Bahrami; Azadbakht, M; Amini, A; Amiri, I

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the abnormalities in sperm after exposure to hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure acting on the cells is one of the fundamental environmental mechanical forces. Disorders of relationship between the cells and this mechanical force, such as when pressure varies beyond physiological limits, can lead to disease or pathological states. Sperm exposed to different range of hydrostatic pressure within male reproductive system and after entering the female reproductive system. Sexually mature male NMRI mice, 8-12 weeks-old were sperm donors. Sperms were separated from the caudal epididymis and maintained in Ham's F-10 culture medium supplemented with 10 % FBS and divided into control and treatments. Sperm suspensions in the treatments were placed within pressure chamber and were subjected to increased hydrostatic pressure of 25, 50 and 100 mmHg (treatment I, II and III) above atmospheric pressure for 2 and 4 h. Sperm viability, motility, morphology, DNA integrity and fertilizing ability were assessed and compared with control. Results showed that hydrostatic pressure dependent on ranges and time manner reduced sperm quality due to adverse effect on viability, motility , morphology, DNA integrity and fertilizing ability in all of treatments, especially after 4h (phydrostatic pressure reduces sperm quality as a consequence of adverse effects on sperm parameters and may cause male infertility or subfertility (Tab. 5, Ref. 5).

  19. Hypercholesterolemia Impaired Sperm Functionality in Rabbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monclus, Maria A.; Cabrillana, Maria E.; Clementi, Marisa A.; Espínola, Leandro S.; Cid Barría, Jose L.; Vincenti, Amanda E.; Santi, Analia G.; Fornés, Miguel W.

    2010-01-01

    Hypercholesterolemia represents a high risk factor for frequent diseases and it has also been associated with poor semen quality that may lead to male infertility. The aim of this study was to analyze semen and sperm function in diet-induced hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Twelve adult White New Zealand male rabbits were fed ad libitum a control diet or a diet supplemented with 0.05% cholesterol. Rabbits under cholesterol-enriched diet significantly increased total cholesterol level in the serum. Semen examination revealed a significant reduction in semen volume and sperm motility in hypercholesterolemic rabbits (HCR). Sperm cell morphology was seriously affected, displaying primarily a “folded head”-head fold along the major axe-, and the presence of cytoplasmic droplet on sperm flagellum. Cholesterol was particularly increased in acrosomal region when detected by filipin probe. The rise in cholesterol concentration in sperm cells was determined quantitatively by Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analyses. We also found a reduction of protein tyrosine phosphorylation in sperm incubated under capacitating conditions from HCR. Interestingly, the addition of Protein Kinase A pathway activators -dibutyryl-cyclic AMP and iso-butylmethylxanthine- to the medium restored sperm capacitation. Finally, it was also reported a significant decrease in the percentage of reacted sperm in the presence of progesterone. In conclusion, our data showed that diet-induced hypercholesterolemia adversely affects semen quality and sperm motility, capacitation and acrosomal reaction in rabbits; probably due to an increase in cellular cholesterol content that alters membrane related events. PMID:20976152

  20. Is cunnilingus-assisted orgasm a male sperm-retention strategy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Michael N; Shackelford, Todd K; Sela, Yael; Welling, Lisa Lm

    2013-06-06

    We secured data from 243 men in committed, sexual, heterosexual relationships to test the sperm retention hypothesis of oral sex. We predicted that, among men who perform cunnilingus on their partner, those at greater risk of sperm competition are more likely to perform cunnilingus until their partner achieves orgasm (Prediction 1), and that, among men who ejaculate during penile-vaginal intercourse and whose partner experiences a cunnilingus-assisted orgasm, ejaculation will occur during the brief period in which female orgasm might function to retain sperm (Prediction 2). The results support Prediction 1 but not Prediction 2. We discuss limitations of the current research and discuss how these results may be more consistent with alternative hypotheses regarding female orgasm and oral sex.

  1. Is Cunnilingus-Assisted Orgasm a Male Sperm-Retention Strategy?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael N. Pham

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We secured data from 243 men in committed, sexual, heterosexual relationships to test the sperm retention hypothesis of oral sex. We predicted that, among men who perform cunnilingus on their partner, those at greater risk of sperm competition are more likely to perform cunnilingus until their partner achieves orgasm (Prediction 1, and that, among men who ejaculate during penile-vaginal intercourse and whose partner experiences a cunnilingus-assisted orgasm, ejaculation will occur during the brief period in which female orgasm might function to retain sperm (Prediction 2. The results support Prediction 1 but not Prediction 2. We discuss limitations of the current research and discuss how these results may be more consistent with alternative hypotheses regarding female orgasm and oral sex.

  2. Dynamics of quality as a strategic variable in complex food supply chain network competition: The case of fresh produce

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagurney, Anna; Besik, Deniz; Yu, Min

    2018-04-01

    In this paper, we construct a competitive food supply chain network model in which the profit-maximizing producers decide not only as to the volume of fresh produce produced and distributed using various supply chain network pathways, but they also decide, with the associated costs, on the initial quality of the fresh produce. Consumers, in turn, respond to the various producers' product outputs through the prices that they are willing to pay, given also the average quality associated with each producer or brand at the retail outlets. The quality of the fresh produce is captured through explicit formulae that incorporate time, temperature, and other link characteristics with links associated with processing, shipment, storage, etc. Capacities on links are also incorporated as well as upper bounds on the initial product quality of the firms at their production/harvesting sites. The governing concept of the competitive supply chain network model is that of Nash Equilibrium, for which alternative variational inequality formulations are derived, along with existence results. An algorithmic procedure, which can be interpreted as a discrete-time tatonnement process, is then described and applied to compute the equilibrium produce flow patterns and accompanying link Lagrange multipliers in a realistic case study, focusing on peaches, which includes disruptions.

  3. Anti-androgen vinclozolin impairs sperm quality and steroidogenesis in goldfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatef, Azadeh; Alavi, Sayyed Mohammad Hadi; Milla, Sylvain; Křišťan, Jiří; Golshan, Mahdi; Fontaine, Pascal; Linhart, Otomar

    2012-10-15

    In mammals, vinclozolin (VZ) is known as anti-androgen, which causes male infertility via androgen receptor (AR) antagonism. In aquatic animals, the VZ effects on reproductive functions are largely unknown and results are somewhat contradictory. To understand VZ adverse effects on male reproduction, mature goldfish (Carassius auratus) were exposed to three nominal VZ concentrations (100, 400, and 800 μg/L) and alternations in gonadosomatic (GSI) and hepatosomatic indices (HSI), 17β-estradiol (E(2)), 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) and sperm quality were investigated compared to the solvent control. One group was exposed to E(2) (nominal concentration of 5 μg/L), an estrogenic compound, as a negative control. Following one month exposure, GSI and HSI were unchanged in all VZ treated groups compared to solvent control. Sperm volume, motility and velocity were reduced in fish exposed to 800 μg/L VZ. This was associated with the decrease in 11-KT level, suggesting direct VZ effects on testicular androgenesis and sperm functions. In goldfish exposed to 100 μg/L VZ, 11-KT was increased but E(2) remained unchanged. This is, probably, the main reason for unchanged sperm quality at 100 μg/L VZ. In goldfish exposed to E(2), GSI and 11-KT were decreased, E(2) was increased and no sperm was produced. The present study shows different dose-dependent VZ effects, which lead to impairment in sperm quality via disruption in steroidogenesis. In addition to VZ effects through competitive binding to AR, our data suggests potential effects of VZ by direct inhibition of 11-KT biosynthesis in fish as well as abnormalities in sperm morphology. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Innovative dynamics and competitive ability of Germany in green future markets; Innovationsdynamik und Wettbewerbsfaehigkeit Deutschlands in gruenen Zukunftsmaerkten

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walz, Rainer; Ostertag, Katrin; Doll, Claus [Fraunhofer Institut fuer System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI), Karlsruhe (DE)] (and others)

    2008-04-15

    The environmental protection and resources protection are very important nationally and internationally. For the economy in Europe and in Germany, environmental innovations set up substantial market potentials as well as chances for growth and occupation on the domestic and international markets. In a preceding project, four future markets and/or action fields were analysed. This view is extended in the contribution under consideration. Ten case studies are accomplished to individual technology lines. The innovation processes in the prominent countries are reconstructed in order to show starting points to the promotion of successful innovations. An international comparison of the efficiency and competitive ability with the most important European and non-European countries is performed. This regards the action fields: Energy production, energy efficiency, material efficiency, sustainable mobility, sustainable water management, waste management and recycling economy, white biotechnology, nanotechnology.

  5. Mitochondrial respiratory efficiency is positively correlated with human sperm motility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferramosca, Alessandra; Provenzano, Sara Pinto; Coppola, Lamberto; Zara, Vincenzo

    2012-04-01

    To correlate sperm mitochondrial respiratory efficiency with variations in sperm motility and with sperm morphologic anomalies. Sperm mitochondrial respiratory activity was evaluated with a polarographic assay of oxygen consumption carried out in hypotonically-treated sperm cells. A possible relationship among sperm mitochondrial respiratory efficiency, sperm motility, and morphologic anomalies was investigated. Mitochondrial respiratory efficiency was positively correlated with sperm motility and negatively correlated with the percentage of immotile spermatozoa. Moreover, midpiece defects impaired mitochondrial functionality. Our data indicate that an increase in sperm motility requires a parallel increase in mitochondrial respiratory capacity, thereby supporting the fundamental role played by mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in sperm motility of normozoospermic subjects. These results are of physiopathological relevance because they suggest that disturbances of sperm mitochondrial function and of energy production could be responsible for asthenozoospermia. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Children conceived after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mau, C; Juul, A; Main, K M

    2004-01-01

    The aim of the study was to evaluate current medical knowledge about children born after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with respect to congenital malformations, chromosome abnormalities and postnatal growth.......The aim of the study was to evaluate current medical knowledge about children born after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with respect to congenital malformations, chromosome abnormalities and postnatal growth....

  7. Competition Policy and Innovation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møllgaard, Peter; Lorentzen, Jo

    2005-01-01

    We briefly review the rationale behind technological alliances and provide a snapshot oftheir role in global competition, especially insofar as it is based around intellectual capital.They nicely illustrate the increased importance of horizontal agreements and thusestablish the relevance of the t......We briefly review the rationale behind technological alliances and provide a snapshot oftheir role in global competition, especially insofar as it is based around intellectual capital.They nicely illustrate the increased importance of horizontal agreements and thusestablish the relevance...... of the topic. We move on to discuss the organisation of industriesin a dynamic context and draw out consequences for competition policy. We concludewith an outlook on the underlying tensions between technology alliances, competitionpolicy, and industrial policy.JEL codes: L4, L5, O31Keywords: Competition...

  8. Mitochondrial PKA mediates sperm motility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizrahi, Rashel; Breitbart, Haim

    2014-12-01

    Mitochondria are the major source of ATP to power sperm motility. Phosphorylation of mitochondrial proteins has been proposed as a major regulatory mechanism for mitochondrial bioenergetics. Sperm motility was measured by a computer-assisted analyzer, protein detection by western blotting, membrane potential by tetramethylrhodamine, cellular ATP by luciferase assay and localization of PKA by immuno-electron microscopy. Bicarbonate is essential for the creation of mitochondrial electro-chemical gradient, ATP synthesis and sperm motility. Bicarbonate stimulates PKA-dependent phosphorylation of two 60kDa proteins identified as Tektin and glucose-6-phosphate isomerase. This phosphorylation was inhibited by respiration inhibition and phosphorylation could be restored by glucose in the presence of bicarbonate. However, this effect of glucose cannot be seen when the mitochondrial ATP/ADP exchanger was inhibited indicating that glycolytic-produced ATP is transported into the mitochondria and allows PKA-dependent protein phosphorylation inside the mitochondria. Bicarbonate activates mitochondrial soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) which catalyzes cAMP production leading to the activation of mitochondrial PKA. Glucose can overcome the lack of ATP in the absence of bicarbonate but it cannot affect the mitochondrial sAC/PKA system, therefore the PKA-dependent phosphorylation of the 60kDa proteins does not occur in the absence of bicarbonate. Production of CO2 in Krebs cycle, which is converted to bicarbonate is essential for sAC/PKA activation leading to mitochondrial membrane potential creation and ATP synthesis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Sperm protein 17 is expressed in the sperm fibrous sheath

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albani Elena

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sperm protein 17 (Sp17 is a highly conserved mammalian protein characterized in rabbit, mouse, monkey, baboon, macaque, human testis and spermatozoa. mRNA encoding Sp17 has been detected in a range of murine and human somatic tissues. It was also recognized in two myeloma cell lines and in neoplastic cells from patients with multiple myeloma and ovarian carcinoma. These data all indicate that Sp17 is widely distributed in humans, expressed not only in germinal cells and in a variety of somatic tissues, but also in neoplastic cells of unrelated origin. Methods Sp17 expression was analyzed by immunocytochemistry and transmission electron microscopy on spermatozoa. Results Here, we demonstrate the ultrastructural localization of human Sp17 throughout the spermatozoa flagellar fibrous sheath, and its presence in spermatozoa during in vitro states from their ejaculation to the oocyte fertilization. Conclusion These findings suggest a possible role of Sp17 in regulating sperm maturation, capacitation, acrosomal reaction and interactions with the oocyte zona pellucida during the fertilization process. Further, the high degree of sequence conservation throughout its N-terminal half, and the presence of an A-kinase anchoring protein (AKAP-binding motif within this region, suggest that Sp17 might play a regulatory role in a protein kinase A-independent AKAP complex in both germinal and somatic cells.

  10. A new approach to spatially explicit modelling of forest dynamics: spacing, ageing and neighbourhood competition of mangrove trees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berger, U.; Hildenbrandt, H.

    2000-01-01

    This paper presents a new approach to spatially explicit modelling that enables the influence of neighbourhood effects on the dynamics of forests and plant communities to be analysed. We refer to this approach as 'field of neighbourhood' (FON). It combines the 'neighbourhood philosophy' of

  11. BMI in relation to sperm count

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sermondade, N; Faure, C; Fezeu, L

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND The global obesity epidemic has paralleled a decrease in semen quality. Yet, the association between obesity and sperm parameters remains controversial. The purpose of this report was to update the evidence on the association between BMI and sperm count through a systematic review...... with meta-analysis. METHODS A systematic review of available literature (with no language restriction) was performed to investigate the impact of BMI on sperm count. Relevant studies published until June 2012 were identified from a Pubmed and EMBASE search. We also included unpublished data (n = 717 men...... studies were included in the meta-analysis, resulting in a sample of 13 077 men from the general population and attending fertility clinics. Data were stratified according to the total sperm count as normozoospermia, oligozoospermia and azoospermia. Standardized weighted mean differences in sperm...

  12. Testicular Damage following Testicular Sperm Retrieval

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fedder, Jens; Marcussen, Niels; Fedder, Maja D.K.

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible development of histological abnormalities such as fibrosis and microcalcifications after sperm retrieval in a ram model. Fourteen testicles in nine rams were exposed to open biopsy, multiple TESAs, or TESE, and the remaining four testicles were...... left unoperated on as controls. Three months after sperm retrieval, the testicles were removed, fixed, and cut into 1/2 cm thick slices and systematically put onto a glass plate exposing macroscopic abnormalities. Tissue from abnormal areas was cut into 3 μm sections and stained for histological...... evaluation. Pathological abnormalities were observed in testicles exposed to sperm retrieval (≥11 of 14) compared to 0 of 4 control testicles. Testicular damage was found independently of the kind of intervention used. Therefore, cryopreservation of excess sperm should be considered while retrieving sperm....

  13. Feed in or certificates, competition or complementarity? Combining a static efficiency and a dynamic innovation perspective on the greening of the energy industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Midttun, Atle; Gautesen, Kristian

    2007-01-01

    European policy on the greening of the energy industry has been characterised by a debate between proponents of two apparent polar opposites, feed in tariffs and certificate markets. Different European countries have chosen both mechanisms and, as a consequence, the European Union has maintained a fairly pluralist position, abstaining from stricter harmonisation. Taking a dynamic innovation perspective on European energy industry, we argue that feed in tariffs and certificate markets should not be seen as competing alternatives, but rather as complementary regulatory instruments targeting subsequent steps in the product cycle, on the way from early technology-conceptualisation and development towards competitive positioning in mature energy markets. We see both policy instruments as necessary to achieve the extensive transformation towards sustainable development that is judged as important tools in the context of the global climate challenge

  14. Comparison of sperm motility subpopulation structure among wild anadromous and farmed male Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) parr using a CASA system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldeira, Carina; García-Molina, Almudena; Valverde, Anthony; Bompart, Daznia; Hassane, Megan; Martin, Patrick; Soler, Carles

    2018-04-13

    Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is an endangered freshwater species that needs help to recover its wild stocks. However, the priority in aquaculture is to obtain successful fertilisation and genetic variability to secure the revival of the species. The aims of the present work were to study sperm subpopulation structure and motility patterns in wild anadromous males and farmed male Atlantic salmon parr. Salmon sperm samples were collected from wild anadromous salmon (WS) and two generations of farmed parr males. Sperm samples were collected from sexually mature males and sperm motility was analysed at different times after activation (5 and 35s). Differences among the three groups were analysed using statistical techniques based on Cluster analysis the Bayesian method. Atlantic salmon were found to have three sperm subpopulations, and the spermatozoa in ejaculates of mature farmed parr males had a higher velocity and larger size than those of WS males. This could be an adaptation to high sperm competition because salmonid species are naturally adapted to this process. Motility analysis enables us to identify sperm subpopulations, and it may be useful to correlate these sperm subpopulations with fertilisation ability to test whether faster-swimming spermatozoa have a higher probability of success.

  15. Innovation strategies and competitive advantage

    OpenAIRE

    Gërguri, Shqipe; Rexhepi, Gadaf; Ramadani, Veland

    2013-01-01

    Companies today operate in a very dynamic, uncertain and competitive environment. They compete in "nicety" that are so small but so important. Companies are trying to achieve competitive advantage in order to help them obtain a better and a stable position in the marketplace. The best way for companies to achieve a competitive advantage is through innovation. This paper addresses the meaning of innovation what does innovation present, types of innovation specifically discussing the right way ...

  16. Cooperation through Competition?Dynamics and Microeconomics of a Minimal Nutrient Trade System in Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis

    OpenAIRE

    Schott, Stephan; Valdebenito, Braulio; Bustos, Daniel; Gomez-Porras, Judith L.; Sharma, Tripti; Dreyer, Ingo

    2016-01-01

    In arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis, fungi and plants exchange nutrients (sugars and phosphate, for instance) for reciprocal benefit. Until now it is not clear how this nutrient exchange system works. Here, we used computational cell biology to simulate the dynamics of a network of proton pumps and proton-coupled transporters that are upregulated during AM formation. We show that this minimal network is sufficient to describe accurately and realistically the nutrient trade system. By app...

  17. Relationship between Porcine Sperm Motility and Sperm Enzymatic Activity using Paper-based Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuura, Koji; Huang, Han-Wei; Chen, Ming-Cheng; Chen, Yu; Cheng, Chao-Min

    2017-04-01

    Mammalian sperm motility has traditionally been analyzed to determine fertility using computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) systems. To develop low-cost and robust male fertility diagnostics, we created a paper-based MTT assay and used it to estimate motile sperm concentration. When porcine sperm motility was inhibited using sperm enzyme inhibitors for sperm enzymes related to mitochondrial activity and glycolysis, we simultaneously recorded sperm motility and enzymatic reactivity using a portable motility analysis system (iSperm) and a paper-based MTT assay, respectively. When using our paper-based MTT-assay, we calculated the area mean value signal intensity (AMV) to evaluate enzymatic reactivity. Both sperm motility and AMV decreased following treatment with iodoacetamide (IODO) and 3-bromopyruvic acid (3BP), both of which are inhibitors of glycolytic enzymes including glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). We found a correlation between recorded motility using iSperm and AMV from our paper-based assay (P Based on this inhibitor study, sperm motility can be estimated using our paper-based MTT-assay.

  18. Office-based sperm concentration: A simplified method for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Methods: Semen samples from 51 sperm donors were used. Following swim-up separation, the sperm concentration of the retrieved motile fraction was counted, as well as progressive motile sperm using a standardised wet preparation. The number of sperm in a 10 μL droplet covered with a 22 × 22 mm coverslip was ...

  19. Environmental protection and competition policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mehrlaender, H.

    1993-01-01

    The area 'Environmental protection and competition policy' follows the introductory guideline by Sir Leon Brittan, vice-president of the EC-Commission: 'We must seek the most market driven, dynamic approach to solutions, such that competition and technological advance bring the maximum economic and environmental benefits'. From this concrete measures are derived. (HSCH) [de

  20. Trade-off between carotenoid-based sexual ornamentation and sperm resistance to oxidative challenge

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tomášek, Oldřich; Albrechtová, Jana; Němcová, M.; Opatová, Pavlína; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 284, č. 1847 (2017), č. článku 20162444. ISSN 0962-8452 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : sexual selection * phenotype-linked fertility hypothesis * sperm competition theory * ejaculate quality * lutein * zeaxanthin Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Biology (theoretical, mathematical, thermal, cryobiology, biological rhythm), Evolutionary biology Impact factor: 4.940, year: 2016

  1. Coal competitiveness?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rogeaux, B.

    2006-01-01

    Will coal electrical plants be more competitive in the coming years? Answering this one cannot be limited to merely comparing estimates based on reference electricity production costs. The competitiveness of coal will indeed depend on the final product marketed, as the MWhs are not equal: is the purpose to produce base, half-base MWh? Does the electrical equipment structure require flexible MWh (for instance in the event of significant intermittent renewable energy amounts), and therefore plants able to adjust their power rapidly? But the competitiveness of coal will also depend on many factors that will correct reference cost estimates: uncertainties, risks, externalities. These factors will need to be appreciated on a case by case basis. We introduce some of the reasoning used to better appreciate the future competitiveness of coal, and the main factors conditioning it in three contrasting regions of the world: Europe, USA, china. (author)

  2. Competition Regime

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danilo Icaza Ortiz

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper is a review of the competition regime works of various authors, published under the auspices of the University of the Hemispheres and the Corporation for Studies and Publications. Analyzes the structure, the general concepts, case law taken for development. Includes comments on the usefulness of this work for the study of competition law and the contribution to the lawyers who want to practice in this branch of economic law.

  3. Tolerance to environmental desiccation in moss sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shortlidge, Erin E; Rosenstiel, Todd N; Eppley, Sarah M

    2012-05-01

    • Sexual reproduction in mosses requires that sperm be released freely into the environment before finding and fertilizing a receptive female. After release from the male plant, moss sperm may experience a range of abiotic stresses; however, few data are available examining stress tolerance of moss sperm and whether there is genetic variation for stress tolerance in this important life stage. • Here, we investigated the effects of environmental desiccation and recovery on the sperm cells of three moss species (Bryum argenteum, Campylopus introflexus, and Ceratodon purpureus). • We found that a fraction of sperm cells were tolerant to environmental desiccation for extended periods (d) and that tolerance did not vary among species. We found that this tolerance occurs irrespective of ambient dehydration conditions, and that the addition of sucrose during dry-down improved cell recovery. Although we observed no interspecific variation, significant variation among individuals within species in sperm cell tolerance to environmental desiccation was observed, suggesting selection could potentially act on this basic reproductive trait. • The observation of desiccation-tolerant sperm in multiple moss species has important implications for understanding bryophyte reproduction, suggesting the presence of a significant, uncharacterized complexity in the ecology of moss mating systems. © 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. The stochastic dance of circling sperm cells: sperm chemotaxis in the plane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Friedrich, B M; Juelicher, F [Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Noethnitzer Strasse 38, 01187 Dresden (Germany)], E-mail: ben@pks.mpg.de, E-mail: julicher@pks.mpg.de

    2008-12-15

    Biological systems such as single cells must function in the presence of fluctuations. It has been shown in a two-dimensional experimental setup that sea urchin sperm cells move toward a source of chemoattractant along planar trochoidal swimming paths, i.e. drifting circles. In these experiments, a pronounced variability of the swimming paths is observed. We present a theoretical description of sperm chemotaxis in two dimensions which takes fluctuations into account. We derive a coarse-grained theory of stochastic sperm swimming paths in a concentration field of chemoattractant. Fluctuations enter as multiplicative noise in the equations for the sperm swimming path. We discuss the stochastic properties of sperm swimming and predict a concentration-dependence of the effective diffusion constant of sperm swimming which could be tested in experiments.

  5. The stochastic dance of circling sperm cells: sperm chemotaxis in the plane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Friedrich, B M; Juelicher, F

    2008-01-01

    Biological systems such as single cells must function in the presence of fluctuations. It has been shown in a two-dimensional experimental setup that sea urchin sperm cells move toward a source of chemoattractant along planar trochoidal swimming paths, i.e. drifting circles. In these experiments, a pronounced variability of the swimming paths is observed. We present a theoretical description of sperm chemotaxis in two dimensions which takes fluctuations into account. We derive a coarse-grained theory of stochastic sperm swimming paths in a concentration field of chemoattractant. Fluctuations enter as multiplicative noise in the equations for the sperm swimming path. We discuss the stochastic properties of sperm swimming and predict a concentration-dependence of the effective diffusion constant of sperm swimming which could be tested in experiments.

  6. Sperm origins and concentration do not impact the clinical outcomes in intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Cen; Zhou, Ze-Hong; Zheng, Dan-Ni; Xu, Xiao-Fei; Huang, Jin; Lian, Ying; Qiao, Jie

    2018-05-25

    In the present study, we evaluated the impact of sperm origins and concentration on the clinical outcomes of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles. A total of 1201 ICSI cycles were retrospectively analyzed for male azoospermia or oligozoospermia between January 2015 and December 2015 in the Peking University Third Hospital. Patients were divided into three groups (Group 1 vs Group 2/3; surgically extracted sperm vs ejaculated sperms): Group 1 included 343 ICSI cycles and Group 2 analyzed 388 cycles on semen with sperm concentration cycles with sperm concentration between 5 × 10 6 ml -1 and 15 × 10 6 ml -1 (mild oligozoospermia group). Fertilization rates, clinical pregnancy rates, and live birth rates were analyzed and compared among groups of different semen origins and concentrations on the oocyte retrieval day. Group 2 showed a lower fertilization rate than Group 3 (62.9% ± 21.6% vs 66.8% ± 22.1%,Pcycles.

  7. Sperm immobilization by dental focus microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linossier, A; Thumann, A; Bustos-Obregon, E

    1982-01-01

    Focal infections and their ability to produce alterations in different tissues have been in dispute for long time. The purpose of this work was to observe "in vitro" the effect of an Escherichia coli filtrate obtained from open pulpar necrosis on human sperm motility. It was observed that the E. coli filtrate produced a loss in sperm motility. The immobilizating factor was studied and characterized as a heat-stable, resistant to lyophilization and non-dializable substance, which could via blood stream reach the male reproductive system and affect sperm motility.

  8. Ovarian fluid mediates the temporal decline in sperm viability in a fish with sperm storage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clelia Gasparini

    Full Text Available A loss of sperm viability and functionality during sperm transfer and storage within the female reproductive tract can have important fitness implications by disrupting fertilization and impairing offspring development and survival. Consequently, mechanisms that mitigate the temporal decline in sperm function are likely to be important targets of selection. In many species, ovarian fluid is known to regulate and maintain sperm quality. In this paper, we use the guppy Poecilia reticulata, a highly polyandrous freshwater fish exhibiting internal fertilization and sperm storage, to determine whether ovarian fluid (OF influences the decline in sperm viability (the proportion of live sperm in the ejaculate over time and whether any observed effects depend on male sexual ornamentation. To address these questions we used a paired experimental design in which ejaculates from individual males were tested in vitro both in presence and absence of OF. Our results revealed that the temporal decline in sperm viability was significantly reduced in the presence of OF compared to a saline control. This finding raises the intriguing possibility that OF may play a role in mediating the decline in sperm quality due to the deleterious effects of sperm ageing, although other possible explanations for this observation are discussed. Interestingly, we also show that the age-related decline in sperm viability was contingent on male sexual ornamentation; males with relatively high levels of iridescence (indicating higher sexual attractiveness exhibited a more pronounced decline in sperm viability over time than their less ornamented counterparts. This latter finding offers possible insights into the functional basis for the previously observed trade-off between these key components of pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection.

  9. Milk proteins interact with goat Binder of SPerm (BSP) proteins and decrease their binding to sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Menezes, Erika Bezerra; van Tilburg, Mauricio; Plante, Geneviève; de Oliveira, Rodrigo V; Moura, Arlindo A; Manjunath, Puttaswamy

    2016-11-01

    Seminal plasma Binder of SPerm (BSP) proteins bind to sperm at ejaculation and promote capacitation. When in excess, however, BSP proteins damage the sperm membrane. It has been suggested that milk components of semen extenders associate with BSP proteins, potentially protecting sperm. Thus, this study was conducted to investigate if milk proteins interact with BSP proteins and reduce BSP binding to goat sperm. Using gel filtration chromatography, milk was incubated with goat seminal plasma proteins and loaded onto columns with and without calcium. Milk was also fractionated into parts containing mostly whey proteins or mostly caseins, incubated with seminal plasma proteins and subjected to gel filtration. Eluted fractions were evaluated by immunoblot using anti-goat BSP antibodies, confirming milk protein-BSP protein interactions. As determined by ELISA, milk proteins coated on polystyrene wells bound to increasing of goat BSP proteins. Far-western dot blots confirmed that BSP proteins bound to caseins and β-lactoglobulin in a concentration-dependent manner. Then, cauda epididymal sperm from five goats was incubated with seminal plasma; seminal plasma followed by milk; and milk followed by seminal plasma. Sperm membrane proteins were extracted and evaluated by immunoblotting. The pattern of BSP binding to sperm membrane proteins was reduced by 59.3 % when epididymal sperm were incubated with seminal plasma and then with skimmed milk (p  0.05). In conclusion, goat BSP proteins have an affinity for caseins and whey proteins. Milk reduces BSP binding to goat sperm, depending whether or not sperm had been previously exposed to seminal plasma. Such events may explain the protective effect of milk during goat sperm preservation.

  10. Effects of ovarian fluid and genetic differences on sperm performance and fertilization success of alternative reproductive tactics in Chinook salmon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehnert, S J; Butts, I A E; Flannery, E W; Peters, K M; Heath, D D; Pitcher, T E

    2017-06-01

    In many species, sperm velocity affects variation in the outcome of male competitive fertilization success. In fishes, ovarian fluid (OF) released with the eggs can increase male sperm velocity and potentially facilitate cryptic female choice for males of specific phenotypes and/or genotypes. Therefore, to investigate the effect of OF on fertilization success, we measured sperm velocity and conducted in vitro competitive fertilizations with paired Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) males representing two alternative reproductive tactics, jacks (small sneaker males) and hooknoses (large guarding males), in the presence of river water alone and OF mixed with river water. To determine the effect of genetic differences on fertilization success, we genotyped fish at neutral (microsatellites) and functional [major histocompatibility complex (MHC) II ß1] markers. We found that when sperm were competed in river water, jacks sired significantly more offspring than hooknoses; however, in OF, there was no difference in paternity between the tactics. Sperm velocity was significantly correlated with paternity success in river water, but not in ovarian fluid. Paternity success in OF, but not in river water alone, was correlated with genetic relatedness between male and female, where males that were less related to the female attained greater paternity. We found no relationship between MHC II ß1 divergence between mates and paternity success in water or OF. Our results indicate that OF can influence the outcome of sperm competition in Chinook salmon, where OF provides both male tactics with fertilization opportunities, which may in part explain what maintains both tactics in nature. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  11. Use of testicular sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection in men with high sperm DNA fragmentation: a SWOT analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteves, Sandro C; Roque, Matheus; Garrido, Nicolás

    2018-01-01

    Spermatozoa retrieved from the testis of men with high levels of sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) in the neat semen tend to have better DNA quality. Given the negative impact of SDF on the outcomes of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), an increased interest has emerged about the use of testicular sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (Testi-ICSI). In this article, we used a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis to summarize the advantages and drawbacks of this intervention. The rationale of Testi-ICSI is bypass posttesticular DNA fragmentation caused by oxidative stress during sperm transit through the epididymis. Hence, oocyte fertilization by genomically intact testicular spermatozoa may be optimized, thus increasing the chances of creating a normal embryonic genome and the likelihood of achieving a live birth, as recently demonstrated in men with high SDF. However, there is still limited evidence as regards the clinical efficacy of Testi-ICSI, thus creating opportunities for further confirmatory clinical research as well as investigation of Testi-ICSI in clinical scenarios other than high SDF. Furthermore, Testi-ICSI can be compared to other laboratory preparation methods for deselecting sperm with damaged DNA. At present, the available literature supports the use of testicular sperm when performing ICSI in infertile couples whose male partners have posttesticular SDF. Due to inherent risks of sperm retrieval, Testi-ICSI should be offered when less invasive treatments for alleviating DNA damage have failed. A call for continuous monitoring is nonetheless required concerning the health of generated offspring and the potential complications of sperm retrieval.

  12. Communication: On the competition between adiabatic and nonadiabatic dynamics in vibrationally mediated ammonia photodissociation in its A band

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xie, Changjian [Key Laboratory of Mesoscopic Chemistry, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Institute of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China); Zhu, Xiaolei; Yarkony, David R., E-mail: jianyi.m@gmail.com, E-mail: yarkony@jhu.edu, E-mail: dqxie@nju.edu.cn, E-mail: hguo@unm.edu [Department of Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218 (United States); Ma, Jianyi, E-mail: jianyi.m@gmail.com, E-mail: yarkony@jhu.edu, E-mail: dqxie@nju.edu.cn, E-mail: hguo@unm.edu [Institute of Atomic and Molecular Physics, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610065 (China); Xie, Daiqian, E-mail: jianyi.m@gmail.com, E-mail: yarkony@jhu.edu, E-mail: dqxie@nju.edu.cn, E-mail: hguo@unm.edu [Key Laboratory of Mesoscopic Chemistry, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Institute of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China); Synergetic Innovation Center of Quantum Information and Quantum Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026 (China); Guo, Hua, E-mail: jianyi.m@gmail.com, E-mail: yarkony@jhu.edu, E-mail: dqxie@nju.edu.cn, E-mail: hguo@unm.edu [Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131 (United States)

    2015-03-07

    Non-adiabatic processes play an important role in photochemistry, but the mechanism for conversion of electronic energy to chemical energy is still poorly understood. To explore the possibility of vibrational control of non-adiabatic dynamics in a prototypical photoreaction, namely, the A-band photodissociation of NH{sub 3}(X{sup ~1}A{sub 1}), full-dimensional state-to-state quantum dynamics of symmetric or antisymmetric stretch excited NH{sub 3}(X{sup ~1}A{sub 1}) is investigated on recently developed coupled diabatic potential energy surfaces. The experimentally observed H atom kinetic energy distributions are reproduced. However, contrary to previous inferences, the NH{sub 2}(A{sup ~2}A{sub 1})/NH{sub 2}(X{sup ~2}B{sub 1}) branching ratio is found to be small regardless of the initial preparation of NH{sub 3}(X{sup ~1}A{sub 1}), while the internal state distribution of the preeminent fragment, NH{sub 2}(X{sup ~2}B{sub 1}), is found to depend strongly on the initial vibrational excitation of NH{sub 3}(X{sup ~1}A{sub 1}). The slow H atoms in photodissociation mediated by the antisymmetric stretch fundamental state are due to energy sequestered in the internally excited NH{sub 2}(X{sup ~2}B{sub 1}) fragment, rather than in NH{sub 2}(A{sup ~2}A{sub 1}) as previously proposed. The high internal excitation of the NH{sub 2}(X{sup ~2}B{sub 1}) fragment is attributed to the torques exerted on the molecule as it passes through the conical intersection seam to the ground electronic state of NH{sub 3}. Thus in this system, contrary to previous assertions, the control of electronic state branching by selective excitation of ground state vibrational modes is concluded to be ineffective. The juxtaposition of precise quantum mechanical results with complementary results based on quasi-classical surface hopping trajectories provides significant insights into the non-adiabatic process.

  13. B-Vitamin Competition: Intracellular and Dissolved B-Vitamins Provide Insight into Marine Microbial Community Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suffridge, C.; Gomez-Consarnau, L.; Qu, P.; Tenenbaum, N.; Fu, F.; Hutchins, D. A.; Sanudo-Wilhelmy, S. A.

    2016-02-01

    The availability of B-vitamins has the ability to directly affect the dynamics of the marine microbial community. Here we show, for the first time, the connection between dissolved and intracellular B-vitamins in a marine environmental community. Two incubation experiments were conducted at a long-term study site (SPOT) in the San Pedro Basin off the coast of Los Angeles, CA. Experiments were conducted in oligotrophic, preupwelling conditions. Due to the 2015 El Niño event, the seasonal upwelling at SPOT did not occur, creating unusually nutrient depleted conditions. Vitamins B1, B7, and B12 were added in addition to macronutrients at concentrations similar to typical SPOT upwelling conditions. Intracellular and dissolved B-vitamin analyses were conducted to determine shifts in cellular B-vitamin requirements as a function of growth rate. We observed a significant bacterioplankton and phytoplankton growth responses with the addition of B-vitamins in a manner that appears to match the enzymatic requirements for these compounds (e.g. B1>B7>B12). Intracellular B-vitamin analysis of T0 samples support this observation, as all four forms of B12 were not detectable within cells, yet multiple forms of B1 and B7 were detected at or near levels previously reported. Treatments with B12 and macronutrients were observed to have the greatest growth rates. This finding, in addition to the apparent lack of intracellular B12 in the initial community, appears to indicate that the initial microbial community was limited by B12. The addition of each vitamin caused a distinct shift in the blooming microbial community. Our results demonstrate that B-vitamins strongly influence not only the growth rate, but also the species composition and species succession of the microbial community as a whole. Large-scale changes to upwelling regimes are predicted in the future ocean; our results indicate that B-vitamins will have a substantial role in controlling microbial community dynamics under

  14. CONCEPTUAL APPROACH OF COMPETITIVENESS AND INTERDEPENDENCE BETWEEN COMPETITION AND COMPETITIVENESS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana GUTIUM

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available This article is devoted to analysis of interdependence and correlation between competition and competitiveness, and competition’s consequences. The author analysed some authors’ visions on competitiveness, and common features between theories of competition and competitiveness. Using the synthetic indicator elaborated by author has been evaluated the competitiveness of domestic goods on the internal and external market. At the end of this article, the author has developed proposals to increase competitiveness.

  15. An improved mechanism for capacity payment based on system dynamics modeling for investment planning in competitive electricity environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Assili, Mohsen; Javidi, D.B.; Hossein, M.; Ghazi, Reza

    2008-01-01

    Many countries have experienced restructuring in their electric utilities. This restructuring has presented the power industries with new challenges, the most important of which is long-term investment planning under uncertain conditions. This paper presents an improved mechanism for capacity payment. The mechanism has been investigated based on system dynamic modeling. In our proposed mechanism, generators will recover a part of their investment through capacity payment. While the payment for any plant remains constant during the operation period, it depends on the investment needed to build it. The main factors affecting long-term planning have been considered in our model. The approach can be used to investigate the effects of fixed as well as variable capacity payment in market investment. We used the probability density function of load as a new concept to calculate average market price. Delays in unit constructions, estimation of demand, and market capacity growth during construction periods have been included in the proposed algorithm as parameters, which affect the regulator's decision for changing capacity payment. The model can be used by regulators to investigate strategies that may affect the fluctuations in the market

  16. An improved mechanism for capacity payment based on system dynamics modeling for investment planning in competitive electricity environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Assili, Mohsen; Javidi DB, M. H.; Ghazi, Reza [Department of Electrical Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad (Iran)

    2008-10-15

    Many countries have experienced restructuring in their electric utilities. This restructuring has presented the power industries with new challenges, the most important of which is long-term investment planning under uncertain conditions. This paper presents an improved mechanism for capacity payment. The mechanism has been investigated based on system dynamic modeling. In our proposed mechanism, generators will recover a part of their investment through capacity payment. While the payment for any plant remains constant during the operation period, it depends on the investment needed to build it. The main factors affecting long-term planning have been considered in our model. The approach can be used to investigate the effects of fixed as well as variable capacity payment in market investment. We used the probability density function of load as a new concept to calculate average market price. Delays in unit constructions, estimation of demand, and market capacity growth during construction periods have been included in the proposed algorithm as parameters, which affect the regulator's decision for changing capacity payment. The model can be used by regulators to investigate strategies that may affect the fluctuations in the market. (author)

  17. Intracellular pH in sperm physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishigaki, Takuya; José, Omar; González-Cota, Ana Laura; Romero, Francisco; Treviño, Claudia L; Darszon, Alberto

    2014-08-01

    Intracellular pH (pHi) regulation is essential for cell function. Notably, several unique sperm ion transporters and enzymes whose elimination causes infertility are either pHi dependent or somehow related to pHi regulation. Amongst them are: CatSper, a Ca(2+) channel; Slo3, a K(+) channel; the sperm-specific Na(+)/H(+) exchanger and the soluble adenylyl cyclase. It is thus clear that pHi regulation is of the utmost importance for sperm physiology. This review briefly summarizes the key components involved in pHi regulation, their characteristics and participation in fundamental sperm functions such as motility, maturation and the acrosome reaction. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Mammalian Sperm Motility: Observation and Theory

    KAUST Repository

    Gaffney, E.A.; Gadê lha, H.; Smith, D.J.; Blake, J.R.; Kirkman-Brown, J.C.

    2011-01-01

    the mechanics of these specialized cells, especially during their remarkable journey to the egg. The biological structure of the motile sperm appendage, the flagellum, is described and placed in the context of the mechanics underlying the migration of mammalian

  19. Outdoor air pollution and sperm quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafuente, Rafael; García-Blàquez, Núria; Jacquemin, Bénédicte; Checa, Miguel Angel

    2016-09-15

    Exposure to air pollution has been clearly associated with a range of adverse health effects, including reproductive toxicity, but its effects on male semen quality are still unclear. We performed a systematic review (up to June 2016) to assess the impact of air pollutants on sperm quality. We included 17 semi-ecological, panel, and cohort studies, assessing outdoor air pollutants, such as PM2.5, PM10, NOx, SO2, and O3, and their effects on DNA fragmentation, sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology. Thirteen studies assessed air pollution exposure measured environmentally, and six used biomarkers of air pollution exposure (two did both). We rated the studies using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and assessed with the exposure method. Taking into account these factors and the number of studies finding significant results (positive or negative), the evidence supporting an effect of air pollution on DNA fragmentation is weak but suggestive, on sperm motility is limited and probably inexistent, on lower sperm count is inconclusive, and on sperm morphology is very suggestive. Because of the diversity of air pollutants and sperm parameters, and the studies' designs, we were unable to perform a meta-analysis. In summary, most studies concluded that outdoor air pollution affects at least one of the four semen quality parameters included in the review. However, results lack consistency, and furthermore, studies were not comparable. Studies using standardized air pollution and semen measures are required to obtain more reliable conclusions. CRD42015007175. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Seasonal changes in reproductive activity, sperm variables and sperm freezability in Blanca Andaluza bucks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lourdes Gallego-Calvo

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Interest in the preservation of endangered breeds such as the Blanca Andaluza goat, has increased and some steps should be therefore taken to ensure it. The study was designed to determine the seasonal reproductive pattern of Blanca Andaluza bucks, and whether this affects the quality of their semen and its freezability over the year. Seven bucks were used and their body weight, testicular weight, plasma testosterone concentration and fresh sperm quality determined every week. The collected sperm was cryopreserved and stored; it was then thawed and the same sperm quality variables measured every fortnight. High plasma testosterone concentrations were recorded during the summer and autumn, and low concentrations were recorded during winter and spring (p<0.001. No differences were seen between seasons in terms of the percentage of bucks ejaculating, the percentage of active bucks, or ejaculate volume. However, the sperm concentration, the total number of sperm per ejaculate, and the values for most fresh sperm variables were lower during the winter period (at least p<0.05. After freezing-thawing, the quality of winter-collected sperm was better, in some respects, than that of summer-collected sperm (at least p<0.05. These results reveal that Blanca Andaluza bucks show seasonal reproductive activity in terms of their plasma testosterone concentration, but no clear change in their sexual behaviour between seasons was observed. The values of fresh sperm variables also vary over the year, reaching their lowest during winter. However, after freezing-thawing, winter-collected sperm is of overall better quality than sperm collected during the summer.

  1. Seasonal changes in reproductive activity, sperm variables and sperm freezability in Blanca Andaluza bucks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gallego-Calvo, L.; Gatica, M.C.; Santiago-Moreno, J.; Guzmán, J.L.; Zarazaga, L.

    2015-07-01

    Interest in the preservation of endangered breeds such as the Blanca Andaluza goat, has increased and some steps should be therefore taken to ensure it. The study was designed to determine the seasonal reproductive pattern of Blanca Andaluza bucks, and whether this affects the quality of their semen and its freezability over the year. Seven bucks were used and their body weight, testicular weight, plasma testosterone concentration and fresh sperm quality determined every week. The collected sperm was cryopreserved and stored; it was then thawed and the same sperm quality variables measured every fortnight. High plasma testosterone concentrations were recorded during the summer and autumn, and low concentrations were recorded during winter and spring (p<0.001). No differences were seen between seasons in terms of the percentage of bucks ejaculating, the percentage of active bucks, or ejaculate volume. However, the sperm concentration, the total number of sperm per ejaculate, and the values for most fresh sperm variables were lower during the winter period (at least p<0.05). After freezing-thawing, the quality of winter-collected sperm was better, in some respects, than that of summer-collected sperm (at least p<0.05). These results reveal that Blanca Andaluza bucks show seasonal reproductive activity in terms of their plasma testosterone concentration, but no clear change in their sexual behaviour between seasons was observed. The values of fresh sperm variables also vary over the year, reaching their lowest during winter. However, after freezing-thawing, winter-collected sperm is of overall better quality than sperm collected during the summer. (Author)

  2. Confocal fluorescence microscopy in a murine model of microdissection testicular sperm extraction to improve sperm retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Ryan P; Lowe, Greg J; Kavoussi, Parviz K; Steers, William D; Costabile, Raymond A; Herr, John C; Shetty, Jagathpala; Lysiak, Jeffrey J

    2012-05-01

    Microdissection testicular sperm extraction markedly improves the sperm retrieval rates in men with nonobstructive azoospermia. However, localizing sperm foci can be time-consuming and it is not always successful. Fiberoptic confocal fluorescent microscopy offers the advantage of rapid in vivo detection of fluorescently labeled sperm in the seminiferous tubules. After establishing the feasibility of fiberoptic confocal fluorescent microscopy to identify antibody labeled sperm in vivo C57/B6 mice underwent intraperitoneal injection of busulfan to induce azoospermia. During spermatogenesis reestablishment at approximately 16 weeks the mice were anesthetized and the testes were delivered through a low midline incision. Fluorescein isothiocyanate labeled antibody to intra-acrosomal protein Hs-14 was injected retrograde into a single murine rete testis. The testes were imaged in vivo with fiberoptic confocal fluorescent microscopy and sperm foci were detected. The respective seminiferous tubules were excised and squash prepared for immunofluorescence microscopy. Sperm foci were identified in the testis injected with fluorescently tagged antibody by in vivo fiberoptic confocal fluorescence microscopy. The contralateral control testis of each mouse showed no specific signal. Immunofluorescence microscopy of the excised tubules provided morphological confirmation of the presence of labeled sperm with an absence in controls. Findings were consistent in the feasibility portion of the study and in the busulfan model of nonobstructive azoospermia. Fiberoptic confocal fluorescent microscopy was feasible during microdissection testicular sperm extraction in an azoospermic mouse model to identify fluorescently labeled sperm in vivo. Translation to the clinical setting could decrease operative time and improve the sperm harvest rate. Copyright © 2012 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Lifestyle influences human sperm functional quality

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mnica Ferreira; Joana Vieira Silva; Vladimiro Silva; Antnio Barros; Margarida Fardilha

    2012-01-01

    Objective:To investigate the impact of acute lifestyle changes on human sperm functional quality.Methods:In the academic festivities week, young and apparently healthy male students who voluntarily submit themselves to acute lifestyle alterations(among the potentially important variations are increase in alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco consumption and circadian rhythm shifts) were used as a model system.Sperm samples were obtained before and after the academic week and compared by traditional semen analysis(n=54) and also tested for cleavedPolyADP-ribose polymerase(PARP) protein, an apoptotic marker(n=35).Results:Acute lifestyle changes that occurred during the academic week festivities(the study model) resulted both in a significant reduction in sperm quality, assessed by basic semen analysis(decrease in sperm concentration, total number of spermatozoa, progressive and non-progressive motility and increase in sperm morphological abnormalities) and by an increase in the expression of the apoptotic marker, cleavedPARP, in the ejaculate.Conclusions:Acute lifestyle changes have clear deleterious effects on sperm quality.We propose cleavedPARP as a novel molecular marker, valuable for assessing spermquality in parallel with the basic semen analysis method.

  4. Oxidative stress negatively affects human sperm mitochondrial respiration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferramosca, Alessandra; Pinto Provenzano, Sara; Montagna, Daniela Domenica; Coppola, Lamberto; Zara, Vincenzo

    2013-07-01

    To correlate the level of oxidative stress in serum and seminal fluid and the level of sperm deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) fragmentation with sperm mitochondrial respiratory efficiency. Sperm mitochondrial respiratory activity was evaluated with a polarographic assay of oxygen consumption carried out in hypotonically treated sperm cells. A possible relationship between sperm mitochondrial respiratory efficiency, the level of oxidative stress, and the level of sperm DNA fragmentation was investigated. Sperm motility was positively correlated with mitochondrial respiration but negatively correlated with oxidative stress and DNA fragmentation. Interestingly, sperm mitochondrial respiratory activity was negatively affected by oxidative stress and DNA fragmentation. Our data indicate that sperm mitochondrial respiration is decreased in patients with high levels of reactive oxygen species by an uncoupling between electron transport and adenosine triphosphate synthesis. This reduction in mitochondrial functionality might be 1 of the reasons responsible for the decrease in spermatozoa motility. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Phenotypic plasticity in sperm traits in scorpionflies (Mecoptera : Panorpidae): Consequences of larval history and seasonality on sperm length and sperm transfer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeulen, Andreas; Engels, Sierk; Engqvist, Leif; Sauer, Klaus Peter

    2009-01-01

    We examined effects of seasonality, larval food availability and larval rearing density on sperm length, sperm transfer rates and body size in the bivoltine scorpionfly Panorpa vulgaris. Males of the first annual generation were larger and had larger sperm. Comparing individuals of two summer

  6. Dimorphic sperm and the unlikely route to fertilisation in the yellow seahorse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Look, Katrien J W; Dzyuba, Borys; Cliffe, Alex; Koldewey, Heather J; Holt, William V

    2007-02-01

    Uniquely among vertebrates, seahorses and pipefishes (Family Syngnathidae) incubate their eggs within a male brood pouch. This has contributed to a widespread, but poorly founded belief, that the eggs are fertilised using spermatozoa that are deposited directly into the brood pouch via an internal sperm duct. Anatomical dissections showed, however, not only that direct sperm deposition into the pouch is physically impossible, but that spermatozoa must somehow travel a significant distance (>4 mm) outside the body of the male, to reach and fertilise eggs in the pouch. Observations of courtship and mating behaviour also revealed that the pouch closes immediately after mating, and that sperm transfer must occur within a time window of no more than 6 s. In addition to this, the yellow seahorse produces extraordinarily low quantities of dimorphic spermatozoa, but is nevertheless highly fertile and can produce broods that exceed 100 embryos. The entire fertilisation process in seahorses is therefore uniquely efficient among vertebrates, yet paradoxically involves several steps that would seem to complicate, and even appear to prevent, the interaction of the gametes. Although we are still unable to describe the exact fertilisation mechanism, we speculate that spermatozoa are ejaculated into a mixture of ovarian fluid and eggs, while the male and female are in close contact. Thereafter, this mixture must enter the pouch, whereupon the spermatozoa encounter seawater. These observations also support the view, indirectly inferred in previous publications, that sperm competition in seahorses is not only non-existent but impossible.

  7. Genetic architecture of conspecific sperm precedence in Allonemobius fasciatus and A. socius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britch, Seth C; Swartout, Emma J; Hampton, Daniel D; Draney, Michael L; Chu, Jiming; Marshall, Jeremy L; Howard, Daniel J

    2007-06-01

    The evolution of barriers to gene exchange is centrally important to speciation. We used the crickets Allonemobius fasciatus and A. socius to investigate the genetic architecture of conspecific sperm precedence (CSP), a postinsemination prezygotic reproductive barrier. With amplified fragment-length polymorphism (AFLP) markers and controlled crosses we constructed linkage maps and estimated positions of QTL associated with CSP. The majority of QTL have low to moderate effects, although a few QTL exist in A. socius with large effects, and the numbers of QTL are comparable to numbers of genes accounting for species differences in other studies. The QTL are spread across many unlinked markers, yet QTL placed with linked markers are on a small number of linkage groups that could reflect the role of the large Allonemobius sex chromosome in prezygotic isolation. Although many QTL had positive effects on conspecific sperm utilization several QTL also exerted negative effects, which could be explained by intraspecific sexual conflict, sperm competition, or epistasis of introgressed genes on novel backgrounds. One unexpected outcome was that A. socius CSP alleles have a stronger effect than those from A. fasciatus in hybrid females, causing hybrids to behave like A. socius with regard to sperm utilization. Implications of this asymmetry in the Allonemobius hybrid zone are discussed.

  8. Case competitions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schjoldager, Anne Gram

    2009-01-01

    The paper presents and discusses a teaching project with case competitions for MA students of specialised translation at the Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University. Drawing on a series of online questionnaires, the paper ascertains how the project was evaluated by the participating students...

  9. EDITORIAL: Physics competitions Physics competitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordens, H.; Mathelitsch, L.

    2009-11-01

    1. Physics competitions: aims and realizations One aim of physics competitions is to increase the interest of young students, primarily at upper secondary level, to physics and natural sciences in general. A competition has motivational aspects known usually from sports events or games—comparing one's own ability with others, of course with the desire to be better and to win. If competitions reach nationwide and even international levels, additional stimulation is created. Competitions provide greatest attraction to possible winners, to the group of gifted people in a particular field. This implies that science contests are excellent tools for the promotion of talented students. Traditional teaching has been shown to have problems in supporting this group of students. Very often teachers are overstretched with the demands of teaching both low- and high-level students. Extracurricular activities are therefore a good chance to relieve the teacher, and to give talented students the opportunity for appropriate training and challenge. The competitions, however, have a broader impact and address more young people than one might guess from the statements above. Training courses and selection at school level give a larger group of students extra and, to some extent, complimentary education in physics. The degree of complexity of the tasks corresponds very often to the standards of the next level of education in the school system. Interestingly, many physics competitions have their origin in countries beyond the former Iron Curtain. They started as regional and national tournaments, were joined by neighbouring countries and have grown, in some cases, to events with participants from more than 80 countries. Although the features mentioned above are common to the different competitions, there are distinct differences between them [1]. The International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) is the oldest international physics competition for students at upper secondary level [2]. It dates

  10. Neonatal outcome and congenital malformations in children born after ICSI with testicular or epididymal sperm

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fedder, Jens; Loft, A; Parner, Erik Thorlund

    2013-01-01

    STUDY QUESTION: Does neonatal outcome including congenital malformations in children born after ICSI with epididymal and testicular sperm [testicular sperm extraction (TESE)/percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA)/testicular sperm aspiration (TESA) (TPT)] differ from neonatal outcome in c...

  11. Predictive value of sperm morphology and progressively motile sperm count for pregnancy outcomes in intrauterine insemination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemmens, Louise; Kos, Snjezana; Beijer, Cornelis; Brinkman, Jacoline W; van der Horst, Frans A L; van den Hoven, Leonie; Kieslinger, Dorit C; van Trooyen-van Vrouwerff, Netty J; Wolthuis, Albert; Hendriks, Jan C M; Wetzels, Alex M M

    2016-06-01

    To investigate the value of sperm parameters to predict an ongoing pregnancy outcome in couples treated with intrauterine insemination (IUI), during a methodologically stable period of time. Retrospective, observational study with logistic regression analyses. University hospital. A total of 1,166 couples visiting the fertility laboratory for their first IUI episode, including 4,251 IUI cycles. None. Sperm morphology, total progressively motile sperm count (TPMSC), and number of inseminated progressively motile spermatozoa (NIPMS); odds ratios (ORs) of the sperm parameters after the first IUI cycle and the first finished IUI episode; discriminatory accuracy of the multivariable model. None of the sperm parameters was of predictive value for pregnancy after the first IUI cycle. In the first finished IUI episode, a positive relationship was found for ≤4% of morphologically normal spermatozoa (OR 1.39) and a moderate NIPMS (5-10 million; OR 1.73). Low NIPMS showed a negative relation (≤1 million; OR 0.42). The TPMSC had no predictive value. The multivariable model (i.e., sperm morphology, NIPMS, female age, male age, and the number of cycles in the episode) had a moderate discriminatory accuracy (area under the curve 0.73). Intrauterine insemination is especially relevant for couples with moderate male factor infertility (sperm morphology ≤4%, NIPMS 5-10 million). In the multivariable model, however, the predictive power of these sperm parameters is rather low. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Toward microfluidic sperm refinement: continuous flow label-free analysis and sorting of sperm cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Wagenaar, B.; Dekker, Stefan; van den Berg, Albert; Segerink, Loes Irene

    2015-01-01

    This manuscript reports upon the development of a microfluidic setup to detect and sort sperm cells from polystyrene beads label-free and non-invasively. Detection is performed by impedance analysis. When sperm cells passed the microelectrodes, the recorded impedance (19.6 ± 5.7 Ω) was higher

  13. Ocean acidification impacts on sperm mitochondrial membrane potential bring sperm swimming behaviour near its tipping point.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlegel, Peter; Binet, Monique T; Havenhand, Jonathan N; Doyle, Christopher J; Williamson, Jane E

    2015-04-01

    Broadcast spawning marine invertebrates are susceptible to environmental stressors such as climate change, as their reproduction depends on the successful meeting and fertilization of gametes in the water column. Under near-future scenarios of ocean acidification, the swimming behaviour of marine invertebrate sperm is altered. We tested whether this was due to changes in sperm mitochondrial activity by investigating the effects of ocean acidification on sperm metabolism and swimming behaviour in the sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii. We used a fluorescent molecular probe (JC-1) and flow cytometry to visualize mitochondrial activity (measured as change in mitochondrial membrane potential, MMP). Sperm MMP was significantly reduced in ΔpH -0.3 (35% reduction) and ΔpH -0.5 (48% reduction) treatments, whereas sperm swimming behaviour was less sensitive with only slight changes (up to 11% decrease) observed overall. There was significant inter-individual variability in responses of sperm swimming behaviour and MMP to acidified seawater. We suggest it is likely that sperm exposed to these changes in pH are close to their tipping point in terms of physiological tolerance to acidity. Importantly, substantial inter-individual variation in responses of sperm swimming to ocean acidification may increase the scope for selection of resilient phenotypes, which, if heritable, could provide a basis for adaptation to future ocean acidification. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. SMART USE OF COMPUTER-AIDED SPERM ANALYSIS (CASA) TO CHARACTERIZE SPERM MOTION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Computer-aided sperm analysis (CASA) has evolved over the past fifteen years to provide an objective, practical means of measuring and characterizing the velocity and parttern of sperm motion. CASA instruments use video frame-grabber boards to capture multiple images of spermato...

  15. MONTHLY VARIATION IN SPERM MOTILITY IN COMMON CARP ASSESSED USING COMPUTER-ASSISTED SPERM ANALYSIS (CASA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sperm motility variables from the milt of the common carp Cyprinus carpio were assessed using a computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) system across several months (March-August 1992) known to encompass the natural spawning period. Two-year-old pond-raised males obtained each mo...

  16. The Effect of Glyphosate on Human Sperm Motility and Sperm DNA Fragmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Anifandis

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Glyphosate is the active ingredient of Roundup®, which is one of the most popular herbicides worldwide. Although many studies have focused on the reproductive toxicity of glyphosate or glyphosate-based herbicides, the majority of them have concluded that the effect of the specific herbicide is negligible, while only a few studies indicate the male reproductive toxicity of glyphosate alone. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of 0.36 mg/L glyphosate on sperm motility and sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF. Thirty healthy men volunteered to undergo semen analysis for the purpose of the study. Sperm motility was calculated according to WHO 2010 guidelines at collection time (zero time and 1 h post-treatment with glyphosate. Sperm DNA fragmentation was evaluated with Halosperm® G2 kit for both the control and glyphosate-treated sperm samples. Sperm progressive motility of glyphosate-treated samples was significantly reduced after 1 h post-treatment in comparison to the respective controls, in contrast to the SDF of glyphosate-treated samples, which was comparable to the respective controls. Conclusively, under these in vitro conditions, at high concentrations that greatly exceed environmental exposures, glyphosate exerts toxic effects on sperm progressive motility but not on sperm DNA integrity, meaning that the toxic effect is limited only to motility, at least in the first hour.

  17. Sperm cryopreservation in fish and shellfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiersch, Terrence R; Yang, Huiping; Jenkins, Jill A; Dong, Qiaoxiang

    2007-01-01

    Initial success in sperm cryopreservation came at about the same time for aquatic species and livestock. However, in the 50-plus years since then cryopreserved sperm of livestock has grown into a billion-dollar global industry, while despite work in some 200 species with well over 200 published reports, cryopreservation of aquatic species sperm remains essentially a research activity with little commercial application. Most research has focused on large-bodied culture and sport fishes, such as salmonids, carps, and catfishes, and mollusks such as commercially important oyster and abalone species. However, only a handful of studies have addressed sperm cryopreservation in small fishes, such as zebrafish, and in endangered species. Overall, this work has yielded techniques that are being applied with varying levels of success around the world. Barriers to expanded application include a diverse and widely distributed literature base, technical problems, small sperm volumes, variable results, a general lack of access to the technology, and most importantly, the lack of standardization in practices and reporting. The benefits of cryopreservation include at least five levels of improvements for existing industries and for creation of new industries. First, cryopreservation can be used to improve existing hatchery operations by providing sperm on demand and simplifying the timing of induced spawning. Second, frozen sperm can enhance efficient use of facilities and create new opportunities in the hatchery by eliminating the need to maintain live males, potentially freeing resources for use with females and larvae. Third, valuable genetic lineages such as endangered species, research models, or improved farmed strains can be protected by storage of frozen sperm. Fourth, cryopreservation opens the door for rapid genetic improvement. Frozen sperm can be used in breeding programs to create improved lines and shape the genetic resources available for aquaculture. Finally

  18. Prudent sperm use by leaf-cutter ant queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Den Boer, Susanne Petronella A; Baer, Boris; Dreier, Stéphanie Agnès Jeanine

    2009-01-01

    are able to fertilize close to 100 per cent of the eggs and that the average sperm use per egg is very low, but increases with queen age. The robustness of stored sperm was found to decrease with years of storage, signifying that senescence affects sperm either directly or indirectly via the declining...... glandular secretions or deteriorating sperm-storage organs. We evaluate our findings with a heuristic model, which suggests that the average queen has sperm for almost 9 years of normal colony development. We discuss the extent to which leaf-cutter ant queens have been able to optimize their sperm...

  19. Different computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) systems highly influence sperm motility parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boryshpolets, S; Kowalski, R K; Dietrich, G J; Dzyuba, B; Ciereszko, A

    2013-10-15

    In this study, we examined different computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) systems (CRISMAS, Hobson Sperm Tracker, and Image J CASA) on the exact same video recordings to evaluate the differences in sperm motility parameters related to the specific CASA used. To cover a wide range of sperm motility parameters, we chose 12-second video recordings at 25 and 50 Hz frame rates after sperm motility activation using three taxonomically distinct fish species (sterlet: Acipenser ruthenus L.; common carp: Cyprinus carpio L.; and rainbow trout: Oncorhynchus mykiss Walbaum) that are characterized by essential differences in sperm behavior during motility. Systematically higher values of velocity and beat cross frequency (BCF) were observed in video recordings obtained at 50 Hz frame frequency compared with 25 Hz for all three systems. Motility parameters were affected by the CASA and species used for analyses. Image J and CRISMAS calculated higher curvilinear velocity (VCL) values for rainbow trout and common carp at 25 Hz frequency compared with the Hobson Sperm Tracker, whereas at 50 Hz, a significant difference was observed only for rainbow trout sperm recordings. No significant difference was observed between the CASA systems for sterlet sperm motility at 25 and 50 Hz. Additional analysis of 1-second segments taken at three time points (1, 6, and 12 seconds of the recording) revealed a dramatic decrease in common carp and rainbow trout sperm speed. The motility parameters of sterlet spermatozoa did not change significantly during the 12-second motility period and should be considered as a suitable model for longer motility analyses. Our results indicated that the CASA used can affect motility results even when the same motility recordings are used. These results could be critically altered by the recording quality, time of analysis, and frame rate of camera, and could result in erroneous conclusions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Thyroxin Is Useful to Improve Sperm Motility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mendeluk Gabriela Ruth

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background The aim of this study was to evaluate the non-genomic action of thyroxin on sperm kinetic and its probable use to improve sperm recovery after applying an en- richment method like “swim-up” in comparison with the available one, pentoxifylline. Materials and Methods This is an experimental study. A total of 50 patients were re- cruited, followed by infertility consultation. Conventional sperm assays were performed according to World Health Organization criteria-2010 (WHO-2010. A Computer Aided Semen Analysis System was employed to assess kinetic parameters and concentrations. Number of the motile sperm recovered after preparation technique was calculated. Results Addition of T4 (0.002 µg/ml to semen samples increased hypermotility at 20 minutes (control: 14.18 ± 5.1% vs. 17.66 ± 8.88%, P<0.03, data expressed as mean ± SD and remained unchanged after 40 minutes. Significant differences were found in the motile sperm recovered after swim-up (control: 8.93×106 ± 9.52× 06vs. 17.20×106 ± 21.16×106, P<0.03, achieving all of the tested samples a desirable threshold value for artificial insemination outcome, while adding pentoxifylline increased the number of recovered sperm after swim-up in 60% of the studied cases. No synergism between two treatments could be determined. Conclusion We propose a new physiological tool to artificially improve insemination. The discussion opens windows to investigate unknown pathways involved in sperm ca- pacitation and gives innovative arguments to better understand infertility mechanisms.

  1. Endocannabinoids and Human Sperm Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanna Zolese

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available N-acylethanolamides (NAEs are naturally occurring signaling lipids consisting of amides and esters of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Usually they are present in a very small amounts in many mammalian tissues and cells, including human reproductive tracts and fluids. Recently, the presence of N-arachidonoylethanolamide (anandamide, AEA, the most characterised member of endocannabinoids, and its congeners palmitoylethanolamide (PEA and oleylethanolamide (OEA in seminal plasma, oviductal fluid, and follicular fluids was demonstrated. AEA has been shown to bind not only type-1 (CB1 and type-2 (CB2 cannabinoid receptors, but also type-1 vanilloid receptor (TRPV1, while PEA and OEA are inactive with respect to classical cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 but activate TRPV1 or peroxisome proliferator activate receptors (PPARs. This review concerns the most recent experimental data on PEA and OEA, endocannabinoid-like molecules which appear to exert their action exclusively on sperm cells with altered features, such as membrane characteristics and kinematic parameters. Their beneficial effects on these cells could suggest a possible pharmacological use of PEA and OEA on patients affected by some forms of idiopathic infertility.

  2. EDITORIAL: Physics competitions Physics competitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordens, H.; Mathelitsch, L.

    2010-07-01

    This editorial opens the second special section on physics competitions in European Journal of Physics. In the first section last year, we asked for feedback on the idea of such a section and on the content of the articles. We received no answer whatsoever, which can be interpreted in two ways: the section is not interesting enough to raise motivation for feedback, or the reader is satisfied. Having no indication which scenario is the correct one, we are optimistic and favour the second. The section at hand contains three articles. Again, as last year, the organizer of the annual Olympiad reports on tasks and outcomes of this competition. The Olympiad took place in Merida, Mexico, and was by far the largest event with 316 contestants from 68 countries. Again, the predominance of Asian/Chinese students was manifest, showing how serious the training is taken by both their authorities and students. Unfortunately, the winners of the last International Young Physicists' Tournament (IYPT), the team from Korea, did not accept the offer to report on their prize-winning contribution. We are thankful that two students from Austria, who achieved second place with their team, took over and reported on the task which they presented in the finals of the competition. It connects the fields of sport and physics and explains a special move in skateboarding. The third contribution introduces a different competition, 'International Conference of Young Scientists'. On one hand, as in the Olympiad, it addresses individuals, not teams. On the other, as in the IYPT, students have several months to prepare and also the quality of the presentation is an important element of the judgment. In fact, this competition comes closer to real scientific research compared to the other events. Finally and again, we hope that this section will serve several purposes: To show the competitions as a very important tool in the support of gifted students. To raise awareness amongst university teachers, and

  3. Logo competition

    CERN Multimedia

    Staff Association

    2013-01-01

    Award of the prizes The price ceremony for the Staff Association’s new logo competition which took place on Friday 1st March at 5 p.m. was a big success. The first prize, an Ezee Suisse electric bike, was won by Paulo Rios, from Portugal. In his absence, the bike was handed to his brother Vitor. The other five winners of the competition also received their prize: Go Sport vouchers. A peize draw was then organized to award 22 other participants with prizes offered by our commercial partners (Aquaparc, BCGE, L’Occitane, Passeport Gourmand, Sephora, Theater La Comédie de Genève), whom we would like to warmly thank. After all prices were distributed the evening continued with discussions around a friendly drink.

  4. Competitive Framing

    OpenAIRE

    Ran Spiegler

    2014-01-01

    I present a simple framework for modeling two-firm market competition when consumer choice is "frame-dependent", and firms use costless "marketing messages" to influence the consumer's frame. This framework embeds several recent models in the "behavioral industrial organization" literature. I identify a property that consumer choice may satisfy, which extends the concept of Weighted Regularity due to Piccione and Spiegler (2012), and provide a characterization of Nash equilibria under this pr...

  5. Analysis of sperm quality in recombinant inbred mouse strains: correlation of sperm head shape with sperm abnormalities and with the incidence of supplementary spermatozoa in the perivitelline space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krzanowska, H; Styrna, J; Wabik-Sliz, B

    1995-07-01

    Recombinant inbred strains were developed from reciprocal crosses between two inbred strains of mice (CBA and KE) differing in sperm head shape, proportion of normal sperm heads (CBA, 95%; KE, 78%) and fertilization efficiency (CBA, 100% of fertilized ova; KE, 72%), to determine whether the indices of sperm morphology and function were correlated. The following parameters were analysed in recombinant inbred and progenitor strains: index of sperm head shape (head width in the middle of its length/head length), percentage of abnormal sperm heads, percentage of spermatozoa with progressive movements, efficiency of penetration of hyaluronic acid polymer (Sperm Select) and percentage of fertilized ova after mating males from the tested strains with females from an outbred stock. For each investigated character, recombinant inbred strains, recombinant inbred EXCB and CBXE, could be divided into at least three categories: KE-like, CBA-like and intermediate, suggesting that in each case a minimum of two genes was involved. Recombinant strains derived from the reciprocal crosses of progenitor strains differed only with respect to the proportion of abnormal sperm heads, showing the involvement of the Y chromosome in determining this character. Penetration into Sperm Select was significantly correlated both with fertilization efficiency and sperm motility, while correlation with the proportion of normal spermatozoa did not reach the level of significance. However, there was a significant negative correlation of both sperm abnormalities and the incidence of supplementary spermatozoa in the perivitelline space with the index of sperm head shape.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  6. Phase transitions in multiplicative competitive processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shimazaki, Hideaki; Niebur, Ernst

    2005-01-01

    We introduce a discrete multiplicative process as a generic model of competition. Players with different abilities successively join the game and compete for finite resources. Emergence of dominant players and evolutionary development occur as a phase transition. The competitive dynamics underlying this transition is understood from a formal analogy to statistical mechanics. The theory is applicable to bacterial competition, predicting novel population dynamics near criticality

  7. Sperm Donation and the Right to Privacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallich, Oliver

    2017-07-01

    Sperm donation is an increasingly common method of assisted reproduction. In the debate on sperm donation, the right to privacy - construed as a right that refers to the limits of the realm of information to which others have access - plays a pivotal role with regard to two questions. The first question is whether the sperm donor's right to privacy implies his right to retain his anonymity, the second is whether the gamete recipients' right to privacy entitles them to withhold information about the circumstances of their conception from their donor-conceived offspring. In this contribution, I tackle these two interrelated questions. In part (1), I defend the view that there is a prima facie right of sperm donors to remain anonymous. Part (2) widens the perspective by taking into consideration the welfare of donor-conceived offspring. I argue that anonymity may harm the child only if the gametes' recipients decide to disclose information about the circumstances of her birth to the child. Non-disclosure of these circumstances, however, is morally problematic because it may not necessarily harm, but wrong the child. In section (3), I attempt to rebut some arguments in defense of non-disclosure. In part (4), I defend the view that the best practice of sperm donation would be 'direct donation', i.e. that the identity of the donor is known from the time of conception. Part (5) concludes.

  8. In vitro fertilisation when normal sperm morphology is less than ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1990-08-18

    Aug 18, 1990 ... couples where the husband's normal sperm morphology was less than 15% ... gonadotrophin (HCG) 5000 ID was given when the average size of three ... have a normal sperm count and motility but have lower than normal ...

  9. Pulmonary exposure to carbonaceous nanomaterials and sperm quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skovmand, Astrid; Lauvas, Anna Jacobsen; Christensen, Preben

    2018-01-01

    . Pulmonary inflammation was determined by differential cell count in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Epididymal sperm concentration and motility were measured by computer-assisted sperm analysis. Epididymal sperm viability and morphological abnormalities were assessed manually using Hoechst 33,342/PI...... inflammation is a potential modulator of endocrine function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of pulmonary exposure to carbonaceous nanomaterials on sperm quality parameters in an experimental mouse model.Methods: Effects on sperm quality after pulmonary inflammation induced by carbonaceous...... flourescent and Spermac staining, respectively. Epididymal sperm were assessed with regard to sperm DNA integrity (damage). Daily sperm production was measured in the testis, and testosterone levels were measured in blood plasma by ELISA.Results: Neutrophil numbers in the bronchoalveolar fluid showed...

  10. Sperm length evolution in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, B.; Dijkstra, M. B.; Mueller, U. G.

    2009-01-01

    -growing ants, representing 9 of the 12 recognized genera, and mapped these onto the ant phylogeny. We show that average sperm length across species is highly variable and decreases with mature colony size in basal genera with singly mated queens, suggesting that sperm production or storage constraints affect...... the evolution of sperm length. Sperm length does not decrease further in multiply mating leaf-cutting ants, despite substantial further increases in colony size. In a combined analysis, sexual dimorphism explained 63.1% of the variance in sperm length between species. As colony size was not a significant...... predictor in this analysis, we conclude that sperm production trade-offs in males have been the major selective force affecting sperm length across the fungus-growing ants, rather than storage constraints in females. The relationship between sperm length and sexual dimorphism remained robust...

  11. Short communication Sperm DNA damage in relation to lipid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Leyland Fraser

    Short communication. Sperm DNA ... (Received 21 January 2017; Accepted 28 February2017; First published online 8 March 2017) ... This study investigated the relationships between lipid peroxidation (LPO) and sperm DNA damage.

  12. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and chromosomally abnormal spermatozoa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    P.A. in 't Veld; F.J.M. Broekmans (Frank); H.F. de France; P.L. Pearson; M.H. Pieters; R.J. van Kooij

    1997-01-01

    textabstractAn infertile couple was referred for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) because of primary infertility and oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (OAT) in the male. It was observed that although the sperm cells presented with an unusual head size and multiple

  13. Gulf of Mexico sperm whale photo-ID catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Photo-identification data on sperm whales occupying the north central Gulf of Mexico have been collected during vessel surveys. Photographs of sperm whales are taken...

  14. Dynamics of competitive strategies in de-regulated industries: the case of the electricity industry in France; Dynamique des strategies concurrentielles dans un contexte de liberalisation: le cas de l'industrie electrique en France

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cateura, O

    2007-11-15

    This research work is focused on the competitive dynamics approach and rivalry studies between competitors. It develops theses recent perspectives and particularly multi-market competition (also called multipoint competition) in de-regulated industries (network utilities). Indeed, competitive behaviours in liberalized industries are still badly-known. To conduct this research, we decided to analyze a selection of companies (EDF, Electrabel, Endesa, Enel, Gaz de France, Poweo, Direct Energie..) settled on the French electricity market presently in the course of liberalization (1996 - 2006). This qualitative research, through longitudinal case studies, has been developed thanks to a CIFRE agreement (between the French Ministry of Research and the firm Electrabel France) including action research and participant observation. Using multidimensional strategic sequences, we identified two periods, the first one characterized by a confrontation movement and a second one by mutual forbearance. We argue that after learning the rules of a newly liberalized market (confrontation, diversification, internationalization), competitors rapidly and collectively shift there positions towards a focused European strategy based on the gas-electricity convergence. The development of multi-market competition has conducted to mutual forbearance, which was particularly profitable to the major participants. Integrated strategy (market and non-market) appears as an important driver for legitimizing theses behaviours. (author)

  15. Dynamics of competitive strategies in de-regulated industries: the case of the electricity industry in France; Dynamique des strategies concurrentielles dans un contexte de liberalisation: le cas de l'industrie electrique en France

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cateura, O

    2007-11-15

    This research work is focused on the competitive dynamics approach and rivalry studies between competitors. It develops theses recent perspectives and particularly multi-market competition (also called multipoint competition) in de-regulated industries (network utilities). Indeed, competitive behaviours in liberalized industries are still badly-known. To conduct this research, we decided to analyze a selection of companies (EDF, Electrabel, Endesa, Enel, Gaz de France, Poweo, Direct Energie..) settled on the French electricity market presently in the course of liberalization (1996 - 2006). This qualitative research, through longitudinal case studies, has been developed thanks to a CIFRE agreement (between the French Ministry of Research and the firm Electrabel France) including action research and participant observation. Using multidimensional strategic sequences, we identified two periods, the first one characterized by a confrontation movement and a second one by mutual forbearance. We argue that after learning the rules of a newly liberalized market (confrontation, diversification, internationalization), competitors rapidly and collectively shift there positions towards a focused European strategy based on the gas-electricity convergence. The development of multi-market competition has conducted to mutual forbearance, which was particularly profitable to the major participants. Integrated strategy (market and non-market) appears as an important driver for legitimizing theses behaviours. (author)

  16. Evolutionary disarmament in interspecific competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kisdi, E; Geritz, S A

    2001-12-22

    Competitive asymmetry, which is the advantage of having a larger body or stronger weaponry than a contestant, drives spectacular evolutionary arms races in intraspecific competition. Similar asymmetries are well documented in interspecific competition, yet they seldom lead to exaggerated traits. Here we demonstrate that two species with substantially different size may undergo parallel coevolution towards a smaller size under the same ecological conditions where a single species would exhibit an evolutionary arms race. We show that disarmament occurs for a wide range of parameters in an ecologically explicit model of competition for a single shared resource; disarmament also occurs in a simple Lotka-Volterra competition model. A key property of both models is the interplay between evolutionary dynamics and population density. The mechanism does not rely on very specific features of the model. Thus, evolutionary disarmament may be widespread and may help to explain the lack of interspecific arms races.

  17. The role of the molecular chaperone heat shock protein A2 (HSPA2 in regulating human sperm-egg recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brett Nixon

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the most common lesions present in the spermatozoa of human infertility patients is an idiopathic failure of sperm-egg recognition. Although this unique cellular interaction can now be readily by-passed by assisted reproductive strategies such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI, recent large-scale epidemiological studies have encouraged the cautious use of this technology and highlighted the need for further research into the mechanisms responsible for defective sperm-egg recognition. Previous work in this field has established that the sperm domains responsible for oocyte interaction are formed during spermatogenesis prior to being dynamically modified during epididymal maturation and capacitation in female reproductive tract. While the factors responsible for the regulation of these sequential maturational events are undoubtedly complex, emerging research has identified the molecular chaperone, heat shock protein A2 (HSPA2, as a key regulator of these events in human spermatozoa. HSPA2 is a testis-enriched member of the 70 kDa heat shock protein family that promotes the folding, transport, and assembly of protein complexes and has been positively correlated with in vitro fertilization (IVF success. Furthermore, reduced expression of HSPA2 from the human sperm proteome leads to an impaired capacity for cumulus matrix dispersal, sperm-egg recognition and fertilization following both IVF and ICSI. In this review, we consider the evidence supporting the role of HSPA2 in sperm function and explore the potential mechanisms by which it is depleted in the spermatozoa of infertile patients. Such information offers novel insights into the molecular mechanisms governing sperm function.

  18. Effect of an isotonic lubricant on sperm collection and sperm quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Ashok; Malvezzi, Helena; Sharma, Rakesh

    2013-05-01

    To assess the influence of an isotonic lubricant used during sperm sample collection on [1] ease of collection and [2] resultant sperm quality. Paired randomized cross-over design. Tertiary hospital. Healthy men over 18 years old with normal semen analysis as per World Health Organization 2010 guidelines. Collection of semen sample from 22 subjects by masturbation with or without the use of Pre-Seed personal lubricant. Qualitative survey results and quantitative sperm function outcomes were measured to determine resultant sperm quality and collection experience with and without Pre-Seed lubricant. The qualitative questionnaire results showed that 73% of donors prefer the semen collection process with the isotonic lubricant and 55% recommended the use of lubricant in their everyday collection. The motility, viability, membrane integrity, levels of reactive oxygen species, total antioxidant capacity, and percentage of DNA damage in collected semen samples were not affected by the use of the lubricant. More donors prefer, and find it easier, to collect semen samples with the use of the lubricant. The isotonic lubricant Pre-Seed did not compromise sperm quality as evaluated in an array of sperm assays, suggesting its safe use in fertility patients as required during sperm collection. Copyright © 2013 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Sperm DNA fragmentation in boars is delayed or abolished by using sperm extenders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Llano, Begoña; Enciso, María; García-Casado, Pedro; Sala, Rubén; Gosálvez, Jaime

    2006-12-01

    The semen quality of seven young adult boars was assessed for percentages of sperm motility, normal acrosomes, abnormal sperm, cells positive to sHOST (short Hipoosmotic Swelling Test), HPNA cells (sHOST Positive with Normal Acrosome cells) and the percentage of sperm heads, which exhibited DNA fragmentation using the Sperm Chromatin Dispersion test (SCD). These parameters were analysed in sperm samples both undiluted and diluted using a commercial extender and stored at 15 degrees C for 21 days. Results showed that semen quality decreases faster in the undiluted semen samples from day 0 to day 7 compared to diluted semen samples that remained with a high quality up to day 11. The undiluted semen exhibited a low DNA fragmentation index (DFI) during the first days and then a significant increase from day 7 up to day 21. This increase in the DFI coincided with the lowest levels of the other semen quality parameters. On the contrary, the samples diluted in the commercial extender showed very low levels of DNA fragmentation in all boars during the preservation period. When the evolution of DNA fragmentation was analysed in the undiluted samples, differences were found among boars. These differences were not shown in the samples diluted in the extender where the basal DFI remained stable during the 21 days. The main conclusion of this study was that some sperm extenders delay or partially prevent sperm DNA fragmentation.

  20. Does breastfeeding influence future sperm quality and reproductive hormones?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, J M; Jensen, M S; Thulstrup, Ane Marie

    2011-01-01

    was not statistically significantly associated with sperm concentration, total sperm count, sperm motility or morphology, oligozoospermia, follicle-stimulating hormone, inhibin B, luteinizing hormone, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), the calculated level of free testosterone, free oestradiol, the free testosterone...... testosterone nor free oestradiol was different between the two groups. This study shows no association between breastfeeding and sperm quality or reproductive hormones and a strong association is unlikely. A larger study would be needed to detect more subtle effects....

  1. Evolutionary genetics and ecology of sperm-dependent parthenogenesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beukeboom, L.W.; Vrijenhoek, R.C.

    1998-01-01

    Sperm-dependent (or pseudogamous) forms of parthenogenetic reproduction occur in a wide variety of animals. Inheritance is typically clonal and matroclinous (of female descent), but sperm are needed to initiate normal development. As opposed to true parthenogenesis (i.e., sperm-independent

  2. Sperm storage and duration of fertility in female ostriches ( Struthio ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    , the duration of sperm storage and the fertile period following separation of sexes were investigated by egg break-out and by counting the sperm in the perivitelline membrane (spermOPVL) above the germinal disc (GD) region. Fertilisation ...

  3. Sperm viability staining in ecology and evolution: potential pitfalls

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holman, Luke

    2009-01-01

    The causes and consequences of variation in sperm quality, survival and ageing are active areas of research in ecology and evolution. In order to address these topics, many recent studies have measured sperm viability using fluorescent staining. Although sperm viability staining has produced a nu...

  4. Sperm DNA fragmentation, recurrent implantation failure and recurrent miscarriage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol Coughlan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Evidence is increasing that the integrity of sperm DNA may also be related to implantation failure and recurrent miscarriage (RM. To investigate this, the sperm DNA fragmentation in partners of 35 women with recurrent implantation failure (RIF following in vitro fertilization, 16 women diagnosed with RM and seven recent fathers (control were examined. Sperm were examined pre- and post-density centrifugation by the sperm chromatin dispersion (SCD test and the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL assay. There were no significant differences in the age of either partner or sperm concentration, motility or morphology between three groups. Moreover, there were no obvious differences in sperm DNA fragmentation measured by either test. However, whilst on average sperm DNA fragmentation in all groups was statistically lower in prepared sperm when measured by the SCD test, this was not seen with the results from the TUNEL assay. These results do not support the hypothesis that sperm DNA fragmentation is an important cause of RIF or RM, or that sperm DNA integrity testing has value in such patients. It also highlights significant differences between test methodologies and sperm preparation methods in interpreting the data from sperm DNA fragmentation tests.

  5. 21 CFR 173.275 - Hydrogenated sperm oil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2010-04-01 2009-04-01 true Hydrogenated sperm oil. 173.275 Section 173.275... CONSUMPTION Solvents, Lubricants, Release Agents and Related Substances § 173.275 Hydrogenated sperm oil. The food additive hydrogenated sperm oil may be safely used in accordance with the following prescribed...

  6. Good Quality - the Routinization of Sperm Banking in China

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wahlberg, Ayo

    Good Quality is an assemblage ethnography of how sperm banking came to be routinized in China. Based on 8 years of episodic fieldwork at China’s oldest and largest sperm bank in Changsha, Hunan province, the book meticulously chronicles how, beginning in the early 1980s, a unique style of sperm b...

  7. Reproductive function in male endurance athletes: sperm analysis and hormonal profile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucía, A; Chicharro, J L; Pérez, M; Serratosa, L; Bandrés, F; Legido, J C

    1996-12-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to study the effects of endurance exercise on male reproductive function (sex hormones and seminograms). Professional cyclists [n = 12; mean age 24 +/- 2 (SD) yr], elite triathletes (n = 9; 26 +/- 3 yr), recreational marathon runners (n = 10; 32 +/- 6 yr), and sedentary subjects (control group; n = 9; 30 +/- 4 yr) were selected as subjects. for each group, the following parameters were measured three times during the sports season (training period: winter; competition period: spring; resting period: fall): percentage of body fat, hormonal profile (resting levels of follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, total and free testosterone, and cortisol), and seminograms (quantitative parameters sperm volume and sperm count; qualitative parameters: sperm motality and morphology). The following comparisons were made in the measured parameters: 1) within groups (longitudinal design) and 2) between groups in each of the three periods (cross-sectional design) and over time (mixed design). In addition, both the volume and the intensity of training of each subject during the season (except for the control group) were quantified. Despite significant differences in training characteristics and in body fat percent, in general no significant differences (P > 0.05) were found in hormonal profiles or in semen characteristics between or within groups. A lower sperm motility (46.2 +/- 19.5%), however, was observed in the cyclists during the competition period when compared either with the other groups during this same period (P < 0.05) or with themselves during the other two periods of study (P < 0.01). In any case, the later phenomenon was attributed to physical factors associated with cycling, such as mechanical trauma to the testis and/or increased gonadal temperature. In conclusion, our findings suggest that endurance exercise does not adversely affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-testis axis.

  8. Postmortem sperm procurement: a legal perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahan, S E; Seftel, A D; Resnick, M I

    1999-06-01

    Postmortem sperm procurement with subsequent artificial insemination has become a technically feasible method for posthumous conception. A variety of legal questions exist involving the rights and relationships of the deceased, his family and his issue. We addressed these questions and designed a workable protocol for postmortem sperm procurement. MEDLINE, WESTLAW and LEXIS medical literature, and case law searches were conducted. United States and international case law, United States (federal and state) statutes, Uniform Law Commissions Acts, and law review commentaries and articles were reviewed. While postmortem sperm procurement is being requested throughout the United States, no standard protocol or procedural guidelines have been established by federal or state statute. Furthermore, the courts have not yet addressed this specific scenario in reported case law. Statutes and case law do address related factual scenarios and issues, including property rights in human bodies, rules governing transplantation of human organs/body parts, rights of parties in in vivo sperm bank donations and responsibilities of parents to the conceptus of artificial insemination. A workable protocol can be established by analyzing case law and statutes addressing factually similar scenarios. Urologists must focus on the express intent of the decedent and limit any postmortem sperm retrieval to the specific requests made by the decedent. Decedent requests should be documented in writing. The decedent must be competent and of majority age. In the absence of decedent expressed affirmative directive calling for sperm retrieval, no other relative or guardian may authorize this retrieval. Issues regarding the legitimacy and inheritance rights of the conceptus will most consistently be addressed when explicitly provided for in the will of the decedent.

  9. Plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase 4: interaction with constitutive nitric oxide synthases in human sperm and prostasomes which carry Ca2+/CaM-dependent serine kinase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Rachel E; Galileo, Deni S; Martin-DeLeon, Patricia A

    2015-11-01

    Deletion of the gene encoding the widely conserved plasma membrane calcium ATPase 4 (PMCA4), a major Ca(2+) efflux pump, leads to loss of sperm motility and male infertility in mice. PMCA4's partners in sperm and how its absence exerts its effect on fertility are unknown. We hypothesize that in sperm PMCA4 interacts with endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) which are rapidly activated by Ca(2+), and that these fertility-modulating proteins are present in prostasomes, which deliver them to sperm. We show that in human sperm PMCA4 is present on the acrosome, inner acrosomal membrane, posterior head, neck, midpiece and the proximal principal piece. PMCA4 localization showed inter- and intra-individual variation and was most abundant at the posterior head/neck junction, co-localizing with NOSs. Co-immunoprecipitations (Co-IP) revealed a close association of PMCA4 and the NOSs in Ca(2+) ionophore-treated sperm but much less so in uncapacitated untreated sperm. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) showed a similar Ca(2+)-related association: PMCA4 and the NOSs are within 10 nm apart, and preferentially so in capacitated, compared with uncapacitated, sperm. FRET efficiencies varied, being significantly (P < 0.001) higher at high cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]c) in capacitated sperm than at low [Ca(2+)]c in uncapacitated sperm for the PMCA4-eNOS complex. These dynamic interactions were not seen for PMCA4-nNOS complexes, which had the highest FRET efficiencies. Further, along with Ca(2+)/CaM-dependent serine kinase (CASK), PMCA4 and the NOSs are present in the seminal plasma, specifically in prostasomes where Co-IP showed complexes similar to those in sperm. Finally, flow cytometry demonstrated that following co-incubation of sperm and seminal plasma, PMCA4 and the NOSs can be delivered in vitro to sperm via prostasomes. Our findings indicate that PMCA4 interacts simultaneously with the NOSs preferentially at

  10. EDITORIAL: Physics competitions Physics competitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordens, H.; Mathelitsch, L.

    2011-07-01

    International tests on competences, such as TIMSS or PISA, and knowledge of young students have revealed low average scores in many countries, often unexpectedly. One effective measure to increase the average standard of a population is to bring the last third of the group to a higher level. Therefore, many nations put some effort into this activity. This brings the danger that not enough attention is paid to students at the other end, those who are talented. Indeed, it is a very difficult task for a teacher to support the less able and at the same time challenge the gifted students, to lead them to the limits of their abilities and provide for a smooth transition to university study. Physics competitions have been proven to fulfil these last demands to a large degree, and therefore are an important additional and, to some extent, complementary tool for the promotion of talented students. This third special section on physics competitions in European Journal of Physics contains three papers, each dealing with a different form of science contest. The first continues the series of presentations of tasks performed at the International Young Physicists' Tournament, which was held in Vienna in 2011. First place went to the team from Singapore, and they have put their investigation on vertical oscillations of coupled magnets into written form (not required by the tournament, where an oral presentation and a defence and discussion are the central aspects). Their paper shows how rich in physics this problem is, and what level of solutions high-school students can already achieve. Sadly, those responsible for the organization of last year's International Physics Olympiad did not provide us with a report on this competition. This is unfortunate, since the Olympiad in Zagreb was very successful and, in particular, the experimental tasks were creative and demanding. Very similar to the aims and the execution of the Physics Olympiad is the International Olympiad on Astronomy

  11. Posttesticular sperm maturation, infertility, and hypercholesterolemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjorie Whitfield

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Cholesterol is a key molecule in the mammalian physiology of especial particular importance for the reproductive system as it is the common precursor for steroid hormone synthesis. Cholesterol is also a recognized modulator of sperm functions, not only at the level of gametogenesis. Cholesterol homeostasis regulation is crucial for posttesticular sperm maturation, and imbalanced cholesterol levels may particularly affect these posttesticular events. Metabolic lipid disorders (dyslipidemia affect male fertility but are most of the time studied from the angle of endocrine/testicular consequences. This review will focus on the deleterious effects of a particular dyslipidemia, i.e., hypercholesterolemia, on posttesticular maturation of mammalian spermatozoa.

  12. Effect of transfection and co-incubation of bovine sperm with exogenous DNA on sperm quality and functional parameters for its use in sperm-mediated gene transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arias, María Elena; Sánchez-Villalba, Esther; Delgado, Andrea; Felmer, Ricardo

    2017-02-01

    Sperm-mediated gene transfer (SMGT) is based on the capacity of sperm to bind exogenous DNA and transfer it into the oocyte during fertilization. In bovines, the progress of this technology has been slow due to the poor reproducibility and efficiency of the production of transgenic embryos. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of different sperm transfection systems on the quality and functional parameters of sperm. Additionally, the ability of sperm to bind and incorporate exogenous DNA was assessed. These analyses were carried out by flow cytometry and confocal fluorescence microscopy, and motility parameters were also evaluated by computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA). Transfection was carried out using complexes of plasmid DNA with Lipofectamine, SuperFect and TurboFect for 0.5, 1, 2 or 4 h. The results showed that all of the transfection treatments promoted sperm binding and incorporation of exogenous DNA, similar to sperm incorporation of DNA alone, without affecting the viability. Nevertheless, the treatments and incubation times significantly affected the motility parameters, although no effect on the integrity of DNA or the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was observed. Additionally, we observed that transfection using SuperFect and TurboFect negatively affected the acrosome integrity, and TurboFect affected the mitochondrial membrane potential of sperm. In conclusion, we demonstrated binding and incorporation of exogenous DNA by sperm after transfection and confirmed the capacity of sperm to spontaneously incorporate exogenous DNA. These findings will allow the establishment of the most appropriate method [intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF)] of generating transgenic embryos via SMGT based on the fertilization capacity of transfected sperm.

  13. Relationship of Total Motile Sperm Count and Percentage Motile Sperm to Successful Pregnancy Rates Following Intrauterine Insemination

    OpenAIRE

    Pasqualotto, Eleonora B.; Daitch, James A.; Hendin, Benjamin N.; Falcone, Tommaso; Thomas, Anthony J.; Nelson, David R.; Agarwal, Ashok

    1999-01-01

    Purpose:This study sought (i) to investigate the relationship between postwash total motile sperm count and postwash percentage motile sperm in predicting successful intrauterine insemination and (ii) to determine the minimal postwash total motile sperm count required to achieve pregnancy with intrauterine insemination.

  14. Severe Fertility Effects of sheepish Sperm Caused by Failure To Enter Female Sperm Storage Organs in Drosophila melanogaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masatoshi Tomaru

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available In Drosophila, mature sperm are transferred from males to females during copulation, stored in the sperm storage organs of females, and then utilized for fertilization. Here, we report a gene named sheepish (shps of Drosophila melanogaster that is essential for sperm storage in females. shps mutant males, although producing morphologically normal and motile sperm that are effectively transferred to females, produce very few offspring. Direct counts of sperm indicated that the primary defect was correlated to failure of shps sperm to migrate into the female sperm storage organs. Increased sperm motion parameters were seen in the control after transfer to females, whereas sperm from shps males have characteristics of the motion parameters different from the control. The few sperm that occasionally entered the female sperm storage organs showed no obvious defects in fertilization and early embryo development. The female postmating responses after copulation with shps males appeared normal, at least with respect to conformational changes of uterus, mating plug formation, and female remating rates. The shps gene encodes a protein with homology to amine oxidases, including as observed in mammals, with a transmembrane region at the C-terminal end. The shps mutation was characterized by a nonsense replacement in the third exon of CG13611, and shps was rescued by transformants of the wild-type copy of CG13611. Thus, shps may define a new class of gene responsible for sperm storage.

  15. The foliar chemistry dynamic in eastern hemlock and how it relates to the competitive mechanism between two invasive herbivores: Adelges tsugae and Fiorinia externa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mailea R. Miller-Pierce; Evan L. Preisser; Dave A. Orwig

    2009-01-01

    While invasive species themselves have been examined, little work has addressed the question of competition between two invasive specialists on a shared host. An example of this situation exists in the eastern United States, where...

  16. Predictive value of sperm morphology and progressively motile sperm count for pregnancy outcomes in intrauterine insemination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lemmens, L.; Kos, S.; Beijer, C.; Brinkman, J.W.; Horst, F.A. van der; Hoven, L. van den; Kieslinger, D.C.; Trooyen-van Vrouwerff, N.J.; Wolthuis, A.; Hendriks, J.C.M.; Wetzels, A.M.M.

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the value of sperm parameters to predict an ongoing pregnancy outcome in couples treated with intrauterine insemination (IUI), during a methodologically stable period of time. DESIGN: Retrospective, observational study with logistic regression analyses. SETTING: University

  17. Boundaries of Ethics, Sperm on the Border –The Globalization of Danish Sperm

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willum Adrian, Stine

    as sperm donation in parliamentary debates, and in the media, often raises ethical questions. This presentation inquires into how the bending of boundaries by “inappropriate parents”, fertility travelers, private sperm banks and fertility clinics have been part in negotiating the changes of the legislation......’s situational analysis based on Anselm Strauss’ social world arena theory. Furthermore, I draw theoretically on Karen Barad and Donna Haraway’s notion of diffractive readings. I use their understanding of accountability to question and intervene in the doing of ethics in practice......., relatedness and family by politicians and bioethicists, in the parliament and in the media. I will argue that the globalization of Danish sperm is a story of combined subversive acts by women and men using the technologies, sperm banks and private fertility clinics. I will explore what the labeling...

  18. Sperm storage induces an immunity cost in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Armitage, Sophie A O; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2006-01-01

    Ant queens are among the most long-lived insects known. They mate early in adult life and maintain millions of viable sperm in their sperm storage organ until they die many years later. Because they never re-mate, the reproductive success of queens is ultimately sperm-limited, but it is not known...... what selective forces determine the upper limit to sperm storage. Here we show that sperm storage carries a significant cost of reduced immunity during colony founding. Newly mated queens of the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica upregulate their immune response shortly after completing their nest burrow...

  19. Improving sperm banking efficiency in endangered species through the use of a sperm selection method in brown bear (Ursus arctos) thawed sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anel-Lopez, L; Ortega-Ferrusola, C; Álvarez, M; Borragán, S; Chamorro, C; Peña, F J; Morrell, J; Anel, L; de Paz, P

    2017-06-26

    Sperm selection methods such as Single Layer Centrifugation (SLC) have been demonstrated to be a useful tool to improve the quality of sperm samples and therefore to increase the efficiency of other artificial reproductive techniques in several species. This procedure could help to improve the quality of genetic resource banks, which is essential for endangered species. In contrast, these sperm selection methods are optimized and focused on farm animals, where the recovery task is not as important as in endangered species because of their higher sperm availability. The aim of this study was to evaluate two centrifugation methods (300 x g/20 min and 600 x g/10 min) and three concentrations of SLC media (Androcoll-Bear -80, 65 and 50%) to optimise the procedure in order to recover as many sperm with the highest quality as possible. Sperm morphology could be important in the hydrodynamic relationship between the cell and centrifugation medium and thus the effect of sperm head morphometry on sperm yield and its hydrodynamic relationship were studied. The samples selected with Androcoll-Bear 65% showed a very good yield (53.1 ± 2.9) although the yield from Androcoll-Bear 80% was lower (19.3 ± 3.3). The latter showed higher values of motility than the control immediately after post-thawing selection. However, both concentrations of colloid (65 and 80%) showed higher values of viable sperm and viable sperm with intact acrosome than the control. After an incubation of 2 h at 37 °C, the samples from Androcoll-Bear 80% had higher kinematics and proportion of viable sperm with intact acrosome. In the morphometric analysis, the sperm selected by the Androcoll-Bear 80% showed a head with a bigger area which was more elongated than the sperm from other treatments. We conclude that sperm selection with Androcoll-Bear at either 65% or 80% is a suitable technique that allows a sperm population with better quality than the initial sample to be obtained. We recommend the

  20. Sperm motility and morphology as changing parameters linked to sperm count variations.

    OpenAIRE

    Dua A; Vaidya S

    1996-01-01

    Variations in semen analyses of 177 males over a 1 year period were assessed. The average means of total counts, motility, morphology, total motile count and non-motile % were determined for 5 classes of patients ranging from azoospermic to normospermic. Positive relationships between a falling sperm count, a decrease in motility and total motile counts were seen. Also, increasingly, abnormal forms were found with lower sperm counts.

  1. Study of Sperm Parameters and Sperm Fertility in Mice were Exposed to Tamoxifen during Embryonic Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Soleimanirad

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Tamoxifen is steroidal drug, which mainly treats breast cancer and also used to stimulate ovulation. The purpose of the present study was the evaluation of sperm parameters and fertility of mice whose mothers had received tamoxifen during pregnancy. Methods: In this study, 30 female and 15 male mice of NMRI were selected for mating. After mating female mice were randomly divided into two groups, the first group (control and second group (experimental. All of which contained 15 mice. From the day 13th day of pregnancy, experimental group has received tamoxifen with the dosage of 5 mg/kg for 7 days. After childbirth of the mated mice, male infants were selected. After reaching the age of puberty (6-8Weeks, adult mice were sacrificed by the cervical dislocation. After take sperm, sperm parameters (count, normality and motility, and sperm fertility was performed. In this study SPSS software and statistical t-test was used (p <0.001. Results: Studies showed that sperm parameters and sperm fertilization were significantly different. The number of sperm in the control group was 83.50±28.20 million, and in the experimental group was 60±14.14 million. There was a decrease in average sperm count in the experimental group compared with the control group (p <0.001. Our findings from in vitro fertilization culture media showed that embryos formation and oocyte disruption between control and experimental groups significantly different (p <0.001. Conclusion: The results showed that tamoxifen exposure during development can cause histological changes in the seminiferous tubules, which can lead to infertility.

  2. Sperm motility and morphology as changing parameters linked to sperm count variations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dua A

    1996-10-01

    Full Text Available Variations in semen analyses of 177 males over a 1 year period were assessed. The average means of total counts, motility, morphology, total motile count and non-motile % were determined for 5 classes of patients ranging from azoospermic to normospermic. Positive relationships between a falling sperm count, a decrease in motility and total motile counts were seen. Also, increasingly, abnormal forms were found with lower sperm counts.

  3. Influence of Post-Mortem Sperm Recovery Method and Extender on Unstored and Refrigerated Rooster Sperm Variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villaverde-Morcillo, S; Esteso, M C; Castaño, C; Santiago-Moreno, J

    2016-02-01

    Many post-mortem sperm collection techniques have been described for mammalian species, but their use in birds is scarce. This paper compares the efficacy of two post-mortem sperm retrieval techniques - the flushing and float-out methods - in the collection of rooster sperm, in conjunction with the use of two extenders, i.e., L&R-84 medium and Lake 7.1 medium. To determine whether the protective effects of these extenders against refrigeration are different for post-mortem and ejaculated sperm, pooled ejaculated samples (procured via the massage technique) were also diluted in the above extenders. Post-mortem and ejaculated sperm variables were assessed immediately at room temperature (0 h), and after refrigeration at 5°C for 24 and 48 h. The flushing method retrieved more sperm than the float-out method (596.5 ± 75.4 million sperm vs 341.0 ± 87.6 million sperm; p < 0.05); indeed, the number retrieved by the former method was similar to that obtained by massage-induced ejaculation (630.3 ± 78.2 million sperm). For sperm collected by all methods, the L&R-84 medium provided an advantage in terms of sperm motility variables at 0 h. In the refrigerated sperm samples, however, the Lake 7.1 medium was associated with higher percentages of viable sperm, and had a greater protective effect (p < 0.05) with respect to most motility variables. In conclusion, the flushing method is recommended for collecting sperm from dead birds. If this sperm needs to be refrigerated at 5°C until analysis, Lake 7.1 medium is recommended as an extender. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  4. Changes in Sperm Motility and Capacitation Induce Chromosomal Aberration of the Bovine Embryo following Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoku Kato

    Full Text Available Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI has become the method of choice to treat human male infertility. One of the outstanding problems associated with this technique is our current lack of knowledge concerning the effect of sperm capacitation and motility upon the subsequent development of oocytes following ICSI. In the present study, we first examined the capacitation state of sperm exhibiting normal motility, along with sperm that had been activated, and examined the effect of reactive oxygen species (ROS produced by these sperm types upon embryogenesis following bovine in vitro fertilization (IVF and ICSI. Data showed that activated sperm reduced the chromosomal integrity of IVF/ICSI embryos at the blastocyst stage, while capacitated sperm produced ROS in capacitation media. Secondly, we treated sperm with carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazine (CCCP, a chemical known to uncouple cell respiration within the mitochondria, and investigated the effect of this treatment upon blastocyst formation and chromosomal integrity at the blastocyst stage. Activated sperm in which the mitochondria had been treated with CCCP reduced levels of chromosomal aberration at the blastocyst stage following ICSI, by reducing mitochondrial activity in activated sperm. In conclusion, these findings suggest that capacitated sperm exhibiting activated motility induced chromosomal aberration during development to the blastocyst stage following ICSI. The injection of sperm exhibiting normal motility, or activated sperm in which mitochondrial activity had been reduced, improved the quality of ICSI-derived embryos. Therefore, the selection of sperm exhibiting progressive motility may not always be better for early embryo development and fetal growth following human ICSI, and that the use of a bovine model may contribute to a deeper understanding of sperm selection for human ICSI embryo development.

  5. Vitrification of neat semen alters sperm parameters and DNA integrity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalili, Mohammad Ali; Adib, Maryam; Halvaei, Iman; Nabi, Ali

    2014-05-06

    Our aim was to evaluate the effect of neat semen vitrification on human sperm vital parameters and DNA integrity in men with normal and abnormal sperm parameters. Semen samples were 17 normozoospermic samples and 17 specimens with abnormal sperm parameters. Semen analysis was performed according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Then, the smear was provided from each sample and fixed for terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining. Vitrification of neat semen was done by plunging cryoloops directly into liquid nitrogen and preserved for 7 days. The samples were warmed and re-evaluated for sperm parameters as well as DNA integrity. Besides, the correlation between sperm parameters and DNA fragmentation was assessed pre- and post vitrification. Cryopreserved spermatozoa showed significant decrease in sperm motility, viability and normal morphology after thawing in both normal and abnormal semen. Also, the rate of sperm DNA fragmentation was significantly higher after vitrification compared to fresh samples in normal (24.76 ± 5.03 and 16.41 ± 4.53, P = .002) and abnormal (34.29 ± 10.02 and 23.5 ± 8.31, P < .0001), respectively. There was negative correlation between sperm motility and sperm DNA integrity in both groups after vitrification. Vitrification of neat ejaculates has negative impact on sperm parameters as well as DNA integrity, particularly among abnormal semen subjects. It is, therefore, recommend to process semen samples and vitrify the sperm pellets.

  6. Morphology and evolutionary implications of the annual cycle of secretion and sperm storage in spermathecae of the salamander Ambystoma opacum (Amphibia: Ambystomatidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sever, David M; Krenz, John D; Johnson, Kristin M; Rania, Lisa C

    1995-01-01

    Females of the marbled salamander, Ambystoma opacum, store sperm in exocrine glands called spermathecae in the roof of the cloaca. Eggs are fertilized by sperm released from the spermathecae during oviposition. Some sperm remain in the spermathecae following oviposition, but these sperm degenerate within a month and none persists more than 6 mo after oviposition. Thus, sperm storage between successive breeding seasons does not occur. Apical secretory vaculoes are abundant during the fall mating season and contain a substance that is alcian blue+ at pH 2.5. Production of secretory vacuoles decreases markedly after oviposition, and the glands are inactive by the summer months. Ambystoma opacum is a terrestrial breeder, and some mating occurs prior to arrival at pond basins where oviposition occurs. Mating prior to arrival at the ovipository site may prolong the breeding season, leading to fitness implications for both males and females. Females have opportunities for more matings, and the possibilities for sperm competition in the spermathecae are enhanced. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Copyright © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. Immature germ cells in semen - correlation with total sperm count and sperm motility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patil, Priya S; Humbarwadi, Rajendra S; Patil, Ashalata D; Gune, Anita R

    2013-07-01

    Current data regarding infertility suggests that male factor contributes up to 30% of the total cases of infertility. Semen analysis reveals the presence of spermatozoa as well as a number of non-sperm cells, presently being mentioned in routine semen report as "round cells" without further differentiating them into leucocytes or immature germ cells. The aim of this work was to study a simple, cost-effective, and convenient method for differentiating the round cells in semen into immature germ cells and leucocytes and correlating them with total sperm counts and motility. Semen samples from 120 males, who had come for investigation for infertility, were collected, semen parameters recorded, and stained smears studied for different round cells. Statistical analysis of the data was done to correlate total sperm counts and sperm motility with the occurrence of immature germ cells and leucocytes. The average shedding of immature germ cells in different groups with normal and low sperm counts was compared. The clinical significance of "round cells" in semen and their differentiation into leucocytes and immature germ cells are discussed. Round cells in semen can be differentiated into immature germ cells and leucocytes using simple staining methods. The differential counts mentioned in a semen report give valuable and clinically relevant information. In this study, we observed a negative correlation between total count and immature germ cells, as well as sperm motility and shedding of immature germ cells. The latter was statistically significant with a P value 0.000.

  8. Cryopreservation of mutton snapper ( Lutjanus analis sperm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    EDUARDO G. SANCHES

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to develop a protocol of semen cryopreservation of the mutton snapper Lutjanus analis. The interaction between three extenders ( pH 6.1; 7.8 and 8.2 , two concentrations of dimethyl sulfoxide ( DMSO, 5 and 10% and three cooling rates ( -90; -60 and -30°C.min−1 on the sperm motility rate and motility time were analyzed by a factorial experiment. A sample of 30 fishes ( 1,261 ± 449 g collected in the nature was kept in floating net cages. The semen was frozen by using cryogenic straws, in nitrogen vapour and transferred, later, to liquid nitrogen. Fertilization test was accomplished to evaluate the viability of the cryopreserved sperm. The highest sperm motility rate and motility time ( P < 0.05 was achieved by combining extender C ( pH 8.2 with DMSO ( 10% and cooling rate of -60°C.min−1 ( P < 0.05 . The use of cryopreserved sperm presented fertilization rates higher than 59% validating the present protocol for mutton snapper.

  9. Atypical centrioles are present in Tribolium sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishman, E L; Jo, Kyoung; Ha, Andrew; Royfman, Rachel; Zinn, Ashtyn; Krishnamurthy, Malathi; Avidor-Reiss, Tomer

    2017-03-01

    Typical centrioles are made of microtubules organized in ninefold symmetry. Most animal somatic cells have two centrioles for normal cell division and function. These centrioles originate from the zygote, but because the oocyte does not provide any centrioles, it is surprising that the zygotes of many animals are thought to inherit only one centriole from the sperm. Recently, in the sperm of Drosophila melanogaster , we discovered a second centriolar structure, the proximal centriole-like structure (PCL), which functions in the zygote. Whether the sperm of other insects has a second centriolar structure is unknown. Here, we characterized spermiogenesis in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum Electron microscopy suggests that Tribolium has one microtubule-based centriole at the tip of the axoneme and a structure similar to the PCL, which lacks microtubules and lies in a cytoplasmic invagination of the nucleus. Immunostaining against the orthologue of the centriole/PCL protein, Ana1, also recognizes two centrioles near the nucleus during spermiogenesis: one that is microtubule-based at the tip of the axoneme, suggesting it is the centriole; and another that is more proximal and appears during early spermiogenesis, suggesting it is the PCL. Together, these findings suggest that Tribolium sperm has one microtubule-based centriole and one microtubule-lacking centriole. © 2017 The Authors.

  10. Ultrastructural Morphology of Sperm from Human Globozoospermia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Ricci

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Globozoospermia is a rare disorder characterized by the presence of sperm with round head, lacking acrosome. Coiling tail around the nucleus has been reported since early human studies, but no specific significance has conferred it. By contrast, studies on animal models suggest that coiling tail around the nucleus could represent a crucial step of defective spermatogenesis, resulting in round-headed sperm. No observations, so far, support the transfer of this hypothesis to human globozoospermia. The purpose of this work was to compare ultrastructural morphology of human and mouse model globozoospermic sperm. Sperm have been investigated by using scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The images that we obtained show significant similarities to those described in GOPC knockout mice, an animal model of globozoospermia. By using this model as reference, we were able to identify the probable steps of the tail coiling process in human globozoospermia. Although we have no evidence that there is the same pathophysiology in man and knocked-out mouse, the similarities between these ultrastructural observations in human and those in the experimental model are very suggestive. This is the first demonstration of the existence of relevant morphological homologies between the tail coiling in animal model and human globozoospermia.

  11. Changing rooster sperm membranes to facilitate cryopreservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cryopreservation damages rooster sperm membranes. Part of this damage is due to membrane transitioning from the fluid to the gel state as temperature is reduced. This damage may be prevented by increasing membrane fluidity at low temperatures by incorporating cholesterol or unsaturated lipids into t...

  12. Expression and Purification of Sperm Whale Myoglobin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Stephen; Indivero, Virginia; Burkhard, Caroline

    2010-01-01

    We present a multiweek laboratory exercise that exposes students to the fundamental techniques of bacterial expression and protein purification through the preparation of sperm whale myoglobin. Myoglobin, a robust oxygen-binding protein, contains a single heme that gives the protein a reddish color, making it an ideal subject for the teaching…

  13. Life after Death. Sperm, Property, and Hope

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kroløkke, Charlotte; Willum Adrian, Stine

    A tragic workplace accident led in 2010 to the death of Mark Edwards. Subsequently, his wife Joycelyn Edwards requested for the New South Wales Superior Court´s permission to extract sperm posthumous from her husband. She got the permission and one year later, the Court decided to grant her acces...

  14. Psychosocial counselling in donor sperm treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, M.

    2018-01-01

    For decades, donor sperm treatment is offered to men and women to build a family. In daily life, parents, children and donors have to deal with the consequences of this treatment. The studies of this thesis show that there are gaps in knowledge about specialist psychosocial counselling and guidance

  15. Sperm flagellum volume determines freezability in red deer spermatozoa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Luis Ros-Santaella

    Full Text Available The factors affecting the inter-individual differences in sperm freezability is a major line of research in spermatology. Poor sperm freezability is mainly characterised by a low sperm velocity, which in turn is associated with low fertility rates in most animal species. Studies concerning the implications of sperm morphometry on freezability are quite limited, and most of them are based on sperm head size regardless of the structural parts of the flagellum, which provides sperm motility. Here, for the first time, we determined the volumes of the flagellum structures in fresh epididymal red deer spermatozoa using a stereological method under phase contrast microscopy. Sperm samples from thirty-three stags were frozen and classified as good freezers (GF or bad freezers (BF at two hours post-thawing using three sperm kinetic parameters which are strongly correlated with fertility in this species. Fourteen stags were clearly identified as GF, whereas nineteen were BF. No significant difference in sperm head size between the two groups was found. On the contrary, the GF exhibited a lower principal piece volume than the BF (6.13 µm3 vs 6.61 µm3, respectively, p = 0.006. The volume of the flagellum structures showed a strong negative relationship with post-thawing sperm velocity. For instance, the volume of the sperm principal piece was negatively correlated with sperm velocity at two hours post-thawing (r = -0.60; p<0.001. Our results clearly show that a higher volume of the sperm principal piece results in poor freezability, and highlights the key role of flagellum size in sperm cryopreservation success.

  16. A new approach to sperm preservation based on bioenergetic theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froman, D P; Feltmann, A J

    2010-04-01

    To date, attempts to preserve chicken sperm have been based on a trial-and-error experimental approach. The present work outlines the development of an alternative approach based on empiricism and bioenergetic theory. In previous work, we found fowl sperm motility to be dependent on mitochondrial calcium cycling, phospholipase A(2), and long-chain fatty acids as an endogenous energy source. It is noteworthy that fowl sperm reside within the sperm storage tubules (SST) of the oviduct over an interval of days to weeks after insemination. In this regard, a model for in vivo sperm storage was developed and tested in additional previous research. Sperm penetration of the SST, sperm residence within the SST, and sperm egress from the SST can be explained in terms mitochondrial function. Understanding sperm function and longevity in terms of bioenergetics presented the possibility that sperm could be inactivated by disrupting mitochondrial calcium cycling and could thereby be preserved. However, this possibility also posed a problem: maintenance of the inner membrane potential of the mitochondrion within inactivated sperm. This report describes a series of experiments in which fowl sperm were inactivated by treatment with the calcium chelator tetrasodium 1,2-bis-(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid, and then reactivated by treatment with calcium ions. The effect of tetrasodium 1,2-bis-(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid on mitochondrial calcium cycling was confirmed by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. When treated sperm were cooled to 10 degrees C, inactivated sperm could be reactivated throughout a 5-h storage interval. When stored sperm were held for 3 h before reactivation and insemination, fertility was 88% of the control. Storage did not affect hatchability. In summary, short-term storage was realized by manipulating mitochondrial function. We propose that 1) complex V consumes ATP within inactivated sperm and, by doing so, maintains

  17. Experimental exposure to 3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol from the pre-puberty causes damage in sperm production and motility in adulthood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kátia Cristina Melo Tavares Vieira

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available 3-Monochloropropane-1,2-diol (3-MCPD is a food contaminant that can be formed during the thermic processing of various foodstuffs. Studies of reproductive toxicology of 3-MCPD are mainly concentrated in the evaluation of possible insults caused by exposure of adult animals. However, the prepuberty might be a period of different susceptibility to chemicals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects on reproductive endpoints of the 3-MCPD-exposure prepubertal male rats. Wistar male rats were assigned to 4 groups: control and exposed to 2.5; 5 or 10 mg kg-1 day-1 of 3-MCPD for 30 days by gavage. Testis and epididymis were used for sperm counts and histology analysis. Sertoli cell number and dynamic of the spermatogenesis were evaluated. Sperm were collected from the vas deferens for evaluation of the sperm motility and morphology. Number of sperm with progressive movement, number of Sertoli cells and germ cells and relative daily sperm production were decreased in the groups exposed to 5 and 10 mg kg-1 day-1 of 3-MCPD. Sperm morphology, testicular and epididymal histology were comparable among groups. Results show that 3-MCPD-exposure of rats from prepuberty might cause alterations in spermatogenesis and sperm maturation, similarly to exposure in adulthood.

  18. Decline of semen quality among Chinese sperm bank donors within 7 years (2008-2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Wang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Semen from 5210 sperm bank donors was analyzed and trends in semen quality were evaluated at Shandong Human Sperm Bank between 2008 and 2014. After 2-7 days of abstinence, semen samples were collected. Measurements of semen volume, sperm concentration, sperm forward motility, and total sperm count were performed. There were significant declining trends in semen volume, sperm concentration, sperm forward motility, and total sperm count. Our results indicate that the quality of semen in this cohort of sperm donors had decreased during the study period.

  19. The effects of male age on sperm analysis by motile sperm organelle morphology examination (MSOME

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silva Liliane FI

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This study aimed to investigate the influence of age on sperm quality, as analysed by motile sperm organelle morphology examination (MSOME. Methods Semen samples were collected from 975 men undergoing evaluation or treatment for infertility. Sperm cells were evaluated at 8400× magnification using an inverted microscope equipped with Nomarski (differential interference contrast optics. Two forms of spermatozoa were considered: normal spermatozoa and spermatozoa with large nuclear vacuoles (LNV, defined as vacuoles occupying > 50% of the sperm nuclear area. At least 200 spermatozoa per sample were evaluated, and the percentages of normal and LNV spermatozoa were determined. The subjects were divided into three groups according to age: Group I, less than or equal to 35 years; Group II, 36-40 years; and Group III, greater than or equal to 41 years. Results There was no difference in the percentages of normal sperm between the two younger (I and II groups (P >0.05. The percentage of normal sperm in the older group (III was significantly lower than that in the younger (I and II groups (P P >0.05. The percentage of LNV spermatozoa was significantly higher in the older group (III than in the younger (I and II groups (P P P Conclusion The results demonstrated a consistent decline in semen quality, as reflected by morphological evaluation by MSOME, with increased age. Considering the relationship between nuclear vacuoles and DNA damage, these age-related changes predict that increased paternal age should be associated with unsuccessful or abnormal pregnancy as a consequence of fertilisation with damaged spermatozoa. Given that sperm nuclear vacuoles can be evaluated more precisely at high magnification, these results support the routine use of MSOME for ICSI as a criterion for semen analysis.

  20. The Semen pH Affects Sperm Motility and Capacitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Ji; Chen, Li; Li, Jie; Li, Hongjun; Hong, Zhiwei; Xie, Min; Chen, Shengrong; Yao, Bing

    2015-01-01

    As the chemical environment of semen can have a profound effect on sperm quality, we examined the effect of pH on the motility, viability and capacitation of human sperm. The sperm in this study was collected from healthy males to avoid interference from other factors. The spermatozoa cultured in sperm nutrition solution at pH 5.2, 6.2, 7.2 and 8.2 were analyzed for sperm total motility, progressive motility (PR), hypo-osmotic swelling (HOS) rate, and sperm penetration. Our results showed that these parameters were similar in pH 7.2 and 8.2 sperm nutrition solutions, but decreased in pH 5.2 and 6.2 solutions. The HOS rate exhibited positive correlation with the sperm total motility and PR. In addition, the sperm Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activity at different pHs was measured, and the enzyme activity was significantly lower in pH 5.2 and 6.2 media, comparing with that in pH 8.2 and pH 7.2 solutions. Using flow cytometry (FCM) and laser confocal scanning microscopy (LCSM) analysis, the intracellular Ca2(+ )concentrations of sperm cultured in sperm capacitation solution at pH 5.2, 6.2, 7.2 and 8.2 were determined. Compared with that at pH 7.2, the mean fluorescence intensity of sperm in pH 5.2 and 6.2 media decreased significantly, while that of pH 8.2 group showed no difference. Our results suggested that the declined Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activity at acidic pHs result in decreased sperm movement and capacitation, which could be one of the mechanisms of male infertility.

  1. Glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration in mouse LDHC-null sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odet, Fanny; Gabel, Scott; London, Robert E; Goldberg, Erwin; Eddy, Edward M

    2013-04-01

    We demonstrated previously that a knockout (KO) of the lactate dehydrogenase type C (Ldhc) gene disrupted male fertility and caused a considerable reduction in sperm glucose consumption, ATP production, and motility. While that study used mice with a mixed genetic background, the present study used C57BL/6 (B6) and 129S6 (129) Ldhc KO mice. We found that B6 KO males were subfertile and 129 KO males were infertile. Sperm from 129 wild-type (WT) mice have a lower glycolytic rate than sperm from B6 WT mice, resulting in a greater reduction in ATP production in 129 KO sperm than in B6 KO sperm. The lower glycolytic rate in 129 sperm offered a novel opportunity to examine the role of mitochondrial respiration in sperm ATP production and motility. We observed that in media containing a mitochondrial substrate (pyruvate or lactate) as the sole energy source, ATP levels and progressive motility in 129 KO sperm were similar to those in 129 WT sperm. However, when glucose was added, lactate was unable to maintain ATP levels or progressive motility in 129 KO sperm. The rate of respiration (ZO2) was high when 129 KO or WT sperm were incubated with lactate alone, but addition of glucose caused a reduction in ZO2. These results indicate that in the absence of glucose, 129 sperm can produce ATP via oxidative phosphorylation, but in the presence of glucose, oxidative phosphorylation is suppressed and the sperm utilize aerobic glycolysis, a phenomenon known as the Crabtree effect.

  2. New genetic tools for improving SIT in Ceratitis capitata: embryonic lethality and sperm marking

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schetelig, Marc F.; Wimmer, Ernst A.; Scolari, Francesca; Gasperi, Giuliano; Handler, Ernst A.

    2006-01-01

    Environment friendly sterile insect technique (SIT) is being applied effectively as a component of area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) for Ceratitis capitata since 1970s. Nevertheless improved biological strategies are needed to increase the efficacy of AW-IPM. Transgenic approaches should increase and widen the applicability of such programmes to different pest species. In this respect two major strategies are followed: First an approach to cause sterility was designed without interfering with spermatogenesis to maintain males and their sperm as competitive as possible. We followed a strategy, which is based on the expression of a lethal factor under the control of a promoter that is active at early blastoderm stages. The system employs the ectopic expression of a hyperactive pro apoptotic gene that causes embryo-specific lethality when driven by the tetracycline-controlled trans activator tTA under the regulation of a cellularization gene enhancer/promoter. The system has been tested successfully in Drosophila melanogaster (Horn and Wimmer 2003). We tried the direct transfer of the Drosophila system to Ceratitis capitata by injecting the respective constructs that carry Drosophila-derived promoters. Unfortunately, the cellularization specific promoters from Drosophila seem not functional in Ceratitis. Therefore, the corresponding enhancers/promoters from Ceratitis were isolated and subsequently the tTA was brought independently under the control of each enhancer/promoter region. These constructs were injected in Ceratitis for further evaluation. Second, we have engineered a medfly strain carrying a sperm marking system. This strain carries two fluorescent markers. One (turboGFP) marker is under the control of the spermatogenesis specific b2-tubulin promoter from Ceratitis and is therefore sperm specifically expressed. The second (DsRed) is under the control of the poly ubiquitin promoter of Drosophila. Released males from this strain could be

  3. New genetic tools for improving SIT in Ceratitis capitata: embryonic lethality and sperm marking

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schetelig, Marc F; Wimmer, Ernst A [Georg-August-University, Gottingen (Germany). Johann-Friedrich Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology. Gottingen Center for Molecular Biosciences; Scolari, Francesca; Gasperi, Giuliano [Universita di Pavia (Italy). Dipt. di Biologia Animale; Handler, Ernst A [U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA/ARS), Gainesville, FL (United States). Agricultural Research Service. Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology

    2006-07-01

    Environment friendly sterile insect technique (SIT) is being applied effectively as a component of area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) for Ceratitis capitata since 1970s. Nevertheless improved biological strategies are needed to increase the efficacy of AW-IPM. Transgenic approaches should increase and widen the applicability of such programmes to different pest species. In this respect two major strategies are followed: First an approach to cause sterility was designed without interfering with spermatogenesis to maintain males and their sperm as competitive as possible. We followed a strategy, which is based on the expression of a lethal factor under the control of a promoter that is active at early blastoderm stages. The system employs the ectopic expression of a hyperactive pro apoptotic gene that causes embryo-specific lethality when driven by the tetracycline-controlled trans activator tTA under the regulation of a cellularization gene enhancer/promoter. The system has been tested successfully in Drosophila melanogaster (Horn and Wimmer 2003). We tried the direct transfer of the Drosophila system to Ceratitis capitata by injecting the respective constructs that carry Drosophila-derived promoters. Unfortunately, the cellularization specific promoters from Drosophila seem not functional in Ceratitis. Therefore, the corresponding enhancers/promoters from Ceratitis were isolated and subsequently the tTA was brought independently under the control of each enhancer/promoter region. These constructs were injected in Ceratitis for further evaluation. Second, we have engineered a medfly strain carrying a sperm marking system. This strain carries two fluorescent markers. One (turboGFP) marker is under the control of the spermatogenesis specific b2-tubulin promoter from Ceratitis and is therefore sperm specifically expressed. The second (DsRed) is under the control of the poly ubiquitin promoter of Drosophila. Released males from this strain could be

  4. Competitive spirit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    Leicester University will host the 65 international teams of students who will assemble in July for this year's International Physics Olympiad . The last time the Olympiad came to the UK was in 1986 in London, and it was the notable enthusiasm of the Leicester Physics and Astronomy department which persuaded the Olympiad Committee to give them the chance of organizing the prestigious event. The students taking part from all over the world are studying physics at A-level or an equivalent standard and they will take part in an intellectual marathon of theoretical and practical examinations. Each national team comprises five students selected from three rounds of competition and the teams will receive an official welcome from the city, as well as opportunities to visit some of the important educational and cultural centres of the surrounding region. The finalists will also be able to test their skills and initiative at the Challenger Learning Centre, which forms part of Leicester's new National Space Science Centre. Specific information on the event can be found on the Olympiad-2000 website at www.star.le.ac.uk/IphO-2000 . The Rudolf Ortvay problem solving contest in physics, which takes place in November, is a tradition of Eötvös University in Budapest, Hungary. The competition was first opened to international participants in 1998, enabling students from universities around the world to show their knowledge, ingenuity, problem-solving skills and physical insight into problems that are far beyond routine level. The problems (30 - 35 each year) are chosen from different branches of theoretical as well as applied physics. They have varying levels of difficulty, and every contestant can send solutions for ten problems. The focus is not on school-level problem-solving routines but rather on the `physical' way of thinking, recognition of the heart of the problem and an appropriate choice of mathematics. The majority of the assigned problems are original, few having

  5. Power market competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kelly, J.

    1998-01-01

    In the Unites States the prospect of greater competition in wholesale power market was immediately eclipsed by talk of retail competition. Attempts to move to retail competition have been costly and complex. Prudent public policy and economic analyses suggest that retail competition not be implemented until it can first be demonstrated that effective competition exists in wholesale power markets [it

  6. Multinationals and Institutional Competitiveness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hull Kristensen, Peer; Morgan, Glenn

    This article discusses how institutional competitiveness and multinationals are mutually enriching concepts. Seen from the perspective of Multinationals, institutional competitiveness becomes expressed at two levels. At the level of corporate HQs institutional competitiveness proves itself...... competitiveness of Liberal Market Economies and Coordinated Markets Economies under the current competitive regime....

  7. Lunabotics Mining Competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Rob; Murphy, Gloria

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation describes a competition to design a lunar robot (lunabot) that can be controlled either remotely or autonomously, isolated from the operator, and is designed to mine a lunar aggregate simulant. The competition is part of a systems engineering curriculum. The 2010 competition winners in five areas of the competition were acknowledged, and the 2011 competition was announced.

  8. Evaluation of Lasting Effects of Heat Stress on Sperm Profile and Oxidative Status of Ram Semen and Epididymal Sperm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thais Rose dos Santos Hamilton

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Higher temperatures lead to an increase of testicular metabolism that results in spermatic damage. Oxidative stress is the main factor responsible for testicular damage caused by heat stress. The aim of this study was to evaluate lasting effects of heat stress on ejaculated sperm and immediate or long-term effects of heat stress on epididymal sperm. We observed decrease in motility and mass motility of ejaculated sperm, as well as an increase in the percentages of sperm showing major and minor defects, damaged plasma and acrosome membranes, and a decrease in the percentage of sperm with high mitochondrial membrane potential in the treated group until one spermatic cycle. An increased enzymatic activity of glutathione peroxidase and an increase of stressed cells were observed in ejaculated sperm of the treated group. A decrease in the percentage of epididymal sperm with high mitochondrial membrane potential was observed in the treated group. However, when comparing immediate and long-term effects, we observed an increase in the percentage of sperm with low mitochondrial membrane potential. In conclusion, testicular heat stress induced oxidative stress that led to rescuable alterations after one spermatic cycle in ejaculated sperm and also after 30 days in epididymal sperm.

  9. An immunological approach of sperm sexing and different methods for identification of X- and Y-chromosome bearing sperm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiv Kumar Yadav

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Separation of X- and Y-chromosome bearing sperm has been practiced for selection of desired sex of offspring to increase the profit in livestock industries. At present, fluorescence-activated cell sorter is the only successful method for separation of X- and Y-chromosome bearing sperm. This technology is based on the differences in DNA content between these two types of sperm and has been commercialized for bovine sperm. However, this technology still has problems in terms of high economic cost, sperm damage, and lower pregnancy rates compared to unsorted semen. Therefore, an inexpensive, convenient, and non-invasive approach for sperm sexing would be of benefit to agricultural sector. Within this perspective, immunological sperm sexing method is one of the attractive choices to separate X- and Y-chromosome bearing sperm. This article reviews the current knowledge about immunological approaches, viz., H-Y antigen, sex-specific antigens, and differentially expressed proteins for sperm sexing. Moreover, this review also highlighted the different methods for identification of X- and Y-sperm.

  10. Sperm Impairment by Sperm Agglutinating Factor Isolated from Escherichia coli: Receptor Specific Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiranjeet Kaur

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In an earlier work done in our laboratory, we have been able to isolate a sperm agglutinating strain of Escherichia coli from the semen sample of a male attending infertility clinic. Further, factor responsible for sperm agglutination (SAF was isolated and purified, and, using SAF as a tool, corresponding SAF binding receptor from human spermatozoa has been purified. Characterization of SAF and SAF binding receptor using MALDI-TOF showed homology to glutamate decarboxylase and MHC class I molecule, respectively. Coincubation of SAF with spermatozoa not only resulted in spermagglutination but could also compromise other sperm parameters, namely, Mg2+ dependent ATPase activity and apoptosis. Intravaginal administration of SAF could lead to infertility in Balb/c mice. SAF induced impairment of sperm parameters, and infertility was observed to be due to interaction of SAF with sperm surface receptor component as, when purified receptor was introduced, receptor completely inhibited all the detrimental effects induced by SAF. From these results, it could be concluded that interaction of SAF with spermatozoa is receptor mediated.

  11. Presence and function of dopamine transporter (DAT in stallion sperm: dopamine modulates sperm motility and acrosomal integrity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier A Urra

    Full Text Available Dopamine is a catecholamine with multiple physiological functions, playing a key role in nervous system; however its participation in reproductive processes and sperm physiology is controversial. High dopamine concentrations have been reported in different portions of the feminine and masculine reproductive tract, although the role fulfilled by this catecholamine in reproductive physiology is as yet unknown. We have previously shown that dopamine type 2 receptor is functional in boar sperm, suggesting that dopamine acts as a physiological modulator of sperm viability, capacitation and motility. In the present study, using immunodetection methods, we revealed the presence of several proteins important for the dopamine uptake and signalling in mammalian sperm, specifically monoamine transporters as dopamine (DAT, serotonin (SERT and norepinephrine (NET transporters in equine sperm. We also demonstrated for the first time in equine sperm a functional dopamine transporter using 4-[4-(Dimethylaminostyryl]-N-methylpyridinium iodide (ASP(+, as substrate. In addition, we also showed that dopamine (1 mM treatment in vitro, does not affect sperm viability but decreases total and progressive sperm motility. This effect is reversed by blocking the dopamine transporter with the selective inhibitor vanoxerine (GBR12909 and non-selective inhibitors of dopamine reuptake such as nomifensine and bupropion. The effect of dopamine in sperm physiology was evaluated and we demonstrated that acrosome integrity and thyrosine phosphorylation in equine sperm is significantly reduced at high concentrations of this catecholamine. In summary, our results revealed the presence of monoamine transporter DAT, NET and SERT in equine sperm, and that the dopamine uptake by DAT can regulate sperm function, specifically acrosomal integrity and sperm motility.

  12. Proteins associated with critical sperm functions and sperm head shape are differentially expressed in morphologically abnormal bovine sperm induced by scrotal insulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Saadi, H.A.S.; Riemsdijk, van E.L.C.; Dance, A.L.; Rajamanickam, G.D.; Kastelic, J.P.; Thundathil, J.C.

    2013-01-01

    The objective was to investigate expression patterns of proteins in pyriform sperm, a common morphological abnormality in bull sperm. Ejaculates were collected from sexually mature Holstein bulls (n = 3) twice weekly for 10 weeks (pre-thermal insult samples). Testicular temperature was elevated in

  13. Upward swimming of a sperm cell in shear flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omori, Toshihiro; Ishikawa, Takuji

    2016-03-01

    Mammalian sperm cells are required to swim over long distances, typically around 1000-fold their own length. They must orient themselves and maintain a swimming motion to reach the ovum, or egg cell. Although the mechanism of long-distance navigation is still unclear, one possible mechanism, rheotaxis, was reported recently. This work investigates the mechanism of the rheotaxis in detail by simulating the motions of a sperm cell in shear flow adjacent to a flat surface. A phase diagram was developed to show the sperm's swimming motion under different shear rates, and for varying flagellum waveform conditions. The results showed that, under shear flow, the sperm is able to hydrodynamically change its swimming direction, allowing it to swim upwards against the flow, which suggests that the upward swimming of sperm cells can be explained using fluid mechanics, and this can then be used to further understand physiology of sperm cell navigation.

  14. [Study on sperm damage caused by trichloroethylene in male rats].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, De-sheng; Yang, Lin-qing; Huang, Sui; Liu, Jian-jun; Xu, Xin-yun; Huang, Hai-yan; Gong, Chun-mei; Hu, Gong-hua; Liu, Qing-cheng; Yang, Xi-fei; Hong, Wen-xu; Zhou, Li; Huang, Xin-feng; Yuan, Jian-hui; Zhuang, Zhi-xiong

    2013-11-01

    To study in vitro sperm damage caused by trichloroethylene in male rats. Sperms of Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were collected 4 hours after being contaminated by trichloroethylene of 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 mmol/L in vitro. Giemsa staining was performed to observe the morphological changes of sperms, and flow cytometer was used to detect the changes in mitochondrial membrane potential. The sperm motilities in 6, 8, and 10 mmol/L trichloroethylene groups decreased significantly compared with that in control group (P trichloroethylene groups were significantly higher than that in control group (Ptrichloroethylene groups and control group (Ptrichloroethylene can reduce sperm motility and increase the aberration rate and apoptosis rate of sperms in male SD rats.

  15. Some Reflections on Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Ebner

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Although intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI allows proper fertilization in most cases of male sub fertility, it is one of the most unphysiological techniques in assisted reproductive technologies (ART. Thus, over the last decade, researchers have tried to improve sperm observation with higher-resolution microscopy techniques such as the intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI technique. In order to identify literatures for this review, the PubMed database was searched from 2000 onwards using the terms IMSI, motile sperm organelle morphology examination (MSOME and sperm vacuole. Approximately 10 years after the introduction of the MSOME and IMSI procedures, several questions related to the prevalence, origin, location, and clinical consequences of sperm vacuoles have not yet been clarified. It seems that IMSI as a routine application is not state of the art and the only confirmed indications for IMSI are recurrent implantation failure following ICSI and severe male factor.

  16. Sperm as microswimmers - navigation and sensing at the physical limit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaupp, Ulrich B.; Alvarez, Luis

    2016-11-01

    Many cells and microorganisms have evolved a motility apparatus to explore their surroundings. For guidance, these biological microswimmers rely on physical and chemical cues that are transduced by cellular pathways into directed movement - a process called taxis. Only few biological microswimmers have been studied as detailed as sperm from sea urchins. Sperm and eggs are released into the seawater. To enhance the chances of fertilization, eggs release chemical factors - called chemoattractants - that establish a chemical gradient and, thereby, guide sperm to the egg. Sea urchin sperm constitute a unique model system for understanding cell navigation at every level: from molecules to cell behaviours. We will outline the chemotactic signalling pathway of sperm from the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata and discuss how signalling controls navigation in a chemical gradient. Finally, we discuss recent insights into sperm chemotaxis in three dimensions (3D).

  17. Competitive balance in national European soccer competitions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haan, M.A.; Koning, R.H.; van Witteloostuijn, A.; Albert, Jim; Koning, Ruud H.

    2007-01-01

    According to popular belief, competitive balance in national soccer competitions in Europe has decreased due to the Bosman ruling and the introduction of the Champions League. We test this hypothesis using data from 7 national competitions, for a host of indicators. We find some evidence for

  18. Method-related estimates of sperm vitality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Trevor G; Hellenkemper, Barbara

    2009-01-01

    Comparison of methods that estimate viability of human spermatozoa by monitoring head membrane permeability revealed that wet preparations (whether using positive or negative phase-contrast microscopy) generated significantly higher percentages of nonviable cells than did air-dried eosin-nigrosin smears. Only with the latter method did the sum of motile (presumed live) and stained (presumed dead) preparations never exceed 100%, making this the method of choice for sperm viability estimates.

  19. Putting competition into perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, L. III.

    1993-01-01

    This paper examines the current level of competition in the electric industry in the context of the history of the industry and the development of electric markets in other counties. The topics of the paper include competition in the history of the American electric industry, the current state of competition, the competitive situation in Texas, competition in other electric markets, and competitive changes in the US market

  20. A dictionary learning approach for human sperm heads classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaker, Fariba; Monadjemi, S Amirhassan; Alirezaie, Javad; Naghsh-Nilchi, Ahmad Reza

    2017-12-01

    To diagnose infertility in men, semen analysis is conducted in which sperm morphology is one of the factors that are evaluated. Since manual assessment of sperm morphology is time-consuming and subjective, automatic classification methods are being developed. Automatic classification of sperm heads is a complicated task due to the intra-class differences and inter-class similarities of class objects. In this research, a Dictionary Learning (DL) technique is utilized to construct a dictionary of sperm head shapes. This dictionary is used to classify the sperm heads into four different classes. Square patches are extracted from the sperm head images. Columnized patches from each class of sperm are used to learn class-specific dictionaries. The patches from a test image are reconstructed using each class-specific dictionary and the overall reconstruction error for each class is used to select the best matching class. Average accuracy, precision, recall, and F-score are used to evaluate the classification method. The method is evaluated using two publicly available datasets of human sperm head shapes. The proposed DL based method achieved an average accuracy of 92.2% on the HuSHeM dataset, and an average recall of 62% on the SCIAN-MorphoSpermGS dataset. The results show a significant improvement compared to a previously published shape-feature-based method. We have achieved high-performance results. In addition, our proposed approach offers a more balanced classifier in which all four classes are recognized with high precision and recall. In this paper, we use a Dictionary Learning approach in classifying human sperm heads. It is shown that the Dictionary Learning method is far more effective in classifying human sperm heads than classifiers using shape-based features. Also, a dataset of human sperm head shapes is introduced to facilitate future research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Parallel Evolution of Sperm Hyper-Activation Ca2+ Channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Jacob C; Phadnis, Nitin

    2017-07-01

    Sperm hyper-activation is a dramatic change in sperm behavior where mature sperm burst into a final sprint in the race to the egg. The mechanism of sperm hyper-activation in many metazoans, including humans, consists of a jolt of Ca2+ into the sperm flagellum via CatSper ion channels. Surprisingly, all nine CatSper genes have been independently lost in several animal lineages. In Drosophila, sperm hyper-activation is performed through the cooption of the polycystic kidney disease 2 (pkd2) Ca2+ channel. The parallels between CatSpers in primates and pkd2 in Drosophila provide a unique opportunity to examine the molecular evolution of the sperm hyper-activation machinery in two independent, nonhomologous calcium channels separated by > 500 million years of divergence. Here, we use a comprehensive phylogenomic approach to investigate the selective pressures on these sperm hyper-activation channels. First, we find that the entire CatSper complex evolves rapidly under recurrent positive selection in primates. Second, we find that pkd2 has parallel patterns of adaptive evolution in Drosophila. Third, we show that this adaptive evolution of pkd2 is driven by its role in sperm hyper-activation. These patterns of selection suggest that the evolution of the sperm hyper-activation machinery is driven by sexual conflict with antagonistic ligands that modulate channel activity. Together, our results add sperm hyper-activation channels to the class of fast evolving reproductive proteins and provide insights into the mechanisms used by the sexes to manipulate sperm behavior. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  2. More Pitfalls with Sperm Viability Staining and a Viability-Based Stress Test to Characterize Sperm Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara A. Eckel

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Sperm viability (SV, the proportion of live sperm in a sample, is a widely applied measure of sperm quality but few studies test its robustness. At least three reasons make SV problematic as a surrogate for sperm quality. First, reviewing the ecological literature revealed that previously identified methodological pitfalls have not been overcome, including low cross-study standardization of protocols, inadequate statistical treatment, and unaccounted for within-sample heterogeneity. Second, SV is affected by biological variation such as between species, reproductive organs, or sperm age cohorts. Third, the proportion of live sperm extracted from males appears more related to male than to sperm quality in the sense of the future performance of sperm. We propose an alternative method to assess sperm quality by characterizing the temporal decrease of SV in a stressor medium and illustrate in two species, the common bedbug (Cimex lectularius and the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster how some common methodological pitfalls may be circumvented. Our data empirically support the well-known but little-considered facts that (i non-blind measurements may alter SV and (ii that SV frequently have non-significant repeatability within one sample. (iii Cross-sectional sampling of ejaculates showed that this heterogeneity even masked a biological pattern—the sperm stratification within males. We show (iv that this shortcoming can be overcome by following the temporal decline of SV of a sperm subsample in a stress test. Finally, (v comparing the staining pattern of sperm between Cimex and Drosophila, we found that in the latter, the visibility of sperm is substantially delayed (30 min when sperm density is high. We show that this delay in stained sperm visibility was, however, not biased toward dead or live sperm. To measure sperm quality, we advocate analyzing the temporal decline in SV in a stressor medium over current protocols that use SV per se and

  3. Sperm density required for inducing gynogenetic haploidy in scallop Chlamys nobilis

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Goswami, U.

    Experiments conducted for standardizing sperm density for artificial insemination and inducing gynogenesis by ultra-violet rays irradiated sperms in Chlamys nobilis showed that 10:1 ratio of sperms to eggs, gave maximum rate of fertilization...

  4. Competition:an inspirational marketing tool

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E. Waarts (Eric)

    2004-01-01

    textabstractCompetition is the engine behind innovation and dynamics in the marketplace. Sectors like public transport,water,energy and telecom are liberalized and deregulated by nationalandinternationalgovernmentsinordertoincreasecompetitionamongcompanies. The ultimate goals are to create

  5. The reciprocal relationship between competition and intraspecific trait variation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    A Bennett, Jonathan; Riibak, Kersti; Tamme, Riin

    2016-01-01

    competitive dynamics from trait patterns within communities. However, plant traits are frequently plastic in response to competition. This variation is poorly accounted for in trait based studies of competition and community assembly. 2.To explore the relationship between trait responses and competitive...... with larger leaves and lower specific leaf area than their neighbours. Switching to more stress tolerant strategies by increasing root diameter and leaf tissue density also reduced competition. However, dissimilarity in root tissue density also minimized competition, consistent with limiting similarity...... suggest that considering the effect of competition on trait expression is critical to understanding the relationship between traits and community assembly....

  6. Sex-sorting sperm using flow cytometry/cell sorting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garner, Duane L; Evans, K Michael; Seidel, George E

    2013-01-01

    The sex of mammalian offspring can be predetermined by flow sorting relatively pure living populations of X- and Y-chromosome-bearing sperm. This method is based on precise staining of the DNA of sperm with the nucleic acid-specific fluorophore, Hoechst 33342, to differentiate between the subpopulations of X- and Y-sperm. The fluorescently stained sperm are then sex-sorted using a specialized high speed sorter, MoFlo(®) SX XDP, and collected into biologically supportive media prior to reconcentration and cryopreservation in numbers adequate for use with artificial insemination for some species or for in vitro fertilization. Sperm sorting can provide subpopulations of X- or Y-bearing bovine sperm at rates in the 8,000 sperm/s range while maintaining; a purity of 90% such that it has been applied to cattle on a commercial basis. The sex of offspring has been predetermined in a wide variety of mammalian species including cattle, swine, horses, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, deer, elk, dolphins, water buffalo as well as in humans using flow cytometric sorting of X- and Y-sperm.

  7. Response of midpiece vesicles on human sperm to osmotic stress

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abraham-Peskir, Joanna V; Chantler, Eric; Uggerhøj, Erik

    2002-01-01

    Medium but not after washing in seminal plasma. There was an inverse relationship between medium osmolality and both MPV-bearing sperm incidence and MPV diameter. However, initial osmolality in semen from different donors did not correlate with incidence of MPV-bearing sperm. Furthermore, a direct...... relationship was observed in semen as osmolality increased with time. No correlation existed between progressive motility and semen osmolality. Progressive motility and the amplitude of lateral head displacement were significantly reduced in sperm with an MPV (three out of four semen samples, 26-32 sperm...

  8. Sperm quality in New Zealand: Is the downward trend continuing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birdsall, Mary A; Peek, John; Valiapan, Sumithra

    2015-10-16

    To investigate whether the decline in sperm concentration in New Zealand sperm donors observed from 1987 to 2007 continued in the period 2008-2014. A retrospective study from 2008 to 2014. The first semen sample of 285 men presenting as sperm donors in Auckland and Wellington was analysed for sperm concentration, seminal fluid volume and the percentage of motile sperm. These results were compared to results from 1987 to 2007 from the same clinics. The decline in semen volume and sperm concentration observed between 1987 and 2007 did not continue in 2008-2014. Sperm concentration decreased from 1987 until some time between 1997 and 2001, and has remained stable at an average of 62x106/ml between 2001 and 2014. Sperm motility declined significantly (8%) in the period 2008-2014, but there was no significant change over the total period studied, between 1987 and 2014. After a decline between 1987 and sometime during 1997-2001, the sperm concentration in men presenting as donors remained unchanged between 2002 and 2014, suggesting semen quality has not changed in New Zealand men over the last decade.

  9. Sperm-Hybrid Micromotor for Targeted Drug Delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Haifeng; Medina-Sánchez, Mariana; Magdanz, Veronika; Schwarz, Lukas; Hebenstreit, Franziska; Schmidt, Oliver G

    2018-01-23

    A sperm-driven micromotor is presented as a targeted drug delivery system, which is appealing to potentially treat diseases in the female reproductive tract. This system is demonstrated to be an efficient drug delivery vehicle by first loading a motile sperm cell with an anticancer drug (doxorubicin hydrochloride), guiding it magnetically, to an in vitro cultured tumor spheroid, and finally freeing the sperm cell to deliver the drug locally. The sperm release mechanism is designed to liberate the sperm when the biohybrid micromotor hits the tumor walls, allowing it to swim into the tumor and deliver the drug through the sperm-cancer cell membrane fusion. In our experiments, the sperm cells exhibited a high drug encapsulation capability and drug carrying stability, conveniently minimizing  toxic side effects and unwanted drug accumulation in healthy tissues. Overall, sperm cells are excellent candidates to operate in physiological environments, as they neither express pathogenic proteins nor proliferate to form undesirable colonies, unlike other cells or microorganisms. This sperm-hybrid micromotor is a biocompatible platform with potential application in gynecological healthcare, treating or detecting cancer or other diseases in the female reproductive system.

  10. Gold-standard for computer-assisted morphological sperm analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Violeta; Garcia, Alejandra; Hitschfeld, Nancy; Härtel, Steffen

    2017-04-01

    Published algorithms for classification of human sperm heads are based on relatively small image databases that are not open to the public, and thus no direct comparison is available for competing methods. We describe a gold-standard for morphological sperm analysis (SCIAN-MorphoSpermGS), a dataset of sperm head images with expert-classification labels in one of the following classes: normal, tapered, pyriform, small or amorphous. This gold-standard is for evaluating and comparing known techniques and future improvements to present approaches for classification of human sperm heads for semen analysis. Although this paper does not provide a computational tool for morphological sperm analysis, we present a set of experiments for comparing sperm head description and classification common techniques. This classification base-line is aimed to be used as a reference for future improvements to present approaches for human sperm head classification. The gold-standard provides a label for each sperm head, which is achieved by majority voting among experts. The classification base-line compares four supervised learning methods (1- Nearest Neighbor, naive Bayes, decision trees and Support Vector Machine (SVM)) and three shape-based descriptors (Hu moments, Zernike moments and Fourier descriptors), reporting the accuracy and the true positive rate for each experiment. We used Fleiss' Kappa Coefficient to evaluate the inter-expert agreement and Fisher's exact test for inter-expert variability and statistical significant differences between descriptors and learning techniques. Our results confirm the high degree of inter-expert variability in the morphological sperm analysis. Regarding the classification base line, we show that none of the standard descriptors or classification approaches is best suitable for tackling the problem of sperm head classification. We discovered that the correct classification rate was highly variable when trying to discriminate among non-normal sperm

  11. Accountings of Selecting Sperm on the (ethical) border

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willum Adrian, Stine

    During the past years, Denmark has become a destination for fertility travellers, in need for donated sperm. Today, treatment is possible no matter of marital status or sexuality. Furthermore, users of sperm donation can choose between anonymous and non-anonymous sperm, with either basic...... will analyze how women and their partners crossing the Danish border accounts for their donor choice, and their practices of choosing. I will be exploring the question: How are women and their partners accounting for choosing a sperm donor, crossing the (ethical) border to Denmark? The use of the term...

  12. Mass spectrometry profiling of oxysterols in human sperm identifies 25-hydroxycholesterol as a marker of sperm function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Zerbinati

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Cholesterol is a main lipid component of sperm cell that is essential for sperm membrane fluidity, capacitation, and acrosomal reaction. Recent data obtained in bovine sperm showed that sperm capacitation is associated to the formation of oxysterols, oxidized products of cholesterol. The aim of this study was to profile oxysterol content in human semen, and to investigate their potential role in sperm pathophysiology. Among the 12 oxysterols analyzed, 25-hydroxycholesterol (25-HC resulted the most represented in normozoospermic samples, and its concentration positively correlated with spermatozoa number. We detected Cholesterol 25-hydroxylase, the enzyme responsible for 25-HC production, in human spermatozoa at the level of the neck and the post acrosomal area. Upon incubation with spermatozoa, 25-HC induced calcium and cholesterol transients in connection with the acrosomal reaction. Our results support a role for 25-HC in sperm function.

  13. Effect of Vitrification on Sperm Parameters and Apoptosis in Fertile Men

    OpenAIRE

    M Adib; M Ramezani; MA Khalili

    2011-01-01

    Introduction & Objective: Today, cryopreservation of the human sperm is a common technique for treating infertility. It has been indicated that cryopreservation by different methods decrease the sperm motility and viability in fertile men, but still effect of freezing of the sperm by vitrification method have not been evaluated on sperm parameters and apoptosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of vitrification of sperm of fertile men on different sperm parameters (motility, m...

  14. The Impact of Total Liberalization of Domestic Air Transport on the Social Welfare and on the Dynamic of Competition: Comparison Between the United States and the European Union

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zbidi, Karim

    2003-01-01

    Since the lst of April 1997 date of the implementation of the third package of the liberalization, air transport, within the european Union has become totally liberalized. In the United States the deregulation of domestic air traffic was earlier and faster since it took place in October 1978 after the adoption of the only act of deregulation. This paper, in its first part, deals with the liberalization of the industry of air traffic in the european union. After a comparison with US system based on market demand, fare policy and network restrictions, we present our descriptive results coming from treatments on the OAG data. These results present several aspects such as the evolution of the competitive structure of the intra-european routes, the level of airport dominance and the growth of hub structure. The second part of the paper presents models of entry in the airline industry. As profitability" of route flown explains correctly decisions taken by airlines to serve or not a route, the paper focuses on the specification and the estimation of the determinants of city, pair profitability in the european union. Treatments done on the OAG data show a rapid development of leasing space agreement (partial and total) and code sharing practices between 1995 and 2000 in Europe that's why we differentiate first between the two type of competitive strategy of entry(direct entry and leasing space agreement) and second between the competitive strategy of entry and the alliance strategy of code sharing. So the estimation of model will be able to answer the question if the european air transport market is contestable and in case not to see if the decision of entry is more directed by the level of airport dominance (as in the domestic United States market)or essentially by the competitive structure of the routes. We try to explain the nature of entry(directleasing or code sharing) by the different levels of these two determinants.

  15. Competition among Li+, Na+, K+ and Rb+ Monovalent Ions for DNA in Molecular Dynamics Simulations using the Additive CHARMM36 and Drude Polarizable Force Fields

    OpenAIRE

    Savelyev, Alexey; MacKerell, Alexander D.

    2015-01-01

    In the present study we report on interactions of and competition between monovalent ions for two DNA sequences in MD simulations. Efforts included the development and validation of parameters for interactions among the first-group monovalent cations, Li+, Na+, K+ and Rb+, and DNA in the Drude polarizable and additive CHARMM36 force fields (FF). The optimization process targeted gas-phase QM interaction energies of various model compounds with ions and osmotic pressures of bulk electrolyte so...

  16. Theoretical Basis Of The Company Competitiveness Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir Nikiforovich Belkin

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The article deals with the basic theoretical questions of the company competitiveness assessment. The state of modern economic thought on this issue is shown. The main factors of the company competitiveness are specified. A specific role of staff of an enterprise is revealed: on the one hand, it is a resource, on the other is a subject, resulting in productive movement all factors of competitiveness, i.e. the staff is a critical factor in the company competitiveness. The criterion of company competitiveness is proposed, on its basis, the concept of “competitive enterprise” is defined. The most well-known approaches for assessing the company competitiveness are analyzed. The author’s method of the company competitiveness assessment based on the dynamics of the integral index of competitiveness is provided. For those cases, when it is impossible to determine the proportion of products on the market, it is proposed to evaluate the company competitiveness on the profitability of its production. The article shows the experience in calculating of the company competitiveness on the proposed author’s methods.

  17. Competition among Li+, Na+, K+ and Rb+ Monovalent Ions for DNA in Molecular Dynamics Simulations using the Additive CHARMM36 and Drude Polarizable Force Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savelyev, Alexey; MacKerell, Alexander D.

    2015-01-01

    In the present study we report on interactions of and competition between monovalent ions for two DNA sequences in MD simulations. Efforts included the development and validation of parameters for interactions among the first-group monovalent cations, Li+, Na+, K+ and Rb+, and DNA in the Drude polarizable and additive CHARMM36 force fields (FF). The optimization process targeted gas-phase QM interaction energies of various model compounds with ions and osmotic pressures of bulk electrolyte solutions of chemically relevant ions. The optimized ionic parameters are validated against counterion condensation theory and buffer exchange-atomic emission spectroscopy measurements providing quantitative data on the competitive association of different monovalent ions with DNA. Comparison between experimental and MD simulation results demonstrates that, compared to the additive CHARMM36 model, the Drude FF provides an improved description of the general features of the ionic atmosphere around DNA and leads to closer agreement with experiment on the ionic competition within the ion atmosphere. Results indicate the importance of extended simulation systems on the order of 25 Å beyond the DNA surface to obtain proper convergence of ion distributions. PMID:25751286

  18. Implementing an open-access CASA software for the assessment of stallion sperm motility: Relationship with other sperm quality parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giaretta, Elisa; Munerato, Mauro; Yeste, Marc; Galeati, Giovanna; Spinaci, Marcella; Tamanini, Carlo; Mari, Gaetano; Bucci, Diego

    2017-01-01

    Setting an open-access computer assisted sperm analysis (CASA) may benefit the evaluation of motility in mammalian sperm, especially when economic constraints do not allow the use of a commercial system. There have been successful attempts to develop such a device in Zebra fish sperm and the system has been used in very few studies on mammalian spermatozoa. Against this background, the present study aimed at developing an open-access CASA system for mammalian sperm using the horse as a model and based upon the Image J software previously established for Zebra fish sperm. Along with determining the sperm progressive motility and other kinetic parameters (such as amplitude of lateral head displacement), the "results" window was adjusted to simplify subsequent statistical analyses. The path window was enriched with colored sperm trajectories on the basis of the subpopulation they belong to and a number that allowed the sperm track to be associated to the sperm motility data shown in the "results" window. Data obtained from the novel plugin (named as CASA_bgm) were compared with those of the commercial CASA Hamilton-Thorn IVOS Vers.12, through Bland Altman's plots. While the percentage of total and progressive motile sperm, VCL, VAP, VSL, LIN and STR and ALH were in agreement with those obtained with the commercial system, BCF significantly differed between the two systems probably due to their settings. Interestingly, a positive and significant correlation between the percentages of total motile sperm evaluated through CASA_bgm and those showing high mitochondrial membrane potential evaluated by JC-1 staining was found. In conclusion, CASA_bgm ImageJ plugin could be useful and reliable for stallion sperm motility analysis and it is our aim to apply this system to other mammalian species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Productive and Unproductive Competition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guerra, Alice; Luppi, Barbara; Parisi, Francesco

    Conventional theories of competition classify contests as being either “productive,” when the competitive efforts generate a surplus for society, or “unproductive,” when competition generates no social surplus and merely distributes already existing resources. These two discrete categories of com...... and socially optimal levels of competition in the full range of intermediate cases, as well as in the extremum cases of destructive and super-productive competition.......Conventional theories of competition classify contests as being either “productive,” when the competitive efforts generate a surplus for society, or “unproductive,” when competition generates no social surplus and merely distributes already existing resources. These two discrete categories...... of competition create a division of real-world situations into analytical categories that fails to recognize the entire spectrum of competitive activities. Taking the existing models of productive and unproductive competition as benchmark idealizations, this paper explores the relationship between the privately...

  20. Z linkage of female promiscuity genes in the moth Utetheisa ornatrix: support for the sexy-sperm hypothesis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iyengar, Vikram K; Reeve, Hudson K

    2010-05-01

    Female preference genes for large males in the highly promiscuous moth Utetheisa ornatrix (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) have previously been shown to be mostly Z-linked, in accordance with the hypothesis that ZZ-ZW sex chromosome systems should facilitate Fisherian sexual selection. We determined the heritability of both female and male promiscuity in the highly promiscuous moth U. ornatrix (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) through parent-offspring and grandparent-offspring regression analyses. Our data show that male promiscuity is not sex-limited and either autosomal or sex-linked whereas female promiscuity is primarily determined by sex-limited, Z-linked genes. These data are consistent with the "sexy-sperm hypothesis," which posits that multiple-mating and sperm competitiveness coevolve through a Fisherian-like process in which female promiscuity is a kind of mate choice in which sperm-competitiveness is the trait favored in males. Such a Fisherian process should also be more potent when female preferences are Z-linked and sex-limited than when autosomal or not limited.