The Fastest Sperm Aren’t the Most Successful Ones

Scientists at Syracuse University (USA) refute the common theory that the fastest sperm always wins in the struggle for fertilization.


Not the Fastest Sperm are the Most Successful Ones

According to the publication, biologists led by Dr. Stefan Leupold conducted a research on fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster). The species were genetically modified so that the head of the sperm under the microscope glowed green, and it has allowed the scientists to see what kind of qualities are important for sperm to win the race for the ovule.

The flies’ mating process occurs once every three days. Sperm cells, once in the body of a female, fall into the so-called “store” where they wait for the female reproductive cell to come out. In the meantime, they fight among themselves. During the observations of these battles, the experts noticed that long and slow sperm cells had more chances of winning than the fast ones. The scientists could not find an explanation for this: according to them, slow speed may not be an advantage in terms of logic, but you can not argue with facts.

The results were published in the journal Current Biology.

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