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Journal Article

Proctodeal Gland Foam Enhances Competitive Fertilization in Domestic Japanese Quail

Kimberly M. Cheng, Roy F. McIntyre and Andrew R. Hickman
The Auk
Vol. 106, No. 2 (Apr., 1989), pp. 286-291
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4087723
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Proctodeal Gland Foam Enhances Competitive Fertilization in Domestic Japanese Quail
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Abstract

Foam produced by the proctodeal gland of male Japanese Quail (Coturnix japonica) may help sperm transportation along the oviduct by inducing higher motility of the sperm via aeration. It is possible that foam can also suspend sperm in the proctodeum of the female to avoid sperm elimination by the egg as it travels down the oviduct. We demonstrated that when quail semen was mixed with foam in vitro, sperm motility was prolonged significantly. We labeled foam with Tc-99m sulfur colloid to demonstrate that foam deposited by the male through natural copulations may be retained by the female for more than 2 h and is not eliminated during oviposition. We concluded that the proctodeal gland of the male Japanese Quail may have evolved to produce a large amount of foam under domestication. This may allow the males to fertilize more females in competition with other males.

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