Comparative Male Reproductive Investment Across Three Species of Pipefishes With Differing Mating Systems Sana Rashid, Janaee Wallace, and Dr. Raelynn Deaton Haynes St. Edward’s University https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5216/5384 http://www.sibuya.co.za/files/uploads/images/Longsnout% http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lpzpn2r7F01 524083_61f5ece12a_z.jpg 20pipefish%202.JPG qm9k25o1_500.jpg My Experiment In this experiment I will be collecting sperm from three species of pipefish Gulf pipefish (Syngnathus scovelli) Dusky pipefish (Syngnathus floridae) Chain pipefish (Syngnathus louisianae) http://www.sms.si.edu/irlspec/images/Syn gna_louisi_close.jpg http://www.nicholls.edu/biolds/biol348/fishsets/pics/dusky%20pipefis Mating Systems Dusky pipefish practice polygynandry Gulf pipefish practice polyandry It is expected that Chain pipefish practice polygynandry as well. https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8294/7866475994_e5a210ef03_z.jpg http://www.bio.tamu.edu/USERS/ajones/Pipefish/images/S_scovelli.jpg http://o.quizlet.com/c2BMw3plKPrH4EolzLG-.w_m.jpg Sexual Selection Theory The sexual selection theory assumes that organisms can attract more mates if they are appealing to the opposite sex. In this case we are observing if sperm competition due to mating systems is a factor in the sexual selection. http://web.evolbio.mpg.de/~mobley/Dusky_Pipefishcrop.jpg http://www.fishchannel.com/images/exclusives/aquarium-fishinternational/pipefish.jpg Predictions There should be a relation between gonads/sperm count and mating systems. Duskies and Chains are expected to have higher sperm count http://www.bio.tamu.edu/USERS/ajones/Pipefish/images/Syngnathus_florida http://www.bio.tamu.edu/USERS/ajones/Pipefish/images/Dusky_pip e.jpg efish.jpg Overall Aim To test assumptions of sexual selection theory by comparing reproductive output of males in related species that differ in mating systems. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/03/Seagrass_Grahams_Harbour.jpg Objective Figure out methods for sperm extraction Test if certain morphological features can determine reproductive output http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/habitats/seagrass/images/Seagrass_Turtlegrass1.jpg Methodology We collected Gulf pipefish and immature Chain pipefish by seining in the Gulf Methodology Immerse in clove oil Measure the pipefish Dissect to gather testes and stage eggs Isolate testes and gather sperm with saline solution Count sperm Measurements Data: Length vs. Mean Sperm Number Mean Sperm Number 1e+5 8e+4 6e+4 4e+4 2e+4 0 60 70 80 90 Total Length (mm) 100 110 Data: Sperm Count Across Males 1e+5 Sperm Count 8e+4 6e+4 4e+4 2e+4 0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 Individual Males Sperm Success Collecting sperm samples was very difficult due to variables such as maturity and how clear testes were First time collecting sperm with sygnathids Finding sperm was a huge success http://www.microbehunter.com/wp/wpcontent/uploads/2010/06/counting_chamber2.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/18/Hemocytomet er_with_gloved_hand.JPG http://bioquest.org/icbl/projectfiles/spermh.jpg Obstacles We have only been able to gather Gulf pipefish because Dusky and Chain pipefish appear in July. http://theseasproject.weebly.com/uploads/5/3/8/4/5384258/6567916.jpg?277 Future Goals To take seasonal samples in order to test that sperm varies Weigh gonads at University of Texas Increase sample size Include S. floridae and S. louisianae into sample size to test if sexual selection assumptions hold in sex role reversal species Acknowledgments St. Edward's University Dr. Raelynn Deaton Haynes Janaee Wallace Dr. Richard Kopec TG Public Benefit Grant Program TG Cohort Thank You! Questions?