How viral infection changes nematode mating behavior

Published on
October 7, 2021

The nematode C. elegans has a peculiar way of reproduction: both self-fertilizing hermaphrodites and males coexist, although there is typically only a single male for every 1000 hermaphrodites present.

Yet, in this publication we show that viral infection can change the mating dynamics of C. elegans as some infected populations would gain more males than uninfected ones. Interestingly, males were also more attracted towards healthy instead of infected hermaphrodites. Thereby, this research shows C. elegans males are able to detect infected hermaphrodites and shows viruses can affect sexual behavior.