A team at South Korea’s Advanced Institute of Science and Technology claim to have created exclusively same-sex attracted female mice.
The scientists knocked out a gene responsible for producing the enzyme fucose mutarotase (FucM) in the mice, resulting in mice that refused to let males mount them, and mounted other females instead.
The FucM enzyme is involved in incorporating fucose sugars into proteins in mammals, and the scientists wanted to better understand how the enzyme worked by observing it in living tissues.
Female mice without the FucM gene also investigated the urine trails of other female mice, one of the ways mice find their mates, while ignoring urine deposits left by males.
The scientists discovered the mutant females were normally fertile when one was impregnated against its will in what they termed, “a rare and forced intromission by a typical male”.
After giving birth the mutant female was apparently as normal and attentive a mother as any other female mouse, despite what they termed its “male-like sexual behaviour”.
The study, Male-Like Sexual Behavior of Female Mouse Lacking Fucose Mutarotase, has been published in the online journal BMC Genetics.