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Sperm form and function: what do we know about the role of sexual selection?


Lüpold, Stefan; Pitnick, Scott (2018). Sperm form and function: what do we know about the role of sexual selection? Reproduction, 155(5):R229-R243.

Abstract

Sperm morphological variation has attracted considerable interest and generated a wealth of (mostly descriptive) studies over the past three centuries. Yet, apart from biophysical studies linking sperm morphology to swimming velocity, surprisingly little is known about the adaptive significance of sperm form and the selective processes underlying its tremendous diversification throughout the animal kingdom. Here, we first discuss the challenges of examining sperm morphology in an evolutionary context and why our understanding of it is still so poor. Then, we review empirical evidence for how sexual selection theory applies to the evolution of sperm form and function, including putative secondary sexual traits borne by sperm.

Abstract

Sperm morphological variation has attracted considerable interest and generated a wealth of (mostly descriptive) studies over the past three centuries. Yet, apart from biophysical studies linking sperm morphology to swimming velocity, surprisingly little is known about the adaptive significance of sperm form and the selective processes underlying its tremendous diversification throughout the animal kingdom. Here, we first discuss the challenges of examining sperm morphology in an evolutionary context and why our understanding of it is still so poor. Then, we review empirical evidence for how sexual selection theory applies to the evolution of sperm form and function, including putative secondary sexual traits borne by sperm.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Reproductive Medicine
Health Sciences > Embryology
Life Sciences > Endocrinology
Health Sciences > Obstetrics and Gynecology
Life Sciences > Cell Biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sperm morphology, ejaculate evolution, sperm competition, cryptic female choice
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:02 Mar 2018 19:32
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 07:01
Publisher:BioScientifica Ltd.
ISSN:1470-1626
Funders:Swiss National Science Foundation
Additional Information:This is not the definitive version of record of this article. This manuscript has been accepted for publication in Reproduction, but the version presented here has not yet been copy-edited, formatted or proofed. Consequently, Bioscientifica accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions it may contain. The definitive version is now freely available at https://doi.org/10.1530/rep-17-0536 (2018).
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1530/rep-17-0536
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project TitleSwiss National Science Foundation

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