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Sperm quality and quantity evolve through different selective processes in the Phasianidae


Liao, Wen Bo; Zhong, Mao Jun; Lüpold, Stefan (2019). Sperm quality and quantity evolve through different selective processes in the Phasianidae. Scientific Reports, 9(1):19278.

Abstract

Sperm competition is often considered the primary selective force underlying the rapid and diversifying evolution of ejaculate traits. Yet, several recent studies have drawn attention to other forms of selection with the potential of exceeding the effects of sperm competition. Since ejaculates are complex, multivariate traits, it seems plausible that different ejaculate components vary in their responses to different selective pressures. Such information, however, is generally lacking as individual ejaculate traits tend to be studied in isolation. Here, we studied the macroevolutionary patterns of ejaculate volume, sperm number, sperm length and the proportion of viable normal sperm in response to varying levels of sperm competition, body size and the duration of female sperm storage in pheasants and allies (Phasianidae). Ejaculate volume, sperm number and sperm viability were all relatively higher in polygamous than in monogamous mating systems. However, whereas ejaculate volume additionally covaried with body size, sperm number instead increased with the female sperm-storage duration, in conjunction with a decrease in sperm length. Overall, our results revealed important details on how different forms of selection can jointly shape ejaculates as complex, composite traits.

Abstract

Sperm competition is often considered the primary selective force underlying the rapid and diversifying evolution of ejaculate traits. Yet, several recent studies have drawn attention to other forms of selection with the potential of exceeding the effects of sperm competition. Since ejaculates are complex, multivariate traits, it seems plausible that different ejaculate components vary in their responses to different selective pressures. Such information, however, is generally lacking as individual ejaculate traits tend to be studied in isolation. Here, we studied the macroevolutionary patterns of ejaculate volume, sperm number, sperm length and the proportion of viable normal sperm in response to varying levels of sperm competition, body size and the duration of female sperm storage in pheasants and allies (Phasianidae). Ejaculate volume, sperm number and sperm viability were all relatively higher in polygamous than in monogamous mating systems. However, whereas ejaculate volume additionally covaried with body size, sperm number instead increased with the female sperm-storage duration, in conjunction with a decrease in sperm length. Overall, our results revealed important details on how different forms of selection can jointly shape ejaculates as complex, composite traits.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Multidisciplinary sperm competition sexual selection sperm quality pheasant
Language:English
Date:1 December 2019
Deposited On:29 Jan 2020 15:17
Last Modified:09 Feb 2020 21:06
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-55822-3
Official URL:http://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-55822-3
PubMed ID:31848414
Project Information:
  • : FunderNational Natural Sciences Foundation of China
  • : Grant ID31772451
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderScience and Technology Youth Innovation Team of Sichuan Province
  • : Grant ID19CXTD0022
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderKey Cultivation Foundation of China West Normal University
  • : Grant ID17A006
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderTalent Project of China West Normal University
  • : Grant ID17YC335
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPP00P3_170669
  • : Project TitleGenetic variation in quality and sexual selection on condition-dependent traits

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