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Although fertilization has been studied for more than a century, the cell surface proteins mediating the process are only now becoming known. Gamete interaction in animals appears to be molecularly complex. Although it is difficult to generalize at present, diversity of structure may be a recurring theme in the evolution of fertilization proteins. Examples of rapid evolution of fertilization proteins by positive selection are known, and concerted evolution can influence the differentiation of gamete recognition proteins between closely related species.