Sperm Competition

Speedy sperm

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Science  13 Jan 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6321, pp. 144-145
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6321.144-g

Sperm compete with each other for a chance to fertilize an egg, competition that is especially fierce when the sperm competing are from different individuals, as is the case for promiscuous species. Fisher et al. looked at sister species of Peromyscus, a well-studied genus of North American mouse, and found that differences in mating system are associated with differences in sperm morphology and reproductive success among hybrids. Specifically, in the promiscuous white-footed mouse, the section of the sperm containing energy-generating mitochrondia is longer than it is in the monogamous old-field mouse. Genome mapping showed that the length of this midpiece is largely associated with a single gene, Prkar1a.

Nat. Comm. 10.1038/ncomms13652 (2016).

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