Concerted Evolution in an Egg Receptor for a Rapidly Evolving Abalone Sperm Protein

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Science  31 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5377, pp. 710-712
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5377.710

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Gamete interactions during fertilization exhibit species specificity. In abalone, the sperm protein lysin species-specifically creates a hole in the egg envelope. Lysin evolves rapidly by positive Darwinian selection. Evolution of the egg receptor for lysin provides the selective pressure for lysin's divergence. The egg receptor for lysin is a tandemly repeated sequence that evolves by concerted evolution. Concerted evolution in the egg receptor could explain the rapid, adaptive evolution in sperm lysin and may provide an underlying molecular mechanism that gives rise to species-specific fertilization.

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