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Rapid evolution of testis size relative to sperm morphology suggests that post-copulatory selection targets sperm number in Anolis lizards
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. University of Virginia, Virginia.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1650-1227
Number of Authors: 32019 (English)In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1010-061X, E-ISSN 1420-9101, Vol. 32, no 4, p. 302-309Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Post-copulatory sexual selection is thought to be responsible for much of the extraordinary diversity in sperm morphology across metazoans. However, the extent to which post-copulatory selection targets sperm morphology versus sperm production is generally unknown. To address this issue, we simultaneously characterized the evolution of sperm morphology (length of the sperm head, midpiece and flagellum) and testis size (a proxy for sperm production) across 26 species of Anolis lizards, a group in which sperm competition is likely. We found that the length of the sperm midpiece has evolved 2-3 times faster than that of the sperm head or flagellum, suggesting that midpiece size may be the most important aspect of sperm morphology with respect to post-copulatory sexual selection. However, testis size has evolved faster than any aspect of sperm morphology or body size, supporting the hypothesis that post-copulatory sexual selection acts more strongly upon sperm production than upon sperm morphology. Likewise, evolutionary increases in testis size, which typically indicate increased sperm competition, are not associated with predictable changes in sperm morphology, suggesting that any effects of post-copulatory selection on sperm morphology are either weak or variable in direction across anoles. Collectively, our results suggest that sperm production is the primary target of post-copulatory sexual selection in this lineage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 32, no 4, p. 302-309
Keywords [en]
comparative method, midpiece, rate of evolution, sexual selection, sperm competition
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-168637DOI: 10.1111/jeb.13414ISI: 000464516900001PubMedID: 30659673OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-168637DiVA, id: diva2:1313759
Available from: 2019-05-06 Created: 2019-05-06 Last updated: 2019-05-06Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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