Sperm length is not influenced by haploid gene expression in the flies Drosophila melanogaster and Scathophaga stercoraria

Scott Pitnick, Ralph Dobler, David J. Hosken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent theoretical models have postulated a role for haploid-diploid conflict and for kin selection favouring sperm cooperation and altruism in the diversification and specialization of sperm form. A critical assumption of these models - that haploid gene expression contributes to variation in sperm form - has never been demonstrated and remains contentious. By quantifying within-male variation in sperm length using crosses between males and females from populations that had been subjected to divergent experimental selection, we demonstrate that haploid gene expression does not contribute to variation in sperm length in both Drosophila melanogaster and Scathophaga stercoraria. This finding casts doubt on the importance of haploid-diploid conflict and kin selection as evolutionary influences of sperm phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4029-4034
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume276
Issue number1675
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 22 2009

Keywords

  • Diptera
  • Haploid selection
  • Scatophaga stercoraria
  • Sperm competition
  • Sperm variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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