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Differential Sperm Motility Mediates the Sex Ratio Drive Shaping Mouse Sex Chromosome Evolution

Rathje, C.C., Johnson, E.E.P, Drage, D., Patinioti, C., Silvestri, G., Affara, N.A., Ialy-Radio, C., Cocquet, J., Skinner, B.M., Ellis, P.J.I. and others. (2019) Differential Sperm Motility Mediates the Sex Ratio Drive Shaping Mouse Sex Chromosome Evolution. Current Biology, 29 (21). pp. 3692-3698. ISSN 0960-9822. E-ISSN 1879-0445. (doi:10.1016/j.cub.2019.09.031) (KAR id:75684)

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The search for morphological or physiological differences between X- and Y-bearing mammalian sperm has provoked controversy for decades. Many potential differences have been proposed, but none validated, while accumulating understanding of syncytial sperm development has cast doubt on whether such differences are possible even in principle. We present the first ever mammalian experimental model to trace a direct link from a measurable physiological difference between X- and Y-bearing sperm to the resulting skewed sex ratio. We show that in mice with deletions on chromosome Yq, birth sex ratio distortion is due to a relatively greater motility of X-bearing sperm, and not to any aspect of sperm/egg interaction. Moreover, the morphological distortion caused by Yq deletion is more severe in Y-bearing sperm, providing a potential hydrodynamic basis for the altered motility. This reinforces a growing body of work indicating that sperm haploid selection is an important and underappreciated evolutionary force.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.09.031
Uncontrolled keywords: sex ratio, sex chromosomes, transmission ratio, evolution, sperm, fertilization, genomic conflict
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Biosciences
Depositing User: Peter Ellis
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2019 14:18 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2020 11:27 UTC
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