Data from: Do sperm really compete and do eggs ever have a choice? Adult distribution and gamete mixing influence sexual selection, sexual conflict, and the evolution of gamete recognition proteins in the sea
Levitan, Don R. (2017), Data from: Do sperm really compete and do eggs ever have a choice? Adult distribution and gamete mixing influence sexual selection, sexual conflict, and the evolution of gamete recognition proteins in the sea, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.c57rf
The evolution of gametic compatibility and the effectiveness of compatibility, within and across species, depend on whether sperm from different males directly compete for an egg and whether eggs ever have a choice. Direct sperm competition and egg choice depend on whether sperm from different males arrive at an egg in the brief interval between first sperm contact and fertilization. Although this process may be relevant for all sexually reproducing organisms, it is most easily examined in aquatic external fertilizers. When sperm are released into the sea, packets of seawater at the spatial scale relevant to single eggs might contain sperm from only one male, eliminating the potential for direct sperm competition and egg choice. Field experiments and a simple heuristic model examining the degree of sperm mixing for the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus franciscanus indicate that degree of competitive fertilization depends on density and distribution of competing males and that the nature of this competition influences whether males with high- or low-affinity gamete recognition protein genotypes have higher reproductive success. These results provide a potential explanation for the generation and maintenance of variation in gamete recognition proteins and why effectiveness of conspecific sperm precedence can be density dependent.
National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1354272