Data from: Sperm morphology, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentration and swimming velocity: unexpected relationships in a passerine bird
Bennison, Clair et al. (2016), Data from: Sperm morphology, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentration and swimming velocity: unexpected relationships in a passerine bird, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.df86m
The relationship between sperm energetics and sperm function is poorly known, but is central to our understanding of the evolution of sperm traits. The aim of this study was to examine how sperm morphology and ATP content affect sperm swimming velocity in the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata. We exploited the high inter-male variation in this species and created extra experimental power by increasing the number of individuals with very long or short sperm through artificial selection. We found a pronounced quadratic relationship between total sperm length and swimming velocity, with velocity increasing with length up to a point, but declining in the very longest sperm. We also found an unexpected negative association between midpiece length and ATP content: sperm with a short midpiece generally contained the highest concentration of ATP. Low intracellular ATP is therefore unlikely to explain reduced swimming velocity among the very longest sperm (which tend to have a shorter midpiece).