Sperm competition and the evolution of spermatogenesis

Ramm SA, Schärer L, Ehmcke J, Wistuba J (2014)
Molecular Human Reproduction 20(12: SI): 1169-1179.

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Abstract
Spermatogenesis is a long and complex process that, despite the shared overall goal of producing the male gamete, displays striking amounts of interspecific diversity. In this review, we argue that sperm competition has been an important selection pressure acting on multiple aspects of spermatogenesis, causing variation in the number and morphology of sperm produced, and in the molecular and cellular processes by which this happens. We begin by reviewing the basic biology of spermatogenesis in some of the main animal model systems to illustrate this diversity, and then ask to what extent this variation arises from the evolutionary forces acting on spermatogenesis, most notably sperm competition. We explore five specific aspects of spermatogenesis from an evolutionary perspective, namely: (i) interspecific diversity in the number and morphology of sperm produced; (ii) the testicular organizations and stem cell systems used to produce them; (iii) the large number and high evolutionary rate of genes underpinning spermatogenesis; (iv) the repression of transcription during spermiogenesis and its link to the potential for haploid selection; and (v) the phenomenon of selection acting at the level of the germline. Overall we conclude that adopting an evolutionary perspective can shed light on many otherwise opaque features of spermatogenesis, and help to explain the diversity of ways in which males of different species perform this fundamentally important process.
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Ramm SA, Schärer L, Ehmcke J, Wistuba J. Sperm competition and the evolution of spermatogenesis. Molecular Human Reproduction. 2014;20(12: SI):1169-1179.
Ramm, S. A., Schärer, L., Ehmcke, J., & Wistuba, J. (2014). Sperm competition and the evolution of spermatogenesis. Molecular Human Reproduction, 20(12: SI), 1169-1179.
Ramm, S. A., Schärer, L., Ehmcke, J., and Wistuba, J. (2014). Sperm competition and the evolution of spermatogenesis. Molecular Human Reproduction 20, 1169-1179.
Ramm, S.A., et al., 2014. Sperm competition and the evolution of spermatogenesis. Molecular Human Reproduction, 20(12: SI), p 1169-1179.
S.A. Ramm, et al., “Sperm competition and the evolution of spermatogenesis”, Molecular Human Reproduction, vol. 20, 2014, pp. 1169-1179.
Ramm, S.A., Schärer, L., Ehmcke, J., Wistuba, J.: Sperm competition and the evolution of spermatogenesis. Molecular Human Reproduction. 20, 1169-1179 (2014).
Ramm, Steven A., Schärer, Lukas, Ehmcke, Jens, and Wistuba, Joachim. “Sperm competition and the evolution of spermatogenesis”. Molecular Human Reproduction 20.12: SI (2014): 1169-1179.
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2 Citations in Europe PMC

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Sperm competition-induced plasticity in the speed of spermatogenesis.
Giannakara A, Scharer L, Ramm SA., BMC Evol. Biol. 16(), 2016
PMID: 26956948
Spermatogenesis Drives Rapid Gene Creation and Masculinization of the X Chromosome in Stalk-Eyed Flies (Diopsidae).
Baker RH, Narechania A, DeSalle R, Johns PM, Reinhardt JA, Wilkinson GS., Genome Biol Evol 8(3), 2016
PMID: 26951781

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