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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2010 May 27;365(1546):1465-80. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2009.0323.

Evolution and spermatogenesis.

Author information

1
School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Museum Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3AT, UK. white-cooperh@cf.ac.uk

Abstract

Sexual reproduction depends on the production of haploid gametes, and their fusion to form diploid zygotes. Here, we discuss sperm production and function in a molecular and functional evolutionary context, drawing predominantly from studies in model organisms (mice, Drosophila, Caenorhabditis elegans). We consider the mechanisms involved in establishing and maintaining a germline stem cell population in testes, as well as the factors that regulate their contribution to the pool of differentiating cells. These processes involve considerable interaction between the germline and the soma, and we focus on regulatory signalling events in a variety of organisms. The male germline has a unique transcriptional profile, including expression of many testis-specific genes. The evolutionary pressures associated with gene duplication and acquisition of testis function are discussed in the context of genome organization and transcriptional regulation. Post-meiotic differentiation of spermatids involves very dramatic changes in cell shape and acquisition of highly specialized features. We discuss the variety of sperm motility mechanisms and how various reproductive strategies are associated with the diversity of sperm forms found in animals.

PMID:
20403864
PMCID:
PMC2871925
DOI:
10.1098/rstb.2009.0323
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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