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Science. 2018 Jan 5;359(6371):55-61. doi: 10.1126/science.aao0827.

Rapid genome shrinkage in a self-fertile nematode reveals sperm competition proteins.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
2
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA. ems394@cornell.edu ehaag@umd.edu.
3
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3B2, Canada.
4
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Genome Center, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
5
Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
6
Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA. ems394@cornell.edu ehaag@umd.edu.

Abstract

To reveal impacts of sexual mode on genome content, we compared chromosome-scale assemblies of the outcrossing nematode Caenorhabditis nigoni to its self-fertile sibling species, C. briggsaeC. nigoni's genome resembles that of outcrossing relatives but encodes 31% more protein-coding genes than C. briggsaeC. nigoni genes lacking C. briggsae orthologs were disproportionately small and male-biased in expression. These include the male secreted short (mss) gene family, which encodes sperm surface glycoproteins conserved only in outcrossing species. Sperm from mss-null males of outcrossing C. remanei failed to compete with wild-type sperm, despite normal fertility in noncompetitive mating. Restoring mss to C. briggsae males was sufficient to enhance sperm competitiveness. Thus, sex has a pervasive influence on genome content that can be used to identify sperm competition factors.

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PMID:
29302007
PMCID:
PMC5789457
DOI:
10.1126/science.aao0827
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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