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Type: Journal article
Title: By hook or by crook? Morphometry, competition and cooperation in rodent sperm
Author: Immler, S.
Moore, H.
Breed, W.
Birkhead, T.
Citation: PLoS One, 2007; 2(1):1-5
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Issue Date: 2007
ISSN: 1932-6203
Editor: Pizzari, T.
Statement of
Simone Immler, Harry D.M. Moore, William G. Breed and Tim R. Birkhead
Abstract: Background Sperm design varies enormously across species and sperm competition is thought to be a major factor influencing this variation. However, the functional significance of many sperm traits is still poorly understood. The sperm of most murid rodents are characterised by an apical hook of the sperm head that varies markedly in extent across species. In the European woodmouse Apodemus sylvaticus (Muridae), the highly reflected apical hook of sperm is used to form sperm groups, or “trains,” which exhibited increased swimming velocity and thrusting force compared to individual sperm. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we use a comparative study of murine rodent sperm and demonstrate that the apical hook and sperm cooperation are likely to be general adaptations to sperm competition in rodents. We found that species with relatively larger testes, and therefore more intense sperm competition, have a longer, more reflected apical sperm hook. In addition, we show that sperm groups also occur in rodents other than the European woodmouse. Conclusions Our results suggest that in rodents sperm cooperation is more widespread than assumed so far and highlight the importance of diploid versus haploid selection in the evolution of sperm design and function.
Keywords: Testis
Sperm Head
Biological Evolution
Description: Copyright © 2007 Immler et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000170
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Anatomical Sciences publications
Aurora harvest
Environment Institute publications

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