It is commonly held that differences in gametes of the two sexes (anisogamy) evolved from ancestors whose gametes were similar in size and behavior (isogamy). Underlying many hypotheses explaining anisogamy are assumed relationships between cell size and speed in the ancestral isogamous population. Using the isogamous alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, we explored size–speed distributions in vegetative and gamete cells of 10 cell lines, and clonal data from within two cell lines. We applied an independent speed selection approach to gamete populations of C. reinhardtii, monitoring correlated responses in size following selection for high speed. We demonstrate positive size–speed relationships in clones, cell lines, and artificially selected speed selection lines. We found different size–speed relationships in the two cell types of C. reinhardtii even though they overlap in size, suggesting that cell composition and/or programs of gene expression are capable of altering this relationship, and that the relationship is evolvable. The positive genetic size-speed correlation means that the division of parent vegetative cells into numerous gametes trades off against not only size, but also speed, a trade-off that has not received previous attention. Our results support reevaluating the role of speed selection in the evolution of anisogamy.
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Data from: Positive size-speed relationships in gametes and vegetative cells of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii; implications for the evolution of sperm.
Seed, C. (Creator) & Tomkins, J. (Creator), DRYAD, 2 Jan 2018