Sperm storage by males causes changes in sperm phenotype and influences the reproductive fitness of males and their sons

Clelia Gasparini, Ryan Dosselli, Jonathan P. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

154 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Recent studies suggest that environmentally induced effects on sperm phenotype can influence offspring phenotype beyond the classic Mendelian inheritance mechanism. However, establishing whether such effects are conveyed purely through ejaculates, independently of maternal environmental effects, remains a significant challenge. Here, we assess whether environmentally induced effects on sperm phenotype affects male reproductive success and offspring fitness.We experimentally manipulated the duration of sperm storage by males, and thus sperm age, in the internally fertilizing fish Poecilia reticulata. We first confirm that sperm ageing influences sperm quality and consequently males reproductive success. Specifically, we show that aged sperm exhibit impaired velocity and are competitively inferior to fresh sperm when ejaculates compete to fertilize eggs. We then used homospermic (noncompetitive) artificial insemination to inseminate females with old or fresh sperm and found that male offspring arising from fertilizations by experimentally aged sperm suffered consistently impaired sperm quality when just sexually mature (four months old) and subsequently as adults (13 months old). Although we have yet to determine whether these effects have a genetic or epigenetic basis, our analyses provide evidence that environmentally induced variation in sperm phenotype constitutes an important source of variation in male reproductive fitness that has far reaching implications for offspring fitness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-25
Number of pages10
JournalEvolution Letters
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

Fingerprint

spermatozoa
phenotype
reproductive fitness
Mendelian inheritance
Poecilia reticulata
fertilization (reproduction)
artificial insemination
epigenetics
duration
fish

Cite this

@article{0f50389047854889918efd89c9669920,
title = "Sperm storage by males causes changes in sperm phenotype and influences the reproductive fitness of males and their sons",
abstract = "Recent studies suggest that environmentally induced effects on sperm phenotype can influence offspring phenotype beyond the classic Mendelian inheritance mechanism. However, establishing whether such effects are conveyed purely through ejaculates, independently of maternal environmental effects, remains a significant challenge. Here, we assess whether environmentally induced effects on sperm phenotype affects male reproductive success and offspring fitness.We experimentally manipulated the duration of sperm storage by males, and thus sperm age, in the internally fertilizing fish Poecilia reticulata. We first confirm that sperm ageing influences sperm quality and consequently males reproductive success. Specifically, we show that aged sperm exhibit impaired velocity and are competitively inferior to fresh sperm when ejaculates compete to fertilize eggs. We then used homospermic (noncompetitive) artificial insemination to inseminate females with old or fresh sperm and found that male offspring arising from fertilizations by experimentally aged sperm suffered consistently impaired sperm quality when just sexually mature (four months old) and subsequently as adults (13 months old). Although we have yet to determine whether these effects have a genetic or epigenetic basis, our analyses provide evidence that environmentally induced variation in sperm phenotype constitutes an important source of variation in male reproductive fitness that has far reaching implications for offspring fitness.",
author = "Clelia Gasparini and Ryan Dosselli and Evans, {Jonathan P.}",
year = "2017",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1002/evl3.2",
language = "English",
volume = "1",
pages = "16--25",
journal = "Evolution Letters",
issn = "2056-3744",
publisher = "John Wiley & Sons",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Sperm storage by males causes changes in sperm phenotype and influences the reproductive fitness of males and their sons

AU - Gasparini, Clelia

AU - Dosselli, Ryan

AU - Evans, Jonathan P.

PY - 2017/5

Y1 - 2017/5

N2 - Recent studies suggest that environmentally induced effects on sperm phenotype can influence offspring phenotype beyond the classic Mendelian inheritance mechanism. However, establishing whether such effects are conveyed purely through ejaculates, independently of maternal environmental effects, remains a significant challenge. Here, we assess whether environmentally induced effects on sperm phenotype affects male reproductive success and offspring fitness.We experimentally manipulated the duration of sperm storage by males, and thus sperm age, in the internally fertilizing fish Poecilia reticulata. We first confirm that sperm ageing influences sperm quality and consequently males reproductive success. Specifically, we show that aged sperm exhibit impaired velocity and are competitively inferior to fresh sperm when ejaculates compete to fertilize eggs. We then used homospermic (noncompetitive) artificial insemination to inseminate females with old or fresh sperm and found that male offspring arising from fertilizations by experimentally aged sperm suffered consistently impaired sperm quality when just sexually mature (four months old) and subsequently as adults (13 months old). Although we have yet to determine whether these effects have a genetic or epigenetic basis, our analyses provide evidence that environmentally induced variation in sperm phenotype constitutes an important source of variation in male reproductive fitness that has far reaching implications for offspring fitness.

AB - Recent studies suggest that environmentally induced effects on sperm phenotype can influence offspring phenotype beyond the classic Mendelian inheritance mechanism. However, establishing whether such effects are conveyed purely through ejaculates, independently of maternal environmental effects, remains a significant challenge. Here, we assess whether environmentally induced effects on sperm phenotype affects male reproductive success and offspring fitness.We experimentally manipulated the duration of sperm storage by males, and thus sperm age, in the internally fertilizing fish Poecilia reticulata. We first confirm that sperm ageing influences sperm quality and consequently males reproductive success. Specifically, we show that aged sperm exhibit impaired velocity and are competitively inferior to fresh sperm when ejaculates compete to fertilize eggs. We then used homospermic (noncompetitive) artificial insemination to inseminate females with old or fresh sperm and found that male offspring arising from fertilizations by experimentally aged sperm suffered consistently impaired sperm quality when just sexually mature (four months old) and subsequently as adults (13 months old). Although we have yet to determine whether these effects have a genetic or epigenetic basis, our analyses provide evidence that environmentally induced variation in sperm phenotype constitutes an important source of variation in male reproductive fitness that has far reaching implications for offspring fitness.

UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/sperm-storage-males-causes-changes-sperm-phenotype-influences-reproductive-fitness-males-sons

U2 - 10.1002/evl3.2

DO - 10.1002/evl3.2

M3 - Article

VL - 1

SP - 16

EP - 25

JO - Evolution Letters

JF - Evolution Letters

SN - 2056-3744

IS - 1

ER -