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Sperm performance traits exhibit low additive genetic component and strong parental effects in external fertilizer
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics. (Simone Immler)
University Pablo de Olavide, Ctra.
Friedrich Schiller University Jena.
University of East Anglia.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Despite their key role in determining reproductive success and with that Darwinian fitness, the heritability and underlying additive genetic variance of reproductive traits is still not fully understood. While some traits show relatively high genetic variance, others show very low genetic variance, which is particularly true for complex non-morphological traits. In line with these general patterns, morphological sperm traits show surprisingly high heritability, whereas heritability reported for sperm quality and performance traits generally is lower. A possible explanation for this is the general notion that more fitness related traits show lower levels of additive genetic variance and heritability. We investigated the additive genetic variance and heritability of sperm swimming velocity, the percentage of motile sperm, sperm concentration in the ejaculate and sperm longevity in the externally fertilizing zebrafish Danio rerio. All sperm traits showed low but significant additive genetic variance and high parental components. While the additive genetic variance was significant it was lower than reported in many other studies. A possible explanation for this is that in externally fertilizing species, sperm traits are the prime determinant of fertilization success and high plasticity is crucial for swift adaptations to changes in the environmental conditions such as competition but also water temperature and currents. Given that this is the first study looking into the heritability of sperm traits in an external fertilizer it will be interesting to understand, whether this is true for other externally fertilizing species and taxa.

Keyword [en]
additive genetic, parental effect, sperm traits, reproduction
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Evolutionary Genetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-350191OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-350191DiVA, id: diva2:1204341
Available from: 2018-05-07 Created: 2018-05-07 Last updated: 2018-06-01
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