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Open Access Molecular basis of adaptive evolution of sperm motility involved in in vivo fertilization of terrestrial animals

One of the unifying traits of life on this planet is reproduction, or life's ability to make copies of itself. The mode of reproduction has evolved over time, having almost certainly begun with simple asexual reproduction when the ancestral single celled organism divided into two. Since these beginnings' life has tried out numerous strategies, and perhaps one of the most important and successful has been sexual reproduction. This form of reproduction relies on the union of gametes, otherwise known as sperm and egg. Evolutionarily, sexual reproduction allows for greater adaptive potential because the genes of two unique individuals have a chance to recombine and mix in order to produce a new individual. Unlike asexual reproduction which produces genetically-identical clones of the parent individual, sex produces offspring with novel genes and combinations of genes. Therefore, in the face of new selective pressures there is a higher chance that one of these novel genetic profiles will produce an adaptation that is advantageous in the new circumstances. Dr Akihiko Watanabe is a reproductive biologist based in the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science Yamagata University in Japan, he is currently working on three research projects; a comparative study on the signalling pathways for inducing sperm motility and acrosome reaction in amphibians, the mechanism behind the adaptive modification of sperm morphology and motility, and the origin of sperm motility initiating substance (SMIS).


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2020

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