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1 March 2007 Repeatability of sperm size in outbred and inbred Scathophaga stercoraria (Diptera: Scathophagidae)
G. Bernasconi, P. I. Ward, B. Hellriegel
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Variability in male gametic traits can depend on several genetic and environmental factors such as developmental instability as a consequence of inbreeding, developmental noise during spermatogenesis, or age-or condition-dependent changes in allocation to sperm cells. Variation in sperm size is particularly evident in species that produce more than one sperm morph but also occurs among males in sperm-monomorphic species. Both discrete and continuous sperm size variation have been implicated in male fertilization success when the sperm of several males directly compete for fertilization of the same set of ova. In this study, we investigated among-male variation in sperm length in field-collected, outbred male Scathophaga stercoraria (L.) flies, as well as in flies from the same natural population that had been subjected to 15 and 16 generations of inbreeding under laboratory conditions. Among-male variation in sperm length was significant and repeatable over subsequent matings in both inbred and outbred flies. We conclude that sperm length can be used as an individual male marker in sperm competition studies and that significant repeatability of sperm length supports heritability for this trait.

G. Bernasconi, P. I. Ward, and B. Hellriegel "Repeatability of sperm size in outbred and inbred Scathophaga stercoraria (Diptera: Scathophagidae)," The Canadian Entomologist 139(2), 228-234, (1 March 2007).
Received: 20 July 2006; Accepted: 1 November 2006; Published: 1 March 2007

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