Evolution of testicular architecture in the Drosophilidae : a role for sperm length

Schärer, L. and Da Lage, Jean-Luc and Joly, D.. (2008) Evolution of testicular architecture in the Drosophilidae : a role for sperm length. BMC evolutionary biology, Vol. 8 , 143.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5250545

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Background: Evolutionary biologists have so far largely treated the testis as a black box with a certain size, a matching resource demand and a resulting sperm output. A better understanding of the way that the testis responds to selection may come from recent developments in theoretical biology aimed at understanding the factors that influence the evolution of tissue architecture (i.e. the logical organisation of a tissue). Here we perform a comparative analysis of aspects of testicular architecture of the fruit fly family Drosophilidae. Specifically, we collect published information on the number of first (or primary) spermatocytes in spermatogenesis, which allows to infer an important aspect of testicular architecture. Results: We show that testicular architecture is much more variable (both within and between species) than is generally appreciated. Moreover, the number of first spermatocytes is strongly correlated to the sperm length, which is inversely related to the sperm production, and thus the workload of the testis. Conclusion: Our study clearly documents that tissue architecture can evolve, and that in the Drosophilidae it may do so in response to sexual selection. We conclude that the testis of the Drosophilidae is a promising model organ to test recent models of tissue architecture.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Evolutionary Biology (Schärer)
UniBasel Contributors:Schärer, Lukas
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:BioMed Central
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:31 Dec 2015 10:47
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:05

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