Sunday, February 2, 2014
Primate Mating System and Evolution of Sperm-related Proteins
Schumacher et al. recently published a paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B discussing an analysis of evolutionary rates in 169 sperm proteins in 8 primate genomes. They compiled a list of proteins identified from gene expression studies as active in human sperm function and divided this list into genes with primarily pre-mating (e.g. related to sperm composition) and post-mating (e.g. related to fertilization) function. Post-mating proteins showed a faster evolutionary rate than pre-mating proteins, which was significant in species sampled with multi-male mating systems (chimpanzee and Rhesus macaque). Further, pre-mating proteins may be under greater functional constraint due to higher estimates of protein-protein interactions.