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Effects of male telomeres on probability of paternity in sand lizards


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Pauliny, A, Miller, E, Rollings, N, Wapstra, E ORCID: 0000-0002-2050-8026, Blomqvist, D, Friesen, CR and Olsson, M 2018 , 'Effects of male telomeres on probability of paternity in sand lizards' , Biology Letters, vol. 14, no. 8 , pp. 1-3 , doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0033.

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Standardized swim-up trials are used in in vitro fertilization clinics to select particularly motile spermatozoa in order to increase the probability of a successful fertilization. Such trials demonstrate that sperm with longer telomeres have higher motility and lower levels of DNA damage. Regardless of whether sperm motility, and successful swim-up to fertilization sites, is a direct or correlational effect of telomere length or DNA damage, covariation between telomere length and sperm performance predicts a relationship between telomere length and probability of paternity in sperm competition, a prediction that for ethical reasons cannot be tested on humans. Here, we test this prediction in sand lizards (Lacerta agilis) using experimental data from twice-mated females in a laboratory population, and telomere length in blood from the participating lizards. Female identity influenced paternity (while the mechanism was not identified), while relatively longer male telomeres predicted higher probability of paternity. We discuss potential mechanisms underpinning this result.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Pauliny, A and Miller, E and Rollings, N and Wapstra, E and Blomqvist, D and Friesen, CR and Olsson, M
Keywords: telomeres, sperm competition, cryptic female choice, sand lizard (Lacerta agilis), behavioural ecology, mating systems
Journal or Publication Title: Biology Letters
Publisher: The Royal Society Publishing
ISSN: 1744-9561
DOI / ID Number: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0033
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

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