eCite Digital Repository

Effects of male telomeres on probability of paternity in sand lizards


Pauliny, A and Miller, E and Rollings, N and Wapstra, E and Blomqvist, D and Friesen, CR and Olsson, M, Effects of male telomeres on probability of paternity in sand lizards, Biology Letters, 14, (8) Article 20180033. ISSN 1744-9561 (2018) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

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.

DOI: doi:10.1098/rsbl.2018.0033


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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:telomeres, sperm competition, cryptic female choice, sand lizard (Lacerta agilis), behavioural ecology, mating systems
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Life histories
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Wapstra, E (Professor Erik Wapstra)
ID Code:128898
Year Published:2018
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (FT110100597)
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2018-10-23
Last Modified:2022-12-06
Downloads:109 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page