Eggs regulate sperm flagellar motility initiation, chemotaxis and inhibition in the coral Acropora digitifera, A gemmifera and A tenuis

Morita, Masaya, Nishikawa, Akira, Nakajima, Ayako, Iguchi, Akira, Sakai, Kazuhiko, Takemura, Akihiro, and Okuno, Makoto (2006) Eggs regulate sperm flagellar motility initiation, chemotaxis and inhibition in the coral Acropora digitifera, A gemmifera and A tenuis. Journal of Experimental Biology, 209. pp. 4574-4579.

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Abstract

Corals perform simultaneous mass spawning around the full moon. Most Acropora species release gamete bundles, which are a complex of eggs and sperm, into the seawater. Then, gamete bundles are separated into eggs and sperm. Eggs are fertilized when sperm and eggs come in contact with each other. However, it is still unclear how sperm meet the eggs of the same species in the presence of many eggs of different species and how eggs guard against the fertilization attempts by sperm of different species. In this study, we observed that A. digitifera, A. gemmifera and A. tenuis sperm showed motility initiation/attraction close to eggs. Sperm were completely immotile in seawater, but they began to swim in circular motion when they came in close proximity to eggs, and then approached the eggs in straightforward paths. Sperm flagellar motility was not activated by an egg from different species, suggesting that motility initiation by the egg is species specific. In addition, hybridization among these species did not occur under observed conditions. Furthermore, motility-activated sperm became quiescent when many sperm approached the eggs. This study is the first report to show that the egg secretes immobilization factor(s). Our results suggest that the flagellar motility regulation has evolved to avoid hybridization among different species during the mass spawning.

Item ID: 3844
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Acropora millepora; mass spawning; sperm function testing; Chemotaxis; flagellar motility
ISSN: 1477-9145
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2009 04:13
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology > 060199 Biochemistry and Cell Biology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 15
Downloads: Total: 1
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