Rapid genome shrinkage in a self-fertile nematode reveals sperm competition proteins

Da Yin, Erich M. Schwarz, Cristel G. Thomas, Rebecca L. Felde, Ian F Korf, Asher D. Cutter, Caitlin M. Schartner, Edward J. Ralston, Barbara J. Meyer, Eric S. Haag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


To reveal impacts of sexual mode on genome content, we compared chromosome-scale assemblies of the outcrossing nematode Caenorhabditis nigoni to its self-fertile sibling species, C. briggsae. C. nigoni's genome resembles that of outcrossing relatives but encodes 31%more protein-coding genes than C. briggsae. C. nigoni genes lacking C. briggsae orthologs were disproportionately small and male-biased in expression.These include the male secreted short (mss) gene family, which encodes sperm surface glycoproteins conserved only in outcrossing species. Sperm frommss-nullmales of outcrossing C. remanei failed to compete with wild-type sperm, despite normal fertility in noncompetitive mating. Restoring mss to C. briggsae males was sufficient to enhance sperm competitiveness.Thus, sex has a pervasive influence on genome content that can be used to identify sperm competition factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-61
Number of pages7
Issue number6371
StatePublished - Jan 5 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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