Sperm competition theory predicts that males should produce many, similar sperm. However, in some species of animals and plants, males exhibit a heteromorphism that results in the production of at least two different types of sperm or pollen grains. In animals, sperm heteromorphism typically corresponds to the production of one fertile morph and one (or more) sterile morph(s), whereas in plants two or more pollen morphs (one of which can be either sterile or fertile) are produced in all flowers but sometimes in different anthers. Heteromorphism has arisen independently several times across phyla and at different phylogenetic levels. Here, we compare and contrast sperm and pollen heteromorphism and discuss the evolutionary hypotheses suggested to explain heteromorphism in these taxa. These hypotheses include facilitation, nutritive contribution, blocking, cheap filler, sperm flushing or killing for animals; outcrossing and precise cross‐pollen transfer or bet‐hedging strategy for plants; cryptic female choice for both. We conclude that heteromorphism in the two phyla is most likely linked to a general evolutionary response to sexual selection, either to increase one male's sperm or pollen success in competition with other males, or mediate male/female interactions. Therefore, although sperm and pollen are not homologous, we suggest that heteromorphism represents an example of convergence across kingdoms.
Journal of Evolutionary Biology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2005
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera
Read and print from thousands of top scholarly journals.
Already have an account? Log in
Bookmark this article. You can see your Bookmarks on your DeepDyve Library.
Copy and paste the desired citation format or use the link below to download a file formatted for EndNote
EndNoteExport to EndNote
ok to continue