Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Seminal fluid proteins (SFPs) are emerging as fundamental contributors to sexual selection given their role in post-mating reproductive events, particularly in polyandrous species where the ejaculates of different males compete for fertilisation. SFP identification however remains taxonomically limited and little is known about avian SFPs, despite extensive work on sexual selection in birds. We characterize the SF proteome of the polyandrous Red junglefowl, Gallus gallus, the wild species that gave rise to the domestic chicken. We identify 1,141 SFPs, including proteins involved in immunity and antimicrobial defences, sperm maturation, and fertilisation, revealing a functionally complex SF proteome. This includes a predominant contribution of blood plasma proteins that is conserved with human SF. By comparing the proteome of young and old males with fast or slow sperm velocity in a balanced design, we identify proteins associated with ageing and sperm velocity, and show that old males that retain high sperm velocity have distinct proteome characteristics. SFP comparisons with domestic chickens revealed both qualitative and quantitative differences likely associated with domestication and artificial selection. Collectively, these results shed light onto the functional complexity of avian SF, and provide a platform for molecular studies of fertility, reproductive ageing, and domestication.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/srep35864

Type

Journal article

Journal

Sci Rep

Publication Date

02/11/2016

Volume

6