The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 52: 769 - 780 (2008)

Vol 52, Issue 5-6

Special Issue: Fertilization

Causes and consequences of the evolution of reproductive proteins

Published: 1 July 2008

Leslie M. Turner* and Hopi E. Hoekstra

Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and The Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA


Proteins involved in reproduction often evolve rapidly, raising the possibility that changes in these proteins contribute to reproductive isolation between species. We review the evidence for rapid and adaptive change in reproductive proteins in animals, focusing on studies in recently diverged vertebrates. We identify common patterns and point out promising directions for future research. In particular, we highlight the ways that integrating the different but complementary approaches of evolutionary and developmental biology will provide new insights into fertilization processes.


evo-devo, gamete, positive selection, reproductive isolation, fertilization proteins, speciation

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