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A two-second delay confers first-male fertilization precedence within in vitro sperm competition experiments in Atlantic salmon

Authors

  • S. Yeates,

    Corresponding author
    1. * School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, U.K., Max Planck Institute for Limnology, August Thienemann Strasse 2, 24306 Plön, Germany and Department of Biology, University of York, York YO10 5YW, U.K.
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  • J. Searle,

    1. * School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, U.K., Max Planck Institute for Limnology, August Thienemann Strasse 2, 24306 Plön, Germany and Department of Biology, University of York, York YO10 5YW, U.K.
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  • R. G. Ward,

    1. * School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, U.K., Max Planck Institute for Limnology, August Thienemann Strasse 2, 24306 Plön, Germany and Department of Biology, University of York, York YO10 5YW, U.K.
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  • M. J. G. Gage

    1. * School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, U.K., Max Planck Institute for Limnology, August Thienemann Strasse 2, 24306 Plön, Germany and Department of Biology, University of York, York YO10 5YW, U.K.
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§Tel.: +494522763258; fax: +494522763310; email: yeates@mpil-ploen.mpg.de

Abstract

In vitro paired-male sperm competition experiments in Atlantic salmon Salmo salar for a single female’s eggs revealed that 2 s delays in sperm release caused significant reductions in paternity, with second males achieving only 30% fertilization success (against an expected 50%). This first-male fertilization precedence supports previous work suggesting that sperm competition follows the principles of a race in Atlantic salmon, and suggests that any timing asymmetry in sperm release within natural competitive spawnings could have significant consequences for male fertilization success.

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