Even more functions of sperm RNA: a response to Hosken and Hodgson


As recently outlined in TREE [1], many animals and plants are thought to load their male gametes with multiple types of RNA, some of which enters the oocyte upon fertilization. Four classes of ultimate hypotheses for sperm RNA were proposed [1], adding to existing mechanistic hypotheses [2]. We suggest two more ultimate hypotheses to be considered when investigating sperm RNA. First, sperm RNA could mediate ‘anticipatory paternal effects’, and second, these RNAs might derive from segregation distorters that kill sperm or zygotes carrying a different allele.

Trends in Ecology and Evolution