Project title: The role of sperm adaptation and sperm plasticity in ecological speciation
Project number: 18-08468J
Project coordinator: Ing. Michaela Kopřivová Stejskalová, Ph.D.
Project partners: PřF Masarykova Univerzita Brno
Project leader: Mgr. Ondřej Balvín, Ph.D.
Project schedule: 2018 - 2020
Total project budget: 2 562 000 CZK
The reproduction isolation among organisms include pre-copulation mechanisms, the postcopulation mechanisms then include the prezygotic gametic isolation and hybrid disadvantage. Gametic isolation is heavily understudied and current models exclusively describe its genetic component. Substantial evidence suggests that the sperm function is shaped by environmental factors, which has not been studied at all with respect to reproduction isolation. The project deals for the first time with particular environmental factors affecting sperm (e.g. female body environment, diet) aiming to asses their contribution to reproduction isolation relative to the genetic component. As a research model we chose the common bedbug, consisting of separate lineages living with bats and humans and showing variable reproduction compatibility. Across five Czech and German labs, we capitalise on unique combination of own theoretic concepts and deep experience in practice and development of sophisticated proteomic and lipidomic analyses, measuring sperm metabolism, artificial insemination and bedbug rearing.