Simone Immler

Simone Immler
University of East Anglia | UEA · School of Biological Sciences

PhD

About

70
Publications
12,298
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,835
Citations
Citations since 2017
32 Research Items
1640 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250300
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250300
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250300
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250300
Additional affiliations
September 2003 - December 2009
The University of Sheffield
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (70)
Article
Full-text available
The trade-off between survival and reproduction is the bedrock of the evolutionary theory of ageing. The reproductive system regulates ageing of the soma, and removal of germ cells extends somatic lifespan and increases resistance to a broad variety of abiotic and biotic stresses. The general explanation for this somatic response is that reduced re...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Predominantly diploid organisms shape the extent to which their haploid gametes and gametophytes experience selection. Although animals are thought to experience only mild selection in the haploid stage, plants often experience strong haploid selection. When should parents limit exposure of gametes to haploid selection and when should...
Article
Full-text available
The inheritance of non-genetic factors is increasingly seen to play a major role in ecology and evolution. While the causes and consequences of epigenetic effects transmitted from the mother to the offspring have received ample attention, much less is known about how variation in the condition of the father affects the offspring. Here, we manipulat...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Sexual reproduction in eukaryotes implies a biphasic life cycle with alternating haploid and diploid phases. The nature of the biphasic life cycle varies markedly across taxa, and often either the diploid or the haploid phase is predominant. Why some taxa spend a major part of their life cycle as diploids and others as haploids remains a c...
Article
Full-text available
Spermatozoa are amongst the most variable cells, and three factors are thought to account for this variation in design: fertilization mode, phylogeny, and postcopulatory sexual selection. In addition, it has long been assumed that a tradeoff exists between sperm size and number, and although postcopulatory sexual selection affects both traits, empi...
Article
Full-text available
Adulthood‐only downregulation of insulin/IGF‐1 signalling (IIS), an evolutionarily conserved pathway regulating resource allocation between somatic maintenance and reproduction, increases lifespan without fecundity cost in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. However, long‐term multigenerational effects of reduced IIS remain unexplored and are pro...
Preprint
Fasting increases lifespan in invertebrates, improves biomarkers of health in vertebrates, and is increasingly proposed as a promising route to improve human health. Nevertheless, little is known about how fasted animals use resources upon refeeding, and how such decisions affect putative trade-offs between somatic growth and repair, reproduction,...
Article
Full-text available
The genetic load in the human genome has important ramifications for assisted reproductive technology (ART), human reproduction and fertility more generally. Here, we discuss these topics in the light of evolutionary genetic theory, the technological revolution in ART and the advances in the fields of genomics and bioinformatics.
Article
Spermatozoa motility in freshwater and marine fish is mainly controlled by the difference in osmotic pressure. Specifically, zebrafish (Danio rerio) spermatozoa undergo hypoosmotic shock due to the decrease in extracellular potassium, which leads to membrane hyperpolarization and activation of flagellar motility. Previous studies have concluded tha...
Article
The presence of small RNAs in sperm is a relatively recent discovery and little is currently known about their importance and functions. Environmental changes including social conditions and dietary manipulations are known to affect the composition and expression of some small RNAs in sperm and may elicit a physiological stress response resulting i...
Chapter
Full-text available
In most animals, males produce large numbers of sperm in each ejaculate, but only very few end up fertilising an egg. This bottleneck in sperm numbers from ejaculation to fertilisation offers an intuitive opportunity for selection to act and improve the fitness of the next generation. However, the general view that sperm phenotype is not linked to...
Article
Full-text available
In a changing environment, small RNAs (sRNAs) play an important role in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression and can vary in abundance depending on the conditions experienced by an individual (phenotypic plasticity) and its parents (non-genetic inheritance). Many sRNAs are unusual in that they can be produced in two ways, either u...
Article
Full-text available
Dietary restriction (DR) increases lifespan in a broad variety of organisms and improves health in humans. However, long-term transgenerational consequences of dietary interventions are poorly understood. Here, we investigated the effect of DR by temporary fasting (TF) on mortality risk, age-specific reproduction and fitness across three generation...
Article
Full-text available
Adaptive divergence is the key evolutionary process generating biodiversity by means of natural selection. Yet, the conditions under which it can arise in the presence of gene flow remain contentious. To address this question, we subjected 132 sexually reproducing fission yeast populations, sourced from two independent genetic backgrounds, to disru...
Preprint
Full-text available
Adaptive divergence is the key evolutionary process generating biodiversity by means of natural selection. Yet, the conditions under which it can arise in the presence of gene flow remain contentious. To address this question, we subjected 132 sexually reproducing fission yeast populations sourced from two independent genetic backgrounds to disrupt...
Article
Full-text available
The brain is an energetically costly organ that consumes a disproportionate amount of resources. Species with larger brains relative to their body size have slower life histories, with reduced output per reproductive event and delayed development times that can be offset by increasing behavioral flexibility. The “cognitive buffer” hypothesis mainta...
Preprint
Full-text available
Dominant theory maintains that organisms age due to resource allocation trade-offs between the immortal germline and the disposable soma. Strikingly, adulthood-only downregulation of insulin signalling, an evolutionarily conserved pathway regulating resource allocation between reproduction and soma, increases lifespan and offspring fitness without...
Preprint
Full-text available
Dietary restriction increases lifespan in a broad variety of organisms and improves health in humans. However, long-term transgenerational consequences of dietary interventions are poorly understood. Here we investigated the effect of dietary restriction by temporary fasting (TF) on mortality risk, age-specific reproduction and fitness across three...
Article
Full-text available
The disposable soma theory is a central tenet of the biology of aging where germline immortality comes at the cost of an aging soma [T. B. L. Kirkwood, Nature 270, 301–304 (1977); T. B. L. Kirkwood, Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci. 205, 531–546 (1979); T. B. L. Kirkwood, S. N. Austad, Nature 408, 233–238 (2000)]. Limited resources and a possible tr...
Article
Postmeiotic sperm ageing, both before and after ejaculation, has been shown to negatively affect offspring fitness by lowering the rate of embryonic development, reducing embryonic viability, and decreasing offspring condition. These negative effects are thought to be caused by intrinsic factors such as oxidative stress and ATP depletion or extrins...
Article
Evolutionary rates and strength of selection differ markedly between haploid and diploid genomes. Any genes expressed in a haploid state will be directly exposed to selection, whereas alleles in a diploid state may be partially or fully masked by a homologous allele. This difference may shape key evolutionary processes, including rates of adaptatio...
Preprint
Full-text available
In a changing environment, small RNAs (sRNAs) play an important role in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression and can vary in abundance depending on the conditions experienced by an individual (phenotypic plasticity) and its parents (non-genetic inheritance). Many sRNAs are unusual in that they can be produced in two ways, either u...
Article
Full-text available
Males produce numerous sperm in a single ejaculate that greatly outnumber their potential egg targets. Recent studies found that phenotypic and genotypic variation among sperm in a single ejaculate of a male affects the fitness and performance of the resulting offspring. Specifically, within‐ejaculate sperm selection for sperm longevity increased t...
Chapter
This chapter gives an overview of the current sequencing technologies and how they can be applied to studying the genetics of behaviour. It discusses where the potential limitations of the currently available next‐generation sequencing (NGS) technologies and bioinformatics tools lie and presents examples where NGS has been successfully used for lin...
Article
Full-text available
Sperm function and quality are primary determinants of male reproductive performance and hence fitness. The presence of rival males has been shown to affect ejaculate and sperm traits in a wide range of taxa. However, male physiological conditions may not only affect sperm phenotypic traits but also their genetic and epigenetic signatures, affectin...
Article
Full-text available
On the occasion of the XIIIth International Symposium on Spermatology held from 9 to 13 May 2018 in Stockholm (Sweden), participants (guest speakers and audience) collectively felt the need to make a public statement on the general issue of male reproductive health. Our intention is to raise awareness of what we believe is a neglected area of resea...
Article
As an immediate consequence of sexual reproduction, biphasic life cycles with alternating diploid and haploid phases are a common characteristic of sexually reproducing eukaryotes. Much of our focus in evolutionary biology has been directed toward dynamics in diploid or haploid populations, but we rarely consider selection occurring during both pha...
Article
The fact that sperm carry more than the paternal DNA has only been discovered just over a decade ago. With this discovery, the idea that the paternal condition may have direct implications for the fitness of the offspring had to be revisited. While this idea is still highly debated, empirical evidence for paternal effects is accumulating. Male cond...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual reproduction in eukaryotes requires the fusion of two compatible gametes of opposite sexes or mating types. To meet the challenge of finding a mating partner with compatible gametes, evolutionary mechanisms such as hermaphroditism and self-fertilization have repeatedly evolved. Here, by combining the insights from comparative genomics, compu...
Article
Full-text available
Background Evidence for the transmission of non-genetic information from father to offspring is rapidly accumulating. While the impact of chemical and physical factors such as toxins or diet on the fitness of the parents and their offspring have been studied extensively, the importance of behavioural and social circumstances has only recently been...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Diploid organisms produce haploid gametes for sexual reproduction, resulting in a biphasic life cycle. Although selection during the diploid phase is well understood, selection during the haploid gametic stage and its consequences are largely ignored despite its potential importance for fundamental evolutionary processes, including the...
Article
Full-text available
Evolutionary theory of ageing maintains that increased allocation to early-life reproduction results in reduced somatic maintenance, which is predicted to compromise longevity and late-life reproduction. This prediction has been challenged by the discovery of long-lived mutants with no loss of fecundity. The first such long-lived mutant was found i...
Article
Genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are a likely target of mate choice because of their role in inbreeding avoidance and potential benefits for offspring immunocompetence. Evidence for female choice for complementary MHC alleles among competing males exists both for the pre- and the postmating stages. However, it remains unclear whe...
Article
Alternative ways to ensure mate compatibility, such as hermaphroditism and the breakdown of self-incompatibility, evolved repeatedly when finding a mating partner is difficult. In a variety of microorganisms where compatibility is determined by mating-types, a highly regulated form of universal compatibility system called mating-type switching has...
Article
Full-text available
Brain size is an energetically costly trait to develop and maintain. Investments into other costly aspects of an organism's biology may therefore place important constraints on brain size evolution. Sexual traits are often costly and could therefore be traded-off against neural investment. However, brain size may itself be under sexual selection th...
Article
The evolution of dimorphic sex chromosomes is driven largely by the evolution of reduced recombination and the subsequent accumulation of deleterious mutations. While these processes are increasingly well understood in diploid organisms, the evolution of dimorphic sex chromosomes in haploid organisms (U/V) has been virtually unstudied theoretically...
Article
Full-text available
It is generally believed that variation in sperm phenotype within a single ejaculate has no consequences for offspring performance, because sperm phenotypes are thought not to reflect sperm genotypes. We show that variation in individual sperm function within an ejaculate affects the performance of the resulting offspring in the Atlantic salmon Sal...
Article
Full-text available
Our original paper [1] included two Bayesian analyses [2] of the association between brain size and the probability of a passerine species of bird breeding in the city centre—at the level of families and at the level of individual species—with both analyses suggesting the same pattern. It has since been brought to our attention that in one of the a...
Article
Full-text available
Figure 1. Feeding propensity of female guppies selected for large and small brain size when offered a novel food source (a pellet instead of flake food: 0 = never, 1 = always). Food was given once per day for 7 consecutive days. Feeding propensity is the number of times the fish ate the pellet (out of seven times). To analyse feeding propensity we...
Article
Frequency-dependent selection should drive dioecious populations toward a 1:1 sex ratio, but biased sex ratios are widespread, especially among plants with sex chromosomes. Here, we develop population genetic models to investigate the relationships between evolutionarily stable sex ratios, haploid selection, and deleterious mutation load. We confir...
Article
Full-text available
Postzygotic isolation may be important for maintaining species boundaries, particularly when premating barriers are incomplete. Little is known about the course of events leading from minor environmental mismatches affecting hybrid fitness to severe genetic incompatibilities causing sterility or inviability. We investigated whether reduced reproduc...
Article
Full-text available
The rate by which new mutations are introduced into a population may have far-reaching implications for processes at the population level. Theory assumes that all individuals within a population have the same mutation rate, but this assumption may not be true. Compared with individuals in high condition, those in poor condition may have fewer resou...
Article
Full-text available
The large variation in brain size that exists in the animal kingdom has been suggested to have evolved through the balance between selective advantages of greater cognitive ability and the prohibitively high energy demands of a larger brain (the "expensive-tissue hypothesis" [1]). Despite over a century of research on the evolution of brain size, e...
Article
Full-text available
The striking diversity of sperm shape across the animal kingdom is still poorly understood. Postcopulatory sexual selection is an important factor driving the evolution of sperm size and shape. Interestingly, morphometric sperm traits, such as the length of the head, midpiece and flagellum, exhibit a strong positive phenotypic correlation across sp...
Article
The Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata is a model bird species for the experimental study of behavioural and evolutionary concepts in captivity and especially sexual selection. The validity of sexual selection studies of domesticated birds is of long-standing concern as little is known about the influence of domestication on sexually selected traits....
Article
Understanding the maintenance of genetic variation in the face of selection remains a key issue in evolutionary biology. One potential mechanism for the maintenance of genetic variation is opposing selection during the diploid and haploid stages of biphasic life cycles universal among eukaryotic sexual organisms. If haploid and diploid gene express...
Article
Full-text available
Urban regions are among the most human-altered environments on Earth and they are poised for rapid expansion following population growth and migration. Identifying the biological traits that determine which species are likely to succeed in urbanized habitats is important for predicting global trends in biodiversity. We provide the first evidence fo...
Article
The evolutionary sequence of events in the evolution of reproductive barriers between species is at the core of speciation biology. Where premating barriers fail, post-mating barriers, such as conspecific sperm precedence (CSP), gamete incompatibility (GI) and hybrid inviability (HI) may evolve to prevent the production of (often) costly hybrid off...
Article
We examine models for evolution of sperm size (i.e. mass m) and number (s) under three mechanisms of sperm competition at low 'risk' levels: (i) raffle with no constraint on space available for competing sperm, (ii) direct displacement mainly by seminal fluid, and (iii) direct displacement mainly by sperm mass. Increasing sperm mass increases a spe...
Article
Sperm morphometry (i.e., size and shape) and function are important determinants of male reproductive success and are thought to be under stabilizing selection. However, recent studies suggest that sperm morphometry can be a phenotypically plastic trait, which can be adjusted to varying conditions. We tested whether different behavioral strategies...
Article
Full-text available
Females mating with multiple males may obtain direct benefits such as nuptial gifts or paternal care or indirect (i.e. genetic) benefits resulting in higher-quality offspring. While direct benefits are easily identified, it is difficult to determine indirect benefits, and it is hence largely unclear how they are obtained. This is particularly true...
Article
Full-text available
Sperm velocity is one of the main determinants of the outcome of sperm competition. Since sperm vary considerably in their morphology between and within species, it seems likely that sperm morphology is associated with sperm velocity. Theory predicts that sperm velocity may be increased by enlarged midpiece (energetic component) or flagellum length...
Article
Despite two decades of research into over one hundred species, the function of extrapair paternity to female birds remains unclear. Recent studies have demonstrated patterns between extrapair paternity and the genetic similarity of females with social partners and extrapair males. We believe that selection on females to gain genetically compatible...
Article
Full-text available
Los espermatozoides de Pyrrhula pyrrhula difieren marcadamente en su morfología de los de todas las demás especies de aves paseriformes examinadas hasta ahora. En otras aves paseriformes, la cabeza del espermatozoide es puntuda y helicoidal, y la parte media está formada por una hélice mitocondrial que se extiende a lo largo del flagelo, mientras q...
Article
Sperm competition is an important force driving the evolution of sperm design and function. Inter- and intraspecific variation in sperm design are strongly influenced by the risk of sperm competition in many taxa. In contrast, the variation among sperm of one male (intramale variation) is less well understood. We investigated intramale variation in...
Article
Full-text available
Sperm competition is a powerful selective force driving the evolution of sperm shape and function. Recent findings suggest that sperm cooperation is a potential evolutionary response to sperm competition. Sperm cooperation may enhance the performance of the ejaculate increasing a male's chance to outcompete rival males in competition for fertilisat...
Article
Full-text available
Female color polymorphisms are common in the cichlid species radiations of Lake Victoria and Lake Malawi. According to theory, when a population harbors variation in sex-determining factors, polymorphism in female-linked coloration might generate individual variation in male mating preferences for female color morphs. We tested whether individual m...
Article
Full-text available
Postcopulatory sexual selection is thought to be a potent evolutionary force driving the diversification of sperm shape and function across species. In birds, insemination and fertilisation are separated in time and sperm storage increases the duration of sperm female interaction and hence the opportunity for sperm competition and cryptic female ch...
Article
The Eurasian bullfinch spermatozoon differs from typical passeridan spermatozoa in several major respects. The mature acrosome consists of a concavo-convex vesicle differing from the typical passeridan acrosome, which is a helical structure, is usually longer than the nucleus and has a prominent helical keel. The nucleus differs from that of other...
Article
Full-text available
Sperm competition is thought to be a major force driving the evolution of sperm shape and function. However, previous studies investigating the relationship between the risk of sperm competition and sperm morphometry revealed inconclusive results and marked differences between taxonomic groups. In a comparative study of two families of passerines (...
Article
Full-text available
Spermatozoa vary remarkably in design at several different levels: phyla, orders, families, species, individuals, within individuals and within ejaculates of the same individual. Three factors are thought to account for some of this variation: (i) fertilisation mode; (ii) phylogeny, and (iii) postcopulatory sexual selection (i.e. sperm competition...
Article
Full-text available
The evolutionary role of postcopulatory sexual selection in shaping male reproductive traits, including sperm morphology, is well documented in several taxa. However, previous studies have focused almost exclusively on the influence of sperm competition on variation among species. In this study we tested the hypothesis that intraspecific variation...
Article
Full-text available
Sperm design varies enormously across species and sperm competition is thought to be a major factor influencing this variation. However, the functional significance of many sperm traits is still poorly understood. The sperm of most murid rodents are characterised by an apical hook of the sperm head that varies markedly in extent across species. In...
Article
Full-text available
The sperm of the Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) differs markedly in gross morphology from that of all other passerines examined to date. In other passerines, the sperm head is pointed and helical, and the midpiece comprises a mitochondrial helix extending along the flagellum; whereas in the Eurasian Bullfinch, the sperm acrosome is rounded,...
Article
This study focuses on the consequences of the switch of tactic from parasitic to parental male in the black goby, Gobius niger (Teleostei: Gobiidae), a species showing two alternative male mating tactics. Older and larger males defend nests, court, and perform parental care on eggs, while younger and smaller ones behave as parasites, sneaking into...

Network

Cited By