Sperm competition, immunity, selfish genes and cancer
Sperm competition is widespread and has played an important role in shaping male reproductive characters such as testis size and numbers of sperm produced, and this is reflected in the rapid evolution of many reproductive genes. Additionally, sperm competition has been implicated in the rapid evolution of seminal fluids. However, our understanding of the molecular basis of many traits thought to be important in sperm competition is rudimentary. Furthermore, links between sperm competition and a range of issues not directly related to reproduction are only just beginning to be explored. These include associations between sperm competition and selfish genes, immunity and diseases such as cancer.We briefly review these topics and suggest areas we consider worthy of additional research.