Species Specificity in Fertilization

  • C. E. Adams
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 4)


In his classical monograph, Problems of Fertilization, Lillie (1919) devoted a chapter to the problem of specificity in fertilization which, nearly 40 years later, Rothschild (1956) commended to all students of fertilization. In summing up his own chapter on “Specificity”, Rothschild considered the only advances to have been made since Lillie’s contribution were (1) more information about the immunological nature of the reactions between the gametes, (2) more information about the nature of immunological reactions in general, and, possibly, (3) the development of techniques for the quantitative study of interspecific and intergeneric cross–fertilization. Over the past few years, however, notable advances have been made in this field, particularly with reference to mammals, and it is with these that this chapter will be concerned. First, though a few general comments will be made.


Zona Pellucida Sperm Head Epididymal Spermatozoon Oryctolagus Cuniculus Sperm Capacitation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adams, C. E. (1957), An attempt to cross the domestic rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and hare (Lepus europaeus),Nature (Lond.) 180:853.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adams, C. E. (1960), Early embryonic mortality in the rabbit,J. Reprod. Fert.3:315–316.Google Scholar
  3. Adams, C. E. (1973), Loss of eggs associated with tubal insemination in the rabbit, J. Reprod. Fertil35:405.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barros, C. (1968)In vitro capacitation of golden hamster spermatozoa with Fallopian tube fluid of the mouse and rat,J. Reprod. Fertil. 17:203.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bedford, J. M. (1967), Fertile life of rabbit spermatozoa in rat uterus, Nature (Lond.)213:1097–1098.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bedford, J. M. (1970), Sperm capacitation and fertilization in mammals, Biol. Reprod.2:128–158 (suppl. 2).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bedford, J. M., and Shalkovsky, S. (1967), Species specificity of sperm capacitation in the rabbit,J. Reprod. Fertil. 13:361–364.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bowerman, H. R. L., and Hancock, J. L. (1963), Sheep & goat hybrids, J. Reprod. Fertil.6:326 (abst.).Google Scholar
  9. Cain, A. J. (1954), Animal Species and Their Evolution, Hutchinson, London.Google Scholar
  10. Chang, M. C. (1960), Fertilization of domestic rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) ova by cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus transitionalis) sperm,J. Exp. Zool.144:1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chang, M. C. (1965), Implantation of ferret ova fertilized by mink sperm, J. Exp. Zool.160:67–80.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chang, M. C. (1968), Reciprocal insemiantion and egg transfer between ferrets and mink, J. Exp. Zool.168:49–60.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chang, M. C, and Adams, C. E. (1962), Fate of rabbit ova fertilized by hare spermatozoa, in: 25th Anniversary of the Founding of L. Spallanzani Institute, pp. 186–191.Google Scholar
  14. Chang, M. C, and Bedford, J. M. (1961), Effects of various hormones on the transportation of gametes and fertilization in the rabbit, in: Proceedings of the 4th International Congress on Animal Reproduction and Artificial Insemination, The Hague, Vol. 2, pp. 367–370.Google Scholar
  15. Chang, M. C, and Hancock, J. L. (1967), Experimental hybridization, in: Comparative Aspects of Reproductive Failure, pp. 206–217 (K. Benirschke, ed.), Springer, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chang, M. C, and McDonough, J. J. (1955), An experiment to cross the cottontail and the domestic rabbit,J. Hered.56:41–44.Google Scholar
  17. Chang, M. C, Marston, J. H., and Hunt, D. (1964), Reciprocal fertilization between the domesticated rabbit and the showshoe hare with special reference to insemination of rabbits with an equal number of hare and rabbit spermatozoa, J. Exp. Zool.155:431–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dickmann, Z. (1962), Experiments on interspecific sperm penetration through the zona pellucida, J. Reprod. Fertil.4:121–124.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hammond, J., and Walton, A. (1929), An attempt to cross hare and rabbit, J. Genet.20:401–404. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hanada, A., and Chang, M. C. (1972), Penetration of zona free rat eggs by spermatozoa of different species, Biol Reprod. 6:300–309.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Hartmann, J. F., and Gwatkin, R. B. L. (1971), Alteration of sites on the mammalian sperm surface following capacitation, Nature (Lond.)234:419–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lillie, F. R. (1919), Problems of Fertilization, 278 pp., University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  23. Lopyrin, A. I., and Loginova, N. V. (1963), Remote hybridization of animals, Anim. Behav. Abst.22:221.Google Scholar
  24. Mayr, E., cited by Cain, A. J. (1954), Animal Species and Their Evolution, Hutchinson, London.Google Scholar
  25. Rothschild, Lord (1956), Fertilization, Methuen, London.Google Scholar
  26. Srivastava, P. N., Adams, C. E., and Hartree, E. F. (1965), Enzymic action of acrosomal preparations on the rabbit ovum in vitro, J. Reprod. Fertil. 10:61–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Thibault, C. (1969),In vitro fertilization of the mammalian eggs, in: Fertilization, Comparative Morphology, Biochemistry and Immunology, pp. 405–435 (C. B. Metz and A. Monroy, eds.), Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  28. Warwick, B. L., Berry, R. O., and Horlacher, W. R. (1932, 1933, 1934), Cytological and hybridization studies with sheep and goats, Rep. Texas Agr. Exp. Sta., p. 24 (1932), p. 29 (1933), p. 30(1934).Google Scholar
  29. Yamane, J., and Egashira, T. (1924), Dobutsugaku Zasshi (Tokyo) 36: No. 430.Google Scholar
  30. Yanagimachi, R. (1964), The behaviour of hamster sperm to the hamster and mouse ova in vitro, in: Proceedings of the 5th International Congress on Animal Reproduction and Artificial Insemination, Trento, Vol. 7, pp. 292–294.Google Scholar
  31. Yanagimachi, R. (1972), Penetration of guinea pig spermatozoa into hamster eggs in vitro, J. Reprod. Fertil. 28:477–480.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. E. Adams
    • 1
  1. 1.A.R.C. Unit of Reproductive Physiology and BiochemistryUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeEngland

Personalised recommendations