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Grafik: ChemosensationInSperm_jpg

Chemosensation in sperm
For successful fertilization, motile sperm need to find the immotile egg. Sperm are propelled by a flagellum; for orientation, they use chemical factors (chemoattractants) that are released by the egg. The chemoattractants are detected by specific receptors on the sperm surface. Surprisingly, sperm employ similar mechanisms and signaling molecules as photoreceptors and olfactory neurons. Sperm display an astounding sensitivity: they can register and respond to a single molecule of the chemoattractant. We study chemosensation in sperm of sea urchins and humans and identify the receptors, cellular messengers, and ion channels that endow sperm with this spectacular sensitivity.

Molecular Sensory Systems:
U. Benjamin Kaupp

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