Male sterility

Other Names:
Male infertility
Falling average sperm count
Drop in sperm vitality
Inadequate sperm quality
Pollution and male fertility
Declining sperm counts
Impaired male fertility

Cytoplasmic male sterility is total or partial male sterility in hermaphrodite organisms, as the result of specific nuclear and mitochondrial interactions. Male sterility is the failure to produce functional anthers, pollen, or male gametes. Such male sterility in hermaphrodite populations leads to gynodioecious populations (populations with coexisting fully functioning hermaphrodites and male-sterile hermaphrodites).

Cytoplasmic male sterility, as the name indicates, is under extranuclear genetic control (under control of the mitochondrial or plastid genomes). It shows non-Mendelian inheritance, with male sterility inherited maternally. In general, there are two types of cytoplasm: N (normal) and aberrant S (sterile) cytoplasms. These types exhibit reciprocal differences.


Among the factors that can cause male infertility are semen disorders, systemic disease, genital infection, genetic defects, and drugs. Also cocktails of pesticides and other chemicals in the environment are believed to be affecting male foetuses by blocking testosterone in the womb or imitating oestrogen, so disrupting male sexual development and function.

Son-less families
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
14.05.2022 – 11:09 CEST