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Sex-peptide is the molecular basis of the sperm effect in Drosophila melanogaster.


Liu, H; Kubli, E (2003). Sex-peptide is the molecular basis of the sperm effect in Drosophila melanogaster. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 100(17):9929-9933.

Abstract

Mating elicits two major changes in the reproductive behavior of many insect females. The egg-laying rate increases and the readiness to accept males (receptivity) is reduced. These postmating responses last approximately 1 week in Drosophila melanogaster. Males that do not transfer sperm but transfer seminal fluid during mating induce a short-term response of 1 day. The long-term response of 1 week requires the presence of sperm (sperm effect). Hence, sperm is essential for the long-term persistence of the postmating responses. Three seminal fluid peptides elicit postmating responses: ovulin, sex-peptide (SP), and DUP99B. Using the technique of targeted mutagenesis by homologous recombination, we have produced males with mutant SP genes. Here, we report that males lacking functional SP elicit only a weak short-term response. However, these males do transfer sperm. Thus, (i) SP is the major agent eliciting the short-term and the long-term postmating responses and (ii) sperm is merely the carrier for SP. The second conclusion is supported by the finding that SP binds to sperm. The 36-aa-encoding SP gene is the first small Drosophila gene knocked out with the method of homologous recombination.

Abstract

Mating elicits two major changes in the reproductive behavior of many insect females. The egg-laying rate increases and the readiness to accept males (receptivity) is reduced. These postmating responses last approximately 1 week in Drosophila melanogaster. Males that do not transfer sperm but transfer seminal fluid during mating induce a short-term response of 1 day. The long-term response of 1 week requires the presence of sperm (sperm effect). Hence, sperm is essential for the long-term persistence of the postmating responses. Three seminal fluid peptides elicit postmating responses: ovulin, sex-peptide (SP), and DUP99B. Using the technique of targeted mutagenesis by homologous recombination, we have produced males with mutant SP genes. Here, we report that males lacking functional SP elicit only a weak short-term response. However, these males do transfer sperm. Thus, (i) SP is the major agent eliciting the short-term and the long-term postmating responses and (ii) sperm is merely the carrier for SP. The second conclusion is supported by the finding that SP binds to sperm. The 36-aa-encoding SP gene is the first small Drosophila gene knocked out with the method of homologous recombination.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Zoology (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:19 August 2003
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:18
Last Modified:03 Aug 2017 14:45
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1631700100
PubMed ID:12897240

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