Sustained post-mating response in Drosophila melanogaster requires multiple seminal fluid proteins

PLoS Genet. 2007 Dec;3(12):e238. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.0030238.


Successful reproduction is critical to pass genes to the next generation. Seminal proteins contribute to important reproductive processes that lead to fertilization in species ranging from insects to mammals. In Drosophila, the male's accessory gland is a source of seminal fluid proteins that affect the reproductive output of males and females by altering female post-mating behavior and physiology. Protein classes found in the seminal fluid of Drosophila are similar to those of other organisms, including mammals. By using RNA interference (RNAi) to knock down levels of individual accessory gland proteins (Acps), we investigated the role of 25 Acps in mediating three post-mating female responses: egg production, receptivity to remating and storage of sperm. We detected roles for five Acps in these post-mating responses. CG33943 is required for full stimulation of egg production on the first day after mating. Four other Acps (CG1652, CG1656, CG17575, and CG9997) appear to modulate the long-term response, which is the maintenance of post-mating behavior and physiological changes. The long-term post-mating response requires presence of sperm in storage and, until now, had been known to require only a single Acp. Here, we discovered several novel Acps together are required which together are required for sustained egg production, reduction in receptivity to remating of the mated female and for promotion of stored sperm release from the seminal receptacle. Our results also show that members of conserved protein classes found in seminal plasma from insects to mammals are essential for important reproductive processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Drosophila Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fertility / genetics
  • Fertility / physiology
  • Genes, Insect
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Male
  • Peptides / genetics
  • Peptides / physiology
  • RNA Interference
  • Reproduction / genetics
  • Reproduction / physiology
  • Seminal Plasma Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Seminal Plasma Proteins / genetics*
  • Seminal Plasma Proteins / physiology*


  • Acp26Aa protein, Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Peptides
  • SP protein, Drosophila
  • Seminal Plasma Proteins