Transcriptional profiling of the sperm storage organs of Drosophila melanogaster

Insect Mol Biol. 2009 Aug;18(4):465-75. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2583.2009.00887.x. Epub 2009 Apr 24.


The occurrence of female sperm storage across taxa indicates the importance of this complex and dynamic process. Organs responsible for sperm storage (SSOs) and proteins expressed therein, are important in fundamental aspects of reproduction and could play a major role in evolutionary processes such as post-mating sexual selection. Given the essential role of SSOs, it is surprising that the process of sperm storage is so poorly understood. This study investigated the transcriptome of female Drosophila melanogaster SSOs (seminal receptacle and spermathecae). Spermathecae were enriched for proteases and metabolic enzymes while the seminal receptacle was enriched for genes involved in localization, signaling and ion transport. Differences in functional gene categories indicate that these organs play unique roles in sperm storage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Genitalia, Female / metabolism*
  • Insect Hormones / metabolism
  • Male
  • Reproduction / physiology
  • Spermatozoa


  • Insect Hormones
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System