Molecular evolutionary analysis of seminal receptacle sperm storage organ genes of Drosophila melanogaster

J Evol Biol. 2010 Jul;23(7):1386-98. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.01998.x. Epub 2010 May 24.


Sperm storage organs are common and broadly distributed among animal taxa. However, little is known about how these organs function at the molecular level. Additionally, there is a paucity of knowledge about the evolution of genes expressed in these organs. This investigation is an evolutionary expressed sequence tag (EST) study of genes expressed in the seminal receptacle, one of the sperm storage organs in Drosophila. The incidence of positive selection is higher for the seminal receptacle genes than Drosophila reproductive genes as a whole, but lower than genes associated with the spermatheca, a second type of Drosophila sperm storage organ. By identifying overrepresented classes of proteins and classes for which sperm storage function is suggested by the nature of the proteins, candidate genes were discovered. These candidates belong to protein classes such as muscle contraction, odorant binding and odorant receptor, protease inhibitor and immunity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Expressed Sequence Tags*
  • Female
  • Genes, Insect / genetics*
  • Genitalia, Female / metabolism*
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • DNA, Complementary