Insect seminal fluid proteins: identification and function

Annu Rev Entomol. 2011;56:21-40. doi: 10.1146/annurev-ento-120709-144823.


Seminal fluid proteins (SFPs) produced in reproductive tract tissues of male insects and transferred to females during mating induce numerous physiological and behavioral postmating changes in females. These changes include decreasing receptivity to remating; affecting sperm storage parameters; increasing egg production; and modulating sperm competition, feeding behaviors, and mating plug formation. In addition, SFPs also have antimicrobial functions and induce expression of antimicrobial peptides in at least some insects. Here, we review recent identification of insect SFPs and discuss the multiple roles these proteins play in the postmating processes of female insects.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Insect Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Insect Proteins / physiology*
  • Insecta / chemistry*
  • Insecta / physiology
  • Male
  • Seminal Plasma Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Seminal Plasma Proteins / physiology*
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal


  • Insect Proteins
  • Seminal Plasma Proteins