Reduced expression of CDP-DAG synthase changes lipid composition and leads to male sterility in Drosophila

Open Biol. 2016 Jan;6(1):50169. doi: 10.1098/rsob.150169.


Drosophila spermatogenesis is an ideal system to study the effects of changes in lipid composition, because spermatid elongation and individualization requires extensive membrane biosynthesis and remodelling. The bulk of transcriptional activity is completed with the entry of cysts into meiotic division, which makes post-meiotic stages of spermatogenesis very sensitive to even a small reduction in gene products. In this study, we describe the effect of changes in lipid composition during spermatogenesis using a hypomorphic male sterile allele of the Drosophila CDP-DAG synthase (CdsA) gene. We find that the CdsA mutant shows defects in spermatid individualization and enlargement of mitochondria and the axonemal sheath of the spermatids. Furthermore, we could genetically rescue the male sterile phenotype by overexpressing Phosphatidylinositol synthase (dPIS) in a CdsA mutant background. The results of lipidomic and genetic analyses of the CdsA mutant highlight the importance of correct lipid composition during sperm development and show that phosphatidic acid levels are crucial in late stages of spermatogenesis.

Keywords: Drosophila; lipid; spermatogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Diacylglycerol Cholinephosphotransferase
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / enzymology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Genes, Insect
  • Infertility, Male / enzymology*
  • Infertility, Male / pathology
  • Lipids / biosynthesis
  • Lipids / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Mitochondria
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Nucleotidyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Phosphatidic Acids / metabolism
  • Phosphatidylinositols / metabolism
  • Phosphotransferases
  • Spermatids / metabolism
  • Spermatids / ultrastructure
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Testis / metabolism


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Lipids
  • Phosphatidic Acids
  • Phosphatidylinositols
  • Cds protein, Drosophila
  • Phosphotransferases
  • Nucleotidyltransferases
  • Diacylglycerol Cholinephosphotransferase