During copulation, male Drosophila transfers Sex Peptide (SP) to females where it acts on internal sensory neurons expressing pickpocket (ppk). These neurons induce a post-mating response (PMR) that includes elevated egg-laying and refractoriness to re-mating. Exactly how ppk neurons regulate the different aspects of the PMR, however, remains unclear. Here, we identify a small subset of the ppk neurons which requires expression of a pre-mRNA splicing factor CG3542 for egg-laying, but not refractoriness to mating. We identify two CG3542-ppk expressing neurons that innervate the upper oviduct and appear to be responsible for normal egg-laying. Our results suggest specific subsets of the ppk neurons are responsible for each PMR component.
Keywords: CG3542; egg-laying; phosphoprotein; pickpocket; post mating response; sex peptide.