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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Transfer and Fate of Seminal Fluid Molecules in the Beetle, Diaprepes Abbreviatus: Implications for the Reproductive Biology of a Pest Species

Authors
item Sirot, Laura - UNIV OF FLORIDA
item Lapointe, Stephen
item Shatters, Robert
item Bausher, Michael

Submitted to: Journal of Insect Physiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 21, 2005
Publication Date: March 1, 2006
Citation: Sirot, L.K., Lapointe, S.L., Shatters, R.G., Bausher, M.G. 2006. Transfer and fate of seminal fluid molecules in the beetle, Diaprepes abbreviatus: implications for the reproductive biology of a pest species. Journal of Insect Physiology. 52:300-308.

Interpretive Summary: Peptides and proteins transferred from males to females via seminal fluids are vital to the study of insect reproduction because they affect female physiology, reproductive behavior, and longevity. These proteins (seminal fluid proteins or SFPs) interest insect pest managers because of their potential use in insect control. SFPs also interest evolutionary biologists because they often appear to play an important role in post-mating sexual selection and may evolve more rapidly than non-reproductive proteins. We studied SFPs in Diaprepes abbreviatus, a major pest of citrus and other plant species of economic importance. Our findings were consistent with the hypothesis that male D. abbreviatus transfer SFPs to females during mating. The male-derived substances were absorbed from the female's reproductive tract into the hemolymph (blood) and circulated throughout the body, but were found primarily in the eggs and ovaries. As a result, SFPs may be a useful means of both horizontal (to mates) and vertical (to offspring) transfer of control agents between conspecifics. We found no evidence for an effect of SFPs on female fecundity, mating behavior, or longevity.

Technical Abstract: Peptides and proteins transferred from males to females via seminal fluids are vital to the study of insect reproduction because they affect female physiology, reproductive behavior, and longevity. D. abbreviatus males synthesized proteins in their reproductive tissues after mating. Males fed radiolabeled amino acids transferred radioactivity to females beginning within the first ten minutes of mating. Together, these two findings are consistent with the hypothesis that male D. abbreviatus transfer SFPs to females during mating. The male-derived substances were absorbed from the female's reproductive tract into the hemolymph and circulated throughout the body, but were found primarily in the eggs and ovaries. As a result, SFPs may be a useful means of both horizontal (to mates) and vertical transfer (to offspring) of control agents between conspecifics. We found no evidence for an effect of SFPs on female fecundity, mating behavior, or longevity.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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