1. Evolutionary Biology
  2. Genetics and Genomics
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Drosophila seminal Sex Peptide associates with rival as well as own sperm, providing SP function in polyandrous females

  1. Snigdha Misra
  2. Mariana F Wolfner  Is a corresponding author
  1. Cornell University, United States
Research Article
  • Cited 6
  • Views 1,335
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Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e58322 doi: 10.7554/eLife.58322

Abstract

When females mate with more than one male, the males' paternity share is affected by biases in sperm use. These competitive interactions occur while female and male molecules and cells work interdependently to optimize fertility, including modifying the female’s physiology through interactions with male seminal fluid proteins (SFPs). Some modifications last long-term, indirectly benefiting later males. Indeed, rival males tailor their ejaculates accordingly. Here we show that SFPs from one male can directly benefit a rival's sperm. We report that Sex Peptide (SP) that a female Drosophila receives from a male can bind sperm that she had stored from a previous male, and rescue the sperm utilization and fertility defects of an SP-deficient first-male. Other seminal proteins received in the first mating 'primed' the sperm (or the female) for this binding. Thus, SP from one male can directly benefit another, making SP a key molecule in inter-ejaculate interaction.

Data availability

All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figure 3D,E.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Snigdha Misra

    Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Mariana F Wolfner

    Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, United States
    For correspondence
    mfw5@cornell.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-2701-9505

Funding

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01-HD038921)

  • Mariana F Wolfner

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Yukiko M Yamashita, University of Michigan, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: April 27, 2020
  2. Accepted: July 15, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: July 16, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: August 3, 2020 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2020, Misra & Wolfner

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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