Mating and hormonal triggers regulate accessory gland gene expression in male Drosophila

L. A. Herndon, T. Chapman, J. M. Kalb, S. Lewin, L. Partridge, M. F. Wolfner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Drosophila melanogaster males transfer accessory gland proteins, as part of their seminal fluid, to females during each mating. Since accessory gland proteins are important for male reproductive success, it is important that the male replenish the proteins he transferred during mating. Previous studies had shown that mating induces the resynthesis of accessory gland proteins, but since mating includes a set of stereotyped behavior patterns as well as the act of copulation, it was not known which aspect of the mating process induces accessory gland protein synthesis. By exposing males to females whose ovipositors had been sealed shut, we have shown that resynthesis of accessory gland proteins occurs only when seminal fluid is transferred to females. By applying juvenile hormone or 20-hydroxyecdysone topically to the cuticle of male flies, we showed that these hormones can act in vivo to stimulate the synthesis of accessory gland proteins to levels similar to those observed after mating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1117-1123
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Accessory glands
  • Drosophila
  • Ecdysone
  • Juvenile hormone
  • Seminal fluid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Insect Science


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