Transfer and fate of seminal fluid molecules in the beetle, Diaprepes abbreviatus: Implications for the reproductive biology of a pest species
Sirot, L.K. | Lapointe, S.L. | Shatters, R. | Bausher, M.
Molecules transferred from males to females via seminal fluids are important to the study of insect reproduction because they affect female physiology, reproductive behavior, and longevity. These molecules (seminal fluid molecules or SFMs) interest applied entomologists because of their potential use in insect control. SFMs are also interesting because of their relatively rapid evolution and important role in post-mating sexual selection. We studied SFMs in Diaprepes abbreviatus, a major pest of numerous plant species of economic importance. Using radiolabeled-methionine (35S), we found that D. abbreviatus males synthesized proteins de novo in their reproductive tissues after mating. Males that were fed radiolabeled methionine transferred radioactivity to females beginning within the first 10 min of mating. Male-derived substances are absorbed from the female's reproductive tract into the hemolymph and circulated throughout the body, but are found primarily in the eggs and ovaries. As a result, SFMs may be a useful means of both horizontal (to mates) and vertical transfer (to offspring) of control agents between conspecifics.Show more [+] Less [-]