Sep 16, 2014

Differences in post-mating transcriptional responses between conspecific and heterospecific matings in Drosophila



In many animal species, females undergo physiological and behavioral changes after mating. Some of these changes are driven by male-derived seminal fluid proteins, and are critical for fertilization success. Unfortunately, our understanding of the molecular interplay between female and male reproductive proteins remains superficial. Here we analyze the post-mating response in a Drosophila species that has evolved strong gametic incompatibility with its sister species; D. novamexicana females produce only ~1% fertilized eggs in crosses with D. americana males, compared to ~98% produced in within-species crosses. This incompatibility is likely caused by mismatched male and female reproductive molecules. In this study we use short-read RNA sequencing to examine the evolutionary dynamics of female reproductive genes and the post-mating transcriptome response in crosses within and between species. First, we found that most female reproductive tract genes are slow-evolving compared to the genome average. Second, post-mating responses in con- and heterospecific matings are largely congruent, but heterospecific mating induces expression of additional stress-response genes. Some of those are immunity genes that are activated by the Imd ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

CFC1 gene
Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Activity
Macromolecular Alteration
Gene Deletion Abnormality
Gene Deletion
Deletion Mutation
Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor

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