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Parasitology. 2009 Mar;136(3):283-92. doi: 10.1017/S0031182008005362. Epub 2008 Dec 18.

Detection of seminal fluid proteins in the bed bug, Cimex lectularius, using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry.

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  • 1University of Sheffield, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK. k.reinhardt@sheffield.ac.uk

Abstract

The global increase of the human parasite, the common bed bug Cimex lectularius, calls for specific pest control target sites. The bed bug is also a model species for sexual conflict theory which suggests that seminal fluids may be highly diverse. The species has a highly unusual sperm biology and seminal proteins may have unique functions. One-dimensional PAGE gels showed 40-50% band sharing between C. lectularius and another cimicid species, Afrocimex constrictus. However, adult, sexually rested C. lectularius males were found to store 5-7 microg of seminal protein and with only 60 microg of protein we obtained informative 2-D PAGE gels. These showed 79% shared protein spots between 2 laboratory populations, and more than half of the shared protein spots were detected in the mated female. Further analysis using liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry revealed that 26.5% of the proteins had matches among arthropods in databases and 14.5% matched Drosophila proteins. These included ubiquitous proteins but also those more closely associated with reproduction such as moj 29, ubiquitin, the stress-related elongation factor EF-1 alpha, a protein disulfide isomerase and an antioxidant, Peroxiredoxin 6.

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