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Biol Lett. 2007 Dec 22;3(6):607-10.

Larval rearing environment affects several post-copulatory traits in Drosophila melanogaster.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


In Drosophila melanogaster, accessory gland proteins (Acps) that a male transfers during mating affect his reproductive success by altering the female's behaviour and physiology. To test the role of male condition in the expression of Acps, we manipulated the pre-adult environment and examined adult males for relative transcript abundance of nine Acps, and for post-copulatory traits that Acps influence. Larval culture density had no effect on any measured trait. Larval nutrient availability impacted the number of sperm transferred and stored, the male's ability to induce refractoriness in his mate, but relative transcript abundance of only a single Acp (Acp36DE). Reduced male body size due to low yeast levels affected sperm competition. Our data indicate that some female-mediated post-copulatory traits (induced refractoriness and sperm transfer and storage) might be influenced by the male's developmental environment, but relative expression of most Acps and some traits they influence (P1') are not.

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