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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2008 Feb;38(2):176-89. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2007.10.007. Epub 2007 Oct 25.

Identity and transfer of male reproductive gland proteins of the dengue vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti: potential tools for control of female feeding and reproduction.

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


Male reproductive gland proteins (mRGPs) impact the physiology and/or behavior of mated females in a broad range of organisms. We sought to identify mRGPs of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, the primary vector of dengue and yellow fever viruses. Earlier studies with Ae. aegypti demonstrated that "matrone" (a partially purified male reproductive accessory gland substance) or male accessory gland fluid injected into virgin female Ae. aegypti affect female sexual refractoriness, blood feeding and digestion, flight, ovarian development, and oviposition. Using bioinformatic comparisons to Drosophila melanogaster accessory gland proteins and mass spectrometry of proteins from Ae. aegypti male accessory glands and ejaculatory ducts (AG/ED) and female reproductive tracts, we identified 63 new putative Ae. aegypti mRGPs. Twenty-one of these proteins were found in the reproductive tract of mated females but not of virgin females suggesting that they are transferred from males to females during mating. Most of the putative mRGPs fall into the same protein classes as mRGPs in other organisms, although some appear to be evolving rapidly and lack identifiable homologs in Culex pipiens, Anopheles gambiae, and D. melanogaster. Our results identify candidate male-derived molecules that may have an important influence on behavior, survival, and reproduction of female mosquitoes.

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