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R Soc Open Sci. 2019 Jan 23;6(1):181453. doi: 10.1098/rsos.181453. eCollection 2019 Jan.

Behavioural and transcriptional changes in post-mating females of an egg parasitoid wasp species.

Liu PC1,2, Hao DJ1,2.

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Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, People's Republic of China.
College of Forestry, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, People's Republic of China.


In many animals, mating is essential for the production of offspring by females; however, mating seems to not be necessary in Hymenoptera insects. Virgin females can produce offspring, although the sex of the offspring is all male. Usually, behavioural and physiological changes are induced by mating in female insects, including parasitoid wasps. However, very little is known about the resulting changes in gene expression that contribute to the post-mating response in females; thus, we studied this aspect in the egg parasitoid wasp species Anastatus disparis (Hymenoptera: Eupelmidae) by transcriptional analysis. A total of 55 differentially expressed genes were identified in post-mating females, and most of the genes (90.9%) were downregulated. Upregulated genes encoded products that were mainly involved in fatty acid synthesis and pyrimidine metabolism, while the downregulated genes were mainly involved in substance transport and metabolism. In addition, post-mating A. disparis females exhibited a tendency to accelerate egg maturation and became unreceptive to further mating. Based on the transcriptional data, we discuss how specific genes mediate these behavioural and physiological changes. Overall, our study provided new and comprehensive insights into post-mating changes in females and provided a basis for future mechanistic studies.


mating; parasitoid wasp; post-mating behaviour; transcriptional analysis

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