Drosophila female reproductive tract gene expression reveals coordinated mating responses and rapidly evolving tissue-specific genes

Caitlin E. McDonough-Goldstein, Kirill Borziak, Scott S Pitnick, Steve Dorus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sexual reproduction in internally fertilizing species requires complex coordination between female and male reproductive systems and among the diverse tissues of the female reproductive tract (FRT). Here, we report a comprehensive, tissue-specific investigation of Drosophila melanogaster FRT gene expression before and after mating. We identified expression profiles that distinguished each tissue, including major differences between tissues with glandular or primarily nonglandular epithelium. All tissues were enriched for distinct sets of genes possessing secretion signals that exhibited accelerated evolution, as might be expected for genes participating in molecular interactions between the sexes within the FRT extracellular environment. Despite robust transcriptional differences between tissues, postmating responses were dominated by coordinated transient changes indicative of an integrated systems-level functional response. This comprehensive characterization of gene expression throughout the FRT identifies putative female contributions to postcopulatory events critical to reproduction and potentially reproductive isolation, as well as the putative targets of sexual selection and conflict.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalG3 (Bethesda, Md.)
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 23 2021

Keywords

  • ejaculate–female interactions
  • fertility
  • reproduction
  • sexual selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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