Evolutionary Quantitative Proteomics of Reproductive Protein Divergence in Drosophila

Martin D. Garlovsky, Yasir H. Ahmed-Braimah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reproductive traits often evolve rapidly between species. Understanding the causes and consequences of this rapid divergence requires characterization of female and male reproductive proteins and their effect on fertilization success. Species in the Drosophila virilis clade exhibit rampant interspecific reproductive incompatibilities, making them ideal for studies on diversification of reproductive proteins and their role in speciation. Importantly, the role of intraejaculate protein abundance and allocation in interspecific divergence is poorly understood. Here, we identify and quantify the transferred male ejaculate proteome using multiplexed isobaric labeling of the lower female reproductive tract before and immediately after mating using three species of the virilis group. We identified over 200 putative male ejaculate proteins, many of which show differential abundance between species, suggesting that males transfer a species-specific allocation of seminal fluid proteins during copulation. We also identified over 2000 female reproductive proteins, which contain female-specific serine-type endopeptidases that showed differential abundance between species and elevated rates of molecular evolution, similar to that of some male seminal fluid proteins. Our findings suggest that reproductive protein divergence can also manifest in terms of species-specific protein abundance patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100610
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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