Seminal fluid proteins induce transcriptome changes in the Aedes aegypti female lower reproductive tract

I. Alexandra Amaro, Yasir H. Ahmed-Braimah, Garrett P. League, Sylvie A. Pitcher, Frank W. Avila, Priscilla C. Cruz, Laura C. Harrington, Mariana F. Wolfner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Mating induces behavioral and physiological changes in the arbovirus vector Aedes aegypti, including stimulation of egg development and oviposition, increased survival, and reluctance to re-mate with subsequent males. Transferred seminal fluid proteins and peptides derived from the male accessory glands induce these changes, though the mechanism by which they do this is not known. Results: To determine transcriptome changes induced by seminal proteins, we injected extract from male accessory glands and seminal vesicles (MAG extract) into females and examined female lower reproductive tract (LRT) transcriptomes 24 h later, relative to non-injected controls. MAG extract induced 87 transcript-level changes, 31 of which were also seen in a previous study of the LRT 24 h after a natural mating, including 15 genes with transcript-level changes similarly observed in the spermathecae of mated females. The differentially-regulated genes are involved in diverse molecular processes, including immunity, proteolysis, neuronal function, transcription control, or contain predicted small-molecule binding and transport domains. Conclusions: Our results reveal that seminal fluid proteins, specifically, can induce gene expression responses after mating and identify gene targets to further investigate for roles in post-mating responses and potential use in vector control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number896
JournalBMC Genomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Aedes aegypti
  • Immunity
  • Post-mating responses
  • Proteolysis
  • RNA-Seq
  • Seminal fluid proteins
  • Transcriptional control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics


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