MicroRNAs influence reproductive responses by females to male sex peptide in Drosophila melanogaster

Fricke, Claudia, Green, Darrell ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0217-3322, Smith, Damian, Dalmay, Tamas ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1492-5429 and Chapman, Tracey (2014) MicroRNAs influence reproductive responses by females to male sex peptide in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics, 198 (4). pp. 1603-1619. ISSN 1943-2631

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Across taxa, female behavior and physiology changes significantly following the receipt of ejaculate molecules during mating. For example, receipt of sex peptide (SP) in female Drosophila melanogaster significantly alters female receptivity, egg production, lifespan, hormone levels, immunity, sleep and feeding patterns. These changes are underpinned by distinct tissue- and time-specific changes in diverse sets of mRNAs. However, little is yet known about the regulation of these gene expression changes, and hence the potential role of microRNAs (miRNAs), in female post-mating responses. A preliminary screen of genomic responses in females to receipt of SP suggested that there were changes in the expression of several miRNAs. Here we tested directly whether females lacking four of the candidate miRNAs highlighted (miR-279, miR-317, miR-278 and miR-184) showed altered fecundity, receptivity and lifespan responses to receipt of SP, when mated once or continually to SP null or control males. The results showed that miRNA-lacking females mated to SP null males exhibited altered receptivity, but not reproductive output, in comparison to controls. However, these effects interacted significantly with the genetic background of the miRNA-lacking females. No significant survival effects were observed in miRNA-lacking females housed continually with SP null or control males. However, continual exposure to control males that transferred SP resulted in significantly higher variation in miRNA-lacking female lifespan than did continual exposure to SP null males. The results provide the first insight into the effects and importance of miRNAs in regulating post-mating responses in females.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: acp70a,ejaculate,male–female coevolution,postmating sexual selection,sexual conflict
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Plant Sciences
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Organisms and the Environment
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Centres > Metabolic Health
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2014 12:40
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2023 01:22
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/50437
DOI: 10.1534/genetics.114.167320


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