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      Seminal fluid protein genes of the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens

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          Seminal fluid proteins (SFPs) are produced mainly in the accessory gland of male insects and transferred to females during mating, in which they induce numerous physiological and post-mating behavioral changes. The brown plant hopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens, is an economically important hemipterous pest of rice. The behavior and physiology of the female of this species is significantly altered by mating. SFPs in hemipteran species are still unclear.


          We applied high-throughput mass spectrometry proteomic analyses to characterize the SFP composition in N. lugens. We identified 94 putative secreted SFPs, and the expression levels of these proteins was determined from the male accessory gland digital gene expression database. The 94 predicted SFPs showed high expression in the male accessory gland. Comparing N. lugens and other insect SFPs, the apparent expansion of N. lugens seminal fluid trypsins and carboxylesterases was observed. The number of N. lugens seminal fluid trypsins (20) was at least twice that in other insects. We detected 6 seminal fluid carboxylesterases in N. lugens seminal fluid, while seminal fluid carboxylesterases were rarely detected in other insects. Otherwise, new insect SFPs, including mesencephalic astrocyte–derived neurotrophic factor, selenoprotein, EGF (epidermal growth factor) domain–containing proteins and a neuropeptide ion transport-like peptide were identified.


          This work represents the first characterization of putative SFPs in a hemipeteran species. Our results provide a foundation for future studies to investigate the functions of SFPs in N. lugens and are an important addition to the available data for comparative studies of SFPs in insects.

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          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-016-3013-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 45

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          Insect seminal fluid proteins: identification and function.

          Seminal fluid proteins (SFPs) produced in reproductive tract tissues of male insects and transferred to females during mating induce numerous physiological and behavioral postmating changes in females. These changes include decreasing receptivity to remating; affecting sperm storage parameters; increasing egg production; and modulating sperm competition, feeding behaviors, and mating plug formation. In addition, SFPs also have antimicrobial functions and induce expression of antimicrobial peptides in at least some insects. Here, we review recent identification of insect SFPs and discuss the multiple roles these proteins play in the postmating processes of female insects.
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            Male accessory gland secretions: modulators of female reproductive physiology and behavior.

            Secretions of male accessory glands contain a variety of bioactive molecules. When transferred during mating, these molecules exert wide-ranging effects on female reproductive activity and they improve the male's chances of siring a significant proportion of the female's offspring. The accessory gland secretions may affect virtually all aspects of the female's reproductive activity. The secretions may render her unwilling or unable to remate for some time, facilitating sperm storage and ensuring that any eggs laid will be fertilized by that male's sperm. They may stimulate an increase in the number and rate of development of eggs and modulate ovulation and/or oviposition. Antimicrobial agents in the secretions ensure that the female reproductive tract is a hospitable environment during sperm transfer. In a few species the secretions include noxious chemicals. These are sequestered by developing eggs that are thereby protected from predators and pathogens when laid.
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              Complexity of seminal fluid: a review

               Aldo Poiani (2006)

                Author and article information

                +86-571-88982991 ,
                BMC Genomics
                BMC Genomics
                BMC Genomics
                BioMed Central (London )
                18 August 2016
                18 August 2016
                : 17
                State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology and Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology, Institute of Insect Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310058 China
                © The Author(s). 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funded by: the National Natural Science Foundation of China
                Award ID: 31471765; 31272374
                Award Recipient :
                Research Article
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                © The Author(s) 2016


                uplc/ms/ms, nilaparvata lugens, seminal fluid protein, proteome


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